Illustrations by Nancy C. Sampson

RidgewoodMarketApril

I’m going to have a table at Ridgewood Market‘s 2nd Anniversary Celebration and Night Bazaar this Saturday evening. The last time I took part in this craft show with my art, cards, Foodietoos, and journals was in September. I’m very interested to see how the crowd compares to last time, not only for the day-to-night time shift, but also for the fact that this little market has been gaining in popularity since it opened.

One of the ways that Ridgewood is different from other craft shows is that there is a traditional German pub on the premises. Order a wiener and beer! The pretzels are great, too. A friend of mine lives near the venue and says it really has become a neighborhood favorite, so come on out for the artisinal crafts, vintage finds, live music, food, and drinks, and see why she and her fellow Queensters plan their weekend around this monthly event.

It’s all happening this Saturday, April 11, from 5 to 11 p.m. at:
Gottscheer Hall
657 Fairview Ave.
Ridgewood NY, 11385

Closest subway stations: The M line to Forest Ave., or the L line to Myrtle-Wycoff.

// My social tags //
Instagram: @NancyCSampson
Twitter: @Percival_F3 or @Adele_18th
Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNancydrawsShop

// Ridgewood Market social tags //
Instagram: @RidgewoodMarket
Twitter: @RidgewoodMarket
Facebook: Facebook.com/RidgewoodMarket

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My collage entry in the Papirmass/Brown Paper Bag Collage Contest.I am happy to share “Winter Woman,” my entry for the Papirmass / Brown Paper Bag Collage Contest, on the theme of “Landscape.” Much of my work is inspired by location and I felt a strong urge to continue with this theme when I was thinking of ideas for this project.

The contest began with an interesting premise, aside from the theme, we were paired with a fellow collagist, with whom we were to exchange collage material and include some of what our partner sent in our final work.

Our collages will be judged independently, but I thought it was a great way to create community and send/receive fun packages, since Papirmass provides a mail-based art subscription service. Many inventive illustrators follow and are featured on the Brown Paper Bag blog on Tumblr, so I was excited to be randomly matched with Bárbara Scarambone, an artist in Sao Palo, Brazil.

Sadly, the package Bárbara sent to me was lost in the mail, but I asked her for an idea list of materials that I could scavenge so that I would still be able to participate in the spirit of the contest. Three of the items she suggested are in my illustration: a city/world map, a vintage dress, and legs.

I’ve submitted my jpg to the contest and the deadline is March 15… hopefully I will have good news, but even if I don’t win, it was so much fun making this since I had taken a break from my collage style. It’s good to know I’ve still got it in me!

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I began an online class assignment in 2014 on the subject of hand-lettering a quote. It’s a good thing that the class is “work at your own pace;” I have been itching to get back to it and have a new sketch to show for it! This is the central image, I will be adding the rest of the quote and embellishments as I continue.

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A gorgeous sunset from my trip with Kelly to the Chesapeake Bay area in the Fall.

The sun is setting on another year and I have been thinking about goals, both old and new. It’s important for me to remember to celebrate accomplishments first, before moving too far into the goal-setting stage. I found myself ignoring that last week, my thoughts focusing only on what I’d like to achieve in 2015. Taking a moment to compose this post is bringing me back to more positive reflection.

For 2014 I am proud to have welcomed a new rescue cat into my home, The Amazing Mongo! He has a very loving and entertaining personality. I am also glad to have deepened some new friendships and renewed some older ones. I brought my artwork to three craft shows and heard great responses from new fans. I conceived of, produced, packaged, and began selling a set of temporary tattoos in my Etsy shop: “Foodietoos.” My parents and I went on trip to visit beautiful Tuscany and Rome (the latter has a very different beauty compared to the Italian countryside) in the spring, and then visited my brother in Colorado for a week in the summer. (Greg and I spotted a bull moose in the forest one morning!) Friends and cousins came to visit me throughout the year and we enjoyed what the city has to offer. I have been keeping sharp at my freelance day job in magazine production and helped the publication complete some important articles. I’m so thankful to be part of the process each month. I made sure my friends kept laughing. I discovered a new genre that I’d like to explore with my drawings … which leads me to 2015.

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Mom, Dad, and I at lunch in Sienna, Italy in April.

Goals and resolutions are definitely important but I never can actually accomplish everything I set intentions for at the beginning of each year, unless they are very low goals! (Eat fruit. Don’t wait 4 weeks to do laundry.) I have learned to not let myself become discouraged if the way things turn out isn’t quite the way I expected or would have liked them to be. It is too easy for me to get into a negative mind space and start thinking about what I “didn’t work hard enough” at, or “didn’t do enough” of, which tends to dissuade me from moving forward.

Looking back at what I did in 2014 reminds me that I am living a full life and I have to allow myself to be fluid within it … if I only stuck to my goals I might have missed out on some surprises and detours that enriched my year.

In light of that, I’m not going to post any of my specific goals here (Are you surprised? I am, too.) but I will share my general mantra for the New Year: Keep exploring, stay positive, reach out and up. (I stole that last one from yoga class!)

What about you, do you prefer very specific goals or more general ones? Why?

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2014_Craftacular_BrooklynBUST Magazine is hosting its 9th annual Craftacular this weekend and I will be a part of it! Live and in person on Saturday 12/6 only, I will be selling items from The Nancydraws Shop alongside 199 other vendors. The event continues on Sunday, but I won’t be there. It’s all happening at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint at 79 Franklin St. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

Fun reasons to come on over to Greenpoint and check it out:

  • The first 300 shoppers will receive a free goodie bag!
  • If you join my email newsletter list at the event you’ll receive a goodie bag from The Nancydraws Shop.
  • Lobster Mac-n-cheese!
  • David’s Tea is hosting a Cat Café and the proceeds will benefit Brooklyn’s own Sean Casey Animal Rescue.
  • The shopping, of course; one-of-a-kind gifts from amazing vintage and artisan vendors.
  • Access to a Gift Wrap table, a DIY Flower Crown Creation Station, and an Ugly Holiday Sweater photo booth.

