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Okay after the success of my etsy store this year, I was totally prepared to open a eBay store on the first. I’ve been researching and reading up on it and finally I did a search for the products I intend to sell.

And to my horror there were a ton of listings featuring large canvas print for less than $10 including shipping out of China. My costs are considerably higher than that so I’m not sure how I can compete with that.

And here’s where you all come in

Tell me of your experiences selling on with eBay or Amazon. Preferably regarding prints and originals 2D artwork but I’d love to hear from any artisian selling anything.

Thank you so much.

 

UPDATE:

This post was actually written way back when the others were being posted. The system still works. I was naughty over Christmas but I just did a full day fast to reset. The drugs scare me. I’m not too sure if my blood sugars go up again if I will resort to conventional drugs. To be clear I am not promoting this choice to anyone. It’s just a choice based on Jason Fung but the latest lawsuit regarding a current diabetic drug which if you took it, you had a 38% greater chance of having a toe, foot or leg amputated over a diabetic given a placebo. That’s some scary shit right there.

Again I’m just sharing my thoughts and experiences and in no way advocate a path for you except that you should inform yourself of all potential options.

Let’s Get Personal

So … I am eating low carb (no breads or sugars if at all possible)  and fasting intermittently. To be clear I am not low calorie or low fat … just low carb. I am eating almost exclusively whole, raw (excluding meat of course … I cook that) and organic.

 

I became a diabetic at a youngish age of late 20’s which at the time was rare. The average age for diabetes to set in was late 40’s. But I had a catastrophic event that nearly killed me and my pancreas shut down. To be honest it’s been so long I don’t remember the exact details. I was in and out of conciousness but I do remember 2 doctors arguing about how much insulin to give me because the amount was dangerously high. When I recovered I was told I would “never get off the needle” as well as loads of other scary things like I’d be an asmatic, couldn’t have pets, probably couldn’t go outside certain times of the years and on and on.

I’ve always been stubborn and I was like “Oh hell no!” and promptly began learning everything I could about the disease and took steps to change my course. I am happy to say none of those things came to pass. I was off the needle in under 2 months. WHen I first got my horse he made my face itchy and puffy and I sneezed. But I kept at it and eventually I got bury my face in his gorgeous mane and breath deeply without the slightest negative impact. No pets? I had dogs, cats, horse, geese chickens and sheep.

Way back then I was a chunky monkey and weighed somewhere around 240#. I know right? In the past 20 years I walked regularly (somewhere between 3-6 miles per day) and ate sensibly. My weight steadily dropped 5-10# a year. Certainly not enough to right a best seller book on dieting but enough to keep me off the drugs. The older I get the less I had to weigh to stay off medications.

Somewhere about 5 years ago my Blood Sugars (BS) began to creep up and so I went in and my Dr. at the time put me on Glyburide. Knowing what I know now that really kinda pisses me off but nothing to be done about it now. Again with sheer force of will I got myself off the meds.

So after having a record year or two of high stress (divorce, working my multi-facet business alone and growing it and the death of my beloved mom and beloved horse) I wasn’t taking the best care of myself. After Christmas my blood sugars were getting a little high and so I did something I had never done (and always felt guilty about) I tried the recommended diet by the Diabetes association. The Grazing Method if you will. I have been eating only 2 meals a day for many years. It began as a time saver, (you know more time to work) plus I didn’t suffer from that nappy feeling after lunch. Oddly when I have lunch I’d be hungry by end of day but when I skipped lunch I pretty much never get hungry.

Well grazing got my BS to skyrocket into the 300’s. At which point I promptly went in for drugs and testing. I also threw myself into researching reversing diabetes. There’s several way you can do it by the way. All are successful but in the end I went with a plan that I thought I could stick with for the rest of my life.

Micronutrient-dense foods and intermittent fasting. The plan was to get the best foods possible. Organic and wholesome raw fruits and veg that would help my body and organs heal. Diabetes is a disease that will speed up the aging process so I need to give myself what I need to heal any damage. This is my typical breakfast.

