Four years of blogging. Almost 300 posts and over 2100 comments. Wow.
I really wish I could make this a more regular occurrence, this blogging thing. I just need to go out and do exciting things and be creative so I can share more often ;) Having the store made it easy to share. There was so much to talk about all the time.
It’s been just over two years since we closed Violets are Blue. I miss climbing the steps to the store, iced nonfat caramel macchiato in hand, opening the door to the familiar Violets are Blue collective scent, hearing the beep of the alarm… opening the little squeaking shutter door that we fixed dozens of times and setting my purse down and turning on the CD player. Keys onto the bulletin board that I wish I would have kept. Using that strange little metal key to turn on the hose, hearing the traffic whiz by me on foothill blvd, cordless phone clipped to my back pocket as I watered the plants. Lavender and roses. Go back inside, wash my hands and start tidying up a bit. The first little bell jingle of the day at the front door… is it UPS Brian, Joe, Michele or a customer? I really didn’t realize how wonderful all of that was until now. (But dang it, I complained about the holidays every year, didn’t I? lol)
I’ve had dreams lately that I’m in my old space but the landlord doesn’t know I’m there. I sneak inventory in and out at night and refrain from advertising or posting a sign. I think it vaguely resembles a speakeasy. Towards the end of the dream, I’m driving my Volvo up to the store in the night, in a panic, thinking that the store is gone, empty or the locks have been changed… that I’ve been found out. Then I wake up in an overly-emotional panic and ask myself… “what was THAT all about?”
I know that Maylene has several photos of me scraping the hand-painted logo off the window… with a smile on my face. I turned to her after the flash to say “Gee, I’m not emotional or sad at all… I’m really surprised by that”. Bits of paint flaking off to the ground, in a little blue, purple and white dusty puddle. I sweep it up and throw it out with little more than a “goodbye”. Looking back, I should have saved those paint shavings in a little box and put it on the mantel.
That’s morbid, isn’t it?
Switching gears now…
So… today… what am I doing?
I’ve started several projects. Scratch that, my husband and I started a few projects and I have started multiple projects.
First off… starting businesses with friends? Not so much a good idea. Makes me really sad to say… but it’s the truth. Unless you have a bullet proof business plan. Just. Don’t.
Moving along… we joined a film making group and made one little film. We’re always coming up with other ideas for new films and animated pieces, which is a lot of fun.
I started selling digital art sheets on etsy and have done pretty well with it. I’ve also thought about doing interior decorating, party planning, photography, production art for websites, animation, graphic design… just to name a few. I guess I’ve been reinventing myself a bit, and working on a portfolio is part of it.
And there’s also violetcottage.com, amazon.com and the reopening of my ebay store. Mostly my favorites from Midwest, but I’m branching out into other areas, too, including more handmade things, which I’d like to start creating daily. I like pretty little things, what can I say?
I think I’m a gypsy or… what’s the term… I’m a renaissance woman? That’s a good thing, right? :)
Several of you that used to come to Violets are Blue have emailed me to say hello. I have a folder called “Love Letters” for these emails. I reach into that folder when I’m “Blue for the Violets” and it really brightens my day. So to each and every one of you who have reached out… a HUGE thank you. I miss you all more than you know!!
I think “Violets” is a part of me… and it will continue to exist in one form or another for as long as I can imagine, even if it’s only in cyberspace. But wouldn’t it be nice to be back on that busy Boulevard with the familiar schedule… which included that daily caramel macchiato ;)
One of my friends suggested that I put some of my art up in my etsy store… as digital collage sheets or backgrounds. So, my art journal pages and other fun hand drawn or painted sheets can come home with you at high resolution :) You can use them for scrapbooking, card making, collaging, decoupaging… there are lots of uses :)
How it works is… you order on etsy (or you can order direct through me… just shoot me an email), and after I receive confirmation of your order, I email you a file that contains your art in high resolution. You know how the pictures you “obtain” from the internet are all blurry and pixely? That’s because the internet can only handle 72 dots per inch. When I email you this art, it will be 300 dots per inch (what most standard home printers print at) so it will be crisp and clear as a whistle :) You can then keep this art sheet and print it out to your heart’s content! As long as you aren’t reselling it or… using them for commercial purposes, that is. If you intend on using it for something other than your own personal use, please ask me about licensing my art for resale.
