Friday, April 27, 2012

Blow me off but don't bring me down!

I am sad to report, I was blown off today! Normally on Fridays I do a feature but today, I checked my email to find that I had no responses. I have been dumped! 

I had these great ideas on how I would tie in my morning debacle of having the chaos of packing for a weekend getaway, my truck running out of gas (resulting in Ron and I pushing it down the street) and how life goes on blah blah blah featured artist blah blah.... (if you knew the artist that blew me off, well then this story ties in real well!) 

Anyways, I'm sitting here, stuck in the office on this beautiful day watching the clock tick by.  A slew of angry customers (from my day job) continue to call and even though I am dealing with problem after problem AND then I find I was blown off, I am not letting my mood decline. Why, you ask? Because this weekend I am headed to Sonoma Ca for a weekend of wine tasting with old college friends! 

Here is the itinerary (I find it hilarious so I had to post!) 

Opening thoughs:
'Twas the night before Passport 
And all though the state
Friends prepare for the most epic trip to date! 

The Meat:
Here is the plan as I know it. Passport weekend officially starts tomorrow. We all get to leave the ant-farm for a few days and travel to the majestic region formally known as, Sonoma-town. 

Friday:  Steve & Katie (SK) as well as Ron & Lauren (RL) head from the Southland after work, thinking, "Wahoo! It's Friday!!!". Immediately followed by, "OMFG! I'm in a car!". After SK+RL get over the shock of being in a motor vehicle, they route said motor vehicles toward Glen Ellen. Due to fluctuating schedules and shit, we don't have any plans on Friday night and will play it by ear. 
  • RL will be getting in late; They're rock-stars and will be driving from Huntington Beach. The most likely scenario is SK + R-solo kick it at Mary & Gregs after dinner drinking copious amounts of alcohol. Mary & Greg have guests in the guest room on Friday night, so SK will be in Siena's room and RL have the choice of inside, the porch, or the tree-house on a camp-futon (big foam thinger-bopper). RL, Please bring sleeping bags if you have them, otherwise we could probably use Mary & Greg's, but I haven't confirmed this - They will provide the futon. I'll be in the tree-house most likely, so I vote we have a slumber party. 
Saturday: Explore! No, seriously, I'm serious. The plan is to do some hiking around Glen Ellen or Sonoma. Dan & Sam (DS) are inbound on Saturday morning, so, we'll need to be motivated to move by the time they show up. We're on our own for cooking breakfast, but Mary said she'll have the fridge stocked with breakfast food. At some point we'll figure out what to do for lunch. I'm thinking the Deli in Glen Ellen (or its sister store in Sonoma) would be a good option, but there are plenty of other options, too. No plan for the afternoon. We can hang at Mary & Greg's if we're tired of being hard core explorers or we can definitely keep on looking at things and shit. For dinner on Saturday, we need to decide if we're going out (to Indian?) or BBQ-ing. We have been offered use of the BBQ if we are interested. 
  • On Saturday, DS & SK have to roshambo for the guest room, winner gets the office ;) RL, your options are the same as Friday. I'm still planning on being in the tree-fort. 
Sunday: PASSPORT! For reals, this is the day we've been waiting for. We'll grab breakfast, nurse the hangovers, and roll-out. We're gonna rage all day sipping the nectar of the gods and eating the most bomb shit you've ever seen. That's all there is to it. We'll probably borrow Mary & Greg's SUV so we can all fit in one car. If/when we're hungry for dinner, and back in Glen Ellen, I think we should hit up Jack London Saloon and grab burgers like last year. That was bomb. 
  • Sleeping arrangements are the same as Saturday night. 
Monday: Boo, now it is over and we all head home. We'll grab/cook breakfast if you all don't have to leave too early. We will also set calendar appointments for 02/01/2013 so we can remember to buy tickets for next year! Wahoooo!

So there is the plan! I'll be posting lots of photos on Monday of the extravaganza! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thirsty Thursday?!?