  • 3 eggs whites with 1 whole egg soft scrambled in coconut oil
  • A smoothie consisting of 1 1/2 cup organic wild blueberries, strawberries,a few chunks pineapple, 1 banana, 6 cups kale and 2 cups wheat grass juice blended

Now I’ve never been a eater of the bunny greens but trust me the fruit smoothie is yummy. It has texture but doesn’t taste like kale at all. It’s really quite good.

My end of day meal usually consists of chicken or pork with a large (4-6 cups) mixed green salad or cucumber tomato salad. My salads have well over a dozen goodies in them and contain no iceberg. Only spinach, kale & cabbage for the green portion. And sometime a piece of fruit like a pear. That’s it. I’m never hungry with this and my current weight is about 145.

IMG_20171231_122358183.jpgSeems like a good way to go. Spending the last day of 2017 and first day of 2018 working on a painting. You might think that making a living as an artist means you are creating your heart out all of the time but for me at least the majority of the time I am running my art business. So free time to create is wonderful and rare.

It’s ridiculously cold here with the highs in the negatives and the lows scary level negatives. So high today -9. As a result I am hunkered down at the farm. I’m doing plenty of online web store work but brought home a little something to play with too. Sadly I forgot my milk house heater (small personal heater) which helps the suede dry quickly. My base coat of ink I use water the rest is done dry.

Here’s my scribble drawing. It’s going to be an alpaca. The third in a series. Sorry for the sucky photo. Light in my house not the best and no photo shop on my Chromebook to improve it.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back to blogging again. I’ve missed it and all of you greatly. Must mean my life is gaining some normalcy but there’s some big changes in my future. Moving off my acreage in a few months for starters. As well as after 6 years separated, divorced and on my own I’m dating so that’s exciting and terrifying. But I fully intend to take you all along for the ride on all the newness.

Makes my heart Happy to play with art again. Still got a commission piece to complete but it’s gotta be done at the gallery where the lighting is good. A horse needs to be the same color as it is in real life if at all possible. 🙂

 

Okay a year ago my gallery computer crashed and my home laptop was swept into service. As such my blogging came to an end since I had no real way of keeping up with it.

Lots of changes in the past year as well as coming up in the new year. I’ll get into that as it happens. So for today I’ll just do a start to finish on a piece I created this summer as a demo piece.

It’s called Dairy Queens and the original painting has sold but I do have paper prints, canvas prints and note cards available in my etsy store. 

Paper Prints of Cowgirls

 Canvas Prints

Cowgirls 5×7 inch blank Note cards

A goal for me this year was to get 400 listings in my etsy by the end of the year. I’m close and would probably have made it except we are having a scary chill down with highs in the -9 or so so I’m not leaving the farm for nothing until the 2nd.

The photo reference comes from an artist reference site which specifically asks not to be mentioned. The funny story though attached to this painting is one of the last events I did this year there was an artist 3 booths down with the same painting. Hanging in the same place that I has hung mine. So yes loads of commentary about it at the event. From what I’m told the other artist was rather put out by itg. I didn’t exactly like it part it’s just part of the deal when using public reference photos.

IMG_20170812_131551660

href=”https://monawildgal.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/20170814_114239.jpg”>

Chaos and the New Year

So my gallery computer went tits up quite some time ago. At first I put a lot of effort into trying to resurrect it, new hard drive, new memory etc. But nope…it’s dead. So now working on constructing a new one. In an effort to be able to run my printer I wiped my laptop and installed drivers which is awesome cuz I can print now …but also sucky … cuz I can’t use it either for communing online. This leaves me my phone and my tablet which is how I’m writing this. Hard telling how much if anything I’ll be able to recover. Meaning my taxes, photos and any in progress prints I had may all be lost to the stratosphere.

But ya’ll know me… I throw a huge pity party complete with stomping of feet and pouty face, then get on with the business at hand. One step at a time.

MyBoothIowaStateFair

So it’s been forever and I’m sorry,

No really, I am.

But if not for an email from a reader saying they missed me here I probably wouldn’t have written even now. I kinda bit off more than I can chew this year, so things like facebook and the particularly the blog tended to get swept under the rug.

