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A family owned & operated shop, located in New York. One-of-a-kind Art, Gifts, & Services. Handmade in the home of Julia Finucane. We specialize in Enchanting Art & The Old Ways.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DIY Screen Printing at Home


I have always wanted to learn how to screen print, but the process seemed so hard to do. I was shown the process back in school, but it was so complicated and a lot of space was needed to print. We had a very large printing classroom and I have no space in my apartment so I thought that I was out of luck with screen printing. I was wrong!

I searched for DIY (Do it Yourself) screen printing and found some great resources on how to screen print easily with materials you can get from the craft store. Also I can print things in my tiny apartment. =)

I found many tutorials and blogs explaining the process and all seemed to be very similar. I took all those instructions into consideration.

Materials....
embroidery hoops - 1 for each design
Image to use printed out in B&W - you can draw one or create one on the computer.
Sheer curtain fabric - go to a local fabric store such as JoAnne's in the home decor section.
Mod Podge - this is a water soluble glue
Old paint brush
Speedball Fabric ink
piece of plastic to squeegee with - try an old plastic card
Oh and a t-shirt or something to print on.

Directions....
1. Create a design to Screen print. You can draw one or use your computer to make one. Make it simple and B&W so it is easier to Screen print it. 
2. Take embroidery hoop and place the sheer curtain tight into it. 
3. Turn the hoop upside down and trace the image onto the bottom of the fabric with pencil.
4. Turn the hoop over and with the paint brush put the Mod Podge all over the negative area. Make sure all the parts that you don't want printed are covered.
5. Let dry completely.
6. Once dry, you can practice printing on a scrap sheet of paper to make sure it comes out to your liking. 
7. When ready, take the hoop, place it on the t-shirt, put some ink at the top of the design, and use the plastic card to squeegee it down. 
8. That's it and your DIY home Screen printing is done.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween is Coming!


Halloween is so close and I still need to find a costume. I was going to be a rag doll and bought some pink polka dot ribbon, but I didn't buy enough to make the size bow I wanted. 
I am supposed to go to a party this year, so I want my costume to be good. I also want my husband and I to have a couples costume and he won't be a doll with me. =)

So I have been thinking hard about costumes. I always make my own because they come out just so much better and more creative. My next adventure in researching is masquerade costumes. I have masks from New Orleans that we could wear. My husband has this bright blue suit that he bought down south when he was in the army years ago and he loves to wear it for Halloween. He insisted on wearing it so I need to come up with something that goes with this suit that is not a pimp or gangster costume (he's down those to many times).

Well off to thinking! 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jess Purser - Featured whimsical artist

Happy Monday!

Todays featured artist is Jess Purser, a talented whimsical artist I found through Etsy. Jess in from Surrey and spends most of her tome painting and reading. 
She is inspired by nature, landscapes, and odd ideas.

Find her on...

Check her and her beautiful art from the links above.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Twilight Zone moment and a little Thai


So last night I went with my husband to a restaurant that opened about a month ago not to far from our house. We walk by it all the time and the happy hour specials include appetizers, so we decided to give it a try. 

(Now before you keep reading, I want to say that I liked this place and will go back.)

The restaurant was Thai and the appetizers included stuff like fried wotons, dumplings, fried calamari, and more goodies like that. The restaurant was called Rock and Roll Thai, which I suggested to my husband that they should have named it WOK and Roll because it was an Asian restaurant. He told me that name was actually taken by a different place (and here I thought I was being creative).

Anyways, the food was really good but we felt like we were in the twilight zone. Now I don't want to be so traditional but usually restaurants sticks to a theme. Well this one was Thai, but they had fajitas on the menu. That was just the first confusing thing. They also had 'The Beetles' posters all around. I'm guessing because of the name Rock and roll. I do like The Beetles, so I didn't mind looking at them, it just seemed misplaced. 

On the radio they played rap music. Now I am a fan of all music so I did like most of the songs, but again just strange for an Asian restaurant. Also they had a DJ who was big, tattooed, and wearing leather (again, the Twilight Zone). 

Now for the best part and my favorite and probably one of the reasons why I will go back. I went into the ladies room before we left and almost didn't notice it. I was washing my hands and in the mirror reflection I saw it. A poster of 6 very talented fantasy / lowbrow female artists. The images on the poster came from the book 'Big Eye Art' and were of big eyed fairy girls. I was so excited because no restaurant really has art like that. It's always flowers and fruit bowls. Not that I don't like that art as well, it was just nice seeing something different.

