Plants growing inside salamanders? But why?


This snippit made me go “huh, our planet is still weird.” There is so much we still have to learn about our planet!

I hope you have a lovely weekend. The sunshine has made it pretty misty here in Snowdonia but we got to do a bit of indoor climbing today. Now to give my sore hands a rest!

30 Vaquita

Ever heard of a vaquita? Neither had I.

They are tiny, possibly our smallest cetacean.  They were our second most endangered dolphin until the baiji were written off as extinct. Now they are THE rarest and on the verge of being lost for ever.

On the latest count there are only 30 left. I can paint all the vaquita that are on this planet and that blows my mind.

Gill nets are the biggest known culprits and hopefully if the Mexican government will halt the use of these nets the vaquita may have a chance.

Sticker giveaway!

Hey! So I wanted to share a bit on how I make stickers. I had the push to make some when I was talking to the great people who run a wildlife centre who sell my cards and wanted something to offer kids. Stickers were the answer!

My illustrations were easy to make into stickers and after some research I came across Awesome merchandise.  You simply download a template and create a photoshp file, one layer with artwork and anothe for kisscut. Then you wait for them to arrive!

And when they do I just want to send them all out again for people to cover things in stickers.


Since I had two designs come through I thought it would be nice to do a give away. On my instagram find this post  and tag a friend in the comment below by  midnight on Sunday. On Monday I will announce the winner and post them a bird and a hedgehog sheet. One to keep and one to give, if you want šŸ˜‰

How to etsy 4: Holy moly I made a sale!

My last how to etsy for beginners. I hope this helps someone out there ā¤ it would have helped me a year ago!

Ok. So you have stuff to sell and a place to sell it but to make a sale you need to attract customers. It’s a catch 22 but you’re more likely to be found on etsy if you already have a few sales and positive reviews. So how do you get started?

My first sale was by one of my best friends, and so was the second, and the third. I owe them so much because they helped to kickstart my job and allowed others to find me. I wouldn’t have had the courage to even post things if they hadn’t told me they loved them.

I use instagram and facebook to let people know what I’m up to and get asked to make certain things available in the shop which is great. Also this blog! I’m still finding out how to make myself more ‘discoverable’.

Anyway! So you made a sale and the app makes a really satisfying “ka-ching!” noise. How are you going to pack it? I started off making my own cardboard and parcel paper packages but now IĀ have boxes ofĀ tubes and reinforced envelopes ready for orders to be slipped in. I pop in a postcard with my details and a personal thank you message. Some sellers make beautiful packages and I’m working on how to make my items arrive at their new homes in style. Like making hand stamped gift tags!

First lino print with no injury win! #linoprint #lino #feathers #tryingsomethingnew #craftyfingers

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I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months watching videos and reading blog posts to improve my etsy shop. The best source is Etsy itself which has forums between sellers as well as free email courses to help you out and a blog full of inspiring stories. Sites like Skillshare and Makelight also have courses, some of which are free.

Also there are plenty of makers who share their experience on Youtube. One Youtuber said something which really made me smile; “There’s room for everyone.” So whatever it is you do just go for it. You don’t know until you’ve tried

Painting Hedgehogs

Eeeeh! I got to paint a bunch of hedgehogs last week!

web-5-hedgehogs

Usually I sketch out very basic shapes lightly with a soft pencil which I rub out later but this time I used WATERCOLOUR PENCILS!!! How didn’t I do thisĀ earlier? The marks disappear as I paint so I can be super messy šŸ™‚

…What could it be? WIP #watercolorpainting #watercolour #wildlifeart #wildlifeartist #naturelover

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I filled in my hedgehog shape with water and splooshed in Ā some sepia, yellow ochre and cerulean blue. Apart from the black ink and white highlights I only used these three colours. Oh and a sprinkle of salt to see what it would do.

These hedgehogs are going to the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to help explain how to help these critters. Find out more about their excellent work here.

I ordered new hedgehog stickers and this time my sticker sheets will have teeny snails and cute leaves on to. I can’t wait for them to arrive šŸ™‚

flat-hedgehog

 

How to etsy 3: Listing an item on etsy

This is part 3 of my etsy as a beginner round up and it gets into the nitty gritty and uncomfortable subject of prices. I am still very much learning my way but this is where I am.

Description and price

If I was putting up a new kind of item on etsyĀ the first thing I would do is see who else is doing the same sort of thing. It’s also an opportunity to discover new people and get new ideas (like I just did and got completely distracted).

Reading their descriptions helps to give theĀ listing a skeleton that IĀ can then flesh out. It can also show Ā what makes theĀ item unique.

PricingĀ is the most uncomfortable part for a lot of makers I think. Putting a price on you, your time and what you’ve done is difficult when you’re mostly a bundle of self-doubt tied together with string made of hope. Seeing what similar items are going for helps.

Price = materialsĀ + time is a good start to working out the minimum amount I need to make back from something. Add to this the cost of selling. Etsy takesĀ a cut ofĀ 3.5% as a selling fee and the 16 pence to list. A gallery would take 40% and the shops I sell to want to make a nice profit as well. So I work out the retail price to cover these and that’s what I sell at.

You can always change the prices later but if something isn’t selling then reducing the price doesn’t make any difference from my experience.Ā I don’t think people base their decisions on the cheapest on etsy unless they are between two very similar items. Sometimes people like what you do but right now they don’t need it. Like this guy!

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-13-30-14

I put him up a year ago and he has likes but I just don’t think anyone but me really needs a gravy boat with a whale on it. I’ve just tweaked the postage which was way off but this guy will not be relisted and once it expires and may end up mine.