In this instance, I decided to be a vendor at the Iowa State Fair. This was a monumental undertaking for me since I didn’t cut any of my usual events. I quite literally worked 7 days a week anywhere from 10-16 hour days for 6 weeks in preparation and the event lasted 2 weeks. And I’m still working that schedule for at least another month. But it’s all good. Nothing a whole lotta sleep and a really good cry won’t fix.

I survived
I was told repeatedly that I wouldn’t be able to do it alone.

I’d burn out.

It’d be too much.

Which if ya’ll know me I’m like “Hell Yea, I can too do it all by myself!”

And so I did.

And frankly it was exhausting running on 5-6 hours sleep each night and getting up and being to the building at 7am all the while bearing in mind that no matter how crabby I felt, stabbing people was wrong! When the building closed at 9 pm, I’d head back and shower and crash. Rinse and repeat.

It was okay sales wise. I was hoping for more though I’m not sure if that’s not always the case. I made some great contacts, took lots of photos and in general thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Yes, I will do it again and at least this time I’ll know what to expect. The bulk of my stress was not knowing anything about the event, the crowds, the buying patterns, parking etc etc.

I do tend to update on facebook more because it’s not the process I go through uploading photos and such. For those who’d like to see more photos and some horse videos and a work in progress piece that I demonstrated with, check out my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WildFacesGallery

 

MeConnieIowaStateFair

The Folks Who Made Me Look Good

So as much as I’d like to pretend I’m Wonder Woman the truth is there was a whole slew of people helping me out in various ways.

Barb McGee. She saved my butt my bringing a load of inventory down for me as well as helped with set up. Not to mention got me a place to stay with family 15 minutes from the fairgrounds. This was so huge! I can’t express how much both mentally and physically and financially this helped. Thank you dear one.

Amanda and family for opening their home to a complete stranger for 2 weeks.

Louise and Bill Shimon for being my plan B on all fronts and just always being there for me.

Connie Braunschweig (in photo above with me) who helped me navigate the chaos of doing this monumental undertaking, told me I could do it and helped introduce me to the walnut center arts family. Hugs to you. I never felt alone because you were here at my side.

Inee & Diane neighbor artists who I often found Manning my booth and making sales when I’d run off when the allure of horse flesh just outside the building doors got too great. And Bill too. 🙂 You all kept me laughing.

All the folks at the Walnut Center who checked on me, offered help, rides, breaks and support. So happy to be welcomed into the family.

And lastly those at home who made it possible for me to leave for 2 weeks knowing my fur babies are taken care of. Gordon, Cheryl Hawk and Mike.

I am mightily blessed to have such great friends. Thank you.

 

CroppedMiniDonkey

Seen this little cutie patootie at the Iowa horse fair last weekend. I think it’s exactly what I need.

After several hours of looking at all the billowy manes, glossy flanked, leggy gorgeousness that is the Frieians, Andalusians, Gypsies and all manner of equine goodness … this is what I feel in love with.

Can’t you just see it?

Disclaimer

These posts (past future and present) aren’t meant to replace going to your doctor. It is merely a report on what I’ve learned so that you can go seek your own path, chart your own course and make informed decisions along with your doctor’s counsel. If you are having BS (blood sugar … yeah I know what you were thinking BS stood for) issues … go see your doctor!

It’s just like the Matrix … (except without the sexy superhuman stunts) Do you choose red pill or blue pill.

This is some monumental information I just shared in post 1 and 2 about diabetes. I mean not only is the current medical protocol doing nothing to improve this disease but it is actually progressing it! All the while you are patted on the head for having a great A1C.

Let’s face it, the first question is … why?  Why isn’t it common knowledge? Why hasn’t my doctor told me this for craps sake! I mean when the first time the doctor told me I had diabetes, if he told me I have 2 choices. I can take this insulin which will help with my blood sugars but other than that really won’t help anything and eventually will progress the disease until I reach a point where I lose a leg or go blind or some other shocking atrocity upon my body … OR choose to radically change my diet and mindset in regards to food … knowing that it won’t be fun or easy but I’ll live longer and healthier … well I believe most people and in particular myself, would opt for living better and longer. Personally though, I think the medical profession believes we won’t make that choice and so they don’t offer it.

