Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×
At long last, my artistic endeavors have begun to pay off well enough for me to leave the cash register behind--hopefully for good this time!  Starting tomorrow my occupation will no longer be "cashier/artist"... it will be just "ARTIST!" XD

It's a little sad and bittersweet, because I'll miss a lot of my coworkers and customers, but at the same time I am elated because I will be breaking free of Wal-Mart's grasp... And not just Wal-Mart, but all of the crappy places I'd be doomed to work the rest of my life if I hadn't taken matters into my own hands.

Things will be a little lean for a while--I will be taking a cut in pay doing this, but I think we should do alright.

Also, we just got our first Christmas tree!  Pictures coming soon! (It's black, naturally!)

Until next time!
I never did much on Cafe Press--I found their site difficult to understand and use, and the only royalties I ever made through them--a whopping 52 cents--were mysteriously claimed for "fees" of an unknown nature, so when word came that Cafe Press intended to royally screw over its dedicated contributors, I didn't feel much of a personal loss.

For those of you that don't know, Cafe Press recently announced a policy change that has its most productive, talented, and dedicated contributors outraged.  Although contributors had until now been allowed to set their own royalties for their designs, CP has announced that starting June 1st, anything a designer sells through the Marketplace instead of their own shop will receive only a piddly 10% royalty.  What does this mean? This means that not only will all of these professional designers suddenly be making a fraction of what they're worth, but also that they will be forced to compete with themselves.  After all, who's going to spend $30 for a shirt that they can get from the Marketplace for $15?  CP justifies their decision by saying they're trying to clean up the Marketplace and make it easier for customers to shop there, and point out that users have the ability to keep their products out of the marketplace. What they are actually doing is forcing the most talented contributors--the ones whose work is worth more than 10%--out of the marketplace, and thus out of the notice of potential customers that visit CP.  Eventually, the customers will leave too, because they will just plain get tired of searching Cafe Press and finding only crap.

Furthermore, CP is not satisfied with denying their contributors what they're worth in the Marketplace--they are finding ways to weasel users out of their royalties even if the sale comes from their shop!  If a customer is linked to your shop, buys an item, and then goes to the Marketplace and picks up something else, Cafe Press will count YOUR sale as a MP sale as well, because it was in the same shopping basket.  So, even if you opt out of the Marketplace, even if you promote your shop, even if you do nothing but sell your own work out of your own shop, you will lose your markup if the customer decides to see what else they like on the Cafe Press site.  That's a hell of a way to thank their contributors for drawing in traffic!

My heart goes out to all of the Cafe Press designers who are suffering the bad business decisions of their home POD.  These are people with hundreds or even thousands of products who now must decide, "Do I stay here, or do I move?"  To move would mean finding a POD site they can trust, completely relearning from scratch how to design products, making do without products they're used to, learning new ones, and then trying to bring in all of the designs they once made money off of in Cafe Press.  To stay where they are would mean a drastic cut in profits--perhaps the loss of their livelihood--and an uncertain future on a site that seems determined to deny them everything they deserve.  It's not an easy choice to make.

I would like to welcome any displaced CP designers to the Zazzle.com community.  Several former CPers have already established themselves on Zazzle, and many of the Zazzle veterans are keeping watch on the forums to help answer any questions newcomers may have with the site.  Unlike CP, Zazzle has no insecurity issues, and won't forbid you from mentioning their competitors, and they allow you to set your own royalties on your products, even if they ARE in the marketplace!  You also may create as many products as you want in your gallery without ever having to pay a cent for a "premium" gallery.

And of course, if anyone is a newbie on Zazzle and has any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
On CNN today there is a story on the ticker about Michelle Obama's fashion choices.  Oscar de La Renta criticized the first lady for wearing a sweater to Buckingham Palace.  He went on to say that he wished Michelle would take this opportunity to spur the flailing fashion industry, saying "American fashion right now is struggling... I think I understand what [Obama and her advisers] are doing, but I don't think that is the right message at this particular point." (Quoted from CNN.com)

What exactly IS the right message at this particular point, Oscar?  That we should be spending as much on a pair of shoes as I spent on my first car, or as much on a handbag as some people paid for their whole house?  I've sort of understood for a long time that the fashion industry was detached from reality, but this just shocked me.

Honestly, Oscar, do you know what is going on beyond the fashionable world you live in?  Not "the right message"??  I'm sorry you are having difficulty selling your craft, but so is everyone else in this country, and criticizing the First Lady for wearing relatively inexpensive clothing (Though I don't think $300 for a sweater is inexpensive) is sort of like saying, "Yeah, I know most of the country is unemployed and homeless and possibly starving, but that's no reason why they can't be FABULOUS!"

