Angelic Buyers When Sales Go Awry on eBay

Angelic Buyers vs Nightmare Buyers

After writing about a nightmare experience selling online on eBay, I want to follow-up with a few stories of angelic Buyers who gave me the benefit-of-the-doubt.

Nothing is straight forward when selling and shipping antiques online.

My workflow: I research the item in our library and on the Internet. I place a value on the item and write an ad for eBay or Etsy. I take phone photos and hubby takes studio photos if needed. When the item sells, he packs & mails. We work for perfection — but to error is human.

And when we make an error, things can go north or south.

Angelic Buyers

Bar beads with curl icon

antique gig for spearing a frog or fish
Frog gig to spear a frog or a fish

EBayer purchases one frog gig – we mailed six 

Inadvertently, we had mailed every gig in our toolbox. The Buyer calls after he opened the package to find the gig he ordered plus five more.

In good spirits, he wraps and returns the extra gigs. We paid the return postage and said, Thanks – you are an angel!

Really, had the Buyer not alerted us to this packing error and mailed back the extra five gigs, we could have spent months wondering, “What happened to all of our frog gigs?”Bar beads with curl icon

Vintage 4-tine barn fork for hay
Vintage 4-tine barn fork for hay

We sold a pitchfork online to Australia. The Buyer did not pay immediately, and I was beginning to wonder when I would receive payment. The following week, I opened the mailbox to find a hand-addressed envelope filled with bills and coins. The Buyer had mailed cash from Australia for his purchase. Lovely trust between Buyer and Seller – and the postal system. Continue reading Angelic Buyers When Sales Go Awry on eBay

That’s How the Cookie Crumbles

My Kitchen Needs a Video Crew on Thanksgiving

Penguin cookie decorated as a turkey for Thanksgiving
Penguin cookie with Thanksgiving turkey decorations

Rushing to finish my Thanksgiving cooking list, Pumpkin Pie, Frosted Apple Pie Slices, Sweet-potato Puff, and a bowl of Romaine Crunchy Salad, I skidded out of control.

I hit the first curve when Shep reported on Fox News, “Just in! ALL Romaine lettuce – RECALLED!”

Yikes! Hubby ran to Wal-Mart to return two packages of Romaine bought for Thanksgiving’s Romaine Crunchy Salad. I ran to our favorite neighborhood grocer for gourmet lettuce to replace Romaine.

Then, as I rushed to whip the sweet potatoes with my KitchenAid, I flipped the speed to high with my left hand and I pulled the lock lever to lock the mixing bowl with my right hand. Unfortunately, I had not seated the bowl into the locking groove at the bottom of the mixer stand.

My sweet potatoes went flying. The bowl flipped and wedged against its base at a 45-degree angle. The motor froze.

I panicked, of course. Fortunately hubby saw this as an opportunity to employ his engineering skills and ran to the garage for tools.

He entered the kitchen armed with a giant paint-stir stick in one hand and a rubber mallet in the other. Within minutes, my mixing bowl was freed, and my KitchenAid was safe to operate. Continue reading That’s How the Cookie Crumbles

Spooky Halloween – Doylestown, Wisconsin

Spooky grapes floating in egg whites and eyeballs
Float grapes in a bowl of egg whites. Close your eyes. Feel the slimy grapes squish through your fingers. Imagine how brave I felt in first grade as I listened to ghost stories, with visions of eyeballs dancing in my head!

My First Ever Spooky Halloween

Unaware to me as a child, I had a speech impediment.

I was clueless my speech was not stellar until my 1st-grade teacher, Mrs. Theresa Bow, enlisted Sally, a 6th-grader, to tutor me in pronunciation.

Those speech lessons turned spooky on Halloween morning, thanks to my playful tutor. She snagged my imagination and drew me into the 6th-grade plot —  scare the Jello out of  the 1st-graders.

Spooky glass eyes from antique Nippon doll
Spooky glass eyes from antique Nippon doll

Continue reading Spooky Halloween – Doylestown, Wisconsin

Lettering on Adobe Live by Pro Designers

lettering sweet dreams art framed inside a heart
Sweet dreams, dear one

Check out Adobe Live Lettering Tutorials

Lettering on Behance by pro lettering gurus has sucked up 3-days of my life again this week.

Anytime lettering and illustration are slated for broadcast on Adobe Live, I click to tune in when possible.

Watching pro artists and illustrators teach their work flow is a valuable use of time. Adobe Live Streams showcase guest artists and designers weekly, Tues.-Thurs., with replays  that live on the Web infinitum on Behance and YouTube.

Each week features an unique area of design, art, animation, videography, lettering, typography, editorial design, illustration, UX design, or website architecture and layout.

