Winner for the $20 Gift Certificate

job-promotion-congratulations-clipart-1

Hello! At the beginning of the month, I had a drawing for the $20 gift certificate and I heard back from our winner today! She has been asked to be referred to as Dee from Louisiana since this is a gift that has not yet been gifted. Congratulations Dee!  Please feel free to use that in either shop:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/thecozyloft

http://www.etsy.com/shop/rhondajamesart

 

 

Advertisements

The Perfect Wedding Gift

It’s so difficult to find the “perfect” wedding gift! For a long while, I’ve had a wedding gift ornament in my Etsy shop but I have long wanted to give it an updated look with banners. Finally, FINALLY, I had the time to see it through and give my entire shop a facelift with all new photos and all new updated designs on beautifully refined glass ornaments. But back to this post, here’s my Wedding Ornament design with the added banner above and below the sweet couple:

IMG_3228

You can click on the photo to be taken directly to the listing if you want to see more information about it.

I’m in love with it and it’s so customizable! The characters are painted to be similar to the couple – even the color and part of their hair! These are such a joy to create and they are so special. It’s truly the P-E-R-F-E-C-T wedding gift. 🙂

xoxo

Rhonda

Special People

One of the things you’re never really prepared for is a real connection with a stranger on this big ole world wide web. I mean a real and genuine connection without even knowing them outside of the online world or ever speaking to them on the phone. It happens – even on Etsy.

This review made me want to share this post with all of you:

S.C. said: “I have several ornaments that have been custom made by Rhonda. This time, she made an ornament to honor the loss of our beloved pet. The ornament is beautiful and comforting. I highly recommend Rhonda!”

This sweet lady found my shop on Etsy several years ago. Each year, she contacts me with a message of what has happened in her (and her family’s) life and then she gives me creative freedom to create a special ornament sort of telling the story of their year. It honestly brings me great joy to receive her message each year and to learn of all the big events going on for her, her husband and their beautiful family.

With that. there are sometimes losses as well. This year, their precious hedgehog passed. She wrote to me and asked for a special memorial ornament, making sure she gave me lots of information about his likes, special dates, homes and fun memories they’d had together. After she received the ornament, I asked her if it was okay for me to share photos and her review here on my site. She was happy for me to share them, so here are the photos of each section of the finished piece:

IMG_0131

IMG_0130

IMG_0129

IMG_0128

IMG_0127

IMG_0132

This is exactly the reason I love Etsy so much. This is where real life people can meet real life artists and work with them to create something special. While I know I get paid for doing this, for if I didn’t this wouldn’t be possible, it’s so much more than that to me. I put my heart and soul in what I create and I’m so thankful and blessed to be able to do it. Especially for people like this sweet lady. She’s my kind of people and someone who makes this world a better place just by being in it. Her warmth and genuine heart shine through her words. Always.

xoxo

Rhonda

 

 

Remodeling the Shop

When you don’t really apply yourself to focus on something that you really want, it’s most likely not going to happen. Over the last 20 years or so, I have put a lot of time and effort into painting and, in particular, painting ornaments. It has been a never ending creative task that I’ve received as a true God-given gift. And I’m grateful for it.

IMG_1786-001

Some ornaments that I painted which were ordered locally last year

There are many things that need to do in addition to the actual talent of painting and that is the marketing, photos, shop branding, accounting, etc., etc., etc. of running an online business. This part I’m not so good at, but I’ve finally realized that’s the piece that is missing from my puzzle. I need to be patient and learn how to do all those things in order to have a successful online presence.

IMG_9050

I painted these for an order for a group of graduating friends – so much fun!

My current project is consistency in my creations. I’m working on backgrounds, photos and camera settings. Happily I can report that I’ve finally found the one I like – it’s a simple blurred white background with the ornament front and center. Since it has no distractions, I feel like this might be a good direction. I’ll keep playing with photos and lighting but this is the current favorite:

IMG_3868

New ornament style that I’ve been painting and I love the white background. They are so enchanting and fairy tale reminiscent to me.

Doesn’t the above little girl look like she would get into all sorts of adorable adventures? I love their little personalities and sweet smiles. Of course, they are all hand painted and personalized. Each photo leads to my shop by clicking it if you want to see that. I’ve only updated 3 listings as of now. More ornaments have been ordered and should be in this week. Since I’m moving to the white ornaments, I have to be patient and wait. Until then, I have more than enough to do and to learn about all the other things I need to know to have an even more successful online presence.

