Thursday, February 28, 2013

Drive traffic to your etsy shop using Etsy Finds

Hot links or Hot dogs?
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

Floral Handbag appearing on first page of etsy search.
My artist friends and I were having a little discussion online about whether it pays to advertise their listings in etsy. Most agreed that it was more important to use really good keywords and renew a lot. I've learned that some of the best ways to get traffic and sales to my etsy shop is to align my strategy with etsy by using  their daily "etsy finds" email. 

The "etsy finds" email comes out every day around 11am and I renew based on the key words in their email. In order to get the etsy "finds" email click on "My Account"---->"settings"----> "email" tab----> scroll down and check the "Etsy Finds" and also "Etsy Success"

When I was trying to explain this strategy to my friends, they didn't quite understand what to do next. I told them to look for "hot links" and they said the only "hot links" they know about are hot dogs! So, I decided to write a blog post about this in order to explain it more carefully. Here is a really short video tutorial that explains how to modify your listings based on etsy promotions to drive traffic to your etsy shop.

What else can you find on etsy today?
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Matisse at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Work in Progress, by @schulmanArt, Miriam Schulman

Matisse, Still Live with Magnolia, 1941
Matisse: In Search of True Painting presents Matisse's painting process by showcasing artworks in pairs or trios that are part of the same work in progress. In addition there are black white large photographs that document his progress. For Matisse, the process of creation was not simply a means to an end but a dimension of his art that was as important as the finished canvas.

Matisse show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
He exhibited his painting surrounded by the black and white photographs and the museum curators in this show recreate that.

In that spirit, I decide I would film my transformation of a handbag into a hand painted bag that uses elements from Matisse's paintings. I purposefully did not reproduce any one painting.

Want to collect this bag? It's art you can use every day! you can find it in my etsy shop!
  • SOLD

 The Matisse exhibit is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until March 17, 2013. Don't miss it!

(waiting for youtube to upload!) 

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Friday, February 22, 2013

6 more FREE Arts & Craft Tutorials

Stones, Stickers & Stuff
edited by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt, reprinted with permission from 
This simple but pink pig cookie jar is the perfect storage container for favorite snacks, dog treats, coffee - you name it! White and ceramic with a bamboo lid, this is one jar that adds an instant sweet spot to your kitchen.Pink pig art has inspirational message: Have Optimism!
You can find inspiration everywhere you go, especially in the following blogs.  These six blog posts will show you all of the other ways that you can create motivational quotes with different art or cooking projects.

  1. Sweet Serenity Stones- Yes, Another Edible Rock Project! Learn how to make edible rocks and put the inspirational sayings on them that you see in the stores.
  2. Think Stones Take either store bought rocks or ones you’ve found and use a silver paint sharpie marker to write motivational messages on the stones.  Leave them around the house so you can find motivation all around you.
  3. Motivational Art {Tutorial} Using vinyl letters, you can take a piece of wood, paint it and rub on the lettering to say whatever quote you’d like.
  4. How to Create Rope Light Word Wall Art This project is kind of like creating your own neon sign to motivate you every time you see it.
  5. Make Your Own Vinyl Stickers with Cricut Expression This is a simple project where you can cut out whatever words motivate you and apply them to your walls for inspiration.  The vinyl is completely removable.
  6. 11 Fortune Cookie Recipe and Quotes Get into the kitchen and make some fortune cookies that you know will give you just the inspiration you and your friends need to hear.
mentioned in this blog post: @TipJunkie @HungryHappening @thinkingiq @PrettyHandyGirl @scrapscene

Etsy Finds!!!
discovered on etsy

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Make your Own Greeting Cards Tutorial

DIY Paper Crafts
edited by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt, reprinted with permission from 

