12.30.2008

R.I.P. Cobra Mustang, and Art By Jay is back up!

Yesterday our car was totaled. We haven't heard the official "totaled" verdict, but the entire front end of the car was pretty much gone. Well, it was there it was just a lot shorter and missing a body. We were driving home from the post office after resuming our mail since we'd been on vacation. We slowed down for a red light, but then it turned green so we went through it because that's the logical thing to do. I'm assuming the truck coming from the other direction had sped up to beat his yellow light and just not made it. Either way we entered the intersection and then the other guy entered the intersection about a second after us, Jeremy slammed on the brakes, and then the airbags came out (OUCH!) and our car was pretty much gone. The truck was fine because trucks are crazy amounts of durable and I'm thinking that'd be a good choice for our next vehicle because of that fact and I'm very glad the truck and its passengers were fine. They just have a big dent.

Luckily we're picking up our new Mini on Saturday! And we're both alive with only minor cuts and bruises and airbag burns (Once again, OUCH! The entire underside of my chin is one big burn!)! There's always a bright side. Right now we have a Cobalt rental car. Lame car. Can't wait for the Mini and we're very, very glad we decided on the S (sport!) version because being without a car with a little get-up-and-go is not something we enjoy. This Cobalt, while comfortable and quiet and great for a second car, is not good as an only car because it's boring.

Funny thing is, we cannot remember why we felt the need to buy a Mini back in October. We didn't need a second car. We just went to look at it and the deals they were having were really good and Jeremy has wanted a safer car for me to drive in the snow (Cobras and snow just don't mix) and those are the only reasons we can think of for why we decided to order it back in October. Not really "buy a second car" motives. Usually you have a need. But we're very glad right now that we did that. That was a blessing.

Art By Jay is back up! Arts Afire will be back up on Friday. I'm working on some new pieces and I just don't have it in me to put up the store yet. I'm kind of beat down right now. Our Disneyland Christmas vacation was fantastic and we had a wonderful time, but then we came home (which we were looking forward to because we'd been away for so long) and everything seemed to go wrong yesterday. I'm kind of still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I really don't think there are any shoes left. I have the rest of the week off, I'm just going to relax and paint and not worry about promoting and all that time intensive stuff.

Here's to a new year! Hopefully it's better. :)

Later today: Our Disneyland Vacation and Item of the Day!

12.21.2008

On Vacation - Merry Christmas Everyone!!

My store and my grandfather's store are officially closed for the holidays. Thursday was the last day for shipments from me before we leave for Disneyland! Right now our stores are empty because everything is unlisted. We'll be back on January 2nd!

We'll be going to Disneyland on Monday, both with fantastic new haircuts. :) We cannot wait. We're Disney addicts.

And, just because I'm really proud of the re-production drawing I did for my step-dad for Christmas, here it is again:

Reproduction of Charles Scheeler drawing


And, my favorite item from my shop as of today:
Space, 2008


And....
(Disney) Item of the Day:

Nightmare Before Christmas Ornament set


Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! We'll be back after the Holiday season. I'll be sending out my first newsletter with the chance to win a free painting the first weekend of January, so if you haven't signed up and want to, just sign up with the newsletter sign up form in the top right of this blog, or at my Arts Afire blog, but they're both the same. :)

I have beaucoup de plans (yes, I speak French so I am allowed to use Frenglish) for the New Year promotion-wise, so stay tuned for that!

12.18.2008

More snow?!

With our car, one snowstorm a year is enough for me. This is the second time this week that Jeremy has had to bring me to work because for some reason, plows in Utah county don't come out until around 10 a.m.! After everyone has already gone to work. Way to go, guys! Luckily, we'll have our new Mini at the first of the year and that's more snow friendly, being front wheel drive and all.

So today is my last full day of work for the year. After today I work a half day on the 30th and that's it until January 2nd. This is gonna be nice. And because I got a Christmas bonus we decided that we are going to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day in Disneyland instead of after when we get back and have the money again. So I was going to go shopping tomorrow for Jeremy's Christmas presents (just the big one and a couple of other small ones--a lot is being done in Downtown Disney where they have a Sephora and a Fossil). Then on the radio I hear that today's storm is a "teaser storm" for tomorrow's big one.

I hate you, nature.

Hopefully the afternoon will be clear and I can go shopping. Now, I need to get to work making a Sephora and Disney wish list because I told Jeremy that I wouldn't mind if my entire Christmas came from our vacation there since I don't really have a wish list this year. Besides Sephora and Disney merchandise. But he did say that he is getting me a Coach purse at the store in Park City, so I should be on the lookout for one I like. So, because they don't have the outlet online, let's look at the overpriced (though really well made) Coach purses on coach.com. I would be more than happy to carry any of the following on my shoulder:




I'm not picky.

