Friday, September 21, 2012

Made a Sale, Opened a Shop and Shook Things UP

If you follow this blog, you know that I've been wanting to start carving again for a while. In fact, I didn't realize how long until I finally put some new items in my S. Elkins-Folk Art Etsy store and saw that it had been nearly two years since I put the first and last two pieces on there for sale. They were two Santas and they sold almost instantly. I hope I have as much luck with the pieces on there now, which are older pieces that I dug out of storage, and the new pieces to come. I have been making plans and progress with my new studio space and workshop but all of the other stuff going on in my life and the work we had to do on the house put all of that on the back burner. I realized today that I've missed the Halloween train. There's no way that I can get any new witches done before the holiday and that makes me sad because I love creating wickedly funny witches, sharp toothed cats, spooky ghosts and leering Jack-o-lanterns. The good news is, Christmas is just around the corner and soon I'll be putting up lots of new jolly St Nicks, heavenly angels, and scores of whimsical animals. And of course, there will be horses, lots and lots of horses.

Two other pieces of good news especially considering how much I've been doubting myself lately and wondering if it is wise to put time, work and money into yet another venture that might and might not pay in this sickly economy. Let's face it, on paper, the odds are against me but considering my equally sickly bank account, I have to do something. I've been looking into getting a job in retail even though I've never worked in that area. I wanted though to find a security I've never had. As I told someone once who asked me if I could make a living as an artists, "Sometimes I can and sometimes I can't." It was always feast or famine but I have to admit that I did quite well up until that last year when whether it was poor decisions to choose the shows to do that I did or the wrong markets, I did not do good at all and that pushed me into quitting entirely. So, I've been both eager and scared to jump into this medium again even though it was very good to me for way more years than it wasn't.

So, that was my mindset this week when I received a surprising text from an old customer. She and her mother had purchased several of my pieces years ago. I remember them well, especially her mom. She asked if I was still carving and I told her that coincidentally, I was seriously considering starting again after a seven year hiatus. She said that her mom's birthday was next week and was there any possibility at all that I had something she could buy for her. I told her that I did have a few older pieces that were packed away. I thought at the time there were only four but it turned out that there was actually eleven pieces. I spent the better part of the day yesterday going through all of the containers that I'd so badly labeled, ha, several years ago. Of course, they weren't all in the crates they were supposed to be in but eventually I located them all. I didn't locate the birds that went with the Bird Angel so she is staying with me. I'm also not selling my Jug Seller. She's currently sitting on my bedside table and looking at home there. I'll take photos later. I fell in love with the scaredy cat when I pulled him out and I priced him accordingly. I put such a high price tag on him that I know whom ever is willing to pay it will love him as much as I do and give him a good home. Chances are, he's staying with me. I took photos of all of the pieces and put together detailed descriptions and then emailed all of the info to the prospective buyer. She immediately bought the Harvest Maiden! I'll be shipping her next week. I took all of the other photos and posted them on Etsy. There have been no more sales but certainly lots of interest. In fact, Scaredy Cat was featured in an Etsy treasury on his very first day! I'm hoping that today's events and the response of my friends to the new, "old" work are a good omen or a sign from God that I'm on the right path. Time will tell.

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