Saturday, November 30, 2013

Clear, cold and saturday

what do you all have planned?
it's very cold here today, but the sun is shining, bernie just asked it i thought it may be too cold for the ducks to go out, (no as it's not windy, so they'll be ok with their little feather coats)
the woodstove is cooking pretty good too.

btw, i want to thank jamlady for testing the 'email me' button, yes it worked thank you, and i responded to you. (thanksgiving week was probably a bad week to ask for that huh?)

i'm sitting here with my second cup of coffee, and i am doing paperwork, making a list of what i have to do today to continue with the etsy store stocking,

*shoot the photos of the printed painting, and then watermark then
*continue to test print, and prep files for that
*research where i am going to get the shipping supplies,-these prints are THICK, they won't roll into       tubes, but i am going to look at 'no bend' mailers
*transfer a layout to start painting part of  the second nest series
*do tear sheets for submission to two manufacturers
*how do i upload a pdf file for people to download?

that's part of my continued list.  please bear with me through this, right now this IS my daily life, more so then normal. bernie's been doing a lot of the cooking (remember all the 'tv dinners' i froze?) as i am a bit overwhelmed with what i have to do, some of which i am learning on the fly so to speak. (and my turtle pace has been seriously speeded up )

i am also considering self publishing that crow book, and maybe part of my sketch planning journal... with the in progress photos of my paintings, along with the notes and things about the paintings
this occurred to me while i was writing the story of how the paintings came about for when i start uploading them to etsy.

i know i am always interested in how folks did stuff, what they were thinking, how they came to that place. then i thought, well if i was interested maybe other folks would be? people seem to like to watch artists and craftspeople work...

actually you folks joining me right now for coffee are sort of part of my planning circle, so any ideas you have let me know. i am doing my thinking out loud to you guys.
as right now a thousand things are swirling in my mind.
seriously suddenly there are so many projects that sound interesting ...... between books, and paintings, prints, and pdf files with patterns for some of the crafts i do.

i am also trying to convince myself that marketing is not an evil endeavor of self promotion but an incredible interesting way of meeting new people...(still working on that idea.... feel free to input)

well folks, i am about to finish this cup of coffee, and i think i'm finished with the stuff on the computer for now.... so i am going to start shooting the bird series and seeing about finishing up with the files and test prints of the nests.
i am going to post some of the photos of the test prints here, you guy can maybe let me know which exposure looks the best to yous?

have a good day

Friday, November 29, 2013

GOOD morning! how was your holiday?

i hope everyone had a wonderful day.
we had a very quiet day.
we won't discuss HOW stuffing ended up on my head......
(except to say it was my own stupidity--)
we have hot water again so i was able to take a shower....YEAH!!
i really didn't want to walk around smelling like sage and turkey, (cause no matter how hard you try a sponge bath doesn't really do it as i have discovered) i had visions of every stray carnivore in 15 miles following me around.

i will admit to being lazy about our meal prior to yesterday. we'd had mashed potatoes earlier in the week so we had saved them for yesterday. we roasted sweet potatoes instead of that casserole with the marshmallows and i threw the cranberries in a pot to make sauce as i was letting the turkey rest.

here is a very fast way of making home made cranberry sauce.
i don't really measure things so i am going to give you an approximation

1 bag of fresh cranberries, usually about 12-16 oz
1 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider, or apple juice, OR orange juice
1 whole organic orange or tangerine (you're going to zest the colored part of the peel into this
3 spokes off a star anise

zest the citrus fruit into the pan, and if you didn't use orange juice as the liquid, then squeeze the juice out of the citrus fruit into the pan.
then dump all the rest into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally.....i gently boil it until things sort start to pop and the liquid is nice a red.
it will start coating the spoon....
that's it is pretty much done. fish out the star anise and toss that into the compost.
chill it, and there you have it
if you want to can it, i put it in either the small (see the picture-i even made it sorta pretty for you all) 4oz jars or the 8oz jelly jars.
i use a boiling water bath canner and it's 10 minutes time.

now you can also at that point chop some apple into it
and or add some chopped nuts
one of my friends chops bananas into his.
this is fun so experiment a bit.

