Wednesday, 30 January 2008

New "tags!"

More stuff to put on the website- greeting cards this time. I have found a nice, little, craftily tucked away area that does not interfere with the main workings. Near the bottom, like my footie team. It is great to be able to offer the service, but I have my fingers in more pies than Jack Horner, and cannot afford to be spending all my time on just these! I do enjoy doing these little unique glass art cards. Some of them take longer than regular sized paintings....real fiddly fun.
Mike has spent all his evening sorting out the meta tags (?!) for both the websites. Hopefully Google will start picking us up a bit better now, as we had so much behind-the-scenes gumph we were actually overpowering the system. We are leaner than a racing snake now. He has been extremely clever for someone who hadn't even worked a computer before a few years back. He can show Bill Gates a thing or two now. I'm hoping that when I reach 40, I too, will have some sort epiphany and divine power thrust upon me.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

ACEO example

My painting is staring balefully at me, I swear. It's having another E.A.Poe moment at me. I'm not surprised- it is getting pushed further towards the back of the main desk each day. I will make an effort on it tomorrow, that should stop the sulky vibe it is giving off. It's not that we're being lazy, it's just the day (and night) seems to be taken with lots of peripheral bits. Small, time-stealing things. Like ACEO cards (Art Cards, Editions and Originals.) People love to collect them, and it is big business on the web- ideal for us to promote the websites with. It's all jolly proper too. Signatures and certificates, genuine media and the like! So I have posted an example of one of the online aceo cards above. Today has also been taken up with behind the scenes website work. I took a whole load of photos of the new glass cards I'm doing to upload them onto the new, ready and waiting page (even did an arty-farty set-up to show them off,) only to find I had over-exposed every single shot. I was so confused I didn't even get cross- it's supposed to be an idiot proof camera. Looks like I'll be doing a spot of 'GroundHog Day' tomorrow! (Hope I get things right quicker than Bill Murray.)
I was going to ask Mike if he wanted to say something on the blog, but he is knee-deep in trifold brochures with the the worlds noisiest printer going! Maybe another day?!

Sunday, 27 January 2008


Been 'plating' today- a time-consuming and noxious smelling experience,all in all. Luckily someone's got to do it! Got my 'rolling eyes' on, so this blog will be short and sweet. I am cheating slightly by padding it out with lots of photos...and we all know a picture is worth a thousand words! Ergo this must be a veritable virtual essay, by that reasoning!
We will be spending time tonight looking into ACEO cards, with a view to using proper canvas instead of card. We have seen a few people use this method, but it is quite rare. We are trying to utilise Godzilla the printer in an ever increasing manner- although printing off a 2.5 inch canvas on a 44" beast seems a little odd! Best do a big run, wethinks! Our accountant should be proud we are recycling the canvas offcuts, and it is another advertising tool for self-promotion. Got a feeling it could be a tad fiddly! Lots of rules to learn too.
By the by, my glass valentines cards are selling well here in town, so I shall be adding a new page to the website to cater for smaller items....,,,,but not tonight! Night all, and have a good week.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Happy Birthday!

It's Mem's birthday today, and all we can wish for is we look half as good as her when we're 70- that'll do us nicely! Mems is firstly Mike's mum and my mum-in-law (that's still too formal...she is more of an 'add-i-mum' I think) and not leastly, she is an integral part of SerenArts! She has been named Employee of the Month on many occasions for all the help she tirelessly gives- stepping in at shows, getting new retail outlets for us, plying us with fudge everywhere we go, the list goes on! And always with a smile on her face. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEMS! Bottoms up and all that. They are quite a pair actually, because Peps does all our proof reading AND named us! He's a dab hand at labels too (I wanted to mention Pepe so he doesn't get/feel left out!)
We surreptitiously phoned today to see if her flowers had arrived, and as we were talking the doorbell went. Lo and behold, a bouquet of flowers arrived. Wow! The chances of that happening as we were talking! Mike and I grinned happily at each other stifling our giggles as the envelope was opened.....only to find out it was in fact a HUGE bouquet from someone else! We were speechless for a second! No easy task for us. Although we thought something was amiss when Mems said it was a large bouquet- we only got her some weeny freesias, not great triffid lilies and suchlike! My how we all laughed when our size-challenged flowers arrived...........ohhh yeaaaah!

