29 March 2009

My New Etsy

No April Foolishness

It has been just over a year since I opened my doors
to my Italian Girl in Georgia Etsy shop.
My first sale of one of my original paintings was shortly thereafter, and then again a month or so later I sold a group of four original paintings. I was thrilled and flattered that I was “discovered” among the thousands of Etsy artisans. Since those first sales, I have had a scattering of sales during my first year, but not exactly what I had hoped for. However, I am most appreciative of those clients.

I had been used to participating in national trade shows for many years, having a captive audience, and taking orders until I got writer’s cramp. That is not what I want to do now at all, but I do want my art and photography and design to reach more people than it does.

Earlier last week I was in three Etsy treasuries and this week I am in five ~ at the same time. It is common that my work is featured in treasuries at least once a week. It’s crazy, I know, that my art is featured so often and yet my sales are not reflective of that. I wonder if my work simply fits in with the aesthetic of the treasury that a particular curator is creating, rather than it being a sell-able item. I don’t know.

I am re-vamping my
Etsy shop and starting on April 1st, I am dropping the prices of my photographs. I have worked on getting my costs down and want to pass them on to you. The larger format photographs will always be available ~ just ask me about them ~ but now my 5” x 7” matted photographs which are in my shop are currently priced at $45 will be $30 ~ a thirty percent (30%) savings ~ starting April 1st. No fooling!

I will be stocking my shop with some more
Notes on the Go and some new Spring and summer merchandise, including more art prints and more paper products. There is still time to order for Easter, and of course end of the school year teacher’s gifts, Mother’s Day, First Holy Communion, graduation, and any other occasion. Also, any photographs or artsy stuff you have seen here or on my Flickr photostream are available, even though they may not be listed in my Etsy shop.


~ ~ ~


Ciao amici,

Suzanne


27 March 2009

"Light Bulb Moment"

Last week I stopped by the Goodwill Emporium and Career Center (the interior which I designed a few years ago, while I was pregnant) and took a look around. This is the main drop off center in Middle Georgia for all the discontinued, out of season, and ever-so-slightly damaged merchandise of Target products. It’s great if you can get there and grab the stuff that Target has just pulled off their shelves and delivered, but is still in season.

Anyway, I found this “perfect” accent lamp for six bucks ($6) and I thought it would be great for my son’s bedroom. The only flaw was that the light bulb socket was a little loose and crooked. To correct it and make the shade sit tight, I wrapped electrical tape around it several times.





I used two of these lamps in his room at our Lake House Cottage (one shown below) with blue and white stripe ticking shades, and paid full price for them. They are cute, classic, practical, and fit in just about any d├ęcor, depending on what type of shade you pair with it.




My next stop was Target (I was going there anyway for something) and I purchased a plain white shade to fit the lamp.

The fun began when I got home and looked through the stash of ribbon I had, got out my glue gun and scissors, and had a little fun. I had a spool of three inch wide cobalt blue grosgrain ribbon and some scraps of one inch blue and white stripe grosgrain ribbon to use. This is what I did...








I love the nautical seaside look that happened with the blue and white ribbon stripes. The lamp turned out to be a charming and “bright” addition to the room. (These photos below were not taken in his room, but in our kitchen where I was working on the project.)






This was my "Light Bulb Moment" of the week. Enjoy your weekend.

Ciao amici,

Suzanne

20 March 2009

First Day of Spring

One of the best things about living in the South is experiencing the glorious beginning of the Spring season year after year.
I recall the first Spring I spent in Georgia while a graduate student at the University of Georgia in Athens ~ the blooming dogwoods sparkling under haded canopies evergreens, cherry blossoms floating off the trees in light breezes like snowflakes, tulip magnolias opening up to the sky, azaleas in every colour dotting landscapes, enormous rhododendrons nestled in the woods, fragrant wisteria climbing up trellises, and hydrangea mops in almost every garden. It is a gorgeous floral backdrop for the chartreuse leaf buds about to burst on the naked trees.
This is what we have growing in our Southern garden. I took these photographs today, the first day of Spring. Enjoy.
~ ~ ~

Tulip Magnolia


Yoshino Cherry Blossom Tree



Wisteria



Dogwood Blossoms



Bubble Gum Pink Azaleas

Pom Poms ~ Hydrangea Tree



Pear Trees

Hot Pink Geraniums and Snowflake Bacopa

~ ~ ~
Happy Spring to You All
Ciao amici,
Suzanne

17 March 2009

A Garden Party

You are invited to a...



Garden Party
(This sweet photo is now available in my Etsy shop.)




