JP Denyer Designs

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Learn how to Draw and take home a Complete Picture in 1 hour - Classified Ad

Learn how to Draw and take home a Complete Picture in 1 hour - Classified Ad

Monday, May 13, 2013

I am very excited to announce I have collaborated with my Mom to write this book and it is now available for sale on Amazon.com!

My Mom had a great idea and shared it with me one day, which was to provide help for passionate crafters of hand made items and how to open a store to sell their creations on Etsy.com.  Together we have written a very comprehensive, 51 page, downloadable book for anyone to read and use if opening a store on Etsy is what they want to do.  We wrote our book with the passionate artisan in mind, filled it with tips on business selling information and added some important business steps that others who sell similar books didn't have, which makes our book so special!

My Mom is a very creative artist.  Growing up I loved watching her create her crafts and have followed in her footsteps to be a very passionate artist and crafter myself.  She has always been a silent mentor for my creative soul and continues to inspire my life with ideas just like this one, which I am proud to say, she loved everything I added to her book idea.

I joined Etsy in 2009 bringing some of my original creations to buyers world wide with my original designs of Halloween inspired foam Tiaras.  I have now branched into craft supplies and vintage finds, which I think are very unusual, an animal lover item shop and inexpensive jewelry store as well.  I did this to centralize my focus for the buyers I attract.  My brain is on fire most of the time and this book was written to help others who love what they do, but need a bit more push to sell their stuff online.

I also work in the Graphic Design industry and have built my business on bringing magical solutions to clients who want or need my plethora of talents, which I have likened to being renaissance designer in a modern world.  I have been teaching elementary school aged children how to draw as I have a gift for drawing anything since the age of two!

So I do hope you buy our book.  It will give you the confidence needed to open a store on Etsy and share your talents with the world.  It can be very scary to be a business owner, especially if you are a passionate artist like we are, however we both believed in ourselves and want you to feel the same.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Did you ever get stopped from something?

I have, but not for long.  I am unstoppable, because I believe I should not be stopped.  So follow my Link, send me a comment, believe in what I believe, connect and make it happen.
©2013JPDenyer

Friday, January 25, 2013

Come Fly With me Airplanes Fly to Jordan

Just sold twenty MIY Come Fly With Me Airplanes  and they will be flying to Jordan for a children's birthday party!

So Stoked.

These are really cute, pre-cut fun foam airplanes I created for my kids as a Valentine's Day gift for them to give out in their classes when they were in elementary school. Liking the idea so much, I made it part of my Etsy Store and now they are on their way to Jordan!  That is half way across the Earth (near Israel).

Thank you to a great customer in purchasing this awesome toy for kids and adults to play with, oh what fun they will have!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Etsy, Etsy, Esty!


Ok this year is about finding ways to get my original creations and happy things into the hands of customers.  Four years ago come August 2013, I will be celebrating my fourth year on Etsy.  I opened my shop featuring my favorite things, Halloween Tiara's and then sold my first creation, a foam spider web design children's tiara.  This sale took place in September and I believed I was on a path without end of more and more bountiful happiness. Fast forward to today, I still believe in my tiara's as a good buy and a great idea, however while they are a great draw to my shop, they didn't do what I thought they would do, so I have more to learn.

These Halloween Tiara's are a stepping stone and a personal place of joy for me as I really do enjoy the fantasy of wearing costumes, making fun during the fall seasons and deserting it up for Halloween, so I remained inspired by halloween type of items. The tiara's have grown with additions to my  original line.  Customers have requested multiples of single designs for parties they plan for their kids, as the tiaras are great for either boys or girls.  I also make special  order designs which have also brought a different scope to finding tiara bargains in my store.

From this point, I diversified and added to my shop other items such as vintage jewelry, vintage items or really cool finds from thrifting as I am a vast collector of thrift store shopping.  

Now, advance forward four years to the wane of my third year on Etsy and with less than awesome sales that I had hoped I am doing research into finding a way to increase sales and this is a part of it.  

I have been in business a long time, working full time and part time, mostly in the graphic design business, either for another company or finding contract work when unemployed, giving my Etsy store not as much attention as I should.  Given better sales I probably would have been more attentive to the kind of promotion needed, however I was an owner and promoter of my work and life for me never has gone in a straight line.  As such I recently posted my most recent talent, banners for Etsy shops.  Bringing it all home to what I do for a living and what I love to do all under one roof.

I am a renaissance artist, running a renaissance shop where a customer can come and find just about anything from the curious to an original design straight from my desk.  Some of the work I do outside of Etsy ends up here such as the Sunflower picture, and original drawing I did while teaching a young lady how to draw.  Drawing too is a passion I have and a great gift from the universe to me, a personal present I have sat in wonder about and love being able to do anywhere!  Some of the work I have done here is also available at my shop  - again, it is a curiosity of magic and fun.

Going forward I am going to keep writing and keep blogging about my progress here in life, in business and about my hopes with my Etsy saga.  I will also be bringing you new posting previews of new things on Etsy, then Tweeting, Facebook-ing, tumblr-ing and who knows what else about my progress, so do stop back, figure out how to follow my progress, and help make the 13th year in this century and my fourth year on Etsy a real blast - that means share me with your friends and tell them it is a good idea. Besides, I know you love what I do and want to see where it all takes me, don't ya?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

More New Year Adjustments




There is a reluctance in my soul, maybe others have felt it too, which is my hesitation to embrace in joy and delight that we are now in a new year.  However with the change of an old year to a new year there are new year adjustments needed and this is where my reluctance comes in.  It also doesn't help that I had to move at the end of last year and half my life still resides in boxes while I manage my normal day to day.  Normal day to day for me is to stay compliant with unemployment (meaning look for work every day) and also continue to help my clients with the freelance work I have via my design studio, which has boxes and boxes surrounding my work area.

Not knowing where anything is still frustrating.  Lack of familiarity with the new habits I am trying to develop, because of the new digs, I stay frustrated, wanting miracles to occur to wipe this madness away.  I know only I can create the change that is needed to reduce this frustration, however I really wish magical beings would make it so without my help.

