Labor Day Painting Sale & Life Update

Labor Day Sale!-2

This may be the longest it’s ever been since my last update. I’ve been trying to plan better and be more consistent in my business and in life but, as they often do, unforeseen obstacles have gotten in the way.

I guess it’s finally time to admit that our relocation has been more of a nightmare than an adventure. I tried to be optimistic and make the best of it, and I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed certain aspects of life in this area, but “normal moving stress” and obnoxious neighbors gave way to a series of disappointments, specifically a lack of business and personal connections, and finally what I consider betrayal from our friends/Joe’s business partner who we followed here.

This is probably not the place to go into detail, so suffice it to say that they behaved with incredible selfishness and unprofessionalism and, intentionally or not, did a lot of damage to our lives and the gym. And in the end, they weren’t the ones to stick around and deal with it. It’s hard to explain in such vague terms without sounding like I’m being petty, but I’ don’t want to start drama, I just feel the need to share what’s been going on in order to move forward.

It didn’t help that I was, and still am, trying to manage recurring major depression with basically no support system. I think the hardest part was losing faith in myself and other people, because the red flags were all there. We knew better. But whether out of goodwill or desperation, we gave the benefit of the doubt anyway. Either way, it’s shocking to be treated like nothing more than a means to an end by people who said they cared. At least I’ve learned that my instincts are usually right, if I would just listen to them.

As all of this was coming to an end, Joe found out with about a month’s notice that he’d be deploying for the fourth time. We knew this was a possibility and I was honestly never sold on living here, so my backup plan was – surprise! – temporarily moving to Asheville, where I hope the plentiful art, good food, nice people, and beautiful mountains will remind me what it feels like to enjoy life.

You may remember I’ve tried this before, and maybe I’m being stupid, but logistically it’s more realistic this time. We’re just renting and we want to move closer to town anyway, so in between, I’ll put most of our stuff in storage and find a small place for me and the cats.

My online inventory may change a bit as I try to take advantage of local shows, galleries, and other activities, but I plan to keep my shop running and updated. Maybe I’ll even blog and make YouTube videos again! Either way, I’m sure there will be plenty of inspiration for new projects.

So on that note, I’m participating in Etsy’s Labor Day sale with 30% off all paintings in My Shop, including minis, magnets, and ornaments, to try to reduce some of my larger/more damageable stock before I have to pack it. It runs from the August 30th to September 3rd with a preview today.

If you’ve read this far, I want you to know that even though I’ve fallen behind with certain things, it has meant the world to me to have my business and its growing support network to focus on through these struggles. I may have largely gone without friends or opportunities in person, but at least there’s the Internet, right? So thank you guys and I hope you’ll stick with me and see what’s next in the coming months!

New Sale/Clearance Section

It’s been a busy year so far with steady orders since the holidays and lots of new projects as usual. I’m especially excited to be selling more and more of my brand new designs. But at the same time, I have lots of older ones still sitting in my studio, especially since I have all my local stock back.

So I decided to take advantage of Etsy’s awesome new sales features and start an ongoing clearance section. Currently the discounts range from 30-50% off, depending on the item and how long it’s been in my shop. I plan to update it regularly and might even include some newer items to see what happens.

I’m offering everything from art to jewelry to handmade supplies – including my prototype crochet hooks, which will be discounted on an ongoing basis based on availability – and I hope you’ll take a look from time to time! It’s a great way to get a rare deal on a unique item for yourself or a gift!

Click the shop link in the menu or go to the Sale Section right here!

Website Update & Clearance Sale

After careful consideration, I have decided to close my Shopify store for now. I really wanted to have a fully functioning ecommerce website of my own, but unfortunately it has not brought in enough sales to cover the fees or the time I spend updating it. I know I could have done a better job of self-promotion, but right now it’s just not realistic.

This is not necessarily a negative thing. In addition to running my Etsy shops, I finally have my items in two brick and mortar stores, one local and one in another state. Simplifying my online presence a bit will help me keep up with everything.

I’m adding pages to this blog, which will serve as my website going forward and will link to my Etsy. I will also be moving my art listings back over to my jewelry shop, so when you click over to the shop page, everything is in one place. They even offer guest checkout now, which is convenient for new customers.

So before I close in about a week, please take advantage of 50% off any remaining items at NoelleLewisArt.com with coupon code “CLOSING50.” Of course, you will still be able to purchase my art, jewelry, and other items any time on Etsy, but I won’t be doing sales like this often! 

