FREE Business Cards, Rubber Stamps, & Magnetic Signs!

...okay, so it's not totally free...we do have to pay shipping cost...but it's darn close. I've blogged before about the great bargains at Vista Print on business cards, rubber stamps, and other business supplies we can't live without, but it certainly bears repeating. The UPS driver just delivered my latest order and I'm so excited and pleased with the high quality and low price of the products, I just had to share the information about this wonderful commercial printing resource for the small business owner on a shoestring.

I was running out of business cards. My last order at Vista was for the 250 standard cards, which they offer free. While I was at it, I accepted their offer of a free rubber stamp, too. Cost of shipping for both items was approximately $7.50, if memory serves. Compare this with the cost of color business cards at one of the big box retailers like Office Depot or the cost of buying the ink for your printer and making your own cards. It's easy to see the incredible savings to be had at Vista Print.

This time around they were offering 250 premium business cards for free. There was a good selection of styles to choose from and I chose one that was the perfect image for my business. I also took them up on the offer of a magnetic sign for my car door - also free - in a design similar to the business cards. Before I finished checking out my purchases, I was offered an additional 250 cards for $7.49 and a 2nd magnetic sign for $5.99. With shipping, the total cost of my order came to $23.43 and here's what I received:

500 of these...

And, 2 of these...

Pretty awesome, no? I chose standard shipping, which they say can take up to 2 weeks. My order was delivered to my little corner of the world in a mere 6 days. That's fast.

You don't need to take my word for it. Shop and compare for yourself. I can't say enough good things about the price, the quality, and the service at Vista Print. I'm sure you'll like them too. For your convenience, here's a quick link to their site:

While you're there, be sure to check out their other free offers - there's always about 10 different products to try for free. By the way, they don't gouge you on the shipping costs, either, so you can take advantage of those free offers without taking out a loan to pay the shipping. As Martha Stewart would say..."It's a good thing."

Updated Website for Irrational Exuberance - Ebony Glen Studio

Whew! Just spent the entire, live-long day on a major revision to the web pages for Irrational Exuberance and Ebony Glen Studio. I decided to show a clearer distinction between those two entities by giving each their own set of pages on the website. Ebony Glen Studio is the name I use when showing/marketing my fiber and mixed media landscapes, seascapes, and abstract art as well as the occasional stain glass creation. Irrational Exuberance is the brand name attached to the felted handbags, knit and crochet clothing designs, and the other wearable art that I create. Both entities are obviously related under the broad description of "fiber art," but different enough to justify giving each its own web presence. I hope you'll make a visit and let me know what you think. Your feedback is important to me and any suggestions on how I can improve the site is most welcome.

Fiber Art Seascape "Heading In" Needlefelt on Fabric

"There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." From Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows.

I had the rare opportunity to spend a day sailing with friends. The weather was perfect - sun and 75 degrees, with just enough wind to fill the sails and keep us moving along at a leisurely 5 knot pace. We had no destinations and no time schedules to keep. It was a glorious day of "simply messing about in boats." We lunched on cold cuts, cheese, and crunchy baguettes of french bread washed down with generous amounts of Chateau St. Michelle wine. We found a quiet cove and dropped the hook for an afternoon nap on the foredeck and cabin roof. We looked like a family of harbor seals laying basking in the warm sun. Crab pots set out early in the day yielded half a dozen Dungeness crab that we cooked in sea water with a bit of onion and garlic for our dinner. We cracked it while still warm, sucking the meat right out of the shell, with the juices running all the way to our elbows. It was one of those days you hate to see come to an end. As the sun dipped down behind Fidalgo Island, we reluctantly headed in. I was blown away by the glory of the bright orange sunset and the "welcome home" feeling of the shimmering lights of town as we neared the island.

I think I captured the beauty of that scene in this needle felt seascape I call "Heading In." The size is 13x17" (20x25" matted and framed) and is the largest piece I've created thus far. It (like most of my current body of work) was created with the machine embellisher, unspun wool roving, and metallic hand embroidery. The lights of town were achieved with a glittering novelty yarn and golden glass beads, which catch the light and actually twinkle. It brings the whole painting to life.

This piece is available for purchase. Contact me for a price quote.

Needle Felt Art - Landscape and Seascape

"South Fork Twilight" is another example of my exploration of needle felt artwork using unspun wool roving, yarns, and embroidery threads. It's a reconstructed memory of fall evenings sitting around the campfire on the bank of the south fork of the Skagit River and watching the moonlight play on the water.

I'm delighted to say that it sold at the art market within a couple of hours of opening. Size is 12x14 unframed. Framed and matted it measured 17x20".

I used the Husky embellisher (with its 5 felting needles) to lay down the large blocks of blended color in unspun wool roving. The highlight at the river bank and water shadows were added by hand with a single felt needle for tighter control. The trees are free-form machine embroidery in a blend of black and brown silk threads. The little sparkles on the river were hand-embroidered in silver metallic. I was so pleased with the final result, I was tempted to keep this piece in my private collection. I'm glad that I decided to price it and display it at the market, instead. It was a real traffic-stopper and I received many lovely compliments. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there's no greater compliment an artist can receive than to meet someone who so admires your creation that they are willing to spend their hard-earned dollars to make it their own. THAT is pure joy!