I tried so hard to update this blog every month. And I did for quite awhile. But how did it become October when the last time I wrote, it was June???
I think that I must have been busy. But that's ok....we can't do everything, right?
Do you make lists? I make lists...constantly.....on many little pieces of paper.....I think that I drive my husband crazy with all these notes everywhere. Good thing that he's just as bad!!!! I spent many years as Christian Education Director/Program & Volunteer Co-ordinator at St Andrew's in Hespeler. I love organizing, and planning and arranging. Plan a dinner for 200 people! I've got a list! Plan a weekend away for a youth group! I've got a list! Also during that time, my mom and I had a business for a few years in the wedding business...before it was even popular, we helped with planning weddings and decorating the reception area and lots more. Lists, lists and more lists!!!!
And I'm STILL MAKING LISTS!!! (and hauling things I might add!)
It's been a very busy summer with 2 weekly markets, and a couple of other shows added on some Saturdays. But now the rush begins. I'm just going to give you a quick run-down of my list for Oct-Nov-Dec shows. Please check the 'Upcoming Events' in the About section for more details. I'll also be posting information about each show the week before on my Facebook Page.
Here we go:
OCTOBER: already done
October 15 - Artisans at First United Church, Waterloo
October 22 - Knox Guelph Fall Festival
And then DECEMBER:
Follow me on Facebook for twice weekly postings highlighting new work in the next several weeks.
Sign up for my periodic email newsletter to get updates on new work, coming events and special offers even!
Check my website regularly for new work being posted for sale.....new originals, prints and cards are there now. Coming shortly: Christmas Gift Tags, Stickers & more!
If you're in the local Guelph/Cambridge/KW area, I'd love to see you. Please drop in to one of these shows and say hi! It's also a great chance to see my work in person....which is always more interesting than online.
Make a list! See you there!
Where does the time go?
I really try to post here at the beginning of every month. Apparently I missed May....and I'm almost missing June! I think that I know what happened though!
If you take a look at the 'UPCOMING EVENTS' page (click on "ABOUT" tab) here on my website you will see the exciting news that there ARE events! And I have been very busy getting ready.
One of my main goals has been to 'downsize' my display. It's very hard to do, but I'm trying to manage on my own, and let my husband stay home. Hauling everything especially for summer events is very heavy work with the metal 6x2 grids that I have used. They've been great, but I have to change. You can see one of them in the photo above left. But I found some new lightweight wire grids that are much smaller and can be clipped together into short triangles or higher triangles. The same hooks work on them and I can set it up easily by joining them with cable ties. If I don't need to take a tent (if I'm SURE there won't be any rain) then it's even better! I just have to not display as many prints as I have before. It's hard to choose what to display, because there's only about 5 seconds available for a customer's eye to quickly scan the display and decide to either move along or stop and take a better look. What will attract that shopper's eye.....that is the question.
You can see in the photo above that we've even figured out to have it work in a different way with the tent! Dennis came up with the idea to use 1x2's along the tent edges, and then those new lightweight grids can just be attached with a couple of binder clips!! Easy peasy.
You can see how nice the display looks (photo on the left)......I'm happy with it even though it's not quite as full of prints to see as in the older version (photo on the right). But it's more adaptable, lightweight, easy to fit into the car. As I look at these photos together, I think that I may try to hang a piece of black fabric behind it. Ah yes...a work in progress I think.......I hope that you'll be able to drop in and say hi sometime this summer! Keep checking the "upcoming events" page for updates!
Some new things......
I'm excited to let you know about a few new things. I mentioned last month about working on Logo and Branding. Here are some of my new Logos and Marks:
The next big thing is that I have decided to start doing my own Print Reproductions. I have been very fortunate to have been able to have my prints made by Jan Pisarczyk from Pirak Studios in Kitchener. He's also the photographer for all the artwork that is used in my prints. Selling prints and cards is actually a big part of my business, and I decided that the time had come to invest in a good printer that is for Fine Art reproduction. I am now to make my own prints on my new Epson Surecolour P900 printer. It uses Archival Pigment Inks, and I will be using either Hot Press Bright or Cold Press Bright fine art paper. It's the same as I have been selling these past several years. I appreciate the great service that I have had from Jan, and I'm looking forward to having him still do the great photography work! Here's a riveting video of it. (ha ha...actually not so riveting....it's a printer...we've all seen a printer work ;) )
Along with that change, I am also going to be offering different options in prints. Currently, I sell prints in a mat ready for your 11x14 or 16x20 frame. I will continue to do that, but mostly in local shows, although you can still order on my website or Etsy shop. But I am also going to be selling Quick Prints - no mat...just the print. They will be in standard sizes for you to put into a photo frame or a frame with a mat, or buy your own mat. I will do IMAGE SIZES of 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, and 16x20. It probably sounds confusing because up to now I never mentioned image size...just the size of the mat - that way you knew what size of frame to buy. By changing to these standard sizes, it will give you more options and price points. Many of the prints are already up on my Etsy shop....note these prices INCLUDE free shipping. For the matted prints, shipping charges will be added on. At local shows in person, I may not have very many Quick Prints in stock, but I can easily have it to you in 1-2 days. They will be priced less than on Etsy, because there won't be any shipping involved. Details....details...details.....still some things to finalize ;)
I have almost 150 different prints available.....it's just become too large to keep so many different sizes of each in stock. 'Print on demand' is going to be the way to go!
