Gosh, it's been a bit crazy since I've last done a blog post. And I'm back at doing them again. GOING FOR IT! At least twice a week is the goal to let you know what's going on in the shop.
A lot right now. I've been a little in the blue for a long while now. My schedule was hectic. Things were not going well for me. Basically life happens. But, now things are back on track and my work schedule is pretty structured again.
To start, here's the newest doodle I've scribbled. A blood python. With and without a hat! So cute!
This year hasn't been the greatest, and I lost a bunch of artwork (sad face). And a lot of my friends list has dwindled while I was tryin' ta fix all that stuff!! So if you were on my friends list and well... I snipped you out don't take that as I didn't like you! Quite the contrary. I was just closing my bubble while I went through some personal stuff. :) I love everyone for the most part! And I'd love to be friends again. Just send me a request. I usually accept if you seem like a nice person.
I'm back on full time with the Etsy store, and art, and commissions are open for a bit. My car is broken down right now, so I'm borrowing a great great great friends' car till I can get that fixed. That's getting me to work, to the post office and also to and from the supplies store. Thank you soooo much, you know who you are.
Anyway enough on personal stuff! I've got some really good ideas for the store coming up. I have been lucky enough to be able to add t-shirts to my store FULL TIME! The only thing with that is that they're time consuming to add to the store. If you want a shirt with a design I have (that's not lost! sad face again) just let me know and I'll get that one going for you!!
Thank you SO much (you know who YOU are) for giving me the means to start shirts full time! That was a long-time goal of mine. :)
Also! Sticker printing! I'm doing that for folks! I've got a beast of a printer and I can totally do custom sticker printing. These are not paper stickers, they're vinyl. They are weather and water resistant as is, but I also laminate them so the quality is top notch professional. My cutter cuts them all out professionally, so you end up with a beautiful professional die-cut sticker.
Email me for a quote on stickers! :)
Love you guys! So much!
PHEW. Finally I'm settled in at my new home and my schedule is back to pretty much normal. I do still have some shows coming up, but I also have a majorly awesome helper in my shop that's saving me a ton of time so I can dedicate it to artwork now. (Her name's Seri.) I've got a lot of new things up my sleeve now that I can brainstorm, more too to create some new products and lines for you all. More shows, more squigs, and even time to blog again! Thank goodness! Read up on what we've done this week!
First line of business! New doodle squigs. In case you didn't remember, I have called my sticker designs doodle squigs since day one. It's an affectionate name I have for them. This week I really got back on the art train where I hadn't been able to draw much since I had a full time job before. Now that that's over and my art is my career, I've done three new squigs this week alone (and one from a week or so ago) to share with you.
Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus)
The reticulated python is currently a species in the pet trade that is under scrutiny of the general public and fire from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We're seeing some poor scientific declarations without any backing, standing and irrelevant reasons to try and ban these animals from interstate transportation. Fight for your right to keep these guys. Share the goodness of them, tell a story, educate and sway people into understanding the species. Do the same for anacondas and burmese pythons.
Reticulated pythons are endemic to Southeast Asia and can get fairly long. They average about nineteen feet in length. While thinner around than a Burmese Python, these guys have similar diets in captivity. These gorgeous creatures are fantastic swimmers, much like their burmese cousins. It's recommended that these big snakes are kept by experienced keepers who understand their needs and realize how large they can get.
Woo hoo! A supersnow leopard gecko is added to our roster. One of the most common pets in the reptile pet trade. Enjoy!
New LOVE Bumper Stickers!
Here are the latest ten bumper stickers that are going in the Etsy store. You can watch the slide show, or click on the thumbnails on the side to see them all. I'll be adding more of these as time allows. For now we have twenty designs to choose from. If there's a design I have that you'd like to see on these bumper stickers please let me know!
Our next show is in Bismarck, North Dakota on April 4th. It'll be a one day show, and we'll have all kinds of stuff there--including purses and wallets of various fabrics. Whatever purses don't sell at that show will be available for purchase in my Etsy store and then also at the Repticon in Costa Mesa on April 10th, 12th and 13th. I am also taking custom orders for these, so if you'd like a purse message me and we'll get you started!
Monthly Subscription Packages
So, you like stickers. So you like reptiles. So you collect reptile stickers. Do you love them so much that you're ready to subscribe to the monthly sticker packs? Starting now, you can order your subscription to our sticker packs! It's an automatic payment deal so you'll never forget to pay your monthly subscription and the 5th of each month (starting in April) we will ship out all the new stickers we've drawn for the month and they'll be delivered straight to your door. After three consecutive months of service we start including exclusive stickers of the month to our subscribers! Special stickers that can't be found anywhere else and will never be in our Etsy store.