So the question you gotta ask yourself is …do you want to live in denial about your reality and happily carry on … or face a much less pleasant reality, but know the truth. Red pill or blue pill.

Here’s what I think may be some potential reasons they health care providers don’t give you a choice

  • Perhaps it’s because they don’t really have anything else to offer you. Most aren’t trained as dieticians or nutrionists.
  • Perhaps it’s because alternative’s are against medical or governmental protocol. I have been told by actual doctors that they have to follow a protocol or they may be penalized either financially or by having negative reports.
  • And as I’ve already said I think they don’t believe we have the stones to make the necessary changes.

Regardless they don’t. In fact so much of the stuff they do give you (in my case a couple of pamphlets and fliers from the diabetes association) are giving out the exact wrong information on using diet properly to change your course.

  1. Things like eat multiple smaller meals throughout the day. Graze if you will. Unless you’re on insulin this is really bad advice. It means your pancreas is pumping out insulin all day long with no rest and remember insulin resistance is caused by too much insulin. You need breaks from digesting food.
  2. Eat whole grains and carbohydrates for approximately 25-45% of your diet depending on the association. Umm … no, just no.
  3. Artificial sweetners are okay. Well they don’t raise blood sugars but they do stimulate insulin release. This one sucked for me big time because Diet Coke (that glorious liquid perfection) often feels like the only treat left to me. Now I know there’s nothing good about consuming it, other than that sweet sweet artifical flavor goodness.
  4. Sugar alcohols don’t raise blood sugar like actual sugar and carbs do but they’ll give you some seriously rank gas and if you over indulge you could get rather sick and spend the next several hours exorcizing some intestinal demons on the toilets.

My Backup Plan … poof … gone like a puff of smoke. Yeah … I feel totally cheated!

All of this time I’ve worked rather diligently to keep my blood sugars down in the past 20 years. I had a few years I was put on a pill (glyburide) but worked myself off it eventually. But here’s the thing … I always thought, well when things get out of control or I just can’t take it anymore I can always go on medications. In fact I’ve thought many, many times how much easier and more fun food wise it would be if I did so. And now knowing what I know, that the meds are actually what’s gonna progress the disease … well I feel a little like someone told me there’s no Santa Claus. There no fall back plan. It’s just me and dieting and exercise … until the end.

And finally here is my plan of action

Some of you already guessed part of it. I have cut refined carbs out of my diet. The only carbs I’ve consumed with about 4 exceptions in the past 2 months are from fruits and vegetables. My diet plan has been this….

60% raw vegetables

30% raw fruit

and 10% oils, nuts and cooked meats

This is half of the equation of my plan to reverse diabetes. The other thing I’m doing is fasting 2-3 days a week. Yup, that’s right. Fasting. In particular it’s intermittent fasting. I will go into actual details in the final post (I think it’ll be the last one) of my numbers, my progress and what I do actually eat.

I’ll leave you with this final thought

So here’s the thing. It’s not that I think I’ll live longer, though there’s that hope, but that I want my quality of the time I’m here to be better.

I’ve seen first hand what diabetes can do to a person. I’ve seen what happens when a diabetic on insulin eats what they want with the thought they’ll just take a little more insulin to make up for that ridiculous meal they just consumed. I spent several holidays in the hospital watching my dad suffer with various diabetic complications when I was growing up. And in the end I’d like to think had some doctor told them the truth about that strategy. Told them the truth that taking insulin is in the end what will kill them and that the goal is to take less not more. Told them that diabetes is actually reversible all they have to do is choose.

Well I’d like to think they’d have chosen wisely.

And this is for J A. Good on you for looking for a new doctor. That last one was truly an Asshat. Hugs to you. 🙂

SiouxCenterHospitalMe1000

So they have been hanging at the new hospital in Sioux Center Iowa in the cafeteria for the past 3 months and yesterday Barb and I ran down to pick them up. Hospitals are often looking for new art exhibitions but I rarely partake of them. Most showings in hospitals (for me at least) don’t have sales though striking up a relationship isn’t a bad plan of action. Sometimes when they do go out for permanent art you might be one of them that they call.  I had a showing at the Mayo clinic like a decade ago which was excellent and did sell multiple works as well as resulted in people coming to the gallery to buy. But none the less, on the whole I usually avoid them.