WAKE UP, Oscar de La Renta, and give your fashion industry a good healthy slap while you're at it.
The recession is everywhere, in our faces all the time.  You can't read the news or walk down the street without being bombarded by it.  Homes for sale, people out of work, businesses going under... but is it really so bad?

I once read a book written by a man who started with nothing and built a great fortune, and in it, he said--to paraphrase--that a rich man sees opportunity where others see only misfortune.  Sure, if you don't have any money, you can't exactly invest in property or stocks, even if they are ridiculously cheap right now, but a recession is still an opportunity if you have the innovation to see it.

On CNN today, an executive of a global management consultant firm named Peter Bregman tells us not to try so hard to find a job, and instead, pursue our passions and our dreams.  The general response in the comments is negative, criticizing him for having his head in the clouds, but he's right.  There is no safety in working a 9-5 job--there never was.  All employment for someone else gives us is the illusion of safety, which is far more dangerous than taking the so-called risk of running our own business.  At least when you know you stand teetering on the edge of financial ruin, you can prepare yourself for it.  I think the reason this recession hit so many people so hard is because they'd fooled themselves into thinking they didn't have to worry anymore.

You always have to worry.  You always have to wonder where your next meal is coming from, so if you're going to worry anyway, why not do something you love?  Why not find joy in your life, rather than living to a ripe old age only to go, "Yeah, I made a lot of money, but I was miserable the whole time."

Prosperity comes from the heart and mind, not the wallet.  You could be making tons of money and live in a big house and take expensive vacations every six months, but if you are constantly wanting more than what you have, you don't know prosperity.  Find joy in your life as it is now.  Only when you are happy with what you have will you be happy when you have more.
I live in a very Christian area, as many of you already know.  This is not the sort of place that someone like me is generally accepted, so I keep quiet about my beliefs.  These are people who honestly believe that the only people who should live in the US are Christians, and that "Freedom of Religion" really just means freedom for Christians to practice Christianity.  Indeed, to them, there are only two religions--there are the various denominations of Christianity (and I am afraid I must include Catholicism in this), and then there are Satan worshipers.  If you tell someone that "I am a Pagan," the first words out of their mouths are often "So you worship the devil."  Their response is much the same no matter what you profess to be, and Heaven help you if you profess to be a Muslim, because in their eyes there is no greater crime.  They follow blindly as their spiritual leaders warn them of the perceived evils in the world--other faiths, evolution, Harry Potter--and become almost fanatical in beliefs that were never their own to start with, but were rather fed to them from someone else.  Although I've met and befriended a good plenty of perfectly decent, sane Christians, that's not the sort of people I'm surrounded with.  I am surrounded by the hateful, the spiteful, the cruel--those that use the teachings of their own bible rather than heed them.  They become so focused on what they should fight against that they fail to follow through with the true intentions of their faith.  Instead of caring for the weak, the sick, the poor, they are fighting against evolution in schools and the right for homosexuals to marry.  Instead of bringing light into the world, they bring only darkness, and they fight ferociously against anyone who dares try to open their eyes.

  The Creator gave us a great many things, but it was man who decided what was evil and what was good.  The world is as the Creator made it, and our power as individuals as that power was given to us, and yet, there are many who set so much of it off-limits, believing wholeheartedly that it is the construct of something evil and dark.  I was told that it is a sin to heal another person, and I was told that fossilized bones are the constructs of the Devil to confuse us.  Evolution--a fact that we can observe occurring even now--is treated as an evil temptation away from their faith, but it's not.  Evolution and faith need not be mutually exclusive--there are many who believe, myself included, that evolution is God's paintbrush.  Faith is valuable, but when it comes to the point that one ignores all logic and sense to cling to it, it becomes blind faith, which is something altogether more dangerous.  Believe, but do not just believe--understand.  Do not trust someone else to speak to God for you.  Open up your own heart and eyes and ears and see what the Creator has been trying to say to you all along.  Believe, have faith, but do not allow someone else to think for you.

