Sunday, September 25, 2011

Books, books and more books!

I wasn't planning on attending the SF Friends of the Library Annual Big Book Sale because my mom wasn't able to come this time around, but I decided last minute to go. It's the biggest book sale on the west coast! Any avid book lover would love this place. It's amazing! Books under $4 and today all the books were $1 or less.

I left pretty exhausted as did my brother who went for the first time this year. We did a little damage and I also picked up a bunch of books for my aunt's classroom. She has a mini library since the school library is shut down.

I walked away with 43 books for $43. Not bad. Can just imagine that if I paid full price, it could have cost several hundred dollars.

Until next year!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Etsy Shop Spotlight: The Painted Peep Show

I had the honor of getting to do an interview with Blake of The Painted Peep Show. He's a fellow EtsyGreetings Team member and makes pretty awesome cards. He has a great selection of cards to help you get set for the holidays that are just around the corner. Check out what he had to say!

Tell us a little about yourself, who's the guy behind The Painted Peep Show?

Me. I do everything. At least, it feels that way sometimes. I work in marketing by day, and Illustration by night. Hobbies take up the rest of my time, so there isn't much lounging about, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Get Well Soon

How did you come up with your shop name?

It needed to be something that was attention-getting, and I thought The Painted Peep Show sounded a bit scandalous. The majority of my cards take a voyeuristic approach, but not in a sleazy way. For example, my "Naughty or Nice" holiday cards show children breaking all the cardinal rules of Christmas.

Take us through a typical day for you.

Wake up. Shower. Breakfast. Etsy. Work. Lunch. Etsy. Work. Home. Etsy. Dinner. Wine. Etsy. (and that's just Monday)

Running Dachshunds

You describe your work as "sweet enough to be featured in a children's book, but have a humor dark enough for the older crowd to enjoy." Does a majority of your art have a dark side to it, or is it quite different?

I'd say I'm pretty consistent. I love a narrative, so most of my cards tell a story, or allow the viewer to make up their own. I love children's books and Halloween, so I blend those together and pepper with my tongue-in-cheek (aka, dry) humor. Occasionally, you'll come across a pretty landscape, or some other sweet imagery. Oh, and dogs!

What inspires and motivates you?

HALLOWEEN! Children's books. Folktales. Dogs. Campy movies and t.v.

Trick or Treat Boys

How did you come across Etsy? What motivated you to sell your cards online?

When the economy crumbled a couple of years ago, I was laid off from my job (which I hated) and my sister suggested I look into Etsy. It kept me in a schedule and motivated me while I was looking for full-time work.

Do you have any favorite Etsy shops?

Of course! But, they change on a daily basis. I love seeing what my peers are doing in the Etsy Greetings Team, as well as other Savannah College of Art & Design alumni (Scad on Etsy team).

What have you learned about yourself since you started selling on Etsy?

Like they say, you are your own worst critic! I had to ditch the self-doubt, get out of my comfort zone, and pursue my goals.

What's your creative space look like? Do you have a designated room to do your work or are you like me and work off the dining room table?

I live in a little Brooklyn apartment parallel to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (it's nicer than it sounds...I swear). I work from my dining room table (like you) and count my blessings that I'm not stuck in traffic on the other side of the glass!

A Christmas Story - Ralphie

Where else can we find you and your work?

Every year I do the artwork for Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue (this year's theme is Goldens in Wonderland, based on Alice...) and that's coming up in October. It's possible that my holiday cards MIGHT be featured in an HGTV Christmas show this winter. And, ShopSCAD in Savannah, GA has just started carrying my cards. Most of all, I hope to work on a children's book soon!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Eye Candy

Now, I wish I could take credit for this amazing cookie recipe, but I can't. They sure were good. You can find the recipe (original) here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

You've got mail!

The EtsyGreetings Team are a group of folks who make awesome greeting cards. One of our members, Angie of Bear River Photo Greetings came up with this great idea of "52 Weeks of Mail". The concept is to reconnect with people by sending at least 1 card, note or letter to someone per week for 52 weeks. It can be a friend, family member, or anyone you feel like dropping a note to.

Considering how much communication is done electronically, I have to say it's rare that I get anything personal in the mail. The only person who was good about sending cards was my grandma. She even sent a Christmas card in the middle of the summer and crossed out the Christmas greeting and personalized it. It made me laugh. I will miss getting those in the mail from her.

So mark your calendar for October 9th! It's not too hard. Even if you can't do it for a full 52 weeks, maybe start small and just send a note out to someone you haven't talked to in a while. Find a pen and piece of paper and start writing. Or better yet, check out the EtsyGreetings Team Blog to shop for some new greeting cards. For updates, check out 52 Weeks of Mail on Facebook to stay in the loop!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New stuff and a buttery tortilla

Well 2 pieces of big news!

1) I have some new stuff I need to get listed. I have some magnets completed and some cards I made from my discovered stash of photos. I'm picking up new images this weekend so I'm super excited about seeing how they came out. Printed from old school negatives, remember those? I have some other magnets drying, but I seem to have bad luck with my photos and the big pieces of glass. I can't figure out why, something with the glue I think. We'll hopefully they'll look ok.

2) A tortilla update. I tried this past weekend on the tortilla assignment and they came out edible. Pretty good for the second time ever making them on my own. I made about 15 from one batch. I told my brother (who I live with) that there were some tortillas to eat if he wanted some and they were gone in a matter of 2 days. I came home to eat one and said "Are they all gone??" Ha, my brother said "Yeah." Granted I ate like 4-5 cuz I was hungry as I was making them, but I'm also not surprised he ate the rest. I'm glad though I didn't eat them all by myself.

I have a feeling I needed to add more water to the mix because they're not as fluffy as the ones my grandma used to make. When they cooled down they got a bit hard. I'd microwave it to soften it up, but then it got stiff again. Oh well! Maybe I'll try again this weekend. It just takes practice. I think I got one perfectly round, otherwise they were all shaped funny. No matter what shape they were, I couldn't help but slather a bit of butter on it. Mmmmmm!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Finding a hidden treasure

I found a box of old pictures I had printed probably done a few years ago when I first tried making greeting cards with my photos. If that wasn't cool enough, but I found the negatives! Negatives of photos that I can no longer take because the places no longer exist. The "Sky" mural that used to be next to SFMOMA I'm making into a magnet. I'm hoping I can ask the photo lab where I get my images printed can fiddle with the negative to get to looking better. But for now, this single print I'll use to make a magnet.

I'm hoping to get some magnets finished this weekend along with a couple other photo greeting cards. I'm slowly getting back to the groove.

Other plans today will involve making some chili beans (grandma style) and homemade flour tortillas. Probably a year or more ago my grandma had shown me how to make flour tortillas. I made them once on my own and they came out pretty good, but not as airy and fluffy as hers. But at least they were edible! Really, not bad for a first try. So today I'm going to try them again. I hate that I didn't write down her instructions so I figured I'll try the Rick Bayless version which is the same as my grandma's except without baking powder. Let's home I make my grandma proud!

How are you spending your day? Do you have any cool family recipes that you love making?