i was snacking on this sauce last night long after supper.
a fast note on this, i put it in the small 4oz canning jars for serving, cause it looked so cute in there, and it was just about the right amount per person (if you love cran sauce like i do)

ok, now in my painting news, i am still working on photographing my work, having discovered that thought i THOUGHT i was doing the custom white balance correctly, it turns out i wasn't! (remember the polar bear painting from the other day where i showed you what a difference a good crop makes?)
so since i discovered that youtube video on my camera's white balance i realized i needed to reshoot almost all the paintings again.
guess what i am doing today? and tomorrow most likely, and well......i guess every day until i get them all done.
i am working hard on getting them ready to offer the prints in the etsy store i in the middle of working on.
i've also started writing the stories behind how each series started, and what i was going through while painting them, which will go on the listings and also be printed and enclosed with the digital prints.
i am also beginning to plan a kickstarter for valentines day or spring/easter
so if anyone wants to give me some feedback on what they would like to see my images on....... that will become part of the set up. and yes i will blog about it
i personally would LOVE to offer garden flags, i don't know why i want to see my work on them so much, maybe because i have a few and really do like them.
i will be submitting to toland flag in a few weeks hoping to become one of their artists, but i am also going to inquire about having them do a run of a custom flag for me to maybe offer on etsy.

i will tell you folks, any imput any one of you may have for me would be invaluable.
so either post in comment or email me from the 'email me' button
(actually someone want to email me from that email button to make sure it works ok? i tweeted it a bit)

now december of 2014 marks the 10 year anniversary of this blog. yes it's true, i been blowing hot air for ten whole years on this blog! amazing huh?
i am thinking i need to celebrate, so i am planning on having a giveaway.... i am not sure what yet, or how to do it but i'm open to suggestions

so now, i am going to finish this cup of coffee, and get started on my list of chores
i hope everyone has a wonderful start to the holiday season

edited to add, since the inception of this blog, it's been a way to talk to my online friends over a cup of coffee, normally i post either after supper (and publish that in the morning) or in the morning when i drink my coffee. just so you all know.....for the most part it is just us over coffee!
someone pass the bagels now?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

i wish you and yours all the happiest of holidays

no matter what you celebrate.

i wish you the warmth of togetherness
i wish you good food, laughter, love and magic
for now and for all your days

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

what says home to you?

today here in the north east, we have a winter storm. (this is being written 11/26 at night-you'll see it tomorrow morning)
it's cold, wet, raw.....and generally miserable to be outside.
(i didn't bring all the ducks out, and the ones i did take out only stayed out about 3 hours before i decided they needed to come in the house)

i was however outside a good part of the day. there were big things afoot out there and i was in the midst of them.
i'm in the house now and waiting for bernie to come home.
it got me to thinking... what says home to me?

i remember when i was young, before i married bernie, coming home on a day like today to the smell of mom's cooking when i opened the door with the slight steam that went with it,...... to a warm house due to the fire in our fireplace (we heated with wood in a giant masonry heater/fireplace) and the yellow glow of the lamps in the living room.
i would take a hot bath or shower, get into my nightgown and robe, snuggle my toes into slippers... and sigh.
i was home- i was safe - i was loved.

now my folks and childhood home are long gone.
and our current home is VERY tiny, and a lot cluttered- books overflow almost everywhere.
we also keep a very full pantry, all over the main part of the house as well as the basement - we don't have closets either.
but it's warm thanks to our woodstove, there is always something cooking it would seem, and we keep the lights dotted around low. (we also keep some 'christmas light's on all year round in the studio...the tiny led fairy lights)

it's lived in for sure
by us, by the pets we have, even at times by the uninvited  mouseguests.
one other thing that wasn't always done at my childhood home.... we normally listen to classical music in the fall/winter
my preference is baroque
it's on low, as i can't abide loud noises... but it soothing to me
after supper (tonight is beef stew i made and froze a while ago) i will knit, while bernie works on a model car.
the cats will snooze in front of the woodstove.
*** i uploaded a video of our woodstove from a few years ago, it still looks the same, so i figured you all may like to see it.....

so now.............

my question to you all... what says home to you?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

count down, to the holidays, winter cold and keeping warm

are you all ready for the thanksgiving holiday?

