Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

We say farewell to 2008...with all of it's ups and downs. Not a bad year for me, personally...I've certainly had worse.
There's a lot to look forward to in this New Year....and I found a lovely video that echo my sentiments.
Here you go....

Monday, December 29, 2008

A few changes in the New Year.


Beginning January 1st
I will no longer carry the little
pocket mirrors in either of my shops.
Since I have to order the mirrors
from another Etsy seller...
and the last batch took more than a month
to receive...
it's just easier to retire
these little treasures.
I will continue to offer art pendants occasionally,
when I have enough completed to list several
at once.
A lot of the tree prints I currently have on
will be ended in the New Year
and I will be replacing them with
a new series of
character based paintings and prints.
I've got a lot of new things
planned for the New Year and I've already
begun working on them.
As soon as things get 'back to normal'
I'll begin working harder
and listing more.
Just another quick reminder...
my shopwide sale does end
December 31st!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shipping days changing.


Things have gotten quieter,
now that the Christmas holidays have passed.
We'll have another 'get-together' for New Year's Eve
and New Year's Day...as a family...and then
back to business.
This little break from everything
has given me the chance to start
'taking stock' about what I will do in the
New Year.
The one thing I will have to do...without exception...
is twice weekly printing and shipping.
I intended to do that this past year
and ended up doing it...almost daily.
With all that I have going on now,
I'm cutting it back to,
Tuesday and Friday printing...
Wednesday and Saturday packing and shipping.
International packages will still be shipped once
weekly..on Wednesday.
This will give me the time I need to paint
and create new digital pieces...
and to devote to the other things that I am
now involved in.
I

Friday, December 26, 2008

Looking ahead to the New Year.

2008 hasn't been that bad for myself and my family.
None of us have 'struck it rich', painted the
next masterpiece or written the Great American Novel.
We haven't hit the lottery and most of the
family live from one paycheck to the next...
but it hasn't been a horrible year...
so I guess I consider it a pretty good year..over all.
I wanted to post a reminder that the
sale I've had going in my Shop
has only five days left.
I'll be putting everything that will
remain the shop back to regular price, beginning
January 1st.
And, in Pendants Plus,
we'll begin including shipping costs
on the items that have had
free shipping.
We had a very nice Christmas,
without anyone going overboard,
and once things settle down
a bit, and all purchases have been shipped,
I'll be starting on
some new pieces that I am hoping
to put in the shop
in 2009.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A little Break over the Holidays

I've gotten everything either shipped...or almost shipped.

Now it's time to take a little break

over the Holidays.

I'll continue to keep an eye on my shop,

but I'll not be shipping anything more

until after Christmas.


There's a house to clean,

a tree to put up,

goodies to bake,

and a little shopping to be done.


I'm looking forward to celebrating

this time with my kids

and grandkids...and not worrying too much

about anything else.


Wishing all...a Very Merry Christmas...

and a Most Prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Picks for a 2008 New Year's Eve Song Playlist


What a year this has been. Some don't want to see it come to an end, others can hardly wait for the New Year's countdown to begin. Whatever your take on this past year may be, time waits for no one.

No matter where you celebrate your New Year's Eve festivities you will, no doubt, hear such annual New Year's Eve song standards as; Prince's 1999, Europe's The Final Countdown and possibly even, U2's New Year's Day.

But when the clock strikes midnight, in every club and home, on every television and radio, you will most certainly hear the song that has become the anthem of every New Year's Eve, Auld Lang Syne.

As we prepare to bid adieu to 2008 and ring in 2009, with all of it's excitement and uncertainty I have selected a New Year's Eve Song Playlist sampler for those who are looking for some song playlist suggestions.

1. 'Shout' by the Isley Brothers, released in 1959 as a response to Jackie Wilson's 'Lonely Teardrops'.

2. What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

3. Waiting On The World To Change by John Mayer

4. Get The Party Started by Pink

5. You Should Be Dancing by the Bee Gees

6. Beautiful Day by U27. Last Dance by Donna Summer. It won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1978.

8. I've Had the Time of My Life by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes. It won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1987.

9. Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung

10. The Dance by Garth Brooks

11. Dance, Dance by Fall Out Boy

12. I Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith. From the film, Armageddon, it was written by Diane Warren originally for Celine Dion.

13. Let's Get It Started by Black Eyed Peas

14. Changes by David Bowie

15. 1999 by Prince. Yes, I had to include this one on my playlist.