I probably could have made things easier for myself (and maybe less annoying for you) with better planning, but much like life, building a business is a learning process. So thanks for staying up-to-date, and please let me know if you have any suggestions! 

Local Update: Handmade Marketplace Booth

About a year after relocating, I finally found a local spot to sell my handmade items. 

If you didn’t read my post about moving, my husband left active duty military to start a gym with some friends. I chose to be optimistic that our relocation would be an adventure and not a disappointment. I guess it’s been a little of both. 

Besides the usual stress of moving and the challenges of adjusting to civilian life, we have had some unexpected difficulties and found ourselves pretty isolated in the life we choose to live as business owners. But we have enjoyed slowing down, spending more time together, and finding little things to appreciate about this unique and interesting area.

I had also planned to get my work into some local shops or galleries, and for a while, my search was very discouraging. But I finally found a new shop in Lebanon that specializes in handmade, recycled, and vintage items from local artists and businesses. As soon as they had a booth I could afford, I reserved it. Now there’s a little display in the back full of my jewelry, accessories, cards, and even a few paintings. 

I’m hopeful that this will be a great opportunity for me, not only as a way to grow my business, but a way to be a little more involved in the community. Check out The Marketplace at the Mill’s Facebook Page, and if you’re local, see my stuff and more in the shop upstairs! 

Thoughts on Color Theory and Being Yourself

I finally got a chance to buy Polymer Clay Color Inspirations by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio, a book I’ve had my eye on for a while, and so far I am not at all disappointed.

The book is about color theory, color mixing, and choosing colors for a project. I’m actually pretty good at the mixing part; making decisions is where it gets tricky for me. In addition to both of those issues, the book includes some very interesting information on how we relate to different colors for different reasons. 

It also contains some exercises. I skipped ahead to one where you mix each of six basic colors with a little of each of the colors next to it and a little of each of white, gray, and black. It shows how some colors change more than others due to pigment strength.


I really enjoyed seeing all the variations together, and knowing I’d have a reference point for future projects. But I was a little disappointed when I got to yellow, one of my favorite colors. Most of the finished palettes were essentially 12 different versions of the original color. But the yellow ended up turning mostly orange, green, and brown. 

Suddenly I felt like I could really relate to the color yellow. It’s not any less awesome than the other colors, but gets overpowered by them anyway.

I’ve been going through some personal stuff that has really driven home the feelings of worthlessness that can come with living as an artist with depression. I’m not saying I want a different life, but I do get tired of being dismissed by people because my problems aren’t as visible as theirs and my priorities are somehow less important. 

That being said, I’m also trying to stop being a pushover. Making your own decisions means you can’t please everyone. I still consider other people, but I actually think you can do that better if you take care of yourself first. 

It seems we’re all a little bit like colors. Those around us can bring out the beauty in us, or they can turn us into things we’re not. We can lose ourselves in other people’s needs and expectations. 

So if you can relate to yellow, too, I hope you will give yourself permission to prioritize what you want and believe in. After all, it’s your life.

Mixed Media Beach & Floral Art

A couple years ago I started experimenting with combining my two favorite mediums, acrylic paint and polymer clay. I painted simple backgrounds and created basic dimensional shapes, then combined them together on canvas boards. The first set was floral-themed.

Meanwhile, through my jewelry making, I’ve been developing my polymer clay caning skills. So when I got back to my mixed media work, I started making the clay embellishments more detailed. 

I also received some acrylic mediums as a gift. Some of the textures worked perfectly for sand and waves, so I made a beach set for summer, incorporating more clay pieces as focal points for more detail and dimension.


It’s wonderful to find that two great things can be even better together. The larger pieces, some of which can go together as pairs, would accent a room nicely, and the smaller ones can be used as bookshelf art. I even made some magnets! You can find them on My Website or My Etsy Shop. I had a lot of fun creating these pieces and hope you will enjoy them too.

New in the Shop: Custom Fairy Houses

If you follow me on social media, you may remember a purple floral/hobbit-inspired fairy house I made for my herb garden with a broken wine glass and, of course, polymer clay.

That was a couple years ago, but things have gotten a little slow recently and I was looking for new ideas again. Fairy gardens and miniatures are all the rage right now, and I love fantasy and making tiny things. It’s also a great way to reuse glass jars, which unfortunately are not recycled in my area.

