Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Sale and Promotion ends soon!

Happy Holidays!

Have you heard about the big holiday promotion my Etsy team is having? Click here to visit my Etsy shop. The details are in my shop announcement....it's HUGE! Don't miss out! There are 21 participating shops packed with the most incredible variety of unique polymer clay ornaments, jewelry, figurines, boxes and more! 

But you have to act fast as the promotion ends tomorrow, November 30th

I'd also like to extend a special offer for those that follow my blog (and your friends if you'd like to spread the love LOL). It is a special coupon code for a 25% off that you can use when you purchase any item(s) in my shop from now through the end of December. Woohoo! Just type in Sweet25Deal when prompted at checkout and it will automatically deduct 25% of the item price. Sweet!

I also have two ArtFire shops. One of my own here and one that I share with my sisters here  My sister Vicki makes beautiful jewelry and my sister Sue will be crafting some gorgeous things of her own once she settles into her new home. Come and take a look-see! :)

Here are a few of the things I have been working on lately. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Big Holiday Promotion with Awesome Prizes!!


How can you win?

Shop in one of the participating stores listed below from November 8th until November 30th, 2010 and your name will go in the drawing to win one of our fantastic prizes. OR send us a postcard - details will be in the Etsy shops' announcements. Purchase 1 item, get 1 chance - purchase 10 items, get 10 chances.  Send one postcard, get one chance - send 10 postcards, get 10 chances. This is definitely one competition you will want to be in!

What do you win?

You will win a beautiful Christmas package stuffed to the brim with polymer clay goodies handmade by our members.
There are 3 prizes to win and with each prize pack comes a gift certificate.
First Prize - $75 gift certificate plus prize pack.
Second Prize - $50 gift certificate plus prize pack.
Third Prize - $25 gift certificate plus prize pack.
Who wouldn’t want to be in this drawing!!! Find out all the details by visiting any of the participating shops listed below:


Here is a link to photos of some of the prizes that can be won....WOW!

I thought I'd also share some photos of what I have been working on lately. The blue and gold vase was one of my donations to the promo prize pool. :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wow, that was wierd....

Every once in awhile I will 'google' my name or my shop name and see what pops up. I've found myself mentioned in all kinds of fun places LOL!

This time I also got a bit of a surprise but it has a happy ending. I found that prints of one of my paintings of an owl were being sold on the site called 'Fine Art America' by a person in India. The name of the town was impossible long; I kid you not, it probably had about 25 or more letters in the name! Anyhoo, he was offering several size prints and greeting cards. It even had my by-line and you could see a portion of my signature. I was rankled. :)

I sent him an email and asked him to remove the image immediately and then I sent an email to the site itself. I didn't know if I would get a response from either of them but within an hour the image was gone! At first I thought the site had removed it but the following day I received a personal email from them. They apologized and said that they had canceled his membership. I felt a pang of guilt at this...it seemed rather harsh but maybe he was 'stealing' from other artists too. Who knows. I was really impressed with how quickly they responded.

I know this type of thievery runs rampant on the internet and there isn't much anyone can do about it. Even a watermark can be removed with the technology out there nowadays. I'm glad that I've moved to mostly three dimensional art. It can still be copied of course but at least the copier has to physically make the copy and not just steal the image.

A fellow artist on deviantART, where I have a gallery, gave me a link to a site called TinEye. It is a reverse image search engine. It finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version. You can use it to see if anyone is using your image anywhere. How cool is that!
Here is an excerpt from their site:
TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata or watermarks. It is free to use for non-commercial searching.
TinEye regularly crawls the web for new images, and we also accept contributions of complete online image collections. To date, TinEye has indexed 1,719,139,600 images from the web to help you find what you're looking for.

You can find them at www.tineye.com

I thought I'd share the Owl painting with you plus a handful of other things I finished recently.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just a few hours to go for ArtFire's once in a lifetime deal!

ArtFire's super deal ends in just a few hours! Click on the title of this post and it will link to my shop where you can go to their homepage to learn about the deal. I opened up a second shop that I will use to post things made by myself and my two sisters. It will be called 'ThreeLittleAngels' LOL! (inside joke hee hee)

I thought I'd post a few new things I made recently. Some jewelry and such. Let me know what you think!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

ArtFire's Once in a Lifetime Deal!