For the month of March, if you subscribe before April 3rd we'll send you ten stickers of your choice AND all the regular stickers in this blog as well as any new ones we draw up to April 3rd.
You can order this package as regular stickers, restickable stickers or magnets! Click here to subscribe.
Thank you all for reading. Have a fantastic weekend and stay tuned for some new stickers that I'm planning to draw this weekend, including a Savannah Monitor, Woma, King Snake, and a little non-herptile item that'll be a new line introduced to the store!
Love you all!
Some of you may know by now that I’ve recently moved about 1300 miles across the country. That’s halfway in case any of you didn’t know. From the Oregon Coast to North Dakota. Quite the move. Quite the change.
So far the Dakotas have been nothing far from freezing hell. Inside is nice and toasty. Stepping outside, though you could easily lose a foot to the negative temps. Okay, maybe not really but you certainly can’t wear flip flops out there. I do really like it here so far, though. The people are friendly, lots of people are new to the area, and the few people I’ve met who’ve been here their whole lives have lots of funny stories to tell about the city from before it was the next best place to live thanks to the oil boom.
Packing and unpacking are definitely my least favorite parts of moving. First, you have to organize stuff and put things in like boxes. At least… that’s the theory. Then, you load it. THEN you drive to your new home. And even THEN you still have to unpack and reorganize your theoretically organized boxes.
Friday I unpacked my new office to get orders going and to start filling everything and hopefully get to some more artwork since I don’t have to work full time anymore. I wasn’t able to find my stylus. I shrugged that off, though since I had a ton of other boxes in my bedroom that I still hadn’t rifled through.
By the end of Saturday, I began to panic a little more. A stylus is a little pen that goes with my drawing tablet to do digital art. To do artwork, you must have this pen. If you do not have this pen, a replacement could easily cost you eighty dollars plus tax plus shipping plus… well… not sure what else but it would not be fun.
Instead of freaking out, though like I often times tend to do I text messaged my old room mate in Oregon to see if I had indeed left it behind three states away.
And then he proceeded to send me pictures of the thing in various locations of the house. To start, AHA! Yes I found it. Then his cat with it. Then a random RC car running it over… then in the microwave… then with a soldering iron that could mean only one thing…. BURN BABY BURN.
The last photograph I have received so far is of my stylus getting ready to be cut in half with a saw.
Not sure if I’ll see the thing ever again. Guess we’ll find out… Until then, commissions are currently closed.
We've MOVED! Did you know that? Well now you do! SALE TIME! This is the lowest I've ever gone for a sale. The coupon code is DAKOTA
Put that in on your next order of $15 or more and get an automatic 35% off your total!
Boy, a lot has changed for us in the last few months since we vended Tinley. My clientele has shot through the roof, time has managed to escape me, holidays happened, and... now I'm going to be doing this huge move.
BUT YOU JUST MOVED, RACHEL!!!
Yeah, I did. I had just moved into a new house. A beautiful house. I love this house. I've been here less than a year and I'm sad to leave it behind. But life and goals change. Pretty often for some people. I have recently separated from my long-term partner and so was in need of a big change.
That change is gettin' outta this tiny town and finding something cool and exciting!! On top of leaving Coos Bay, I'm also quitting my full-time job and doing this full time. Isn't that fantastic? I get to do art and stickers as a job. This was my goal around this time last year and it's utterly amazing that it's already happened for me. I wasn't expecting that for at least five years, but boy howdy you all have shown me something that I cannot ignore.
Support and undying friendship.
Thank you all for giving me these precious gifts. I owe it all to you.
For the next month or so, though I'll be packing, cleaning, doing garage sales and donating a lot of my stuff. I have less than thirty days to get my butt in gear. A lot of that time is going to be spent visiting with my family, too and so I'm extending my usual 3-5 day turn around time to 1-2 weeks. I also have a huge show in Texas during these 30 days. So just a heads up.
Thank you all again, for making this possible. We'll be settled back in in no time and be back up and running for some fantastic stickery business.
I may or may not be pretty partial to the shows that take place right in my back yard.
Oh who am I kidding?! I am definitely partial to these Northwest Metro Reptile Expos. This last show I did on the 17th, though is the first show I ever vended last year. It was where I leapt into the vending business and where I began my journey of connecting with more people and throwing myself out there to meet more.
I had done some educational stuff for the year before hand, and had originally started the educational club Western Oregon Reptile Keepers to get in on the local reptile community. That had me showing animals at expos before I had ever even thought I'd vend to sell. While I met a few folks through the outreach style vending, I really met with the local reptile keepers by drawing artwork and offering it at my table.
When you tell someone you're an artist, you make a great connection with them. I've learned that from traveling, as well. I have met with so many artists while traveling, and do my best to encourage them to chase their art dream--that if they work hard enough and if they really truly PUT themselves out there that it's possible for them to acheive their goals.
