Saturday, May 31, 2008

Just a Quickie

A quick post before I go to bed. I got all my artwork to the gallery today - yay! It wasn't nearly as intimidating in person as I thought it would be. I managed to get everything matted, framed, signed, and packed up yesterday. I finished my required 'artists statement' at like 1 in the morning this morning. But it's ok, what was it I called it -'happy stress' :) :). I have new artwork I'm going to post tomorrow. I feel bad for ignoring my blog the last couple of days. My house is a wreck right now lol. The blog isn't the only thing that's been ignored. I don't have to do anything tomorrow but enjoy my Sunday so I'll definitely do a good post :). nite nite.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rainy Days and Wednesdays...

Rainy Day Reflection'

Rainy days and Wednesdays....are beautiful. Especially when you get to go out in the rain and play with your camera :). I took a lot of photos this morning. About half way through, the camera fogged up which created some interesting effects. I love my job :) :) :) :).

'The Nature of Pink'

I have to have my artwork at the gallery in Knoxville this Saturday - I'm nervous about it all now that it's getting down to the wire. My first gallery exhibit! It's exciting but scary at the same time. I ordered all my photos 2 weeks ago, they got here and didn't work with the mats I had ordered. Silly me ordered them with a 1/4 inch border to make sure the edges of the photo weren't covered up by the mat (or matte-I'm never sure about the best spelling on that) and not only are the edges not covered, the border isn't covered. I shed tears over that this past weekend when they got here. So we had to reorder all of the photos, they should be here today, nothing like last minute is there? So I'll be frantically matting, framing, signing things for the next 2 days lol. It's ok, it's happy stress instead of stressful stress. Did that make sense?
'Magical Kingdom'
'Fade to Gray'

I don't have some of these in my shop yet, so they don't have links to them. I'll be putting them in this evening :). Have a happy day if it's raining at your house too :).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What a morning!

' Sunday Morning and I Never Want to Leave '

Our flooding kitchen/laundry room/bathroom dilemma continues... When I got back from mom's last night, the plumbing still wasn't in functioning mode. We ended up having to get the septic tank pumped out (it was just put in 4 years ago) which cost mucho dollars of course (on Memorial Day? are you kidding me?). Anyway, I left to go to mom's, leaving Richard and Bones with the septic guy. Got home that night, there's still issues.
It turns out that the tank was full of water due to fill lines being done incorrectly or something like that. Plus there was an obstruction in the pipe. So we rented a 100 ft pipe snake this morning and ran it through the pipe to the septic tank. It was super disgusting lol. The downstairs was stinky ~ wow, I'm not even going to go into any further detail. TMI, I know. My daughter's boyfriend Nicky helped us tremendously. If you ever read this Nicky ~ THANK YOU.


So, enough of our house issues lol. I still love my house. It's like a child that you really really love even though she misbehaves sometimes lol. Naughty house, we're just going to have to make you do better. Hopefully we won't have to deal with anything like this again for a few years.

'Shall We Dance?'

I sold some art today. Finally, I've had a long dry spell in my shop somehow. It was like I got several sales all at once and I was thinking that finally everything was coming together on Etsy but then no sales for like 15 days. EEEK. scary. But I've had calls from 2 galleries this month that want to exhibit me and a permanent spot from June to November in a Farmer's Market/Craft Market in Knoxville. The Farmer's Market thing was juried, I couldn't exhibit without prior approval. Ditto for the galleries of course. So all that's come together for me this month during the time I wasn't having any sells. That's funny how things work out like that isn't it? I think I just need to sit down and write out my progress this month and see how it all comes together in the big picture instead of focusing on my lack of sales at Etsy. Hmmm, I'm going to do that. It should be interesting to see how my art sells in the real world as opposed to the Etsy world lol. I'm looking forward to June, to seeing how it all goes.

This is what I sold today :

Wow, I hope I didn't sound whiney in my post today. Like poor me with my plumbing problems and lack of sales. I didn't mean to if I did lol. Just a day in my life, things don't always smell like roses LOL.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday Morning


Happy Memorial Day everyone! Is anybody planning on a road trip today? I wish gas wasn't so high :(. Totally ridiculous. We're at $3.80 for regular here in small town usa so I know it's higher than that in other parts of the country. We're just going to my mom's today, a 45 minute drive. We've had some craziness this weekend. We got up to find the kitchen flooded Saturday morning and it turns out that everytime somebody takes a shower (upstairs) or runs the washing machine (downstairs) the whole kitchen/laundry room/downstairs bathroom floods. So we're having to have a plumber come out today and look at it. Luckily Richard's friend Bones is a plumber so he's going to do it as a trade for some breakfast. Hopefully it's nothing huge like the septic tank needing to be dug up. I don't think Bones and Richard could fix that on their own.

