Friday, April 8, 2011

Delightful Dunedin

Have you ever heard of Dunedin, Florida? Maybe not if you are not familiar with Florida or Tampa Bay. For those of you that have suffered in the cold and miserable winter season (I know, I'm from Cleveland), this place is a little slice of paradise!

It has a bit of everything and I'm so happy to have discovered it. Ok, well actually, I had been there before. Once I think for a little lunch and quick shopping (which it has lots of) but never really investigated it. So I set out on a little sales mission to hopefully sell some of my greeting cards to a few of the shops.

A little background on Dunedin; picture a quaint little village with awesome shops and cafes. It is located just north of Clearwater Beach on the Gulf side of the state. Yes, by "gulf" I mean as in Gulf of Mexico. So its this little bustling town on the Gulf of Mexico. Complete with marinas, beaches, antique shops, and a bike trail going straight through the middle of it.

It is home to Caladesi Island, that looks like something out of the Caribbean, and The Toronto Blue Jays spring training!

I mean this place is hopping! Lots of locals, some tourists, kids, pets, farmers markets, etc! Its awesome!
I did end up meeting a lot of the shop owners that day and they were delightful. Each taking the time to look at my cards and two shops in particular placed orders. So let me give a shout out to Ellen from DRAGONFLY GARDENS who has an adorable garden shop. And to Marsha and Patti from the ENCHANTED BRANCH (oh and they also own the candy shop across the street)! Great folks and a great day! Thanks Dunedin!!!!!!

So go check out this little treasure of a town. If you like bead shops, paint your own pottery, art galleries, consignment stores, antique malls, ice cream shops, unique gift shops, pet stores, wine stores or just great food, you will LOVE Dunedin Florida!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


So, after calling, emailing, and researching online greeting card rack companies from all over the U.S. I located a local shop  in St. Pete where I was able to purchase racks at a reasonable rate.

Although this probably sounds mundane and boring, its super exciting to me because it will now free me up to be able to sell larger quantities of cards because I can offer retailers a way to display them.

I now look at racking as a prized possession. Funny how your priorities change in life. First its diamonds you covet then greeting card racks! Just kidding about the diamonds thing!

So all is well in the quest for sellings cards. Oh and also I am starting to get sales of my cards on ETSY! Yay!! For those who havent been on ETSY the address is it is a site that sells all handmade items online with a group of wonderful artists! Love the site and love looking at all of the talented folks on there. Lots of fun!!

So the next time you are looking for a unique gift ( a term way over used but still true) go on ETSY and support someone's dream. It sounds a little corny but trust me it is TRUE!!!

On a final note... It is a beautiful day in sunny Florida so I will get out and enjoy a little gardening today.

Lastly, if you have been watching coverage of the disaster in Japan, please think about making  a contribution to the RED CROSS or any other charity that is assisting those beautiful and proud people who are so desperate for help. The scenes of the devastation are very humbling to watch. I can't even begin to imagine what their lives will be like and we are so fortunate here to have all that we have...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thank you!

I've been having great success with selling my "Chicks of a Feather" cardline! I wanted to take time to say a big thank you to my latest stores to sign on selling my cards! They are:

Annie's Garden-wonderful garden shop with live plants and gifts
Chatenbury Place- great spa and hair and nails
DeJaVu-A cozy womens retail shop
Laughin Ladies-A wonderful gift shop featuring artist works and also a studio for learning a new craft.
PJ's Gifts-Wonderful artists works
Rooms and Relics-Furniture, antiques and Treasures
Salon Paz-A trendy salon and boutique
Scraporium-A very extensive shop and studio of all things scrapbook
Robyn Story Designs-One of the most beautiful shops in Tampa Fl. filled with lots of goodies

Thanks so much to all. And I will be back out hitting the streets soon! This is fun! I have met some wonderful folks who have shared much priceless advice and information.

Oh and I have gotten some interest from some shops outside of the bay area lately so hopefully that will pan out. Currently looking for display racks. Have to search out sources. Let me know if you have good racking sources for greeting cards!

Hope this weekend finds you all healthy. Get out and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


To say I am passionate about my art career is an understatement. I have
every reason not to be though and here's why: I spent the first 20 or so 
years of my life, out of high school, as a dental assistant. It was a
means to an end, however boring it may have been.

