Monday, January 26, 2009

A special day

Today is a special day for more than one reason. Firstly it is Australia Day! We Aussies are not the most patriotic bunch, but we do love a good bbq on a nice hot day followed by a fairly swift pretense at playing cricket, a quick swim and a long cool drink in the evening. Ah, Australia Day!

The 26th of January is also the day that the first class at Handmadeology begins! I'm quite excited about this. I've had my Etsy shop for a year now, and while I have enjoyed the experience unreservedly, I have come to realise the importance of marketing. This year I plan to follow other more successful online sellers advice and see if I can make it work for me. Timothy Adam is one such successful seller, and like most of the folk on Etsy, is a generous and friendly person. He has worked out what works for him, and is sharing the knowledge freely - and for free! I've had a sneek peek at the site and it looks like it will be really helpful.

hm125

I also plan, this year to describe my forays into marketing here on my blog. I am really not a marketer in any way, shape or form. So this will be a big challenge for me. I suspect there are lots like me out there. I think we can learn from each other as we bumble along. I hope others will join me in trying out the tips with me and providing their feedback too. If you do, I'd really appreciate a comment about your experiences and/or a link to your own posts on your blog.

And finally it is also a special day because it marks the end of my long summer holiday. Back to work tomorrow. I can't believe the time is over already. It has just absolutely flown. I've had a great time and am looking forward to getting back to work. This year on the job also will be full of new challenges, so I'm happy for that.

p.s. don't forget that the 26th in the US where Timothy Adam is doesn't happen until almost tomorrow Australian time, but it's all OK. Click on over now, and enter in you email address so you don't miss a thing no matter what day it is!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I've got a book press!

I've been coveting this book press in the local antique shop for several years now. Book presses are quite expensive. I got quite excited when they were having a sale the other day, and yes, it was discounted, but still expensive enough for me to still be 'thinking about it.' Not any more! T bought it for me today! Yee haar! It's old (obviously), filthy and rusty, but the screw still works perfectly.
An hour and a half later it looks this good! I can't believe how well it came up! I'm so pleased with it. Some wet and dry sandpaper, oil and a lot of elbow grease and doesn't it look grand?!
It is missing the top plate for pressing books. I've been told the plate it has on is an embossing plate. As you can see, it's round and about 6 inches in diameter. It has a concave surface on the base. If you know what it is for I'd love to find out.
The badge says 'Edward Dunlop and Co, Importers, Sydney.' I know absolutely nothing about book presses, so if you have knowledge please let know.
The base was an interesting find, with it's regal lion emblem, and the letter 'D'. For Dunlop?
I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I will be posting about it when I do! At this stage I plan to use it with a loose wooden plate on top of the book, under the round embossing plate. At some stage I'd like to get a metal one made to fit.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My art on the front page of Etsy? Yes please!

It's what all Etsians want, to see their creations on the front page of the Etsy website. It's the first thing visitors see when they enter the wonderful world of Etsy. Really there is not much better promotion wise than a spot right here. And yes, that IS my art! Bottom right hand is my 'Minimum' pair of paintings.
How did I get there? Well, it's not thanks to me, but thanks to Emma (Benconservato). She composed the selection you see above and was nice enough to include me. The selection is called a 'Treasury' and every few days the Treasury section of Etsy magically opens and if you are online at that split second, you get to make a page of your selections. Etsy rules keep the whole thing friendly - you cannot put your own stuff in a Treasury. It is a sharing caring kinda thing. Here's the link so you can view the Treasury on Etsy and check out all the featured items.

And it turns out to be a big day for Etsy Treasuries for me because I managed to snavell one in 'Treasury West' (don't ask, I don't know, but it is different to the main Treasury). Below you can see my selections. These are all the products of Australian creatives. I'd love you to check them out so here is the link to where you can see my Treasury at Etsy where it is clickable so you can really check it out.