(Disney) Item of the Day:

Gotta love Wall-E. :)

12.17.2008

Woohoo!

Christmas bonus!! Totally wasn't expecting that since I was told I couldn't have one because bonuses come from profit sharing and I have to be there for a year before I can take part in profit sharing. But I still got a bonus! We can pay off a bill! What fun! :) But now Christmas is going to be easy. And we can afford a few more souvenirs at Disneyland!

And here is my step-dad's finished Christmas present!


Hope he likes it!

(Disney) Item of the Day




Limited Edition Giclee Print - "Winter Walk" - Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, and Tigger in the background

12.14.2008

Featured, Family Party, and Frustrating Christmas Presents

The semi-alliteration in the title of the entry was not planned--what a happy coincidence.

The grand opening of my Etsy shop is going very well. I'm getting a much faster jump off of the starting blocks than I ever thought possible. I just paid my first Etsy bill with plenty to spare (and to buy a few extra presents at Disneyland next week) from my Etsy sales this month!

And I've been getting a lot of internet exposure and word-of-mouth exposure, as well. For instance, yesterday I was featured by Timothy Adam Designs as the Saturday Super Shop! I'm very flattered because he gets a lot of traffic to his blog and there's quite a large amount of competition for the Saturday Super Shop feature! Check it out!

Click Here for the Saturday Super Shop Feature


Tonight we had our monthly family party and it was really fun! But it always is because we're a fun bunch. This Friday is my grandpa's birthday, so we all getting together at Ryan and Ann's house for a birthday party and to watch The Polar Express. It's going to be fun, again!

After the party tonight Jeremy and I went and spent some time at my grandparent's house to have some quality time with the laundry (we don't have our own machines--we must move) and I asked my grandpa for his help figuring out a drawing reproduction of a Charles Scheeler lithograph that I would like to do for Mike (my step-dad) for Christmas. I have been trying to figure out the proportions and the vanishing point and all that for days but had come to the conclusion that there was no vanishing point and it was completely free-handed and proportionately wrong. My grandfather confirmed this fact. I have to get this in the mail by Wednesday at the latest to make it there in time for Christmas and now, thanks to my grandfather's help, I can get it done! Thank goodness.

Now, it's time to get comfy and watch an episode of the Office with my husband before having to wake up to take him to a 7 a.m. final. Ugh.

Because we're going to Disneyland next week, each Item of the Day this week will be Disney related.

(Disney) Item of the Day



Customizable Disney hoodies! Definitely one of the first purchases when we're there. Gotta be warm in Disney style.


UPDATE: The Metropolitan Museum read my blog. My Arts Afire blog. They read the Met Museum Andy Warhol story and then they twittered about it to me. Best. Day. Ever!!

12.12.2008

Met Museum Twitter

I got a direct message from the Met Museum today on Twitter. With my name in it, so I choose to believe it wasn't a canned generic response.

One of the best. moments. of. my. life.

True story:

When my parents took me to NYC for my college graduation (because there are art museums there and I was an art history major) the Met was like heaven for me. Blissful. It didn't even matter that my feet were killing me. I was going to see that entire museum no matter how long it took.

Later that night, around 7:30 p.m., my mother asks me how I liked the pop art exhibit with all the Andy Warhol's because she knows I am an Andy Warhol lover. "What?" I ask. I'd MISSED IT! So I look at my husband all distraught and despite how badly our feet were hurting at the point he said, "Do you want to go back while we still have our passes (note: still have them to this day!)?" Me, sheepishly: "Yes."

So we go and hop on the Subway, but because we're stupid tourists we hop on the wrong one! We get off on the right street, but on the OTHER SIDE of Central Park. I asked a cop where we were and how to get to the Met. He couldn't help me. (Seriously?! You're a cop! You should know the city!) So we ask another passerby and she told us that it was on the other side of the park. It's 8:15 p.m. now. We're at least 5 blocks from Central Park and the museum is on the other side. So we start running and speed walking thinking, "It's just a park, no big deal."

We ran into a lake.

So we run around the lake and finally reach the museum at 8:35 p.m., dash in with our cool little Met button passes and get directions to Andy Warhol. I saw the Andy Warhols that I had missed (now, I had seen others earlier in the day, but I missed this one very important room).

Had to stop at a drug store on the way back to the subway for band-aids because I was in flip flops and now had massive blisters.

Completely worth it.

I would give anything to live in New York City.

Bright Yellow Air Guitars and Jeans

Last night we went to my husband's department Christmas party. It was a White Elephant part and Jeremy and I are the royalty of White Elephant parties. We're simply the best at picking out gifts that will make people laugh and cause a lot of talk.