So what are these adjustments anyway?  Well the first is changing all your calendars.  Another is just remembering to write 2013 and not 2012. Then there is making notes in a new calendar for dates you agreed to show up at from last year, and well, I almost missed a few.  Gratefully and I am happy to report, I did not drop any new years balls yet!  I just finished transferring the new dates into this years "Monthly Planner 2013" as I found this really helped me stay focused last year, a vision I want to maintain this year.  I like having more than one calendar about me and I have two that are filled with the same information, so today I synced them together and the New Year has officially entered my heart of my business world.  I am more of the hand written calendar type than the iPhone or iCalendar on the desktop as I can glance and focus first on where I am today and then know what is coming without the need of gadgets.

January is a difficult month for me, I do not know how it is for others, but I feel the month presents a slow build to a year of unknown possibilities.  Because of that I walk with caution and take careful steps.  Three people I know are born in this month and I have their special days mapped out for me to remember, something I have not been so good about in past years, another area of improvement I want to work on.

So all this being said, I feel the steam of my forward movement has been launched today, eight days into the year late, and I am feeling the momentum building to a positive place.  Hope and faith in my achievements is what propels me, reality of what arrives keeps me honest or flexible, and desire to step off the cliffs into the unknown are habits I remember and never needed packing or unpacking, so it is all good.  Happy New Year to my readers, may the force be with us all!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

New Beginnings, a New Year Ahead


Beginning of this New Year has been a slow observation of what lies ahead for me.  Daunting leftovers from last year and the desire to feel fresh and excited about the new possibilities brings me to remember, always slow down and smell the grateful roses on my path as I walk Prince Butters, my dog more commonly known as Buddy around our new home.

Change is inevitable as we are organic and thus subject to natural change.  No two morning are ever the same, neither are we when we wake to greet the morning.  Yesterday I slept in, today my neck hurts and I have a headache.  A change in weather can effect well laid out and discussed plans of the day into an unexpected experience, or better and perhaps more simply, a flat tire can have the same equally powerful effect.  Both can stop an adventure cold in it's tracks and force those perfect plans into perpetual regrouping as time pushes the timeline bye-bye.

Everyone is a bustle about having NY Resolutions. Why?  I keep my resolutions simple, do better and be better to all.  This way I believe I am improving on the gift of life given to me and the joy of those who I have contact with everywhere I travel.  I can gleam from this a better understanding of the path I take and the one laid in front of me, as these are different directions, both with strong pulls and minds of their own.  Even the best of preparation reminds me to pause and realize I have little to no clue of what lies ahead, there are far to many factors or possibilities, so it is best to move lightly and stay flexible whenever there is doubt about what to do next. When the need to answer one of life's burning questions comes up, I feel better prepared at being there in the fullest sense and finding a suitable answer best for all.

So rather than have resolutions, I am exploring goals, creating, imagining and achieving them, whether or not they are mine to have this year.  I try to also keep these goals simple, clear and easy to focus on.  The main one is to journal more and to not worry if I write a little or not at all, just accept I have way to many thoughts in my head and I just want to track them all for the year in one place, not scattered, as in the past and then searching for scotch tape to stick it down in my bulging book.  The other main goal is to empower my ability to create new paths for work, whether it is drawing, graphic design, packaging, teaching, or a combination of all in one project.  Building this foundation is key to a better journey I want to make happen.  Perhaps between these two goals I can prosper, invigorate my bank account, grow my circle of peeps and feel less intimidated at the power of the force surrounding my desires, always determined to distract me.

So like a child of the Universe, drifting and controlling steps in front of me, I carry on, plan to stay calm and smile at things that I can achieve, like fresh coffee in the morning, a simple conversation with my immediate family about today's events and the joys of being with my dog, Buddy who is a constance source of love, happiness and affection.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A tis-kit, a task kit, do you happen to see my basket?

The move is complete, My YR Drawing classes have ended too and now catching up is finding form in a nightmarish timeline only the brave of heart can juggle.

One week ago I experienced a true life impact not from the comfort of my t.v. viewing pleasure, but at night , in my car, in that weird time splurging speed trap which takes over when you are hit by another car.  It is the most ballet like motion dance, all slowed down so no moment of the actual crash is missed. The very second it is over though, life rushes back in and being responsible becomes the smart step to take.  I had that covered, life has told me over and over what not to do, so I did none of those things.

The happiness news is I am ok, I am grieving for my beautiful Black Pearl Elephant a Toyota Martix variety and thank her for her ultimate sacrifice in keeping me safe, her life.  Rumor is she is whispered about, over the many phone calls, as being totaled. So sad.

So be careful out there people.  Brains are not functioning.  And they hit things.  Here is a beautiful note from one of my students who I waved goodbye to, last Friday:

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Haunt, this weeks Illustration Friday's topic.


Haunt is a broad thought, as we can be haunted, haunt someone or some thing as well as feel this emotion without much foundation as to why.  My selection this week is a painting I did back in New York from my home there.  I owned a black cat who came to me in a serendipitous manner.  One evening I turned to the windows of my apartment to only see his eyes glowing back at me.  It was so haunting I captured it in watercolor, one of my favorite mediums.  So enjoy my art, enjoy Illustration Friday's celebration of art and the artists who participate, like me.  This is a great place to see original work displayed and created for all to enjoy.
You can also see my full online portfolio of work here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hey Mister, Hey Sister, can you spare me a $5'er?