Have you ever heard the term thirsty Thursday? How about Two buck Tuesday? Wasted Wednesday? Okay.... I know you all have heard of Sunday Funday! 

If any of these terms sound familiar to you.... you may have been a college student at one time or another. If these terms are music to your ears, you attended college with me at Chico State! 

I graduated from Chico State in 2009. I had some of my best memories there. (I hope this doesn't date me as I would like to have even better memories to come!) Anyways, a student of Chico State learns a lot about life. How to socialize, how to stumble home at night (don't get lost between the aves and the streets! Whatever city planner thought of that was just trying to screw with drunk college kids!) and how to dress in style! Only in a college town will you see girls dressed to the 9s in freezing weather wearing only their "liquid coats." 

Halloween was not the only time you wore costumes in college. I participated on a regular basis in a themed party or two. The most fun college parties I have attended had to be highlighter parties. For those of you who don't know.... it's simple logic really (can you expect anything else from a college student!?!?) wear a white t-shirt, bright highlighters and draw away! Black lights are obviously included. 

My college days are over, (sad but true) it's not often I find myself in need of a costume. Yet yesterday's Etsy email on Time Warp did just that! Oh the memories of college! 

I discovered Neon Nancy yesterday and all the memories came flooding in. How I wish I had discovered her during college! For those of you who still enjoy a good highlighter party or two, enjoy! 

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Lyndsey Merryman, born and raised in Columbus Ohio. I attended CCAD for Fashion Design and started out designing couture evening wear but now I’m doing something a little different ☺ I now own a EDM (electronic dance music) inspired clothing line. Festival Fashion full of neon’s, lights, glow and called Neon Nancy.

In April we created our etsy shop to accompany our online

Is Etsy your full time or part time business?

 Recently become a Full time job (probably more than full time actually)  I think having a lot of support not only from family and friends but also from my education and experiences really helped to motivate me to create a job that I enjoyed doing. 

What other avenues, if any do you share your work with the world?

We have a online store with our full product line, we also vend at many music festivals and concerts. 

What is your favorite item in your shop and why? 

My favorite item in my shop is the Laser Reactive Line, these silkscreen shirts allow you to draw with light , which is a really cool effect, if you have never seen it before check out a video of this on our website. They are also black light reactive perfect for concerts. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

The inspiration comes from the creativity of music and festivals like burning man, but also just simply from the EDM culture itself. 

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community? 

The best thing about being part of the etsy community is the interaction with creative people, the treasury lists and circles that introduce you to new art in every form. 

When did you know you were an artist/maker?

Ever since I was little, I would paint or use the potter’s wheel with my dad. He taught me to love creating at a very young age. 

Where would you like to be in ten years?

sitting on a yacht in costa Rica… haha really I would be happy if I’m still creating, working for myself and happy. Hey, take me with you! 

If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why? 

Brand yourself, and don’t do anything half assed. 
Simple and to the point. Love it! 

Yes ladies, it is a neon light up bra! woohoo! Wish you had one of these in college don't you? 

Make sure to follow Neon Nancy. She really is electric!! (ok, ok, I am done with the lame jokes.... I think)!/NeonNancy1

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Welcome Wednesday: Reset Reality

I am slightly astonished by how much it costs to make something beautiful. I am not just talking about time (because artists put in more hours than anyone realizes) but supply costs! 

I wouldn't consider myself an artist. I like to think I am more of a crafter. (labeling myself as an artist feels like a lot of pressure!) Now, I am trying my hand at crafty baking? (is there such a thing? 

A friend of mine is having a birthday party for her 4 year old. For those of you who follow my pinterest, Mia's princess birthday party has been on my mind for months! Mainly, because she continues to remind me about it. I just love this age! 

I am trying with all my might to recreate this cupcake for her party 

I enjoy baking and thought this project would be a piece of cake (excuse my lame jokes!) but as I continue to look for supplies, I find myself thinking I must be going over the top on this project! But nothing is too expensive or elaborate for my little Princess Mia. After all, she only turns 4 once, right? 