So that was my Twilight Zone moment and lets just say it was very interesting. If your ever in the NYC area, stop by the Rock and Roll Thai restaurant on 2nd Ave. and 82nd for your Twilight adventure and some good food. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

TGIF, an Etsy Treasury, and paper goods set

TGIF!
This week was great though. I watched some great Halloween movies and while I watched I also worked on many creative projects. I am also having my first weekend sale in my Etsy shop and it was fun thinking of a sale to do. I am already thinking of another one maybe for next weekend.

I just listed another note card / gift tag set in my shop. The image on the set is from my painting 'Lock to my Heart Fairy' and is accessorized with black ribbon. Sets go for $5.00 each.

I am also in another Etsy treasury making 3 this week.  Thanks mulberrymoosetoo for creating treasuries with a great idea. Check it out here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm in 2 Etsy Treasuries!

Hey,
I am in 2 Treasuries on Etsy, yayay!

Thank you CriswellCreations and kimbuktu for making the treasuries. I also tried to get one to create but my computer didn't load fast enough. 




You can check both treasuries out and also please check out the shops of the 2 creatures. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pink kitten rag doll and 13 nights of Halloween


Last night was the second night on ABC family's "13 nights of Halloween." If you do not know what this is, every night for the 13 nights before Halloween, ABC Family shows a different spooky movie. These movies are creepy and ooky, but are for the whole family to watch. 

They aired The Goonies and tonight is Beetlejuice. I missed Monday night but they played America's funniest Halloween videos. 

Well, while watching the movie, I worked and finished 2 more Droopy Heart Dolls. I just listed my second doll on Etsy and I absolutely love it. She is pink with little kitten ears, polka dot bows, and a cute little bell. 

I named her Rachel Sara after my sister and she is $19.95.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yummy and easy Halloween cupcakes

So besides art and taking care of my animals, I have another passion (cooking). I love to try different recipes and experiment with many things. 

One of my favorite thing to cook, besides pasta dishes, is desserts. Now I am no chef, just someone who loves cooking for my husband, and myself of course. I cook semi homemade dishes, like Sandra Lee and I think every thing comes out yummy and saves lots of time.

I am going to a Halloween party and was thinking of goodies to bring and I stumbled upon this great little recipe and picture off the pillsbury website. It is for Halloween cupcakes that are so easy to make and look very yummy. 

All you need to start is...

Ingredients for cupcake:
1 container of vanilla frosting
orange food coloring
1 box cupcake mix

To make gravestone:
black decorating gel - 1 tube
oval filled peanut butter cookie sandwich - 1 for each cupcake
1/4 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
candy pumpkins - 1 for each cupcake

Directions:
Bake cupcakes according to package.
Put frosting in a bowl and put some drops of the orange coloring into bowl. Mix well.
Frost cupcake when cooled off.
Write RIP or something creative on each cookie with black decorating gel.
Place cookie into cupcake.
Sprinkle crumbs all around the top of cupcake.
Place a candy pumpkin on top next to gravestone cookie.

Enjoy and eat! 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Featured whimsical artist Pinkglitterfae

Wow, Monday already! Were did the weekend go? 

It was a great weekend though. My Buffalo Bills won yesterday and it was a miracle. Everyone thought they were going to get crushed by the Jets, but they won. GO BILLS!

And since today is Monday that means another featured artist.
 
Todays artist is Pinkglitterfae and I found her first through searching blogs and then saw her on Etsy as well. 

She is a self taught artist from Canada and paints in themes of whimsical, fantasy, and folk art. I really enjoy her art and I hope that you can enjoy it as well. 

You can find her on...


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ways to promote your art and online shop.

As an artist I am always looking for different ways to promote my artwork and now my online Etsy shop. I have been doing a lot of research on the internet and reading books on how to promote and market artwork. I plan on doing more research and checking some books out of the library so hopefully I get more information to shear with you, but for now this, is what I have.

Always bring business cards, wherever you go. You can pass them out easily and almost everywhere. Place your card in with a tip at a restaurant or at a bar. 

Post the business cards up at local businesses such as boutiques, galleries, art stores, or any other venue that allows you too. You can ask your hair stylist, a friend with a business, etc. 

