Open for business

Open for business

I have had various incarnations of an online shop over the last few years and although I have Seek and Adore for my sculptures (more on those in an upcoming post) I had not quite found anything that suited my prints and small original paintings since I closed my etsy shop a while ago. But finally! I have rediscovered the simplicity and practicality of big cartel so in the last week or so I have been gradually adding some small original paintings, favourite older prints and of course newer prints to my brand new shop.

As a wee welcome and introduction I am offering a welcome discount of 20% off any purchase until 31st May 2013 – just add use the code WELCOME20 to the box when confirming your purchases on the shopping cart page. Click on the photo above to be taken straight to the store.

The Dim Light – Newly released Print!

ImageHello and a happy new week to you! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are excited about the week to come.

I like Mondays – they are always full of such possibility and a chance to believe and hope (if only for a moment) that I am going to get alot of my to-do-list done. Yesterday we spent a lovely Mothers day with Mark’s folks – a leisurely Sunday dinner, chat and plenty of card games. Today has so far been a day of tackling more applications with looming deadlines. I miss my Monday Flickr Mosaics but with a busy 2 months coming up I must prioritise, but I do hope to fit one in soon.

So my most recent painting is finished and I am really happy with her. I need to get a proper photo so that I can do a final blog post so in the meantime the image above is a brand new print in my etsy shop! The dim light is one of only 3 paintings I finished last year and I do like her. She is soulful and full of expression and character. Anyway she is now available in my etsy hope in a medium and large size.

I love that blue – it is my favourite colour.

Now I have to go sculpt – I have spent so much time on these paintings the last couple of weeks that I am really behind on creating new characters for upcoming shows….

Till tomorrow!

x x x

 

A moment in time….a gift

So the last couple of days I have been telling you of our amazing trip to London – today I wanted to tell you about the reason we were there…

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and although I have made a good recovery, it was a rollercoaster few months. During my radiotherapy treatment, the hospital handed me a form for The Willow Foundation – a charity that I had not previously heard of. This amazing organisation plans and gifts special days out to seriously ill people  16 – 40 years of age. I took the form reluctantly (indeed I took everything to do with my diagnosis reluctantly) and put it away in a desk drawer. I didn’t feel ill enough to be applying for such a gift – indeed I felt embarrassed to be offered it in the first place, I didn’t deserve such a treat when there are so many people who do.

However, my daily visits to the hospital meant that the radiographers had plenty of opportunities to badger me about the form which had to be submitted whilst I was still undergoing active treatment and filled out by the health professionals. Friends and family also had a part to play and eventually on the last day of my treatment I handed the form in (reluctantly…) As I had left it so late I did not expect it to go through or be accepted. So to cut a long story short, our weekend away was a memorable gift from The Willow Foundation and it was lovely to time it with my birthday too. They organised everything, from our train journey to London, to a car which took us from station to hotel, hotel to theatre, hotel to station again on the Sunday. They booked us into the most amazing hotel on the Embankment of the Thames – so central that we could walk everywhere. They booked us the tickets to Warhorse which will be a memory that will stay with me….such a beautiful show.

This is not something that we could have afforded to do ourselves as our income would never make it possible. The only way that I could accept such a gift was with the knowledge that I could hopefully give something back in some small way. There are so many charities that have helped me along the way in this journey – Cancer Care UK, Macmillan Cancer and Breast Cancer Care and in time I want to release other prints with a portion given to those but I wanted to begin with this wonderful Charity which takes creating ‘A Moment in time…’ as their gift to those suffering the stresses and strains of life-threatening illnesses. I am so grateful to them for the memories that were created on our trip to London.

This painting was created at a time when I was still really feeling the effects of my treatment but had also made the decision to get serious about my art and make the most of my abilities and the opportunities I have to create – it is one of my favourite images of mine and means an incredible amount to me!

So there are 2 sizes of this print available which for now will only be available on-line and from me in person. 50% of the price of each print will go to the Willow Foundation (the rest will enable me to always have ink and  paper on hand!) and I hope to keep a running total of donations somewhere in my side-bar if I can work out how to do it. My initial aim is to raise £500 but as this print will be available for as long as I am able to make prints (I aim to never retire!) then who knows!

The medium version of this print is here and the large here.

I don’t usually ask this, but if you did know anyone who may like to purchase a copy of this print, or if you wanted to blog about it, or share this post in any way, I would be ever so grateful. As I have made this print an un-limited edition I would love to sell as many as possible and be able to support this charity in my own small way.

xxx

24hr SALE Launched!!