we mostly are, since there were the turkey breasts on sale for .99 a pound.
i have to make cranberry sauce.. which i most likely will some time between now and thursday...or maybe not..if i find a home canned jar on the shelf then we're good to go with that.

i've taken to roasting poultry breast down for the majority of the time- i can recommend it.
i flip it for the last maybe 1/3 of the time, really just to brown the skin
i have found that the meat doesn't dry out.
i like doing breasts instead of whole birds because legs take longer and when they are done it seems that the breast can be dry... but really try a breast down bird ...( try it in an off month, see if you like it)

today was an insanely busy day for me, i had a lot of stuff to do for bernie, then a lot of stuff to do for 'the family' financial stuff, getting the elements that didn't fit returned, tracking down where the other elements are ...all sorts of stuff like that
i managed to print the polar bears, (the wider one) and it looked good but is a bit crooked on the i have to make sure that the paper is loading right for the next print.

the weather warmed up a bit (yeah all things are's not above freezing), i was up with the woodstove several times last night.... today i shoveled a coal bed out of it and let it burn down too.
now for those of you contemplating a woodstove or pellet stove, i can tell you some of my reasoning behind what we got (prompted by a conversation i had with someone recently about non oil heating)
i had a list of things i needed/wanted/expected

1) warm/cook food in an emergency
2) radiate heat for a while after it burnt down
3) be safer at around 400 degrees instead of 800 or more
4) non catalytic (the catalytic converters cost a LOT of money to replace )
5) burn something easy to get a hold of
6) easy to maintain

the few years before we got our woodstove, while i was ruling out things like pellet stoves, coal burners, heat pumps, solar.......

Pellet stoves---there was a pellet one could get the pellets as at that time i believe, there was only one place making pellets and something happened- (now a lot of 'pellet' stoves also burn 'biomass' so you can burn cherry pits, corn, barley etc... not just pellets- you can't cook on them, and you need a battery back up to run the hopper incase of electrical outages- plus you need to shovel out the ash daily)

Coal or duel fuel coal/wood---i looked at coal or duel fuel coal/wood.... coal burns HOT, too hot to be in the studio. and i wasn't at that time interested in a whole house duel fuel furnace.
i didn't want to shake the grate down and remove chinkers either.... the technology is very good however, they don't pollute like they used to and you can cook on them- but they aren't soapstone so they are HOT

Catalytic wood stoves--- the only thing against them was the need to periodically replace the catalytic converter

Outdoor wood furnaces --- not very fuel efficient, have to go outside every 12-ish hours to stoke them- can't cook on them but they will heat a few buildings, and heat water all outside!

so our choice was a soapstone woodstove.....the hearthstone phoenix-- and really it was the right choice for us.
when we move i swear i am going to carry this stove on my BACK if i have to and take it to the next house!
however if i get a crack at a soapstone masonry heater..... i may reconsider
we burn about 4-5 cords (@ about 500 per 3 full cords of seasoned hardwood) in a bad winter, but we also have very poor windows and insulation in the studio where the stove is...
it does keep the whole house pretty warm, with the exception of those couple of weeks in dead of winter. but still so far (since 05) we've never had any thing actual freeze except the front door a few times ....but then we don't have a storm door

Monday, November 25, 2013

the fire is so delightful.......

currently on the needles, vine lace scarf on size 2 in 'aegean' zephyr-blue isn't my color really but i had gotten a decent deal on zephyr, before TSHTF....... so i'm knitting 'rhinebeck' scarfs....on tiny needs for mindless comfort knitting..

well it's cold, really january/february cold--
windy as hell too.
the ducks and chickens will be staying in the house.
now this week, we are to get a bad storm, from what i understand.
although it's been downgraded from snow to mostly rain
i feel for everyone traveling on thanksgiving
i am so happy that we have that wood stove, and i am so very thankful we have a lot of wood in..... bernie is splitting that big maple up now that died and was dropped two years ago (it wast two right?-- either 2 or 3)
i miss that tree, it was my favorite one (don't tell the others, i tell each of them that they are my favorite, except for that swamp maple out back that insists on dropping bumper crops of pollynose seeds into my garden right after i plant it)
anyway that maple is now keeping us warm.
and now the front maple died (smaller tree) and that will be coming down and be used for firewood as well.