At these places that you post business cards, also post a flyer to go along with it. Make sure to put on the flyers your store, website, and blog links. Also include your contact information and some images of your artwork. I also make those little pull tabs at the bottom of the flyer with information on them so people can pull them off and take it with them. Make sure to cut each tab. 

I give my friends and family business cards and flyer also to post and give out to people.

Join facebook and create a fan page so people can become fans of you. Put this on your blog and any other social networking site to gain more traffic. Add updates and keep the fan page fresh.

Join twitter. It's free and easy to use. You can follow as many people as you would like and most people follow you back. You can read their updates and they can read yours. I always add my art and my dolls to twitter as I post them for sale.

I advertise on craigslist because it is free and a lot of people look at it. I advertise in multiple of cities. I don't advertise my shop or just one piece of work, but my artwork as a whole. And don't forget to upload your products into Google Merchant so they will be visible on google shopping.

These are just some ways to market your art and online shop. There are many more ways and not everything works for everybody. I am still trying to drive traffic to my shop and it is an ever growing process. Always keep researching new ideas and most important never give up.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Treasury West and an original ACEO card

Good morning everyone!

Just a quick art update. I listed an original lowbrow art ACEO card in my Etsy shop today. It is called "Birdie Black" and is 2.5 x 3.5 inches. I am selling it for $16 with free shipping.



Also....

Thanks to a fellow Etsy artist and a good idea, I am in a treasury west. I am the painting on the bottom right.

 <---------


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Droopy Heart Doll Collection - Rag dolls


I recently learned how to sew (thanks to my husband for teaching me) and decided to start a collection of cute little, big eyed, rag dolls. 
 
The rag dolls are called the "Droopy Heart Doll Collection" and each has their own name and personality. 

I sew the dolls with cotton fabric and wool felt. Each features an upside down "Droopy Heart" and has a hand painted acrylic face. The dolls measure about 15 inches in height.

I listed my first "Droopy Heart Doll" on Etsy and I am so happy with it.

Her name is Clara Ann, and is playing dress up. She wears little black bunny ears and tied on cute polka dot bows around her. She is $20.95 and is so cute. ChecK her out!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kathy Jeffords - The Dreamy Giraffe

Monday already? Wow the weekend went fast. 

Since it's Monday that means another artist to feature. I chose an artist that I am a big fan of and I hope that you can become a fan too. 



Kathy Jeffords is a talented painter who draws her big eyed characters to look almost like caricature portraits. She makes a living out of these cute little paintings and each one has a story behind it (writing is her second passion).  

To find more about Kathy and her artwork, please visit her store at thedreamygiraffe.etsy.com

Go to her Etsy profile and read a cute little story about her and how she started painting.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fantasy Mask Artist on Martha Show.


Yesterday on Martha Stewart,  a fellow Fantasy artists of Esty team member was on making masks with her. The artist was Andrea from Merimask (http://merimask.etsy.com). 

Martha and her made a very beautiful face mask out of leather, painted with acrylic paint, and then dazzled with jewels. It was of a unicorn and turned out so nice. Martha had her on the show because of the Halloween theme that is present all month.

I kept thinking as I was watching, "How exciting for her." I would be so nervous in front of all those camera's and Martha too. 

Please check out the Merimask shop because these masks are so wonderful. You won't be disappointed. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Matte a Piece of Art - Tutorial

How to Matte a Piece of Art - Tutorial


As an artist I am always looking for tutorials on how others in this field do things such as take photographs, frame their artwork, prepare canvas, and so forth. It is always interesting to me how there are so many different ways to do the same thing. 


In this blog post I will show you a tutorial on how to matte a piece of artwork. I was actually taught my freshman year of high school by my photography teacher, who is still there today and has my little sister (we are 10 years apart). Please remember that there are different ways you can matte art, but this is how I was taught and how I matte my artwork.


So first you will need your materials....

1. Matte board - This comes in all different colors such as blue, red, yellow, black, white, etc. I usually use a neutral color like black, white, or grey for more formal artwork and fun colors for less formal types of artwork. 

2. Pencil and sharpener


3. X-ACTO knife or some type of utility knife.

4. Rubber surface protector for cutting on.

5. Ruler - I use a ruler with a cork bottom because it doesn’t move and shift as you use it. 

6. Artist tape - Use one that is acid free so it doesn’t discolor your art down the line.



Once you have all your material you can start.