We have found 2 places ready to rent to us however I had to pay a debt which was brought to our attention that is blocking us from finding a place (costing us $440 from our fund). So Hey Mister, Hey Sister, can you spare a Fiver? If 640 people donate $5 we can make it tomorrow, that is if you all donate just this amount in the next twenty four hours. First and last is $3390 for this one place that said yes today…the other I am still waiting on getting the paper work saying this "problem" got cleared off my credit report before I call to ask if it is still available. I have donated a $1 recently to a friend who is trying to publish her book on healthy eating via Kickstarter. She is awesome & she donated $25 to our goal. She is an artist like myself and a really great gal. The more of you who donate, the faster we can make our goal. Moving is going to happen but the places are not going to wait while we get our finances in order. Last week I got surprised with a car repair. I know times are tough, and those of you I am asking from to help with our donations, know I wouldn't be asking if the rock in front of me wasn't impossible for me to move by myself, but it is, so can you donate $5 to a really great family and help us move? Of course if you want to donate more, I certainly am not going to persuade you to not do that. :-) Thank you so much. Please help us move sooner than later, this is very nerve racking. Here is the link: http://www.gofundme.com/1ca3dc or you can contact me here.  Thank you.  As a part of the funding, your donation of more than $5 gets you my art as a thank you gift…please check out the link for go fund me, it has everything you need to know there!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In the Land of MOO, tiny business cards

Got an e-mail yesterday from a company I learned through my Etsy store.  Etsy and Moo.com  had collaborated together, publicizing a special offer too good for me to turn down, so I participated in the fun and now I am the proud owner of tiny business cards from Moo.com.  The e-mail I got yesterday was a notification there were only five days left to submit my "story" - which was really my answers to three sets of three questions Moo posed for the chance to win one of four prizes, top prize $7500.

Dressed in my bathrobe, fresh from the shower and in between the many worlds I conquer these days, I sat down to write out my responses to their questions.  Towards the end, my son was reminding me to get dressed as "time was fleeting" and we had to be somewhere to view a new residence; one of my  missions to conquer is that we are moving, however I am not sure where as we have not found a replacement place as of yet.  Clock is ticking here and getting louder daily.

My Business card from Moo.com,
more info is printed on backside of card!
So there I was, describing my answers and thought to myself, "This would make a great addition to my blog," so I chose to post it here as well.  My life is pretty different from most, and I believe in believing there are better things to come, despite all the trials and challenges I face.  So cross your fingers, speak on my behalf to the world about me, how great it would be and nice as well, to pluck me from the masses who have already responded in this contest, by choosing the World of JP to win first place!  Thanks.  Here's my story as of yesterday:

"I was two when I realized I was filled with an incredible gift and creation was only the start of it.  When I was four I drew the house across the street the size of a postage stamp and felt it looked remarkably like the house across the street, not some weird child like drawing.  Then I wanted to grow up to be a Mama Butterfly, then a Veterinarian and lo and behold the Universe turned my head around when faced with Trigonometry and back to art it was.  Today I feel empowered still, learning the ways of business and that is when I came across Moo Cards.  When I hand my Moo Business Card creation to a new potential customer, I notice a slight jerk of their head to the side, their eyes widen and I smile knowingly I have made a great decision to have these in my bag to hand out in my daily travels.  You are helping me market my magic! Thanks!

The future is my oyster in life, grinding the pearl of a talent I was so lovingly graced with before I was born.  Everyday and every minute of every day I network my life to inspire others, give away what I got so nicely, again, before I was born, because knowledge is power, well so is creativeness and I have been blessed in being able to give this to children for one hour, two days a week, in two schools locally.  I am teaching them to draw. Their faces and concentration is so uplifting for me, my daughter commented how I return in such a great mood after a teaching class!

I am in love with what I do as I have nothing else to make me feel as good as I do when I do it.  Sharing it for free and or getting paid for it is what I live for, if I didn't do it, as an astrologer told me once, I would end up incarcerated, so I think doing my art is a much better choice for my life than not doing it.  I get lost for hours, stray back into it when I drive, by pondering the visions I see or don't see, but imagine in my head.  I don't think my career is one I will retire from for awhile or stop until I pass over to the other side of life!


Obstacles seem to follow me everywhere I go.  Currently I am moving, looking for a job as I have been unemployed from my career for one year seven months now, I also run an Etsy store, have garage sales to help with the move, pack, tweet about my store, my life, I blog, I post my art, I write and post, I share all the time and stay compliant with the rules and regulations of unemployment law, which is look for full time employment; until I am employed again or create a reasonable financial fund, I am dependent on EDD's support these days.  I love my world of Art and it has been very few times I feel I have run into an obstacle I couldn't figure out.  I ponder in my mind 24/7 so there is always an idea germinating there.  Obstacles are only one idea of germination that gets pushed to the top of the priority list and viola, the answer comes to me from the guides who listen to my thoughts and help me along.

I believe in maintaining the goals others have by giving them the information I have gained over the 59 years I have spent on this planet.  While my life has not progressed for me in a successful way business wise, it has guided me to where I am today and going forward is the best part of this solution.  When in doubt, my guides of life tell me how to solve a problem, I check it out with my buds and listen to their thoughts about how great or not so great a path the new obstacle solution idea is.  Generally they think I am brilliant, but I am nothing more than a unique soul with an incredible gift, carving a section of the world for others to entertain or enjoy with me.

I have learned in business to accept the gifts given to me graciously, and to listen more than to react to their thoughts.  These too are the gifts given to me and they are doing what they believe is what will work to help me move the obstacle.  It is for me to decide how to venture down the paths I take and my responsibility to follow through without finding blame or fault with any one but my ability to read road signs as I go.  Those road signs in life can be very confusing, which is why I think it is finally beginning to make sense to me.  I think my slow learning is what makes me strong and able to share my kick ass point of view in life with others.

My gift makes me special as I am a renaissance artist in this graphic design world and I possess many talents which surprise me every day I wake up.

My potential for growth is in the inspirations found in the moments brought to me by living.  Last night a bird flew into our home and I was able to rescue it from my Buddy, the dog who is also my personal muse, and when I looked into the eyes of the bird, which I held in my hand, I only wish I could have captured the look the bird was giving back to me in photos.  However this image is burned into my mind, inspires me today to move forward because I don't believe the bird was as frightened when in my hands than when being cornered by Buddy in the bathroom.  That is how I find inspiration, by sharing every part of the goodness and the badness turned into goodness each day then sharing it with life and my two kids, who I feel very responsible for.  They are about to be sent out of my nest, (our home) as they are 19 & 23 - and who, just like that bird we let go back outside last night,  will soar the way I do each day with the joy of this remarkable world I call the Art of JP.