I was surfing around yesterday and came across some awesome quotes, comments, blogs. Something I want to write down and remember somewhere, maybe on my Focus Board above my desk, is this :

You are exactly where you need to be.
You are not missing out, falling behind, doing it wrong,
not trying hard enough.
You are doing more than enough.
Whatever opinions you have about it,
however imperfect
This is yours.
Where you are right now.
Sitting here surfing the internet even.
Is perfect.


Wow, what a revelation. I very often feel I'm doing something wrong, running behind, not doing enough. But maybe just maybe I'm not. Maybe I'm OK and everything is right where it needs to be. Think about how life altering that is.

This quote is from the amazing blog called "Superhero Journal". This is a beautifully written blog and it makes you think. I found so much insight there yesterday.


I haven't put any of my new artwork up lately so I'm going to scatter them throughout my post today :). I hope it inspires or relaxes or helps you appreciate the little things :).

'Tomatoes and Inspiration'

'Waiting to be Feathered'

'Morning Dew'

'Ready for Summer'

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I have been tagged

I was tagged by Peachtree yesterday.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


Ok, my tagger is Peachtree. You can find her fascinating and informative blog here and her eclectic and beautiful jewelry here :).

7 Random Facts:

  • I spend way to much time at my computer and it makes me feel guilty sometimes. Especially when Richard goes to bed before me and I'm in here at my Etsy shop doing this and that. I feel like I'm neglecting the more important things.

  • I love it when my house is clean but I rarely feel motivated to clean it. There is widespread panic at my house when we have unexpected (or expected) guests. It results in a cleaning frenzy the likes of which will probably not happen again until the next time somebody comes over.

  • I'm a good cook. For a couple of years I made all my own bread.

  • I have no problem with premarital sex as long as condoms are used and it's not done out of low self -esteem issues. I even feel this way about my teenagers. This shocks and terrifies my ex-husband. hehhhhhehehehh bwhaahahaha.

  • I absolutely hate, loathe, and despise crowds of people. This includes malls and bars.

  • I totally lost my girly at the job I was working at before I decided to take the radical step of becoming a self-employed photographer (see this post). I am on a quest to get it back.

  • I'm in love with the most amazing man in the world. This is my last random fact but the most important in my life. He encourages, supports, and believes in me. I know me has my back all the time :).

I am tagging the following people:

Have fun everybody :)! YOU'RE IT!!

The Notecards Are Here :)

Yay, I finally got it in gear and did a photo shoot with my notecards. I've had them done, it was just the taking of the photos of the photos (lol) that I was procrastinating on. What, me procrastinate? NEVER. Anyone who has read my blog and knows of my intention of posting every day with relevant content is aware that I'm lying. So anywho, I'm going to only post one or 2 into my shop every day and that way I don't put them all out there at once. I took photos of five of them today. Of course each card gets like 20 shots. There's the card in the envelope, the card out of the envelope, the envelope insert, the outside of the envelope (front and back) and the card itself - the outside, the inside, etc. etc. Of course I shouldn't complain. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shining and it wasn't to hot yet. So, without further adieu, here is the debut of my first notecard :

The FRONT of the card.

The FRONT side of the envelope, it's 5" x 5"

The BACKSIDE of the envelope with the flap partially opened. When it's closed it looks very pretty the way the printing is on the book page (the envelopes are made from vintage books).

Opening the envelope to reveal the card inside. Notice the decorative envelope liner. I made the envelopes and liners from entirely different books. I looked and looked for pictures that would coordinate with the card inside for the inside of the envelope.

Removing the card from the envelope. The cards are actual fine art photographs in 5x5 size. I have adhered them to cardstock with photo safe adhesive. I was selling these same photographs in my shop for $15 each so at $6 per card + one of a kind envelope, it's a steal.

The card out of the envelope. Notice the blue square on the inside for writing your own note.

And here we have the envelope all by itself.

The great thing is that you're getting a card that you can frame if you don't want to send it. I mean, it would be beautiful to send but if you chose to keep it, you could always use the envelope to send a letter in. You really are getting 2 unique products. Every envelope I make is going to be one of a kind.

A bit of a change of subject, but I noticed that I've been tagged by Peachtree in my comments as in 'tag, you're it'. I'm going to have to investigate this evening and see who I can tag. This will probably mean another post later on tonight :).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Coming Soon - Notecards!