At last! After a very late night making draft listings in my etsy shop (2am I went to bed…) the sale has now gone live in my shop! Most of the clay characters are there and I have 2 more to add just now as well as changing the prices of some of my textile characters – it all took so much longer than I thought it would but most of it is done. So to see the clay characters go here to my etsy shop.

I have alot of work to send to galleries and an upcoming exhibition so am unlikely to have any new characters in my etsy shop in the next couple of months, hence the reason for the 24hr special sale!

  You can read more about it here, but as a summary these are the details….

1. characters will go live in my etsy shop on thurs 9th June – 9am (GMT – United Kingdom time) for 24 hours only – items are now LIVE in my shop.
2. prices will be at 20% less than usual
3. payment can be made over 2 months – 50% on ordering, 50% by 10th July – I will send an adjusted invoice once you have ordered
4. item will be mailed once final payment has cleared

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to ask! You can convo me on etsy, leave a note in the comments here, or email me at mail@gillianleesmith.com

Okay I am off to adjust the prices of the textile characters and add the final 2 clay characters to my shop.

xxx

Katya, Tomas and Aurek….

Katya collects books on wildflowers and spends her days painting delicate watercolours which she leaves in all sorts of places for strangers to discover and enjoy. Under bottles of milk left at the villagers front doors, tucked in hedgerows and hanging from tree’s. Nobody knows the identity of the mysterious artist but each picture is a delight and is treasured each new owner.

Tomas likes nothing better than to walk for miles and miles through river and forest, over hills and stone walls, making new discoveries every day. His home is filled with treasures found on these adventures. Ghostly moth wings and ancient fossilised branches that twist and turn into human like forms. On each journey, he leaves a trail of scattered acorns as a temporary reminder of the hours spent walking over untrodden paths.

Aurek lives in a white washed windmill with pale blue doors and windows and ivy that twists it’s way up to the top and around the now silent and still sails. The curved walls are covered in bookshelves, home to the many antiquated volumes that have been handled and read over and over again.

Here is the last post of the day and the last 3 clay characters to be appearing in my shop sale tomorrow.  You can read more about it here, but as a summary these are the details….

1. characters will go live in my etsy shop on thurs 9th June – 9am (GMT – United Kingdom time) for 24 hours only – I will post here as soon as I list them) – please check what time that will be in your particular corner of the world (you can do that here on this website)
2. prices will be at 20% less than usual
3. payment can be made over 2 months – 50% on ordering, 50% by 10th July – I will send an adjusted invoice once you have ordered
4. item will be mailed once final payment has cleared

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to ask! You can convo me on etsy, leave a note in the comments here, or email me at mail@gillianleesmith.com

I had forgotten that I had already blogged a few of the characters as I was creating them so if you would like a sneak peak of the ones that will be in the sale here are the links…..So far we have Alexei, Sasa, Milo, Wilfred, Janek, Oskar, Jania and Miro plus a while host of textile characters too.

Thank you so much for your interest!

xxx

Ilya … and an announcement

Ilya, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Ilya is a shy poet. He likes to walk for miles and miles, drifting and dreaming. Inspired by his surroundings, he carries a well-worn journal and sketches and writes of the fairies that can be glimpsed through the mist as they fly over and under the twisted branches of the hawthorn trees. To anyone else, they appear as moths, fluttering silently in a ghostly dance but Ilya hears their sing-song chants and marvels at their intricate costumes as he watches from across the copse.

Hello again! Ilya is actually the clay character who found a new home at the weekend and is now with a delightful couple who were charmed by his soulful expression. I have a lot of other characters to show you this week so will be doing that each day.

Okay, please bear with me as I now become little-miss-public-service-announcer…..but I just wanted to let you know that I will be having a special one-day-only sale in my etsy shop this Thursday coming on all the clay characters and textile dolls that I currently have in my studio. I am gradually listing them this week but they will not appear ‘live’ in my shop until 9am (GMT) on Thurs 9th and then the majority of them will be removed at 9am (GMT) on Friday 10th June. I have work to send off to 3 galleries the end of this week and the beginning of next but as I so rarely have the larger characters available in my shop I wanted to give my online friends the opportunity to purchase a character should you so wish. Two other things I have to tell you about this sale is that the characters will be listed 20% cheaper than their usual prices and also, I am offering the opportunity to pay the balance over 2 months – so half upon purchasing and the other half by 10th July!!

