Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thankful for November..But now it's December!

Granted..I've been busy.  And I am not a consistent Blogger.  But when I checked my Blog I was embarrassed to see that my last post was about Halloween!  I did like most of the retailers.. I jumped past Halloween and went straight to Christmas.  Sorry about that.  I'll just have to get into the habit of posting to my blog.
This last month there have been ups and downs.  
I have received the most wonderful praise from some of my customers.  When I thanked my customers for their business and support on my site, I really meant it.  You have no idea what a few kind and sincere words can do for a business owner.  Or anyone for that matter. Instantly you feel like you are making a contribution.  Like you are doing something worthwhile.  Like your time is not wasted. 

Just last week a little restaurant up the street went out of business.  I really loved that restaurant.  I tried to make a point of going in at least once a month.  But, my husband decided he didn't like the food that much.  So for a long while we just didn't go.  Now that small business, that was owned by a group of regular people, is out of business.  Makes me wish I'd gone in for lunch just a few more times.  You never know if it would have made a difference.  
So..I guess my  message is to support small businesses when you can.  That parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents find me and buy my onesies and tee shirts...makes me so happy.

There are some glitches along the way.  Just this week I am replacing a onesie with a tee.  A communication slip. But I never mind making a customer happy.  It's part of this business as far as I'm concerned.  Another customer washed a newly purchased onesie to find that the design ended up with spots on it.  In 4 years, that has never happened.  Of course, I'm replacing the garment.  And I'll want to do some hands on research on that one
Ok..the fun part.  New designs!  Here are a few of my newer and way older designs that I'm going to add to my site.  They may not all make the cut..we'll see.    

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Good Bye Doggies..Hello Baby Magnolias

It's time to say good bye to the old (things that aren't selling), and say hello to the new (things you hope will sell). 
On my site, my listings expire after 30 days.  It might be longer..I don't remember.  Anyway, when they expire, they drop off your site unless you renew them.  Most times I renew them. 
If my designs get looked at on a fairly regular basis, I renew them.  Even if I haven't sold any.  I'm always shocked at how many times I'm just about to let a design go, and it suddenly sells.  You never know what the public is going to want.
But if a design isn't viewed that many times, I have to realize that it's just not going to sell.  It just kills me that my beloved dog portraits are apparently not going to sell.  At least not on my web site.  I have to admit that I myself would much rather view a print or painting in person before I bought it.
So, as the dog portraits expire, I let them. 
But when a window closes, supposedly another window opens.  Enter my new Baby Magnolia designs.  Recently, I realized I didn't have that many designs for little girls.  I guess my last two grandsons "over" inspired me. 
Here are three of my Baby Magnolia designs..hope you like them!
I decided to come up with some very definite Southern sayings.  I consider myself a Southerner. Almost 15 years in St. Louis was as close to North as I've lived.  I was born in Texas, but have spent more time in Mississippi.  And now I live in North Carolina. 
My granddaughter is a very girly girl.  Pink is very prominent in her 6 year old world.  So I've come up with some cute sayings.   I'm going to pair them with flowers and lots of pink.  So far, I'm pleased with what I've designed.  These will replace the dogs.  And lets hope there are customers out there that can relate to them.  I don't mean to exclude my Northern customers.  But you have to go with what you know.  And I don't know Yankee.  At least not yet..  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Should I call this Blog "DogWorks"?

I can't believe I totally missed June.  I guess it's pretty evident, I'm not a commited blogger.  But each and every time I work on my Rhoadworks site, I notice that it does say "Keep Up with me on my Blog".  I can't even keep up myself! goes.
I have two new dogs to brag about.  I got a request from a customer to do a Vizsla design.  I'm familiar with the breed (I watch dog shows on tv), but you certainly don't see them very often.  They're beautiful dogs.  I found a picture of a group of Vizslas.  I liked the eyes on one of the dogs and chose that one to do.  I think he turned out pretty well. 
I'm alway trying to come up with ways to market my web site and my designs.  I decided I would contact some Pet Boutiques.  My Dog Brother and Sister designs sell way more than any of my others these days. (Harry Potter is next in line)  I emailed 7 boutiques around the country.  As yet, I haven't heard from any of them. But I truly enjoyed looking and ready their web sites.  One of them, based out of Boston had a Boston Terrier as a trademark.  Well, that's all it too.  I began looking for a Boston that I could use for my design.  Boy, are those cute dogs!  I found one and got started.  
Last night I finished my Boston Terrier.  He looks good too.  And I've already gotten quite a few hits on him. 
There are SO many dog breeds to do.  I think my next one will be a poodle.  But..which color should I do.  I'll probably end up doing a white one, black one and maybe apricot.  Now..standard, or toy?  I'd better get busy...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Painter's Block

I haven't "blogged" since Cinco de Mayo apparently.  It just isn't a habit with me yet.  I admire those who have the time and the inclination to keep up with their blogging. 
I typically would have produced at least two more dog paintings by now.  But I am stuck on one dog.  I started him several weeks ago..and he's still not done!  I'm not happy with him.  And I don't know how to proceed.  There is such a thing as "over painting", and I'm close to it. 
The owner of the dog did see the painting..and she said she likes it.  But the problem is, I don't.  I'm ready to just start all over.  But I will press on and finish what I started. 
After he's done, I can't wait to paint more dogs.  They might pose some problems too, but at least it will be a 'different' dog.  Here he is, for better or worse..

