Closing time.

It was fun while it lasted, but my time on Etsy has come to an end. Both PaulaGibbs.etsy.com and Paulabirdy.etsy.com are closing, and everything has been marked down at least 50%. (I don’t have all the letters of the alphabet anymore, but there are still plenty if you’re trying to make initials instead of words or names.)

More Alphabirdybet prints!

I know that there are some moms who can raise kids, keep the house clean, cook meals, and run an online shop, but I am not one of them. Even if I get to draw or paint every once in a while, it’s not enough to sustain both my stores. And it’s kind of stressful to know that they’re out there and I need to try to fill them.

Holiday cards.

Soooo, pick up your prints now if you want them! I’ll probably sell off my shipping supplies last (stayflat mailers, clear envelopes, etc.) but if you’re interested in those let me know. I ordered them en masse two years ago and it was a pretty sizeable investment, so I would be happy to help another person miss out on the shipping fees for a 30 lb box of mailers.

The Perfect Chair.

The good news for friends and relatives is that once the Etsy goods are gone, I’ll turn my attention to fun stuff like, say, Christmas presents. (And baby clothes — I am just dying to make Camilla a sweet autumn dress, especially now that the temp has dropped to 65 degrees.) But mostly I need to make sure that I don’t get so wrapped up in what I want to do that I get grumpy when a little baby voice tells me that somebody woke up from her nap after only 10 minutes.

Camilla says, Please buy mommy’s prints so she can give all her attention to me!

One last bassinet pic. 

How can you say no to that face?

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(You thought it was a goner, but) the shop came back!

I guess I should say “shops” because I mean both this one and this one. Remember those? I haven’t had them up and running since we moved to Florida in August, but I’ve recently been experiencing strong urges to clean out all those boxes of Etsy supplies in my closet. I would really like to sell most of my stash before baby comes, so I’ve discounted all the prints and priced the paintings and drawings pretty low. All of the Alphabirdybet letters are $2 now, but I’m warning you in advance that I’m not printing any more so once all the As (or Ts or Ms) are gone, they’re gone! Same goes for the Day at the Beach prints — I only have a few left and don’t plan to order more. (Unless you are Miranda, and you happen to be sending me something awesome for the baby’s room. You could probably convince me if you really tried.)

Oh, today also happens to be my 29th birthday. I will be 29 when my baby is born. For some reason, I find this so hard to believe — not because it’s impossible that I’m growing older, but because this is the age when I am becoming a mother. Weird. And wonderful.

alphabirdybet

Now $2 here.

puffins

Now $5 here.

pretty-rock

Now $12 here.

lion-and-lamb

Now $12 here.

carrots1

$45 here.

strawberries

$35 here.

radishes

$40 here.

Gocco goodies.

These are other bits of goodness for the new shop…three new gocco prints!

 The Water Jar.

The Perfect Chair.

Tall Brown Boots.

They are from a series I’m calling “From the Sketchbook” that involves me choosing some ink doodles, enlarging them, and adding a dotted background. I do like dots. (And I obviously like series as well.)

The first round invovles the chair, the water jar, and the boots, but I plan to add others and print these in some different color combinations. But be warned: I’m doing relatively small sets (18-20), and once a color combo sells out I won’t reprint it. There has to be something special about the one you get, right?

I still have to put together a 150 page booklet before I can go home today (and I’ve got, like, 10 pages done so far), so I’m signing off. Thank you for all your input so far and for the new shop love — I am so happy that it’s finally up and running!

New shop + giveaway!

So perhaps I should have considered the fact that an insanely busy/stressful week at work is not the best time to open a new shop. Hindsight is always so good, no?

But I persevered, and here it is! I’m waiting to add the gocco prints until tomorrow, but all the new giclee prints are up. Lots of originals are also waiting in the wings and be added in future weeks.

About the giclees…I know that they are a bit more expensive than you might be used to, but the quality is really very, very nice. (Much nicer than you’ll get from someone printing them out at home, unless that person has a massive and expensive professional-grade printer.) I really don’t like to pay for a “print” that obviously came from someone’s Staples-variety HP printer. So, I paid a bit more for something that I think it good quality, and I’m asking my customers to pay a bit more as well. I think you’ll be more satisfied in the long run.

Now, about that giveaway. I only have one of each print on hand right now and want to order more, but before I do so I need some feedback as to which ones are most popular. So, if you will leave me a note by June 18 saying what your TWO favorite prints are, I’ll put your name in the hat to win a sample set of my three new gocco prints. I was going to put up a photo but it didn’t turn out very well, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what they look like. But trust me — they’re really cute!

Lion and Lamb

Wolf and Deer.

Sealion and Penguin.

Starfish.

The Pretty Rock.

Seaweed.

Barnacles.

Finally, some gocco.