You know, at first I was thinking…why can’t I just paint and do what I love all the time. Why do I have to learn all this online marketing and such? It seems like such a waste of time. Now, I realize in order to be successful, we must grow. We must constantly be bettering ourselves and learning more. It’s not only good to grow…it’s a necessity. 🙂

xoxo

Rhonda

Discoveries & Life

I think all of us artists – and really all humans in general – never lose some of that inner child. The child who loves exploring possibilities, feeling the rain upon our faces, wants the good guys to win, wants attention and much more. Artists, though – well we are a special kind of human child-adult for life. At least that is the case for me lol 🙂

IMG_5070

In my childhood years, I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged and challenged me to be anything I wanted to be. The twist to that is that I went down an obscene number of career paths. Even within the art world, I have traveled many paths. The consistent, though, is my hand painted ornaments.

There are customers who come yearly for special hand painted creations and it warms my heart and fills my soul with incredibly joy. Is it strange to say that I feel as though I’m a part of their lives in a small yet memorable way? It means something to me. I wonder if they know how delighted and honored I am to see their name pop up with an order or message.

My biggest hope is that my customers know it’s not a “job” to me but it’s my life that I’m sharing with them. Any ornament is an extension of something very personal and very vulnerable within me. Each one is custom painted with so much love and care.

IMG_2753

You’ll see more of my work shared here because I want everything to be visible and memorialized on here as much as possible. Thank you for sticking with me through all the ups and downs through the years. I do plan on still having personal blog posts as well as I get so much great feedback from all the things I share. You are all so appreciated. Thank you…just for being you. 🙂

xoxo

Rhonda

Instant Power Heavy Duty Drain Opener – Review & Demo

IMG_1956

Hey everyone! I wanted to share a demonstration and review of the Instant Power Heavy Duty Drain Opener product  (referral link) that I picked up at Walmart for $6.84. In my store, this product was located in the Home Improvement section around the paint, light bulbs and tools. This formula is specifically for Hair and Grease clogs but I truly didn’t know what my clog particulars were. Since I was using this in the bathroom sink, I was assuming the clog  was due to hair and buildup of gunk over time.

If you would prefer to watch the demo instead of read this, you can get it by clicking here. 

In using this product or any similar product, take your time and read the directions. Although I’m telling you what my bottle states, you will need to check your own bottle as it could be a newer or older formula from the date of this video being posted. Be sure you have safety goggles for eye protection as well as rubber gloves for hand protection. This is some serious stuff and safety is first. I wanted to show you that my sink was doing a slow drain. It would eventually empty but it was slow. It’s time to see if we can fix that!

This product states that it’s safe for all pipes and septic tanks when used according to directions. The instructions on this bottle state to pour 2 cups of the product slowly and directly into the drain. Since it stated that 2 cups was about 1/4 of the bottle, I eyeballed 1/4 of the bottle. It says to wait an hour or that overnight was really best. I let this sit for about 4 hours or so and then I poured in some boiling water. Some sediment came up into the basin and there was some bubbling occurring but this time the sink didn’t drain as well as it had been draining before. After a half hour or so, it was empty so I put in another pot of boiling water. Still, it took over a half hour to drain. I repeated the boiling water a third time with the same result.

It was obvious I needed to try leaving it overnight. I used another 1/4 of the bottle and this time, I left it in there around 18 hours. I’m so happy to report this product worked! It has drained normally ever since. I’d love to hear your experience with this product and if it worked for you.

Happy 2019!

Happy 2019 my Cozy friends! When the holidays begin, my orders pick up which means I’m rarely heard from unless someone is contacting me about an order. This results in a very belated Christmas and Happy New Year sentiment from me to you but I hope you know that I mean it, no matter what day I deliver. 🙂

Along with that, the very fact that I paint personalized Christmas ornaments that are mostly purchased as Christmas gifts, I can’t share those until after Christmas. This always puts me in a predicament because I’m not sure people are interested in seeing Christmas ornaments after the fact but since so much time and love are put into them, I’ll be sure to share some. I hope you enjoy them over the next several posts.

For now, though, I thought I’d share this one that I created for a local family.

img_4087

This precious family orders a family ornament every year. This year, they asked for a Santa, Mrs. Claus, their two beautiful daughters as elves and their sweet puppy on the ornament. My heart is filled with joy to be asked to create such special keepsakes. 

I truly hope your Christmas was so very merry and that your 2019 is off to a wonderful start.