More from anipani – lockdown update

Art, craft, daily living, design, etsy, illustration, Life, print on demand sites, society6

I haven’t been resting on my laurels – now there’s an interesting phrase – this lockdown has put me in a creating frenzy and I have been adding new artworks to my handmade creations at Etsy and to my print on demand stores , Society6, Redbubble et al. And of course now we are all wearing face coverings it has to be derigeur to make them as creative as possible. The new fashion accessory of the decade was the result of a global pandemic – we live in interesting times. My partner and I are, like many, shielding from the possiblity of catching this deadly virus. The daily round looks a little different – click and collect shopping and socially distanced dog walking, but much of my routine is still the same. The worst aspect of the whole lockdown is not being able to mix with my sons and stepsons, and extended family – so as long as they remain safe I content myself with that thought. I cannot imagine how frightening it must be to have family affected.

But somewhere along the line, we will be accommodating living with this new peril – there really will be no alternative, so daily living will be changed forever to some degree. The more at risk will necessarily be more restricted until a vaccine comes along – let’s hope at least for a vaccine.

But to more cheery considerations, the reason I commit my time to creating art is really down to its therapeutic value. It helps me to distance myself from all the real world anxieties – global warming, social injustice, the growing disturbances in the world. And turning to making something real is truly liberating – the necessity to focus on practical considerations of making something as well as is possible results in losing a sense of self – I am lost in that feeling of ‘flow’.

So here are some pics from the last few lockdown weeks – some of the new work I am offering and some showing the processes of getting there!

https://society6.com/product/blooming-june_print

Blooming June is on lots of products – and there is a detail version in my handmade cards at Etsy too! https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/812269890

https://etsy.me/3hFJfan

I had a lovely bulk order from America of my card  ‘In the Library’ – an illustration based on detail taken from a wonderful painting by Barthélémy d’ Eyck 1442 – 1445 Still life with books. I popped a little slip around them to help protect each card , (I don’t use cello).

https://etsy.me/2YNp1mr

..and I added a lovely fold out to my book at Etsy which is a tribute to an ancient manuscript The Voynich.

https://etsy.me/2UWirZO

..and my illustrated Prufrock got some bespoke wrapping paper and a postcard sent with it!

..and this is where the magic happens! My easel is an aide- memoir – it carries messages and reminders of what I need to do next!

Creative happy life…

Art, craft, daily living, etsy, illustration, Stationery

O.K. then…not always happy exactly, but that’s what you get when you have the temperament of Eeyore – the melancholic donkey in A.A Milnes Christopher Robin. One way to lift my spirits is to turn to my handmade endeavours – the cards, the prints and the handmade books. I have been doing this for a few years now, and the pace is probably just about right for me, I have enough orders to keep my interest, but not too many to make me anxious. The books are very time consuming as you can imagine, so if I get a spurt of orders on those then I have to extend my lead times. But so far it has worked for me. Recently my contact at a local gallery has taken my prints to display, and just before lockdown had asked me to do some cards to sell there. I generally do as I am asked, but before I could get them to him, the world had to shut down.

So I am sharing them here, in the hope that they may excite you enough to visit my store at Etsy, or if you like any of the artwork here and would like it as a print on A4 rather than printed as a card, which I have shown here, please message me!  All my cards at Etsy are available here   etsy.me/1PgIKTD  and can also include a printed greeting inside.anneannecardUntitled-1annecard3annecard4annecard5annecard6annecard7annecard8annecard9annecard10annecard11annecard12annecard13annecard14annecard15

Booking now!

Art, books, craft, etsy, Life

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This is a shout out to all my existing customers of my hand made books – thank you for your continued support over the year, and a gentle reminder to put your orders in for any you want me to make for Christmas as my order book gets a little busy and there’s only so many hours in a day and days in a week! I make all my handmade books myself so that’s why I am shouting out now!

For a reminder of the books available  – and remember I collaborate too, and can personalise any of the existing titles with a dedication – please go to my book section at Etsy   – My Handmade books at Etsy    

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If a book doesn’t appeal, how about one of my watercolour paper prints from Etsy, which are printed on a heavy watercolour paper to retain the character of the original artwork.

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Fall forward

Art, blogging, craft, daily living, etsy, Life, society6

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My dog walking is a joy these Autumn days – I took some photos a couple of days ago and turned them into digital paintings – just because I can!  My artwork has had the feeling of fall for the past few weeks, but then it is probably my favourite season. I love the smells, and the colour – there is nothing to compare with a sun infused Autumn day. What I see informs what I create – here are a few Autumn creations in my sites at Society6 and Redbubble and at Etsy. I love finding the beauty in ordinary – very Zen!