I'm so excited! I just signed up for an ArtFire Pro account and opted in for this great new deal they are offering for a very limited time! It is just $5.95 a month for life!! (of course, after the first month you can cancel at any time) This charge is all that you pay for a Pro account and there are tons of perks...TONS!! There are no listing fees and no final value fees when an items sells. No matter how many items you list or how much you sell. They are getting ready to exit Beta and want to do so with a Bang! Their normal monthly subscription fee is $15.95 and even this is a good deal but $5.95....well, I just couldn't pass it up! This special deal is contingent upon a minimum of 20,000 participants signing up.....and they are well on their way! This opting in period is open for an undisclosed period of time and they have set the maximum number of available spots to 50,000 so I would check it out ASAP!

Here is a link to the details www.artfire.com/groupdeal

I won't close my Etsy shop, I do love it there so much but this may be an excellent way to get more exposure and more sales! Depending on how I do at ArtFire, it may become my main selling venue. Time will tell. :)

Anyone else have any experience with ArtFire? I had the basic free account and put one or two items in there last year and got nada....no sales and no exposure to speak of but to be fair I didn't really even give it a fair try. I didn't promote it at all. I read many blogs on ArtFire vs Etsy and there are pros and cons for both. At first I was put off by the monthly subscription fee until I realized that this is all you pay...no more! I took a look at the fees I have paying Etsy each month and realized that I'd SAVE a lot of money by switching.

I've built a pretty good customer base on Etsy and I haven't had one bad experience there (just minor frustrations) but sales are S....L...O...W...right now and maybe the added exposure will help. They also automatically upload your items to Google Base on ArtFire which is wonderful for me because I struggled with that on Etsy where you have to upload them yourself. I did this successfully with step by step instructions on Etsy but then Google Base 'disqualified' my items and I could not figure out why. I found out that they don't allow certain words (such as 'Free') so I tried to eliminate that word from all of my listing titles (I had 'free shipping' in some titles) but it didn't change anything. I can't remember what else I tried but it was all to no avail and I gave up. I have four items in my ArtFire studio now and when I completed one listing a warning popped up telling me that Google Base did not allow the words 'vine' (how odd!) and 'strip' so I removed those words and all was hunky dorey. Wow! I never would have known that those two seemingly innocent words would throw it out of Google base. :) I guess I understand strip...perhaps the 'adult' definition of this, but why the word 'vine' for heaven's sake LOL!

Anyhoo, if you are selling your art and spending way too much money you should check this out...woohoo!

I've been working on a few new things since I last blogged.

First, I tried mounting some of my polymer clay ACEO on gallery wrapped canvas. I painted the canvas with colors and designs to compliment the polymer clay piece. It was well received on deviantART where I have a gallery but I haven't sold them yet. 

Secondly, I make art tiles of polymer clay (I'll include an image or two here) and I have been thinking about how I can 'dress' them up a bit and offer them as ready to hang wall art. I made one for a co-worker and she loved it and bought a shadow box and some fancy papers made for scrapbooking and mounted it in this frame with some of the fancy papers behind it and it looked fabulous! I was so impressed, she and her husband worked on it together and they did a great job. Her total cost to do this was about $12 but the added value was incredible. Well.....guess what I bought last weekend?....you guessed it! Shadow boxes and fancy papers LOL! I can't wait to dress up a few of my tiles this way.

What I did for her was really cool. She saw some of my work and really liked the way I included trinkets and such in my tiles and ACEO. She wanted to do something special for her daughter's birthday and asked if she could bring in some of her old jewelry and her Mother's jewelry and some odd bits of other things that had special meaning and arrange them artfully on a tile. She gave me an idea of her daughter's taste and the colors in her house and I went to work. Now I have orders from others to make one for them! I am thinking of offering them to the general public but I have to think about this as they would be sending me precious things that may not be expensive but are priceless if you know what I mean.

Well, I'll end this lengthy post with a few new pics. Have a good weekend!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mosaic Tiles and Agate Pendants