My customers like what I do, I think, because what I do makes them happy.  These people are surprised at my talent versus my place in the business world as they believe I should be farther than where I am.  I do too, however I also believe there are reasons why I am where I am today.  Not of all of the reasons are due to my efforts in this life, but my reincarnated past I am also learning about, thank you to a book I read this year on Edgar Cayce and his remarkable gift to the world.  The peace I find in the life I believe I led and the one I lead today, plus my ability to understand the learning power I grasp, is something I did not come to by myself, but through the strange and funny connections I have made in my life.  Even the people who are customers are a type of family I get a short period to enjoy.  With each connection I have with them, I inspire them with my silliness.  I smile knowing I have given them the best I have to offer and see that in the comments they make back to me via the internet or in my day to day.  So thank you MOO Cards, because whether I am selected or not, really doesn't matter.  Like my oyster I grind the pearl inside, polishing it with a gusto for the life I have been given and hope for the best by moving it along with my face to the Sun and Stars - I only sleep about 4-6 hours a day.   :-)"

Friday, October 12, 2012

Water, many can live without shelter, no one can live without water.


The headline for this weeks post is a statement I created long ago and far away when I worked for a company whose business it was to develop the quality and the ease of water being consistent from one place to another, everywhere you went in the world.  They designed filtration systems and it was my job to make them look good in print.

We as humans need water to survive.  In fact every living creature and organism needs water to survive, it is the basis of life.  That is why in space exploration, discovering water on a distant planet is so important to scientist, it gives them belief there might be an existence of life, or one may have existed there before we made a discovery.

Illustration Friday's word this week is water and at first I thought, what could I submit.  Most of the pieces I have in my portfolio, which reflect the essence of water, were created with photoshop utilizing someone else's photographs of their stop action, cascading water.  These images were sexy, gorgeous and beautiful beyond compare, however not illustrations.  
And then I thought of this illustration I did back in the 90's.  It is a simple pen drawing over a sketch of three friends and speaks to the circle of friendship.

My illustration is subtle in the representation of water, as it is more a backdrop to the three friends who make the balance in the circle created.  This illustration has always been a favorite of mine in it's cartoon like handling of the circular motion between each character.  I hope you like this submission as water envelopes our lives, rules our highs and lows with the changing tides and keeps us all alive, or water, by the lack of it, can take what is so precious to us away.

Thank you Illustration Friday for a very inspiring blog idea and a reason to broadcast my drawings once again!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mirror Mirror in the Picture, what do you see?

This weeks word is "Mirror"

I had two ideas to enter and chose this one, something I painted back in Junior College right after High School, long ago and far away.

I felt it had the impact I wanted to portray for this weeks word, Mirror, because we are nothing but a reflection of the things and experiences surrounding us.

Thank you for looking into my mirror of life and checking out my work.  You can see more HERE at www.denyerdesigns.com, or HERE at Coroflot.com/valleygirl53.

Life is filled with the reflections of our lives, hope this week bring the kind of reflection you seek!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Book by any other cover is still a Book!


This weeks word is "Book".

Back in 1983 I was fortunate enough to get my first illustration job and it was to be in color as well, a reap coup!  Random House had asked me to design a cover for their new catalog of books.  

Because the books inside covered a wide and varied range of stories, I did this drawing, where the contents or characters in the books' stories appear to be escaping from the book on the cover. 

I also tried to replicate the style of the illustrations each of the books where drawn in that were to be included in the catalog.  The person who had hired me was very pleased with the result and it has been a very popular cover design when I show my work.

This is my weeks entry to Illustration Friday's word of the week, "Book"!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Does this say "Burst"?

The word this week at Illustration Friday is "Burst".  As I pondered what I had in my cache of cool drawings, which at times feels like centuries of drawing I've done that could best describe this weeks word, I came across this drawing.  I drew it when I had realized I had forgotten something really important and I believe it was a family member's birthday, however when I drew it remains a mystery.  This is what a  burst of emotion moment feels like to me in picture form. I always liked this drawing because of its' comical point of view. This drawing is my interpretation of me having a "burst" of coherency, just as it arrives in one's mind and says very loudly, "Duh!"

Every have one of those moments?  It seems so simple, you are lost in thought about what you forgot and it eludes you until that moment occurs, then you scream out loud a single word where the people around realize you have been talking to yourself and they are not part of this conversation.  As these strangers start to shake their heads and mutter to themselves about your sanity, you smile, just like a crazy person, because the moment of sanity just came back and you can move forward with your life knowing you remembered what had been eluding you.

Thank you Illustration Friday, once again, for providing me with an outlet for my work!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pet Portraits for your Event




On Sunday, September 16th, I had the great honor of being the portrait artist at Pet Centric's annual Client Appreciation Party.  Wendy Fisher, owner, called me to be a part of her event and to meet the clients she works with, providing pet care, feeding, walking, and training tips through her company.

It was a beautiful day up in Santa Barbara and I was there for about three hours.  During this time, Wendy mingled with her guests, told great stories about pet adventures, served delicious food and wine, and of course, romped with a few pets who tagged along.

During the event I presented three of her clients with beautiful, hand drawn pet portraits, in pencil pastel all on 9" x 12" paper.  Drawing is my favorite pastime, as I have been drawing since the age of two.  The first two clients had photos on their cell phones and one had a printed photo, as per Wendy's Invitation to her guests, who were encouraged to bring their favorite photos of their pets with them to the party. 

The first portrait was on a Blackberry phone screen of Blackie and Honey, two adorable cats sitting on either side of a vase of dried Red Lantern Flowers.  The image was no more than the size of the length of my thumb, so I did my best to capture their personalities quickly.  The next portrait was on a larger cell phone of Boo Boo, an adorable small black dog with Chihuahua mix, sitting in her pink harness and waiting to play catch with the yellow ducky at her feet.  The final portrait of the day was Lily, a beautiful Russian Blue colored cat, whose proud owner, Jennifer, was on hand to help Wendy with all of the guest's needs that day, including helping me from getting lost as I drove to the event.