I am sure a real artist would have no problem coming up with something as simple as a cupcake design. That's why I want you to meet Vanessa, my new Etsy friend and extremely talented artist who would probably shame me if ever we had a cupcake decorating contest. (yes you have to use real frosting ! No fair painting it on!) 

Where are you from, what do you do?

I'm originally from Chicago, IL... born and raised in the city. I fell in love with art in my teen years, and made it my ambition to go to art school & become an artist. So, I went to SMFA in Boston... received a BFA in drawing, painting, papermaking & bookmaking (I know, it's a lot... but oh so worth it). After that, I moved to NYC with Anthony (my boyfriend and co-shop owner), where we now live & work. I love to just make stuff... I watched an interview Chuck Close did with Charlie Rose, and Close said, "inspiration is for amateurs." I find this to be a good motto to work by... life is too short to wait around for the right moment; the right moment is now. Nicely said! 

 When did you first discover etsy? What made you decide to start a shop?

I discovered etsy in 2008, when my old roommate and I were planning to open an etsy shop together... but that fell through. I talked about opening an etsy store for the longest time, but I would always make the excuse of not having enough time or money (what else is new, right?). About a month ago, I decided enough talk... time to do, and made the leap. It's a steep learning curve, and every day I'm learning something new from the community, through research and through hard work. It has been worth every minute though, and I hope to stay open for a long time to come.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

Two day jobs... Starbucks in the AM, the other, part time college librarian. I half joke when I tell people I've taken on a third job with my etsy store :) wow! I'll stop complaining now! ;) 

Is Etsy your full time or part time business?

Like most etsy shop owners, I dream of quitting my day job! If I can't quit both, I would love to be able to quit at least one.

What other avenues, if any do you share your work with the world? 

I have a website:, which I named my etsy shop after. I came up with the name resetreality as a young, ambitious 16 year old who loved surrealism, had a few frustrations with the world, and had a really good "a-ha!" moment. I recently began a pinterest page ( as well, and love the platform to promote other etsy artists & interesting things I find on the web. Anthony, my partner in my shop, also has a website with more of his work on

What steps do you take in your creative process?

I spend a lot of time reading, doodling and daydreaming... all essentials of any creative process. When I actually sit down to paint, I allow myself to become cautiously reactionary... how carefully I respond to how the paint moves on the paper, or how carefully I fold a piece of paper when I make books... it eventually leads to the quality of the final product. My medium of choice, watercolor & ink, especially leaves little room for "mistakes..." but happy accidents do happen. I'll go through quite a few "awesome rejects" before I paint something I find myself excited about. I accept that as part of the process.

What is your favorite item in your shop and why? 

I believe my paintings work best in pairs, especially when other people create the pairing... I love seeing what people come up with (and the story or inspiration behind their choices; usually it reflects their personality). These two paintings make a nice pair, sort of like the mermaid meeting the magician who will help her find the prince: 

Where does your inspiration come from?

I draw from a lot of things... mostly mundane, occasionally epic. What I call the "venerable dustbin of many moments before this one" sparkles with gems I overlook time and time again. These are the tools that shape my work. I draw from familiar icons, metaphors and mythology to help navigate through the fog of insecurity. It grabs the language of vision and weaves a moment of clarity in which we can objectively see our selves not as “others” but as “people.”

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community?

Everyone supports each other on Etsy, which I find refreshing from the grind of the art world. Also, the amount of talent on etsy is ridiculous, but it amazes me every time I see a breathtaking shop.

Who or what has been most influential in being where you are today?

Anthony has helped me through thick and thin. I also owe a lot to my teachers, past and present, and my younger sister who's always cheered for me from the beginning... without the support from these people, I would definitely not be where I am today.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?

"In order to be creative, you have to know how to prepare to be creative," says Twyla Tharp in her amazing book, "The Creative Habit." It's a great read for any artist... and I find myself flipping through it often to find exercises to refresh my creative mind. Being creative is an exercise of the mind, coupled with some knowledge of how to use materials and a little bit of skill with your hands. The more I exercise my creativity, the better the work becomes... which probably explains why the first few paintings or drawings usually look like shit. That's normal, everyone... don't panic!

