Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Making a Living as an Artist

Heidi left me a very good question in the comments of my previous post. She asked, "What are your comments about making a living in art? Liking it? Having success?" So, I thought I would discuss that in a post, rather than in the comments, and invite input from others who are making a living in arts and crafts.

Heidi, very good question. I am liking it because I have a head full of ideas -- more than I can keep up with! There have been frustrations, especially with the sudden down turn in the economy. This is a highly respected arts and crafts community, which is just one of the reasons for moving here. But, as with many other tourist areas, the gas prices severely stifled business. So, in that respect, it's been hard to get started building revenue. However, the tremendous drop in gas and the coming of the holidays are having a very positive impact on our number of visitors. In turn, I have sold more cards this month than the last five months combined. That is very encouraging! I'm hoping that the photography will take off soon, also.

I am not about to give up. My husband took an over-the-road trucking job for the pay so I can continue to strive for success. Once my products start to get into the hands of others word begins to spread, but that does take time. I will be going online with Etsy, for one and with other stock photo sites. Again, I need to be prepared for a slow start. As for the photography, there are a variety of outlets for that, including self-publishing a book.

So, that is the long answer to Heidi's question. The short answer is that I love it, it takes a lot of time, and I need to be patient.

Heidi has also started to put her terrific art on line at Cafe Press. I would love to get input and discussion from any of you who have taken the path of working artist, and I'm sure Heidi would, too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've been tagged!

It's been a few days since I posted, or even made any cards. But I have a very good excuse: my brother and niece from Oregon were visiting and we were keeping very busy! My niece is 17 and admitted last night that we wore her out! Keep an eye on my other blog Picture This At Last for some posts and pictures of the many things we got to do. Now I'm exhausted, too, but we had a blast!

I have been tagged by Myrt! Thank you Myrt! Myrt-aka-Marion can be found over at Myrt's Card-O-Craft. She makes beautiful cards and is delightful lady. Be sure to pay her a visit and leave a comment. She loves visitors!!

Here are the rules!
1. Link your tagger and list the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of the post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are 7 facts about me...
1. I have green eyes and only recently found out that is the rarest eye color.
2. My fingers are long but my toes are short -- both are blessed with very strong nails.
3. My legs are short but my torso is long -- both now blessed with plenty of padding :-(
4. Our ancestry can be traced back to Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but I didn't inherit the poetry gene --- I rarely write a card sentiment.
5. Though I used to fly quite often, I developed an aversion to it over the years --- OK, the truth is I now have major panic attacks. But if I ever get the nerve back up I would love to visit Norway and England.
6. I am half Norwegian and a lot English, thus the reasons I'd like to visit those countries.
7. Finally, my life-long dream has been to make a living in art and I am in my first year of that endeavor: paper crafts, photography, and writing (not poetry).

Next I should tag 7 more people, but I am going to bend the rules a bit. This is one of the more popular memes right now, so I will ask each reader (even you blurkers out there!) to write something about yourself in a comment. It will be fun to learn something new about everyone and meet new bloggers.

Enjoy your week and, to my American friends, make sure you get out and vote on Nov. 4!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Award From A Delightful Lady!

I love surprises! Today I logged on to find this wonderful surprise! A delightfully creative lady, Carolyn, over at P.M.S. etc. sent me this lovely fall tribute. She makes beautiful cards, often featuring the cutest little house mouse. Carolyn is also such a fun gal. Her posts always make me laugh. Obviously a woman who loves life and loves to blog, I am happy to have her as one of one blogging buddies.

Please visit her blog. While you are there congratulate her on the other beautiful award she received and take a look at her work. Carolyn has also recognized many other creative bloggers, so link into them, as well. My list of "Talented Papercrafters" grows daily because I find so much inspiration from others.

Thank you, Carolyn! You made my day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Autumn Cards Using SC195 and SC197

It's been so much fun making cards for autumn. The colors and designer papers are so beautiful! It's also given me a chance to try out some of the SCS sketches. I'm a few weeks behind, but no matter. The following three cards were done using the SC195 sketch. It is actually quick and simple, especially when I use the Xyron to add the adhesive. Just peel and place!

SC195 - A
SC195 - B
SC195 - C
I had colored a few of these cute autumn angels from Lockhart stamps. Their size works great on the SC197 sketch.
SC197 - A
Here's a close up of the stamp. I colored it with SU markers.
SC197 - B

I still have paper and sketches that I want to use, so I'll be moving on to Thanksgiving cards, but not for long. Christmas is fast approaching and those are my favorite cards to make. Oooo, I just get giddy looking at my new stamps and papers and sketches. There are already so many beautiful cards made by talented papercrafters out there.
Thank you for stopping by and looking at my cards. I welcome comments any time!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Autumn Cards

Here are a couple more autumn cards. The scrolls are Cuttlebug dies and cut from gold metallic cardstock. They add quite a touch of shimmer to the cards. These cards, like the ones in the last post, have no sentiments inside, but a blank card for writing a personal note.
I did a little bit of shopping at my favorite stamp store in Branson, Unique Impressions. Mostly Christmas items and I can't wait to use them. And a photo shoot trip to Silver Dollar City today yeilded about 300 photos of the Fall Festival now going on. My macro lens got quite a workout, too, on the beautiful bundles of fall flowers. Many of the photos will find their way to the fronts of notecards and autumn greetings. They do such an amazing job of decorating for the seasons and Christmas at the park will be aglow with 4 million lights, 450,000 just on the 5-story musical tree! Ooo, I can't wait! But I digress......
Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Celebrate Fall Colors

For the first time in 30 years I have just experienced a full four-season cycle. The winter wasn't very white, but that's ok! Fall is coming again and I must admit it is my favorite time of year. The air is cooling down from the summer humidity, the colors of the leaves are magically transforming, and the holidays are coming!

As much as I enjoyed making the Halloween cards, I'm moving on to Autumn Greetings, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cards. Mirroring the colors nature will be treating us to, here is a set of cards of the same layout, but with a shift in the color schemes. (Actually, I just don't like to waste materials so from a 12" x 12" sheet I try to use all the paper.) All cards are the larger size 5" x 7". The leaves in the center circles are Hero Arts and colored with pastels. These are the leaves that I posted close-ups of last month. The papers are a variety of card stocks and fall designer papers. Best of all, I have discovered Nestabilities and am in LOVE!

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you come back often. I welcome comments and do my best to respond and pay a visit in return.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More Halloween Cards

Yesterday I made six more Halloween cards, but without the cute kid cutouts. These were fun using designer paper. I loved the witches legs, which were the border on a scrapbook paper, so I made three versions using different colors of cardstock. I still have more ideas, more paper, and stamps I didn't use, but I think I'll move on to fall and holiday cards. Time is flying!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Halloween Dress Up

With Halloween less than four weeks away I wanted to be sure to get some kid's cards in my shop at the Branson Craft Mall. I love the Cricut Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge and it has so many adorable costumes, especially for Halloween. So today I made nine cards using several of the ghoulish kiddos. It was almost like playing with paper dolls again, which I loved to do as a kid.

I can't pick a favorite and there are so many other possibilities on this very versatile cartridge. Each card is 4 1/2 x 6 inches made of cardstock. A variety of Halloween designer papers was used for the backgrounds. All items on the cards are cut outs from the Paper Doll Dress Up Cricut cartridge. I hope lots of little kids get to enjoy these cutesy-scary cards.