Always the Same or Something Different?

Wow a big catch up – while looking through my website links I clicked on ‘News and Blog’ – you’ll find it above on the right…  July 2017 it said!  Ok, so a lot has happened since then and here I am going to endeavour to say it all in a nutshell.

Last year was the last time you’d see Larryware at craft fairs – so much work usually and although good, not really worth it… Since I gave them up I have felt so free and free to do whatever work my heart so desires!  Although at the moment, I am a little worried…

You see I have always been unique and have always received the line ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before’ – but as I fly close to what everyone else seems to be doing right now – whales, hares and foxes – it now looks like my work isn’t as originally thought up as it once was!

So yesterday – taking a well loved and known bird – I strove forth and created this:

Using my own unique style – although it’s an idea I’m sure you all well recognise, painting a beautiful scene in an outline – I have seen this with faces, whales (!) and other animals – but I’ve only ever seen a blank background, not another pattern as well – so this is what I’m going to explore!

This actually started around Christmas time – painting a scene within a scene…

Suddenly heavily inspired by the amazing film ‘Loving Vincent‘  I think Vincent has always been in me somewhere, my love of bright and intense colour, this is my Dutchness coming out… (my mum was Dutch and so was Vincent!  I know, I know…  But it’s a nice thought!)

So with this style I shall allow myself to be the same with hares, whales and foxes, but differently expressed then I have been, if you know what I mean – although between you and me I am at the moment preparing to paint my first ever manta ray….!

Keep checking out my website shop – I try and update it with something new every other day… And as for Etsy, I’ll keep it up, and there are some beautiful things listed for sale right now, but I think I need to really concentrate on my website for the time being!

Thanks for reading and see you all soon – definitely a lot sooner then July 2018! x

Be Patient

I live by this rule these days – but is it really a rule?  Isn’t it more like common sense?  Most of us spend our whole lives rushing around at speed, trying to get things done, trying to get everything done in very little time, so we can relax and enjoy – but trouble is, once you start doing everything, other things show themselves and so you have to do those things too (you know what it’s like –  once you’re on a roll) and before you know it, you’re stressed, you’re tired, you’re ill.

I fell into this trap.  I stopped my creations and tried to sort out my Etsy shop – I retook ALL of my photos and with 200+ listings, that was a hell of a lot and it took me weeks!  I had to wait for the good weather and got frustrated with the constant wind that blew everything around and then the stifling hot sun…  I wish I had just done a few a day and not attempted to do them all…  I mean, I’d probably still be doing them, but perhaps I would have enjoyed it rather then it become a chore?

Everything I find just takes patience – nothing is going to be a crazy success overnight – if you just take the time and stop worrying, the hard work will pay off.  But meanwhile, in-between that patience, observe what’s around you too!  Most of the time I take a few time out days, I leave my business altogether… I just go outside, enjoy the garden, see my friends, go for long walks and visit the sea – I am so lucky to have so many beautiful places within reach here in North Devon to go to, but then I did grow up in London, I experienced a city life, not always grey and busy… But I managed to escape there too – the parks were great, there were wildlife reserves and woodland and it was 45 minutes in the car to Kent – super!  No matter where you are, there is something to see – you just have to be patient, you won’t get to it in seconds! 

Below are a few of my pictures just to prove, if you take the time, if you be patience, you will be rewarded – so sit back,  let everything come to you – being a wildlife photographer, I’ve stopped ‘seeking’, it’s now whatever I find, and it’s much more relaxing and I think my pictures are improving because of this, what do you think?  From left to right a wildflower called a corncockle, a dragonfly called a broad bodied chaser, a robin called Louie (!), a perfect Devon sunset and a beautiful poppy.

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Running a business is all about patience, you just have to put in the work – I’ve worked hard at it all year round now, now I’m no longer doing craft fairs, and I’ve put in the time, the effort and the energy – I have a formula now to work with (apart from sorting out this blog, this is where I fall down!) and I’m so enjoying what I’m doing and I’m getting some of the best feedback I’ve ever had.  It’s a good feeling.   Everyone I believe can achieve this – just be patience, be still.