The three clients all expressed their joy at how I captured their loving pet's personalities and commented they would be framing my portraits when they got them home.  I love to see  and hear the joy when I do portrait work, as it is the greatest gift I can get. I have always had a love of animals, as does Wendy and her Pet Centric Crew, which could be seen in the calm presence of the pets in attendance.

I look forward to seeing photos in the future of the framed portraits and I thank Wendy again for a lovely day in Santa Barbara! Pet Portraits by JP Denyer

Saturday, September 08, 2012

"The Girl Who Wore Many Hats" ©2012 JPDenyer


This weeks Illustration Friday word is "Imagination", something I feel I was born with an over abundance of, that is imagination.  One day while cleaning in the kitchen a sentence popped into my head.  Now, while this is not that unusual to me, I am always getting thoughts about a variety of things, this one was a bit louder than the others so I stopped. what I was doing and jotted it down.  That sentence soon mushroomed into a full blown children's story, which then started me to create a series of drawings to illustrate the story, which is about me so to speak.  I like the story, however I have drifted away from it a bit with the responsibilities I must pay attention too, however tonight, I asked my children, to chose one of two drawings I was thinking of submitting and this one, won hands down.  So here is my entry, hope you like it and if you do, well encourage me to finish the drawings and get the story published!  All artists need encouragement and support, I am no different!  That sentence is also the title of my story, "The Girl Who Wore Many Hats" and takes you through very important moments in her life. ©2012 JPDenyer

Monday, September 03, 2012

This weeks entry, Illustration Friday

This was created from a list of phrases provided to me by a T-shirt factory.  They were looking for new designs  for shirts.  It didn't make the cut.  In fact none of my drawings did for them made the cut, however no worries, I keep on trucking and drawing.  I am used to creating funny things and moving forward on life.  I am not much of spending time to look back and reflect on what doesn't stick. I think that would hold back my creative juices more if I did.
I like this drawing for Illustration Friday's word of the week, "Identical", because of how it is the same and yet not.  The same face, however two moods, before and after.  Hope my viewers like it.  I am having fun getting my art out into the world for all to see and thank Illustration Friday for being on my conscience to step up to the plate, though I missed last weeks!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Who Are You?


Who are you?

This was the headline from a recruiting firm who send me an occasional e-mail.  Today's was a pitch to make me feel better, believe more in myself and to stay strong in the face of overwhelming diversity during the wane of the August days. The writer wrote "…what's stopping you from becoming…" and then I was to fill in the blank with the usual excuses he suggested, things I put before myself to make achieving my goals longer and farther away than today.  Then once I read the list, the writer countered with "…who will you decide to be tomorrow?"

So in his words, "…these fading days of summer…" I will share with all of you who I am, as I became this person many, and I mean many years ago, long before this writer inspired me to share what I felt is a private affair, my life.  My gal pal will be pleased to know, the thing I created in my mind those many years ago with her, about people like myself.  She and I are people, who in the face of daunting situations and overwhelming odds, are know as the UNIQUE SQUAD, and she and I are a very big part of a small group of Unusual, Nice, Individuals, who Quite Uniquely do Everything needed to stay ahead of the rest of the crowd and still create an invaluable contribution to life.  

She has chosen a very hard profession, she is a family counselor hearing the most horrid of stories, I have accepted my life path, which has it pitfalls too, as it is the life of an artist.

We share our woes privately with each other in a place that is safe for us to cry, scream and feel safe with our disappointments so we may return to the world as William Wallace, a man more commonly known as "Braveheart" and one who fought for truth and honor among his fellow man in spite of known and unknown odds.

I am brave.  I am willing to continue as I always have, however as I grow a year here and there in my life, age has slowed down my stride, not my vision nor my passion.  My gal pal and I bolster each other to stay strong, to believe the path we were given is worth traveling and getting up in the morning to face our days of living in our dreams.  We are brave and we have big hearts, ones we share willing to those who need our love and our strengths.  And we do not rely on excuses, there is no one to save us but ourselves.  We accept the help of those who share our triumphs and lovingly accept their offers of help to achieve the long term goals we still seek, because we love these people as much as we love ourselves and the paths that intertwine our lives and stories. 

So, I have always been the person who I was supposed to become and I believe in me more than all combined.  I wavered once, long ago and far away, and it only lasted a day, until I looked at my life from the point of view as if I were a woman living in the old west.  This type of woman would do what ever it took to survive when an unordinary woman had to survive the challenges of being alone in the world of the new frontier, the Old West.

So as I continue to become, I now alter my path as I see fit, to reach the lofty goals I dreamed of when in my youth and still dream the impossible dream.  There is no one but me to say "No" to me, but me, this I have always believed.  Those who know me, know this is true.  And I say thank you to those who are with me now, for I still believe the dream for me and for them.

UNIQUE SQUAD, such an awesome phrase and still is, welcome aboard!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

This weeks entry to Illustration Friday's Contest word of the week!



I have connected with a group of very talented illustrators and am trying really hard to stay consistent in adding an entry each week for their weekly Illustration word of the week. Last week was "Freeze" and you can still see this entry here at this web site.

I certainly have a pool of drawings to pull from as drawing is the main theme in my life.  I have always drawn and felt most at home with drawing.

Presented here is a drawing I drew back in the 90's, as part of a children's learning rubber stamper tool. This was used as the cover for the learning booklet, which would accompany a set of alphabet stamps and stamp pad.  I call the illustration "Sam" and I remember just sitting down one night and drawing him.  The illustration of Sam was part of a concept product, as I remember, which I designed and conceived, however it was drawn so many years ago, I may be wrong on the conception of the idea, this may have been more of a team effort with the company I worked for as they did stationery products for kids.  The product is "Stamp 'N' Learn" and provided the parent and their child a way to learn words by using rubber stamps.  Product never took off, however that is another story.

So now, I am using Sam for more than a portfolio representation of my drawing capabilities and sending Sam in as my illustration entry for the word "Teacher",  Illustration Friday's word of the week.


Sunday, August 05, 2012

Packaging on Etsy


When faced with a challenge, I am pretty quick to respond and while this is not any different than any other challenge, I have hesitated as much as I have explored what the challenge means.  "Packaging" on Etsy, this is the challenge I face.