Where would you like to be in ten years?

Ten years sounds too far ahead for me to imagine... but the big goal is to be debt free! No more student loans, no more credit card debt, no debt of any sort! For me, that's the key to my future success... especially with my art and my etsy store. Anthony would love to own a boat and sail around the world... but I haven't quite found my sea legs yet.

If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why?

Join a whole lot of teams, do a whole lot of research, watch as many Etsy Success videos as you can, learn from your peers, ship internationally (it's a lot cheaper than you think it is for most things, especially if your items don't weight a lot!). But above all, be open to criticism and stay optimistic. Everyone thinks, oh, my sales will just rain in magically once I put my items up online... that's a myth. Your shop will be as successful as the time you put into it.

What is your favorite recipe?  

I love food, so this question stumped me at first... but, one thing that came to mind? This Rachel Ray recipe for blue cheese pasta... with bacon and spinach, has to be the best thing ever.

Thanks for sharing Vanessa! I was only half kidding about the cupcakes.... I would be far too intimidated to go up against you in a cupcake match! I can only imagine the amazingness you would come up with! Challenge? hehe 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Treasury: A little Australia Love!

As a lot of you are beginning to learn, I am considering taking my Etsy store to Australia! Just for a bit anyways... I'll post details later, but for now I am keeping my secrets to myself! 

Today's treasury is inspired by my Australian Day Dreams. Enjoy! 


Check out my newest treasury and stay tuned for news on the Australian adventure! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Meet Up Mondays: Faerie Majikk

Talk about a busy weekend! I have to start this blog post off by apologizing to my new friend Lindsey from Faerie Majikk for not sticking to the schedule. Lindsey was suppose to be featured on Friday. Had I not been running around like a chicken with my head cut off on Friday, that would have happened. Lindsey, I am very sorry! 

I took the day off of work on Friday to help out my community. I have been a part of the Seal Beach Race for the past 13 years. This year was no exception as I ran around making sure I had completed my assigned duties. Thankfully, the event went off without a hitch. Another great year to be a volunteer! 

On another exciting note, Window by the Sea will be featured inside our first store front! Hapa Collective, a boutique on Main Street, Seal Beach has graciously asked us to be a part of their shop. We are thrilled! Starting May 6th, Window by the Sea can be seen hanging on their walls waiting for a purchase! What is even better about this, our reclaimed window frames we will be using from this order came for our little home town of Seal Beach. What could be better?!? Local artist, local supplies, local artwork! Talk about a little piece of history! 

Well, enough about me. As I catch up from my crazy busy weekend, I remembered this morning that I had forgotten all about Lindsey. When you see her artwork, it's hard to believe that anyone could forget this artist who creates beautiful fantasies! 

Here she is! 

What makes you unique?

I am a fantasy/gothic artist from NSW, Australia. I am a married stay at home Mum of 5 incredible children. I really think that what makes me unique is the ability to create art that can be enjoyed by every one, I really think deep down every one wants to be able to drift away from reality and it is my art that allows them to do this.

What made you decide to start a shop?

I first discovered Etsy in 2007 in which I opened an Etsy store when I was making jewellery, I really had no idea about tags,titles and all of the business side of things. I added one necklace and that was it until I came back to etsy with a little more understanding. I created at the end of 2008, with a few pieces of jewellery as well as my art. I did have a bit more of an idea the second time around.

The main idea for wanting to create a shop for my art was simply to be able to sell to international customers as Fantasy is not really too big within Australia (yet). At the time I had 3 children and dragging them around to markets etc was really not ideal.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

Being a Mum of 5 is pretty demanding, so when I am not creating I am doing the usual 'mother/housewife' thing. I do not really have time for anything else.

This suits me fine as I am a bit of a homebody/hermit.

Is Etsy your full time or part time business?