Greeting Card--perfect for Easter or just a motivational pick me up available for sale in my etsy shop
Creating cards to send to your friends is not only inexpensive and simple to do, but they can really be fun.  These six blog posts will show you how to use paper to create your own cards.
  1. How to Make Your Own Inspirational Greeting Cards Find out how simple it is to create cards that you can send to friends and family.
  2. Inspired by Paper Crafts Cover This post contains a different card to inspire you to create cards for others or keep for yourself for your own inspiration.
  3. Tips: Quilling Typography Typography is the art of writing and quilling is the art of turning rolled up paper into interesting and unique designs.  This project allows you to marry the two, showing you how to create paper outlines of letters and then fill them with quilling rolls and scrolls to create a favorite quote.
  4. Mom of 6 Subway Art Prints Find print outs of subway art prints that you can download and frame as gifts or hang in your home in this post.
  5. {DIY Tutorial} Kinda Calligraphy This craft is perfect for your favorite motivational quote. Simply take the information from this tutorial, pair it with your favorite quote and create your own framed motivational piece.
  6. Watercolor Crayon Art This craft is simple, fast and easy to do, and all you need are crayons and water color paints.  How easy is that?
mentioned in this article: @Consumer_Crafts

Look @ all the cool things I found on +Etsy this morning!!!
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Six DIY Motivational Fabric Craft Projects

Fabric Craft Projects!
edited by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt, reprinted with permission from 
Motivational Art t-shirt by @schulmanArt

Handmade fabric crafts with motivational quotes have become quite popular in recent years and are easy to create on your own. You can make T-shirts with your favorite motivational quote on it if you need a constant reminder, or you can emblazon a pillow or bag with your favorite saying.  You can even create artwork for the walls and surround yourself with uplifting quotes that will give you the energy and determination to keep looking for that next big adventure.

  1. DIY: Inspirational Quote T-Shirt Stenciling is easy to do and this blogger has given you step-by-step instructions on how to cut out the letters of your quote to create your stencil.
  2. XKCD Quote Pillow You can screen print a picture with a quote or just the words onto some fabric, then cut it out and create a pillow by following the instructions in this post.  This one is quick and simple to do.
  3. Watermark Tee Tutorial by Sweet Verbana If you can write, you can create this watermark T-shirt.  Grab some Elmer’s blue gel glue and some RIT dye and you’re all set.
    Inspirational Quote Art by Schulman
  4. DIY: Quotes on Canvas This craft would be a smart way to upcycle an old painting that you picked up at a flea market or garage sale.  No need to buy a new canvas unless you want to.
  5. Cut it out!!…Canvas Tutorial This variation on creating a quote on canvas is one that you can hang on your wall.  Surround yourself with beauty and motivational phrases and you’ll find the inspiration you need.
  6. DIY Iron-On Tote Bag (With Free Printables) Have you ever wanted to create your own designs?  This project lets you be creative on the computer and print it off with special iron-on fabric using the same printer that you use for those resumes. This is an appropriate craft for a beginner.
Looking for more art instruction? 

Mixed Media Tree Art by Blenda Tyvoll- online art class starts soon!
My tree tutorial class starts in 1 month! Video lessons in mixed media, oil and watercolor that you can watch whenever you want. The detail at left is a mixed media collage by Blenda Tyvoll. This is just one of a few techniques that will be demonstrated in the online art class.

 Mentioned in this blog post: @OhLovelyThings, @BrassyApple, @blendastudio, @six2eleven, @SweetVerbena, @UcreateLLC,@instructables, @Splendid_D

Looking for more inspiration?
inspired artists on etsy!
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Five Tips for Baby Nursery Room Decor

Tips for Creating a Calm and Soothing Nursery for Your Newborn 

baby gift
Looking for animal art? This soft and durable throw pillow is the perfect accent for any room. Tailored with colored piping around the edges, this custom square canvas pillow adds personalized style to your home. This white sheep with baby lamb on a green landscape painting is not just for Easter. The decorative & colorful design includes a quote: You are my bestfriend.

