Thursday, September 30, 2010

Squeal! It's almost here...

It's costume making time again!

I picked up the SPECIAL! Halloween issue of Martha Stewart Living for inspiration. Whilst I love me some Martha, a few of the costume ideas in here are going to cost an uncrafty, impatient person their very last drop of good sense. Being afflicted with at least one of the aforementioned, I've opted to go glue gun versus shot gun. Regular readers know the sewing machine and I have a tenuous relationship, at best. I need some FlyTie 101, or whatever the remedial course numbers start with.

We-as in the Favorite Guy and I, are stepping out on the town this 31st, so my costume has to not only be fool-proof, but lagered-up-fool-on-the-dancefloor-proof, as well. Y'all ready for this?!

In other harvest news, the orange storage containers made their way in from the hotter than hell garage today and the cats are all about it. Biju is the resident bad ass. The other two aren't in the shot, but they're waiting nearby to get in on the pilfering.

I'm just trying to get over the fact that it's STILL over 100 degrees here in the valley. It's quite likely the buckets will remain full over the next couple of days, maybe even a week or more until it is cool enough to decorate outside. Until then, my glue gun is cocked and loaded, and nothing and no one is safe.

Woot! It's almost Halloween!

And you, will you dress up this year?

Peace and zombies

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Straight Trippin', Boo!

September's San Diego Road Trip (sans kids) at a Glance

1. 1st fuel stop: dinosaur sculpture next to the speed limit sign 2. The cooler's contents 3. About 3 hrs in, I'm now becoming restless and overly caffeinated 4. Woot! Joe's gig 5. The essential disco ball 6. Joe at work on the turntables 7. All smiles 8. And the crowd goes wild! 9. Joe and resident DJ Mikey 10. More prance and twirlery 11. The Tipsy Crow bar 12. Joe does Happy Hour 13. Holy guacamole! 14. Post-guacamole haze 15. Well, whatd'ya know...books! 16. The shadow of my book sale haul. 17. Art books. Yum! 18. Scenery 19. The bee shot 20. Goin' home...

Peace and good times

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thank You

Thank you, India; thank you, terror; thank you disillusionment.

Thank you frailty; thank you consequence: thank you, thank you, silence.

-Alanis Morrissette

It has been the kind of week that would've normally- and nearly- ended in the special display of histrionics I work inconsistently-albeit diligently- at modifying, or at best suppressing. It has been the kind of week that calls for more beer than my petite frame can calorically justify.

It has been the kind of week that compels me to question the already suspect intentions of humanity, jargon about greater good, and tales of community. The kind of week that makes you throw the towel at, rather than in. That kind of week. A weak ass week; misgiving and superfluous, like tepid tea or decaffeinated coffee.

If Kermit thought green was anything but the new black, what he need know was, living in shades of grey whilst living as categorically Black, is viewed with an acutely jaundiced eye. How's that, for a fragmented rainbow "connection"?

But, I will not be broken, nor will my spirit be convoluted by the construct of color, nor conquered by the ideologies and qualifying clauses of "community". I will love, I will be loved, and I will be elevated in love, because I am excellent, I am me, and I am free.

My tea bag told me so.

Peace is a choice

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Business Card Swap

"Bronte" pins and Pretty in Peace packaging 2010

I'm hosting a business card swap!

For those who may be unfamiliar, business card swaps are a quick and convenient way to get your cards in the hands of exponentially more potential customers than usual, in about the same amount of time, by card-pooling with other business owners.

Shown above is a mock order with a neat little packet of 10 fellow artists business cards, that's one order for me and 1, 2, 3...9 advertising opportunities for them! Just think of the amount of awesome potential if/when the 9 other artists ship their orders and neat little packets of advertising opportunities!

I'd like a minimum of five participants, and will happily swap with as many as 10. More than 10, and I'll need a volunteer to help me manage the load; my schedule is tighter than last year's jeans, these days.

The swap is open to anyone with standard sized business cards or smaller (Moo minis like my Tea & Honey Bread card shown above are acceptable), selling pretty much anything other than children, favors of the special/adult variety, and illegal substances. Simply leave a comment on this post with your shop/business info and e-mail address and I'll contact you with the fine-tuned details, and a Paypal invoice for the postage amount which will be about $3 for First Class mailing.

I'll accept cards from interested business owners until mid-October, then it's time to get these babies out for the busy holiday season.

Peace and success

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Retail: Real Tales

Hark! Has it really been 9 days since my last post? Madness! I do however have good reason. Y'see, I've been juggling school, getting ready for Holiday 2010 (Which I am totally psyched about in spite of the record-breaking 3 digit temps here in Arizona.) and, putting together pieces for my retail stockists.