Originally I looked with the help of the search bar on Etsy to see what packaging was to the stores that sell on Etsy.  I did not really find what I was hoping for, which was highly creative boxes and containers, mostly I found people in the market of marketing their ability to sell a "how to design your own packaging package" via CD disks and the instructions are found on the disk.  I guess you buy the design, add your own store name to all the parts and pieces and viola, you have a branded look.

Perfect for Therapeutic Art Journaling where pictures replace words!

Find at http://www.Etsy.com/shop/buddyschild

Then I added a word to my initial search, the word "box" and was able to narrow down my search, finding more of what I have grown to know as packaging.  Later this same day, I went driving and felt inspired by my thoughts, a common occurrence for me, designing while driving that is.  I realized as a Packaging Designer in my "other" career, I have in my Etsy Store a kit, which allows you to make not just an Art Journal, but a Box sized to fit the Journal where you can keep it safe.  Made from recycled materials, the purchaser is encouraged in the instruction provided in the kit, to personalize everything, Journal and box, as part of the Art Journaling process.  This was a project my best friend and I came up with a year ago for therapeutic purposes and I posted the item as part of my online Esty Store products.

Mulling over this thought as I drove, I decided to expand on this project, to create hand made boxes, then create kits for others to DIY with the parts supplies from my hand made creation, all parts included, then also making just the instructions at a nominal cost for others, again allowing the very creative members on Etsy to put their own spin on a hand made box.  Blogging about all of this is the fourth key to my journeyed challenge, "Packaging on Etsy".

Fast forward to today, I click on the Flicker link for Etsy Success Blog and discover a whole new world, Sellers on Etsy who are taking into consideration the product they sell must have a unique presentation when the buyer receives their purchase in the mail.  For a person like myself who is in the business of presentation and has counseled others on a sellers presentation, I realized I have not established a true packaging  "brand" for my store products for a couple of reasons, I have not sold very much and the cost of shipping of my pieces are often a make or break it when it comes to making the sale.  Extra added pieces (i.e. special packaging) will add weight to a package and raise the shipping costs of the product ultimately.

Some of the packages I have sent in the past, always have one business card, I prefer to include two.  Hopefully the recipients will keep the card(s), go look at my other websites noted on my business card and talk about my store to their friends.  So far I have not heard through the grapevine that a buyer got a friend to buy the products in my store, at least not yet, so hope does still spring eternal.  I  have personalized each package with a gift, some got stickers, others a pencil, something I feel works with the sale because it is a way of saying thank you, as well as providing a short but handwritten note saying thank you, this is always a must!

Now with this challenge I face, I am re-thinking about the creative counseling I provide to my clients to whom I suggest the making an effort to create a memorable experience with their buyers.  When a client receives their package in the mail, opening this package is as important as the purchase itself.  My Etsy Store is not really that much different than a store in a mall and my customers will appreciate my Etsy Store more with personalized packaging from my heart to their home, just like in the mall when they carry their purchases out of the store to their car and into their home.  It is all about advertising and marketing and memories.  I have more work ahead of me and it has a beautiful horizon for me to chase after!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Something new in Blogdome

My world is to create new and every expanding avenues of my work, I am fortunate to find new paths for me, this one is called Illustration Friday.  This is a group of illustrators who are provided a single word to which illustrators submit an interpretation of the provided weekly word.

Illustration Friday is on Facebook too, a place I liked after I found them via a Google search I did yesterday, that's right, I only found out about them yesterday!

This weeks word is "Bounce".  I missed last weeks as I got busy and was unable to submit my entry, but I like the one that was chosen to best represent the interpretation for the word "Lonely".

So here is my submission.  Come back next week to see a new submission for a new word.

Fun and empowerment, this is what is on my menu every week helping me to move forward!  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thoughts for today's closing hours


"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. "

Gotta love Criminal Minds, the TV show, they have great searchers and great writers.  Tough jobs for the real folks.  It is a very tough watch, not for the faint of heart.

Words of wisdom sometimes come from strange places

Tonight I heard a quote, which I felt was good to send to my best friend.  She has had a rather unusual year by general standards as she has been challenged by life in ways that would crumble even the strongest person, yet she remains standing, functioning as best she knows how, given her year of events and is still looking towards the remaining of the year we all have left in front of us.  She is currently earning her intern hours needed to be given her license to become a licensed MFT counselor, (Marriage Family Therapist.)


She is really good at her job, albeit filled with the troubles most of us find horrible, too horrible to imagine, things that I watch on certain TV shows and wish were not real.    However this year she has been tested unfairly I think, but as many friends who enter the AA program, mention this thought, "God only gives you what you can handle", which in her world has been a lot these past few months, and her beliefs travel a personal path.

So here I sat, watching my show and at the end of the show, part of the bookend signature of the show, there is a follow up quote because the opening always has a quote, providing significance to the story about to unfold.  Tonight's closing quote had her name written all over it and I dedicate this blog notation to her and any other who finds comfort in reading this entry tonight or tomorrow or when ever.  For me, life is precious, difficult yet worth living; I am glad to have my gal friend in my life, she and I have a bond rarely found in friendships, so here you go girlfriend, be proud, heal and know you are loved.

Now the quote:

"It has been said 'Time heals all wounds,' I do not agree.  The wounds remain, in time the mind protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens, but is is never gone." Rose Kennedy, a la Criminal Minds, Season 2 Episode 1.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Get the greatest revision on 150 of your words for only $5.00

video
I recently posted this video on You Tube and on #Fiverr as my first Gig® to generate ways to improve your writing.  Not everyone knows how to write about themselves, about a product, or best describe a memory for a personal web site, because not everyone is a professional copy writer.  I have been writing for many years now, on a wide variety of subjects and have often taken the words of others, turned them into the emotional impact they want and help them look great in print.  As a Creative Director and educated at Art Center College of Design, I learned how to be flexible in my abilities to delivery quality content in all aspects of my job.  Turning your prose into pearls is easy for me, just watch this video and then go to http://fiverr.com/jpdenyer/improve-150-words-of-copy-on-any-subject--2 to order your revision for only $5.00.  My clients, who have used my talents in the past, are happy with the results I have delivered and now, I am making them available to you.  Create a better presence on the internet, in your work place, or in a cover letter.  What ever the subject is, I know I can improve your words and make you feel content in knowing my copy will get you the attention you want.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Bustier Wall Adornments


I am creating new ideas and looking for new opportunities daily. The most current ones are my line of Bustier Wall Adornments. Please feel free to comment.