  I wish I could explain what brought about this little rant, but I'm not really sure myself.  I just hope it wasn't wasted.
So, with the holiday season coming up and everyone starting that agonizing process of spending money on relatives you don't really like, I thought it appropriate to draw your attention to my latest project:

<a href=www.zazzle.com/customizables*>Customizables, by PrairieGhost!
www.zazzle.com/customizables*

Customizables is chock-full of great gift ideas, and, as the name would suggest, it's populated entirely by customizable products!  Set up as easy-to-use templates, you can add your own text to products easily, or go deep and use Zazzle's customization tool to adjust font colors, styles, and even the arrangement of images and text on the product.  With dozens of designs and hundreds of products, there's no shortage of items to browse, and if you still can't find what you need, I take requests!  Many commissions are done at no charge to the buyer, and are posted in a matter of days.

I offer keychains, coffee mugs, shirts from infant to adult, stickers, mousepads, buttons, magnets, greeting cards, tote bags, postcards, postage stamps, poster prints, hats, neckties, aprons, and more!

Thanks for reading!
Lydia "PrairieGhost" Jacobs
  • Drinking: Orange juice and seltzer water
I've gotten a few comments about my absence on DA lately--namely, my lack of new art and photography.  The reason is that, aside from just being busy in general, I've been focusing my creative energy on my zazzle gallery: www.zazzle.com/prairieghost

I'm a little reluctant to put my zazzle pictures up on DA for obvious reasons--sure, I could watermark every picture I put up, but I feel like that really detracts from the viewing experience, and I don't want to discover that the work I'm trying to make money off of is making money for someone else, you know?  Don't worry though--as I start taking more photography again, expect to see more updates here, as I tend to do these things in spurts.
  • Eating: Chicken egg rolls
  • Drinking: water
I have challenged my friend Coon (basilofbakerst.deviantart.com/) to the 100 picture challenge.  Details below, as copied from his journal.
---------
The point of this challenge is to test and improve your skill as an artist. After 100 pics who wouldn’t be better. Please forgive me if this in any way excludes you from taking the challenge.

The rules

1.) Make 100 pics each pic having a theme listed below. Each pic should have ONE and only ONE theme to it, for it to count.

2.) No time limit so have fun

3.) The main picture should be drawn but not limited to. for all fair purposes, people are allowed to use their paint programs and photo shop to create the pic.

3a.) pics should be of own artistic ability. You may not edit photos, or break any other rules set out in the Da etiquette policy. Your pics can be anything from sketches and doodles to great master pieces. Just have fun with it.

4.) The list below is to be placed somewhere in your journal for others to see that......
A.)You are in the challenge
B.)What you have completed

5.) make sure to update this list and check off what is done and make a link to the pic

6.) In the comments for your art work note if it is part of the list and what ONE theme it is.

Now the good part. CHALLENGE YOUR FRIENDS.

THE LIST............................
1. Introduction ♥ www.deviantart.com/deviation/4…
2. Love www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
3. Light
4. Dark
5. Seeking Solace
6. Break Away
7. Heaven
8. Innocence www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
9. Drive
10. Breathe Again
11. Memory
12. Insanity
13. Misfortune
14. Smile
15. Silence
16. Questioning
17. Blood
18. Rainbow
19. Gray coyoteflutesong.deviantart.com…
20. Fortitude
21. Vacation
22. Mother Nature
23. Cat
24. No Time
25. Trouble Lurking coyoteflutesong.deviantart.com…
26. Tears
27. Foreign
28. Sorrow
29. Happiness
coyoteflutesong.deviantart.com…
30. Under the Rain
31. Flowers
32. Night
33. Expectations
34. Stars coyoteflutesong.deviantart.com…
35. Hold My Hand
36. Precious Treasure
37. Eyes
38. Abandoned
39. Dreams
40. Rated
41. Teamwork coyoteflutesong.deviantart.com…
42. Standing Still
43. Dying
44. Two Roads
45. Illusion
46. Family www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
47. Creation
48. Childhood
49. Stripes
50. Breaking the Rules www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
51. Sport
52. Deep in Thought coyoteflutesong.deviantart.com…
53. Keeping a Secret
54. Tower
55. Waiting
56. Danger Ahead
57. Sacrifice
58. Kick in the Head
59. No Way Out
60. Rejection
61. Fairy Tale
62. Magic
63. Do Not Disturb
64. Multitasking
65. Horror
66. Traps
67. Playing the Melody
68. Hero
69. Annoyance
70. 67%
71. Obsession
72. Mischief Managed www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
73. I Can't
74. Are You Challenging Me?
75. Mirror
76. Broken Pieces
77. Test
78. Drink
79. Starvation
80. Words
81. Pen and Paper
82. Can You Hear Me?
83. Heal coyoteflutesong.deviantart.com…
84. Out Cold
85. Spiral
86. Seeing Red
87. Food
88. Pain
89. Through the Fire
90. Triangle
91. Drowning
92. All That I Have
93. Give Up
94. Last Hope
95. Advertisement
96. In the Storm
97. Safety First
98. Puzzle
99. Solitude coyoteflutesong.deviantart.com…
100. Relaxation
  • Eating: Poptarts
  • Drinking: Pepsi Jazz
Dad's staples have come out, and he's up and moving around a little better, though he still has to take it easy for a couple months.  The doctors were able to verify that the mass was completely contained within the kidney, and they gave him a 90% chance of that cancer never rearing its ugly head again. :3

