Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Kaleidoscope of Spring

A Post Christmas Update:
Images are of marbled fabric, cotton and silk

This past holiday season was insane. Mary Elizabeth Arts in the past year has more than doubled sales from last year and we've run a projection and are on track to double them again this year.

My repeat customers are becoming my favorites folks. It brings me so much joy to be able to create pieces for special people I'm getting to know. Their generous feedback is what keeps me going. One of my favorite customers this year was the sister of Etsy's Founder. She purchases some glasses for a friends birthday and some pieces for her mother. I love knowing that the mother of the guy who created Etsy uses my work. That's just awesome!

We are on the hunt for an artist agent! This is very exciting news as it means that in the near future I'll be signing contracts with larger companies who will be reproducing my designs in factories and selling them in larger department stores. This will allow me to create new designs and pick back up on all my unfinished projects such as my hand-painted lingerie and silk painting.

There are two new babies in the family! My best friend of BlumeBloom just had her first baby, Emma Rose. And my sister-in-law just had her second baby boy, Christopher. Both babies are healthy, beautiful and perfect in every way.

This April I'm very excited to say that there will be a professional photo shoot of my glassware. All my product images I've taken myself and it's time to increase the quality of my listings. We are staging a faux dinner party, although I'm sure in the end the photo shoot will become a decadently staged real party. I'll be working with a few of my gorgeous friends as they sip champagne under twinkly lights this early spring. I am truly excited about this and can't wait to share the images with you. My wedding photographer Annemie of mexapixie will be taking all the shots. She's the gal who photographed my wedding so I already know her work is fabulous.

We've re-painted and re-carpeted the house! Having my studio, my packaging warehouse and inventory supply room in my home makes it easy to find living in total chaos a complete norm. I've grown accustomed to paint stains on, well, everything. And instead of scented candles and charming decorative figurines my house is constantly in a state of disarray. I secretly laugh when customers mention "stopping by my studio for a tour" I can image myself saying, "Welcome! Please just sit directly on the pile of laundry as it's the only clean place in the house." And on the way out the door everyone gets a complimentary lint roller to clean off the cat hair. So Nick, seeing my insanity grow deeper every day, has given me a new home. It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint and new carpet will for the the soul.

I have a few new oil paintings in the works. Canvas paintings are always a treat for me. It's hard to sell original art for walls these days. People tend to prefer spending their money on functional art that they can afford--and I don't blame them! But I'm trying to make it a goal to paint more with oils and canvas, even if it is just a few hours here and there. Right now I'm working on two piece from my honeymoon. A lake and mountain vista from Alaska and a Sea Cliff scene from Maui.

Back when I first started selling my artwork online the focus was on fine art prints of my original paintings. Over the past year or so I stopped making the prints and have been focusing on my glassware, until now! I'm working with Through This Lens, a local Durham photography studio and Roylee is not only making prints of my paintings but he's matting them as well so they are super easy to frame. These prints will be available in my shop by the end of the week!

And even more exciting, is my dear friend Lindi has created a small book with a whole bunch of my paintings. When I first saw it I seriously couldn't believe what an amazing job she did paring paintings. I couldn't have done it any better if I'd spent months laying it out. I was really impressed and remember thinking, it's almost like Lindi is a professional at this. Then I remembered she is. She has her masters in Museum Management and arranging artwork and displays is her specialty. Think coffee table book full of my colorful artwork--professionally arranged. The book isn't for sale just yet, but I hope to have it in print within a month or so. I'll keep you posted as to when it's available.

I'm so happy Spring is almost here. Yesterday I went on my first bike ride since last summer and I'm excited to see more sunny days and blooming trees. Happy Spring Everyone!