I grew up in an artsy family and spent my entire childhood crafting,
mostly because it was my mother's passion! At age 25 I married and shortly
after, began having children. I was a Mom, wife and dental assistant.
Everything in my life was great. I was and am very blessed.

However, one day a friend talked me into taking a painting class. Although
I felt I didnt have time for it, I joined the beginner class anyway. I
carved out time for myself. And then it happened. As I spent time learning
how to paint, the use of color and texture and design, something very
serious happened. I fell in love. Not the love that you have for your
children or husband, but a constant feeling of desire. Desire to seek more
information, more knowledge. I would spend every free moment painting and
learning and reading about painting. I took every class I could afford. I
met every artist that was willing to share information with me. I joined
art groups and associations. I began to design my own work. I spent months
on perfecting my passion, painting collections. Collections of artwork
that worked together.

For every birthday, mothers day and Christmas I asked for anything related
to painting. And I continued to study and practice. I turned my dining
room into an eclectic art studio full of paint goodies! And then it dawned
on me. I had to quit dental assisting and begin to use my skills somehow.

At first I began faux finishing walls and painting murals. I became
somewhat well known in my area and began working with homeowners,
designers and contractors. I was successful! Making $500.00 a day. I did
it for five years, often booked 6 months in advance. Then I burned out
physically. I switched to painting on small canvases. I designed different
pieces and painted them meticulously, all the while still studying and
learning more! I designed one particular piece and sent it to a national
how-to-paint magazine and on my first attempt was published. I was
thrilled to say the least. That was the first time I truly felt like a
real artist.

And yet that was only the start. I began refining my art collections and
sending them to manufacturers of paper products, tableware and christmas
decorations. I was starting to get noticed. I found an art agent who
secured a contract for me with a major manufacturer. I worked hard on my
designs for a year to fulfil my art licensing contract. About one month
before the home decor line was to debut in Atlanta, my agent told me that
the manufacturer decided not to go forward with my work. I was devastated.

I closed the door to my studio and didnt paint for a year. It was a
terrible blow. It was a crushing of my spirit and soul. Something died in
me then. Gone for good.

But as passions do, my desire to create bubbled up from my inner being.
Slowly my passion caught fire again. I tried to deny it, but it was
impossible to do. I started to paint again. I got really serious again. I
couldnt squash it. It is my passion, my life, my sense of well being. It
is me. My inner self. My confidence. And so once again I began to
pursue my dream of becoming a licensed artist. I started to contact
companies again in hopes of landing another art licensing deal.

Lots of moments, days, weeks, months and years later I am finally on the
eve of a new art licensing deal with a collection I call "Inspired Ink". I
also self publish a greeting card line for women called "Chicks of a
Feather" that embraces women's passions, hobbies and interests. And I have
recently been approached by a rubber stamp company to license my designs
on rubber stamps.

I feel the ball rolling now. Downhill. Gaining momentum. At last. Finally,
on the verge. The verge of real success with my passion...creating art!

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011


What will you do this week? I would like to sell 3 more orders of my Chicks of a Feather card line this week. I have a little roadblock though. Starting Wednesday is a little thing called MARKET in Atlanta. Market or the Atlanta Gift Mart is a destination for retail buyers to go and see existing and new product available for purchase wholesale to the trade only..

The "Mart" is three 30 story buildings in downtown Atlanta. These buildings house showrooms that pretty much every gift, jewelry and clothing manufacturers use to show and sell their wares.

So it opens on Wednesday and goes for about 10 days. And if you've never been in a word, it is FUN!

Anyway, my dilemma is that I do not have a showroom. I'm just a little guy out selling door to door. Lets see if I can get anyone's attention this week...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thanks for the suggestions

My experimental blog has lots of people messaging me and texting me with great ideas. One idea that I am kicking around in my head is to settle on the charities that I want to donate to. Obviously anything that involves children is of utmost importance to me. My dear friend Susie reminded me about the importance of childrens autism causes and I also like the childrens cancer research and juvenile diabetes efforts.

I may divide up whatever money I raise and donate to all three. They all really touch my heart. I think when you know people whos lives have been touched by these challenges you really want to help in any way possible.

Please ask your friends to join my blog! I would be honored! Thanks everyone!!