Etsy is part time at the moment. I do want it to eventually get to full-time - but this will take time and is not likely to happen until all my kids are in school, my youngest is 8 months old so when she starts school this is when I will really be able to dedicate more time to my art and business.

What other avenues, if any do you share your work with the world? 

I post my art on a few POD sites such as Zazzle, Greeting Cards Universe and just started creating clipart and adding to Meylah.

I have my art licensed with - for those who cross stitch.

you can find some of my art as pdf patterns:

What steps do you take in your creative process?

Like us all, my creative process always begin with an idea - which I may get at any time.

I have a VAPD - Visual Arts Process Diary that I keep for all of my ideas, colour and technique experiments etc.

In the front cover is an envelope I glued with IDEAS on the front. With each new idea I get, I quickly scribble it down on a piece of paper and add it to the envelope. I use these ideas later, change the idea a bit and work on from there. I do not have any set steps, I think life does get in the way of my art so if I were to even describe my creative process it would be Anarchy.

What is your favorite item in your shop and why? 

My favorite item would have to be my Moon Maiden I painting:

It is my favorite for a number of reasons - the first being execution, i think overall she turned out amazing and matched the image in my head perfectly. I also created her using a new technique for me, completely experimental. so she is my favorite because she turned out wonderfully as a result of a big experiment for me which is great, to work outside of the 'paintbox' and create something different.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from any where at any given moment but Nature plays a very big part - Mother Nature in my eyes is the epitome of perfection, she gets everything right.

My children are also a huge inspiration - I love the way a child thinks and plays. Very imaginative, where anything is possible and there are no boundaries in life.

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community?

The idea that we are a community of people with similar interests and lifestyles is the best part, to know that I can communicate with others across the globe and talk about creating,promoting and parenting all at once is fantastic.

The etsy community is very close and others genuinely want to help others.

Who or what has been most influential in being where you are today?

My husband would have to be one of my biggest fans, he is always eager to tell people how great and talented I am which is great but being very self conscious tends to embarrass me a lot. He is very loud, opinionated and complete opposite of me.

Who is your most influential Etsyian?

Oh now that is very hard as there are so many amazing etsians out there. I do love Stephanie Pui-Mun Law she is amazing and successful.

from Faery Entrourage 

When did you know you were an artist/maker?

I would say after selling my first painting. The feeling that someone loved it so much to buy it gives you that wondrous sensation. I enjoy what I do, to the point that it is an obsession. so it is great when others share those feelings too.

Simply putting it out there in the public eye also helped me to shift from the hobbiest to Artist mindset.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?

By taking a break and doing something completely different usually helps, not forcing the creative process helps. I will go back to my VAPD and pull out one of my past ideas to get the creative juices flowing or even scrolling through my fave art website helps.

Where would you like to be in ten years?

Hopefully making a living from my obsessions. Selling regularly, teaching workshops locally, licensing my art to more companies and even having a an art book published. So much can happen in 10 years.

If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why?

Never stop creating, practice your craft as often as you can, be a sponge and learn new techniques all the time. Believe in yourself and your art - do not allow others to tell you otherwise. Be who you are, not what others want you to be. Stay true to your own vision and always enjoy what you do. Ask for help when you need it.

Thanks for sharing all you do Lindsey! I have a hard time finding time to create and I only have a dog! I don't know how you do it with 5 children. Props to you for being a successful artist and a mom! 

Check our Faerie Majikk here:  


Win an Orchid & Reptile print set (3 - 4x6")

Become a fan of Faerie Majikk facebook page to enter!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Welcome Wednesday: Fantastic DIY

As many of you know, I absolutely love to travel. Give me the option between a brand new car or a beat up bicycle and a trip around the world, I'll gladly peddle the 25 miles to work (up hill both ways) for a chance to see the world. I could play the "would you rather" game for days and 9 out of 10 times, pick traveling. I just love to experience other cultures, other's foods and the beauties different countries have to offer. 

