Gifts For Grads

Having gone through one personally (my son just graduated from college...what??!!), it is graduation season.  Check out these great gift ideas for everyone (maybe even the grads of life!)

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It's summer vacation!  

Beach bound or road tripping!

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Ready for anything

Phones, keys and change.  Find the perfect carry-all bag here!

Life happens.  Coffee (or tea) helps!

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Their favorite brew can go mobile too!

On they way to class, travel mugs travel! Shop here!

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Chic and perfect for all their stuff

Weekender tote bags are large enough to tote the world. Grab one here! 

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And then they can soak up some sun

Grab beach towels here!

Dorm Decor

Your grad can personalize their space in so many ways!!

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Wall Tapestries

Not just for walls (but for couches and beds too).  Find amazing designs here!

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They have plentiful possibilities

for plastering their place.  Posters and prints available!

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And if they ever make their bed...

Duvet covers and throw pillows personalize it.  Shop!

Making A Statement

They can concentrate on studying, knowing they have all the right gear.

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Protect their tech

Laptop sleeves make a perfect gift.  Shop now!

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Beautiful designs

that can withstand the most regretful text.  Phone cases for every device.  Buy them here!

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They will never run out of power again!

Battery running low?  Run and get her a stylish battery charger!  Run here! 

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They will forget nothing

Perfect for taking notes and plotting world domination. Shop now!

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And can carry it all with them

Carry this away here!

And if all else fails...

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It certainly has helped me!  Shop here!

 

Still can't decide?  Check out my boutiques for more designs and cool stuff.

Teacher Appreciation Gift Guide

It takes a super big heart to teach little minds!

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The end of school is fast approaching.  Show your child's teacher how much you appreciate them with one of these great gift ideas.

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Ready for anything

Phones, keys and change, extra pencils.  Find the perfect carry-all bag here!

Life happens.  Coffee (or tea) helps!

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Their favorite brew can go mobile too!

On they way to class, travel mugs travel! Shop here!

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Chic and perfect for all their stuff

Weekender tote bags are large enough to tote the world. Grab one here! 

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Make a statement

while protecting their tech.   Laptop sleeves make a perfect gift.  Shop now!

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Beautiful designs

that can withstand the most regretful text.  Phone cases for every device.  Buy them here!

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They will never run out of power again!

Battery running low?  Run and get her a stylish battery charger!  Run here! 

For the Organized Obsessed Mom

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They will forget nothing

Perfect for making lists, lesson plans, and plotting world domination. Shop now!

And can carry it with them

Shopping should always be fashionable.  Carry this away here!

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A well deserved vacation

deserves an amazing way to lay in the sand.  Grab beach towels here!

And if all else fails...

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It certainly has helped me!  Shop here!

 

Still can't decide?  Check out my boutiques for more designs and cool stuff.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

You love your mom.  Your mom loves cool stuff.  Enough said.

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Mother's Day will be here really soon, which means you better get a move on it if you are going to secure your place as the favorite.  Maybe you can't truly buy her love, but here are some suggestions to help.

For the Fashionista Mom

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Say yes to this dress!

Your mom can wear a rose bouquet everyday!  Get it here!

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Ready for anything

Phones, keys and change.  Find the perfect one here!

For The On-The-Go Mom

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Her favorite brew can go mobile too!

Drop-off, pick-up, errands or a road trip, whatever her current situation, travel mugs travel! Shop here!

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Chic and perfect for all her stuff

Weekender tote bags are large enough to tote the world. Grab one here! 

For the Tech-y Mom

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Make a statement

while protecting her tech.   Laptop sleeves make a perfect gift.  Shop now!

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Beautiful designs

that can withstand the most regretful text.  Phone cases for every device.  Buy them here!

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She will never run out of power again!

Battery running low?  Run and get her a stylish battery charger!  Run here! 

For the Organized Obsessed Mom

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She will forget nothing

Perfect for making lists, sketching portraits, and plotting world domination. Shop now!

And can carry it with her

Shopping should always be fashionable.  Carry this away here!

For The Artsy Mom

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Good times!

She may want to control time, but too bad.  Grab one here!

For The Mom Who Has It All

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It certainly has helped me!  Shop here!

 

Still can't decide?  Check out my boutiques for more designs and cool stuff.

Why I Broke Up With Etsy

I've had an Etsy shop for about 10 years now.  I certainly didn't get in on the ground floor, but I was involved before Etsy became Etsy.  And that probably doesn't mean what you think.  

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I mean back when Etsy was about artists, artisans and crafters.  Not mass produced, laser cut sayings on mugs and wholesale throw pillows. 

Now, I would never begrudge anyone the ability to make money, be it extra or a living.  But quite frankly, I can't compete.

When I first opened my shop, I treated it like the other sites I have my artwork on and lived by the definition of passive income.  I threw some of my favorite images up there and offered them as framed art prints.  I also added some craft items I made in my spare time, like a mosaic table, decorated candles and some resin charms.  Truly a mish mosh of stuff.  And then, I sat back "passively" and waited.