These are for the home to be hung on the wall and are full body size art; great for bridal showers and gifts, just about anywhere you want to feel “pretty”.

So unique, I also take special orders!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

My Dad, the younger gentleman on the right, looking like he is sticking a pencil in his mouth, was always involved in publicity stunts to help the newpapers.  His friend Bud Gray, the photographer for this shot, were great buddies through out their newspaper careers.  Both are gone now, fond memories remain, however seeing this photo reminds me of what a great time he had when he was around.  Oh to be able to time travel and see him again. Today is his birthday, I hope somewhere he is happy and celebrating, he would have been 86.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Recipe submitted for consideration

Hey friends, summer is around the corner and I recently had an opportunity to submit for consideration a "Summer Recipe" to be published on a reporters blog site.  I chose my Cottage Cheese Quiche as a suggestion for this reporter's blog.

This is a delicious, EASY recipe you can make the day of or ahead of busy summer activities and takes hardly anytime to make (about 10-15 mins). The one shown in the photo above has spinach and vegetarian bacon strips added, however this is optional.  Hope you try my recipe, as those who know me, know I am not a kitchen or cooking fan, but this is a house staple!

COTTAGE CHEESE QUICHE


2 shallow Pastry Shells (either graham cracker or pie pastry shells. The graham cracker pastry shells add a slight "sweet" taste to the meal, which I have found people enjoy!) 

1 16 oz Cottage Cheese, small curd (regular is best, can use low fat but do not recommend large curd) 


6 eggs 8 oz Swiss Cheese, grated or cut into small cubes 8 oz Mozzarella Cheese, grated or cut into small cubes 

Add the following seasonings to taste: (approximately 1-2 teaspoons): 

Garlic 

Pepper 

Oregano 

Thyme 

Sage 

D
ash of salt 

Optional Items: 

4-8 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained 

4-8 oz Parmesan Cheese 

Chopped green onions 

Vegetarian Bacon Strips (Morning Star brand is what I use) 


Take the above ingredients (except the bacon) and mix them all together in a large mixing bowl blending the items together. Pour 1/2 of the mixture into each pastry shell and spread evenly. Cut the Vege Bacon strips into squares and place them across the top of each pie rotating the direction to create an appetizing look to the top of the pie. Bake the pies in the oven at 400º for about twenty minutes and then allow the pies to sit in the hot oven with the heat turned off for an additional ten minutes. Cool and set out for guests. Serves about 6 generous slices per pie. Total prep time 10-15 mis + cooking This is easy, quick and a real crowd pleaser.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

The Power of One


Nothing happens without a team, so in reality, there are more people behind the single person struggling to find their way in this ever increasing and difficult world.  Such as in the other day when I got this e-mail from my Mom about Etsy.  She knows me well and believes in the success of me and does what she can to assist where she can.  On this day she told me about something I had not known Etsy had done to their web site to help Etsy shops do more in promotion.  Etsy originally, when I first joined their site (2009), gave you the basic "About" page.  This is where you write a little bit of information about who you are and it is easy to access and change, which I have done when running specials in my shop.  Now they have added a more in depth "About Me" page, an extra to the original one, where the shop owner can talk about their "story" of how they came to be a shop owner.


Needless to say and two hours later I created my story, created the graphics for the moving banners and published it for all the world to see.  The new section also allows me to link to this blog which affords me more time to come here and write about my Etsy experience, challenges and dilemmas


I am a single person running a shop by myself while looking for work in the graphic/creative/packaging design industry, which has grown harder with the challenges of the internet bringing technical qualities to the table I have yet to completely master.  I wear many hats (wrote a children's story talking about such a person) and I am all things to many people.  Which is why I am grateful when someone who knows I may suffer from microscopic vision and can miss utilizing a tool before unknown to me.


So THANKS MOM, and thank you to all who visit my work on Etsy, my creative outlet for ideas from my head and vintage items from thrift stores, I really appreciate you stopping by.  I also hope you tell others about me as I want to grow and hire a person to help around the office so I can do more in the design world and less cleaning of the office! (ha ha).

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Living with Grief

http://markvoland.blogspot.com/

I watch over him now as he permeates the remaining years of what our lives were together, because no one now, who shares my day to day, knew me as long as we knew each other, except family of course.  I was sixteen when I met him, turning 57 when he passed away and he has now left me once and all forever.  I can still miss him although, no worries, I am able to function quite normally and have been for awhile.  I just want to find that comfort zone again and I don't think I ever will.

He was not the only important man in my life to pass away, I lost my father when I was just 19, I still grieve him and it will be 38 years this October 30th.  Halloween has never been the same for me.

Living with grief is learning how to say ok to emptiness.  The life you once knew won't come back, unless you get lucky like I did with my dog Buddy.  I believe he is the cat I had 30 years ago who was blessed to come back to me, and Mark knew Buddy.  I found Buddy on the street one day thinking Mark and him would be great together.  Buddy had other ideas.

But here I was living my life thinking nothing about it when not once but twice, the two most important men in my life structure disappear.  I am grateful to our time together.  Read this poem, It is from the point of view of my daughter who witnessed the day I learned my friend Mark Voland had died.  I really like it.

Grief doesn't go away.  It shrinks.  For most of us it becomes really manageable, as it has for me, but memories being what memories are, this is part of a grieving process.  It also becomes louder when other things go wrong in your life that are out of your control and the world requires you to be strong.

So I am going to go be strong now.  Please go read the poem, maybe you'll like it too!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012, January Notes


2012 has had its moments so far, like the mouse in the house weekend, and this month has brought about change to our lives. There is a link is to Buddy's chattings on the coolest new web site, Pet Chatty- it helps pets chat and link and share with other pets where the pets have a voice. Seriously way cool.