Have you ever taken that 100 Places to go Before You Die quiz on Facebook?  If you haven't done it yet, you should check it out. The quiz stats that the majority of Americans have been to less than 9 of the 100 places listed. I have been fortunate to have traveled to 21 of these. But I am not done yet! 

As I dream of all the places I want to travel and the things I would like to see before I "settle down", I was very excited when I met my new Etsy friend Natasha from Fantastic DIY. Natasha is from Southern China. Natasha, if I ever make it to China, I would love to meet you in person and see what you do! 

What makes you unique?

Hi! I am Natasha, the maker behind the Etsy shop FantasticDIY. I am a combination of free spirit maker and business dreamer. I was born in a small seaside city in southern China, Swatow. Swatowian have been regarded as Eastern Jew because of our talent and obsession in doing business, differentiating from people from other places of China, who think holding a position in a state-own corporation is a better career pursuit.

I was brought up mostly in the hands of my grandmother (my mother’s mother) and my mother. My grandmother was a leader of a big craft family: she has 7 children including 6 girls, and all my aunts are best crafters in town. My mother always tells me how they embroidered, knitted, weaved…all those beautiful things, exported to Japan and Europe. I love watching them craft with their magical fingers. My love of crafting, graph, art, creativity and color is rooted in my family.

I remember clearly how my father was surprised by my drawing when I was 3. I drew a leading character in a Japanese cartoon, of course adding more features I thought she should have. My father thought I was talented and I started attending art courses at the age of 6. Unfortunately, under the high pressure of school work I stopped taking formal courses after several years. But my love of painting never died. I joined school workshops and taught myself Chinese traditional painting, charcoal drawing, painting with water color and acrylic. I love experimenting with different medias and playing with paper and color.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I have a full time job in a multinational company. I worked in a skyscraper office and craft in the evening and weekends. In my free time when I am not working or crafting, I spend time with my family and friends, do exercise, yoga, swim, travel and read. I also wrote a fantasy fiction for myself.

Is Etsy your full time or part time business? 

Etsy is my part-time business, but I want to make it full time. I am struggling now because my full time job is taking up so much of my time. I don’t have enough time to create and take care of my shop. But I believe love and insisting will pay off. After all, we have only one chance in our life to follow our own heart.  I couldn't have said it better myself Natasha! I hope every Etsy artist strives to do what they love. It is a difficult way to make money, but I see that many artist have made it, and I know we can too! I read Etsy blog featured seller daily for my inspiration! 

What other avenues, if any do you share your work with the world? 

I recently open a booth in bonanza and a shop in luulla I also share on pinterest and Wanelo (FantasticDIY). I have a twitter account as well (FantasticDIY), and Tumblr (FantasticDIY).

What steps do you take in your creative process?

Beside painting, I have a huge collection of beautiful pictures/photos/ graphs, both digital and hard copy. Whenever I read a journal and see any interesting images I scan them. I do not always have a pen in hand when an inspiration come to me, sometimes it takes me one week to have time to sit down in peace and paint, but I try my best to record everything. I love playing with images and different medias, altering the images, combining them to make creative and fabulous things. Although I selling necklace in my shops, I also make a variety of things for my families.

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community?

I love being in the Etsy community. Browsing around and you’ll be interested by the endless creativity. Many dreams come true with the help of Etsy.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?

Fresh eyes and a curious mind help me so much. The whole world is a big fantasy for me. Walls of sky buildings can be brushed and painted on, cars can be lined up to make a river…I mean, I always fancy myself by thinking how to alter this world. Even we live in dull cities, creativity can be possible if you think in a different way.

Where would you like to be in ten years? 

I would love to chase my dream to be a creative crafter and live on my business , crafting for people all over the globe.

If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why?

I think the most important thing is to love what you are doing. Doing business on Etsy is not easy and the only power to lead you along the long journey is your love to what you do.

Natasha, I really love your view points of loving what you do and doing it for all the right reasons. Your artwork is amazing. Thank you for sharing your journey and your work with us! I wish you the best of luck on Etsy and throughout your craft!