Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com
Yesterday was a fairly successful day, I sold four chairs and was commissioned to antique the finish on them along with six other chairs that the customer already owned. I also spent the day putting sale prices on certain pieces and deciding which ones will come home with me.
What I need to learn now is how to effectively sell items online, and that may have to start with a new blog and a more catchy/appropriate/search friendly blog title.
Well...........I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I'm pretty sure its time to let go of the studio space. The owners have been more than generous in letting me in there knowing I couldn't afford the rent (and over looking it).......I think they had more faith than I did that I could make it work. The truth is I've just now paid my apartment rent 10 days late......the business licensing is up for renewal, quarterly taxes on sales are due, no sales equals no money to buy new inventory or pay the aforementioned. I'll now get fines and penalties for the unpaid taxes and its just going to continue to snowball out of control. I can't even afford to put the ink in the printer to make my own postcards to mail out.........ha, then of course there's postage........its time to let go.
I'll put an ad online and try to sell the inventory as a lot.
Here are the silhouette palm trees I did on Friday ....a pretty bold statement.
They also asked for palm trees in the master bedroom but only wanted me to use chosen colors (by them) from the curtains and bed linen.
This morning I'm off to look at a previous clients daughters room....their request?.......a tropical mural.
There was a little bit of traffic in the shop today but no sales, just lots of compliments.
I worked on my mailing list this morning. A regular client of mine loaned me his copy of the Palm Beach Social Directory before he left for his summer home up north and I've been photo copying it so I can get it back to him when he returns. The book is full of information... addresses, phone #'s, email addresses, I feel so lucky to have this. The season will be starting soon and I will be designing a postcard to send out.
I did a quick little painting on the small table top chest of drawers in the afternoon and got it out on the floor....
I finished painting the second of the twin beds.......
And I finally started on the large drop leaf table, but I have a feeling its going to go home with me when its finished....
Tomorrow its back to the house I was working in on Friday and then Monday I'm going to another previous clients home to talk about a new mural for her daughters room.....they grow up so fast!
I'll spend the entire day at the shop today. Yesterday I worked in a home where I had painted several palm trees a few years ago.
The home owners needed/wanted to repaint the walls but were anxious about losing the palm trees........they actually had friends offer to come and carefully paint around each palm tree, a daunting task indeed. They were delighted to find out that I had returned to So Florida and managed to track me down.
Their taste however had changed and I was asked to do the trees as before but in silhouette. Yeessss.........I forgot to take the after picture, but I'm returning there tomorrow to do some palm trees in the master bedroom and will take a few shots then.

I had a 'moment' in the shop a couple of weeks ago.....pissed me off. I go to the shop everyday and look at all my work sitting on the floor and hope that someone will come in and make a purchase as I'm slowly slipping behind in rents and bills and licensing renewal and taxes that are past due. Then someone comes in, wants a piece and asks......"Is this your best price?" or "Will you take ____ instead?" or "Can you do better on the price?" DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A YARD SALE??????? My prices are already rock bottom. Sorry but with all the work that goes into refurbishing these pieces AND doing the artwork?........I feel totally offended, its an embarrassing and awkward moment between shop owner and potential client. So..........I decided to make it less awkward on us both...............
Still no one coming into the shop, which translate into still no rent money. So now my brain is stuck in ....is this really going to work, or will I suffer the same fate everyone else has who have tried to run a business from this space and end up closing it down.
With the exception of 08 and 09 I've lived in Florida, in the same area, for over twenty years and I've never been to the local Swap Shop which is held at the only remaining drive-in movie theater for miles around............I'm going today! I'm going not to shop, but to see what they sell there, could this be a different outlet for selling my work. They are open four days a week, Sat., Sun., Mon., and Thursdays from 6am to 2pm.
Yesterday I took a break from sitting alone in the shop and ran out to yes, that favorite thrift shop of mine.....I just needed to get out! And yes, I was bad and spent $8 I shouldn't have spent, but in my defense I know (eventually) I can get that $8 back and then some. I found this very retro 70's desk, at least that's the era it reminds me of.
Found this similar desk from Ethan Allen that was in the HGTV 2009 Dream House cost?.........a mere $1799.
Another here at bernsfryltd.com no price/sold, but listed as mid-century.
And this one at 1stdibs.com no price listed but says circa 1940's, so I'm learning this design has been around for awhile and is still popular today.......and is called a campaign desk.
Alright........back from the Swap Shop and it is clearly not a place where I could sell my things, but it was fun to finally see what it was about.