And finally, I was able to get some paintings done....originals and prints are now for sale on my online store on the website and my Etsy shop. Hopefully, once I get all the computer work done, I'll get right back to painting more. And it looks like we'll probably (weather permitting) be having a Mothers Day weekend PopUp Sale! Stay tuned for more info!
Well that was a fast month!
I know that February only has 28 days....but really......actually, every month is fast it seems. And that's no different now than BC (before COVID).
So my good news is that I did get busy in February....with painting! After not painting since early December, I finally got to work mid-February and I have completed 5 new paintings so far.....but I can't share quite yet! I had a couple of commissions to get to work on, and I wanted to do some other ones first.
The other thing that has kept me busy is working on some background work...administrative tasks....working on a logo and some branding. I've just about got it ready to release. It will just make everything cohesive...signage, business cards, price cards, mailings, packaging, clothing/aprons......just fun stuff.
And now we're in March! Great news! I'm starting to hear about some summer markets and shows.....hopefully things will be able to open enough for us this summer to enjoy those activities! Time will tell.
But now....I've got to get back painting! Watch for the new paintings soon!
May I send you an email?
One of the things that I've been pondering this last little while is how do I connect with you. So far, it's really only through Facebook and Instagram. But we know know that they both actually only let you see very few posts of people that you follow.
My Facebook and Instagram are "Business Pages". You have to 'like' or 'follow' when you want to see posts that I make. It's not like 'friends' on the personal FB page. I can't 'invite' someone to 'like' my page.....
It bothers me that FB doesn't always show me ALL the posts of people/businesses that I follow. I follow them because I want to know what they're doing. I want to see every post. But we know now that scenario does not happen. I have almost 600 'followers' on FB and I know that they do not all see every post.
So, the way for me to make sure that you...who has chosen to 'follow' me....receives all the news about new work, what I'm doing, where I'll be etc, is to ask if you want to be on my Email List. (....and that's why so many Business Pages/small businesses/artists/makers etc are doing that) I can control the Email list. You tell me that you want to receive notice (by giving permission for me to email you) and then I send periodic updates to you. You will receive every one of them. If you decide that you don't want them anymore.....you just 'unsubscribe'
It's very easy to do, so I would like to invite you to Subscribe to my Email list.
You can do it right here by filling out this contact form below
You can do it by filling out the Pop Up that appears once you start to scroll down on my website homepage.
You can send me a message through FB or IG that you would like to be on my mailing.
I promise that I won't send out very many emails....just enough to keep you updated. I want you to be able to enjoy my artwork either online or in your home or at a show!
Thanks for your support!
I don't make New Year's resolutions. I plan and project what I'm doing and work at my goals all the time so I don't see any reason to ......
But it's sometimes fun to look back at what I hoped that I would do...and see how that went.
I was wrong.
I didn't need to think about whether or not I would start teaching classes again.....because it wasn't the right time....and still isn't, so I don't have to worry about that for now.
I didn't need to decide if I was going to do some online classes....because I didn't have enough time to do that!
I didn't need to work out a new display idea for shows.....because there weren't any shows.
But you know what I did? I worked. ALL YEAR. I can't believe how busy this year has been....many many commissions (thank you!), online work, communicating with customers, trying to keep up to date on social media, took some on-line watercolours & acrylic workshops, took an in-person acrylic class in Chatsworth, having new prints made, deciding on & ordering new cards in May and October, setting up Print on Demand section in my online store, holding 2 or 3 'off the porch' sales, 2 pop up multi-vendor sales, Christmas Open House, took part in several 'online' markets, operated the online store on my website and Etsy shop...which both were busy almost all year (I think there was 1 month that was quiet)....and still trying to find time to paint new paintings! I did get some done, although not as many as I'd hoped...but I was painting constantly.