1. Measure the length and width of the image part of your artwork that you are matting, such as 8” x 10”.

2. Now if you have an 8” x 10” piece you will probably use an 11” x 14” frame. 

3. With the ruler and pencil, first draw out the frame (11” x 14”) measurements on the back side of the matte board forming a rectangle. Do this twice so you have 2 rectangles.

4. Next, take ONLY one rectangle and draw inside the artwork measurements ( 8” x 10”) making sure you leaving and equal amount of space on each side and top. The bottom can will have more inches in between the 2 rectangles. 

5. Take the matte board and place it face down on the rubber cutter. With the ruler and X-ACTO knife cut out the 2 outside rectangles. 

6. Now take the one rectangle with the inside measurements and cut out the inside rectangle. This is so you will be able to see the artwork.

7. You will now have one full (11” x 14”) rectangle and one (11” x 14”) rectangle with an (8” x 10”) inch cut in the middle.


Once you have all you matte cut you can start assembling.

1. Place the full matte board on your work surface face up.

2. Above that place the cut matte board so the two are touching.

3. Take your tape and tape the two together along the edges that are touching. 

4. Use the X-ACTO knife to cut the tape on each side. 

5. Take your artwork and place it on the bottom board. Arrange it so you can see it through the top cut board window. 

6. Tape down the artwork in the desired position with three small pieces of artists tape. 

7. Fold down the upper cut board.


And your done!


I hope this helps someone out there like so many tutorials helped me. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fantasy Artists of Etsy Team - New Member


I am proud to say that I am a new member of the team Fantasy artists of Etsy. This team features artists who create artwork with themes of fantasy, fairy tales, dragons, steampunk, celtic, and much more. 

The artists involved with this team involve all different mediums including dolls, paintings, prints, sculptures, ornaments, and clothing to name a few. To search items by this team in the Etsy search, type in faeteam. 

The team has its own blog and website. 

You can check out more about the team by going to the blog... http://fantasyartofetsy.blogspot.com 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday's featured artist - Myrarte


Todays featured artist I happened to find on Etsy. She goes by the name Myrarte which is also the name of her Etsy shop. She is from Madrid and is such a great and talented artist.

Myrarte paints in her artwork faces and characters of big eyed little girl with flowers and large hats. Her artwork is very colorful and has beautiful brushwork. 

To view or purchase her artwork, Please visit...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Facebook Fan Page

I created a Facebook fan page a few days ago after reading about it in the Etsy blog. It was sort of confusing at first because I didn't get how it was different from my regular facebook page, but I slowly realized that anyone can fan me. My regular page only my friends can my information. On the facebook fan page, anyone can see the information I put up. They can also fan me without being a friend. 

The forums mentions this as a great way for promoting because so many people have facebook, it is so easy to start one, and many people can fan (follow) your page for updates. Check it out for yourself and fan me.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Home Based Business Help and Answers.

I have been doing a lot of research on starting a home based business. I have recently re-opened my Etsy shop, but with a different approach. I am no longer looking at it as just a place to sell my artwork. I am looking at my shop as my business.



My mother in law gave me this book (picture shown above) about starting a home based business. It is called "The women's home-based business book of answers" written by Maria T. Bailey. It is not a new book, published in 2001, but it did talk about many great things dealing with starting a home business. 

The book talked about marketing and promoting as well as tax information and keeping records. It is also geared only towards women, so it focuses on being a mother and juggling a business. You can find it on amazon used for like $2.00 which is great price.

I highlighted some nice points that were mentioned and will shear some with you.

1. Your marketing strategy should be built on extensive research of your current and potential customers' buying behaviors, perception of value, and spending patterns.
2. The most powerful means of marketing is word of mouth.
3. Concentrate on the presentation of your deliveries. 
4. Some important things to get... matching business cards, letterheads, envelopes, and mailing labels.
5. No task is too big to overcome.
6. You must go through fire to get to steel.
7. Write your goals down because a person is more likely to reach her goals if she has them written down. 
8. Contact websites and blogs that market to working women
9. Do NOT quit.

This is just one book of many books that talk about starting a home based business. I plan on reading another book, but one that focuses on arts and crafts. This book focused on all businesses.