Homemade Valentine Card Exchange

Ava Blu & Mama’s Collaborative Valentine Crafting

Collaborative Valentine Crafting

Location: Kitchen Table

My 3yr old daughter and I made some some Homemade Valentine’s for her  daycare card exchange . She art directed and I drew. Then she watercolored stickered glued and glittered. (with a little assistance) So much fun!!

Tidbits of advice from the CHA Show

Spring Suggested color palette from the CHA show. (lighter and more airy)

A few tidbits of advice I received from my art licensing meeting. One of our members, Joan Beiriger attended the CHA Show and was nice enough to give us a download.

Here are the 8 things that I took away. (Of course this is always subjective. So please take it all with a grain of salt.)

  1. If you’re exhibiting a catalogue rack is key! Buyers are more inclined to flip thru that then a flat book on a table.
  2. Coastal Art is really BIG right now.
  3. 2 birds are better them one. And birds with flowers and butterflies is even better.
  4. Cats sell better then Dogs. (Dogs are too species specific.)
  5. Kittens & Puppies sell better then Cats & Dogs.
  6. Food doesn’t sell on greeting cards but works for tabletop
  7. Christmas is the largest  holiday market followed by Halloween (I was surprised by this. I always thought the pecking order was Christmas, Valentines Day and then Halloween)
  8. When you are reviewing a contract there is a BIG difference between May  and Shall

Exit Strategy

Everyone needs one. The problem is figuring out what mine is. Folks seem to recommend you save anywhere from 3-6 months of living expenses before making the switch.

Time to start crunching the numbers. It’s really unfortunate that I live in such an expensive part of the country. For 3 months worth of savings I would need 20K and would need 40K for 6 months. I’ve never been really good at saving and it seems like sooooo much money and a little unreachable. Though I’m sure it’s the smart and prudent thing to do.

If I’m able to put away and save $400 a month (a reasonable number that I think I can achieve) by the end of the year I will have only saved $4800. So at that rate it will take me 8 1/2 years to save 40K and a little over 4yrs to save 20K.

I’m not sure I can wait 4 years never mind 8. So how much more time do I wait until I take the leap? I’m leaning toward just setting a “launch” date, and asking my employer if I can reduce my hours to a 3day work week . Hopefully this will be an option. Of course, that would also mean a salary reduction. Having a steady gig while trying to continuing to build up my illustration and licensing business is a compromise I think I’m willing to make.

Experts also suggest that you also create a way to have a passive income. I haven’t quite landed on what that is yet. However, I know that I want to try to set up a Etsy and ArtFire shop, and I think that once I start getting a few more art licensing contracts with royalty agreements this will also help.

So what’s my Exit Strategy?


  1. Start Saving, starting now.

  2. In a year reduce my work week down to 3day.

  3. Continue to build my business in the evenings and weekend.

  4. Start to create a passive income by getting a Etsy and ArtFire shop up and running.


It feels good to have at least an outline of a plan!

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I wrote this post last night and got in a fight about my plans to reduce my hours. (Not quite the support I was hoping for, but pretty much the reaction I was expecting.) Hubby asked ” So, your just going to ask them to cut your hours?” — Well yes! I think that’s at least that’s going to be the first step and if they can’t agree to that then I think I will look for something that’s part-time. Financially we will HAVE TO make it work. I’m not sure yet how, but I need to have more time to spend on my own work and desperately need to make a CHANGE! (this shouldn’t of been a surprise to him.)

Travel Watercolor Palette

Altoids Watercolor Palette

This weekends project. So much fun and I’m totally loving it along with my new waterbrush. My sketch book entries look so much nice in color!!

You will need:

1. Altoids Tin

2. Sculpey Clay

3. Pencil or chopstick (to make the holes)

4. Tube Watercolor

Directions:

Sculpt clay into Tin

Make number of desired holes (to hold colors) with a eraser end of a pencil

Bake following Sculpey directions

Let cool and then fill holes with watercolor paint. Let dry and there you have it!