So I would say that it's been a very good year. I've met so many really nice people and been able to share my art with so many new people.
How can you ask for more!
Happy New Year and all the best for 2022! ..... Please, be better than 20 and 21!
What happened to Nov & Dec?
Well, there's a lot that's new!
I recently started adding Print On Demand (POD) items to my website!
These are items printed by a third party (in Canada or US) and they ship the item directly to you. Unfortunately, some of the items do take 2-3 weeks to arrive. It's a bit of the Canada-US postal delay situation (which is always questionable, but crazy in Nov/Dec) If you are considering ordering anything, please do so as soon as you can. Cut off times will be Dec 4 for many items.
It's exciting to see my work on so many different products.
Here are a few of them:
Plus...laptop covers, fanny packs, bath mats......
I've only been able to post a few things in my online store (GIFTS & MORE).....but most items are available in any product. Have a look at my art (in the Prints...or Cards...or Originals section) and then contact me if you see one that you would like. I will then do computer work/mock up for it and put it on the website for sale.
At this time, only Canadian customers can order directly from the website. But all you would have to do is contact me with the items that you want, I would calculate the shipping and give you the total, sending you an invoice from Square, my payment processor, where you will make your credit card payment at the secure link. It's quite easy!
Have a look...see if something catches your eye. Maybe you can have mug...or puzzle and enjoy Debbie Ellis Watercolour in a different way!
I went 'art' shopping.....
Well, actually I didn't GO shopping....so much as SHOPPING came to me!
A couple of weeks ago there was a very determined knock on the front door. (I honestly don't usually answer the door...I will check out the window to see if I know who it is.....I know, crazy old lady)
Imagine my surprise when I saw 3 young girls, probably about 6-7 yrs old. Each one was holding a piece of paper. It was neighbourhood girls, although I don't really know them, I've seen them playing. The bravest of the 3 said "We're going around the neighbourhood and selling our art. Do you want to buy one of our paintings? .....But it's free! It doesn't cost anything."
I replied, "wow, that's really neat! Do you know what? I'm an artist too!" Well, the look on their faces was so funny. They were shocked. Then they all started to chatter "you're an artist? you paint? really? She's an artist......whisper, whisper"
So I thought I'd have some more fun with them and said "do you want to see some of my work?" Well they sure did. I sent them over to the garage door and said, I'll be over there in a minute. I went and got a few of my prints and took them out to show them. The look on their faces again was priceless. They were shocked...again! "wow, how do you do that? you painted that? that's so good!" etc etc.
But back to business...the reason for their visit. I had to pick one to 'buy'. They each held out their paintings and I asked them to tell me about them. I had to make a decision. I realized after, that I did wrong. I didn't want to pick just one...and maybe I shouldn't have. I chose Lily's painting and I explained why....I liked the fall colours in it
What fun! Good for those girls that they're enjoying their artwork so much that they got the idea to 'sell' some art to the neighbours! I love it!
Vacations......sigh ....It seems like a long time since we've been on a vacation. And I don't see that changing for us in the near future. Personally, I'm speaking.....I know lots of people have been able to take vacations this summer..finally.
I recently discovered some photos that I had from a wonderful holiday in near Boothbay Harbour in Maine way back in the 80's. It's a lot like Georgian Bay there - the rock formations. I had painted a picture from there several years ago, but I was happy to discover a few more photos. So I decided to paint them.
That got me to thinking about how nice it is to be able to paint my vacation memories. I've always taken a lot of photos when I travelled. And then I got in to the scrapbooking craze. But those albums take up way too much room...and I got too busy. But I kept stock piling the photos, and papers, and stickers, and souvenirs ready to paint my vacations! Several years ago I sold all my scrapbooking materials in a yard sale. I made a few 'memory books' from Blacks or Apple and I enjoy looking at them too. But, the ones that I have painted mean the most to me.
I certainly haven't painted everywhere I've been across Canada, the US, and Caribbean islands. But here are a few.
I just realized how boring vacation photos are....to everyone else! I hope that you didn't feel that way just now.
I actually do paint a lot of 'vacation places' not just for me, but for others as well. I have done some as commissions, but because most of the places that I've been are popular places for so many people, I have found that many people have been able to re-live THEIR vacation memories through my artwork. Take a look on the website online store for more. Some have prints available too!
Enjoy your vacation memories.....wherever they may be!