 

So, I’ll see you there, right? Bring a friend!

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This is a great year for the Christmas/Hanukkah card! I had these printed up a couple of years ago and they have been listed in The Nancydraws Shop, but this year Hanukkah and Christmas fall so closely together I am hoping this card gets the attention it deserves.

A Hanukkah & Christmas card.

A Hanukkah & Christmas card.

On one side, Adele is trying to wrap Christmas gifts at home, but Henrí has decided, as cats do, to take a nap in the middle of the operation and might have pulled a decoration or two off of the tree to play with.

On the Hanukkah side of the card is a dignified Percival Featherington III, slurping up some Lo Mein noodles with an urban landscape in the background. I know that this isn’t quite how Hanukkah is celebrated, but I have gotten a lot of laughs and good reactions to it.

There are interior greetings to go with each side of the card. The Hanukkah side simply says “Happy Hanukkah,” next to two fortune cookies. The Christmas greeting says “Merry Christmas, it’s a wrap!” With a small drawing of Henrí bundled in wrapping paper above.

Interior greetings.

Interior greetings.

If you prefer one greeting per card, each image is also available on its own card, but this one is a two-for-one bargain, don’t miss out on the perfect year to send some to your dual-religion friends and family!

If you order one card, it is $4; 6 cards for $15; and 10 for $22. See this card and all of my other holiday greetings in The Nancydraws Shop.

If you would like to sign up for my e-mail newsletter, click here. I will announce my Thanksgiving sale via the newsletter and Facebook fan page, but the “Friends & Family” sale code will only be available for newsletter subscribers and for whom they choose to pass it on to.

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Percival eating noodles… a Hanukkah card available in The Nancydraws Shop.

At last I may share details about the tools that I was testing when I participated in a small-scale market for employees only at Etsy HQ! That clever, crafty company now has their own credit card reader for in-person sales. The timing couldn’t be better for me, since I am just beginning to get out there to the craft shows with my illustrations and greeting cards. I can tell you from my experience that the tool works perfectly with the new Etsy Seller mobile app. When you have the reader attached and the app launched you are ready to take sales in person via credit card, or use it to record cash sales. A full list of your shop items are available and the app creates e-mail invoices for customers and (I love this part) adds buyers to your page’s list of followers so that they will receive updates when you post new products in your shop. There are many great features, and I’m very excited to receive mine in the mail… I ordered one today about 4 minutes after opening the announcement email!

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The Etsy card reader!

For more info and FAQ, click here to go to the Etsy site.

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A Brooklyn sunset.

A Brooklyn sunset.

My yoga teacher shared something with me before class on Wednesday that really made my week! First, let me explain that earlier this year I came up with an experiment to leave copies of my artwork in public for strangers to find as a nice surprise. I printed my email address and website on the back in hopes that they’d also send me a note to say a little something about themselves or maybe even take an interest in this blog or my Etsy shop.

(You can read more about where I left my art work at this post: “Free Art! Turban Lady Edition.”) I also left copies of my Colson Patisserie artwork with the owner to give to random customers one day.

I didn’t have the highest hopes of getting any return on my gestures since I began with the concept of “giving back” and seeing if anything happened. If not, I was OK with the belief that someone found one and liked it.

So, this week my yoga instructor, Grace, said that after reading my blog post about the afternoon I met up with my friends to find hiding places for the artwork, she was inspired to give back in her own way and is planning a free yoga class in exchange for a food or other donation to a local community pantry. I just love knowing that my actions in some way helped someone else think of their own way to give back. I think this kind of action and reaction happens regardless of whether or not we know about it and more frequently than we realize, but knowing definitely brings me hope and reassurance!

Would you like to give back? How would you like to do it?

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It was all a mess when I began!

If you’ve read the first installment of my September Craft Show Wrap-up, you already know that I enjoyed my first craft show experience! I didn’t want that post to get too long so here is a second one to describe more about gathering and creating my table display.

When I was thinking about how to plan my craft show table for  The Nancydraws Shop my main goals were to make it inexpensive, lightweight, and eye-catching, so this is where my creative problem solving skills and online research came in handy.

I didn’t want my display pieces to be heavy because I thought I’d be able to carry everything by myself on the subway and save money on having to use a car service. (That didn’t happen, because of volume!)

At first I had no idea of my color scheme or even how I’d display any of my items until I purchased a couple of organizing bins at T. J. Maxx in a nice shade of green. I also had an antique gold card holder and since it can only display 6-8 cards I decided to look for some cardboard shelf-display boxes at the Park Slope Food Coop in order to have multiples available on the table. I found out that frozen burrito boxes were just the right size for my cards! I covered them with a matte gold wrapping paper that matched the antique gold card holder.

A week before the show I went into a dollar store near my day job and was lucky enough to find a sheet set with the perfect shade of purple printed with a fun but not-too-loud pattern for my table covering, and a couple of green metal buckets for some of my smaller items.

Testing out my display at home.

Testing out my display at home, before I added signs.

Towards the end of the end of my preparation process for each show, I added finishing touches; signs and price tags. I wanted to make all of the prices as easy as possible for shoppers to find so that they don’t need to ask.

By using a couple of things I already had at home and re-purposing the boxes I didn’t have to spend very much on the display itself, the total was less than $40. It was light (I needed 3-4 bags to transport it all along with the items I was selling) and as you can see, very pretty and inviting.

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