A little bird popped out and told me that something fabulous is gong to be going on En Le Jardin of Miss Jennifer Hayslip from Sweet Eye Candy Creations this May…




…An art retreat that will be a delight for the senses and inspiration for the creative soul.




For more details and registration information, just click here or on the badge above.

~ ~ ~

I am happy to announce that in collaboration with Miss Jenn, the evening after the “artists in residence” create their magic En Le Jardin,



I am hosting an alfresco cocktail party under the stars for everyone on my terrace in Il Mio Giardino. I look forward to meeting all of you and having you in my home. See you soon.






Ciao amici,

Suzanne

13 March 2009

Spring Delight

I am adding some new photographs to my Etsy shop today and here is a peek...

Spring Fever


You may think that I saw these gorgeous tulips in a field in Holland or a tulip farm in northern Washington...but they were actually planted along the Miracle Mile in Chicago. It was a beautiful sight ~ architectural masterpieces, stylish city dwellers, sparkling clean streets, and TULIPS on every corner, intersection, and sidewalk planter.



Check out those exotic black tulips.

~ ~ ~
Enjoy the beginning of longer days and try to take a little time to
stop and smell the flowers.
~ ~ ~
Ciao amici,
Suzanne

06 March 2009

Pucker Up!

From the late 1800s to mid 1950s, before the use of mass produced cardboard boxes, fruits and produce were packed and transported to the marketplace in wooden crates with colourful, informative labels attached to the ends. These labels were an important part of enticing consumers to choose one brand over another and this competition kept packers working to design the most appealing labels.




Introduced to America by European artists, this profession became known as lithography, the first commercial art. As the fruit market grew larger each season, immense competition at the local markets erupted. Orchard owners used this new concept of lithography to bring attention to their fruit.



L'Orange ~ L'Arancia ~ Orange




By the 1950s, regulations and economy caused packers to begin using preprinted cardboard boxes instead of wooden crates with their beautiful labels. An American art form was lost with the crate and its label. Today, this artistry is finding new appreciation among collectors and anyone looking for unique vintage prints.





I've got my own modern version of citrus crate labels and now have them available in my Etsy shop ~ a crateful of goodness.








Limon ~ Luscious Limes ~ Limetta






Pompelmo ~ Pink Grapefruit ~ Pampelmousse


My "crate labels" were originally illustrated in pen and ink and then painted with gouache and watercolour on acid free canvas paper. I have printed these illustrations in my studio on 8½” x 11" Kodak Ultra premium high gloss 74 lb. photographic paper. The image size is still approximately 6½” x 9½” with a white border allowing for framing. The price is an affordable $15 and each print is hand signed in ink before I ship. The colour is as intense and the originals and they fit perfectly into a standard frame. Another option is to mat them to a larger format and place them in a larger frame or hang with simple glass and clips.

They are terrific as a set of four, but also great individually or in groups of two or three.









Citrus Cooler
Set of Four Gift Tags with Natural Raffia Ties



These too were originally hand illustrated in pen and ink and painted with gouache and watercolour on 140 pound cold press watercolour paper, these “Citrus Fruit” tags have been printed in my studio on Strathmore, acid free, 100 lb. smooth finish Bristol board, hand cut with a deckle edge, and are mounted on an over sized hand cut, deckle edge tag made of the same Bristol board. Generous twenty four-inch (24”) natural raffia pulls through a punched hole for tying.

These are terrific for any gift adornment, charming place cards for your Spring or Easter table, or pretty cards to attach to a bouquet of posies or a gift basket of fruit. Also great for bookmarks all year long or even recipe cards.

~ ~ ~

Now for some delightful news...I am the featured seller on the Cottage Style Street Team @ Etsy this week and just found out that last week I was the featured seller on Etsy Cottage Style. Thank you Pops for your lovely, kind, and funny words about me and Marcela for your beautifully written and edited post of my work. If I still lived in California I would be hanging out a lot at the shop Marcela shares with her sister, Nice & Easy Antiques. For some fun a little "pop" in your life, see Popalicious Too!

Thank you friends.

~ ~ ~

Ciao amici,

Suzanne

01 March 2009

In Like a Lion!

Mother Nature is doing her thing today. There were promises of snow today but that so rarely occurs here in the Deep South we did not believe it would happen. The last time it snowed here was the week my husband and I got married six years ago, but not like this...
~ ~ ~
Some daffodils I picked from our garden a few days ago, when it felt like Spring was near.

The walkway to our front door.


My son's playground. The dump trucks are full.


Blooming camellias frosted with powdery snow. Our 1920's pool house in the distance ~ one day to be restored as a guest cottage and my studio.


Frozen cold bunnies and bird bath.

~ ~ ~


What a beautiful day ~ winter never looked so good.
Ciao amici,
Suzanne
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