excerpt republished with permission from

edited by @schulmanArt, Miriam Schulman

Lately, every week I have been sent articles from other bloggers asking me to share their articles with my readers. They benefit from having their links posted on my site ( which I guess has enough traffic to justify it?) I benefit from not having to think of fresh new content everyday.  I also try to re-illustrate the article with my own pictures-- featuring art and products licensed with my art. Since I just finished creating a bunch of new adorable baby items on cafepress, I thought that this baby nursery article would be a good fit. The original blog post has over 15 ideas so you can check that out if you want.. Here are the best tips.   
baby gift
Our 100% cotton toddler tee will look great on your little ones. This white sheep painting on a pink whimsical background is not just for Easter. The decorative & colorful design includes an inspirational quote. Designed by schulmanart

  1. Color is EverythingThe color of the walls and accents in any room set the mood. If you’re shooting for a more tranquil, serene space, it’s best to choose colors that promote those feelings. Bold and energetic colors like bright orange or red may not be conducive to rest, while pale blues and greens can have the desired calming effect.
  2. Skip the Frilly Bedding – A crib that looks like a magazine layout may create a sense of pride for you, but it can be dangerous for your baby. Making sure that he gets a good night’s sleep without increasing SIDS risks is a parent’s job, so make sure your nursery planning takes American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines into consideration.
  3. Don’t Forget the Window Treatments
    baby gift
    Babies love creepin', crawlin' and sleepin' in our super comfy, 100% cotton jersey knit Infant Creeper. Infant clothes shouldn't be hard to change, so our three-snap bottom helps ease those nasty diaper changes. Great baby stuff for your special little one.
    Blackout shades can help you keep the sun out of Baby’s eyes while he naps during the day, creating a soothing space. You will want to make sure that you choose window treatments that don’t pose a strangulation risk, as babies can become entangled with cords that are within their reach.
  4. Include a Comfy, Adult-Sized ChairThe nursery may be your baby’s room, but you’ll be spending many sleepless nights there as well. A comfortable chair that accommodates a sleepy adult will be a blessing for you, boosting the overall feeling of calm in the room.
  5. Go Handmade or unique
    baby gift
    Eeewww Baby, Baby!!! It's okay to make a mess in our easy-wash 100% cotton bib. It provides great upper body coverage to protect baby's clothes. The sturdy closure makes this one-size bib fit newborns to 36 months.  This yellow baby chick painting on a whimsical background is not just for Easter. The decorative & colorful design includes an inspirational quote. Designed by schulmanart
    There’s nothing wrong with opting for mass-produced accessories, but artsy parents may find that they’re more satisfied with the efforts of independent artists and creators.
Baby items by SchulmanArt featured in this post:
  1. You are my Best Friend, Sheep Throw Pillow with piping
  2. Inner Artist Baby Yellow Chicks Bib
  3. Amazing You, toddler t-shirt
  4. Different is Good Blue Bunny onesie body suit

Do you love art and decorating?

Get your FREE Guide to Choosing House Paint Colors to transform your home in 2015

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Online Art Class

Tree Tutorial Starts on first day of Spring
post by @SchulmanArt, Miriam Schulman

Blenda Tyvoll demonstrating mixed media techniques
Hey guys and girls! Good morning! Although the snow from the Nemo storm is still on the ground here in New York, I am dreaming of spring and making my goal to teach an online class real! On the first day of spring 2013, my first ever online class starts! You can register now!

how to paint trees
Sign up now!
For the first class, I dreamed big. I didn't just want to share my watercolor techniques but get some of the best artists I know to teach online too! I can't wait to see their videos, and I know you are going to love their art. 

how to paint trees
I am going to demonstrate my watercolor techniques!
First, I have Blenda Tyvoll of Blenda Studio. Blenda and I met on a discussion board on ebay many years ago. She creates the most delightful and colorful mixed media trees. She is a top selling artist on etsy now having sold thousands of her prints and originals. Her specialty? trees! I thought she would be perfect for this online class and I am so thrilled that she agreed to come along for this art adventure. You can read more about Blenda in my blog interview (Daring to be Different.)