are you folks ready for thanksgiving? we pretty much are as ready as we are going to get. i would have liked a rutabaga, but probably won't get one.
i could also have used an orange for the cran sauce..... but i have some dried so i will most likely use that.

i have two turkey breasts and a full turkey in the freezer, we'll do one of the breasts for the holiday and i think roast the full turkey and cut that up for freezer meals.
i love turkey, i think it's my favorite meat ........ i am eating turkey soup with pastina as i type this (on sunday night, it'll publish tomorrow morning)

today i was not well, bernie made us scrambled duck eggs this morning, and didn't realize that 5 duck eggs are way too much for two people.... along with bacon....
it was way way too rich for me and i got very sick
at the most i think two to 3 duck eggs are more then enough for two people to split....
they are huge!
 they are much richer then chicken eggs
oye....and now.....nothing i am doing is keeping me warm, even with the woodstove having the studio temperature up to 80, and me all bundled up in fleece and wool..... i'm chilled

ok so today i finally learned how to set white balance on my camera, which means that the paintings are going to be redone (some are ok, but some aren't so i plan on redoing all of them)
some of the paintings that i love the most are actually studies, loose, fast and charming to my eye
i'm experimenting with different cropping to see how i like them best...
one in particular is the momma and baby polar's actually done on a failed aurora borealis study!..... it just was a bunch of experiments that worked ...i cropped it very tight at first (digital cropping, the painting is actually huge).... then cropped it wider...
i like both, as the tight crop shows the bears better but the wider crop makes the bears part of the desolation of the arctic...... how utterly empty it can seem during the winter there.
see what different ways of cropping images does to them?
if you have a print you love but maybe there is one area .... not so much, you can get the mat made so that area is not there anymore.

i think when i offer that as a print, i will offer both...... and even though it is a study, i love it........and that is WHY i am going to print it.
i can tell you, i am getting some inquiries on prints, i actually have been even before inna talked to me.
this has surprised me, as i thought mainly that these paintings need to be 'something' like a card....or a calender or garden flag... maybe i was wrong?

well folks, i been working on this post for the last three hours or so, on and off... in between eating soup and knitting while bernie watched a pirate movie on dvd (one of the johnny depp movies...they all look alike to me)
so now i am going to hit publish and call it a night
sleep well

Sunday, November 24, 2013

tell me if you hate it ?

i allowed adsense back on the blog.... tell me if you hate it ok?
if it's too distracting i will remove it again.

ok so this is what is going on here, i continued to print more of the nest paintings...and of course ran into trouble with the colors, but being the turtle person that i am, kept plugging away.
i am going to start to document this printing/licensing journey with you all
i know some of you folks have been with me a long long time
the blog is going to be 10 years old soon!
i will admit that at one point i took a break, having gotten scared at how high my readership got....
i thought i was talking at most to like what? 7-12 people, and then realized it was a lot bigger then that
i am ok with that now.
in fact now i am thinking..... the more the merrier
i've hoped that i have helped some folks along the way here and there...
maybe helped them avoid some of the pitfalls i fell into with things ( such as the water heater element fiasco)
i hope that some of you got enjoyment out of watching my paintings evolve.....
or a smile at the duck stories.....
maybe you got a laugh from some of my family stories?
i hope so
i know for a lot of the time, it's just me and you having coffee together......

i also know now, i am being pushed toward putting my paintings out in the world, part of me is scared shitless..... thinking ...'well they are just another painting, there are plenty others just as good if not better then i am'
and part of me is saying..... 'listen, i don't know WHY but i feel driven to do this, so want to come along on the journey with me?'
so that is where i'm at right now
and i am so very far out of my comfort zone that i feel like i almost woke up in someone else's life....
or on mars or something....
yet at the same time.... some of the work i am doing is really fascinating me!
and i am determined to LEARN marketing.... to get my work licensed.....i really really REALLY want to see my crows on garden flags.....
and see some other as yet unpainted work on dinnerware
books, calenders....... journals..... plus cards and prints too

oh and we got a light dusting of snow too.... (when you read this, the snow will have been last night-- i am writing this now and it'll post in the morning)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

sponge baths are for the birds *** edited, scroll to the bottom!