The first White Elephant party we went to, we re-gifted some hideous candlesticks reminiscent of male genitalia that we received for our wedding. (Let's just say that some really rich people just do not have any taste.) This year, we went to Pier 1 Imports. They have some hilarious clearance items. They've had these same little bright red porcelain dolls (?) for over two years now that are marked down to $3.48 (so you'd think they'd be able to get rid of them after two years). They're shaped like a football with flat ends and they have little tiny looks-like-their-sucking-on-a-lemon faces carved into the front. I'm so wishing I'd taken a picture. Anyway. Once again--party hit. They ended up being stolen at the end because they were "the best white elephant gift" and our friend Sharon has another white elephant party to go to.

I got a pie server and some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Not too shabby. Jeremy got a life-size bright yellow blow up electric guitar. (Get it? Air guitar? Heh.)

I bought new jeans last night and I'm wearing them today to work--my first time wearing jeans to work on casual Friday because I haven't had any nice jeans to wear before last night. I am really in love with these jeans and very glad that I decided yesterday at 3:00 p.m. that I deserved some new jeans for the Christmas party last night and the Christmas gift exchange that we are throwing tomorrow night (note to self: Must bake and decorate cookies tomorrow).

I finished four paintings last night. All Christmas presents, so I cannot post them on here. Tonight, I tackle a drawing for my dad. Everyone gets handmade this year! Jeremy and I will be celebrating our Christmas in January because we're going to be at Disneyland for Christmas and we really don't want to take a tree and presents with us. Plus, shopping after Christmas, you'll get to take advantage of Christmas sales.

Item of the Day:


Harry Potter Mouse

Mice from The House of Mouse on Etsy
I LOVE these little guys. They just make me happy to look at.

Holiday Sale on Art By Jay!

15% off of everything through Monday (December 15th) on Art By Jay!



Professional large-scale, very detailed, gorgeous watercolors for unbeatable prices!!

Plus, a free upgrade to priority shipping to ensure Christmas delivery! Makes a great Christmas present for the art lover in your life!

Little bit about Jay (my grandfather):

Jay has been painting for over 60 years. He is retired and currently living in Sandy, UT. He has been painting since Fourth Grade when he had a teacher who inspired him. He began with watercolors and then progressed to oils and acrylics.

At the present time his paintings are done in mixed media consisting of watercolors and other water soluble paint. He paints a variety of subjects including landscapes, such as lighthouses, coastal scenes, lakes and streams, fishing boats, mountain and rural farm scenes, castles, etc.

At retirement he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and his painting has been a form of therapy. Because he is limited in the ability to physically participate in activities formerly enjoyed, his painting has filled a void and brought may hours of fulfillment and an increase in artistic ability.

So go and take advantage of this sale since sales are rare!

http://artbyjay.etsy.com


Later today: My great new pants. :) And DISNEYLAND!!

12.10.2008

I was put into a treasury!

On Etsy there are things called "treasuries" and they are all curated by the members of Etsy. I've made a few treasuries (and one made it to the front page!). It basically consists of your favorite items, and sometimes goes by a theme. My front page treasury was all cranberry and gray. It was pretty gorgeous if I do say so myself. Anyway. I was put into an Art Gallery treasury today! Go click so it can make it to the front page!

Click Here for the Treasury

I realized today why I don't go to the gym directly after work. I have no energy right after work. I have to come home and relax and unwind, paint a couple of paintings, take a nap maybe. I went for as long as I usually go, but burned 300 calories less according to my Nike+iPod. So I'm going back to my "Gym at 9:30" plan.

Item of the Night


Mixed media (watercolor and acrylic) painting by my grandfather. You can buy it here, at Art By Jay. He'll be having a Holiday Sale this weekend, starting tomorrow. 15% off of everything through Sunday!

8:20 a.m.: Why I need to be an Artist

I start work promptly at 9:00 a.m. Perhaps I should re-phrase that. My works starts with or without me promptly at 9:00 a.m. I am always here at 9:10 a.m. Never fails. I suppose it could be worse. And no one cares but me. I work through lunch on almost a daily basis, just eating my peanut butter and jelly (grape--yum) at my desk. But. This 9:10 a.m. phenomenon (that word is overkill...) proves a point: I need to not have a day job. I mean, I'm pretty good at rolling out of bed at 8:20, taking my shower, doing my hair and makeup, getting dressed and making lunch all within 20-25 minutes so I'm out the door by 8:45 or 8:50 a.m. But then I have to drop my husband off at school on my way to work--which takes 10 minutes. So, if I'm being honest, that usually puts me already at 9:00 before actually heading towards work after going AWAY from it 10 minutes earlier.