I hope that all makes sense – I have many events and craft fairs, galleries to send work to and an upcoming exhibition in the next 2 months so I just know that I am going to find it difficult to be listing many characters online in that time but I want folks to be able to get hold of one if they really want!!

So just to recap

1. characters will go live in my etsy shop on thurs 9th June – 9am (GMT) for 24 hours only (I will post here as soon as I list them) – please check what time that will be in your particular corner of the world (you can do that here on this website)
2. prices will be at 20% less than usual
3. payment can be made over 2 months – 50% on ordering, 50% by 10th July – I will send an adjusted invoice once you have ordered
4. item will be mailed once final payment has cleared

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to ask! You can convo me on etsy, leave a note in the comments here, or email me at mail@gillianleesmith.com

Okay, whew I think that is all. All characters will be appearing on my blog over the coming days and I shall be posting a couple of reminders of the sale here on my blog and on my facebook page – normal blogging and wittering will resume next week! xxx

Jacob

Jacob, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Quickly posting this before I run out on a few errands and then meet a friend for coffee. I had so much more I wanted to write this week but time has ran away from me!

This new character is now finished and his name is Jacob. He is very pleased to meet you. He is currently making his (hopefully) temporary home in my etsy shop (and on my writing desk – I am lucky in that I get to enjoy his company for a wee while).

For more photos please see here, for my etsy shop please see here.

I forgot to mention that I am offering ‘lay-away’ on more considered items in my shop so should he be pulling on your heart strings he can be paid for in 2 payments over 2 months and will be mailed when fully paid for. I hate discussing ‘sales’ and ‘money’ here on my blog – it all feels a bit uncomfortable but I also know that there are many things that I would love to buy but the money is not always directly to hand so please forgive me being so direct!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and see you next week! x

A great weekend…

Marek, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Hello friends! I didn’t get to making my usual monday mosaic based on my flickr friends yesterday as I was absolutely exhausted after a long week of working 12-15 hours a day last week and then 2 days at SOCK at the weekend selling my wares. I will never get over how lucky I am to be doing a job where I don’t mind a bit working 70+ hours a week in order to ‘get-things’ done – I am very fortunate and enjoy every minute of it. Yesterday though, I had a much needed day off and spent my time pottering in the garden which was lovely.

The weekend was wonderful. My first fair of the year and the first event showing my new work in the form of these latest clay characters. It is always lovely to meet customers face to face, both existing customers and people seeing my work for the first time. I was a little nervous as to how people would react to my new work but am delighted to say that people were very generous in their comments and feedback.

Marek – the character above found a new home as did all the jointed characters that I made. As I was rushing to finish them right up until the last minute (Friday night – nothing like cutting it fine…) I did not even get a chance to photograph them properly and this chap only had his snapshot photo taken whilst the lovely lady was off to get the money to purchase him! As ever, I was more than a little sad to see him go as I was very fond of him but I either make this my hobby so that I keep everything I make or I get used to the idea that this is my living and just enjoy the fact that others like my work enough to take it home with them! Of course I am ever so grateful that they do. It means I can continue to make more and support myself in this strange world of creating for a living.

I want to do a proper post about the event at the weekend and also highlight some of my favourite makers who were also showing there as the standard really was excellent but that will be for another day – I am still exhausted and officially start back at my part-time job today after some time off. It has been a real luxury being able to focus all my attentions on my artwork these last few months so now I am just hoping and praying that I will be able to balance returning to my reminiscence work 2 days a week with continuing to create and make as I have been doing. I suspect it may be a little tiring at first although last week is a good indication that my energy levels are returning even though I was losing the ability to string a sentence together by Sunday!

PS I did bring 3 characters home with me and they are now in my etsy shop here, here and here.

PPS I received so many lovely comments here on my blog, my facebook page and my flickr site last week but just didn’t have time to reply to them all individually. Please know that I am so grateful for your continued support and encouragement. Thank you.

xxx

A Moment in Time…..

I am delighted with this new painting. Even though my characters don’t necessarily look like me, they have my thoughts, emotions and dreams. I don’t have much of my own artwork around the place but I think I may be framing a print of her for our stairway.

I sometimes struggle with knowing when a piece is finished – when it needs no more and no less – and in this case I got to the point where I knew she was almost finished and then I left her for a couple of days – the painted tree on her dress and then another wash of ink were all she needed.

The original painting is now listed in my etsy shop with a print to come soon.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend! x