16. December 1963 (Oh, What A Nigh)t by Frank Valli and the Four Seasons

17. Dance To The Music by Sly & The Family Stone

18. Rock and Roll All Night by Kiss

19. The Party Song by Blink 182

20. Celebration by Kool & The Gang

21. All Night Long by Lionel Richie. He performed this song at the closing ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles CA.

22. Get Down Tonight by KC and the Sunshine Band

23. Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys

24. New Year's Day by U2

25. Auld Lang Syne by James Taylor


So, there you have it. My selections for a New Year's Eve Song Playlist for 2008.
========================
This article, written by me, was published by Associated Content. It was a non-exclusive piece, so I do have permission to publish it elsewhere.
If you liked this piece, you can read the couple of other articles I have written, here.
Feel free to rate my articles but, please be kind!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sale is almost over!


My two month long sale
is coming to a close.
I still have a few original paintings
left in the Shop
and I won't be painting anything new
until next year.
Everything is marked down
at least 25%
some items as much as 50%.
And, I finally have everything
that has been purchased to date...
shipped out!
Yay!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm just here for a Haircut...

My hair had gotten long enough
and frightful enough
that it appeared maybe I was looking
to audition for 'Wicked'.
Last Christmas, one of my children
gave me a gift card to a local
salon, so I could go get my hair cut,
'hint..hint'.
So...I was evidently looking pretty
raggy back then.
Well, I finally took the card, went out over the
week-end and got my hair cut.
I took in pictures, I often do, for the type of
cut I was looking for. I don't expect to end up looking
like the models in the pictures...I'm just giving them
a general idea of what I want. I know what my hair
will do and what it won't...so I stick to those
kinds of examples.
Needless to say, if my hair EVER does come anything
close to the pictures I showed...I'll have to wait
a couple more months to find out. It's way too short.
That's okay...I guess I can wait.
I'm not sure if my "stylist"...
and I use the term very loosely...
has had any 'refresher courses' since beauty school
or not...
She didn't seem to understand what I was wanting...
perhaps that was because she was too busy
wanting to 'chat'...
I really didn't come in to chat...
I'm just here for a haircut...
here's two pictures...use those as examples of what I'm wanting.
Still...she insisted on 'chatting'...
I said I sleep with a fan going...
she said, I might as well listen to water drip..
what?!!
I said I just wanted a shampoo and cut..
and use my pictures as a guideline...
she tried to talk me into a 'wax'...
I don't think so!!
I'll grow a mustache and beard
thank you very much!
I asked if she'd ever seen any of the
hair stylist reality shows...
she said she didn't care for Simon...
oh my gosh...
I'm just trying to be nice and partake
in conversation that she seemed
determined to have...
I didn't realize it was a monologue.
Finally...I told her I don't use
'product' on my hair...
even as long as it was...
I just shampoo...towel dry...and let it do
it's own thing.
I've ALWAYS done this, since college.
I do not want Product..
"not even a little Gel"
No...get away from me...I do not want
gel or mousse or hairspray...
nothing!
I didn't realize that a little dab of gel
would add $8.00 to the cost
of the cut...
see..then it's considered a 'style'.
I stuck to my guns...
no product.
Paid the cost of a cut...not a style..
gave a really good tip
(actually my youngest daughter did)
in spite of my better judgement..
(I would have tipped...according to my 'pleased' factor.)
It reminded me why I let my hair grow,
I have yet to find someone who will
cut my hair, give me what I want,
and not insist that I converse with them.
Really..I don't want any distractions..
I just want what I came in for...
"I'm just here for a haircut...one of these please!"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bringing everyone up to date


I started selling my art online
in August of 2004.
I believe I have now sold more than
2000 pieces of art...mostly originals.
That's a lot of creating...and a lot of work.
I do enjoy painting and creating,
but I don't like for it to feel like 'work'.
I need to
expand my horizons a bit.
I'm not giving up my art...but I am going
to do fewer pieces this next year.
I always quit painting about the beginning of
December...for one thing...the holidays are so hectic.
Then, I begin again right after the New Year.
I should imagine this next year will be
much the same.
But, next year I'm diversifying.
I've begun writing articles. I only have a few
at this time, partly because of how busy
I've been with my Shops.
So, I decided that I am going to do
more writing this next year and I've started with
articles. I enjoy the research
and the writing.
Let me know what you
I'm still a little rusty, but I don't think
they're awful.
My next article is going to be
My Top 5
Best College Bowl
MatchUps
in
NCAA History.
You might wonder why I selected this
from the list of topics to write about...
well...my husband was a huge
football fan and I
was a good wife.
I watched all the games
with him!

