Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tarot Card Art: The Lovers & The Three of Swords

An art post.. surprise! I actually haven’t worked on the tarot series for a while but these were the last two that were completed that I realized that I didn’t get a chance to fully write about them yet.

I was super, super excited to work on The Lovers tarot. I knew immediately that I needed a special pair of animals that had a really strong bond and I really wanted to lean towards animals that mate for life. Though seahorses don’t necessarily mate for life, I could so easily imagine how this artwork would look with a pair of seahorses. I tried to create a card that, though using a lot of cool colours, still had this sense of warmth, love and intimacy. I had a lot of fun with this one. (And seahorses are so gosh darn cute!)

When I first wanted to create my own tarot card deck, I wanted to choose the cards at random to change things up a little. So I was pretty excited when I drew the Three of Swords. After so many light hearted cards, this one was about betrayal and pain.. a complete opposite from all the joy that went into the Lovers card.

The typical Three of Swords tarot has an illustration of a heart with three swords basically impaling it. There are clouds and it’s dreary and raining. It’s not a very pleasant card. To take that and to turn it, I remembered an animal that’s come up in an illustration I’ve done before.. the bleeding heart dove. How perfect was this animal for this card! I didn’t want to make this card too incredibly gory and this bird was a perfect fit. I made the swords more like smaller daggers and hoped to make this tarot feel more cold and stark than past cards.

Project 365: Days 33-36: Pokemon, Dessert, Movies, Arkham Horror.. Good Times.

Day 33 - Pikachu?!

Pikachu! Chugging along with Pokemon on my DS, my boyfriend visited my game in the form of Pikachu. I still need to get a Pikachu too.. but I don’t think I quite have the patience to catch them all. Maybe back when there was only 150 of them.

Day 34 - Brownie @ Big Daddy's Oyster Bar

Probably my favourite meal during Winterlicious. We tried Big Daddy’s for lunch and portions were surprisingly very generous, especially for a prix fixe menu at lunchtime! This brownie took it over the top for me.. it was probably the chewiest, richest brownie I’ve ever had. (Oops.. now I’m salivating just thinking about it)

Day 35 - Love & Other Drugs (& Other Movies & Shows)

 

We watched a lot of movies during my boyfriend’s visit: Love & Other Drugs (fun movie, and Anne Hathaway’s boobs make several appearances for those that may be interested), The Adventures of Tintin (I liked Tintin growing up. This was a fun movie as well, but long.. that and these motion capture CG flicks have yet to really sit well with me. Note: the Uncanny Valley), CJ7 (Alien puppy thing! I love Stephen Chow but man, weirdest movie to date.) and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (super entertaining flick; I love Neil Patrick Harris). Then of course there was all the shows we watched too. It was a great relaxing trip (:

Day 36 - Arkham Horror FTW

Neither my boyfriend nor I had heard of Arkham Horror when he saw it in a game store one day. It looked really awesome though so he picked it up, and I’m really glad that he did! We spent seeveral hours going through that rule book.. it was one hefty book. It took a bit of learning, and even more trial and error but this was a really fantastic board game to play and I’d recommend it to anyone. Essentially you and the other players must team up to save Arkham.. and you know, also the world. Various gates continue to openg up around Arkham, gates that release monsters that run amok in the city. So you and your team mates must defeat the monsters and close the gates before the Ancient One is released. Easy peasy, right? It can seem a bit overwhelming to learn at first (especially for someone like me, who has not really played these kinds of games before) but it quickly became pretty addicting (okay, really addicting) and how satisfying is it to take down a zombie or fire vampire? Or to you know.. save the world? Very.

Project 365: Day 31 and 32: Invader Zim and root beer

Day 31 - Invader Zim

Ahhh! Day 31 included an Invader Zim marathon. I’ve only watched maybe a small handful of episodes in the past so it was fun to see more of them. I have a soft spot for GIR and even have a squishy backpack of him. (Yes, I am secretly 6 years old..)

Day 32 - Root beer @ Prohibition Gastrohouse

 

 

 

Root beer! My boyfriend had this delicious root beer with his meal when we went to Prohibition Gastrohouse for dinner. They were participating in Toronto’s Winterlicious event, which includes delicious, affordable prix fixe menus. The meal was great; I had tasty pâté, a melt-in-your-mouth lamb shank, and a fluffy chocolate mousse. Yum!