I imported some of the most beautiful stones recently and I've finally gotten around to using a few of them LOL! (procrastination is my middle name!) The ones pictured here are agates; spider web agate and orange and blue agate geodes. Gorgeous! I love the contrast of the ebony and tangerine or brilliant blue color on the geodes and the remarkable turtle shell like pattern of the spider web agates. I left the settings open in the back so that the light could shine through showing off the druzy crystals or the intricate pattern.
Secondly, I finally (yep...procrastination) got around to using some polymer clay tiles I made over a year ago. I incorporated them into mosaic tiles using found objects such as marbles, jewelry bits, old keys, watch parts, glass beads, spider web agate, lock mechanism, glass gems, locket and stone cabs. The frames are wood and come from some little puzzles I found a the craft store. So fun to make and relatively easy too!
The faces you see in the tiles come from fellow Etsian Jay King aka TinyGolems on Etsy. I had been following his polymer clay work on deviantART for quite awhile now and encouraged him to open up his own shop. When he did...I was his first customer LOL!
The unusual marbles, locks and keys I received by trading my art for 'treasures' from a friend in England. She scours the boot sales looking for unusual things that I can use. She has found some of the most interesting things!
A passion of mine is collecting trinket boxes and I created a treasury of some of my favorites on Etsy. I call it "A Passion for Boxes". I wish I knew how to include links here. (if some kind reader would like to tell me how...I'm all ears!) In searching for unique boxes I found an Etsy seller that has a shop full of the prettiest decorative and fun boxes. Her Etsy name is FunWallArt (again, no link...sorry!). Check her out!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My new Tutorial and my latest schtuff!

I recently posted my second tutorial on ClayLessons.com This one is for a mermaid trinket box (see the photo below). I think this is something even someone brand new to clay could do! Just go to www.ClayLessons.com and click on tutorials and you will find it! There are tons of awesome tutorials there. Go ahead and check it out!

I had this idea to take a sheet of clay, cut varying sizes of holes in it and streeeeeetch it over a contrasting color of clay and I tried it with the most interesting results! I had no idea what I was going to do with it....as usual...and I just let the design develop as I went. The first reminds me of sea foam washing up on shore so I added shells and a seahorse. The second looks like an alien planet or skin.....(ewwww!) or some such but I thought they both turned out pretty cool.
I traded some of my art for some awesome old rusty treasures from a friend in England and I have selfishly been holding onto them not wanting to part with any but I finally included a few in a new journal I decorated. For the life of me I cannot get a decent photo of it but I LOVE the way it turned out. I call it 'Beautiful Decay'. :)) A fellow artist on deviantART was talking about how she discovered a way to rust things quickly. It is a nifty trick that I am going to try. Anyhoo....I was laughing about how excited she was (and me too!) to discover how to cover something in rust and I got to thinking about how beautiful rust and decay can be. I seem to be fascinated with decrepit old rusty broken objects lately and I wonder if it has anything to do with my upcoming birthday LOL!! Well, thinking about the beauty of decay inspired the design. :)
Say, everybody else on Etsy probably knows about this but I just discovered Craftopolis.com  !!! It offers tons of helpful information for sellers...you won't believe it! I just found out I was in treasuries I didn't even know about! Sheesh, I feel like a heel because I never commented or thank them. *sheepish grin*. If you are a seller on Etsy you gotta go check it out!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My first Tutorial! Also a Birthday Sale and New Goodies :)

My First Tutorial! 
I just became a teacher at ClayLessons.com and posted my first ever tutorial! 

It gives step by step instructions on how to create a dragon eye from polymer clay. No special tools needed and no prior polymer clay experience necessary. :)  Just go to www.claylessons.com and search for the Woodland Dragon Eye. Wheeee! 

I am so excited. Boy it was really a lot of work to put together a tutorial. I had no idea how much time it takes. You have to stop at every step and take photos (with clay covered hands lol), crop and organize the photos, type up your step by step instructions then create a PDF file. Whew! Luckily they have this nifty thing called 'Tutorial Maker' and it simplified it soooo much.

There are many really really cool tutorials on this site, you should check it out! Many of them are even free! Plus, if you are a polymer clay artist, consider becoming a teacher, it's awesome!

Well, I am celebrating another birthday this month. July 12th Woohoo! I'm not going to say how old I am...but let's just say that I've been 29 for quite a while now LOL!! To celebrate, I'd like to offer any reader, or friends of readers, a 20% discount off of anything in my Etsy shop. (www.mandarinmoon.etsy.com). You can click on the header of this blog and it will take you there. Buy anything from my shop and note that you would like to take advantage of the Birthday Sale and I will instantly refund 20% of the cost of the item you've purchased. It's like Christmas in July! If you buy three or more items I'll even throw in free shipping within the U.S. and discount international shipping by $5.00  Hey, who's birthday is it anyway? *grin*

The photos are new items that I have created recently, including the dragon eye that I made for the tutorial. Have a great summer!!