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Monday, December 26, 2011

Problem solving what sells and what doesn't (at the moment)

Well, I have been doing a bit of problem solving. When I was at the Corvallis Fall Festival, one of our guild members went around and noted that none of the fine arts exhibitors were selling original artworks/paintings. Those who were selling stocked smaller, less expensive items in the $5 to $40 range.

The three other members I was exhibiting with did ok. We pretty much covered our entry costs mostly with cards and prints, although one member did sell more than us with her journals. The Festival wasn't one of those wow moments where you thought, yes, this is good, I am motivated to do more.

So, if original artworks aren't flying off the shelf so to speak, how might I present my artwork so that it does. A friend and I started brainstorming, from the list I constructed I have made a number of coffee coasters, mod podging my artwork onto tiles. Now that is all good. I figure that I can make about 30 in a day from start to final coat. That would be one long day with many breaks in between. The final look is great and would be a smaller and less expensive offering at the next art festival.

The whole process involves an undercoat of mod podge to apply the picture, then two more coats on top of that, followed by 3 coats of  polyeurathane, then another 3 coats of heat resistant coatings. The problem that I have found is, that they still mark. We left the coasters to dry for a good 48 hours before using. They were certainly dry to the touch and felt fine, they certainly looked great. Then when my husband put a hot cup on the tile, it marked. I was certainly disappointed in the coffee coaster, and so it is back to the drawing board and the search for a final coating that will save the day and the tiles!

The idea of entering festivals while also selling art, is to spread the word and become known. Handing out business cards with your etsy or other websites you sell on, is an important part of it all. That allows prospective customers to make a purchase at their leisure, over the internet from the comfort of their own home. I have made a committment to enter 4 festivals in the forthcoming year, getting out there and being visible is an exciting prospect.

Happy new year, have a fun safe time with your family.
Desray

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bend, Oregon, USA

We spent a night in Bend, Oregon during the nine days the children had off for thanks giving. The drive over was beautiful. It made me smile and I thought of my young nephew Cody, who saw snow for the first time as a five year old. He would have delighted in the scene. The fresh snow looked like icing sugar had been sprinkled over all the trees landing in soft clumps. Reminiscent of a christmas card from my childhood.

Bend has a lot of outdoor sports on offer. It was voted top mountain biking destination in the USA, there is plenty of skiing, fishing and rock hounding areas to be found, plus great walks to go on. Brent and the children walked up Pilot Butte and were rewarded with great views. Around the mountain in summer there are beautiful lakes and streams, with wonderful camping. So for our family there are many attractions. Bend is also handy to an airport for Brent, and it is a city so has all the city shops on offer as well. As for the weather, it is high desert, so drier and a little colder in winter and hotter in summer with plenty of sunshine either way.

We just feel it would be a good place to live, so had a look around at about 15 houses that were for sale in the Northwest and Southwest. Out of those we narrowed it down to three houses of which only one was still available. It was a duplex and we hadn't been able to have a good look from the road. Brent was not interested in it once we got inside. One side was bleak, the other better and brighter, the entire thing needed work. Although he is incredibly talented, it wasn't something that Brent wanted to dedicate himself to. So in the end, none of the houses we looked at were of much use.
The realestate agent put us on her automated list so that we would get updates as they came to hand. On Monday night a new house came up and we were alerted. It was a short sale, so the owners were looking for offers to purchase their house and would take one to the bank or as in this case the banks (being two of them) to see if they would accept the highest offer they had come up with.

Brent went over Tuesday morning and put in an offer by Tuesday afternoon before coming home. The house is a 3 bed 2 bath, on a small lot. It is in good condition, you would be able to live in it without doing anything. It is on a good street and would rent easily enough. The price is right for us. So as of this afternoon we were the only ones who had put in an offer, the listing agent is putting offers to the owners tomorrow and we should know by 1.30pm if they are interested etc. Exciting!
I trust the sun is shining in your slice of paradise!
Desray
Mist embraced tree, is an original 12 inch by 6 inch
original painting by Desray. I loved the way themist
swirled around and enveloped the tree while the pasture
in the foreground stood bright and uncovered in contrast.
See more of my work at desray.etsy.com

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The things children remember us saying!

Isn't it funny what children remember? The other night my daughter was dragging the chain. It was past her bedtime and she was supposed to be in her pj's, with teeth brushed and in bed. What I heard was my daughter singing at the top of the stairs, what I saw was her dancing while watching her shadow on the wall. What I said was "I do not want to see you dancing or hear you singing. In fact I do not want to see you unless you are in bed."

The next morning I go in and give her a kiss, she pushes me away and says, "why are you here, you don't want to see me." I assured her I did want to see her, that is what mums love, now lets get up and cracking. "BUT last night you said you didn't want to see me!" "Actually what I said was I didn't want to see your cute self dancing and singing at the top of the stairs when it is bed time." That brought a grin to her face. "Do you know that I come in and kiss you each night whether you are awake or asleep?" "Really?" "Really." With that she was up, happy and off to school.

I later thought, isn't it funny what part of a sentence children remember. A wise friend once told me that we are used to being raised with the negativeas in "don't fall off the chair", "you'll get hurt doing that", and that is how we express things. What I might say next time is …. I want to see you in bed, now! Short and too the point, unmistakeable really. Well I suppose it all depends what one hears and remembers.
 
Here is one of my latest paintings. Enjoy your day and your family.
Desray

Trio, a set of three 4 x 4 inch painted canvases mounted on
repurposed wood that is full of character.
See more of my artwork at desray.etsy.com

 

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