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Greetings card at Etsy

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River Impressions Art print at all sites

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Fall favour – acorn style Art Print at Society6

And a highlight for me this Autumn was being featured in a beautiful digital magazine Nurture, where I got to share how I love my creative work. You can find the link here  Volume 5 Nurture & Bloom     

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Janeites unite!

books, craft, etsy, illustration, writers

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Slip cover to Jane – a tribute to Jane Austen

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Just a few pictures of the work I have been doing this week – I loved designing and making this handmade tribute to the well loved novelist Jane Austen – quite rightly she continues to be enjoyed across the globe – Pride and Prejudice has sold more than 20 million copies world wide!  I like her because of her wit – and her recognition that self worth is more valuable than external validation albeit knowing that money also makes life far more comfortable!  If you like what you see, head across to my pages at Etsy – you may find something you want me to make for you!

My shop at Etsy of handmade books, cards, and prints

A reintroduction to Modestly

Art, blogging, craft, etsy, illustration, Life, play

 

22I thought I would share some thoughts I articulated when asked a couple of years ago to contribute to an art blog – just in case you haven’t yet met me or know what I do! It seems like yesterday that I sold my first hand made book on Etsy – and every sale is just as exciting to me as that first one. It is an opportunity to put a little bit of myself into the world, albeit in a very humble sense. I hope you feel curious enough to browse my links at the end and discover the work I produce!

The quest of living our lives well is the inevitable journey each individual must take. It is the perpetual drive to retain the mystery and magic in a world that is sometimes inhumane, hostile. Sometimes life becomes almost unbearable in the moment. I have struggled to maintain my equilibrium in different phases of mine – my early twenties working in a pressurised commercial environment, my early thirties becoming a parent, my early forties learning to live with the loss of a marriage and forging a new future.
Since I was a child I have had a curiosity about how to live well. To me this is the question that philosophy tries to answer. And philosophers are interesting, but so are poets and gurus, and business leaders. Curiosity is the spring board to doing something, whatever it may be, it is about the opportunity to dig deeper, to investigate. The process of making my books chose me really. I have loved mining the minds of past thinkers – and current ones too – I think in an attempt to understand more about how to be human. That seems strange, since being human should surely be the most natural of processes. I don’t find that, I find it discombobulating, I look at behaviour to learn from it. I know now I am not alone in that feeling of alienation from my own species, and writers and artists taught me that. I learnt from my early life that being a career girl disassociated me from what is most important to me. So I stopped.

One of my greatest pleasures in life is creating. To find yourself living that flow of easy ‘being’ when the mind and the body are occupied has to be the up there with the best things. I don’t care who you are, or what you have – this is the experience that tops status, recognition, fan appeal. It is really playing – and we in the Western hemisphere have somehow forgotten that play is how we began, and how children learn best. Learn to play, and you learn how to live well. Creating anything, from a cupcake to a spreadsheet, from a poem to an engine, is about that engagement of you with something else. And alchemy happens.

Since I started at Etsy, I have diversified into card design and that spurred me onto a new product range of published notebooks , which are beautifully manufactured and offer another way of enjoying my design work complemented with the wisdom of writers and artists that have inspired me .

The design work on cards suggested to me that I could diversify into other product ranges, and print on demand sites now offer my work on a multi platform , all of which can be found via my website, or here All my sites   

Hoping to share more with you!

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Help – I need somebody!

craft, etsy, Life

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Righto – I am going to just come right out and say it as it is – I really need some help.  My small attempt to make an impact in the world of hand crafted loveliness is running up against a big, bad wall.  Etsy has changed. It has. It isn’t where I started, but it isn’t going to change so somehow I need to man up and get my head around all this promotion business.  I have done some homework – oh yes – I don’t expect the world to fall into my  lap, adn I am well acquainted with the hows and wheretofores of S.E.O. – Three most dreaded capitals when they are together that I know.  This is the hub of it.  I need back links, and not just ANY back links , back links that matter. Back links with attitude. To quote a master on the subject, backlinks ‘are considered external because the appear on pages not found on etsy.com. Providing the site owner has not added a “nofollow” tag to your links, they will pass equity, or the SEO goodness that tell Google to trust your site.’

 

So there we are. I need you give me a backlink on your blog. Wow! I said it. I am happy  to sing it, and will write anyone a guest blog about how and what I do. Let me know if anyone is interested.

