Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday!

For three days the Welburn Gourd farm is having a 15% off sale. We took advantage of this sale to get the 3d sander.

Also this is a good time to note that the 15th Annual Gourd Art Festival will be the final show by the Welburn Gourd farm. For more info:

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, November 28, 2010


Well we meant to get that stained glass barrette tutorial up on Etsy today but got busy making peacock feather earrings instead. We have 6 pairs made and 2 up on Etsy. Once they sell we will put up more!
It is SO HARD to photograph peacock feathers! We use the natural sunlight outside and place them on contruction paper. If anyone has any tips please oh please share them =)
On another note when I try to view blogger stats it says I need to reload. Don't know why. I guess blogger stats isn't working?

Join us on Twitter:!/Desert2Forest

Great holiday gift at only $5!

Tomorrow is my daughter's birthday! We'll be busy, but we'll try to get that tutorial up!


At the peddlers fair we sold peacock feathers. Now we are selling Peacock Feather Earrings! Only $5 a pair. The peacock has to earn his keep around here. The food cost adds up. We adopted the poor little guy from a neighbor after their other peacocks beat him up. He only sheds his gorgeous feathers once a year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Photographing Shiny Art

We had a hard time photographing the gourds to make them look nice. The shiny ones were the hardest. There was so much glare and lighting issues. I found a link to a tutorial from the forum for gourd photographing. Tutorial:

It had a lot of helpful tips. The one I'm anxious to try out is using hairspray on shiny gourds to make it more dull and easy to photograph.

Hopefully my gourd photos start looking better! Wish me luck =)


Cheaper than hairspray, but hey I already have hairspray.

This stuff by Krylon apparently works too and its removable like hair spray.

The holidays are coming the holidays are coming!

Hopefully businesses will boom during the holiday time! All businesses not just mine. =P

We're currently working on a new gourd art. It has pine cone and pine needle design burned into it and pine needle basketry on the top. Its almost done! We'll be posting it on Etsy with free shipping.

Tomorrow we plan to make a PDF tutorial. How to Make a Stained Glass Barrett. It will be for sale on Etsy for $5.The barrettes are gorgeous and unique. The barrette made in the tutorial will also be for sale.

We have an Astore now! Our store by amazon is located on the bottom of this blog or at:
The main categories at the bottom have some of our art related faves. Great deals on gourd art materials, gourd seeds, paints, business supplies, office supplies, tools and much more. So if you are looking for some awesome gifts (for yourself... and ya other people too) at low Amazon prices check it out. 

I'll be looking for someone's astore to be shopping from for holiday gifts this year. I also like to help out small businesses and people who work from home. Shopping from an astore is probably the easiest way to! Link me your astore in the comments so I can check it out! 

Shopping yesterday during Black Friday sure was... fun... The night before we compared the sale prices from the sale papers we got to the prices on Amazon. We found that amazon was the same price or cheaper and we were able to scratch most of the items and stores off our list. There was still some stuff to go to the stores for. I don't like buying clothing online and I'm getting my daughter bedding for Christmas this year so we went to JCPenny to pick that out. We were not impressed at all with the sale prices in the stores. However JCPenny did give us some free stuff! So that was nice. We received a cute little free gift as we entered the store and a bottle of water and candy canes while waiting in line at the register. We also got free scissors when we entered JoAnns. We didn't get why everyone was lined up outside but we went ahead and lined up. Good thing we did then too. The people right behind us were the last to get the scissors. When I heard someone in line talking about the free scissors I thought they would be funky but its actually good quality. Even though we had gotten to the store at 4 AM it was already very crowded! Best Buy was TOO crowded. It was like Disney Land on a Saturday before the recession started. It was too hard to look at anything so we just left. 

We agreed not to do that again next year. It was nice to see so many people out shopping though. Last year at Black Friday it was pretty dead. We did go later in the day last year though. 

Hope you guys had a fun Black Friday =)


Friday, November 26, 2010

Learning How to Run a Small Business

So far my journey has been fun but I could use a lot of help. If anyone has any tips or tricks for selling on Etsy or how to promote an online store for free or very cheap I would be super appreciative.

I read that you can get more traffic to your sites using social networking. I've made accounts on almost all of the popular sites like Facebook and Twitter. I've got this blog (obviously) but what now? How do I bring traffic to my social network pages and this blog in order to promote my store?

I was also wondering what kind of success other people have on Etsy.

The fun stuff. Purchased a postal scale from Amazon. I was looking at one on the United States Postal site but it was $40 and only went up to 10 or 13lbs. Found one on amazon for $22 and it goes up to 75lbs.
Here it is:

It had a lot of 5 star reviews so I'm really excited to get it! Its going to make calculating shipping cost so much easier! I can also print postage on the postal site and have them come and pick up the package all from my home!

I found the scale I wanted very quickly. The slow part was finding something else to buy to get the total to $25 for the Free Super Saver shipping. I ended up choosing this gourd art book: The Complete Book of Gourd Craft: 22 Projects. I hope its good! If anyone knows any really good gourd books please leave a comment! I'm always looking for great books on gourds and pine needle baskets. There is so much you can learn from books!

Here is that book in case you want to check it out!

I love to share deals I find with others and I hope eventually I'll have some readers telling me about some good deals they came across!

I would really love to start networking hopefully soon I figure out this blogging thing! Haha

Also I ordered some free priority boxes from the postal site. Not the flat rate ones, wow those are expensive to mail! But the free boxes are nice! I don't mind paying a tiny bit more to send priority over parcel post if my customers can get their package sooner. Good customer service is so important! Small family businesses like mine thrive off of word of mouth!

Thanks for reading.  


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Our First Sale!

Our first official sale on Etsy happened less than 24 hours after we opened the store! We didn't expect it to happen so fast. After running around like chickens with our unprepared heads cut off we found a box and took the package to the post office. I hope our 1st customer receives the package soon and loves their new pine needle basket! We're going to have to get crackin' making more art and putting more things in the store.

Our new items:
This gorgeous stained glass angel $50
The English Gentleman Painted Gourd $5
This cute Dog Painted Gourd $5
The Little Old Lady Gourd The perfect gift for the little old lady in your life at only $5.

The Shy Angel Stained Glass Suncatcher
If our stained glass is successful we'll have much more to offer!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Free Shipping

In preparation to open our Etsy store we researched shipping prices. There is a nifty tool on the postal site that lets you calculate and print postage. We checked the price to mail one gourd to California and to Maine. The price varied from $5 to $35 for the two destinations. We have no idea which state our buyers will happen to be located in. Instead of trying to find a shipping price to help us cover that cost we decided to just offer free shipping! Everyone loves free shipping. Our pine needle baskets which cost $5+ to ship we will only charge $3 for shipping. Our little way of appreciating your business!

Our Etsy Store:
Follow us on facebook:

Our First Post Ever!

We are completely new to blogging so bear with us! Desert to Forest Art Gallery features mostly Gourd Art and Pine Needle Baskets. We are a mother-daughter team hoping to sell our work and the work of our good friend Jeannie. The purpose of our blog is to promote our Etsy store, share tips and tricks with others artists, provide tutorials to our readers and discuss different art tools.

Once we reach a certain number of followers here or "likes" on our Facebook page we will be offering coupon codes usable at our Etsy store, so keep an eye out for that!

We hope you enjoy our art!