I'm in the process of creating a line of handmade notecards for my shop. I'm taking an actual 5x5 photograph and adhering it to cardstock. Most will be blank inside although some will have words depending on whether the photograph lends itself to that. I'm also making the envelopes from vintage books, each on will be absolutely one of a kind. I should have some photos of them up this week. I'm excited about it!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sad Day

Our little bird died yesterday. It turned out that it had something wrong with it's feet, whenever it hopped around, it was basically hopping on it's 'elbows' instead of it's feet. I guess that's a part of natural selection , that only the strong survive. It was still very sad though. I put it in a little box and we're going to put the box in the woods behind our house.

Another bad thing happened yesterday. Our chocolate lab puppy Velvet ran off when we took her out to the yard to use the bathroom. Richard followed after her but she wouldn't come to him. She actually turned around and looked at him but decided to do her own thing. She's not a little puppy, she's probably about 6 or 7 months old. So she wouldn't come and took off down the street with a german shepard that's been hanging around our yard lately. Well, she came back covered with blood. She had apparently been attacked by another dog or a group of dogs. Velvet is very high energy and assertive so we think she probably committed a breach of dog ettiquette and was dealt with by the other dogs.
We were really scared because there was so much blood, it was on the back patio and she was just laying there. Richard cleaned her up though and it wasn't as bad as we thought at first. She had a deep gash in her shoulder and several bites on her legs. We put her in her crate to let her sleep it off. She can't walk very well today but she is getting around some. She was so pitiful yesterday though. We hope this will make her a little more cautious and less strong willed.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I skipped a day :(

Oh, naughty girl. I was doing so good too. Well, back on track now. I'm still excited about my gallery showing, I need to stay focused on my Etsy shop though. I feel like I have all these local things happening now and it's pulling me away from focusing on the day to day Etsy. I'm planning on setting up a booth at the farmer's market/craft market at Market Square this coming month, I've not heard anything back from them yet though. That will be interesting having my art exhibited at the gallery 2 streets over from the farmer's market and then selling at a booth there too. I'm planning on making a lot of money next month :) :) :). How exciting. You know, you can make anything happen in your life if you just focus and believe in yourself. Act like you already are making the money you want, have the life you want, and your life will magically rearrange itself and make sure that you start having that life for real. Just FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS. Put what you want up on a memo board in front of you and look at it everyday. Write down the things you'll have and do when you have the life you want and read them everyday. Start doing them even though you aren't there yet! You'll get there faster then. Every single person can have the life they want if they do those things. But you have to believe it, it won't happen if you don't believe it. Read "The Secret", it spells it all out for you. It's a very interesting book even if you don't fully believe it. Richard (my bf) and I watched the dvd of it together and I read the book. He was all excited about it at first and totally believed it although now he says he believes it to a certain extent instead of 100%. I believe it 100%. I think it's only because I have the book version though. I can keep reading it through and reminding myself and putting things into practice. If you just watch the movie, it doesn't stay with you as long unless you watch it over and over. This is the book :

Apparently some people are dismissive of it's message but the basic precept involves focusing on the things you want. If you focus, the law of attraction (aka the universe) will bring those things to you. Whether it's the law of attraction or an impartial universe or whether it's just focusing on them helps you figure out ways to accomplish them doesn't really matter to me. What matters is that it works.

So, I didn't start out this blog to be an endorsement of 'The Secret' lol. I just think it's at best a life changing book and at least a presentation of some new ideas you might not of thought about before. At least I posted today :). I'm proud of me lol.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Our Little Fallen Bird


So I said I would put photos up of our little baby robin that fell out of her nest. They're here. I'm actually selling these in my shop. I'm such an opportunist lol. I'm not making light of the baby's misfortune though, I'm immortalizing her through the magic of photography. And she (or he lol) is alive and well and being brought grubby morsels by her mom in her box on our deck.


I have some really exciting news! I got a call yesterday from an art gallery in Knoxville called 3 Flights Up ~ they're going to exhibit my work next month! OMG, this is huge, totally awesome. I'm soooo excited. I had sent them an email a couple of months ago with some examples of my photographs but I hadn't heard anything back from them. I just sort of wrote it off as 'oh well', I guess that's not happening. But they just called out of the blue yesterday. There's going to be a reception with invitations sent and everything. I think it's the first Friday of next month, the 6th, possibly. That gives me a decent amount of time to get frames and art, etc. together.