Learn how Jan Schmuckal creates her glowing trees!
Next, I have Jan Schmuckal. She is not only and amazing artist but a very smart business woman to boot. She has a bricks and mortar gallery and is a top selling artist on ebay. She paints in a tonalist technique using oils as her medium. Even though my primary medium is watercolor, I can't wait to see her video and how she creates these paintings that just glow! I interviewed Jan too-- (How Gallerist, Artist, and Tonalist Jan Schmuckal ...)

how to paint trees
Get instruction from 3 teachers in an online video course!
In addition, I will be sharing all my watercolor painting tricks and tips. I teach in person in my hometown here in New York, and have lots of great ideas to help you make your watercolor painting easy and effortless. For this first series, I will be demonstrating how to create a watercolor painting of birch trees. You won't believe how easy it is. 
You will be able to re-watch the videos as much as you like for a full year. The course is set up in a private online site where you can also upload your art to show us, ask questions and get feedback. Teaching artists will be able to answer your questions about the process for a month. This is so worth it. Lots of techniques, lots of learning and so so fun.

how to paint trees
Three teachers-- LOTS of art techniques in a NEW online art class!!!

Treasury time!
All of these etsians have gallerie28, Blenda Studio or SchulmanArt (me!) listed as favorites on etsy! This treasury was created in honor of our online class! Thanks for supporting us and becoming our favorites! We really appreciate it!
aqua & emerald green finds on @etsy

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

she is a daydreamer but she is a happy girl

Interview with Daydreaming Artist Kathy Ahrens
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt
Zentangle Art by Kathy Ahrens
How do you think your environment has influenced you as an artist?
I was born in California and spend most of my life moving around the U.S. exploring nature and loving every minute of it! If you described me as a child, you would say I was a daydreamer. As I would hike with my father, I would imagine in my mind how beautiful a tree, a leaf or a stream would look in a drawing. I would run home and start drawing my abstract doodles. 

Artist Kathy Ahrens
My father could manage take any negative in life and turn it around to be a positive learning experience. Raising me was no different. Being a "daydreamer" was considered a negative in school and I was always reprimanded for it. When he and my mother would attend school conferences, my mother would say, "We'll talk to her about it" but my father would say "she is creative with a beautiful imagination". "Yes, she is a daydreamer but she is a happy girl".

My father gave me my first drawing pad and markers and each day after that would come home, walk over to me and ask to see my latest "Masterpiece". So yes I am still a daydreamer and I am proud if it!

Colored in doodle by Ahrens
How long have you been selling professionally? 
I am a self taught artist who started a life of crafts at age 3. My mother loved crafts and shared her love with all of her children. I will always be thankful for that. I started selling handmade cards on ETSY in 2010 (shop is KatAhr) and loved it but my family was needing me and as nothing can compensate for failure in the home, I decided to put my crafts on hold. My children are all grown now, with lives of their own so I restarted selling on ETSY June 2012 and it's been absolutely wonderful.
It's my hope that I was just as good of a parent to my two sons as my father was to me. Although they were more happier reading or running outside than ever doing crafts, they are happy and for that I will always be complete.

Doodle Art by Ahrens
Describe a typical day for you. : A typical day is relaxed and easy. Of course my day begins with clicking on my ETSY shop to see what I sold and to send these out. Then I visit my friends' newest items. In the spring and summer, my days are filled with gardening. I have quite an extensive garden consisting of anything and everything that can grow in the Wisconsin state. Believe it or not, keeping up with my crafts and gardening, my day is complete.

Artist Studio
What is your studio space like?
My studio is a huge bedroom that sits over my garage. It's mine and it's beautiful and I couldn't be happier. I have everything I need in life! I am indeed blessed. From a special window in my "studio" I can see and hear the hundreds of birds that visit our yard. Since we feed them year round, they stay forever. When my window is open it sounds like a jungle and I am in heaven.

Kat's handmade cards, zendoodles and drawings are available in her etsy shop.

Do you daydream about your next project?
Daydreaming on @etsy
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Sweet Pink Cupcake Art!

Too good to eat.
by Miriam Schulman
Give this pink art for a birthday!
A few months ago I started subscribing to a mixed media kit. Each month a box full of goodies arrive. Often, the store posts "how-to" videos to create a project using these goodies. Sadly, in November the kit came with all kinds of exotic mixed media treats-- but the artist did not have time to post a video. So it took me a while to brain storm my own ideas for some of these things that I may not have otherwise purchased myself.