Emy xx

Lists and Plans

How many of us make lists?  Are they listed on your phone?  Or do you still write them down?  Or like me, are they just listed somewhere in the vast space of your brain?  My brain can hold an awful lot of information (not all of it rather useful though!)

Last night I took part in #folksyhour all about blogging and how to blog and what to blog… I think I tweeted some valid points, since I started my first blog in 2006 (No I’m not bragging, it’s rather shameful really, too much time on my hands?) and that’s the problem now – there’s not enough time to do everything!

Life used to be so simple when all you needed to do was to blog – now there’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr… Not to mention the shop platforms – Etsy and Folksy (I will not even consider NOTHS being in with that, I don’t agree with their handmade policies, since I found a shop owner sticking a bought bird charm on a bought chain and selling it for £15!!!  Disgusting.)  Which ones do you pick?  Do you do all of them?  Do you do some of them one week and the rest next week?  Do you sign up for these apps which you pay good money in order for them to do it for you, hence losing the personal touch?  Well, you really don’t need to do anything you don’t want to do, no-one is telling you otherwise – just stop worrying and listen…, sorry, read!

PLAN.

Yep, that’s right.  Don’t rush into anything headfirst – PLAN.  The best day to plan is on a Sunday and it shouldn’t take more then an hour.  Look at the week ahead, create a timetable – personally I like to ‘draw’ one out, so I can refer to it as it’s sitting next to me, by my laptop – and I find if I write things down, rather then type them, I find it better to remember what I’ve written!

The trick is, is to do a little bit of everything. 

Blog at least once a week – I had a plan to do that 3 times a week…  The plan is still in place people! 😉

I always make sure I post one thing a day on Facebook, maybe twice – a piece of work, followed by a picture of what I’ve been doing – a bit like this:

“Today I have been busy, I’ve managed to find time to paint and enjoy what I have painted, I hope you like it too… Am I flying bird obsessed?

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Followed by later on:

“Do you ever feel like you’re being watched?”  Hey Louie!

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I tend to post anything to Instagram after 7pm – as that’s when it seems to be busy as people have returned to work, have had their dinner and are now on their phones/laptops – I post new work, work in progress (WIP) and photographs of either Louie or a nice sunset…

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When it comes to Twitter – I look back at my own handy blog as a guide – I love joining in with some of the ‘hours’ that take place – there are so many and it’s best to be selective – I don’t always do them, but during my time tabled week on a Sunday I make sure I’m there for at least ONE!  I like to re-write my timetable every single week…!

I make sure I list at least one new item per day on both my Etsy shop and my Folksy shop – so today’s offering for folksy, click on the picture to get you to the shop listing:

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And Etsy:

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Of course I don’t stick 100% to my timetable, it’s just a guideline – and it’s needed for people like myself who forget things so easily!  But I am indeed a creature of habit – I once read somewhere that it takes 21 days to form a habit, as long as you’re doing this every day for 21 days that is!  Bare that in mind!

As for tumblr – I tend to steer clear of it – I don’t quite understand how it works, I’ve never liked it – but some people it works well – I am on there as lovearobin << I know, terrible name!!

Pinterest?  I LOVE THAT PLACE – trouble is, I can spend hours on it – every new listing on any of my shops, or any new photo posted on Twitter, I then pin to one of my boards – don’t even begin to ask me what that place is all about and how it works for your business, I simply don’t have a clue and hope someday someone will enlighten me!

Google+ – another total confusion with me – although I did notice one of my posts quite high up on a search item on google about hand painted jewellery – so I shall try it again – if I’m successful, I’ll blog about it!

Sorry for being so vague… I chat to my blog like it’s a real person!

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I tend to do social media in the mornings and then work in the afternoons and then network like crazy in the evenings – although some days I just disappear off the map, out with my camera, out for the day, away completely, which is so needed in this day and age or you will just about drive yourself insane.

As always, bare in mind that what works for you, doesn’t always work for others – it’s all trial and error – and as you can see I’ve rambled on and on here and because of that, I’ve actually created a blog post out of it!