So I posted in a Facebook group and got some people interested, and these are the first couple pieces we came up with together, as well as a remake of mine. After leaving it outside year-round, I learned what I needed to improve for it to last. I also made a couple extra tiny versions for indoor teacup gardens. 


You can browse my full collection of home decor, which also includes some office and jewelry organization items, on Etsy or on my website.

Do you have a fairy garden? What’s your favorite thing to decorate it with? 

Vote to Decide What I Paint Next!

I mentioned that one of my goals for the year is to finish one painting a month. This will be a bit of a challenge with my main focus being on selling jewelry, so I’m going to go ahead and say it counts when I finish a long-time work-in-progress or do a commission. Either way, painting is really important to me and I want to spend more time on it.

I also take A LOT of nature photos. Between those, my product photos, and photos of my cats, I constantly have a storage problem on my phone. But more to the point, I’ll probably never paint all of them and it’s hard to choose between them. 

So I started a photo album on my Facebook Business Page where you can vote on what I’ll paint next. No obligation to buy, of course, but you get to be involved in the creative process, and I get some help deciding what to do next. If you happen to be interested in buying, I can also do custom work.

If that sounds like fun, head over to my Reference Photo Album and start liking & commenting on your favorite photos, or share the album with your friends! 

Wilson Living Holiday Expo & Giveaway Winner

We’ve lived in Tennessee for a few months now and, like most relocations, it has been a challenge for me. 

Our quiet house in the woods is actually surrounded by annoying roosters and loud dogs, I basically have no friends, and despite my efforts, I’ve found no successful opportunities to grow my business. Partly I am too tired and stressed out to try harder, but still. 

In addition, for whatever reason, my online sales have been weirdly slow, so I was having some doubts about my business when I stumbled upon a Facebook post about a local vendor event, the Wilson Living Holiday Expo. 

I immediately emailed and found that they still had a couple spots left. I wasn’t sure if I could afford it, but it was really well promoted and seemed too good to pass up. 

Once I’d committed, I had a busy week of event prep ahead of me, but luckily I’d already done a lot of the work for a previous event. 

I was also stressed about running my booth by myself for a day and a half. Most of all I really hoped it would be worth it.

But I got everything done in time, my husband helped out so I could take breaks, and I practically didn’t notice twelve hours pass on Saturday as I ran my booth on two hours of sleep, because everyone was wonderful. 

I made some money on top of my booth fee, I got email signups and potential custom orders, and I met all kinds of people who talked to me about their lives and told me that my work is amazing and that I am awesome.

It’s not that I never hear those things (though sometimes I doubt them when things get hard) but it’s nice to know I live in a place where more than a couple people actually care about what I’m doing, and that I can take a risk and not fall on my face. 

So I just wanted to share my experience and thank you guys for showing your support. 

And now for the giveaway results! If you visited my booth and signed up for email updates via my blog, please head over to YouTube to watch this video and see if you won a custom ornament! 

While you’re there, feel free to subscribe for future giveaways, craft tutorials, and more. Thanks for reading! 

New Website (Again) With Store! 


I’ve decided to try again with running my own website. And despite my last attempt’s failure, there are some important differences that give me hope for this one.

I’ve mentioned this before but just wanted to briefly state that while I appreciate Etsy for helping me get my business started, and I will continue to sell there for exposure, it’s feeling less and less like the best fit for my products.

On top of that, I decided a while ago to branch into two shops, which made sense at the time but may or may not have been the best idea. Because I want to keep parts of both shops, it’s difficult to undo at this point.

So I really wanted a place of my own, for potential customers to find all of my listings in one place and not lost in all the not-so-handmade competition.

I’ve tried a lot of other platforms and most were either inconvenient or unsuccessful. My first actual website fell into both categories, especially since it didn’t even have a store. As a “solopreneur,” I really needed something fully functional but easy to update.

So, with the holidays fast approaching, I decided on Weebly and set up my site, which does have a store. I’m still on Etsy and will gladly take orders there, but I hope NoelleLewisArt.com will be a great place for new customers to shop.

I’m also still figuring out how to integrate my blog without giving up WordPress, but for now it’s linked on the blog page and I will be using it to post updates as usual.

To kick-start sales, I’m currently giving away a free greeting card with each first time order (coupon code FREECARD). I have a lot of options that coordinate well with my art and jewelry, so it’s a great way to do some holiday gift shopping.

If you’ve stuck around through all the changes, thank you for your support, and I hope you will continue to find it worthwhile. And if you’ve just found me, welcome and please have a look around!