Also found another one, Ravelry.com, for knitters and crocheters. A fun journal into serious creativity.

Then try www.LVCAA.com, this is a personal favorite as I am doing the PR, logo design and Denise and her family are friends who just started their first business.

Best news I am working nearby designing a new brand look for a common product line, pest control. The package is very kick ass in it's branding.

So that's what's happening while tying up the end of the first month of year Armageddon. We are holding the world together in my home, how you doing?

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Saturday, September 03, 2011

A Tenth Anniversary Is All About The Memories



(An Essay Competition: On the 10th Anniversary of 9/11): My Essay: (That's me - the photo on the right - getting my first bike 1959)

I have been thinking about this date as I remember where I was, “Who doesn’t,” the voice in my head always comments when I think this.

The strongest memory is being in the room of our last home together as a family. I was married then and deciding the fate of my life, my children’s lives and my husband’s future as well as planning my own. I have friends who still live there; they lived this horrible moment when life forced the kindness in their hearts to be hero’s to strangers, and I was in touch with them so spiritually that day, they are who my family is still today.

I remember being made aware I live in a place of the world where advantage is a commonplace item and privilege is often forgotten during the most normal day-to-day experiences we all have. Life for some of us is less of a struggle than other places. However the event, which occurred on 9-11-01, brought to mind all of these things, these words, and these changes in the course of my day to day as I stood there in our bedroom, watched over and over the replay and realized if I get one chance at this living and this breathing experience, I needed to make a change and change I did.

Ten years later I still remain the person I was, a not looking back person with regrets, I am still a forward believer in change will bring better to all; however change does bring fallout and my heart still swells under the realization of how small our loss was compared to the one faced by other parts of the world. This event remains big to the children and families who have a one on one path with this event. I send my love and prayers of healing to them, their families and to all effected directly and indirectly, it was a great loss and still a healing wound.

My children are now young adults, they are being readied to do what I did so many years ago when I was their ages, and so, I do find myself reflecting in this way, compare and contrast of then and now. I imagine the families who are bound together by this event and then I remember visiting the World Trade Center when I lived there (1977-88); the memory of the view, not once but twice, is breathtaking among other memories I have of living in NYC when I did. I also remember visiting the World Trade Center in 2007 when I went there with my daughter for a musical contest she won in NJ, our weekend visit with a long-term gal pal, her family and these more present day memories. The time between my visits from LA to NY had been long, much had happened since I had left (1987-88) and this weekend, when my daughter and I were there we walked from 72nd and Broadway to Greenwich Village and taxied or subwayed back, trivial details are escaping me now. But my daughter and I visited the World Trade Center and said our prayers to those buried here. It is now a somber place, a place of prayer and a place of honor. You can feel the bravery; it gave me chills just to think about all of this when we were there. To all and everyone, thank you for the memories, while some are now lost and all I have are memories of their lives, you are still in my heart and your bravery in living this lifetime, sharing some of it with me, I return to you the same with love.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Art for the sake of Self Promotion


So be it, to make every attempt to promote my own work and that of other Artists, I have added a link to my blog on the hopes they will add me to theirs!

Artists need each other. I need them. We need each other. Click the link in the title to see their web site - I haven't figured out how to make it part of the page yet, but I will, I am tenacious you know, like a dog sitting by your feet just waiting to be petted.

Self Promotion of the Art Species...a vulnerable part of the human race, where rejection and deception seem to undermine the ways of creation. Some where else in this post is another link to my online portfolio...ah-h-h-h gaining knowledge one keystroke at a time

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Value of your Work in Today's Marketplace



To answer the question when asked in a professional way, "What are your salary expectations?” I find it is best to dodge this question because to you price your "value" too high they will not consider you and to price your value about yourself too low, well, their impression is you don't think much of your work. Kind of like the metaphor of hitting it out of the ball park or never getting out of the car in the parking lot to see the game. Most people under value their worth. Read the book "The Instant Millionaire", it addresses this right off the top at the beginning of the book. It is a short read, written as a parable and well worth the time to understand how to see your own value as you present it to the world.

To answer the question, “How do I price my personal products I create for sale?” do research and use this as your guide, include Ebay, Amazon and personal websites in your research. Look at what others are using as a pricing tool on their web sites. I recently found myself out of work in April of this year. This is my biggest fear however because I am not daunted by my fears, I looked at this as an opportunity to re-invent myself yet once again. I began to use part of my time to build my Etsy on line store (www.etsy.com/shop/buddyschild) to bolster my lack of finances. I started selling some vintage costume jewelry and needed to gain insight on the value of these pieces. I went to stores and asked the owners of these shops to help me give a value when they did not express interest in purchasing them themselves. Then I needed to understand how billing and shipping costs impact my profits. It helps to do an Excel sheet with calculations built into the sheet so when you reach the last column you see what your profit really is. It is also important when selling your own stuff to make sure you add state sales tax because the states are cracking down on sellers who do not pay sales tax on private sales and there are penalties when caught. Lack of knowledge is not an excuse when States come to collect what they feel is their due.

I price my work on two issues and while the first is an intuitive feeling the other is how well known am I. Being better known in the art community allows you to ask for a higher price. Lesser known means charging a lesser price. Also keep in mind people today want to find bargains. Don’t lower your prices just to satisfy the need of knowing someone purchased your fine art. The artist has an artistic soul, which is generally the most vulnerable part of the human condition and the desire to feel validated by your art hits home on this feeling every time we sell or don’t sell something, at least it is for me. It can crush lesser artists and cause them to never reach their potential.

Research is every thing. Knowing what the market can bear is also important. When it comes to selling an artistic creation, you are no longer an artist you are a businessperson and art never enters the conversation. That’s why there are agents, galleries and representatives for artists, because honestly, it is easier to haggle with a business person than an emotional artist who feels one set of values and gets another in return for their efforts!

"How do you price your work?" Good question.

Being someone who is currently looking for work and re-inventing my life while job hunting, I am faced with this from two sides of the coin, what is my worth in the open job market and what are the pieces I am selling on my on-line store worth to others?

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