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo News

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  I'm too busy and maybe slightly more careful to celebrate Cinco de Mayo the way I used to.  I do love Mexican food and Margaritas.  But, I'll have to wait till Saturday (Ciete?) to celebrate.  I will be a way for a Sister's Weekend.  We get together and just celebrate being sisters.  And since we all love to play slot machines, we throw a little of that in there too. 
Everyone should start early and set aside a day or two to celebrate relationships.  We all are used to Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.  But why not a Friends weekend, Brother's weekend, Honeymoon weekend, or Just the Kids weekend?  
I've had the best time lately painting my "Dogs".  Things are starting to move lately.  As I've shown my paintings to family and friends, they show them to other people.  Now I have a "commisson" to do a dog portrait for a couple.  Being paid to do something you enjoy so much?  How good is that!  Although, there is an added amount of pressure to make sure the painting looks exactly like fido, when you're getting paid.  
I have all my paintings copied into prints.  I've only sold one so far.  My goal is to present them in a an art show.  But the venue hasn't come up yet.  But, it will.  
Until then, I'll just keep on painting.  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Newest Puppy

I can't believe it's been so long since I've "blogged".  I guess I'm still not in the habit.  I see that I have 42 followers.. do they really follow my blog?  Wow..I guess I should give this some more attention.
It's been a busy month.  I've had good sales.  After Christmas I always take a hit.  Then slowly the sales come back. And they did..thank you everyone. 
I've stayed busy painting more of my dogs.  I was dissappointed not to get into a large craft fair here in Raleigh.  That was going to be my jumping off point for selling my dog prints.  Since that didn't happen, I'm formulating plan B.  Will let you know when I come up with it.
I love painting these dogs!  And there's no reason to stop.  I have my own "little brown daughter" to paint (Penny).  But after one of my friends saw my most recent dog, she wants me to paint her Golden Retriever, Jake.  So, I'll do that next.  Can't wait. 
Anyway.. here's my latest..a Boxer puppy.  Enjoy... and feel free to look at my other prints at Rhoadworks. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

My Own Jack Russell

To my bulldog and sheepdog paintings, I've added a Jack Russell.  It was a learning process for sure.  I liked the head and profile of one dog picture, and the coat and coloring of another.  So, I thought I'd just combine them.  Very much easier said than done.  I almost gave up on it.  But I was determined not to waste the canvas.  So I reworked it, and by golly.. I like him now.  Without further ado.. here he is.
I've had the other two dog paintings made into 8 x 10 prints.  I'll do the same for "Jack" when I find out how well received the other two are.  I added them to Rhoadworks on Etsy today.  I'll be thrilled if they sell.  
Wish me luck.. Thanks for looking.   

Friday, January 21, 2011

Painting with a Brush!

Just thought I'd check it already January 21st!!  In my last post I mentioned that I love to work on dogs.  Well, most of that has been via computer.  I do love "painting" with my new electronic pen.
But, guess what, I can paint with a real brush too.  I got out a bunch of acrylic paints that I've had stashed away, along with a few canvases.
Here are the results. 
 Now my personal task is turning these paintings into viable prints that I can hopefully sell on my site.  I'm learning the process as I go.  I've had copies made.  But realize I need to have them copied onto "good" paper. 
I can't wait to Paint some more puppies!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year..Some New Dogs

Happy New Year.  My New Year came in very quietly.  In fact it was so boring, I won't even bore you with it.  The next morning I remembered that a customer had asked me before Christmas, to do a Yellow Lab design.  I had promised that I'd start it after the holidays.  So, I started on the design. 
You have to know that I LOVE working on new designs, especially my dogs.  For me it's a guilty pleasure to sit and devote all my time to using my computer pen and drawing.  I feel like I should be doing something more important, like the laundry, or cleaning house.  But I do occasionally give myself permission to block everything else out and draw.
The result was not only a neat looking Yellow Lab, but also a Black Lab.  I like the way they turned out.  And the Yellow Lab design got more hits on my site in one hour than some have gotten in one week.  I'm hoping that results in some sales.  In any case I'm glad everyone seems to like it. 
Now that my drawing is done, it's time to get busy with the laundry and the house cleaning. While I'm doing that, you can look at my new dogs.  Happy New Year!