There I go, off on tangents again. :) Tis the life of an artist, I suppose--going off on tangents. ;)
At the Portland Metro Reptile Expo, I am now one of the major sponsors. I'm so proud to be able to say that. Having vended the BIGGEST ones in the country, I have found that I do very much so prefer the one-day shows that Joel throws. And he really takes care of his vendors, too. Joel is probably the best curator I've ever vended for just because he's a dream to work with and goes so very far out of his way to make sure you have everything you need.
This show was fan. tas. tic. When I had vended last year, I had been so very excited to just break even. That was the goal, and that was the outcome. Now, though since I've grown I've been able to do so much more than that. And people are excited to see me. I still blush thinking that.... More people know who I am at shows than I know who they are. But I truly want to know all of you! :) (So, at shows introduce yourself, even if you have before. It takes me about 3-6 times of you introducing yourself for me to even remember. I have a very forgetful brain so take no offense! I do that to everyone... heh.)
Set up was a blast, I got to vend near Katie from Zombie Reptiles and oh my goodness I just love her so much so the whole show was a huge fun ball of jokes and laughter. One of my good friends, Saille helped me vend at this show. She's my designated Northwest Dealer and will be vending the shows in the PACNW after I move next month to North Dakota (I'm crazy, I know. What the heck is in ND??? ;) ). She really killed it. I was blown away by how good she is with people and even learned some things from watching her talk with folks. I will still be vending the Northwest Reptile Expo shows in Portland and Renton, but not really any of the others here.
At the show, I got my regular NW peeps coming up to say hi and a few new faces, too that didn't realize that I started at Portland. So far this show has been the best I've been to in the Pacific Northwest. My quilt that I have got a lot of attention, too. Lots of people asked if it was for sale. While this particular one isn't, I'm working on getting some quilts done that will be for sale at shows, and maybe we can get some more done for USARK benefits. The quilt everyone saw, though featured my artwork on it, and had all five axolotls that I call my babies. You can see it in the above photograph. I use it as a backdrop.
At the end of each show, all us NW gecko freaks get together for dinner. I couldn't imagine missing one of these dinners. They are the highlight of any show here. That's the time when we all get together and share what we saw, what we did, who we sold to and who made us laugh throughout the day. And also to share hilarious stories that happened to us while vending.
Some of you may be familiar with the shell-shockingly gorgeous work from Emily Burke. Those of you that are not are in for a treat. Emily is a student at Maryland Institute College of Art. Primarily, she works with ceramics and her sculptures include several mixed medias, however she is also a seasoned illustrator.
Many of her pieces include conservation work to bring awareness to issues within city limits and outside our little bubbles we've created. My favorite and most poignant sculpture piece to she has done is Bunting Birds which is a sculpture featuring several species of birds that have been affected negatively by the Bunting Building in Baltimore City.
Aside from the awareness she agitates with her fantastic sculptures, she also does some beautiful customs of crested geckos, which have been one of her most popular items as of late. Here you can see an exclusive step-by-step process that she uses to create these beautiful works of art with a hand-made resin mold of the original clay piece. Read her take on how these beautiful crested gecko sculptures begin and end up as a super realistic item.
Describing a new species can take years and years and years to do. Species are often studied on a myriad of subjects before they can be considered a new one. One study here shows what may be a new way of thinking in the process of evolution and eludes the typical theory of species evolving over time.
This article describes a few theories that reptile genetics might follow including parthenogenesis, how new parthenogenetic species might be created, and how they figured that this new hybrid lizard can be considered an actual new species. What do you think about that? Can a hybrid be considered a new species? Or perhaps a sub-species? If so, would you only consider a naturally-occuring hybrid to be a new species or would a laboratory generated hybrid fit the bill?
The worlds smallest frogs can be found in New Guinea. Here you can see Paedophryne dekot and Paedophryne verrucosa which are just barely longer than a tic tac! What an amazing world we live in. These tiny record-breaking croakers live in the leaf litter and mossy substrates of New Guinea forests. MongaBay has more information on these little frogs.
Click the photo to view the article on MongaBay.
What a spectacular specimen recently found in Indonesia. This new pit viper is a brilliant color.
Trimeresurus gunaleni was discovered by a group of herpetologists and researchers while studying the known species Trimeresurus sumanatrus. Lucky for both species, the terrain in which they thrive is hard to access and so there isn't much deforestation happening to their homes. We can only hope this remains the case in upcoming years.
To find out more about this beautiful snake, visit MongaBay.com where you can view the entire account written by Santiago Sáez Moreno and view more photographs of all the species that have been studied during this new discovery.
Rachel is the owner of HGSS and Geckos on the Beach. She has a big love for all things reptile and amphibian.