3 Flights Up, where I'm going to be exhibiting next month :).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Busy Weekend

"Spring Sprinkles"

What a crammed full last couple of days. First my sister's graduation on Friday (as relayed in an earlier post), then Sunday I went back to my mom's for Mother's Day and then to Richard's parents to pick him up. Oh, that's because we have only one car now lol. We had three cars last year and one of them (mine) got a cracked block which we couldn't afford to fix so we left it at the repair shop and just never picked it up (the bill was like $2000 or something outrageous). We eventually just signed the title over to them since we couldn't/wouldn't pay it. So my car was gone and we just had Richard's car. We were both driving to Knoxville to work so we bought my dad's old toyota which has (and I'm not lying) 450,000 miles on. It has the original engine - we call it the "super car", it's amazing. Well, it broke down the Thursday before I turned in my resignation at work. It actually contributed to me taking that step because I can't drive in to Knoxville everyday (where my office was) and take our only car. Richard might need it during the day to deliver some artwork film or run to Knoxville to check on things or whatever (he's been working from home for the last several months). He usually needs it at the spur of the moment. So now we have one car left, Richard's car. The little Toyota, I don't think we're going to attempt to fix it. After 450,000 miles we're thinking it was just it's time to go. lol. But Richard borrowed his dad's truck and we've had it for the last several days. Yesterday, however, he took his dad his truck back so I had to go pick him up from his parents. Mother's Day is one of those holidays that we've decided the divide and conquer method is best. Instead of trying to go to my parents in Sevierville and then his parents in Knoxville, and not being able to spend quality time at either we just go to our separate families. It keeps things less stressful. So now we're back down to one car since we don't have the truck anymore. It's our contribution to the earth, working from home and only driving one car. Our belated Earth Day celebration :).

ANYWHO, didn't mean to stray so far from the topic at hand. So I had Mother's Day at my mom's yesterday. Allison and Olivia were there, Allison drove back to Nashville soon after I got there. I just had a quick bite to eat and we opened the Mother's Day presents/cards and I left soon after. I think mom and dad were ready for a break after having so many people this weekend for Olivia's party ,etc.

Our yard is finally mowed! Yea! Richard borrowed his dad's riding lawn mower Saturday and got it done. One of the little baby robins fell out of it's nest on Saturday too. Richard found it while he was mowing. There was a big black snake eyeing it in the tall grass, deciding whether to attempt to eat it or not. The snake slithered away into the woods and we brought the baby in and put it in a box with some mowed grass. We put the box on our little deck that's up high off the ground. It's actually close to the tree it fell out of so the mom has been feeding it just like she would if it were in the nest. I'm so glad. It's so cute. I took a bunch of photos of it, I haven't done anything with them yet though. I'll post one tomorrow after I resize them.

I sold 4 photographs this weekend! One Friday and then 3 last night. I was sooo excited! I also ordered some super cute earrings. I'll post pictures of them when I get them. I love Etsy. There are so many talented people on there :).

All the photos with this post (and other posts of course ) can be purchased at Etsy, whether they're mine or someone else's . I'm putting links to all my photos now that will take you directly to the listing when you click on it. I should go back and do it with all the photos on previous posts, I may do that (or maybe not lol, it would take awhile) But you know you can always go into my Etsy store from the widget on the left there. I'm just making a direct route in case you see something you would like for your bare walls :).



"Spring Glow"

"The Hot July Moon Saw Everything"

Friday, May 9, 2008

A long day

"After the Storm"

My sister got her Bachelor's Degree from UT today and will be going for her Master's next. She's going to be a teacher. You go, Olivia! We went to her graduation today which meant a super early morning (up at 5 to leave the house at 6 and be at her house in Knoxville by 7). It reminded me of the bad old days at my former job and the ungodly hours I had to get up. 5 am was actually sleeping in when I worked there lol. Oh I miss it~ NOT.
So we had her graduation this morning and then we all went to mom's in Sevierville for a big to-do celebration. All of Liv's friends and her husband's family were there. My sister came in from Nashville. My mom cooked a ton of food, it was awesome. The weather was perfect and a good time was had by all.

I got home a few minutes ago and I'm posting in my blog! Is that dedication or what? You go Jennifer! Way to keep up with your blog posts! Wow, I'm actually blogging to myself, I MUST be tired. This is going to be mighty short, I just didn't want to get it all together blog wise and then lose it immediately. That would have been so sad lol.

"Evening Light"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Getting it all together (maybe?) lol

"Sunny Side Up"

Good Morning! Ok, I've decided the best way to get organized about daily blog posting is to have a routine. Get up. Get coffee. Check Etsy (briefly wandering around from shop to shop checking out the new yumminess!). Post in blog. That's it, just do it Jennifer. It's not hard, it's just all about getting it done before you get distracted by everything else you're trying to do.

