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The Ugly Truth Part1

Warning this is kinda long and has nothing to do with art so feel free to ignore until my next post which has cute little fuzzy bunnies in it. Oh yeah. You know you love fuzzy bunnies.

I know, I know it’s been awhile…

I have been creating but mostly little stuff designed for mini prints or cards. Not really much that is blog worthy though I will post shortly a bunny piece I just finished which is revoltingly cute and titled appropriately “Bunny Kisses” Oh yeah …

But I tend to go off on personal quests when I’m MIA from the blog and this time has been no different. Being single with my own business and a small acreage to tend (not to mention my critters) when I’m on a quest there’s not much time for extras like blogging.

So I pondered heavily whether to even bring it up here. Quests are usually personal and the blog is about art so mostly I don’t cross over, but this time I figured I’d share just a bit. Because I think it’s really important.

Those who know me …

know I’m a diabetic. I have been for 20 years now (man time flies) some of that time I’ve been on medication, most of it however I’ve not. Diet controlled as it were. The older I get the less I have to weigh to stay that way. And because God is a very funny being, menopause also raising resting blood sugar levels. (Because menopause is a huge hormonal shift and insulin is a hormone) So recently I gained a few pounds which I always do in winter because I’m not slogging around a ton of stuff at art fairs. And now with no horse and elderly mother to keep me hopping I gained a little more than my usual 10. As a result my BS (blood sugars) began to rise.

I’m like “Okay, time to rein this in” so I began to diet and walk. I bought an elliptical for myself for Christmas and upped my regimen there and … wait for it … my BS kinda skyrocketed. They went from a bit elevated to high. Crap! I went to the doctor. Got labs done. Got back on medicine. I told my Dr. that I just wanted something to drop my BS until I lost the weight. He put me on a drug which takes 2-3 month to reach full efficacy. I’m like what? Really?He also put me on a very serious drug as a “preventive” for my kidneys, not because I needed it but because it was standard protocol (cholesterol lowering drugs are also par for the course but my numbers were crazy good so he passed.) The extra drugs thing … that’s another story though. And to be clear I like my Dr. He’s not the bad guy here.

At first I was annoyed. I’m like Geez … I’ll have lost the weight by the time they kick in what’s the point? Turns out now I’m grateful. It gave me time to try something and know the results were successful because of what I’m doing not because the drugs are working. For now I’m still taking them. I’ve only been on them for 2 weeks so we’ll see what I want to do in another 2 weeks when I see my Dr. again.

All this led me on a journey. I am so very grateful I live in a time when information is so readily available. I googled “Reversing diabetes” and after months of reading several hours every day, watching you tube videos and movies, (like Fat, sick and nearly dead and Forks Over Knives) webinars, buying books, reading scientific studies … you get the point, I learned a few things. A few horrifying things but more importantly a few wonderful things too.

Let’s start with wonderful

  • Diabetes is totally reversible for nearly everyone. And guess what … it doesn’t cost anything.

Um … Well really that’s all there is I guess on the wonderful side but it’s a biggie wouldn’t you say?

And now for the Horrifying

  • The traditional treatment for diabetes actual progresses the disease
  • Elevated Blood Sugar isn’t what will kill you, it’s elevated insulin.
  • Much of the diabetic guidelines put forth by the medical and diabetic association will in fact make it worse. But they’ll say don’t worry, it’s just the natural progression of this chronic disease. Here have some more insulin.
  • They “know” it’s a lie but they all tell it anyway.
  • A diabetic on insulin with an A1c of 6 (considered quite good)is just to likely to suffer a cardiac event as someone with an A1c over 10. (considered quite bad) That right there was enough to make me faint. A diabetic on insulin has a much higher chance of dying from a heart attack. And by much … over 30%. Depends on the study really, 30 is low balling it.

