Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mother's Day card with Spring flowers

"Spring Flowers and Mom"
card design for Mom or Mother's Day
© 2011

This is the last card I will make for Mother's Day this year. Out just in time! I've been out putting these in a number of stores and just listed it on-line in my Artfire store. The card is available directly through this link.

I have one more greeting card design to finish and then I will be taking a short break from card designing since there aren't any more major holidays until Halloween. Whew!

I am making something special for my mother.

I do have a lot more cards to list on-line, though, and I'll also keep you informed here. And also coming up are one of a kind folk art pieces-- stay tuned! But for my art-making time, I feel that I can finally get back to subjects that really ignite my creative passions (one is almost finished and has been neglected-- from November of last year!).  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Regretsy hits close to home!

Do you know the feeling when you don't get the joke because it is too close to home? Well, that kind of happened to me yesterday when I went to look at the recent items on Regretsy (which I have visited about 20 times now and always found to be either funny or appalling).

This was the item:

© Vermorlian
you can click on picture to be taken to the listing on

Okay, so this is the kind of attire our band wears (known to play Renaissance Faires and Celtic Festivals). The commentary after the picture was as follows:

you can click on picture to be taken to Regretsy's blog on the item

Ummm, definitely updating their MySpace band page! Please take note!

The listing also has this photoshopped version which very much reminds me of the photoshop artists on the Enchanted Folk social site (where I am a member):

© Vermorlian
you can click on picture to be taken to the listing on

Yup, and the Raven definitely goes with the genre.
And here I am with The Harper and the Minstrel at a Renaissance faire (no, not the same guy as in the pics above):

photo by Jim Lestrange


POSTSCRIPT: I sold a Renaissance album today, so definitely NOT unemployed. So there!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Maiden

Spring Maiden
© 2000

In keeping with my last blog, I have uploaded another greeting card design from the old days, this one from 2000. I created this at the beginning of my greeting card-making days. Previously, my art-making was primarily about handthrown high fired pottery and large oil painting (though in my teaching days I had to teach a potpourri of arts from stained glass design to advertising design and everything inbetween).

In making this card (and the whole "season series"), I was still influenced by how I added drawings and designs to my pottery: I had no models or references and just created the image from my imagination (and remembrance for how things looked), in other words it was a spontaneous painting. I used classroom materials for the painting: drawing paper that wasn't acid-free (seriously yellowed now), markers, inexpensive non-archival student colored pencils, pilot pen, a bit of watercolor and student crayola crayons. The paper was 11 x 17, the typical size I gave students for their assignments. Luckily, I scanned the season ladies before the non-archival qualities of the materials started to degrade.

So, moral of the story is: use the best quality of materials. This particular series will never be anything other than greeting cards.

The card is available through this link through my Artfire on-line shop and through a number of local brick and mortar stores.

Here is a pic of the whole series:

the whole series

MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


Monday, April 25, 2011

card for Mom

© 2006

Now that Easter is over, I'm busy listing and making Mother's Day items.

This is an older design, but it is the first time I am selling it on-line (it has been in brick and mortar stores since 2006). It is a 5" x 7" greeting card on CS2 cover stock with a satin finish on the outside and mat finish on the inside. 

And you can get it directly through my Artfire on-line shop through this link.

MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Congratulations to Kelleyanne of Discord Threads for her NBC debut!

Kellyanne makes a lot of upcycled clothes and her skirt was featured in Kathie Lee and Hoda's show! Read about her experience through this link.

I first noticed Kellleyanne in the Etsy forums. Her avatar was a golden apple. Later she changed it to a duck holding a golden apple. We both moved to Artfire at the same time and when she moved to Artfire, her avatar was again the simple golden apple she had started out on Etsy with (no duck). She may or may not remember me from the forums, but that doesn't matter because I sure recognized her and was pleased to find out about her success (also guts and determination)!

Have a look at Kelleyanne's creations:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's All in the Partner!

"Love Birds Dancing" greeting card
with "It's all in the partner!" written underneath
© 2011

This is part of the exotic bird series I have been working on. Exotic birds were the first thing I thought of when I was looking around for subject matter last week for an anniversary (or wedding) card. I just can't get enough of exotic birds. I enjoy them most of all. This is certainly a very different approach from my tight, detailed Celtic style art or hand-thrown pottery (which I enjoy making too, but it isn't as though I can leap into this kind of art-making without lots of planning and preliminaries).

The original art piece is india ink and colored pencil. It is approximately 13.25" x 18" on 14" x 19" bristol. I am selling the greeting card right away through my Artfire on-line shop through this link and it will be out in that format in some brick and mortar stores in my area soon. I may add prints of this design at some point too.

If you absolutely love the original, you can e-mail me at sales(at t) 

I haven't decided on what to do with any of the originals. Pile them up and then have a gallery exhibit somewhere eventually?

MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


oh yes, and here's a detail of the 2 birds:

Wow! Upsurge in blog followers!

I just logged in today and found that I had gained 5 followers in one day (previously I had 14 followers). Thank you all. Of course, I'm wondering how you all discovered my blog (especially in one day)... will look at what interesting lives you are all leading from your blog posts as time permits!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

new mother's and father's day greeting cards

Heart Flower for Mom
© 2011

Dad, Light of My Life
© 2011

These are my latest creations for Mother's Day and Father's Day (and probably the last for this year). They match (a bit) as I had symmetry in mind when designing them.

I have them for sale in my on-line Artfire shop. The mother's day card is through this link and the father's day card is through this link. I will also have them for sale in a number of brick and mortar stores in my area after the Easter holiday has passed.

MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter gift tags, Bunny in Spring

Bunny in Spring
gift tags
© 2011

I love making gift tag designs, though I'm not entirely thrilled with having to cut them out and ribbon them. I designed these to go with how the tags are cut via the cutter. These are fairly large tags (4.5" x 2.75"). I have them in my Artfire shop through this link and they are also available through some of my brick and mortar stores in my area (find them through this link).

On another note, Kitty Ballistics featured one of my cards on her blog. Have a look at her blog through this link.

MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


Friday, April 15, 2011

more jigsaw puzzles with original drawings

Mermaids and Fishes III
© 2011

This is the third Mermaid and Fishes in the series. To see my first attempts at original drawings on jigsaw puzzles, refer to my last blog through this link.

Here are two others I enjoyed making:

Stars and Doves II
© 2011

Stars and Doves III
© 2011

All of these are for sale in the co-operative gallery I belong to in Cambridge, NY, Valley Artisans Market.

There are also some new teeshirts on display in the store, 3 which are OOAK hand-painted and 10 which are printed with my original designs.

MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Etsy Deluge, the Etsy privacy issue

Etsy Deluge
© 2011
watercolor, ink and a tad of colored pencil
painted in response to Etsy's latest buyer privacy issues
(note: only Etsians will get what this piece is about. But, to enlighten those not privvy to the joke, it has to do with Etsy's front page, which for years focused on owls, cowls, mustaches and certain kinds of rain clouds-- to the point of radically over-doing it, at least to many who sell on the site). 
For the moment, if you want this piece, it is available as an original 11" x 14" watercolor through this link
or as a 5" x 7" print through this link from my Artfire on-line store. Other purchasing opportunities may avail themselves at some point, so check back for the edit on this page.

Anyway, the privacy debacle started out in the Penny Arcade forums where a buyer's name came up in a google search with the artisan dildo she bought on Etsy. Yup, all out there for her grandmother, co-workers and the world to see! It was placed in the google search under her name on the first page of the search, right after her on-line job resumes. Why? Because Etsy changed their privacy policy to make real names of buyers come up in searches. The only way for buyers to change their privacy settings was to log onto the site and change them manually.

Etsy claims to have e-mailed everyone about the change, but the e-mail was buried in a newsletter about how to take great catalog worthy product photography. Also, many buyers only came to the site once to buy or discontinued their e-mail addresses, so many were not notified. I have strong spam filters on my web-mail address (if I didn't, I would get thousands of spam messages a day-- as it is, I get anywhere from 700 to 1,000 now). So, I never got the e-mail either.

From there, Ars Technica took up the story. In the Ars Technica comments section after the article, there was a "battle royal" going on in the forums between Etsy's CEO, Rob Kalin (along with some of his Etsy staffers) and the sellers and buyers of Etsy. What angered sellers and buyers most was that they had been complaining in the Etsy forums about the "opt out" (of having your name shown in searches unless you opted out)-- arguing that it should only be an "opt in" situation. Every forum that was brought up about the situation was immediately closed and some of the sellers were also "muted", i.e. not allowed to post in the forums any longer.

From the Ars Technica article, it went viral. The list was substantial in the end (click on each name to see each site's article on the matter): MSNBC, Washington Post, Consumerist, Huffington Post, Yahoo, BoingBoing, Forbes, Digital Trends, Help Net Security, NY Magazine, NY Convergence, Auctionbytes, The Business Insider, Gizmodo, The Village Voice, The Mary Sue, BuzzFeed, About, Reputation, Salon, Now Public and Geek Sugar.
This was preceeded with lots of other bad press including the rape card fiasco and the Glamour fiasco. Click on these preceeding links if you want to understand what it is about.

I was personally effected by the rape card fiasco. Two women customers, who saw the unflattering story break on CNN, came into a brick and mortar gallery where I was working and wanted me to sign the petition to force Etsy to take the rape cards down from its site. And then they looked at me and asked why I would want to sell on a site like that, not realizing that Etsy is not all about dildos, radical art and Regretsy type items. I do think the outside world mainly regards Etsy as an off-the-wall kind of marketplace filled to its brim primarily with Regretsy items and Keep it Weird items when actually the opposite is true: there are more artists making exceptionally unweird items than weird ones, they just never get much press.

It's not getting much better over at The recent article in Inc Magazine portrays Etsy as a giant flea market and its CEO as crazy:

Inc Magazine, April 2011:
“Today, Kalin is socially awkward, reticent and given to eccentricities which seem downright crazy.”

Kalin speaks in the article too: (Inc Magazine, April 2011):
"I speak to people in the business world and the technology world, but I don't admire them", he says, pointing an 8-inch combat knife at me for emphasis.

There's more, but I won't go further.

I know a lot of sellers are having a difficult time selling, and many blame the latest happenings (if they are allowed to speak out-- you mostly have to look off of the Etsy site to find out how sellers are really taking it all).

Needless to say, I don't really fit in (in terms of what they like to promote). If I made owls, cowls, mustaches and certain kinds of watercolors and Regretsy types of items, I would. But I don't (normally!). I'm trying to figure out what to do about my own shop on Etsy and in the meantime primarily focusing on my Artfire shop and the brick and mortar gallery scene in my area, which is sober in comparison. I'm not recommending or actively advertising Etsy at all to my brick and mortar customers primarily because of the privacy issues. All I need is my brick and mortar customers coming into the store with "Why didn't you tell us that our names would be splashed all over google and that our e-mail boxes would be bombarded by spam!"

I still have a few things listed at Etsy. If you love Etsy, then make sure your privacy settings are the way you want them!

Here is a close-up of the owl's face, complete with mustache:
edited to add: more on this subject through this link.



MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):