We realized that it was a massage that saved Dad's life.  We were at the mall in Wichita, and there were these people there doing Chinese acupressure massages.  Since Dad is always giving massages but is too tough to massage properly in return, we paid for him to get an acupressure massage.

During the massage, the guy was paying particular attention to the area around Dad's kidneys, and it was that force that triggered the blood in his urine that initially inspired him to go to the doctor.  Before that, Dad had had no symptoms, and he's apparently had this cancer for something like four years now!  If it weren't for a massage, we may never have caught the cancer in time... It's a little bit trippy, huh?
  • Eating: Anything in reach
  • Drinking: Hazelnut Cream Coffee
Dad's surgery was this morning.  The doctors say the tumor was still contained in the kidney and hadn't spread to other organs like they'd originally feared it might have.  He's recovering now in the ICU and will be out of commission for the next couple months, but the doctors say he should have a full recovery--minus a kidney--without any relapse, since the cancer had remained contained.

I had an emotional meltdown today and ended up getting sent home from work.  My boss wasn't very sympathetic, and I wasn't able to keep a level head as well as I thought I would.  I hope this doesn't cause problems later. ~_~;
  • Eating: A&amp;W cheese curds
  • Drinking: The biggest damn Diet A&amp;W float I could get
I just got back from the hospital....my dad has a large tumor on one of his kidneys.  It's taking every ounce of my willpower not to run around screaming and flailing, and I won't deny that I'm really worried about him.

My dad means the world to me.  I don't know what I'd do without him. ~_~
  • Eating: A&amp;W cheese curds
  • Drinking: The biggest damn Diet A&amp;W float I could get
skunk: where you plan on going?
Me: Rock show in Wichita
skunk: ah cool
skunk: who is playing?
Me: The stones...
skunk: as in Jagger?
Me: There's going to be a lot of old fossils there.
skunk: yeah he is a bit old
Me: And I wouldn't be surprised to find a lot of crystal...
skunk: oh
Me: lmao
skunk: ??
Me: Rock, gem, and mineral show. XD

I wanted to keep him going longer, but I couldn't think of anything else to say. XD I blame it on gigglefitting too hard.
  • Listening to: AOL radio: Hi NRG station
I have challenged my friend Coon (basilofbakerst.deviantart.com/) to the 100 picture challenge.  Details below, as copied from his journal.
---------
The point of this challenge is to test and improve your skill as an artist. After 100 pics who wouldn't be better. Please forgive me if this in any way excludes you from taking the challenge.

The rules

1.) Make 100 pics each pic having a theme listed below. Each pic should have ONE and only ONE theme to it, for it to count.

2.) No time limit so have fun

3.) The main picture should be drawn but not limited to. for all fair purposes, people are allowed to use their paint programs and photo shop to create the pic.

3a.) pics should be of own artistic ability. You may not edit photos, or break any other rules set out in the Da etiquette policy. Your pics can be anything from sketches and doodles to great master pieces. Just have fun with it.

4.) The list below is to be placed somewhere in your journal for others to see that......
A.)You are in the challenge
B.)What you have completed

5.) make sure to update this list and check off what is done and make a link to the pic

6.) In the comments for your art work note if it is part of the list and what ONE theme it is.

Now the good part. CHALLENGE YOUR FRIENDS.