Got that second small table done today, did a little trompe l'oeil on the table top. Think I should have done two place settings?
I basically spent the day repainting pieces that I had painted black.......a large coffee table....a black top on a dining table. Hopefully now they will appeal to the locals who seem to reaaalllly love their white distressed furniture.
Tomorrow I'll just continue to work on projects that I've been putting off. I can't purchase any new treasures until I sell some pieces and get my rent paid (due yesterday :-(
I'm still avoiding the gigantic drop leaf table but managed to get two other smaller tables that have been sitting on the floor for too long started.
This one was painted black and distressed and didn't seem to appeal to anyone, not much personality I suppose, so I tried something a bit different. We'll see how this goes over.
The other was this attempt at the MacKenzie-Childs look, never really liked it myself so no heartache in painting this one over (except for all the coats of paint its taking to cover this!).
Happy Birthday Dain Johnson!!! I can not believe my son is turning 40 today! His wonderful wife Naomi surprised him with a trip to New York City and I've been following their adventures via his facebook page.....what fun. Have a great day son :-)
The last couple of days have been spent painting chairs, chairs, and more chairs!
Today will be spent tackling some other projects I've been putting off.......a huge drop leaf table and repainting some pieces that have been sitting on the showroom floor for too long, hopefully making them more appealing to customers.
Great productive day yesterday....got one of the set of twin beds finished
got the small chest done although.......the paint swelled the doors so I need to plane them down a bit so they'll close properly
and I got a desk (that I forgot to show in my 'finds') done.
I even had time to perk up the paint on my floor, its amazing how quickly a painted white and black floor can become distressed.....looks good on furniture, not so much on a showroom floor. I'm now ready to focus all my attention on Celena, my mural student this week.


Today its back to the studio to try and knock out the furniture pieces I brought in the other day. Yesterday I finished up the custom order for a client, a very dark wood bed to a distressed white finish.
And I got the little bookcase ready for sale.
Also have the little tiny table top chest ready for its artwork.
I found out that my bid for the 5'x 70' mural "was probably more than we want to spend", so that's a bit disappointing. I thought my price was pretty fair for all its complexity (an Atlantic City casino themed collage mural), but it seems they are basing what they should be paying on their experience with an artist who had done work for them in the past. Apparently they had a 10'x 105' mural done a few years ago for a mere $7500. (and as they said "when murals were more in demand".....huh?!) and my bid for the 5' x 70' was just a thousand dollars less than that. I really wish I could see that mural.
This experience has confirmed for me that I will only work on mural projects where a budget is disclosed. I will not waste my time in these ridiculous bidding wars anymore. You like my work.......you know your budget........we can get it done. You just want the cheapest artist?............look somewhere else.
Today was spent making the thrift shop rounds, picking up a few new pieces for the shop. The small chest will get the same treatment I give my full size ones, a white finish with a scene on the front. Love the little ballet silhouette and the old child's tea set. I'm also a fan of hammered aluminum and 'silver'ware.
I got this old piece for $10.....someone has already messed with the original finish and changed out the knobs (which I'll replace) so I won't feel guilty about painting it.
drawer joints
Yesterday I found two twin bed headboards and I was happy with just that, but then today I went back to the same place and there were the foot boards! I was so excited to find them and I love the slight curve in the foot board. They will both get painted white and distressed.....they'll be very sweet.
Found a sweet little bookcase for three bucks.
And finally four chairs for $12.
I also got some work done on a custom paint job on a bed for a client...should wrap that up tomorrow.
And finally, I started getting set up for my private student coming in from NC, class starts Monday......looking forward to it.
A good busy day :-)
So I'm done with this for now, there are always things I could add to it (and probably will :-).....bring some of the grass down the rest of the wall, just bits here and there......fill out those vines a little, they look a little sparse, but I need to turn my attention to other projects that I've put on hold to do this. It's certainly not my most complex piece of work, but the neighborhood is delighted with the change....the consensus being everyone disliked that dreadful yellow and white.
Just for fun I added a little doorbell and a lizard by the back door.
Today I'll be working on that sketch for the 70' mural so I can get a quote off to the 'potential' client.
Got a lot done today but ......auuuuuggghhhhh......not everything. Still another half day or so. Finished the sign, brought back the spider monkey, put vines between the other windows. Tomorrow I'm just going to add some light purple passion flowers to the vines and add a palm tree on either side of the back door to Jackie and Crickets studio, then done!
I've got a bed to paint tomorrow and that sketch to get started.
Slight change in design.....after talking with one of the buildings owners about getting more awareness for my shop, he came up with the idea of a directory....how smart!
So I'm replacing the cartouche I had done with a new directory.
Still working on it...Mother Earth Coffee looks a little un-level, odd cause I was using one, but I'll tweak that and finish off the rest of the ornament on the top.....add back the spider monkey that was on the original artwork (a couple of years ago) that got painted over and then get the foliage knocked out.
Got a lot of help today from the girls next door...that's Jackie waving and Cricket, and that's Dean, he lives upstairs and has been a professional painter so he came down to help.....how nice :-) Notice all that awful yellow is gone and the sills have all been painted white.....what a difference!
Really hope to finish this all up today, I have some work waiting for me.....custom painting a bed and getting a sketch together for a 70' long mural....whoo-who!! Here's hoping it doesn't rain.
Today's progress. These will be between all the windows, and will be bougainvillia when finished.......not sure I spelled that right?