When I announced my newest retail venture at Phoenix's Bunky Boutique, blog reader and dear friend, MaryJane asked me how it is that I go about approaching retailers. I thought today (Well, nearly two weeks ago when I initially drafted this post.) would be a good time to write about that.

These days, the shortest distance between two points is an e-mail. So, I generally send an e-mail to a perspective stockist asking if they'd be interested in a wholesale/consignment relationship with a local indie artist. Those three words, "local indie artist", make a huge difference in the circles in which I run.

The Phoenix indie art scene is quite welcoming, and even with the breadth of artists on the scene, it's quite tightly knit around a set of core principles, local and independent being prime among them.

Included in the e-mail, is a link to my "catalog". I used to use Flickr! for this, but since subscribing to Big Cartel, I thought it made sound business sense to use the shop as a catalog as well. It's a way to increase my potential for visibility (Google hits: Google ranking) and conduct business even when online sales are slow. Did I mention the impressive zoom feature? You must check out the zoom feature.

I've seen some gorgeous, glossy postcards and catalogs used by other artists, but I'm all about keeping costs down and trees up! Check out my props: forks, a sheet of scrapbook paper, and the empty frosted glass jar from last year's Christmas candle. Everything within reach has a purpose or three, 'round here.

Then, (and probably the most nerve-wracking) is the meet and greet. If a retailer is impressed, they will likely want to meet you and see your wares in person. This is when I bring along my personal favorites; the pieces I can talk about in depth, with the kind of passion and confidence required to seal the deal. Lastly, money talk and handshakes abound. Woot! It's time to get creatin'!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Lightening Up

Thoughts have been exceptionally heavy in my head lately. It's one of those times when there's so much going on that skimming even a little idle time from the top of the heap puts you way behind in the game. Does that ever happen to you? I suppose it happens to us all.

Normally, this would be a time when I'd curl up with a children's book. I'm not into Sci-Fi and adult contemporary books just can't quite get me to the "there", where I need to be when the "here", is just too much. Unfortunately, I don't have enough time for a book, of the non-text variety.

So, I bought this dude from the clearance bin at the front of the grocery store. Y'know the one that-in conjunction with the candy rack- is largely responsible for the wailing child and equally livid parents in the parking lot? Yep, that would be the one!

All of the fizzing was kinda cool since it wasn't in my glass for a change. I have an easily aggravated Pitta belly. And, I kinda like the little guy, although the one-eyed dude on the package was the one I was vying for. This would have been the moment, uh...30+ years ago when I might have engaged in some histrionics. He goes well with the voodoo doll on my desk, and the process did lighten things up a bit. So, all's well that ends well. Now, back to the grown up stuff.

Peace and priorities

Thursday, September 2, 2010

30 Days

" Billie": a one of a kind, statement necklace available [here].

The skinny on Pretty in Peace's first 30 days on Big Cartel short, it's going well. Since opening shop August 1st, my visibility has increased by over 600%. While that has resulted in only one cash sale, I have procured a new retail relationship using the site as my catalog. This arrangement puts me well above my projected revenue for the first month. In fact, my goal for the first month was simply to be able to pay my Big Cartel site fees and re-up on business cards without digging in my already linty pockets. Needless to say, I was able to do that.

Bartering has worked well for me, too. I now have a much needed light box, for those late night photo ops of which I've previously been unable to take advantage. I've also managed some design services, well not so much design, but I have someone who will man the HTML hell portion of the business so I can preserve my sanity for punching numbers and metal. I keep reminding myself that this will get easier and that I will be ready, and "on fire" for the holiday shopping season. Standing alone is quite an experience and comes with its own set of challenges, the biggest being the absence of incidental visibility that a site like Etsy, or some of the other online shopping venues provide.

I've got another 30 days before my investors: The Favorite Guy, Jordan, and Akeem-my younger brother- will need to be repaid. It looks like I'm in a good position to do that, complete with their attractive investment return fees. So, short it's going well. Now, let's see what September will look like.

Peace, art and success

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In the building

I'm pleased to announce the procurement of yet another retailer for the Pretty in Peace line of fashionable frippery. The local, indie scene here in Phoenix has been so good to me.

Here's a peak at my new B&M digs,
select pieces will be available this Fall!
Please see the shop on Big Cartel
for the full Fall 2010 line.

Bunky Boutique:
1437 North First Street Ste. 103, Phoenix AZ 85004

Early holiday shopping thoughts abound.
Yael needs a board bangle!

LOVE the books and hat.

Good company:
Wares from local artist, and all around cool carbon-based being,
Minerva Orduno


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