On the other hand…

It beats having them sitting in the gallery in the middle of an Iowa winter too. The liaison was a delight which is no surprise as she was an artist too and I do like how they look on the green wall. We over packed the space just a little though.

I wonder what everyone thought about being watched by a couple dozen cows as they ate their roast beef lunches. Which BTW is why I have such a Buddha belly in the photo. I just has some a big lunch of roast beef with taters and salads. Yum.

Okay soon I’ll carry on with my diatribe on diabetes. Next post probably.

 

The Ugly Truth Part 2

SuckItUp

First let me to say to those who asked to remain anonymous I just deleted your comments as requested to protect your privacy. But thanks so much for taking the time to reach out. Blogging is so much just talking to the void so it means a lot that you responded.

Disclaimer

Next I want to say that these posts (past, future and present) aren’t meant to replace going to your doctor. It is merely a report on what I’ve learned so that you can go seek your own path, chart your own course and make informed decisions along with your doctor’s counsel. If you are having BS issues … go see your doctor!

The Vicious Cycle

Okay so I left off with the traditional treatment actually progresses the disease. From what I’ve read diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance. High blood sugar (BS) is just the side affect. So far the only treatment options beyond diet is for treating BS, not insulin resistance. It’s like you have an infection in your leg and you have pain and fever with it. You take Ibuprofin and the fever and pain diminishes but it hasn’t done anything for the underlying cause … the infection. And as soon as the ibuprofin is out of your system the fever and pain returns. So you gotta keep taking it. But after awhile the amount of Ibuprofin you’re taking doesn’t do anything for the pain and fever and the infection is spreading, and so the answer to the problem is not to take more Ibuprofin.

Giving insulin for high blood sugar is the same thing. It’s treating the side affect not the actual problem.

So just in case that’s not bad enough

Insulin resistance is caused by an “abundance” of insulin in the body for extended periods of time. This may have happened because you’re overweight, genetically predisposed or eat a high sugar/carb diet and most likely for many (myself included) it’s all of the above. The high sugar/carb diet leads to more insulin being released into the body which leads to weight gain. Insulin’s job is to pull sugars from your blood stream and put them into your cells by way of fat. That’s what it does. Eventually after this has gone on for awhile your body tries to protect itself by not utilizing the insulin and thus you BS rises. Reread that last sentence again. Go ahead I’ll wait.

So the current medical practice is to get you on a pill for your high blood sugar levels.  Metforman is not  insulin nor does it create it. But the others that do (like glyburide which I have been on in the past)  they either force the body to make more insulin or are insulin. So … when sugars are pulled from blood and turned into fat. Walah! you gain weight. All diabetics know this. Once on a treatment protocol weight gain invariably follows… which leads to higher BS levels … which leads to more meds … more weight gain  … on and on until you die.

Okay that was a little harsh but the facts (and ugly truth) is that diabetes (insulin resistance not high blood sugars) lead to all sort of horrible things at a shockingly high percentile. Here’s the short list.

  • obesity
  • foot and leg amputation
  • blindness
  • kidney failure
  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • cancer
  • alzheimers
  • coronary artery disease
  • PAD peripheral artery disease and nueropathy

I want to stress again if you’ve got high blood sugars you need to go to your doctor!

Why you ask, if the protocol he’ll put me on just makes it worse? Well because the answer is not, not taking meds. You need to see how bad things really are, you need to track organ functions and perform damage control. And if you need to take the meds you should BUT the reason for these posts is to motivate you to take action. To take control in order to get off the drugs as soon as possible. To do some research … lots and lots of research and figure out what you need to do. Here’s what I know. There are multiple ways to reverse diabetes through diet. Find a plan or do what I did which was create my own. Because what ever I do, it has to be something I can do for a lifetime. There’s no fast cure. No magic pill. Just you and your food.

So as my dry erase board says … Suck it up Buttercup. Remember … it’s only temporary. Though perhaps it should say … Remember, it’s only food.

In the final part I will discuss what I’m doing and how it’s going.