Lest you think that I never make anything anymore, I have proof of progress. I finished another big big project a few weeks back but cleverly didn’t take any photo evidence, so let’s just say that gocco’d cd cases look awesome but 200 (x 2 colors) is a lot. And they take up a lot of space while drying.

 The water jar (preview).

I printed all of these last Saturday but ran out of screens + bulbs before finishing the last one (the boots). They are all part of a series titled “From the sketchbook” that will be going into the new shop.

The water jar (preview).

And speaking of the new shop, I am expecting my business cards and packaging supplies to arrive any day now, so as soon as my screens and bulbs show up and I finish the last print I will be finally ready to go. Oh yeah, and I have to take some photos. Gar. It seems like there’s always one more thing to do. But I think that I can tentatively look at the middle of next week (the 11th or 12th, maybe?) as Grand Opening time.

The perfect chair (preview).

And yes, there will be a drawing for you to enter. You know I love drawings.

The perfect boots (preview).

Anyhow, I am very excited to show you photos of the final pieces in a few days. I am very pleased with how these turned out, since they are almost exactly the way that I wanted them to look. And we all know that that doesn’t happen very often. :)

The cute little cottage that wasn’t.

Do you ever have times when you suddenly have a fabulous exciting bit of news that you’re dying to share but you don’t happen to see any of your friends so you don’t tell them? (Alberta, this is exaggeration — you are my friend.) And then the news ends up not happening, so you’re really really glad you didn’t tell anyone because then you’d have to go back and retract it?

Well, that happened to me this week.

When I was poking around the Pensacola Craigslist rental ads the other day, I found one for a little two-bedroom house/cottage that was right in our price range. So I started making inquiries and things seemed to just get better and better. I mean, the place has hardwood floors, a newly remodeled kitchen and bathrooms, a fenced-in backyard, and a PORCH SWING. Seeing as porch swings figure heavily in my southern living fantasies, this seemed to be absolutely perfect. My active imagination ranged from a few tasteful redecorations upon moving in to future purchasing plans and how we are going to fit all of our (future) children into one bedroom.

And then the bad news started rolling in. The damage + pet deposits are huge, we’d probably need to start a lease a month before we arrive in order to hold it, and it’s really just a little too far from the school where Josh will be teaching. Conclusion? It will cost lots of $$$ that we don’t have, both initially and in the long run, and it will require a lot of house-type maintenance that I’m sure we’ll be up to next year.

So aren’t you glad that I didn’t tell you about the darling little cottage that, for 24 glorious hours, I thought we might move into?

In other news, I am actually getting closer to opening that second Etsy shop that I mentioned a long time ago. I finally ordered new double-sided business cards and postcards during lunchbreak (after procrastinating for, like, 3 weeks), so I just need to a) print some more stuff, and b) think of a cheap-but-tasteful packaging scheme. That’s not too bad, right?

New postcard.

I’m afraid that I’m not going to solicit opinions about the cards since I already ordered them and don’t want to know what I did wrong.

New businesscard front.

But consider this your sneek peak, to be followed by the Real Thing if you place an order. :)

New businesscard back.

Some art + etsy love.

In the absence of art/craft productivity, I have spent a little time poking around Etsy to find ways to empty my PayPal account (a difficult task, I know). In doing so, I came across an oil painter named Andrea Coats with a lovely little painting blog and an even lovelier shop. Andrea’s gorgeous little paintings are oh-so-affordable…I am planning to buy a small set (2? 3?) for the new kitchen after we move. Some of my favorites are below. Aren’t they gorgeous?!?

(All images by Andrea Coats, used with permission)

I should also mention, in the spirit of sharing, that I found another new-to-me shop selling Marimekko’s Unikko Lac print in blue for only $15/yard. It normally retails for something around $40/yard, so this is a really good deal. And seeing as this is the exact print, color, and size that I’ve been looking for, I bought two yards and can tell you that it is quite lovely in person. I plan to put it in the yet-unseen dining room of our yet-unrented apartment, so I hope that nothing in it clashes with blue. :)

Finally (and this did deplete the PayPal account), I am happy to announce that I am the proud owner of my very own piece of Amy Ruppel‘s encaustic art. I have loved her work ever since I first saw it online and decided during her recent online art sale that now is the time. I mean, there will never be a “good” time to spend money on art — which is so easily viewed as non-essential — unless you make it. So I made it. And now these little birdies will be flying to me soon.

(Image by Amy Ruppel)

I turned out that someone purchased the piece I wanted, but Amy very kindly made me a new one. So perfect, isn’t it?

Husband doesn’t know about this yet, so I guess this is my way of seeing if he checks the old blog. ;)

Behind the scenes.

Probably not so much posting this week (or next), as I am busy packing and working on this. After all the very helpful comments you left me on my what-to-do post, a 2nd shop seemed like the very best option. Paulabirdy will remain open and have all the birdy-themed items, while PaulaGibbs will carry the Day at the Beach prints, some new gocco prints, and a few other things.