and not even my birds! (they take real baths)
and here is an older photo of phoebe (before the woodshed was built!)
we probably won't have hot water until tuesday
so we have been taking sponge baths with stockpots full of hot water.... i hope this no hot water thing isn't now an annual pre-thanksgiving tradition.....
(and to insure that it isn't we are so getting not only solar showers but point of use hot water heaters, just in case-the small ones .... one for the kitchen one for the shower)

now on to other things.
as some of you may know, i am going to be putting my prints on etsy soon.
i am still working out bugs (like the black and white prints are printing with a gray background)
well as an adjunct to this, i have to market them
so i found some online sites that have marketing tips for artists.
one site in particular stood out, with the following article
99 ways to market your art

and with that
this is a quote from there (it's step 5)
  1. Realize you’re already brave. Ask friends, fans, and customers what things you have the nerve to do that they admire. You probably tend to take your piano compositions or playwriting for granted, yet how many people have told you they could never do what you do? You can talk to them in person or send them an email with a few simple questions. You might get some surprising answers.

 so i am asking you folks that read me....... what would you tell me? (and this is a huge leap for me asking you folks)
i don't know what it is exactly about marketing that makes me (and so many other artists especially) get the 'run and hide hives' but it does

i know i am at the point where i am actually liking my work, (not enough to set on my laurels mind you/ i got a love hate thing going on with it)
it seems that other people like it as well, i've been getting feelers out about commissions
which at the moment i am not doing (unless it's prints)

anyway i read through that link and a lot of the stuff that they suggest makes sense to me......some seems over the top but i know a few people that are successful working self employed and they seem to engage in endless self promotion
(which at this point even the thought of it is exhausting to me)

anyway, i hope some of you folks will comment on this and give me some of your thoughts
(i also hope that the comments link is working now)

oh and we are hoping to have some big to us news in a few weeks... so of course i will let all you folks know
ok, this isn't the huge news we are hoping to share in a few weeks but this is news for me~! this is my first color test print of one of my paintings!!!! it's part of the nest series and it's centered on a 8x10 heavy weight photo paper. i like it very much, (excuse the crappy excited photo of the first one)
i will be offering the prints for sale on etsy soon, (with much better photos) for 20.00 plus shipping.
they are sized so that they can be put into a standard frame, under uv glass (seal the back of the frame with brown paper and tape as all art prints should be)
so... whatcha all think??

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

water heaters, parts and such

well you never know around here when you get up in the morning what the day will bring
today it brought me...... waterheater parts!
we have a kenmore survivor water's 20 years old now and nope does not leak
however getting elements for it is a nightmare
this doesn't use the standard elements
in doing research i have discovered that not only is this water heater still available....(it's now called 'marathon' ) but that it's made for RHEEM now by water innovations inc
i tracked this all down by looking at the marathon water heaters at home depot web site...then reading the use/care manuals...... THEN calling home depot online to ask 'well you sell the water heaters, where do you get parts'
they told me rheem
i went to rheem and FOUND THE PARTS NUMBERS for what i needed!
then i realized on the old boxes that it was drop shipped from water heater innovations!
which i had also called but couldn't get through
so there you go
the marathon water heaters are the exact same guts as the kenmore survivors....with some minor differences
and the parts numbers are the exact same!

meanwhile i am out about 200 bucks at the moment
and i am going to put an instant hot water unit at the kitchen sink and probably the shower in the future
as hot water problems drive me absolutely apeshit nuts

i swear i hate sears..... ever since we bought appliances from them......we will NEVER make that mistake again..... the appliances are good (or were) but their customer service sucks....and has sucked for at least 30 years
i will dance when sears finally goes under (and walmart too- another company that should be ashamed of themselves)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

further researcch

EDITED TO ADD- i am considering a limited number of my black and white illustrations, hand colored.... what do you guys think? they would be a lot more money though, the actual drawing i would print and then just hand color in selected areas.... (i don't know how much to charge for that ) they would be archival to about 400 years from what i understand from the pigment tests.....