For awhile.

And nothing sold.

I finally sold the mosaic table to a very happy customer in California.  I thought this is it!  My "no sale" streak has ended!!

As Etsy grew, so did I, creatively that is.  I really started thinking of myself as a brand, working on my art and realizing that there was nothing passive about passive income.  You are constantly marketing the hell out of yourself and telling the world where to find you, all while you are selling the lifestyle they will perceive they will have by buying your products.

It can be exhausting.

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So, I read every Pinterest post I could find on advice about Etsy.  

How to set-up your shop for success.  Etsy SEO.  Etsy images.  How I made $100,000 a year on Etsy.

I did everything they said.

I beefed up my profile page.  

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I offered unique, one of kind items.

I wrote key-word rich titles for my items.

And put my self out there with the 1,000 other Pink Roses, Round Beach Towel, Beach Accessories, Spring Break Beach Must Have, Picnic Blanket, Poolside, Photoart Towels.

And then I sat back and waited.

For awhile.

And this time two things sold. 

I've outgrown Etsy.  I'm moving on to bigger and better.

I'll keep you posted.

Vacation Goals

My husband and I just got back from a much needed vacation.

Now, for some of you in my life, that statement may raise an eyebrow.  Much needed from what?

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Well, there was a time in my life where I might have agreed.  But, ever since I've reinvented myself, started treating myself as a business, started an online art gallery and spending not only a good portion of my free time, but my not-so-free time as well volunteering as the president of my synagogue, I'm mentally exhausted.

My plan on this trip was to let everything go.

Just relax and not think about anything other than what bathing suit to wear and what we were eating.

Right.

My mind doesn't work that way.

In fact, when my agenda is specifically to de-stress and let go, mind starts racing and coming up with all these new creative approaches to just about everything.  

I always bring my camera on trips, but what's funny is I rarely use it.  Typically I am off on my own walking or wandering around, and I am always trying to be inconspicuous and not paparazzi-ish.  On the occasion I am walking with others, I always feel like I am aggravating everyone by stopping every two feet to take pictures of doors or street signs.  My cell phone becomes indispensable.  

So, as I said, the beach this time around was my endless source of inspiration.  I collect sea glass.  So do you.  Admit it.  It feeds our endless fascination with shiny objects and our closeted yearning to want to some how find pirate's treasure.  I, however, am also always on the hunt for cool shells and funky rocks.  Yes, rocks.  Pink, green-ish and mat black.  Anything that is unlike the rocks in my own landscaping that quite frankly are the color of dirt.

The creativity easily flows when I am in a completely different setting and surrounded by totally different subject matter.

You'll notice not a single flower in the bunch!

Okay, some beach grass wrapped around a palm tree.

What can I say?

 

 

The 1 Thing I Learned In Art School

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Illustration with a minor in Computer Graphics from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.  I started out my college career at the University of Delaware as an art major.  I thought I wanted more of that "campus-y" feel, but after a year, I realized I wanted more art.  To be quite honest, had I done it in reverse, I probably would have sat at Moore after the first year thinking, I thought I wanted more of that "artsy" feel.  But really what 18 year old truly knows what they want?

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I remember completing my first assignment.  I placed my project in line with the rest of my classmates and immediately thought, I'm out of my league.  Certainly that wasn't true.  I deserved to be there just as much as anyone else.  And, as my high school friends at other colleges and universities were sitting in 45 minute lectures, I was in six our studio classes drawing everything from detailed pen and ink botanical illustrations to sitting kiln side waiting for my latest pottery creation to finish firing.

All in all, it was a great experience.  I enjoyed my classes, had fun with my friends and discovered that I have a "thing" for art history.  

Was college necessary?  Did I learn anything there that I could not have just figured out on my own?

Honestly, I'm mostly where I am today as an artist by trial and error.  I picked up a camera and started shooting.  I took workshops here and there and read tutorials.   Most of what I enjoy and do creatively, is what I taught myself.  So why bother going?

Because of the single most import thing I learned in art school.  How to take criticism.  

I currently have the opportunity to work with many people who come from a variety of life experiences, and I have found it astounding how many people get personally offended if you don't agree with them or disagree with any part of or all of their approach.  It's called life skills people.  They're super important.

Putting something out in the world that you have spent hours of time and energy on, hours of your heart and soul on, and have it critiqued by fellow artists, is an experience that never leaves you.

You learn to not take things personally, because it's not a comment on who you are.  You learn that people have opinions, and you don't have to agree with them.  You learn that occasionally someone makes a good point. And, you learn that sometimes you should still just follow your heart, because despite the nay sayers, it's the direction you want to go.

Okay, so that's more than 1 thing, and I know you're not going to suddenly take the time to go to art school, but learn to let it go.