Lettering Pros Share Tips and Workflow

Adobe Live lettering challenge style letters for Adobe Live using four colors
Day #1 lettering challenge was to hand-letter “Adobe Live” using four colors

Four lettering pros shared tips and workflow this week,

Aug. 28-30.

For those in the chat, Adobe sponsored daily lettering contests, Day #1 and Day #2, awarding winners a free year’s subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud and 100 stickers from Sticker Mule.
Continue reading Lettering on Adobe Live by Pro Designers

Art of Our Presidents, Iconic Images Illustrate History

Presidential Portraits of the Obamas, Barack and Michelle
Iconic portraits by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald: Kehinde’s oil on canvas of President Barack Obama and Amy’s oil on linen of First Lady Michele Obama

Art of Barack and Michelle Obama in the Smithsonian

Thanks to patriotic benefactors, two prestigious portraits now hang in the Smithsonian: Kehinde Wiley’s oil on canvas of Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s oil on linen of Michelle Obama, our 44th President and First Lady. These insightful character studies offer a measure of creativity and embody the essence of why America fell in love with Barack and Michelle and elected them our First Family.

The unveiling ceremony, February, 12, 2018, was part of the Smithsonian’s  50th milestone anniversary of its Portrait Gallery. Continue reading Art of Our Presidents, Iconic Images Illustrate History

Nightmare in eBay Town With Spooky Buyer

Antique art meets nightmare Buyer

We sold a dreamy framed print of Pharaoh’s Horses on eBay. My husband remembers seeing it on the wall in his grandparent’s parlor, and we were hoping to find someone who would treasure it, which we did … but first came a nightmare eBayer.

Packing with care Pharaoh's Horses with bubble wrap and customized foam cutout
Packing with care Pharaoh’s Horses

Hubby photographed the art for eBay and packed it for mailing: two of the five scary steps to selling on eBay:

  1. Photograph item,
  2. Write item description for listing,
  3. Package and weigh item for shipping,
  4. List item with proper information and photos,
  5. Ship sold item securely to Buyer.

Selling on eBay with fingers crossed

Even before my nightmare saga, we had misgivings concerning the pitfalls of selling online due to the drama of mailing fragile antiques.

The frame had a delicate gessoed border. The wood frame had a fragile veneer. And the rolled, antique glass was fragile. Hubby cut round foam spacers for the inset glass and customized the packing materials for travel into the great unknown, the postal system.

Pricing on eBay can be spooky

Continue reading Nightmare in eBay Town With Spooky Buyer

Circus Clown Poster Art to Make You Smile

Clowns, giraffes, tigers, lions, and elephants make great circus posters

Shoppers: We sold our poster collection other than four Monte-Carlo posters with the Bazzoli clown, currently for sale at Pazazz, my Etsy shop.

Circus World Welcomes Tourists

Continue reading Circus Clown Poster Art to Make You Smile

Laptop Art and Wicked Tuna, a Perfect Duo

Laptop art, perfect for binge watching Wicked Tuna

Laptop art Edvard Munch's The Scream in pixels as transformative art in a frame
Framed for hanging, my transformative art of The Scream

Often, I am busy on my laptop designing digital frames whenever I watch  Wicked Tuna on the National Geographic channel. If I end up with something to show at the end of the program, I justify the bucket of time I dumped watching TV.

After I completed my first pixel art of The Scream, Edvard Munch’s iconic masterpiece, I thought it needed a frame. So, I made a frame for it while I watched Wicked Tuna, and I recolored my Scream from Munch’s classic palette to my favorite Jelly Bean palette of colors.

I’ve asked myself, Why do I binge-watch Wicked Tuna?

Continue reading Laptop Art and Wicked Tuna, a Perfect Duo

Transformative Art of Edvard Munch The Scream

Digital transformative art in pixels of a masterpiece, Edvard Munch's The Scream
Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream painted 100 years ago inspired my attempt at transformative art with pixels and vectors

Why I Painted a Copycat version of The Scream

Normally, I would term my digital recreation of Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream a copycat, but today to recreate the art or photographs of others in a surprising or an unexpected way is termed “transformative art.” Transformative art has a fair use copyright standing in many cases.

My transformative art of Edvard Munch’s The Scream came about after watching an Adobe Live downstream featuring a Photoshop Contest with free digital brushes, designed by Kyle T. Webster.  Kyle designed the brushes after seven Munch brushes curated at the Munch Museum/Oslo.

I downloaded the Munch digital brushes from Adobe for Photoshop, and had dreams of creating a piece of digital art in the Munch style for the Adobe contest. I made my sketch, and started to paint with my Wacom pen.