Great for Kitchen art!
Then one day, I realized I could use  the pleated paper from Bazzill to simulate the look of the cupcake. I had already seen the use of modeling paste to make the icing from either an art magazine or some other blogger ( can't remember!--could have been both!) and thought how fun it would be to combine those ideas. I also wanted to make each one on a 4x4" canvas to add to the whimsical appeal and make each cupcake a little gift, suitable for a birthday present or perhaps Valentine's Day.

Cupcake art makes a calorie free gift!
This cute mini mixed media original art on canvas has a pink frosted cupcake in a blue 3-d cupcake holder. An aqua blue heart or pink bead tops each cupcake. Each art has a different "feel good" quote. The colorful collage art painting has a light blue or pink gingham ribbon to hang it on a wall or from a kitchen cabinet knob or a dresser knob. The petite size also makes a great desk ornament. This makes a creative gift for women and girls of all ages whether for a sophisticated nursery room, cottage chic or boho decor.
small 4x4" canvas art can go on a desk, bookshelf or a doorknob
You will absolutely love this art!

Size: 4x4" gallery wrapped canvas, sides painted & textured
This art saves you money on framing since it is ready to hang right on your wall or on a knob.

To collect the art shown in the blog post:

These cupcakes are absolutely fat free!
A trio of pink cupcake art for Kitchen decor

pink cupcake finds @etsy

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I dream of paintings, then I paint my dreams

@SchulmanArt Interviews Cheri Wollenberg @ChatterBoxArt
Wollenberg's Original Art for sale on etsy & her blog

SchulmanArt: How long have you been selling professionally? 
Cheri Wollenberg: After we raised our children I taught art in public schools until we relocated to NW Arkansas for 10 years. By then, I was already painting daily and selling a few paintings. I began selling on Etsy February 29, 2009 when a young friend from my church encouraged to place some of my cow paintings on Etsy. It has been one of the most exciting things I have ever done. I am not one of the vendors that has quit their day job, but I am still excited when I sell and I have loved the interaction with people that have bought from me. 

SchulmanArt: Where did you study art?:
Cheri Wollenberg: I received my BA in Art Education at USAO in Chickasha, Oklahoma and I earned a Masters Degree in Art Education from SWOSU in Weatherford, Oklahoma. When I worked on my BA I took many extra painting classes because I loved it so much. I cannot resist oil painting. I have expressed to others that I love to see the rich color being squeezed from a tube of oil and to smell it makes my creative juices flow. I've enjoyed other media, but painting with oil brings a special delight to my soul.
Cow Prints for sale on etsy

What is your greatest source of inspiration? 

CW: My home and studio are in Lindsay, Oklahoma. My husband and I live on a ranch/farm. Cattle roam behind our Century old house, we garden, and six months ago we acquired chickens. We have always been connected to rural life through our jobs and life styles. Our farm life has been the greatest influence in the inspiration of my art. I sell many still lifes and cows in my shop. I get a real charge from painting things around my environment and things I love to use in my home. I am a farmhouse chic person...a dumpster queen and I love repurposing things. At the moment I am finishing a cow painting that I will be placing in a studio in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as a guest artist for the month of February. As with most artists my head is creating the next painting as I drive, eat,and sleep.

Follow Cheri Wollenberg on Facebook
What is your studio space like? 
CW: My studio space is on the north side of our 100 year old ranch style home on the second floor. It is packed with and adorned with paintings, still life articles, and tools of the oil painters trade. I store dried paintings in a studio off the house. My view overlooks pastures, and a wide countryside including our cousins home about three quarters of a mile to the north, a little community church to the east and my husband's home place to the west. 

How do you stay focused? 
CW: I sometimes need a reprieve from thinking about what I'll do next. I discipline myself as an artist because focusing is a little more difficult. There are many interruptions in life that will carry you away from creating.

Discover Farmhouse chic @etsy

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