Pre-Holiday Pet Portrait MARATHON

We still have time to do this, so we’re going for it!

Berger Picard "Daddy" by Xan Blackburn
Berger Picard “Daddy”
Work in progress
Acrylic on panel 8″ x 10″
© Xan Blackburn 2012

MONDAY, Nov. 26 – Mon., Dec 17

Just in time for holiday gifting, I’m taking three weeks after Thanksgiving to do a portrait marathon!

As always, it will be first-come, first-served, sign ups starting on Friday the 23rd, at 9am PST.
That’s right; “Black Friday”! Take a little break from the shopping madness. 😉

This time, you’ll have a choice of either 5″ x 5″, gallery-wrapped canvas or panel (either can be displayed without framing, but framing is great for either, as well),
or 8″ x 10″ panel. The 5″ x 5″ portraits are $80, and the 8″ x 10″ are specially priced for the Marathon at $150 (that’s $110 off!)

I’ll remind you on my blog and Facebook that morning, with the link to the sign up form, but for those of you who will need no reminder (you know who you are! LOL!), here’s the link. Any entries before 11/23 9am PST will not get on the list, so … wait … for … it …


In the mean time,

I’m still working on my portrait of Lily and her Daddy.  I’ve also been designing holiday cards for a commercial client, and my husband’s business.  
But, and this might interest you, I’ve also designed a card just for you.  It’s a little thank-you to my readers and clients, with a little DIY extra.  If you’d like to receive a card from me, please fill out this address form.  And, even if you don’t, THANK YOU.  

They’re HERE! Limited Edition Holiday Cards

“Play Bough”
Limited Edition holiday card for 2011
©Xan Blackburn, 2011

With thanks to Rebecca Forrest for the concept, I had a lot of fun painting this image.  The fawn greyhound reminds me of my own Brilly, who was a handy model.  

This really is a limited edition!  I had a small number printed, and when they’re gone, that’s it.  There will only be a few of these winging through the postal service, making them a good choice for someone looking for a more unique card.
As always, Stroke of Green offers products as green as I can get them, from the printing to the packaging.  They come 10 to a package for $20, and are blank inside for your own message.
Some of you responded to my earlier question about whether they’d prefer “pretty/serious” or “funny” cards.  The consensus seems to be “both!”  Thanks for helping me narrow that down!  LOL!  Maybe I’ll have to do two cards a year, or just figure out how to do both in one card.

While I’m working on Nikki, This Important Message

A terrible rainstorm has flooded out and destroyed a galgo rescue shelter in Spain.  There’s an auction taking place today to help raise the emergency funds needed to save the 100 remaining dogs (some have died), and get them the basics of survival; food, shelter, medicines.

So far in the auction, there is a wonderful photograph by Petra, and I’ve also donated a couple collections of items; 7 books, all hound-related, and a Stroke of Green collection including 2 sets of cards, and a hand-made blank book.

For more information, please see Petra’s post here, and the auction page here.  (Corrected link!)  The auction will be held via comments made to the blog post.

You can also donate directly by PayPal to this address:

Thanks for looking and helping if you can!

Whoo hoo!! New Cards Arrived!

Oh boyohboyohboy!!  UPS just dropped off three boxes of my new cards!

I’m so excited about these!  They’re non-holiday-specific, one step greener than my Christmas cards were, and a different style.

The “You make my heart RACE!” card would be perfect for Valentine’s Day (6 days off – still time to order!), or just any time you want your honey to feel what you feel (anniversary? birthday? congratulations?).

The “Congrats” card just makes me laugh!  It’s a fun way to celebrate.

The third may be my personal favorite (if I’m allowed a favorite “child”).  This one can mean so many different things: “Missing You.” “Excitedly anticipating your arrival.” “Thinking of you.” Or maybe, “I saw a squirrel!  It went that-a-way!”

Anyhow, they’re up and ready for sale at Stroke of Green, at 5 for $10, or 10 for $20.  They’re printed with vegetable inks on partially recycled paper, with recycled paper envelopes, and come in a biodegradable cellophane bag.  Yeay!!

Stroke of Green’s First SALE

Ten cards and envelopes usually sell for $20.

 cards are now on sale! 

20% off: 
$16.00 for 10 cards!

Stroke of Green is my greeting card company, for those of you just joining us.  I launched my new line this fall with several holiday-themed designs, had them printed with soy inks, added recycled paper envelopes, and biodegradable cellophane packaging for an eco-friendly greeting card choice.  
My New Year, 2011 card is perfect for the folks who don’t know what holiday is appropriate to mark, or sort of *ahem* missed the one they were aiming for.  Everyone knows when the years change, right?  
Well then maybe this card is a good reminder.  😉 
I’ll be rolling out lots of new designs in the new year, for all occasions; funny, happy, sad, and just-because.  This year’s holiday collection is all dog images, but coming designs will include all sorts of creatures, including humans, and maybe no creatures at all.  Designs for all tastes (I hope!)
If you haven’t been by Stroke of Green yet, check me out.  Bookmark me for the future, too!
Oh, and I have a Stroke of Green Facebook page as well, where I post various eco-friendly ideas and products I find.  Feel free to join in that conversation, too.
See you there!

December Fundraiser

December’s Fundraiser is to benefit the Gentle Barn. The work they do is heroic, helping both animals and people to heal from abuse and life’s worst challenges.  It’s hard work.  They need all the help they can get.  I’m too far away to go muck stalls and exercise horses, but together we can put a little something in their stocking, anyway!

The Deal:
20% of the sales from cards purchased on this page will be donated to the Gentle Barn folk.  That’s a big win, for the people and animals there, for the planet, for your friends and family (who get the cards), and for you.  It feels good to give!  
Go HERE to participate.

Bring me … a HOLE PUNCH!

Yeah, so, if you’re coming to Dewey, first of all, make sure you come see me/us.  Second of all, come on Monday and bring a hole punch.  Tuesday at the latest!  😀

Oh, well.  I guess I should probably plan on finding one between here and there for my self, huh?  Fine.  I have to do everything around here!  LOL

Yesterday, I spent folding cards, counting them, pairing them with the right number of envelopes, carefully stuffing them in boxes, finding I didn’t have enough envelopes, frantically ordering more to be sent to Dewey to meet me there, finding that the bags I had to re-order (twice!) because I ordered the wrong size, were coming to my home, not to Dewey, and getting that sorted out (re-shipping is really taking a bite out of my profit margin!  😛 ), and telling myself that I’m still in ramp-up learning mode!  Then getting back to printing business cards and bag labels (running the print utitility to fix glitchy prints, replacing ink, powering it on and off because it seemed not to accept the ink cartridges – then realizing it was just telling me to replace them all, not just one!), cutting the labels and cards, and stuff like that.

Caution!  Work Zone!

H found his copy of QuickBooks to help me keep track of orders and inventory, which is great, but it won’t work on my Mac, so he loaded it on his old Windows laptop with the broken hinge for me.  My business takes TWO computers already!  LOL

I dreamed this morning that someone answered my question that yes, I DO tend to “go on a bit”.  Heh.  Okay, I’ll go.  It’s feeding time for everyone anyway. 

See you in Dewey, I hope!