However, my computer is a dinosaur, with a slow processor. Every stroke I took with the Munch brushes was like watching a swath of color slowly populating across my screen. As grand as it was to play with the Adobe Munch brushes, it was far too tedious for me, so I abandoned my sketch.

The Scream by Munch has proved itself a timeless classic due to its original expression of a universal theme, panic. Munch painted from life. He was walking with two friends on a bridge, and suddenly he heard nature screaming at him and deafening his thoughts. It was a singular experience that found its way onto his canvas.

Munch painted four different versions of The Scream. One hangs in  Oslo at the Munch Museum.

Continue reading Transformative Art of Edvard Munch The Scream

Free Munch Digital Brushes and Scream 5 Contest

Munch The Scream 5th Contest Sponsored by Adobe

Scream by Edvard Munch in pixels
Scream by Munch in Pixels

Edvard Munch’s The Scream is one of the most recognizable paintings ever. One of his four renditions of The Scream hangs in the Oslo Munch Museum, which houses the largest collection of Munch works in existence. The museum has also curated seven of his priceless brushes.

In collaboration with the museum, Adobe commissioned artist and art teacher Kyle T. Webster to replicate digital versions of Edvard’s brushes for Adobe Photoshop CC and Sketch. These digital brushes and tutorials are available to you free from Adobe.

Adobe sponsored a contest for a Scream 5 in July 2017, and offered these brushes for artists to create their own digital masterpiece, one inspired by the iconic Munch masterpiece. A print of the winning art would be exhibited at the museum next to Edvard’s The Scream.

Update: Contest ended August 1, 2017. See entries for Munch 5th on Adobe’s Behance.

Continue reading Free Munch Digital Brushes and Scream 5 Contest

Easter and Springtime Collide

Easter arrives at springtime. For me, spring brings marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies, daffodils, dandelions, colored eggs, egg hunts, fishing, hiking, boating, canoeing, ball caps, flip-flops, summer clothes, summer colors, golf, tennis, camping, traveling, friends, flowers, sun glasses, plein aire watercolors, graduations, parties – and family.

Is it Easter yet?

Living in the Ozarks means I enjoy the best spring offers. Our lilac bush is blooming, and we bought a new lawn mower that’s still in the box. Too early to mow.

Illustration of a cardinal sitting atop an Easter egg surrounded by dandelions and a lucky worm
Cardinal’s Easter Egg

Spring comes with sounds. Canaries, titmice, woodpeckers, robins, and cardinals are daily sites at our bird feeders. The canaries made an early return from their winter’s journey, adding splashes of yellow to the backyard. Titmice and woodpeckers stick the winter out in the Ozarks. As well, some robins and cardinals winter here. All we have to do is step outdoors or open a window to hear spring.

We have a squirrel nesting in our back yard – and a possum!

Best of all, spring is when we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His gift of new life evermore.

Slow down for Easter

Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, just came and went.

I say to myself as I do each year at this time, “Let’s not rush through this epic event.”  Do some bird watching. Watch Mother Nature wake up from her winter  nap. Journal an Easter Bible Study.

This week read the Gospel records on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that changed history forever.

  • Matthew 26:1-28:20
  • Mark 11:1-16:19
  • Luke 22:1-24:53
  • John 13:1-21:25.

As it is written … the week of Easter

Continue reading Easter and Springtime Collide

Pixel Art Animation Tutorials from Adobe Behance

Pixel Art of fish swimming in sea with an air balloon overhead that turns out to be a fisherman
Fishy, fishy in the Sea

Pixel Animation, Lesson One

Pixel Animation and Motion Design are mesmerizing and fun to watch on web pages if you like text and art dancing around your website like I do.

So, I made my first pixel art animation, Fishy, Fishy in the Sea. Plot: Fish are happily swimming  on an idyllic day when a seemingly peaceful air balloon floating overhead is piloted by a fisherman who pulls out a fishing reel and plunks a lure into the water. Water splashes. Fish scatter. End of story. The animation loops endlessly.

Learning from Pro Motion Designers

Earlier in March, AdobeLive from Paris streamed video of motion designers working with animation. Designers included: Made By Radio; Alexandra Lund; Lucile Patron; and Cyril Izran.

Over a 3-day time span, designers worked in their favorite Adobe animation programs and with their favorite tools and plugins.

On Day 1, watching Lucile Patron’s live stream, I caught the bug to design a pixel art animation.

Lucile Patron, AKA Fulifuli, made pixel art animation in Photoshop look so easy and fun, I thought, Why not me?

Continue reading Pixel Art Animation Tutorials from Adobe Behance