June 22, 2013

A Baby Sparrow, a Feather and a Cautionary Tale

Summer is here! Both Emma and ChloƩ are on holiday now. My days change significantly when they are in the house each day. Not that they are difficult at their age but I find my brain is more easily distracted when others are here. Plus for sure, there are occasional interruptions and taxi duties. And more sharing is required of computers, etc. Now it is the cranky, middle-aged mother, not toddlers, having difficulty with sharing.

Good news! I am slowly but surely getting used to my new computer setup and starting to produce prints from it. So proud of this little baby sparrow print.  I just added it to my shop today. I'll also be adding him in a larger 8 x 10 format. I have other prints ready to go into my shop and a pile more paintings to convert. It's slow work but worth it to me to do it right. Plus Emma, who is a Photoshop whiz, has been helping me a lot.

After having one of the best months ever sale-wise in May, June has been so, so quiet. I was worrying about it and then realized that it was actually a good thing as my computer situation would have made it very hard to keep up had it been busier. A good lesson in accepting and adapting to circumstances.

Here's another addition to my shop this week.

This is a card based on my sparrow feather painting. A customer asked me if that painting was available as a card. I try whenever I can to respond to customer suggestions like this. This one was a real challenge. I first approached it the way I do most of my paintings when making them into a print or card. Usually I scan the painting, then isolate my image and remove the paper texture around it. No matter how I did it, I was losing fine detail from my feather. I worked on it for hours, Emma helped me too, and I was about to abandon the idea of it ever being a card. Then I had the idea of including the paper texture! In the end, by including the paper texture and adding two fine lines as a frame, it has retained the three-dimensional look of the original work. The original painting was done within a rectangular hand-embossed area. It was definitely a 'eureka' moment. Wish it had come a little sooner but glad it came at all. :)

And a cautionary tale. I was so elated when I finally figured out the feather card that I immediately sent a message to the customer who had made the enquiry. And then I quickly sent an email to an artist friend with whom I share lots of the ups and downs of my art making and print making. I pressed send and then looked at my screen. To my horror, I had sent the second email (the one destined for my friend) to the customer as well. In the email I had referred to the 'stupid...I mean sweet sparrow feather', all within the context of the hours of work it had taken to finally get it right. A friend would understand. A customer? I'm not so sure. When I realized what I had done, I immediately sent a note of apology to the customer but I think the damage was done. I haven't heard back from her. I still feel awful and so embarrassed about it. From me to you: Be careful with that 'send' button.

I seem to be more tired lately, more distracted, clumsier. My feet seem to be twice as long as usual. Do you know the feeling? I am wearing new glasses which may be part of the problem. But I also think that the past weeks with all of the computer troubles have taken their toll. Nothing that a bit of summer can't cure I'm sure. 


  1. Oh, well...it happens. your customer may still return. Both the sparrow & the feather are great!

    May was good for my shop, too. I was surprised!

    1. Thanks, Carol, for the supportive words.

      I'm glad your month of May was good! With Etsy, you never know what to expect month to month! The highs need to be celebrated. :)

  2. Your feather card looks lovely. Funny how these things work with our computers, persistence eventually delivers! Well done.I understand your frustration with the 'send' button mix up, but like Carol said you never know maybe she will still return.
    Meanwhile I am enjoying all your lovely photos from your garden on instagram. Thank you for spreading the joy;-)

    1. Thank you, Annamaria! I appreciate your support and friendship so much!

  3. Oh Kathleen, I have already sent similar emails to two persons at the same time, including one who shouldn't have received it. It was not customers, but still business related (when I finally got noticed, after months of waiting, that I was official) Oh well, what doesn't kill you make you stronger (or more cautious !), right ?! ;-)
    Glad you managed to work things out for the feather card, it looks super lovely !!
    And June ... ah yes, we're in the same boat ... after April & May being awesome, well June .... no comment.
    Sending you & Meeko big hugs xoxo

    1. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one to do things like this! I will definitely be more cautious with that 'send' button now. :)

      I'm calling it the June jinx, Sonia ;) I hope sales pick up again sometime soon! xx

  4. Maybe the customer will truly understand and hasn't been online since you sent it! Most people are nice if given a chance, I think. I hope. LOL Love both pieces though.

  5. Dear Kathleen - this sparrow and feather are beautiful...computers and all the stuff it takes to accomplish just what you did amazes me! I think like Crimson leaves maybe your customer just hasn't read her email yet. Take care and have a great day.

  6. i have experienced trouble with that send button before too. Hope you have a lovely summer weekend


Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

(Please note that comments with links to ads or commercial websites will be deleted.)



autumn (26) backyard (19) birds (17) creativity (7) family (37) flowers (32) friends (13) garden (72) gardening (7) hope (8) leaves (17) Meeko (94) nature photography (14) original watercolor (9) painting (55) paintings (34) print (12) rain (16) soft-coated Wheaten terrier (27) spring (28) studio (13) summer (12) watercolor (102) watercolour (98) winter (19)