I've been putting a lot of thought into who I want to feature and I've decide to go with the shops that I've actually bought things from first. Things that I have touched, smelled, used, or otherwise seen with my own eyes. The things I fell in love with and would buy all over again. Having said that, my fist shop is Noirliliana.

I bought the most awesome moisturizer from her. I've been using it for a couple of months now and I will buy more when it's gone. I use it at night and in the morning or just when I want a pick me up because it smells so very delicious.

It's thick and moisturizing and comes in a convenient pump bottle. It has a beautiful citrus smell that makes you look forward to putting it on. I actually put it on 3 or 4 times a day the first day I had it just because the smell made me so happy. It goes great under make up and even gives me a slight tingly sensation when I first put it on. I have used probably every moisturizer out there including those by neutrogena, estee lauder, and clinique and this has them beat hands down. I love the fact that it has all natural ingredients such as rose bud tea, borage oil, wheat germ oil, essential oils of grapefruit, lemon, and orange, and a plethora of happy vitamins that are good for your skin. When I use all of my supply, I will definitely buy it again.

Noililiana also sent a freebie with her product, it was a sample of Lemon Candy Hand and Body cream.

The sample idea was a great one because when I place my next order, I'm going to order it full size. The smell is aromatherapy in itself. It makes you feel pretty and happy. It comes in a generous 8 oz size when you order it ~ compare this to the 4 oz you get from a lot of other places. 8 oz is large enough to slather it on as you please without worrying about it being gone in 2 weeks.

Noirliliana has other things in her shop such as face masks, liquid soap, body wash, lip balm, etc. etc. She even has some all natural cleaning products for household use. I'm planning on becoming more green in the next couple of months with recycling and using organic products for cleaning and her shop is going to be a part of my transition. When I try any more of her products, I'll post a review here. Go check out her shop :), it's definitely worth it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Adjusting to my New Freedom :)

It seems like it's been longer than a week since I turned in my notice at work. I think I've been kind of shell shocked this past week, disorganized, generally optimistic, always grateful that I can get up after the sun rises :). I need to get focused this week, get a good schedule going and make sure I'm heading in the right direction. I think keeping a good attitude about finances and success and running my own business is going to be the key to it all. Anything can be accomplished if I believe in myself and my ability to make it happen. I've done some new art, I had a particularly creative day yesterday. My bf had the awesome idea of using canvas as a backdrop for my photos and I love how they turned out. It's opened up a whole new avenue of self expression. He also showed me a super cool photoshop trick that I'm going to have to master this week. I sold another photograph, it's one of a little robin family living on the tree next to our deck. They built a nest right there where we can watch them every day. There's 3 little baby robins in the nest :

I love being able to go outside and sit on the deck and watch. That's definitely a perk of working from home. You get to actually see your home in the daytime lol. Our yard needs mowing sooo bad. Richard tried to mow it today but neither of our lawnmowers would work. I guess we're going to have to get them fixed. I'm thinking we should just pay somebody to do it every couple of weeks since both of us hate mowing but Richard seems to be against it.

I'm getting ready to add cards to my shop, I'm just looking around for a good printer ~ I want one that uses recycled materials and I want to do my cards in like a square size. I just like square photos for some reason. I've not really found who I'm going to use to print them yet. Some of my photos would lend themselves very well to cards though. I'm going to sell some as sets and some as single cards.

I also want to add a matting service to my shop. I think a lot of people would utilize that. So those are my shop plans for this month. I'm going to start doing local craft shows also. There's a farmer's market on Saturdays at Market Square in Knoxville. I'm looking into setting up a booth there. It's just getting a tent and tables and mattes, etc etc together. It's a bit overwhelming. I need to make lists, that always helps.

I'm really trying to participate more fully with the Etsy Bloggers Street Team. Their blog carnival is tonight and I've yet to participate in it. I always remember to do it after it's passed. Tonight I am though. My understanding is that I just need to post on their thread with a link to my blog entry to show that I posted. They encourage you to do it weekly I believe is how it works. I suppose it's to keep everybody blogging :).

Here's my new art and I want to give a special thank you to Peachtree for being so supportive. Here's a link to her shop (and one of her gorgeous creations).

My new photographs are:

It would be a good idea if I blogged a little bit everyday I think, that way I could feature other artists better and it would give more variety to my blog. I already mentioned that in a earlier post didn't I? I'll get it together here sometime soon lol.