at this point i can sell 'digital prints'
not giclee prints ( also not at giclee prices which are a LOT of money anyway)
so this is the deal at the moment
i'm going to be offering a lot of my paintings as digital prints
the sizes will at this point, be a maximum of 8x10
they will have uv coating for an archival life of approximately 75 to 100 years
(from the research i've done-)

i believe that the prints will retail for 20.00 .... before shipping
the prints will be unframed but they will fit in commercial frames so that no one will have to pay custom frame costs unless they want to

now if there is enough interest (ie: sales) then i'll move up to larger sized prints, and even maybe the books will get printed

now i will need some help marketing this project when it launches, if you folks wouldn't mind
because between marketing/agent search/printing/shipping/painting.....well we all know i will need to spend a lot of time painting too

and no this won't stop me from looking for representation because i would really like to see the crows not only as a book but as garden flags........ and the arctic goddess myths~legends, maybe as a calender?
not to mention some of the new work i want to do.. with the teacups/teapots, the botanicals and a very limited entomology, (yes jennifer, there could be butterflies).
of course bernie wants me to continue crows..... i may  but i am not ready to face the crows again yet, they really did take over things- and while i was painting crows, we had a TON of crows hanging around's like they KNEW

now in the meantime, i am continuing to work on getting this stuff printed up
so i can stock the etsy shop
i will need to drive traffic there ......and i am researching that as well
marketing so has not been my thing
tooting my own horn is something i am trying really hard to get comfortable with .......
i kept thinking that if i was a good enough artist the sales would just come!
ahem......maybe that's why a lot of artists had to wait until AFTER they are dead 100 years?

i don't really want to wait that long

again, any one have any comments.... please post here or email me
this is a bit scary for me, way out of my comfort range
and (thank you so much don for the comment) all the support you can give me is appreciated

Monday, November 18, 2013

dreams again

i dreamt that bernie was working at a new job... and that we were packing for some sort of trip
now the last dream that felt like this did, came true (october 04 )-- which i am hoping that this one does as well-- the last one was bad though.this is a better one
so we'll see-- i also had a dream a while back that my work was in a gallery ......... of sorts
it was like a museum ...and it was built to house my paintings.... it was a surprise in the dream, and i was brought to the opening gala.... which i ducked!
and wandered into the gallery..... shocked to see my paintings and drawings all hung
(especially since i am not focused on getting into a gallery but getting commercial work~!)

i have a SCORE mentor, who asked me to pick 10 dream companies i would like to work with
(i wonder how she knew i actually had that list?)
so i sent the list by return email
meanwhile i am still plugging away--i am also looking for paper to print these paintings on
putting together a plan for hiring an agent and also for licensing submissions
with an additional plan for producing some work inhouse.
and seeing about distribution
in a way it's exciting and in a way it's super it's all fine and good painting and designing in the studio... (which i am always doing) ....but it's another thing entirely to start sending your 'children' off into the big wide cold world.

in the midst of this the elements on the hot water heater went out!
FYI, kenmore is actually made by AO Smith......and they had elements to fit
our elements have a 1-3/8'' nut, not the 1'' that is common now
so we ordered two from them
but i think we are going to look into one of the tank-less hot water on demand heaters
one for the bathroom and one for the kitchen-
i would also like a solar water heater too...

it's been very warm here ......... 50 at night and  60's during the day
bernie's been doing seasonal laundry too, the quilts and that ( i can't get the laundry out of the machine let alone carry it up anymore so he's been doing it....we fight over who gets to hang it out)
eventually we plan on putting a stack able washer/dryer in the studio- but we'll still keep the big washer downstairs for seasonal quilts and the big towels

ok before i forget, i've noticed that some folks are trying to comment and can't.. at the top of the blog on the right is an 'email me' link.... if you can't comment, email me.....
i'm trying to make sure the comments are fixed but i am not sure if they are or not

ok my shoulders are super super bad today, i've already iced them several times and taken a lot of Tylenol- which just took the edge of the pain off.....
it's bad today
so i've got to stop knitting, typing and painting for a bit

take care all
and email me if you can't comment

Friday, November 15, 2013

it's the middle of the night

yup yup a bit after 2am and i'm up --partly cause bernie is having a restless night, partly cause my head is in a total muddle

