Adventures with Lisa, Frank & Daisy Dewdrop


Ivy Heart Banners
September 1, 2006, 5:04 pm
Filed under: My Shop & Products

I enjoy drawing. I like fine point mechanical pencils and rainbows of felt-tip pens.

I was looking through a fine catalog one day, and saw a shirt with a banner reading “Freedom” across the front, surrounded by bold black and white roses and cherubs. It was $40.

That was the night I drew my own banner, waving across a rustic heart, surrounded by dangling ivy.

I left the banner plain, so I could add different words and feelings digitally.

I still haven’t done one for “freedom,” but I have done the popular “hillbilly” and a nice “homegrown” theme.

homegrownbox.jpg

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How I Started at Cafe Press
September 1, 2006, 4:59 pm
Filed under: My Shop & Products

I was looking at the local county newspaper’s web site, and noticed they were offering county-themed T-shirts. Frankly, I liked their idea, but not their designs. I thought, “Gee, I could do that.”

That was nearly two years ago now.

At first, I too focused on local themes, but then when I launched the Hillbilly line, sales started kicking in.

I have discovered that hillbillies live all over the country. Those who have purchased hillbilly shirts and worn them out have had people greet them, “Hey, hillbilly! Where ya from?”

When I launched the flood issues section, one of our locals bought a 100-year flood plain sweatshirt for her daughter – who works in FEMA headquarters in Washington. That was a really interesting sale within the “Social & Political Points” category.

floodplaintshirt.jpg

By far, the geocaching line is most popular. Those who participate in the sport are fanatics. We are too.

The ScriptArt line is my favorite, although it has had the fewest sales. Most of those are in my closet. I love the elegant script and the way the message is hidden within it. Very few people will actually “read” the design. It’s like a hidden message.
forgivenbutton.jpg

The design that took the most time, far and wide, was the custom-created map of Gilmer County, WV. Most of the original artwork was done by hand (60+ hours) and then the labels and names were added digitally. There has not been a map like it created before or since.

The most recent lines added are “Beagle Adventures” and “I Heart WV.” I may never sell a picture of Daisy Dew Drop Looking over the Middle River, but beagle and dog-lovers in general must admit the photo does reflect a warm feeling.

The I Heart WV line came about when I searched other cafepress shops for West Virginia themes. First, I was disappointed at how little was available for the Mountain State, and second, again, I liked the ideas, but not necessarily the designs. In fact, I couldn’t decide on a single design of my own, and settled on my favorite three.

The Hand-drawn items – mandalas, butterflies, heart and ivy banners – are my attempts to keep my limited artistic abilities in development. I like the countrycharm they have, and the way the pen and inks transfer to digital.

I have been pleased overall with the quality of the items offered by cafepress, their shipping, secure online ordering and their customer service.

I have a minimal markup on all my products, trying to keep them affordable for those of us in Central West Virginia.

I haven’t “rolled in the dough” from my online store, but I have been able to cover the store costs, gifts for a few friends, and some shirts for my husband and myself.

For me, I enjoy knowing somewhere, out there, some stranger is wearing a shirt I designed. Someone’s home, clear across the country, has my picture on the wall. Heck, I may someday pass a car sporting one of my bumper stickers. Somehow, it makes me feel as if I have reached someone – encountered someone I don’t even know – in some strange yet personal way.