100 Etsy sales! What the heck did I learn..

This was a post I wrote recently on the Etsy forums that I thought I’d share for any sellers that may be new to Etsy:

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Joanna from rainbowofcrazy says

I started selling since the summer and I’ve spent so much time learning the ropes on this forum. I had my fingers crossed this month that I’d finally make my hundredth sale and I finally did it! I’m so excited. I’m always excited with every single sale, but this, next to my very first sale, is making me do an extra special happy dance!

Honestly, I don’t really think there are any tips I can really give that hasn’t already been shared over and over on the forums.. I still feel like a novice seller. Now I feel like I need to work that much harder to make the next hundred sales.. but now to make them more quickly and efficiently.

But some of the most helpful things I’ve learned so far..

* Don’t give up. Seriously. Keep trying. No one usually finds success after a week or a month or even several months. You NEED to be patient. I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve seen with people asking why they haven’t sold any items.. and they’ve been opened for less than a week. These things can take time.

* Don’t expect to list a few items and expect everyone to flock to you. I am not the greatest at advertising offsite but I do have a facebook page, a twitter account, I’m on deviantart, tumblr, pinterest, etc. Social marketing is not my forte though but they are helpful. I remember one time I listed one of my prints on tumblr and found that someone reblogged it, saying that they just bought it and how happy they were! I was BEAMING that day!

* You need more items. Period. Keep listing new items as often as you can. Have as many listings as you can possibly manage. This is vital. You can’t be seen if you aren’t listing. I don’t tend to renew, but I have tried to list new items every day, and now that I’ve been opened X number of months, I also have a steady stream of items that expire daily. This way if I don’t have any brand new listings, I still have about-to-expire items that I can relist. See what works for you.

* if you’re not listing new items, constantly tweak those old listings. Tweak titles, descriptions, tags. Brush up on your SEO, and if you don’t know what that means, learn as much as you can about it. Take more photographs. Then retake them. Use up all of those 5 photo slots. Take photographs from different angles. From all angles. I’m in the process of redoing photos right now and it can be such a mindless task but it’s important. And please use lots of natural light, turn on that macro button, and don’t use flash unless you really know how to use it well.

* Be polite and prompt with messages and inquiries. Stay professional. If you don’t take your shop and service seriously, no one else will. This also means quick shipment. These things get noticed! Try to be a little personable with your shipments too. Something as small as a little ‘thank you’ note can be greatly appreciated.

* Be as informative as you can in your descriptions. Describe as much as you can about the item you’re trying to sell. How it looks, how it feels, the colours, the size, the weight, how the items are packaged, how they’ll be shipped. Your customers want to know all this and more.

* Get a scale to weigh your packages. You don’t want to come up with shipping charges off the top of your head because you’re more than likely undercharging. Don’t fall into that trap.

* Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t price your items so that you’re making $2 an hour. Your time and your craft is worth much more than that and great customers know this.

* It doesn’t hurt to ask for help. One of the best things I did was to look for critique teams. Fellow Etsians are so helpful and they can catch things that you can work on that you may have never thought of before.

* Always keep trying to learn. If you think you know all there is to know about selling on Etsy, then you are wrong. There is ALWAYS more to learn and do; that’s what makes this site so great.

Lastly.. have fun! If you’re passionate about your craft, it really does show. Have a little fun, relax, breathe and maybe have a cup of tea. It helps.

Poject 365: Day 28-30 – Meds and Lazin

Day 28 - The walk-in clinic

While it was kind of sad when our trip to Niagara was over, I was relieved at the same time because that meant we could finally get home and get some much needed medicine. We went straight to the walk-in clinic the next day to try to get fixed up and got some meds. Ah, more fun things to do as a couple!

The next few days were nice, lazing in days as we rested and tried to get better. Lots of TV and movie watching. I didn’t really expect much in terms of Etsy sales, but I had a few; so it was a nice surprise.

Also during the wine tour, we learned that these things called “wine sticks” exist.. tasty baked goodies that are made with actual grape peels that have been dried and grounded up. This totally blew my mind, and the wine sticks were delicious. I picked up a bag, and only wish I bought more because damn am I craving them now.

 

Day 29 - Still shipping orders

Day 30 - No more wine sticks left! Might have to order some..

