Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ETSY - Buying and Selling in an Artists' Marketplace Online

Have you discovered Etsy yet? I enjoy buying handmade creations of art directly from the artist so I often browse the hundred thousand shops on etsy.com for friend and family gifts or to add to my collection of ACEO miniatures (Art Cards, Editions, or Originals). Also referred to as art cards or artist trading cards, ACEOs are 2.5 x 3.5 creations of art that are traded among artists or purchased by collectors. I do both.

My etsy shop is heartfulart.etsy.com and has only a fraction of art found at my website heartfulart.com. I'm building my etsy store day by day and while I do, I'm enjoying the game that being a part of an online marketplace offers. The more I explore Etsy, the more I discover what it has to offer the handmade entrepreneur (like me). Their online labs provide educational videos, the etsy blog highlights sellers, techniques, products and more, and a new feature "shop stats" provide the sellers with marketing data to assist in getting found among the thousands of shops on Etsy. 

And then there's my personal shopping. It's entertaining to browse international shops or discover what artists are creating in towns and cities around the USA. My most recent Etsy purchase is an original ACEO from artist, Micki Wilde of The Secret Hermit based in the UK. The little treasure arrived yesterday, packaged with care. Etsy artists often package their art as creatively as the art itself. It makes it even more fun to know when I send a friend a gift I purchased on Etsy, it will likely be opened with delight. It's not a requirement to make the packaging extraordinary but it is more common than not.

This little ACEO from Micki completes the first page in my ACEO Collection Album (I use acrylic sleeves sold to protect baseball cards in a standard 3-ring binder).

Although some ACEOs are prints, I prefer to collect original art as these nine ACEOs are. The eight artists are from all over the USA and the world.

Start your own collection by entering "ACEO" or "ACEO original art" or "ATC" "ACETSY" or "art cards" in the handmade search field at etsy.com. Or start by taking a look at the ACEOs I have for sale in my Etsy store.

I encourage you to explore Etsy and see where your imagination takes you. It's almost September and the holidays will be here before you know it. Etsy artists await to provide you with the most creative gifts ever! - Raphaella Vaisseau

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sudden Inspiration to Build a Kitty Shelf

I've been dreaming of building cat environments since I first read Bob Walker's book, The Cats' House years ago. I've been successful at getting various cat trees by the windows in my home, but yearned to build climbing things for my kitties. A few weeks ago I had a moment of inspiration and made a make-shift shelf for Diana who sits for hours and hours in the front lanai watching for lizards. I had two acrylic display cubes leftover from my gallery in Sausalito, and I bought the board and pole for $10 at Home Depot. I had the sisal in my garage. Voila! A kitty shelf.
If you like such things too, you'll probably love this blog, Modern Cat. Two of my favorite discoveries a la Modern Cat are Catpods and Power Towers. Enjoy! - Raphaella Vaisseau