Critters

loribee2November 1, 2012

So I'm trying to expand my wares beyond mushrooms and flowers by adding critters. I've finished one ladybug:

In the works are butterflies. These need to cure for another week or so before I can tile them. Can't wait to see the finished product:

These are at a price point in between my mushrooms ($25-45) and my flowers ($75-125). Trying to get a variety of price options going, thought I'm struggling with wanting to keep them all, haha.

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drtdgr

Very cute. How's the etsy store doing? And is that sunshine I see? I haven't seen the sun in two weeks here in rainy Washington. Oh, to live in California... Susan

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:17AM
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texaswild

Darlin'. You're really cookin' on the front burner in your concrete work.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:01AM
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loribee2

LOL Susan. I grew up in Oregon and moved down to CA 35 years ago. I'll never forget that it was March when I moved. The first thing I noticed was all the stuff people left outside in their yard. Lawn furniture, kids toys. I thought it was so weird. You just don't do that up north, haha. Now, I doubt I could live anywhere else.

But I appreciate the compliments, all.

The Etsy store is doing good, though most of my orders have been to friends. I did have one independent order, the woman bought 4 mushrooms all in one swoop. That was a fun surprise to pop up one day.

I have found the trick with Etsy is the more items you have for sale, the more exposure you get. It has been a struggle for me because every time I put up three items, two get bought by friends. I'm sure that will quiet down after I've exhausted them with my wares. I would love to keep at least 30 items for sale at any time. I'm hovering around 20 right now and am hoping to crank it up for the holidays.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 5:32PM
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wackyweeder

Can you give me a link to your store? I love your shapes, they are very cute!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Calamity_J

Very Cute Loribee2!!
drtdgr: Where abouts in Washington? Klinger and I were thinking of going to Lewis and Little one day...maybe talking Slow into it! I know I have been to the MOG 2x now and Spectrum Glass too!!!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 8:59PM
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loribee2

Thanks! I am having so much fun making yard art.

I've put the link to my shop below.

Here is a link that might be useful: MosaicsByLoriB Etsy Shop

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:33PM
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nanatricia

I love that cute lady bug!!Also your bf are so smooth great work.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:42PM
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loribee2

Thank you, Nana. I've learned Quikrete Mortar Mix is my favorite for making concrete armature. (I use regular cement mix with aggregate for the mushrooms because they're poured.) I've tried mixing my own, and also Sakrete. Quikrete mortar mix is the smoothest. I mix it with 50/50 water and acrylic bonding agent. That gives it a nice texture and the bonding agent further protects against water.

I also do the back first, let that harden for two days, then I turn them over and do the front. As much as I'd like to, I just can't do both sides at one time.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:52PM
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texaswild

Lori: Re the mortar mix, I don't use it anymore - I use two parts play sand to one part Portland cement. If I sift the sand, it's a lot smoother. I found that this mixture is much stronger than the mortar mix. Also, when I used the mortar mix, I got a smoother finish by sifting it. Your things look sooooooo smooth. I've marked your Etsy site in my favs. Your work is beautiful. You really got your business up and running very quickly. Must cost a mint to ship them????

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 8:05AM
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loribee2

Thanks, Slow. Shipping isn't bad. The 8" and 12" flowers fit in a USPS flat rate box so I charge $15 to ship. USPS gives me the boxes for free. Bigger mushrooms and flowers need to go UPS, so I set a rate at $25. I have to buy the box and UPS is more expensive. It's why I've started focusing on making some smaller items. It's funny what happens when you start a business to make things for sale. I'm now thinking about things like simplifying my form so I can make them faster, what sizes are cheaper to ship, things like that. Luckily, that's also turned out fun for me, because I get bored quickly. Mr. Sea was torture having to do sooo many of those danged scales all over him. It took forever and was tedious. After a while, I wasn't in a hurry to rush out to my shed to do more. I like the mosaics I can crank out in an hour or two, then move on to something new. Fortunately, that's also turned into making things that are cheaper for people to purchase and to ship. So it's a win/win.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 8:40AM
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drtdgr

Calamity, it is sure nice to see you and slowmedown back on the forums. It was pretty dang slow here for awhile.

I live in Tacoma, and have been to the Little and Lewis residence on Bainbridge Island. It was on a garden tour that included the late great Heronswood nursery, which also has some Little and Lewis art. They have open days every year or by appointment.

It is stunning. Bainbridge Island is about 60 miles away from me. I will include a link here. Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: Little and Lewis

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 3:46PM
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texaswild

What I don't understand about their cast leaves is how they make them sooooo thin. When I made the Cana leaf birdbath, mine turned out pretty thick. I put a layer of concrete, then a layer of the fiberglass drywall tape then another layer of crete - waaaay thicker than theirs. W/LOVE to know what they use in their mix, and if the leaf has any re-enforcement - must not - must be in the mix they use. Did they give you any info on their process, DRTDGR?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:23AM
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drtdgr

They weren't present at the garden tour. I didn't realize that they have moved to another house since then.

Their old garden was a bit small but packed with vignettes of the art and plants complementing each other.

I visited about 5 years ago and was only interested in gardening at the time.

They had signs to not take pictures of their new artwork so maybe they're not sharing their methods. Susan

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 12:52PM
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