my dear friend inna ( you've heard me mention her before. inna from ingo jewelry and  -- yup that's her inna of the amazing shawl pins and jewelry) had a heart to heart talk with me about my work,  and suggested that i open an etsy shop to sell prints of my paintings (while i am looking for representation)

now i have to tell you all.....first off i am so blessed at the amazing friends i have......(you guys know who you are.... i wouldn't have gotten this far without you all)
people who've not only stood by me but been there when life dumped on our heads repeatedly.....
they are smart women too... very smart so when one of them starts to talk to me, i listen up
i don't always take their advise to heart but most of the time i do

and inna made a lot of sense today-it overwhelmed me, it moved me way out of my comfort zone....but she's right....and you guys are right
and i am going to listen

i've been moving towards selling my images for the past few years. it's a scary thing for me, because what i paint is who i am, it comes from my comes from the place that i touch the divine
now everyone has that place, some folks pray in a i create.....i work with my hands
most of the time that's meant doing something like sculpting or painting, gardening or cooking.

so it's sort of difficult putting what i do out there, i took a huge leap out of my comfort zone last year when i did the kickstarter that didn't end up funded.
now i am thinking that maybe it was a good thing, although i didn't think so at the time, at the time all i could think of was how i failed...

so with that printer that i have had since last year, ( with the good archival ink technology )
this is most likely going to happen
we're going to set that printer up and test it.... now that i have the right RAW digital files of my work ( the images are blowing my mind, they are exactly the paintings)
this part i think i can do myself!

i have hopes that down the road i can get a wider bed printer, and photoshop with a really high end computer and digital drawing tablet to help but i can work with what i have now it looks like without sacrificing quality.  and the end quality is very very important to me

now i've been getting inquiries before this for paintings, which i have been turning down, as i didn't have a way to do prints until i had the paintings converted into digital files- that's almost finished now, so i can so do this.
i have a few other surprises too... i did a whole set of  'paper dolls' as well as halloween images on treat cups for dogs and for humans
i can print them too!
while i really at first didn't want to do manufacturing of product anymore here at home, (tiny house, without real space to hold supplies or do the work)
i think that for prints i can do it...
if i actually can make this work and start to grow then a new space would have to be found but for now, i think i can do this!
there is also the possibility that i can work with a commercial printer if i get to that point-
which brings a few other things up
the books i have half finished, they could happen too
they are a lot of work but they've also been a very exciting idea.
even though i plod on slowly like the turtle i am

so that is also why i'm up tonight (this morning) yes, i am worried.... about bernie mostly, but then i have all these wonderful swirling ideas buzzing in my head
not that they are actually new ideas.....some i've been working on for almost 10 years! but now it seems like they are do-able.....that maybe their time has come?

and most importantly....
i am again looking forward to the future, and starting to enjoy the present again!
and i secretly suspect......i am getting over the fears i had about my work....about putting myself out there again

and i hope the 7 people that still read me, will join me while i do this

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

photography success at last

FINALLY..... i have been wracking my brains and repeatedly (doggedly) reshooting the paintings
i would shoot a batch... come down to download.... check them and delete the entire mess
i finally figured out how to see them on the camera before downloading ( and being able to super zoom in so i could tell how in focus)
of course the very first IN FOCUS batch that i then downloaded got completely obliterated --- i thought it was downloading to a formatted dvd, i did run the format
but there was a different formatting program that needed to run to actually format so the entire shoot was gone!
however, now i am zipping along nicely
next stop US Copyright office to batch copyright
then packets off to agents and manufactures both by snail mail and email
 i can't wait!
i'm shooting in RAW and also jpeg format

oh and that painting is a study of a teacup, that is being done in prep for a new series.... which i have been kicking around, teapots, teacups, fruits....still life and botanicals
whatcha think?

that's my mom's china on a piece of silk i plopped on my painting table... i've never painted china before so i want to do studies to learn it (that's how i work, i do studies then go from there)

now if anyone has suggestions or comments....please by all means feel free ok?

