Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Stay-Cation

Every year I say I am going to take a couple weeks off at Christmas time, but I get bored and come back to work early.  This year I decided I really needed the time off.  I painted a lot of paintings this year, especially the last two months, and I wanted a break to think about what kind of art I want to make in 2013 and what kind of projects I want to publish.

I'm not made of money, so it's not an option for me to actually take a vacation anywhere, but we went and visited family for Christmas, and since we got home I have been doing all the things I put off all year because I don't have time.  Mostly that means cleaning my house.  I know that sounds boring to everyone else, but I get to really clean so rarely that I enjoy getting the house tidy, especially since I know this will probably be the last chance I have to deep clean until next Christmas.  Yikes.

I have also been watching a lot of TV.  I usually only watch TV when I paint, and then I only watch things that inspire me.  I really like TV shows like Bones, My Name is Earl, X-Files and so on.  Since I have been working since I was 16, I have missed most of these shows, so they are like new to me.  :)

I don't want to talk about any of my art ideas or projects until they're done (new resolution for 2013?), so I'll shut up and show you some pictures of my Christmas Stay-Cation.

The first thing I see when I get home is a Victorian street lamp, dusted in snow and lighting up the snow-covered raspberry shoots behind it.

The second thing I discovered was a steampunk Christmas tree waiting for me in my old bedroom.  My mother and grandmother came up with this together, and grandma even made some of the ornaments herself.

We let Wolfgang open presents every day, so hopefully he would not be overwhelmed.  In one of his first gifts was this awesome motorcycle jacket.

For years, this was the first thing I saw every day.  The mountain is much taller, but is hidden behind the clouds and fog.  I think the mountain is called Thorp Mountain.

My grandpa has had this Christmas train for years, but Wolfgang was mesmerized and obsessed with it the whole time we were there.  He caused many derailments and drove us all insane with the train whistle.  ;)  The man in the picture is my 75 year old grandfather.  Nobody believes me, but he's really not my dad, and he really is 75.

We got Wolfie a lot of things for his lunchboxes.  I like to make him Bento boxes, and he likes to eat them, so I made him hard-boiled eggs shaped like cars and bunnies, strawberries cut into flower shapes, and a cheese sandwich shaped like a kitty face.

The antlers light up, and Wolf is still wearing them around the house.

I took over 100 pictures of snowy trees.  I never have any to look at when it's time to paint Christmas art, so I wanted to have lots of shots to work from.  I might have gone overboard.  Here are my favorites.

By the time we got home, of course our Christmas tree had died.  My husband worked the next day, so I struggled through carrying it out of the house, and with some help from one of our dogs got it out the back door.  Then I diligently swept up all 200,000 pine needles it dumped on the floor and packed away the ornaments.  Our son spent most of the time rearranging them, and the tree was a mess, so I leave you with a shot of my favorite decorations.

Now it's time to resume my new favorite TV show (Bones) and finish this cup of hot cocoa.

Goodnight, and happy holidays!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Clean Clean Clean

Today was a strange, slow, lazy day for me.  I don't normally have days off, so it felt strange.  ;)  I think I just didn't get enough to eat and was cranky and slow all day long.  I had two helpings at dinner and that seemed to make up for whatever I was missing out on.  Now I am busy restocking prints, reorganizing our print storage system, cleaning the studio, you know, all the fun things about running an art business!

I like to try to keep at least one of each print on hand at all times.  Then, no matter how busy I am, I can ship things quickly and only have to make minimal amounts of prints on demand.  Some prints I keep more of, because they are the most popular.  Usually after I do this, two customers will order the prints I only made one of.  Figures.

This time of year it's really important to keep on top of inventory, though.  I was shocked when I realized I only had 3 of my fancy bookmarks left.  I'm going to order some more, but I don't think they'll be here in time for Christmas.  There is only 1 left on my site now, and I put the other up on eBay as an auction.

I'm going to work on getting some classic paper bookmarks with tassels as well.  I doubt they will arrive in time for Christmas, though, but you never know.  ;)

It was snowing a little bit ago, so I had to run outside in my bare feet and dance in it.  I won't say more, I don't want to jinx it and make it go away.  ;)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Changes in 2013

I just wanted to post today about some changes that are coming in 2013.

First, we will likely be changing the format of my prints.  Right now I sign the prints on the image, but I would like to get away from that and be able to sign and number the prints on the white border.  We'll be adding a title to the white border as well, so you can always identify the work and where it came from.

The 2014 calendar will likely be published in the first half of the year.  We will take pre-orders for it and offer special packages similar to the perks we offered for the IndieGoGo campaign to publish this year's calendar.  We may even do a Kickstarter campaign for the 2014 calendar.

Spellbinding Darkness, my art book, will be released this month.  I wanted to wait until 2013, and we may do a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 to get a quantity of the books printed, but Amazon will have the book for sale this month.

The release date is: December 13th!

I will put a pre-order up on my site once I've approved the proof, and if you don't pre-order you very likely won't get a signed copy, since I won't be ordering a lot of extra books.

I think that's it for me!  There will be more announcements throughout 2013, but these are happening first, and I don't want to spoil the rest.  ;)

Oh, here's my newest painting, too.