Wednesday, 10 March 2010

'Shed Bleu'

This week didn't start off too well!

After the excitement of selling my dragons to the newsagent last week, there was almost bound to be a feeling of anticlimax but as well as that, all the rushing to get the cards printed for the coffee shop had not had a good effect on my slightly dodgy back and it was threatening to go into spasm all weekend. Added to that was my failed attempt to make a collage birthday card for a friend on Saturday. The card was fine and I was sure she would like it but the scanner had turned the little bits of gold paper I'd used to a nasty shade of khaki and photographing it instead hadn't produced anything better.
And then two of my former neighbours in other parts of the country, who have been pestering me for months to send them some of my cards so that they could sell them, suddenly seem, just as I am almost ready to do that, to have been plunged into rather all-consuming situations of their own; so, understandably, selling my cards is the last thing they want to think about. By yesterday lunchtime I was feeling quite sorry for myself and the thought of spending the afternoon making a Christmas catalogue for the newsagent was hardly enthralling!

So I decided to 'play truant' from my laptop and make a start on my ever-growing list of ideas for card designs. After all, that's what's at the heart of all this - if there were no designs, there'd be no catalogue to make, no printing and no online promotion to do!

Immersing myself in my painted papers and glue (almost literally!) did me the world of good and this is the result -

Although I called it 'Spring Garden' when I uploaded it to GCU and Zazzle, it will always be my 'Shed Bleu'! Maybe it's someting to do with the famous 'Gilet Rouge' - I don't know! But I realise with horror that, even after more than 7 years studying French at school and two terms at University, I don't know the French word for a 'shed'! I could look it up, I suppose, but 'Shed Bleu' seems to have embedded itself in my mind!

Late in the afternoon the usual bombardment of emails from GCU arrived. I normally leave looking at them till the end of the day as they are invariably notifications from the forums. (How I wish we could be more selective about which notifications to receive. But it seems to be an 'all or nothing' approach so I opt for receiving them all, just in case there's something important or useful in one of them!) To my utter amazement, amongst them was a sale notification! Someone in Virginia had googled '60th Birthday' and had come up with my 'Life in your Years', Adlai Stevenson quotation!

That seems to be a popular design and I've sold another one this morning to a lady in the walking group.

In the middle of the evening, the Zazzle 'New Product Alerts' arrived - or so I thought. But no, amongst them was another sale notification! This time a mousepad with my collage sailing boats on it. I could hardly believe it! It's been so quiet on the PODstore front for the past three or four weeks and then two sales in one day!

So you can imagine my amazement when, just as I was going to bed, GCU emailed me to tell me that someone had googled '1st birthday' and ended up buying this one -

Three sales in one day - it's altogether rather like the buses; you wait and wait and then three come along at once! I actually don't much like the Rainbow Fairies and I only decided to give them a whirl because one of the little girls I was teaching when I made it last summer, drooled over them. It's not the first of that series that I've sold so the lesson there is that you never know what other people may like!

I absolutely love Margaret Tarrant's fairies and there are quite a number of other artists of her time who painted similarly magical fairies. But my own attempts at fairies came out looking like Barbie Dolls so I decided that if I was going to paint fairies - and they're obviously popular with little girls of all ages! - they would have to be so tiny that there was no possiblity of mistaking them for Barbie dolls. These designs were quite a fiddle to make as I used both transparent watercolours and gouache and each fairy was underpainted in white gouache - and I don't like 'fiddly'! (Which makes my penchant for collage a bit of a mystery!)

I fully expected that third sale to be the end of my good fortune for now - things go in threes, don't they? But no, another surprise was waiting for me at the coffee shop this morning, when the manageress handed me a little plastic bag full of money, which aroused enough interest for another member of the walking group to have a look at my basket of cards and purchase - again! - my dancing man! She suggested that I should do something similar with a woman on it - which I will, when I find the time!!!


Country Mouse Studio said...

I agree with your customers, that dancing man is so cheerful and uplifting that I want to see the woman too.
Congratulations on your sales, it sure helps to make all these extra hours worthwhile

JudyAdamsonArtandDesign said...

Thanks, Carole - wasn't it strange, three in one day after days and days of nothing at all It was almost as if someone had flipped a switch and said it was 'my turn' at last!

The dancing woman is on my list but there are a whole lot of others before her in the queue, I'm afraid. Once I've had an idea for a card, I feel restless till I've done it and recently they've been piling up as I've been so busy with other things!