Monday, December 8, 2008

MIA for a few...

I will most like be "M.I.A" for a few days...
and I decided I am just too swamped under, to
schedule anything to auto post on those
days.
Just letting everyone know!
Jaime will be monitoring my Shop
during that time...
answering any questions and handling
any sales that need attending to.
I'm hoping I'll be back by the week-end..
we'll just have to see!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I feel the need...


I get so many folks trying to reach me
during the hours that I am still in bed, that
I feel the need to let folks know what my
really 'whacked out' schedule is.
Since I have my fingers in far tooo many pots,
I have found that the schedule that works best for me is...
work until about 6 or 7 every morning...
go to bed..
get about around 2 or 3 every afternoon...
and then get on with my day.
I sometimes get two or three emails in a row...with times like
9:30 am...11:00 am...and so on.
I'm really not ignoring or avoiding anyone...I'm just not up yet!
The 'graveyard shift' just works best for me.
I can work...pretty much non-stop during that time
without a lot of interruption.
I don't necessarily like those hours...for sure...they just
seem to be my best hours for productivity taking
all things into consideration.
Hopefully, this clears up any questions people have
as to my hours of availability.
Once I can sift through the things that work
and those that don't...I'm really hoping to kick those hours
back.
I'd rather go to bed about 3 or 4 and get up around 11. I really
do miss the sunshine!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Been A Couple of Days...

It's been a couple of days since my last post and
during that time I've managed to 'bury myself' with
a lot of new things that need my attention.
I've now written several articles that I'm waiting
to see if they'll be published. Hopefully they will.
I've applied to six writing jobs and one illustrator position, that I'm waiting
to hear back on. Actually, I heard back on 2..one was the 'employer'
seeing if I was interested...I didn't respond to that one. I hadn't
yet found my way around the site and wasn't quite sure
what I was supposed to do. Besides, I still hadn't taken
the online tests to qualify me for the position. Seemed a bit
premature for anyone to contact me.
The other, I had my reservations about even applying,
as I noticed that that the average hourly wage for those applying
for that position was less than half of what I was asking...and when you
can get workers who go as low as $.44 a hour...YES...forty four cents an hour...
are you kidding me????
Anyway, I still have my Etsy Shops...of course...and as soon as
I start making enough to pay my bills, they will once again get my full attention...
but, until then...a 'girl' has to survive!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I've been tagged...

I don't exactly know how to play the
'tag' game...but, I've been 'tagged' by Jerry,
who is simply delightful and whose blog
I thoroughly enjoy reading,
and decided to give it a go.
The point is...to list 8 things that
few, if any, people know about me..
wow...that's a tough one..I'm a pretty open person
to the people I am closest to..
and those are the people who mostly read this blog..
but...in case any of them don't already know..
here goes..
(Ooops! I hadn't finished my blog before it published
sorry 'bout that)
1. I watch the LOGO program...'Sordid Lives'
I get a little 'uncomfortable' with some of the scenes...but the show makes me laugh.
I didn't know they even had a gay channel...but, I'm not here to judge.
2. I have never...for as long as I can remember...been able to sleep
on the right side of the bed.
3. I pile up the pillows on the right side of the bed, every night,
so that it feels like my husband is still there beside me.
4. I sometimes like to eat...candy cigarettes.
Ummmm...give me that sugar!
5. I believe that 'one day' I really will "hit the lottery"
6. I have just begun writing articles...I'll have
to write more about that, as soon as I am published.
7. I still want to write and illustrate children's books.
8. I still want to write and illustration a comic strip.
No...nothing too revealing here...but, it's all I could think of!
As for tagging....well...whoever wants to
write a post about their
8 things nobody knows....take it from here!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm better today.


At my age, you would think that I would know
better than to have any expectations about anything
as 'iffy' as online art sales.
If I were selling Wiis..iPods..or any one of a number
of 'hot selling' items online...I might have reason to
complain...
But, I'm better today. I've decided
that I'm going to have to take on some other kind
of work...to supplement my art business.
I haven't had to worry about this for the past four
years...but, I guess...we're in a recession
and hopes and wishes don't pay the bills.
With that said...yes, the amount of new artwork that I
am able to list in my CMZ Art Etsy Shop
and in Rustic Goth and
will all be affected.
I've decided to run the current sales...in all three shops...until after
Christmas.
Then, between Christmas and the first of next year...
I'll put everything in all three shops back to their regular prices.
I won't be spending as much time, the rest of this year, working
on new projects for any of the shops..as I will need to spend that time, instead,
on new employment endeavors.
I will keep completely current on correspondence..
through the Etsy Shops conversations (I only check my email--since
I have several--about once a week.)
and I'll remain current on all packing and shipping.
I'm going to take on a couple part-time positions...which will leave
plenty of time for everything I would have to do
that is shop(s) related.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cyber Monday???