Now just in case you think I’m a nutter or drank the kool-aid from some cult there are many many acclaimed doctors who support this. But the one who made it all make sense to me was Dr. Jason Fung. He’s a kidney specialist who is sent the worst of the worst diabetics. The ones taking tons of insulin, very obese and kidneys were failing. Guess what … his protocol reverses the disease. And quickly I might add. He calls it cured, but no, I don’t think so. Cured to me suggests I can go out and eat cake, bags of cheesy poofs and pot roast for months on end and be fine. But … it can be put into a kind of remission where the occasional cheat will be fine as long as for the most part you follow the rules.

Well this has gotten crazy long. So I’ll give more details in another post. But for those of you interested google Dr. Jason Fung, read his blog watch his seminars. They are not as flashy as many of the diet gurus out there, some are actual seminars for other Dr’s but he’s also not trying to sell you something. That alone gives this guy some credibility in my opinion.

Ewedora

Ewedora – No. 1 in the Ewephoria Collection

13×16 inches

Watersoluble Mixed Media on suede board

 

She’s not quite done yet. Some tweaking here and there needs to happen but I’ve already moved on and begun the next ewe piece. Doncha just love that glassy eyed stare?

It’s A Good News, Bad News Sort Of A Thing

So part of my Holiday fun this year was spent sending dmca take down notices to Amazon. I was alerted by a fellow Zazzler that a third party seller (actually more than one store) was offering my art on their items.

The good news Amazon does make it fairly easy to lodge a complaint. The bad news … Despite the automated emails saying they really care about intellectual property rights and copyright infringement they don’t really do much to prove it. Yes they took down the offending items. But this shop had been reported prior for the same thing and was still live when I reported them.They’ve been closed down since then but have undoubtedly they reopened under a new persona as is so often the case with these sorts of sellers.

I don’t know what the answer is. Better vetting of sellers perhaps. Make the application process more rigorous providing proof that they are the legal creators or licensee of imagery they sell? I am an approved manufacturer on Etsy (which is different than being a seller of which I also am) and that process required detailed information, personal statements about my business why and how I do what I do and photos. It wasn’t just a “click this box to acknowledge you are the legal copyright owner” which allows the platform to then pretend they’ve done all they can do on the subject like so many Print on Demand companies as well as third party sellers like Amazon and Ebay and such.

It’s A Big ‘Ol Can Of Worms

So truthfully I don’t look too hard to see “who’s stolen my images now for their own personal gain.”

Why?

Two reasons. 1. Because I will always find some and then I feel obligated to do something about it and 2. Because it just pisses me off. And in order for me to create my happy little birds and happy little trees … (oh wait … I may have been channeling Bob Ross there so um …) happy little goats and happy little cows. (yeah that’s better) I need to be in my happy place. Or at least it helps when creating.

So How Does This Affect Me?

But if let’s say, I chose to do nothing regarding these (in this instance) Chinese based stores using my imagery for sales … well, what’s the worst that could happen? Probably not much other than ….

I doubt very much they actually fulfilled any sales they might have made. I’m guessing it’s a hit and run scam get as many orders as they can, then when they inevitably got shut down, they take the money and run. I mean knowing something needs to be imported means longer shipping delays so they have a bigger window to sell, sell sell.

Buyers are probably not going to associate my imagery with the Chinese shops. And probably not even with Amazon. More than likely they’ll associate with me.

What’s to be done

I joined another facebook copyright infringement group called “Who stole my images” It’s a real eye opener reading peoples stories. On there someone is starting a petition to make Amazon more accountable for their selling practices. It’s needs 1000 signatures to move forward. Mine was 888. If you’re curious or would like to add your name, you can find the petition here.

SheepBunny

When The Weather Outside Is Frightful … What’s A Girl To Do?

When the high for the day was -7 degrees, this girl, ate too much, watched way too much tv and worked on new art pieces while lounging on the couch, snuggled up under a mountain of blankets. These two are what I worked on this weekend and it wasn’t until I progressed on the second (which is the ewe) that I realized they are both in a blue color palette.

The Bunny Piece is something I literally had laying around the house for a year. I had drawn it out last year for Easter card design and didn’t get much past that stage. So I picked it up and got it almost done (she still needs whiskers) Initially I was thinking a lovely lavender background but now I’m thinking I like the raw suede and will add lavender border to the card design.

