Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cyber Monday Grand Opening!

You've heard of Stratford-upon-Avon? Whimsey-on-Why? Now there's Mayfaire-on-Etsy!

Yes, after all that work and hair pulling and photo tweaking and -- I'll admit it -- FUN, Mayfaire's Etsy shop is finally open. No, it's not called Mayfaire-on-Etsy (although that is dang cute), but it IS called MayfaireArt and you can find it there (check out my sidebar for the slide-show gadget) or by clicking here.

I'm still in the process of linking new work, but as of this post you'll find at least a handful of resin art pins, pendants, and earrings as well as colorbooks and Kris-Moose books currently being offered. PLEASE go there and look around, 'k? It warms my little artist heart to know that you've taken a moment to check out my work.

And in the event that you like something you see there, please know that free shipping is available through Cyber Monday at least, and I'm offering blog readers (old and new and otherwise*) a 10% discount. Just use the coupon code CYBER2011 during the checkout process.



*Your friends and family might like to be in on the secret, too, so please share!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday, Cyber Monday -- Oh My!

I don't know about you, but I can't imagine setting foot outside my door this weekend for any reason. I did that once by mistake: I ran an errand for something absolutely trivial on Black Friday one year and thought I'd either lose my mind or commit a murder. NEVER AGAIN.

So as soon as the dishes are put away after Thanksgiving dinner, this girl is going to either curl up with a book, hide in front of a movie somewhere, or shop online perhaps. And I hope you'll do the same.

But be sure to shop small, 'k? There are a lot of creative people out there who are trying to make a living in this sad economy. You'll find many of them on Etsy. And here are a few of my Etsy faves (who just so happen to be readers right here on this blog -- get to know them, they're wonderful people!):

Check out Everyday Friends Art for quaint and colorful polymer clay houses that fit in the palm of your hand! You'll find other fun stuff there, too, like old-fashioned photo-style greeting cards, polymer ornaments, and buttons sporting the image of Her Maj.

StoneWing Designs offers exquisite handcrafted jewelry using semi-precious stones and other quality materials.

Handmade, affordable earrings for under five bucks?? Jeweled Fibers. Nothing else needs saying.

How about the rest of you? Got an Etsy shoppe? I've been burning the candle at both ends and the middle trying to set one up for myself -- it's been fun but I can certainly appreciate the amount of work you've done to get yours up and running!

So why not introduce yourself and your work by sharing directions to your shoppe here in the comments section so that we can all visit you this weekend from the comfort of our nice warm unchaotic homes (not to mention our nice warm super-comfy jammies).

And you're right, I did NOT point you to ME on Etsy. You can find me easily enough. And besides -- I'm a complete Newbie. These folks know what they're doing and are amazing at it.

So check them out, 'k?

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is tomorrow already; can you believe it?? My month of November -- which looks in my head like one long leisurely span of time in which to cocoon and be creative (ha!) -- is almost over, and the holiday crazies are waiting in the wings, tapping their feet.

So before the hours get any crazier for me (and you!), I'd like to honor the holiday by taking this opportunity to list some stuff for which I'm thankful:

1. Twenty-four whole hours in a day. I must remember to never take them for granted.

2. Good health, strong limbs, decent mental faculties, and some experience under my belt. I like the age I am! And fifty-five years are more than many are blessed with.

3. A guy in my life who defies description. I could write all day about why I'm so thankful for him and my list wouldn't be finished.

4. My girls all grown-up and uber-responsible, with good men in their lives and children arriving.

5. A family that is healthy, happy, and independent, one that can hold each other close and yet let go....

6. Friends who love me unconditionally, who willingly put up with my nonsense and still like me when I don't like my own self.

7. Pets past, present, and future. I can't live without animals in my life. I just can't.

8. All the wonderful books I've read, music I've heard, and art I've seen that opened my mind and made me think, moved me, or just plain entertained me, and the gifted folks who created them.

9. Our veterans and active duty servicemen/women. 'Nuff sed.

10. A generous Earth. I give her a seed and she thanks me with a harvest.

11. A Higher Power that doesn't mind that the two of us commune together over a sunrise or under the stars instead of in a church. In fact, S/He prefers it that way.

And, of course,

13. YOU.

Have the best of holidays, OK? And give yourself a big warm hug for me. I am truly thankful that you're here, my friend.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Etsy or Bust!

An example of my resin work
My 'flat art' (meaning two-dimensional work that can be framed and hung on a wall) is really what I'm known for.
I was originally juried into the MN Renaissance Festival with it over 25 years ago and, as a result, it's technically the only kind of work I can sell there. My customers know me. They expect to see drawings and prints. And at the moment Fest is the only place that I really show my work. 
However, in recent years I've begun playing more with materials other than papers and pencils. And even though I've since been granted permission to do so, the little oddments I'm making are ones that are difficult (for me, anyway) to sell at Fest. And, to make matters worse, Technical UN-savvy Me has yet to figure out how to sell them from my website.
SO. I'm thinking they might just be ideal for an Etsy shop.... 
The idea intrigues me.
Fest is my only show now for a reason. I'm naturally reclusive, for one thing. I love my weekends and dislike venturing too far from home. And, I'll just say it: I'm older now and just not fond of the travel and set-up and tear-down (not to mention the expense) that goes with doing a show.

