My Blog Journal


Everything In My Messy Closet Must Go Sale!

Yesterday was the final day of the summer season Farmer’s Market in Westminster, MD. I decided to run a 25-50% OFF special on everything at my table, because I wasn’t looking forward to bringing excess inventory home with me. I have a love/hate relationship with overstock. It only takes a few weeks for stuff in my studio to morph into clutter.

While I’ve been busy working full-time, filling Etsy orders, and re-stocking between shows…. my studio’s “storage” closet has blown up into this disaster:

messy storage closet in art studio

How does one find anything in here?!?

It is currently tied for First Place with the kids’ bedroom as the Messiest Space in the house. :/

Today I have three things on my agenda:

1. Organize the Art Studio…. (again)

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the closet that needs a little TLC. Even my supply drawers are busting at the seams!

messy supplies drawer in art studio

Lace and ribbons and mess, O My!

The entire family has been spending hours each day assisting me with art projects. Joe has been working on custom plaques, essentially taking over my drafting table as his staining/varnishing workspace. We tried bringing in another folding table, but it had the same effect as the mouse in the mitten. The 9’x9′ room simply can’t accommodate any extra bits of furniture.

The kids have been playing with my computer’s Paint program. Some of Mia’s drawings are actually good…. of course, it helps to have cookie cutter tools to draw those perfect circles! ;)

girl crying over dropped doughnut

Mia is crying over her dropped donut being eaten by the cat. Joe looks on angrily.

Needless to say, my studio has become the hub of activity lately… our “Family Room”… and it has accumulated the entire family’s mess.
Right now, the floor looks like a bloody felt battle was recently being fought, with a pair of scissors lying in a pool of red fuzzy clippings.

2. Photograph and List New Artwork for Etsy

My art booth was full of items that haven’t yet made it onto my website…. including a 5″x7″ oval plaque of Mr. Bennet that sold before I had a chance to photograph him.
I have an entire basket full of bookmarks (every piece is represented, I think, except Santa and the 3 Wise Cats)…. but my Etsy shop has a total of five lonely little bookmarks.

Photographing, editing, and listing items does take time… and time was in short supply over the summer, with a show nearly every weekend. However, now that my work is off the table until November, I really need to get everything listed soon.

Including this new 5″x7″ painting ~ “Beatrix” ~ that I worked on yesterday at the market:

Beatrix, brown and white cat painting. Regency Cats by Tara Fly.

She is the second portrait in a planned line of Regency-era head portraits… 26 in total, one lady for each letter of the alphabet. Last Saturday, I began painting “Annabelle”, but didn’t get her finished before I left.
Once home, she was tucked away in that messy closet “to finish later”. You can actually see her ~ the little brunette in blue and yellow ~ in the photo above. ;)

I vowed to finish Beatrix by the end of the market, putting myself on a strict deadline. From first sketch to final brush-stroke, I completed her in under four hours, determined not to exile this poor girl to the closet with her cousin.

work-in-progress painting of Beatrix Cat, Regency portrait.

She was finished so quickly, I barely took any work-in-progress shots of her.

It was a lesson in discipline, because I really wanted to add more fur, re-do the background, and half a dozen other touch-ups. I repeatedly fall into the trap where I can’t stop “fixing” things… that was Annabelle’s fate; I kept messing with her blue shawl, until, completely disgusted, I chucked the entire thing into the closet. She will emerge when I’m ready to tackle her face.

Perhaps limiting myself to 4-5 hours per portrait will be the answer to getting everything done… I have two commissions to begin this month as well.

3. Put My Etsy Shop on Sale

Fortunately, this task is already done! Thanks to the app Etsy on Sale, what would have been a long, arduous process of editing 5 pages worth of listings individually… is now a click or two, and it’s done!

My “End of Summer” sale is an extension of the Final Farmer’s Market sale… for all my online customers who were unable to visit me in person at the Westminster market.
Everything will be marked 25% OFF ~ beginning Sunday, Sept. 2nd until midnight Saturday, Sept. 8th.

Hopefully I can sell through some of the overstock I’ve brought back, packed in boxes! Claim some breathing space in my studio again, and get my closet emptied for all the new stuff I’ll need to store there until Christmas.

I’ve officially signed up to do (4) Christmas Farmer’s Market shows: November 3rd and 10th, and December 1st and 8th. I plan to be very, very busy this season. :)

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