But you will have to be reasonably quick to see these anywhere but here, Emma's Treasury expires in a day and mine in 3. Yes, it's all very transient over at Etsy, which is good because it keeps it all fresh and there is always something new to look at, but it also means that by the time I finished typing this post, my paintings were no longer on the Front Page. Ah, but it was nice!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New, New and New

I've been learning so many new things this week! Much of it I've been learning from Timothy Adam who creates really different jewellery and sells it online in his Etsy shop. He has such a successful business going and he decided to share how he did it. I've been reading, learning and refining (I hope!) my business practices. Well, he has taken it one step further than that now and is creating a website dedicated to assisting online sellers to sell their handmade wares. Handmadeology is new, but it is going to explode if I've learned anything about Timothy! He will be running classes! The first one starts soon, it is free and all you have to do is click on over and subscribe in the form at the bottom of the page. I recommend you do that right now!

Are you still here? Oh well, before you go I'll tell you what else is new. Over there... on the right... just under my welcome in my side bar... see the 'NEW! I've got a newsletter!' box. Well, that's it! Yes, I've worked out how to do a newsletter (thanks to Janell!) I've been wanting one for a while so I can tell you a little bit more personally about some of my art goings on, and it's a good way to organise a give-away too! So subscribe to it if you would like to be the first to know about my discounts, giveaways, exhibitions etc. I won't spam you! I will probably rustle up a newsletter every couple of months, so it won't be a burden.

OK, go check out Handmadeology now!

Oh, you are wondering what the other 'new' in the title is for, huh? I'll admit it! It was all for show. Off you go. Bye!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Cupboard Under the Stairs

Yet another Etsy post and this time it is a new shop! My daughter and I have little plans for 2009 - little because that is how big we dream our piles of 'stuff' were! In order to make these dreams come true we have opened a destash shop The Cupboard Under the Stairs.
I started off with listing some vintage journaling/scrapbook type packs. Each pack contains at least 15 assorted vintage book pages chosen for their illustrations, diagrams or text. They come from romance novels, science books, history books, biographies, humor and foreign language books. All are vintage, some pages up to 80 years old. The 'youngest' is from the 1970's.

The pages are collected from the books I have rebound into journals. This photo is of just a small part of what's left over. I reinsert some pages back into each book, but there is still a lot left over. I use them for other artworks, for the little envelope pockets I put in my books, for collage and journaling.

And to each pack I've added a vintage library due-date slip and an envelope so you can make your own library card pocket.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 2 of my Etsy shop SALE

Slowly adding new stock to my shop. I've just completely restocked the ACEO section.
ACEO = Art Cards,Editions and Original. It is an affordable way to collect original art just for the pleasure of it - very affordable! Each work of art is the size of a playing card or trading card. They come in a protective sleeve so they are safe until you decide what you want to do with them. I have collected them myself from artists I admire. Here are my latest:

Weasel Boy
No weasels were harmed in the making of this ACEO! He's not that kind of boy.
Braindrops It's just what came out of my imagination...
Red Blue Yellow (apparently they make black)
Red=Green I was once a very confused child and this ACEO proves it.
Look Mum! No hands! How is it I'm all grown up and still not as glamorous as my cut-out dolls?
Four Equals a dalliance with maths - and art!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stocking the shop with new items...

...and they are on sale already!
First there is my 'Shall We?' Gocco printed Moleskine Cahier notebook.
'Indian Garden' Silver printed Moleskine Cahier
'Daisy Day' Another silver print.
'Minimum' A pair of acrylic abstract paintings on canvas panels.
And don't forget you will receive one of these flat notecards free if you order from my shop during my sale this week.
Click on the pictures to be taken straight to my shop. There you can read the story behind each creation and feel free to have a look around if you haven't already. Thank you for a great year! More new listings coming soon! What a week it will be.

My Shop's 1st Birthday - celebrating with a Sale!