Sunday, 20 January 2008


What a messy day and a busy old week to boot. Mmm, lovely! Haven't been able to get to the painting- look at the state of my tables... edge to edge creativity! Thought I had a storming idea earlier. I have noticed that although most of the transparent glass paints I use are lovely shiny colours, none of them really glow inwardly. So I wondered if flourescent dyes would work. Found some online medical supplier (Scuddlebutt3!) of all things chemically named- ordered a little selection of wacky sounding laboratory powders and sat down to play this afternoon. I am now orange. More orangey than a Jaffa, indeed, more orange than Dale Winton, William Shatner and all perma-tanned ballroom dancers put together. I am as orange as it gets! I started by mixing just a little of one of the powders into a clear solvent glass paint (Marabu) but was left with quite visible grains in the liquid. The fun started when I strained the concoction through a pair of old nylons! In a split second I fully understood the meaning of the word 'dye' as I became an extra from the Tango adverts. I did actually cover some glassware with the new colour...but also managed to stain my desk, the floor, the sink, my clothing, my left leg and a coffee cup. I shall be making the next batch in a paddling pool, with a full length cagoul and fisherman's waders on!

Monday, 14 January 2008

Raw fingers!

Busy day for Godzilla the printer. We have just printed off and stretched on seven customer canvases today in between all our other work. My fingertips are glowing but what we are really smugly chuffed about is the fact we actually walked somewhere for exercise. Us! Okay, it was only the post office round the corner...but from little acorns etc. Next stop the Olympics, methinks. Is there a 'waffle' category? I could do that for Britain easily!
Not much to say about the picture, except I should be running a book on 'how many minutes total will this finish on' - any takers?! I'm mulling over 53 mins; that feels about right at this moment. That could all change again tomorrow, though!

Sunday, 13 January 2008


Well the dinner party went without a hitch (apart from doing enough food to feed the street!) and the sound of high jocularity actually managed to drown out the noise of the torrential downpour going on outside, which was no mean feat. Woke up to find our town gone! Check out the photos- I have only just painted one view of Bradford on Avon and it's disappeared! Most of the town centre businesses must be badly affected. The river has a habit of bursting it's banks, but we haven't seen anything like this for many,many years. It is so widespread too. In one photo you can just make out the top of a rubbish bin for an indication of how deep the water is. In another, there is supposed to be a bridge that goes over the river...but it has been completely submerged. Even the ducks can't enjoy it- the flow is so fast that they keep getting swept away!
I will get round to posting the picture I am working on later- when I have actually done some more! I can see it out of the corner of my eye. It is getting very Edgar Allen Poe on me.

Friday, 11 January 2008


To excited to write much today because we are entertaining tonight. Rah! I'm clock watching already. One of the good bits about being your own boss is that you can tell yourself when to knock off for the day...but I had better go check with the other "boss!" We must be operating a flexi time system here- finally finished working at about 10pm last night- so by my reckoning we can stop work now, this minute, no more etc! We have a lovely ensemble turning up- so on with the glad rags and oven gloves....let's get a-cookin'!

Thursday, 10 January 2008

New prezzies!

Woot! We got lots of presents for the business today. All sorts of stuff. We had a 'my present is better than your present' moment but compromised on Mike's being bigger, and mine more exciting (well, what can you say to that!) The new boxes for invitations and the like came flat-packed, so Mike had a play at putting them together...I have a feeling I may be making up the rest! They are mainly for postal protection, and a more professional finish to the overall print job, but I think we can utilize them for unique glass cards I'm currently putting together. Mike has also stepped up his global domination of the print world by sourcing beautiful vellum paper, and proper poster paper for all sorts of creative uses for our clients. The company we use for our large format stuff is excellent, and now we will be able to offer choice of finishes for canvases etc. They've got everything, and all superior wares too... which we can now pass on. My presents were lots of new and specialised paints for an added dimension to glass work. I have even got flourescent dyes used in medical practice to mix in with solvent mediums! I have not stopped grinning today, having a wild time with new things is a real treat. I will have to start noting down different permutations of all the various effects for posterity!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