Over the years, in an effort to get my work out there and still not wander too far from my cocoon, I've occasionally thought of opening a little local storefront. Sounds quaint and fun at first glance, but then we're talking again of uber-busy weekends and the worries of covering expenses. :(

So how much better is the idea of a virtual storefront? A virtual art show? Where the lease/entry fee is minimal, the customers all warm and cozy shopping in the comfort of their own homes, the upkeep and maintenance and utilities all non-existent? And Happy-Artist Me behind my virtual counter in my comfy clothes?? (Awesome!)

Granted, 'if you build it, they will come' doesn't apply. Because they won't, necessarily. As of right now, Etsy has a million bazillion quillion virtual stores all offering amazing products. Being noticed at all will be a dang miracle! But no one ever said this will work as well for me as it does in my imagination....

But it can't hurt to try!

Anyway, I've done boatloads of reading since I saved a spot on Etsy for myself a year ago, and I keep revisiting my 'shop space' there and sticking a tentative toe in the water. But now seems like the time to get down and dirty with it. My Eldest has put the pressure on, for one thing, by suggesting an Etsy shop in the first place and daring me to get one up and running. She offered to do all the set-up for me recently when she was home for a bit, but I disliked the idea of putting her to work on her visit.

Plus, I wanted to show her that I can DO this. (Because I CAN!)

So since her departure a week or so ago I've been knee deep in all things Etsy. Black Friday/Cyber Monday are big incentives. I've taken a crapzillion digital photos of my creations. I've written and rewritten copy until it no longer makes sense to me. I've researched shipping charges and Paypal accounts and packaging ideas, blahddy blah. It's all been a baptism by fire, but I think I'm making some teensy progress.

Or maybe I'm just facing the right direction!

But that's progress, too, right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

X's and O's

This is for you
Guess what??

Yesterday's post generated a comment -- Woohoo!

It generated two, actually, as another friend of mine emailed me yesterday that she'd tried to introduce herself here in the comments section, as I'd requested, but was unable to do so.

I think I understand why it was difficult: These things don't necessarily make it easy for us to communicate with, do they? I can remember in the past wanting to comment on so many blogposts on so many blogsites but discovering that in order to do so I had to jump through hoops, create an account, choose an avatar, blahddy blah.... And then there's the part about one's comment having to be moderated first before the blog itself allows it to even appear. Yeah, there's that....

(Of course, there's also the possibility that I've set up this site so that commenting on it is a problem. Yeah, there's that, too....)

BUT -- Yesterday's post and the response it generated tells me that I still have readers -- HUZZAH!

a'poier,elapod; voiemrint eomvpoke,ao;!!! (That was the happy keyboard dance right there -- :D)

Knowing that I haven't lost every single one of you buoys my heart and keeps me from having to write to my own self. Although you know I would do that, don't you? And I'd comment on my own posts, too, to keep from looking completely ridiculous. Because I'm shameless that way.

So here's a great big beautiful THANK YOU.

To you. Yes, YOU.

And may this be the start of a nice communication.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's All About YOU

This is for you: Mwah!
Dear You,

I don't want the Maily to be just about me. I want you to have a voice here, too. After all, I think you're much more interesting. :)

So what I'd like you to do -- if you're still out there somewhere and haven't totally given up on me -- is introduce yourself here in the comments section. Tell me about yourself, even if you're already my friend or family member in real life. (And just so you know, I'll bug you every week on Tell-Me-Something-About-Yourself Tuesday until you succumb, so be prepared!)

And if you happen to have a biz, website, blog, Etsy shop, and/or facebook fan page, PLEASE share the link(s) with me here so I can enjoy and promote your work, 'k?

And if you do this for me I will heart you forever.

Here's to you, my friend!

x x and o,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Miss Me?

Even my coffee's happy to be back!
Wow, right?

Over a whole dang month without a post! I just hope you're still out there and haven't completely forgotten me.... 

My excuse for not posting is that things have been Yikesville here ever since Festival ended at the beginning of October, and the older I get the less I'm able to deal, apparently.

Don't worry, mostly good stuff happened: Among them a beautiful new grandson, a long visit from my Eldest from California, Halloween (my favorite holiday!), and the emotional punch that comes with having a milestone birthday, to name just a few.

(And there was some not-so-good stuff in there, too, but everything's fine now so we won't even go there.)

And, of course, in all the activity and excitement I managed to come down with The Plague -- surprise! It was just a serious cold, really, but it certainly felt like the plague, and this aggravated an existing condition that was already compromised from the stress of all that is Fest, after which I required some serious downtime. And when I'm away from blogging/writing for longer than a couple days it's really easy for me to lose the routine. Oops.

Anyway, I want to get back to it because... I MISS WRITING TO YOU! (I really do! Ask anybody!) And I'm grateful for you and oh so happy to be here again. Just wanted you to know that.

SO -- I raise my smiley-face cup of Joe to you and say, "Here we go!"

x x and o,