Saturday, November 09, 2013

WTF ?? totally out of focus

ok so i set up for a shoot with the new 16.1 megapixel camera that does (apparently) everything on the face of the earth, including but not limited to......sending photos to your tv, phone, printer.... with wifi
washes the dishes
turns on the woodstove
sings to the cats
hangs the laundry
however for some odd reason
i can't get it to focus!
the old camera.....3.2 megapixels as a tack
this one........ omg my eyes are killing me
my back is too (cause the way i have to set up the lights)
and my brain

out of all the photos i've taken i got ONE in focus......from the first time i used it for the paintings
and while i have the shutter speed and ISO information
i have no idea how it came out sharp and clean ( but skewed cause the painting was of course.....not perfectly straight)

meanwhile i am sitting here waiting for the battery to recharge

so that means my new list is

a few rechargeable batteries..
a few extra memory cards
a card reader
and a ball head for my tripod as opposed to the pan/tilt head i currently have
oh and a new computer
yes ma'm ...... JUST for this special camera
(i'm thinking a desktop-no?.......i can send the photos over wifi)

until then
i am going to try and figure WTF i did wrong....oh and i am supposed to be able to check it with a zoom thing.... guess what doesn't want to work????

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

again life turns on a dime

well first off......virginia is now democratic again....well done to them
i am a confirmed democrat ...... i used to be more moderate until they started to try to clamp women into slavery again
so i had no choice, as i had to fight for women's rights.. so i vote democrat now

we've had some set backs here too

but we are soldiering on

i am painting teacup studies, but the plans have changed as now i am going to paint only what is laying around....
we'll see how creative i can get with the crap i either inherited or purchased along the way
so i am expecting to paint teapots sooner rather then later...
maybe this is a good thing?
i had planned the work and was preparing to work the plan...... now the universe decrees that the plan change

damn i wish for a crystal ball right about now
i think one thing i really can't stand is upheaval and change- some folks thrive on it
some like the turmoil and swirling of change.....they are able to pluck opportunities from it
for me, i am a steady plodding on sort of person.
i've learned from years and years......that i picture where i am going....and i just keep moving towards it.
that's how i taught myself to make original porcelain dolls..... how i ended up on the cover of a magazine, how i ended up writing and being published......
how i taught myself soap making and built a small business
how i taught myself watercolor......and am working towards licensing
sort of a slow and steady tortoise of a person---

so naturally when i planned on teacups and had to change it further unsettled me
but maybe it's a good thing........and switching to just the stuff i had around the house already may work out for me
i had planned on picking up teacups and after the paintings and studies were all done.....selling them off maybe with the prints of them
maybe next time.....although i can't see me painting too many teacups can you?

the other thing that i've been looking at is light fast artist grade colored pencils
and i have decided on a combination of faber-castell and caran....... that too will wait it's turn..... as will the botanical work i am planning (have been planning)

the one thing i've learned about myself is that .......i do eventually get around to most stuff  i say i am going to do
if i decide that it is really something i need to do.....eventually i do it

i don't know if it is a muse (although i refer to it as the muse) or what... but i sort of do seem to do what i set out to do

so the past few years i've set out to create a body of work for licensing..... slowly building up paintings in series
i got the camera (still trying to learn it - but i figure i will when it's the right time)
i've started to contact agents.......started getting my 99 NOs
all along the way i have crystalized where i see these images...... and i see them on flags.... cards, puzzles....... maybe even ipad/ipod cases.....prints too
part of me would LOVE to produce the product myself...... and do the packaging because i really did enjoy packaging when i had the toiletries business..... i had a total blast designing a 'brand'

(i thought of it as a 'coherent, consistent line'- and it was totally satisfying to envision and then create it- it also boosted sales.... the packages were as pretty as the product was good and that still floats my boat)

so the temptation to do a whole 'product' line INCLUDING packaging is very great for me

i have an overwhelming belief.......feeling......idea? compulsion? that something, anything you purchase should be presented with exquisite packaging..... the anticipation of opening something..... and packaging so very special that you buy the product as much for that
it makes YOU feel special and you save that package....
(i have saved some beautiful packaging over the years)

it's not just me.... perfumes.... yup

anyway....this is where my brain is steering me on this very warm november evening...

i am for some really odd reason, thinking of my paintings as product and wondering if it is at all possible to get the financial backing to get them produced..... myself!