Today is my 1st Etsyversary! Yes, I've had The Little Shop of Horus open for a whole year. Wow, I've enjoyed it! To celebrate I'm having a sale. It's on now and there is 15% off everything OR 40% off for returning customers! And there is a gift for each purchaser - a hand-drawn and painted flat notecard and envelope that I made especially for the occasion.
I never had one of these drawing sets when I was a kid. I got this one at the MCA shop when I visited at Christmas time.
I originally thought my anniversary was tomorrow so I'm not quite as organised as I'd hoped to be. I'll be adding more stock over the week. Please read my shop announcement for full details of the sale.

Sale on now and until 12 noon GMT+11 Sunday 18th January 2009.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In other news...

I've finally got all of my uni work done for my submission due now. Of course it doesn't mean it's over! I need to start on my next one immediately or I'll be catching up again before I know it.
I was able to make a little artists book as part of it. It is titled The Jetty Strip.
The Jetty strip is an area of Coffs Harbour near where I live. It is a street of old shops that have in the main been taken over as restaurants.
The exercise for my course was on negative space.
While I was working out what and how to make this book at one stage I made a tiny one as a maquette. It was SO delightful on such a small scale that I plan to make an edition of them.
Not that this one is big, by the way. It is 4 1/2" x 7" finished size.
...and in other news
I am going to be having a big celebration for my 1st Etsyversary and in readiness I might be playing around with my blog. If it looks weird when you visit please ignore.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

My first stop motion animation

video
'Too Much Fennel' was made as part of my uni course, inspired by my favourite artist William Kentridge. Not that it is anything like his animations! But he draws them with charcoal. Here ends the resemblance.

Indulge your inner voyeur

I have had the wonderful opportunity to interview printmaker Mariann Johansen-Ellis. If you love to read about others process and look at what and how they create, please check out the interview. What makes it even more delightful is that Mariann has such a way with words. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year!

I wish you all the year you are hoping for!

I've had a fabulous 2008 and I'm really looking forward to 2009 because I've got lots of exciting plans and projects. I'll be letting you in on them over the next month but today I want to start with the news that it will be my 1st Etsyversary on January 11th. I have enjoyed having The Little Shop of Horus open over at Etsy so much! I've met some great people as a result (in particular all the lovelies in the DUST Team ) and have been so touched by people spending their hard earned money on something I've made. I am most proud to say I have some dedicated repeat customers. I feel honored.

So I plan to celebrate! I'll be having a very special sale on the day and for the following week - that should give us time to get together no matter what your time zone! I haven't finalised the details yet, but I do know that my repeat customers will get the biggest benefits. So if you've been thinking of buying something anyway and you do it before the 11th, you will qualify as a repeat customer come the celebration week!

In anticipation I've begun sprucing things up. I've got the new banner here and an even better one over at the shop. I've also got a new avatar over at Etsy but I'll be changing that again before the 11th as apparently it makes people think I sell stuff for kids! Not the look I'm after!

(The photo is of my studio wall today. Some finished paintings and some in progress ones.)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

About me

I have been making things (I’ve been told) for much longer than I can even remember. Art is my passion and drawing, painting, printing, bookbinding, sculpture and working with textiles are what bring my life meaning. I grew up in a house with strangely bright colors on the walls and mystifying patterns in the Persian rugs on the floors. I have loved color and pattern ever since and they are themes that continue in my art.

I love learning new techniques. I am currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, which follows on from years of other studies and workshops in a wide range of art practices. I work in a computer lab with Kindergarten kids by day and print, paint and draw after hours. I’m inspired by everyday objects and my collection of vintage “How to…” books. I love to combine, intertwine and superimpose images to create a story, often making unusual combinations and injecting them with subtle humor.

I started this blog 26th March 2006 initially as a way of sharing my sketching with other members of the Yahoo group Everyday Matters. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed blogging and discovered that the blogging community is a fantastic bunch of people and a very sharing environment. I opened my Etsy shop in January 2008. Since then I have enjoyed the community that makes up Etsy and 'meeting' my customers who come from all over the globe. I am a very proud member of DUST Team (Down Under Street Team) and Printsy Street Team on Etsy, and I'm guest art editor for Etsy Profiles.

Viva the handmade revolution! Buy handmade and support an artist.



Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade
janallsopp.etsy.com