Here it is...the end of Tuesday...and I'm still waiting
for Cyber Monday sales....what???
Ain't gonna happen....!!!!
Wow...why did I work so hard the last couple of weeks???
Oh well...I didn't want to pay my rent anyway!
I really do wished the media would stop with the
'we're in a recession...the sky is falling...hold on to your money'
mania they have going on.
I do think that some folks are definitely affected by what's going
on..on Wall Street...and I'm talking 'working folks'...like us.
Folks have lost homes...due to the mortgage fiasco...others have lost their
jobs..due to cutbacks..bad for the working guy (but almost always good for the CEOs)
but, most of the people I have talked to were affected more by
the high gasoline prices than they have been by
the stock market roller coaster.
I noticed the media didn't say much right before 'Black Friday'...
oh well...it is what it is.
I really...really...really need to STOP counting on
good sales on Cyber Monday. I'm not really sure who benefits
on those days...but, it's never been me...in 5 years I have YET to see good
sales on that day!
And...I'm doing all of this ranting for ME.
You see...it's my way of keeping my books...sort of.
If I write it in my blog
I just check back...next year at this time...have a look
and say...
'Oh yeah...Cyber Monday...I've never had even
average sales on those days...no need to work any harder
than usual'
And..then...I won't be upset when the sales aren't there.
I haven't done this in the past...someone said I should
never write about slow sales...it makes me look..
well...less successful.
What the heck...I'm not trying to impress anyone...
I'm just trying to pay my bills!
And...that's not looking very promising this month!
But...life goes on...and so do I.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It Isn't Over Yet...




This is a print of a painting I did in 2005

titled...

"It Isn't Over Yet"


An abstract of the red AIDS ribbon.


Since 1997 I have contributed

in one way or another

to the eradication of this horrible virus.

In 1996

my youngest brother

passed away..from AIDS.


Today is World AIDS Day

and

I decided that

I will offer 12" x 16" prints of this painting

for sale...here

with proceeds going to benefit



Sunday, November 30, 2008

A very busy week-end!


What a busy week-end I've had.
I did a bunch of the Glass Tile Pendants
for Pendants Plus..and, I've got to
retake quite a few pictures
that just didn't come out.
I'm not the best photographer in the world...
I managed to get 5 new paintings finished...
the other 4 for CMZ Art.
It's been, at least a year, since I last painted
a Tuscan landscape...I now have a new
one to list later today or tomorrow.
It's done in much the same way as the one
I've shown here...
I still have to take the photographs
for the listing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Pieces for Pendants Plus



Over the next couple of days,



I will be listing all of the new



Bamboo Tile



and



Glass Tile



pendants



that we have ready in the









If you haven't already checked them out



we have



HANDPAINTED bamboo tile pendants



for ONLY $8.oo--with Free shipping...



that's a bargain



(if I do say so myself)






We're going to offer them for that price



until the end of the year.






The glass tile pendants



are $7.50--with free shipping.



Check them out .










Friday, November 28, 2008

Nintendo Wii

I hope everyone had as good a Thanksgiving Day
as my family did.
We had a wonderful 'feast'...everyone was
responsible to bring certain items
so it didn't all fall on one person...(me).
I didn't even do the Turkey this year
yay!!
We have always...always played family games
on Holidays...but, as the grandbabies get
older, they don't really like being
relegated to 'kid games'...and it usually creates
something of a fuss.
So, this year, my oldest daughter
decided to bring over her
Nintendo Wii...
I am 'hooked on golf'... and it's okay
that I couldn't figure out the controller
and came in last every time...
I don't play with these games...so I didn't expect
to do well.
But...I really did enjoy it!



And...oh my gosh....
I see that they have
'Mini-Golf' for Wii...
oh...I am going to have
to get that game for
our Christmas get togethers!



Thursday, November 27, 2008

For this we give Thanks

Thanksgiving
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
I thought I'd share this vintage photo and lovely prayer...in celebration of everything
we have
for which we give Thanks.
===============
And...just a quick note...
I'll be taking this long Thanksgiving week-end,
hopefully, to use those
gifts I am so thankful for.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Pendants...