I guess with blogging – be yourself, be funny (if you’re not funny usually then here’s your chance to be that funny person you’ve always wanted to be), write about everything – write about the book your reading, the film you went to see, write about the artists you love and perhaps interview a few of them. Start your own trends – like ‘Treasury Tuesdays’ – found items from wherever – not just artists, but great articles to read, fantastic recipes.  Talk about yourself, your garden, your pets – what makes you happy, sad, angry – treat a blog like your own personal sounding board/soapbox – of course, everything is common sense and if you feel you’re getting too angry or heated, just move on… there’s a great ‘delete’ button, use it!  But above all, enjoy it – it’s not daunting and if anything, it doesn’t have to be straight away – I started this blog this morning, I’ve been coming back and forth to it, and it’s already lunchtime and I’ve prattled on already with over 1000 words (how the hell did that happen?)

Anyhooooo…  I’ll be back to blog some more soon!

Treasury Tuesday

A month or so ago, Etsy decided to scrap their very popular Treasuries – they were a list of findings which you yourself could create, out of your favourites or matching colours or for different seasons – Sadly I never did get much time to look and make lots myself, but since the deletion, I do kind of miss it!

I am hoping to write a series of blog posts on my fellow artists via interview type questions, and especially the ones I admire & would love to buy from in the future – that’s if I haven’t done so already!  But first…

I’ve decided to make my own ‘Treasury’ and not always on a Tuesday either… It just happens to be Tuesday!  There will be 5 shops shared each time!

Anyhow… Here goes, instead of just one picture per shop, I’ve screen shot their Etsy shop pages – as in the first 6 listings, please click on them to be taken to each individual shop:

Let me introduce you to the stunning and original work of Jakeart1

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She has an endless and boundless talent, I swear this lady could paint anything and as you can see, top right corner, my own Louie Robin has had the fabulous Justine treatment!  I call her the Queen of the Hares – her hare paintings are stunning!  She’s also a lovely lady, I go through so many confidence crisis’s and she’s always there to make it better!  You can commission her to do anything – and she’ll do it for you and you’ll be so happy, as her work is amazing!  I cannot stress that enough!

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Next… Let me introduce you to EarthBalanceCraft and her copper wire art – I do myself own one of her beautiful robin creations and I really must photograph it for her and post it in situ asap!  I simply love her work and I have my eye on so many pieces… her sense of colour is extraordinary, as I always home into colour more then anything else!  This must take her hours, it shows!  The love and the passion she has for her creations literally ooze out of the wire!

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For the third shop here is LilCritterDesigns – I have absolutely no talent in stitching of any kind at all… Knitting, crochet, sowing… Nothing, it has totally passed me by…!  But if I could stitch as half as good at this incredibly talented lady then I’d be very happy indeed!  I have recently purchased one of her robin decorations too and it’s hanging pride of place on the dresser right now in the sitting room – again it’s the use of colour, I can’t get enough of it!

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None of these shops are in any particular order… so let’s get to the fourth shop in my Tuesday Treasury – Let me introduce you to the multitalented Fawa1 – I stumbled across her shop on one of my first Etsy hunts for anything robin (Yes, robins are indeed my obsession!) and I found one of her beautiful robin brooches which I immediately ordered and only recently I’ve been wearing it again… Her drawings are beautiful, there is so much character in all of her designs and they are so simple too, with a great modern twist:

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Lastly and in no way least – let me introduce you to DancingHarePottery – another ‘stumble upon’ while searching ‘crows’ and I found her crow bowl and another impulse buy and I use it to keep my watch and rings safe!  Another art form which has completely passed me by – pottery – although I love it very much indeed, but what I love about hers is that it’s just not about the bowl, it’s about the drawings and the designs too… her bowls are her canvas’s and they’re extremely beautiful and simple too… and of course, colourful!  Are you seeing a pattern here?  Gorgeous work, I have my eye on so many pieces!

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I hope you all enjoyed my little foray into the world of Etsy and my favourite shops and artisans – I shall be doing a blog post like this again soon!  Plus I won’t only be looking on Etsy, I shall be sharing Facebook, Instagram and Folksy… I’ve never really found many shops on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Emily 🙂 x