Call to arms

Art, blogging, craft, daily living, etsy, illustration, Life, Thoughts
I am babe in arms when it comes to technology.  I have embraced as much as I am able in order to indulge my creative urge to make something somebody else wants to spend their hard earned cash on.  It has sent me down pathways that have totally discombobulated me,  I have disgorged hours of my precious time in order to try and understand the secrets inherent in getting noticed on the Internet. I am exhausted.  I come to you on my knees, pleading for some help. I need to excite your interest enough to bear with me.

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Savour the moment

Walt Whitman helped me there, from his epic poem ‘Leaves of Grass’.  Walt and others have helped me to find my soul. A decent thing to do in my humble opinion.  When I found my soul, it wanted me to put way some of the things I thought were important, and find the preoccupations that left me calm, stable, comfortable in my skin. It is an ongoing process, and in that endeavour I read alot, I think a great deal. And then I play with illustration and share the fruits of my  ‘doing’ with a multipicity of pursuits.  I started by making handmade books, which interested others than just me, so I opened an Etsy shop and sold some on there. I even sold one of my tributes to Shakespeare to a University in America for an exhibition celebrating the 400th year of his birth.  That was a yippee moment! Shakespeare tribute on Etsy

I have enjoyed a few of those moments on Etsy – working to commissions which have brought me closer to people at special points in their lives.  It is a privilege to share a wedding proposal by working on the intended groom’s poem and illustrating it,  a rare joy to be given the opportunity to bring someones love letters together and make them a memento for their beloved to treasure.  I work alone, I spend alot of my time alone and the collaboration with others reminds me how good it is to connect.

My Etsy store needed more listings to become ‘seen’ on there – it is a very packed place to be – so I designed artist cards because they are less time intensive, and made it to nearly 200 listings!  I work hard in my little Etsy corner – learnt how to handle Twitter ( without a smart phone!) , try to post on Facebook daily under  my business page at Facebook and tumble, pin and stumble with the best of them.

So where do I need that help from you?  I am not completely au fait with all the magic that happens amongst the backstage of the internet stage ( huge understatement there), but I am reliably informed by what you will know as an app, that I lack external links. ! Who knew?  And not just any external links – oh no – those mischievous critters can fox anyone. I need external links that do not include ‘no follow’. Apparently.

Now I will try anything to make my web presence just that bit more visible – sad but true, so if any of you reliable web fellows can think of anything remotely helpful, such as me writing a guest blog or an article on how to be seen waving not drowning, please lend a helping hand.  I can’t promise you Shakespeare, but I shall do my best.

Good day to all of you, and I look forward to your magnificence!

 

 

 

Renewal

blogging, craft, daily living, etsy, Life

How has January started 2016 off for you then?  For myself, I am trying to spend some time collecting my thoughts, and uderstanding where I want to go during the next few months.  My weakness is planning – I very rarely do any – and consequently I am reactive as opposed to proactive.  Do I need to make myself more proactive by thrusting myself harder and deeper into the business platforms I sell on?  Or do I accept that the level of sales I make is adequate, and concentrate on the doing and creating, which is where I am happiest.  I think I just answered myself.  Sales are such a buzz – such an affirmation when they occur that the impulse to drive more sales is very strong.  The downside is that the business side of what I do is not where my heart lies.  I struggle to understand what is necessary on the different sites  to get seen, to get recognition.  I struggle to use social media – it feels too intrusive and I don’t have a smart phone so lack the benefits on Instagram.

I think I need to follow my heart – the promotion side will always come second to the process of making – although I am learning too that the process needs down time. It has taken me my whole life to understand some of the prerequisites to my contentment – and I keep learning- but walking in the cold air this morning was a boost to my morale. The air so still, the sky so generous – I was feeling renewal in the air. And it felt great.

I had started a renewal process in my ETsy store yesterday, painstakingly updating my photographs to show off my designs better.  I chose a neutral background which hopefully complements most colours and styles, then got to work on each card, each book.  If I get feedback to confirm it improves appearance, then I will continue with pages 2 – 9 in the shop!  It is such a tedious process, and I am so poor at applying myself, that I need the confirmation from my Etsy co workers, and from my staunch supporters to let me know I am doing the right thing!  Any advice gratefully received – can’t promise I will take it, but I can promise I will listen appreciatively.

Here some examples of the new background and a screen shot of the first page – any coments?anemonegottex34567treeshop2