4 mins

Ugh! I look, feel and am grotty today. I honestly cannot remember the last time I got a dose of flu- but here it is now in all it's energy-sapping glory! Still, I feel better than yesterday so mustn't grumble. And Joy! I only have to do one minutes worth of painting. What a result! I have actually done a little work today painting some bud vases, but I am fast becoming a liability....I keep sneezing on them. Mike has on the other hand single-handedly revamped his online shop and caught up on all the little things that a make a big difference to the business. He has definitely put to good use the peace and quiet in the office of me not chattering away to him incessantly! Big Girlie swot!!

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Short and sweet

Just posting this photo tonight and that'll be it. Been playing with smelly glass paints all day, and the old eyes are trying to roll backwards! Must also try and find out how to correct the time on this blog mularky without deleting everything amassed so far. If anyone is out there- have a great week coming. Night all!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Big box, little box, stack the shelf etc!

Rectangle complete- luckily I found my large ruler otherwise there might have been another day to wait. I can put colour on idea of fun these days. We don't get out much! (Although, so saying that we have spent some of the day traveling to Southampton, to drop 'the folks' off on their very exciting world cruise.) I enjoy the run down- lots of rolling plains and historical monuments give way to thatched houses and gorseland, ending up in the hustle of a busy seaport with it's tall cranes and smoking funnels. I have to admit I support Southampton footy team, so that may have something to do with liking to travel there. And on that note.....'well done, men' for the F.A cup round win today! One step nearer!!

Friday, 4 January 2008

Can you guess what it is yet!

How quickly does a minute go when you're disorganised?! I'm going to have to sharpen my act up if this picture is ever going to be ready in under a decade! Mind you maths has never been my strong point and this first minute has been given over to measuring up for a panel in the centre. If you squint hard enough you may just make out a couple of lines- whoa! Life in the fast lane, heh?! I have gone for a mid size canvas and will be using oils and acrylics- nice and messy! I am going to have to find a different place to shoot the next photo as against the window just isn't going to work during sunlight hours... so tomorrows picture will be as it should be "frevvermoor" (going to take that long too!)
Mike and I are celebrating today- our accountant has just told us we have broken even and heading in the right direction. Good news to start the year with. Rah!! Pickled egg and a packet of crisps anyone?

Thursday, 3 January 2008


As of tomorrow I am definitely starting a plan that will ensure I post on a daily basis- well, that's the theory anyway! I am going to get a blank canvas and each day build up a picture by painting it for just one minute a day. Every day, one minute only. I will then take a photo and post it to this blog. After a few weeks it should start to resemble something and be a lot more interesting. Again, that's the theory! Hopefully scrolling down to the bottom of the page and whizzing back up through quickly, will make the picture appear to grow like a flick book! Ah well- here goes for tomorrow!

Happy New Year!

Well first things first- A very Happy New Year to one and all! I hope everyone had as good a time as we had. 2007 was a fantastic year for SerenArts in all it's many faces. Mike's printing beat all previous records and the acquisition of a massive inkjet printer for canvas and giclee prints, will only add to that upward spiral (the machine is so big we call it Godzilla!) My art side really took off, culminating in a great exhibition just before Christmas- lots of sales, interest and nice comments. We were so impressed that everyone else was so impressed, we booked another two exhibitions! I'd better start painting!
On a personal level, 2007 was the best too. After having both my hips replaced earlier that year, I was able to make an honest man of Mike and become a Mrs Pugh! We were married on 7-7-7 so we couldn't forget the date! I doubt anyone else will either... it was the ONLY sunny day in summer! Just as well really as we held our "reception" (a big picnic barbecue) in an enormous camping field at Stowford! Well they say the sun shines on the righteous...!?
Before I sign off today, just a couple of links if you don't already know them.... Mike's printing website Serena's art website

By for now 03-01-08