Friday, December 14, 2018

Zazzle English Springer Spaniel T-shirts

It’s been an interesting last few months. Every once in a while I get a notice from Zazzle, Etsy, Redbubble and Pixels - that one of my digital art images was sold. The other day someone from Australia bought a child T-shirt of my English springer spaniel on Redbubble. Yesterday I got a notice from Zazzle that I sold TWO T-shirts of my same springer spaniel to someone in Calgary, Canada. This particular custom pet order was one of the first ones that was commissioned about six years ago for someone in Australia. If you told me even ten years ago that I would be once again painting and drawing - never mind selling products to people all over the world - I would not have believed it. But thanks to the iPad my interest in art was reinvigorated. And since I retired almost three years ago it’s a wonderful hobby. So thank you so much for noticing my artwork out of the millions of images out there. I really appreciate it! 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Amazon Merch Black Lab T-shirt

I started up my Amazon Merch Shop a few months ago. It’s called LITs Pooches, Kitties and Other Sweet Faces. It took a bit of doing. You need to first get “accepted,” and then you need to meet the file upload requirements and specifications. I use all of my custom digitalart portraits to populate the shop, but they are created on my IPad. I have to convert the files three different ways and then use my laptop to make all the transactions to the site. I really do not like using a laptop but there are certain things you just can’t do using an iPad. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that some of my images have been noticed. Out of the millions of options out there, it’s a very nice feeling. When you make a sale on Amazon you do not get an email notice like the ones all the other shops send - Zazzle, Redbubble, Pixels, Etsy. So it was fun this week to not only have sold my Bichon Frise T-shirt, but the black lab T-shirt sold the day after that. I’m not sure if posting items on Twitter makes a difference, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. The problem with this time of year is that I just don’t have the time to do all of the daily updating I’d like to do because I’m also painting Christmas custom portraits that are very time consuming. So I am forever grateful to the folks who not only notice, but like an image well enough to purchase it. Thanks so much for browsing my shops. And happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Christmas Gift Wrap & Cards

I used to be the best gift wrapper around. I loved to wrap packages and would spend a lot of time getting them just right. And I would get my Christmas cards all sent out by this time every year. Things have changed! I no longer send out hard copy Christmas cards, and we rarely buy packages to wrap. The grandkids get college fund contributions for all celebrations during the year. I’ve been using my old stockpile of Christmas cards for putting money to give to some of our favorite people - like the gardener, handyman, hairdresser/hair washer and help staff at restaurants we frequent who already know what we want before we order. But I ran out of those. So this year we decided to get a couple of gifts and we picked up some Christmas cards and wrapping paper at the grocery store. It felt like riding a bike as I whipped up the presents - except this time I didn’t get any ribbon. We don’t want to overwhelm too much! My husband really isn’t in to any of this, but he did say whatever we got was very thoughtful. I’m looking forward to being Santa Claus this year. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Redbubble and Amazon Merch Bichon Frise

I’ve been painting custom pet portraits for the last several years. I use my iPad and everything is saved on digital files. I also use the images to populate the products on my Etsy, Redbubble, Pixels, Amazon Merch, and Zazzle Shops. Each site has a variety of options and widespread reach. It seems like the black labs are the most admired. But last week someone liked a sticker of a Bichon Frise in my Redbubble LIDigitalArt Shop. Yesterday someone liked a T-shirt of the same Bichon Frise in my Amazon LITs Pooches, Kitties and Other Sweet Faces Shop. The difference is whenever I make a sale, the site informs me via email that a transaction was made. The only way I know I’ve made a sale on Amazon is to check my stats every day. It’s not like I make a lot of sales - or a lot of money! What I get the greatest pleasure out of all this is the fact that someone noticed a painting I created - out of the millions of choices out there - and liked it enough to want it for themselves or to give as a gift. And the sales come from all over the world. It’s great exposure and a fun hobby. Thanks again for noticing my work. I really appreciate it! 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Amazon Merch T-shirts and Hoodies

I started up an Amazon Merch Shop this year. It’s called LITs Pooches, Kitties and Other Sweet Faces and sells T-shirts and hoodies. I also have other websites to sell products with my images on Pixels, Redbubble, Zazzle, and Etsy. All the digitalart uploads are my custom portraits that I have painted, using my iPad, for customers from all over the world. Last week I got an order for a custom memorial portrait of a pooch. When I sent her the prelim sketch, she suggested that the sketch should be a sellable artwork because she liked it so much. I have thought about it in the past and maybe now I will finally do something about it. It’s a bit tricky getting my iPad files to work on the Amazon platform and I need the time to do it. Lately it feels like there isn’t much of that, even though I am now retired! So I’ve got a few images picked out, and even reversed the image to black backgrounds with white sketches. It’s a lot less time consuming and easier to work with the images I already have rather than creating new ones from scratch. And this time of year gets busy with Christmas orders. I’m not sure how I was able to do all of that and work a real job at the same time before. All I know is it feels like a lot to do, but there’s really no deadline - for the non custom stuff. 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Christmas Decorations on our Morning Walk

Last week was filled with George HW Bush funeral events that included a midnight walk to the Capitol rotunda and watching the procession as it moved away from the Capitol building en route to the National Cathedral. You can’t avoid the activity if you live so close to it. So we are finally getting back to a routine that includes our morning walk to the National Mall. The US Botanic Garden already had a long line waiting to see the trains. We’ve also seen the trains and tree at Union Station, as well as the lovely storefront display on Pennsylvania Avenue. We missed the Capitol Christmas tree lighting last week and hope to check that out soon. The African art museum by the Freer Sackler galleries had a beautiful tree in the windows. But one of my favorite places is the US Botanic Garden Bartholdi fountain area. It’s always so beautifully kept with ever changing seasonal highlights. Around the Bartholdi fountain now are wreaths made of wood, pine cones, berries, and garland and around the perimeter are little hanging baskets filled with seasonal greens. It’s always such a pleasant place to walk, sit, observe and contemplate. And it lasts all year long. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

RAVPower Luster Mini Portable Battery Pack

I’ve always wondered what we would do if we ever ran out of power on our iPhones. I always make sure all the electronics are charged before we go anywhere. And if you are in the car we have the USB port we can use and I always have a charging cord in my purse. But when you aren’t close to home, an outlet, or your car, you are pretty much stuck. And when it’s cold outside the battery tends to last even less. I also take a lot of photos, so my battery runs out faster than my husband’s. So after looking st a few options I finally decided to get a very small pen sized battery pack from RavPower. Of course, it comes from China like most things. (Remember back on the day when everything was made in Japan?) we are generally happy with the products we purchase, and hopefully this one will be no different. I haven’t had an opportunity to try it out yet. All I know is I will have to remember to bring the cord that is used to charge the battery pack, and another one to transfer the power to the phone. Pretty soon I will need a bag just for all the power cords we need for so many devices. The RAVPower Luster Mini portable charger was less than fifteen dollars on Amazon. Let’s hope it works when I need it.