 

 

Project 365: Day 24-27 – Niagara Falls Wine Tour

Day 24 - Our hotel room at Niagara (:

 

 

A little while back, I found an awesome deal on one of the Niagara Falls wine tours. I had never been on a wine tour and couldn’t pass up the opportunity; so near the end of January, with my boyfriend visiting, the two of us went on a trip to Niagara Falls.

Day 25 - Our view of the falls

 

 

 

We had been there a few years ago on another little trip together and had a lot of fun; so this was a great second time for us. Though we were not feeling great and got more sick during the trip (figures!), we ended up spending a lot of time inside, lazing around in our hotel. But hey, nothing wrong with a little room service, jacuzzi and the hotel’s pool/sauna, right? (:

Day 26 - Wine tour haul

The wine tour was fantastic, by the way. No surprise that we were the youngest couple there, but everyone was nice and our driver/tour guide was so incredibly entertaining, charming and fun. We visited 4 different wineries as well as a chocolate factory.. and I can’t help it but I have to write about the chocolate factory first, because man, oh man, was that chocolate factory dangerous. I was.. finally.. that greedy fat kid let loose in a candy store. They had free samples. Let me say that again.. FREE. SAMPLES. What would you do if there were dozens of open containers of all kinds of chocolate covered goodies, and you were told that you can try as many different ones as you wanted? Any inclination to eat healthier or in moderation that I had.. FLEW out that chocolatey smelling window! I swear I ate the most chocolate out of ANYONE on that tour. (I guess older couples just aren’t that into chocolate??) The chocolate covered jujubes totally did me over near the end, ohmygosh. I swear I had sugar and chocolate in my veins for days afterwards.

No regrets!!

Oh, and yeah, those wineries. They were lovely too!

The two of us had a lot of fun on the tour, trying different wines and enjoying the experience. Though to be completely honest, I would not have gone on that tour had we paid the full price. It wouldn’t have felt like it was worth it. But if you can find any kind of deal on this sort of tour, you should definitely go for it because we had a lot of fun, and bought a lot of wine (and chocolate) as seen in that pic above.

It was still a great trip down. We spent more than we originally planned (whoops!) but it was worth it (:

And then of course, we come back home to be greeted by our little friend that was still trying to trudge along!

Day 27 - Snowbunny carnage.

Revamping, Plus Project 365: Day 22 and 23 – Snow!

Taking photos.. and retaking photos.. and retaking photos..

We had such a mild winter this year.. and I think it’s over already! But that’s okay; I’m so happy there’s been more sun the past while. I’ve been waiting for great sunny days again to retake some photographs and pretty up the Etsy shop.. something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Taking these photos is probably one of my least favourite things to do sometimes, but today has been great since it’s a sign that winter is going to end!

Day 22 - Snowbunny!





Catching up with Project 365. With my boyfriend visiting last month, we were patiently waiting for a good snow day so we could build a snowman! That particular day was perfect; so we bundled up (or rather, I bundled up and he just threw on a hoodie because he’s like freaking Iceman and the cold has like zero effect on him, sigh) and headed out to the backyard to build an awesome snowman. It went from a lumpy unidentifiable pile of snow to an awesome snowbunny. Some small twigs for whiskers and two button eyes and our snowbunny was super silly and super cute (:

Day 23 - Fluffay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On day 23 we were at the mall and I picked up this amazingly huge and fluffy pair of earmuffs. They’re massive and loud and totally suited my quirkiness. Best purchase ever (:

Project 365: Day 20 and 21 – Noms

 

Day 20 - Tea!

 

I spent a very much needed month with my long distance SO and just got to return to “real life” this week; so I hope to catch up with my Project 365 as well as writing more and creating more art. There’s a lot of little ideas running through my head so I’m ready to get back into it.

 

Day 21 - Wine & Cheese (and Dessert)

 

 

Day 20 and 21 pictures are some food images. Chinese tea for Day 20 (he likes it with a bajillion teaspoons of sugar, I swear..) and Day 21 we had a ‘Wine and Cheese’ get-together so it was a LOT of eating that night! Lots of cheese, lots of wine, food, and plenty of dessert (like this amazingly gooey cake. Mmmm!) After all this eating over the last few weeks, I think I probably need to get back into shape too.. gah!

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