Open for Business in Beautiful Beaufort!

 

Happy Summer Solstice! 

Thanks for stopping by.  Well, moving and settling in took a bit longer than I thought it would – and a whole lot of trips back and forth to Georgia, and mounds of boxes.  But I’m officially in business in beautiful Beaufort, SC! 

I haven’t posted in a while during the transition, so this post is longer than usual.  BUT – it’s pretty much all pictures.  So come on along! Here’s a little pictorial tour of my artsy endeavors on the coast.

First, there’s the scenery walking from our cottage to downtown.

homes on bay

bay on bay street

Antebellum homes on the left; the bay on the right.

 modern jewelers and verdier house

Here’s the building where my studio is!  It dates from 1889. I rent one of the office spaces above Modern Jewelers.  Count the windows along the side – mine are numbers 4 and 5. 

See the lovely pink building beside us?  It’s the John Mark Verdier House Museum, “the only planter’s home in Beaufort open to the public,” built in 1804. We went on the guided tour and also enjoyed the free Civil War exhibit downstairs. 

 glass door 811 bay street

And here’s my business name on the glass door – you can make it out in my reflection!

I usually go around to the back, however, because I’m in love with this old, old tabby wall.  Kind of a secret garden passageway, don’t you think?

tabby wall

Tabby close-up

And up the stairs.  back stairs and fig tree

(Beware the over-reaching fig tree….)

Suite number 3 door

Here we are! Welcome to my studio. 

mini studio selfie

studio sweep

It’s still a work-in-progress, and don’t get out any white gloves.  But it’s coming together, and I love it.

 2 angled desks and chair

I have a desk to draw on/assemble on and my little drawing table, too – both from early years of marriage.  Jeff gave me that drawing table decades ago! The wonderful green spinning bookshelf was a find in a north Georgia antique shop.  The p-e-r-f-e-c-t and perfectly comfortable wooden desk chair was a find here in Beaufort!  

table and photo corner

The big table with glass top came with the space.  It will be my printmaking station.(See the little fountain on the right side?  In case I need to run my fingers under some water real quick-like…!) 

The corner space in front of the window provides terrific natural light for Etsy shop photos.  photo corner daylightYes, I’ve taken several – I just haven’t gotten around to posting the new items!  I’m getting there, I’m getting there….

glass front cabinet and books

I have a great little closet, but my favorite feature of this high-ceiling-ed, wood-floored space is this cabinet with glass doors.  Swoon.  My boxes for shipping are stored below, and these shelves hold mats and backing, acetate sleeves, and jewelry boxes.

Moving on, this might not be as attractive, but a baker’s rack holds everything I need to get Etsy orders shipped out quickly (Oh – and my first wholesale cards order this week – to an indie bookstore in Massachusetts)!  All at my fingertips. 

bakers rack shipping center

panels and inventory

In the front corner, my illustration and art books and inventory of  printed cards, bookmarks, etc., hang out behind my display panels.

Turning back to the center – an area just for gift-wrapping!

gift wrap table

 

And here are some of my favorite things.  This metal flat file was given a makeover by the husband of my antique dealer friend Keren back in Georgia, at the first-weekend-of-the-month Flowery Branch antique market.  flat fileThis thing weighs a ton.  And it holds mat boards, large papers, and a zillion typewriter keys (in letterpress trays, some of which I think I also got from Keren!)

Also bought at that market was this great green metal cabinet, which I’ve filled with old metal treasures, including more great stuff from Dena’s booth at the same market.  (Dena has the coolest old hardware items.)

metal cabinet for metal

I picked up these two putty-colored metal cabinets putty metal cabinetson different treasure-hunting trips, with my good creative buddies Paula Puckett  and Kim Siegelson.

Now, one reason I’ve set up my panels and display tables in this great space is that I don’t plan on lugging them around for sleep-deprived weekends to shows, at least this fall.  I’m trying something else:  I am delighted to have been accepted to lease a wee bit of real estate inside the historic Fordham Market here in town. 

fordham market

I just set up yesterday.  I’ve been there as a customer before, and now I look forward to selling artsyletters wares there as a vendor! 

fordham display

artsyletters at fordham closeup

So let me know if you are passing through the lowcountry, and I’ll show you around and buy you a frozen yogurt.  You’ll have to do a little shopping before you get back on the road, n’est-ce-pas?  I might have some ideas….

Thanks for coming along on this new journey!

Happy Summer.

Art Break Wednesday – Mooooo-ving! My Studio, that is…

Yay Images

Yay Images

 

Hope your 2014 is off to a good start!

Just a heads’ up that my online pasture here might look a little bare this month, but that’s only because I’m moving to greener pastures very soon.  I’m boxing up art supplies and books and furniture and vintage bling and such (how in the world did I accumulate so much stuff?!) and heading from the North Georgia mountains to the South Carolina coast.