We have some new...Bamboo Tile...pendants now
Part of the Bamboo Tiles are hand painted
and others have a mini print on them.
We also have some new
Glass tile pendants in the shop...
and more Bamboo and Glass Tile pendants
ready to be listed.
We'll be listing these throughout the week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beware e-card Greetings...Virus Alert!


I'm not usually an 'alarmist'
but after seeing what happened when my
daughter's computer "went down"
and all of the information she lost because she
didn't save it on a disc...
I thought I'd pass along some information
I received in an email today.
"You should be alert during the next few days.
Do not open any message with an attachment entitled 'POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK,' regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which 'burns' the whole hard disc C of your computer.
This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list. This is the reason why you need to send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.
If you receive a mail called 'POSTCARD,' even though sent to you by a friend, do NOT open it! Shut down your computer immediately.
It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept."
There you have it...beware e-card greetings this year...even from family and friends.
Better to be safe...than sorry!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some new paintings






I was able to finish three
new paintings this week-end.
I will start listing in my shop
beginning on Sunday...
and on Monday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Now on Imagekind


I now have a CMZ Art shop on Imagekind.
It wasn't that I was looking
to see how much more work I was
wanting to take on...
it was more about what they
offer there.
You can get my art on various
fine art papers
or
on a gallery wrapped canvas.
It was the canvas that did it for me.
I can't offer a gallery wrapped canvas of
giclees of my art through my Etsy Shop,
so I went out to find someplace that could.
I don't have many pieces listed yet,
but I am working on it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A word about shipping.



Since we are getting closer to "that time of the year", when packages seem to take FOREVER to get from point A to point B, I thought I'd write a quick note about shipping.
I have used FedEx, UPS and USPS all, as my primary carriers, in the five years I have been selling my art online.
My preference...

UPS for large packages. You can print a UPS shipping label through PayPal and then just drop the package at a drop site. It tracks the package from check in through to delivery...very good, especially at this time of year.

For smaller packages, I use USPS. Again, you can pay and print through PayPal and just;
1. drop off at any Post Office
2. schedule a Pick Up...you have to have a Priority, Express, International or Return package to schedule a free Pick Up...but then, you can include all kinds of ground packages - up to 70 pounds...by including just one upgraded package.
3. For the smallest of ground packages, I can just put them in the mailbox and raise the red flag.
Pay and print shipping includes Delivery Confirmation, so...while you can't actually 'track' the package, you can see when it is finally delivered.
The only 'drawback' to pay and print shipping, through PayPal or the USPS...
you can't print First Class International Labels, those need to be taken
directly to the Post Office, paid for and sent out from there.
Soooo...I only send International packages once a week...usually on Wednesdays.
With my schedule, I just can't handle long lines at the post office any more often than that.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas Cards








I already have these...and others...Christmas Cards

listed for sale in my

Since I orginally designed them to
include in my
I will be listing them there, later today
or tomorrow as packets.
I will also be listing a few of my card
designs as prints.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

I am featured on this blog....

I did an interview
for
Fresh Peaches
who (in her words) is an Aries who likes to live vicariously through others.
her blog is...
Such Cool Stuff!
Coupons, Sales, Artists, Crafts, and other cool stuff I find as I meander through this crazy internet thing.
It is in her blog today,
please visit her and see what you
think!
It would be great
if you would leave a comment
for her!
Thanks so much!

How many backlinks do you have?

This really isn't me 'crying'...it's me...exhausted!
I've been doing soooo much 'online studying' the past couple
of days, my eyes are beginning to droop...and yes, there is
a tear or two that escapes from time to time.
When I was much, much younger...I really wanted to write...
so I wrote and wrote...every spare moment I got.
I won't go into why I went into art instead...
Anyway...I have digressed....in my online studying (about writing)
I've run
across a lot of information that was new..to me..
the information I learned today was...
how to check for 'backlinks' on my different sites.
In short...
go to Yahoo search...
type
linkdomain:www.yoursite.com
and you get
all of the sites that are linked to your site.
I found it very interesting...
it gave me several sites that I had no idea
had included links to this blog
on their sites.

Friday, November 14, 2008

2008 Art by Me...Music by Moby


I have been wanting to put together some new You Tube videos of my art. Here is the latest!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Some more new prints...


'Winter Thoughts'


'The Storm Has Passed'

'In The Spirit'

I listed these three new digital prints in my
CMZ Art Etsy Shop
today.

I've got a few more new landscape
prints that I will be listing
later this week.

In the meantime...I am hoping to be able
to get a couple of new acrylic paintings
underway!

The week is shaping up to be quite busy..
and I've got a 'list' going..
we'll see how it works out!