THE LIST............................
1. Introduction ♥ www.deviantart.com/deviation/4…
2. Love www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
3. Light
4. Dark
5. Seeking Solace
6. Break Away
7. Heaven
8. Innocence www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
9. Drive
10. Breathe Again
11. Memory
12. Insanity
13. Misfortune
14. Smile
15. Silence
16. Questioning
17. Blood
18. Rainbow
19. Gray
20. Fortitude
21. Vacation
22. Mother Nature
23. Cat
24. No Time
25. Trouble Lurking
26. Tears
27. Foreign
28. Sorrow
29. Happiness
30. Under the Rain
31. Flowers
32. Night
33. Expectations
34. Stars
35. Hold My Hand
36. Precious Treasure
37. Eyes
38. Abandoned
39. Dreams
40. Rated
41. Teamwork
42. Standing Still
43. Dying
44. Two Roads
45. Illusion
46. Family www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
47. Creation
48. Childhood
49. Stripes
50. Breaking the Rules
51. Sport
52. Deep in Thought
53. Keeping a Secret
54. Tower
55. Waiting
56. Danger Ahead
57. Sacrifice
58. Kick in the Head
59. No Way Out
60. Rejection
61. Fairy Tale
62. Magic
63. Do Not Disturb
64. Multitasking
65. Horror
66. Traps
67. Playing the Melody
68. Hero
69. Annoyance
70. 67%
71. Obsession
72. Mischief Managed www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
73. I Can't
74. Are You Challenging Me?
75. Mirror
76. Broken Pieces
77. Test
78. Drink
79. Starvation
80. Words
81. Pen and Paper
82. Can You Hear Me?
83. Heal
84. Out Cold
85. Spiral
86. Seeing Red
87. Food
88. Pain
89. Through the Fire
90. Triangle
91. Drowning
92. All That I Have
93. Give Up
94. Last Hope
95. Advertisement
96. In the Storm
97. Safety First
98. Puzzle
99. Solitude
100. Relaxation
My ferret Rain died today.
While making the Valentine's Uni pic, it occurred to me that I don't do nearly enough art for myself anymore.  That was the first pic in years that I did without agonizing over what -other- people were going to think about it, and that's not how it ought to be.  So I've promised myself that, no matter how many other-people-projects I have waiting to be finished, to always make sure I spend a little quality time with myself and my own muse, and try to make at least one picture a week that is just for me.

Will I share them with you? That depends.  Since the point of the exercise is not to worry about what other people will think about my artwork, it would be practical to keep them  to myself, so I don't have to endure the agony of, "Is this going to be good enough for my gallery?" while I'm drawing.  If a picture turns out exceedingly well, and I WANT to share it when I'm done, I will, but I won't do any of these "For Me" pics with the intention of posting on my mind.
  • Listening to: Gorrillaz
  • Playing: Zoo Tycoon 2--Endangered Species
  • Eating: Anything in reach
  • Drinking: Coffee with chocolate mint truffle creamer.
So... I spent the past week busting my butt trying to get the house clean in time for a big dinner with my uncle and his wife and kids, right?  I did laundry, dishes, vacuumed every carpeted surface, swept every non-carpeted surface, scrubbed, wiped, scoured, cleaned the sunporch, cleaned the litterboxes and ferret cage, even spent a very exhausting afternoon prying 4-inch-thick chunks of ice off of our driveway so they'd have someplace to park.  On the day of their visit, I made a triple-batch of enchiladas, and in the process made it necessary to do the dishes, mop, and wipe down the counters all over again.

And they forgot.

Just... pff.  Forgot... Because dinner with family you haven't seen in ages just isn't important enough to worry about or remember. ~_~;;

On a lighter note, it snowed lots and lots, and it was perfect for packing, so I made a snow dragon!  The snow is not good for sculpting anymore, which makes me sad.  I didn't have time to make any of the toadstools or anything I wanted to do as well.
  • Drinking: Diet Dr. Pepper
Another late-night work of art has been added to my gallery!  What is it about my muse that she refuses to work the day-shift? O_O;  Anyways, hope you enjoy my recent submissions, and remember, one man's trash is another man's source of income.
  • Listening to: Ambient Music
  • Reading: Posts on Gaia
  • Eating: A triple-chocolate kit-kat bar
  • Drinking: Water... for a change.
I've had an account on here for years, since before I started signing my work "PrairieGhost", but I never used it because I couldn't figure it out.  Plus, I was loyal to Elfwood, and it seemed kind of silly at the time for me to maintain two galleries at once.

Well, I'm just a teensy bit fed up with waiting two or three MONTHS for my updates to get through at Elfwood, so here I am.  I'm slowly figuring out the site, getting some artwork up for your viewing pleasure, and looking at all the nifty options available here as a deviant artist.

By the way, I do try to make at least a little money off of my art.  Please don't be printing it off on your own computer or slapping it onto coffee mugs and t-shirts or anything like that without discussing it with me first.  I work very hard to produce this artwork, and if it comes to my attention that people are using it against my wishes, I will hurt them, and I will take down my artwork.  That is all.
  • Listening to: Random New Age Musics
  • Reading: Crappy RP posts
  • Drinking: More caffeine than is honestly healthy.