So this is why I need Etsy (and soon to be Art Fire because http://artsafire.artfire.com is the coolest URL ever--I had never heard of Art Fire before deciding on Arts Afire, which makes it even cooler) to work out for me. So that I can be my night owl self. I can stay up until 2 a.m. painting and working and not have to get up until 10 or 10:30 a.m. It would be a much better situation for myself. And I know that most Etsy artists get up really early when they get to finally make a go of it as a full-time operation. But staying up later (giving into my natural Sara) buys me the same amount of time, so it's a completely fair trade off.

My office is freezing today and I did not wear a sweater. Joy.

I'm so taking an early lunch and heading to Barnes and Noble for a hot drink to go with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich because today, today I am not working through my lunch. I'm kind of tired of that.

Countdown to Disneyland: 11 days.
Countdown to pre-Disneyland Vacation: 8 days, or 6 work days.

Item of the Day


Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Yum. Time for lunch!

12.05.2008

Countdown to Disneyland!

We're leaving for Disneyland in TWO WEEKS! For a whole week of fun. We're going over Christmas. Cannot wait. We are Disneyland addicts. We talk about Disneyland on pretty much a daily basis. I would really love some extra spending money while I'm there, so, if you have time and still need to get some Christmas presents for people, why don't you visit my Etsy shop! http://artsafire.etsy.com. Or my grandfather's shop! http://artbyjay.etsy.com. He's brand new as of this week and wouldn't you feel wonderful about yourself if you were his first sale?

I'm currently organizing a big huge promotional plan for our shops. It will take planning and scheduling and diligence. That is the big project this week. And more paintings to replace those that have sold! I bought 75 canvases on Wednesday 1) to replenish used/purchased supplies and paintings, and 2) to paint more so I have more offerings on my shop. I bought mostly small canvases to make big sets out of because those really seem to be the favorites. Which I'm happy about because those are my favorite to make.

Made a new treasury today under my Grandpa's shop, ArtByJay. Check it out! Click Here!

Other than that, nothing else is really new here. Working full time and painting full time and being married and finding time to work out equals about 3 full time jobs right now, so I'm feeling a bit stretched. Hence the need for a very focused plan and a very focused organizational system.

For more on my completely frazzled organizational needs and my dilemma regarding my apartment, check out my art blog: ArtAfire Blog

Item of the Day:




"Room for Me" print by Waterbears on Etsy - I love this!

12.03.2008

I need a plan...

So, this Etsy thing is going better than I thought. I need a better plan and a better organizational system for receipts and orders and supplies and all that stuff. Our apartment is just too small...But that can't really be changed right now so I need to go all Martha Stewart and/or Real Simple on my apartment.

By the way, I have a Twitter account. It's pretty darn cool over there. Twitter me up! http://www.twitter.com/artsafire I promote myself and my grandfather there, and I have friends. Good times.

I told Jeremy that I would write his English paper if he would clean the house. That has not been fun. But the house will be even LESS fun because 1) I have been busy painting and stuff so I haven't been cleaning anything and 2) I've been neglecting it because of our deal. So it's a mess again. But I can just sit back and watch because hey, the paper is 1 page away from being done.

We put up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night. That also left the house in disarray because we really haven't finished all the decorating yet so it's all still out. But our tree is AMAZING! We got a $50 Pier 1 Imports gift card from our bank just in time for the after Christmas sale. We got $350 worth of ornaments for $60. Which means our tree is gorgeous. I will post pictures of it soon.

I have new listings up in the store! Go check them out:

http://artsafire.etsy.com


And check out my grandfather's incredibly gorgeous watercolors while you're there!

http://artbyjay.etsy.com


Item of the Day:




The painting my grandfather gave me for my wedding. He liked it so much that he painted another and now it's for sale! Click Here!

12.01.2008

First sales!!

I made a small sale yesterday and then I woke up to two big sales! We are so going out to dinner tonight.

And I was put into two treasuries overnight! Two! I'm so jazzed about this Etsy thing right now!

New blog layout is coming soon because I've decided I hate this one and it makes my eyes bleed.

I opened my grandfather's store today: http://artbyjay.etsy.com Go check it out, give it some love, and buy one of the best quality watercolors you will ever buy!

You can see a sampling of my grandfather's work up above under my Etsy Shop Mini, where you can see my work! Just click on one and it'll take you right to it!

Item of the Day:




Currently my favorite painting that my grandpa has done--that house has some serious stories to tell. I'm very tempted to buy it up for myself. But, if you want to beat me to that, you can buy it HERE - Art By Jay.