Monthly Archives: December 2008

RIP Cat McGandy – June 1991 to December 2008

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Cat McGandy AKA Aloka became ill last week. We thought she would pull through by the weekend. Last night she took a turn for the worse and passed away earlier today.

My friends gave her to me as High School graduation gift in June of 1991. She was the runt of a litter of kitties from a friend’s family farm. She was so tiny and never grew to more than 7lbs as an adult. But she loved life and everything that went along with being the family cat.

The picture above is her drinking from the Fountain of Youth. We all aptly named that little water fountain as she would only drink water from it so daily it had to be re-filled two sometimes three times. She taught my other cat, Missy, to drink from it to.

She is much loved and will be missed dearly.

xoxox

Cat McGandy (Aloka) – June, 1991 – December 23, 2008

Artist Tip #21 – How I created children’s paper scrap packs for Christmas gifts

Last night I assembled three paper scrap packs for my nieces; ages three, six and eight.

If you are like me you have many many paper scraps, oops prints and papers that are too small to use. I cut down a larger sheet of cardboard with teddy bears printed on it which now doubles as the backing inside the 8×10 inch plastic bag. The resealable plastic bags are the same ones I use to seal my art and reproductions in. A ziplock baggy would work fine to.

I dug out my medium paper scrap box finding all the pretty paper I could and cut any rough edges square and did the same with the paper from the miniature scrap collection. Next, I sifted through oops and test prints and placed five or six in each bag.

scrap pack - jessica doyle

I cut down one strip of blank stickers and wrote on the back “Draw your own Stickers” and drew the first two for them so they could colour them in.

Lastly I made four packs of itsy bitsy mini blank greeting cards with envelopes for them to draw on. I recycled used kraft mailers to make the mini envelopes and found some shiny red paper to create the envelope seals with. I threw in a glue stick and then sealed each bag.

scrap-021

They look fantastic! I hope they like them :)

Last Artist Tip – How to draw a miniature in 5 easy steps

Review – Epson R2880 Printer

A few weeks ago I got an Epson R2880 printer. Ever since, learning to operate this fascinating piece of equipment has ensued…

intro-pic-epson-r2880-jessica-doyle-review

Set Up

After a false start first using *metal saw horses to make a table with, I purchased a folding plastic/metal table from Canadian Tire for $39.95. If you buy this printer you will need a dedicated space just for the printer and print-outs it produces. And as the ink takes 48 hours to cure you will need a place to lay the prints flat on or to hang them dry from.

Continue reading

Packaging 101 and how it’s related to 4000 Etsy hearts, feedback, cupcakes and being sick.

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I glanced at my hearts on Etsy tonight and there were 4000 of them! It is also the first time I surpassed sales numbers per ratio of hearts. It used to be that every 500 hearts I made 50 sales. Well, I am at 470 sales.

Momentum rocks!

And each and every order gets packaged with extra special care. I received this public feedback the other day from a happy customer. She writes:

In less than a *week I received my “sassy sea urchin”… it’s even better in person!!! I was very impressed with the packaging, my daughter cut out the flower you drew on the envelope and loves the sticker you enclosed!! Thanks for making my first internet shopping experience so positive!!

That in itself keeps me going :) I love my customers and making people smile. It’s my job.

4000-etsy-hearts-jessicadoyle

In behind the scenes

I’m skeptical about asking my free supplier of cardboard for more cardboard but will need more clean cardboard very soon. In the meantime I began the daunting task of researching a clean Canadian cardboard supplier online to buy from. If you have any ideas please shoot them my way.

Thanks!

And in sickness news

I am very sick right now… again with a sore throat, swollen glands, can barely speak and am going in and out of fever. I’m doing my best to keep the business going, respond to inquiries, print, package, sign, date, title, write a review about my new Epson R2880 printer and most importantly get enough rest during this busy time of year.

Oddly enough I took two days off this past weekend and travelled to Fredericton to visit with Karen. It was the first two days in a row that I took off since the summertime. I did the bare minimum to keep things going online. It’s hard to step away.

It seems I get sick when I step away. I don’t get it.

I resolve to work all the time so that I don’t get sick in the future. Being sick sucks!

Or as Dad puts it,

Suck it up cupcake!

*Please keep in mind that order was shipped to another Canadian address. For the life of me I can’t figure out why 3% to 5% of my orders to United States residents take five weeks to arrive. The norm is two to three weeks.

*Names on envelopes have been blurred to protect the identity of my customers

Etsy Elves in Indonesia are Helping Me Package this Christmas

Yesterday this email from Christopher Dewan of The Urban Sherpa arrived. He had found me about a week ago via Gawker Artists and proceeded to add me as a friend on Facebook and I in turn added him.

He bought Do You Love Me from the shop yesterday. I emailed him saying thank you and that his order would be packaged today and mailed out to him on Wednesday.

He responded:

Oh, hi! For some reason, I guess I didn’t expect that order would go straight to you. I guess I figured, I don’t know, you had “people” for that — a great big art warehouse in Indonesia, or Etsy elves; and then you’d just get a big fat monthly check in the mail from them. Or something. I guess I’m naive…

Well, I work in a studio that up until very recently doubled as my bedroom. My helpers are two cats named Missy Two Shoes and Cat McGandy.

I print, cut, assemble, create and package everything for sale in my shop while the cats meow Silent Night and frollick to Jingle Bell Rock.

Thanks Christopher for making me laugh!

Christopher’s email made me think of Knife Gun Pen’s poem, The Four Hundred Hour Workweek and then of Chartreuse’s blog post, The Laymans guide to the End of the World Part One.

I like being small.
:)