When I get all settled, I’ll post pictures of my new digs.  I’m renting a great old space in a historic building in the middle of town and can’t wait to soak up the inspiration (and the sunshine outside) and create, create, create.  More soon!

May your pastures this year be lush, and Happy Trails! :0)

A Step Ahead of the Reindeer…

stocking with artsy gifts with c
Season’s Artsy Greetings!

I hope you and yours are finding warm moments among these chilly, busy days.  My warm moments with my loved ones have involved travel in recent days, but I’m back in one of Santa’s satellite workshops creating, listing, wrapping, and packaging.  Oh, and making lots of trips to the Post Office.

I had an early Christmas gift myself – my “goal” this season was to hit 100 total Etsy shop sales before year’s end.  Happy to report that my Etsy odometer turned over to three digits this past weekend.  (And it’s added even a little more mileage since.)

screen shot at 100 etsy sales crop

According to the USPS Holiday Calendar, there’s another good week or so to get gifts on their way in the US to make it under the tree before Christmas.  I’ll keep sending as fast as folks place orders. :0) (Feel free to contact me or Convo me through Etsy if you have any questions about items or shipping, etc.)

Many thanks to my wonderful customers, friends, and creative supporters – you’ve made my season *B*R*I*G*H*T !

Cheers with cocoa and whipped cream… back to it!

 

Art Break Wednesday: Shifting into December!

pile of old typewriter keys flash with c
Nothing like a big ol’ pile of potential to make my Muse stay up WAYYYYY too late…

Which is what I’ve been doing, with work projects and art projects and the wonderful but packed family togetherness this time of year.  (Is it just me, or did December flat-out sneak up on us, appearing at the door Thanksgiving weekend of all things?!)

Well, my thankfulness is flowing right into the holiday crazies.

shift key filigree bobby pin with c

Many, many thanks to my wonderful customers – Every day I’m inching closer to my goal of 100 Etsy sales since opening artsyletters!  (If you’d like to help me get there, remember to use COUPON CODE JINGLE10 for 10 percent off your order!)  I love it that the post office folks half-way expect me to show up with my little white packages to be scanned every day.

Still keeping my house & critter sitter busy with traveling, and I have a long weekend on tap in Beaufort. But I’ll return Monday and mail out any Etsy orders ASAP, ahead of the jingling reindeer…

Happy December – Hold on to your Santa hats!

Cyber Monday Gifts for Writers and Readers – Thanks for the Blog Shout-Out, Linda K. Sienkiewicz!

Poet Gift Pack with c

It’s Cyber Monday!  Big thanks to fiction writer, poet, and artist Linda K. Sienkiewicz for featuring my Poet Gift Pack on her terrific blog in a post highlighting great gifts for writers and readers.  (You will certainly want to click on over and see the treasures she found!)

She’s picked out some wonderful offerings, including Debbie Ritter’s lively literary creations from Uneek Doll Designs. My friend and blogger extraordinaire Jama Rattigan featured Debbie as part of her Indie Artist Spotlight Series this past spring.  Love those dolls!

In Linda’s list, you’ll also see an example of her own work.  I’d already “favorited” this one on Etsy!il_570xn-533854581_efmo linda s Rokki Handbags

Linda creates amazing handbags and clutches from books and sells them through her Etsy shop, Rokki Handbags.  (This one is The American Educator Encyclopedia.)  Santa, are you listening?  Would love one of these…!

Enjoy your Cyber Monday shopping!

Remember, I’ve got Coupon Code BLACKLETTER13 in my Etsy shop today for 13 percent off your order!  [I'll be adding some more jewelry and mated initials and magnets and such after I get back from shipping a few Etsy orders this morning. (I love Etsy!) Email or convo me if you are looking for a particular letter for an item and don't see it in my shop.]

Black Friday * Small Business Saturday * Cyber Monday – Artsy Coupon!

Thankful for this pretty spike in November Etsy sales!

Thankful for this pretty spike in November Etsy sales!


R typekey bobby pin wrapped

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Perhaps the dishes are done and you’re thinking of hitting the big weekend sales.  May I invite you to click on over to my artsyletters shop?  I’m adding new items as fast as my fingers can type this weekend.

 

Vintage typewriter key ring - kitschy fun!

Vintage typewriter key ring – kitschy fun!

Kind of like a shop store owner still setting out wares as customers stroll in. Here, have a cup of tea!

If you do pop in for a visit, be sure to use Coupon Code BLACKLETTER13 for 13 percent off in my Etsy shop all weekend – now through Monday.

Thanks for taking a look!

Art Break Wednesday – Artsy Thanks to All!

Ringing in the season at the Cumming, Ga.,  "Christmas in Central Park" last weekend.