If you want to order more than three, let me know and I’ll cut you a deal :)
I really enjoy painting the wallpaper-ish florals… but I may branch out into other designs if this goes well… or WHEN this goes well, I should say ;)
We had fun over the weekend… Avatar musical chairs, baristas with attitude and not watching the Super Bowl at a Super Bowl party. We met more of our new neighbors and it ended with us all playing Rock Band… and we weren’t even at our house. How. Does that… always happen? :) (we secretly LOVE it)
It’s been rainy, gloomy and cold here in Cary… supposed to be super windy and stormy tomorrow. There are still tiny stubborn patches of snow sprinkled around where the sun can’t reach them. I’ve been perched up in my office, glittering by chandelier with a nice hot cup of tea, gazing out the window at all the rain. Every once in a while a gorgeous red cardinal will sit in the small tree out front, then decide he’s had enough and flutter away to find some shelter. I think we’re all ready for spring to arrive :)
I’ve been procrastinating on these art boards… I guess it took a gray day for me to sit down and finish what I started…
and the finished product…
All of these art boards are listed on the website
Glitter makes any gloomy day 100% better! AND it gets you thinking… what else can I put glitter on??
I have a zillion ideas swimming around in my brain (at any given moment at least)… my fingers can’t keep up and that is frustrating! I have dozens of new designs cued up to become an art board, pendant, greeting card or art journal entry… does one really need to sleep? Just wonderin’.
But sometimes, I’m so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of these ideas, that I break down and turn on (guilty pleasure alert) Judge Judy instead of creating… because I believe she’s working hard enough for all of us, really.
Normally… said ideas would be sketches, half-finished paintings, emails to myself or they get lost in the Tasmanian devil that is my office… I’ve found a new solution (Thank you Brian!). It is the elephant (aka Evernote). I will share this link, but will go into more detail further :) Long story short… it’s amazing. Double amazing if you have an iphone. And it doesn’t look like much, but utilized properly… (or semi-properly in my case) it’s the organizing tool you’ve always wanted :) More to come on that later!
Going to get some sleep… she said reluctantly :)
There’s a cold snap here in North Carolina. It’s been in the TEENS at night… 17, 19… and in the 30′s during the day. I’ve now discovered what wearing “layers” is all about. The flip flops have been retired to the summer wardrobe box and I’ve been frequenting the weather.com application on my iphone constantly. Thank you Los Angeles for being so predictable because now I know what I’m missing ;)
Longing for the warmer climate and being cooped up inside, I stumbled across several pictures from a summer show we participated in back in 2004ish (I think). Ahhh, the 10′x10′ booth on Honolulu Avenue in Montrose… in June. And we’d complain about that “June Gloom” and the 60-70 degree overcast weather it brought… I wouldn’t mind a little of that right now!
Even Meg got to meet other fans of the street fair!
It’s fun to see these pictures… see what we used to make and how we used to display our wares. The garden sign used to be a huge staple at the store and in the booth… feeling inspired to make more outdoorsy products because I would much rather be hanging out in a garden than stuck in the house!
If you are running around LA in short sleeves and open-toed shoes, say a little thank you and remember everyone on the East Coast (Florida, too!)… we’re going stir crazy! hehe!
There’s lots going on over at www.violetcottage.com …
From now until Tuesday, December 1st at midnight (PST):
- Up to 40% off Holiday decor, jewelry and gifts!
- Free shipping on orders over $40.00 (after discounts). To receive free shipping, just enter “freeship” at checkout!*
- For every $50.00 you spend, you’ll receive a gift voucher for $10.00 to use after December 29th! Keep it for yourself or give it to a friend! You’ll receive your voucher(s) with your order.
P.S. if you would like Violets are Blue stickers included in your order for your packages and gift bags, just for the fun of it, please let me know in the “notes” field during your order! :)
*Free Shipping offer not valid with any other coupon codes or vouchers.
To receive future emails with special promotions and coupons, please create an account or simply contact us and let us know you would like to be added to the list!
Getting in the Holiday spirit… (but I’d rather linger in the Fall season forever, thank you very much! October is my favorite month… hands down!) Here are a few pictures from the photo shoot the other day…
Most of the items are from the Wendy Addison collection… I love her designs and ample use of glass glitter, so whimsical! These will go up on the website soon… also being listed… a collection of Victorian snowmen, a retro collection of snowmen, a whole robot-themed ornament group, other fun assorted ornaments and gifts and my favorite… a whole line of felt gingerbread houses, cupcakes, ice cream cone snowmen and more… You’re going to love them :)
By the way… I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking about Penny Mcallister pieces… I didn’t get any Christmas items this year (They were either on the pricey and large side, they didn’t jump out at me like they had in previous years or were from the 2008 collection) but I did get a few pieces from her circus collection. I’ll be listing those soon, please check back :) If you have a specific question or want me to email you when I get the Penny items up, please leave a comment here and I’ll be sure to let you know :)!
Tonight, I’m working on painting the last stripe in my office… with flowers. It’s like I have 5 different strips of wallpaper on one wall… it’s awesome :) I’ll share, soon… but I want it to be perfect first :)
Get 20% off your entire purchase at www.violetcottage.com now through October 31!! :) Just enter the code “boo” at checkout!
A few other things I listed at violetcottage.com today…
Super cute treat bags… $8.99 each.
Here’s another treat bag…
A hand painted owl tote… $15.99
More to come :)