Already done:

  • create new email address
  • create new shop
  • create new banner and temporary avatar
  • order new prints (they came!)
  • take photos of prints
  • design rough draft of business cards

Still to do:

  • order new business cards
  • come up with a new promotional postcard or freebie
  • edit and resize photos for Etsy listings
  • create new listings
  • finish writing shop announcement, email to buyers, etc.
  • make a few changes to the Paulabirdy shop
  • fiddle with PayPal settings
  • come up with a new packaging scheme (i.e. not ribbon)

Sound like fun? If you’re thinking about opening a shop, it’s a good idea to make a pretty complete to-do list first…I’m sure I’m still missing some things, but my current list is already long enough to banish thoughts of finishing everything in a week. :)

Given the current state of my apartment (=chaos) and schedule (=hectic), I’m putting the Monday moving sales on hold for a few weeks. I want to start adding old drawings and paintings next, and at the moment I’m not even sure where they are. I am hoping to unearth a little pile of sale-able art in the near future so I can resume the sales!

Still sorting.

After a full day of housecleaning and stuff-sorting on Saturday, I’ve come to the realization that — as always — this moving/packing thing is going to take me longer than I’d thought.

Sorted so far: parts of craft room, knick-knacks, some tableware, linens, books.

Still in disarray: other parts of craft room, kitchen stuff, my clothes, very full file cabinet, photos, portfolios, random personal belongings.

Waiting till husband is done with school: huge quantities of CDs and VHS tapes, his clothes, desk area.

And then there are any number of categories that I haven’t even thought of yet, like stuff that lives in the bathroom cabinet that you really don’t want to throw away because that eye cream container has a little more left and you want to use it sometime, just not now. I try to psych myself into thinking that I’m not the kind of person who likes clutter, but the evidence points strongly to the contrary. I mean, I rounded up my vases on Saturday and found that I own at least 15. Yikes.

The approach to packing/de-cluttering that I’m currently employing is Slow + Steady. Start now, tackle small areas at a time, and try not to get really bogged down in memories. Stuff is really a treasure-trove of memories, isn’t it? I hold on to so many things not because I love the object itself but because I’m afraid that I’ll forget the person who gave it to me if I pass it on. But as I sit on the verge of a major move and the prospect of paying to ship all my whatsits to Florida (or storing them in my long-suffering parents’ basement), I think I need to part with some of my treasures. So I am picking things up, looking them over, smiling at my memories, and setting them resolutely on the yard sale shelf.

Even though the first box won’t be shipped for weeks yet, my move has already begun.

New cardinal gocco prints going into the shop soon!

Monday Moving Sale:
In light of all the other things going on, this week’s sale is pretty low key. I’ve marked the Portrait of the Artist gocco prints (Cardinal and Puffin) from $10 to $8, since I’ve decided that $8 will be my new 5×7 gocco print price point. I toyed with the idea of starting a new gocco print set (I have them all planned out!), but I think that it will have to wait until the end of May.

New puffin gocco prints going into the shop soon!

Monday, Monday.

I am (literally) seeing things a little differently this week, as both husband and I picked up new pairs of contacts on Saturday. He has never had them before, and I haven’t worn them since our wedding day and, previous to that, my senior year in college. It’s kind of strange not to have the familiar frames perched upon my nose. We immediately picked up sweet new pairs of sunglasses, which are a luxury that neither of us have had in ages, and I love the freedom of not having something in front of my face all the time. I’m waiting for the you-messed-with-your-eyesight migraine to start anytime now, but contrary to my expectations, Excedrin and I have had been getting along quite nicely so maybe this will work out after all. I really don’t want to wear glasses for the rest of my life. Father-in-law has asked for photo documention of this momentous change in our lives, so I might try to snap some pics this week.

Before I forget, this week’s Monday Moving Sale special is on 8×10 prints. As with the cards (which are still on sale as well!), I am selling off my inventory and don’t plan to print more. So if you’re interested in A Bird for All Seasons, Three Days of Christmas, or Hats, get ’em now while they’re only $10 each…

A Bird for All Seasons.

And speaking of forgetting, my fam reminded me that I haven’t posted the winning Renaissance Fair poster from a while back. There’s a short bio feature here…um, can you tell I’m a little more long-winded than the other girl? I didn’t know how long it was supposed to be, so I was squirming in my seat at the awards ceremony when my “about me” statement seemed to go on and on. Sigh.

You can find images of all the past posters here, and I think the progression is really interesting to look at. They’re pretty diverse, but I think that some of the older ones are more graphically inventive — 1979, 1986, and 2003 are my favorites. What are yours?

The finished poster:

 Ren Fair poster.

The painting:

The painting underneath.

A closer look:

A closer look.

Stepping out of the pages…

Stepping out of the book.