Ringing in the season at the Cumming, Ga., “Christmas in Central Park” last weekend.

It’s about that time – time to slow down and name what we’re grateful for.  I’m most thankful for the priceless intangibles:  family, friends, health, freedom, opportunity.  My thoughts and prayers are for those whose hearts (or bodies) ache this time of year.

And while my art business is less important than those intangibles, I’m still thankful to be able to say – Whew!  Made it through the first year, and I’m excited about the future.  I might not be paying the mortgage or the college tuition (yet, anyway!), but I’m pleased to be moving forward.  I learn more with each show or festival, and I know a lot more about selling on Etsy now than I did last fall. I’ve had a lovely little rush of orders this month, too, which I hope continues through the holidays!

My art business has tangibles and intangibles, too.  The tangibles I’m thankful for include a “yes” from the Trademark office this past year re. my artsyletters name, and a new, old studio space waiting for me in Beaufort, South Carolina, where we’re moving.  (I’ll do a post on that in the future – it’s right on Bay Street, in an 1890 building!)  I’ve found suppliers I love ordering from and I’m getting better and better at shipping, with all its myriad dynamics.  My booth set-up has gotten more appealing with each show, and I’ll continue to tweak that I’m sure.

The intangibles?  First, discovering that I was indeed appealing to my target market.  I’ve sold items to fellow writers & poets, teachers, librarians, college professors, artists, and book lovers of all ages – sending packages all across the country (including Hawaii) and to England, France, and Canada.  Nothing could make me happier.  Even more special, some customers have shared comments I will treasure always, particularly about my altered page collages (I’m making more, I promise!):  “Your work calls to me.”  “This piece speaks to my soul.”  “So excited to give this.”  “Love your creativity.”

Those kind words are the fuel that keeps me in a creative frenzy!I made this Emily Dickinson collage with "There is no Frigate like a Book" and gorgeous1800s illustrations - it sold quickly last weekend!

This Emily Dickinson collage features “There is No Frigate like a Book” and gorgeous 1800s illustrations, plus vintage bling, and the fairy door book collage below says, “I think your wings are strong enough to carry you” from a 100-year-old text. I think the glue was still drying at last weekend’s show, and they both sold! 

The Emily Dickinson collage features "Every Frigate is a Book" and gorgeous 1800s illustrations, and the fairy door book collage says, "I think your wings are strong enough to carry you" from 100-year-old text.

Second art business intangible: the amazing support I’ve received from creative friends.  There’s my art critique group, who heard me verbalize this nugget of an idea for the first time just over a year and a half ago.  (My Thanksgiving post last year was about them! –  Also thankful that we added Leighanne Schneider to the mix this year).

Also, where would I be without Kim Siegelson,

with Kim S Nov 2013 adj reduced

my award-winning writer friend with a wonderful vintage shop on Etsy, Perfect Patina. Okay, I’d be floundering.  I’ve called Kim – um, I don’t know exactly how many times, but several – with Etsy questions.  I’ve got some good books on Etsy and online selling of art, and I consult the Etsy blogs, but there is no substitute for talking to someone who has been in the trenches and marched triumphantly ahead.  Thank you, Kim!

Whether it’s pestering graphic design whiz Kathleen with emergency photo editing questions, or snagging Paula and Beth for antique market outings, or doing some serious vintage hunting with Kim, I’ve been so very fortunate to have partners in my artsy crimes.  Friends have shown up at shows, too – aforementioned Beth and Paula, Peggy, Barbara, Janice, Michael & Candy, the Kennedy clan, Trish and others- not only to buy a gift here or there but to offer a booth-sitting break and words of encouragement.

Finally, I’m thankful for my family (hubby Jeff and kids Morgan and Seth) - they’ve put up with art show explosions from time to time in the house.  (Oh – you’re supposed to EAT on the dining room table?!) And, they’ve put up with my way-too-old-for-this all nighters and my being out of pocket for weekends here and there.  Daughter Morgan put my entire inventory on Square so I can make sales with just a couple of clicks at shows. She can tweet, post to Facebook, and conduct transactions all at the same time! morgan in booth AITS 2013

Huge thanks to my online friends who have “liked” my Facebook page and shared posts, followed me on Twitter, commented on my blogs and mentioned me on theirs,  ”favorited” items on Etsy (& purchased them, too!), and generally helped spread the love in this vast virtual community.  Julie, Renee, Cathy, Jone, Liz, Jama, Irene, Susan, Laura S., Laura Sh., Tabatha, Stephanie, Tricia, Linda, Kirby, Betsy, Joy, Elizabeth, Gail, Michelle, Beth, Janet and more – I am very, very thankful! :0)

Wishing you and yours a creative and love-filled Thanksgiving holiday.