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!

Introducing Planner Accessories!

It’s January again and time for planning and organizing! I have to admit I haven’t yet written down my goals for the year, because things have not entirely slowed down since December. But my shop had a wonderful holiday season – I met some goals, sold lots of new designs, improved my workflow, and got to connect with more of you, both buyers and fellow sellers, on social media – and I have some ideas for this year involving more new product lines, sales, collaborations, and supporting other shops.

For now, I would like to introduce my new planner accessories! I’ve been making more and more cane designs in various themes and I’ve realized I can use them for a lot of other things besides jewelry, in this case, planner clips and planner charms. Each cane design is unique, but because I can get so many pieces out of them, I’m able to make some simple, affordable items.

The planner accessories feature themes from floral to animals to seasonal and more, and the clips come in two sizes and finishes. I have also been using more of the cane slices and leftover resin from jewelry batches to make some adorable keychains.

These are a perfect way to add some fun and cuteness to your planning, or find the perfect gift for a planner-obsessed friend! Check them out at Pastiche Accessories, and stay tuned for more exciting developments this year!

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! 

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.

Website Update – New Platform

Last year I decided to try again with running a website in addition to my Etsy shops. I committed to a six month plan with Weebly, and my bare minimum goal was to make enough sales to cover the fees. It took me almost the full six months, and only one of those sales came from someone I didn’t already coordinate with elsewhere, but it happened (and I appreciate every single order). 

So I’m going to continue running my website, but with a different platform. Weebly was easy to use, reasonably affordable, and had most of the features I wanted. But for a few dollars more (or less, depending on the timeframe) Shopify will give me a couple things that were missing from my site, as well as the ability to sell directly on Facebook and Pinterest.

It’s taken some work to get set up again, and to keep a website going in general, but I’m excited about having even more possibilities for my business. Customers will have more ways to shop, and I hope to be able to focus on doing my best work instead of competing with what’s trendy in a certain marketplace or trying to keep up with constant updates (I’m referring to Etsy, of course, but I will still be taking advantage of their built-in traffic). 

I’m starting with a monthly plan but would love to commit to a year as soon as I can afford it. This would save me a little money, but mostly it would motivate me to make it work. I think most of my failed attempts to branch out in the past were not so much about the platform but the fact that I wasn’t ready and didn’t realize how long it would take to see results. 

This year has gotten off to a rough start but I think things are going in a good direction and I hope I’m right. So if you would like to support my work, please check out The New Shop, share with some friends, or give some feedback here. If you’re a fan of My Facebook Page, you can use the discount coupon at the top of the page for your first purchase! 

Introducing Handmade Supplies

I’m always looking for new product ideas to make and sell. After a few custom requests and some research, I decided to add handmade supplies to my offerings.

A few of my jewelry supply sets (available with or without holes).

I’m starting with pendants, earrings pieces, and a few beads. They are made with some of the same nature-inspired polymer clay designs as my finished jewelry items, mostly canes, but without the findings and at a fraction of the price. 

This way, because I have honed my skills with polymer clay and especially canes, you can combine my pieces with your own beading, wire wrapping, or other skills to create unique pieces to sell in your own shop. 

And if you’re not a professional jewelry maker, these pieces can also be finished simply with bails & chains or ear wires for yourself, gifts, or group DIYs. 

I might try to put together some ideas on how to use these so let me know if you’d be interested!

Also if you’ve purchased and photographed any of my products, use hashtag #noellelewisart or #pasticheaccessories on social media to be entered into giveaways! 

Florals: Sale Items & New Designs 

It’s been a busy month (yikes!) since my last post, mostly spent preparing for a local event, which I will talk about later. I haven’t been able to spend as much time creating new designs, but I do have a few I hadn’t shared yet.

First I wanted to mention that I’m having a sale at Noelle Lewis Art on Etsy and Amazon, for just a few more days. I’m clearing out some of my older floral items, including jewelry sets and mixed media paintings, so I can focus on my landscape cane jewelry and landscape paintings – which may still include some mixed media.


Meanwhile in my other shop, Pastiche Accessories, I have a new collection of florals featuring statement necklaces and matching earrings in a variety of colors and styles. I use the caning technique for these also but shape the slices into flowers, then connect them and finish them with beads.

As I may have mentioned, I’m branching out to include other metal colors – besides silver – such as gold, copper, and bronze. And I’ve started making studs along with the dangle earrings, which can also be purchased as clip-ons. 

I hope I’m not confusing anyone while I figure out my multiple shop situation and get organized! But I have plenty of options and I hope you’ll check out the sale and/or the new collection! 

Care & Cleaning of Polymer Clay Jewelry

I wanted to start including some care and cleaning sheets when I ship my polymer clay jewelry orders, because there are some differences from other types of jewelry that some people might not be aware of.

Most of what I found came from the websites and blogs of other artists, which I will link below. Here’s what I pieced together so far – let me know if it sounds helpful as a buyer, or if you have any other tips as a seller!

1. Use regular jewelry cleaner on the metal parts, but only soap and water or light buffing on the clay parts

2. Keep away from solvents – cleaners, hairspray, nail polish, etc

3. Keep out of heat and extended periods of direct sunlight

4. The clay is strong but can be scratched or broken –  be careful not to drop delicate pieces or place in pockets or purses

5. Store your pieces away from high humidity to keep metal from tarnishing

6. Not recommended for wear during sleep, showering, or swimming

7. Please keep pieces away from small children for their safety

References: Eugena’s CreationsPink Cat DesignSaved Spirit DesignsEtsy Team Discussion

 

 

Valentine’s Day Promotion and “Watercolor” Jewelry Set

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I wanted to do something fun and different for a promotion this year. So instead of the usual percent off or free shipping, all of next week’s Valentine orders will ship with a free gift. It’s a surprise but I will say that it’s inspired by a Valentine’s Day classic.

I had a couple other projects going on and only managed to design one new love-themed jewelry set, but I think it turned out pretty cool. I used three different colors of alcohol inks to create an abstract faux watercolor pattern on white polymer clay hearts. I think I will experiment with other colors and shapes later in the year.

As usual, I’ve also brought back several items from previous years, mostly hearts in red and pink, but some are definitely subtle enough to wear year round, and one of them can be personalized. I moved  all these items into the Valentine’s Day section of my Etsy shop so you know what’s included in the promotion.

 

My Valentine’s Day jewelry collection

So check it out and maybe you will find something special to gift or to wear. Handmade jewelry is a great option (in my biased opinion) because it can be a lot more affordable than fine jewelry, but more unique and personal. 

If you’re in a relationship this Valentine’s Day, I hope you can enjoy the day to celebrate your love and not feel too much pressure to make it perfect – it’s the thought that counts, right? 

And if you’re single, then I apologize for couples getting all the attention, and I hope you can feel good about doing something nice for yourself or other people in your life – cause you don’t have to be in a relationship to deserve that!