The floating head is the first of three sheep (though there may well be more in the future) that I drew out and got this far on the first ewe. This is the first time I selected all three animals and drew them out for my trio right at the start. I’m not sure what I’ll call them. Leaning towards more silliness and am now referring to them as “The Ewephoria Collection” and I may well name them things like Ewenice and Baaaalinda.

I’m not sure but I may be turning into a crazy old lady.

Ah well … Best not to think on that too hard.

Had to share this here since I’ve been in it deep with my “Cowgirls” project. Truthfully I think this may be giving the heifer more credit for forward thinking than is true, but I don’t that is so either. It’s no news to anyone who knows me that I believe animals have strong emotional lives and indeed souls. It is just so much easier to do what we do to them if we all pretend they don’t.

Violet's Veg*n e-Comics

Photo Credit: Joan Bryden Photography http://www.wildcardwalks.co.uk/photo-galleries-farm-cattle.html Photo Credit: Joan Bryden Photography http://www.wildcardwalks.co.uk/photo-galleries-farm-cattle.html

I just found a story here, on the globalanimal.org website, which is a wake up call for all animal lovers who still use dairy.  Just like Deidra, the mother in this story demonstrated not only the love she had for her calf, but the complicated thought process she used in her attempt to save him:

By Holly Cheever DVM:

I would like to tell you a story that is as true as it is heartbreaking. When I first graduated from Cornell’s School of Veterinary Medicine, I went into a busy dairy practice in Cortland County. I became a very popular practitioner due to my gentle handling of the dairy cows. One of my clients called me one day with a puzzling mystery: his Brown Swiss cow, having delivered her fifth calf naturally on pasture the night before, brought the new baby to the…

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SassyPants5x7.25mini

So here’s my third little goat. In the end I brightened it up some so it would fit in with my other two baby goat pieces as I plan to sell them as sets as well as individually.

She measures 12 x 15 3/4 inches and is of course mixed media on suede.

SassyPantsWip1-800
SassyPantsWip2-800

People look at me suspiciously when I say I just scribble on my base layer like a small child. Here’s the proof.

SassyPantsWip3-800

Same shot as above I just added the water.
SassyPantsWip4-800

And finally going back in with dry layers
SassyPants5x7.25mini

Prints of Sassy Pants are already available on my etsy store. You will find smaller goat prints here and larger goat prints here. Note cards and the original painting will be added soon.

2015 My Year On Etsy

snapshot5

So after the loss of my Squidoo income I kinda looked around for something to help make up for the hefty monthly income that I was no longer getting. Of all the options I looked at, Etsy seemed like the best/ within my comfort zone direction.

Originally I had opened my Wild Faces Gallery Etsy store in 2008 sold a few prints then dropped it when ebay sales exploded. Ebay far outsold etsy and so I put all my energies into it. But I got burned out listing and relisting on ebay and eventually quit doing it as well. Remember how much work ebay was I opted to reopen my etsy shop. One listing lasts 4 months, this was something I could handle as a part time gig.

Now I’m not a New Years resolution kinda gal but I am a goal setter and so my goals for Etsy in 2015 was to have 200 items in my shop and 100 sales by year’s end. To be clear if one person buys 7 prints (which happen much more often than I’d ever expected) it still counts as only one sale.

I crossed the 200 inventory mark in early October and crossed the 100 sales in early December. It’s been exciting to see the growth of my little shop and it even out sold my own website in gross annual sales. I ead somewhere there are over a million shops (though how many are active I don’t know) on etsy with over 19 million registered users. It’s a great built in market.

Looking Forward

So I’m not really sure what my goals for etsy should be this year. I’m probably gonna go with double my 2015. Shoot for 400 items and twice the gross sales. I’ve learned a lot this year on etsy. I like how I can try new things that I can’t add to my website. Etsy is flexible and allows for all sorts of variations.

There are all sorts of thing you can get at my etsy store that you can’t find on my website. I really need to look into that in regards to updating my website.

At any rate if you want to see what’s new check out my etsy store.