Thursday, March 26, 2015

Big Changes at YazBerry

Dear fans and friends, and those that are one in the same,

I regret to announce that after a few years of tragically slow sales on my one-of-a-kind handmade clothing and purses, I am going to take a break from the production of aforementioned products. I cannot compete with the prices of mass produced goods overseas that many are demanding of me.

I am an independent artisan. That means I imagine the item, source the materials (online, out driving from store to store, anywhere I can find goods), design the item, I draft a pattern when appropriate or make the item directly on the dress form, I cut, assemble and sew each item, I photograph each item, sometimes many times since I am an amateur photographer at best, I write copy and descriptions of each item, I measure each item, I upload images to the internet, I make my own advertising materials with my basic paint and Microsoft Publisher software, I write blog entries, I promote my own work on facebook and twitter, I try to convince buyers at craft fairs that my work is worthy of your hard earned money, I build display props (which involves sourcing materials, figuring out how to make my idea functional, trouble shooting, rebuilding, redesigning...repeat), I set up my own booth at fairs...the list goes on. I am a Jane of All Trades....literally. All of this while working full time day jobs!

Needless to say, to keep up with the cost of living I need to earn more than minimum wage for all of this work and am not coming anywhere near that. My purses and clothes have been sold at production cost (materials and some labor (and barely)) for the past 10 years because when I raise the prices to a profitable number I experience no sales. I cannot sustain this business model. I love designing purses and clothing, but without a customer base it is a labor of love in vain.

What does this mean? I am not going out of business. I am shifting gears. I will continue making fabulous jewelry and will also continue with the new baby shoes and accessories line. I will consider custom orders on purses and clothing on a case by case basis. I will also consider custom quilting projects, though be prepared to pay what they are worth ($500 - $1500+).

I have been in the process of relocating to a different country for the last 2 years. Once that process is finalized, I will reevaluate my creative pursuits again and may launch a new line. I've wanted to design high end, fashion forward, performance outerwear for many years and may finally be able to take some design classes to learn about some of the technology out there that may make this process doable, though I will not be sewing these pieces from scratch but intend to source a domestic sewing shop to produce them.

As my personal friends are aware, I have been slowly auctioning off at deep discounts, and now finally am giving away, the rest of my handmade purse and clothing inventory. This decision has been extremely difficult for me (simply facing the loss of potential income...not to mention confessing that I failed). Just today I gave away a hand stitched leather piece for free that I know should sell for $300! This decision and my failing business has caused me too much stress, anxiety and depression. It is time to move forward with new ideas.

I want to thank you for your continued interest in my creative pursuits and support over the last decade (can you believe it, YazBerry will be 10 years old in May!). YazBerry has been an interesting ride and I hope you will continue following me as my creative direction shifts in the next few years.

Please continue following me on facebook I am too active there and you will have the most up to date news. You can shop my existing inventory right from my photo albums. I accept payment via PayPal invoices (all major credit cards - no need to even have a PayPal account) and I will ship worldwide. 

Thank you,


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

#liberateyourart Postcards Sent Today!

I've finished my postcards and after some frustrating printing mishaps from Fedex office online (BE VERY CAREFUL and put lots of info in notes in your online order because apparently simply clicking on the document type postcards does not guarantee you a postcard sized print...not a user friendly website at all...go to a retail place and pay the little extra to guarantee you get what you want...)

All images are Copyright Virginia E. Berry 2015 and are my original designs. 

Here they are!

Two lucky artists in the postcard swap #liberateyourart will get my favorite painting from this exercise.

I now have 8.5 x 11 prints of these images...that I felt compelled to purchase even though they intended to shred them due to the mistake (It just felt so wasteful and since it is my art I thought I'd take them since I NEVER reproduce my paintings...though sadly the edge of the Rat Baby Love image is slightly cut off where the text is...wanh wanh). I am happy to share with you if you want one :) I can have others printed too. Just contact me and name your price. Prints are $1.49 plus postage and envelope so you have an idea of my expense (not to mention labor and creativity but your price ;) ) I may work on the scans of the images with the all white backgrounds to get the shadows out from where the page was warped from watercolors. 

Sweet handwritten messages to the unknown artist recipients.

And the envelope off to Kat Sloma the organizer and facilitator of this fun project. I hope I remember to sign up again next year. Looking forward to art in my mailbox! 

Also very excited about the vintage circus poster stamps the Post Office had! You can buy your own. I want to send more mail just so I can use these....seriously considering stock piling them since they are forever stamps now. They had me at the stripey clown tights! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day from the Rat Babies #liberateyourart

My husband and I both sent cute rat themed valentines to each other independently (we are in different countries at the moment). Here was my contribution.

I skype with with husband and our 3 pet rats everyday. Dumbo and Baby are cage mates and he was holding them about like this the other day and it made me think of this image. Sometimes they wrap their tails around things like little hands so the tips do curl like that (artistic liberty on the placement ;) )

All images copyright Virginia E. Berry 2015

Sunday, February 08, 2015

And the Award for Artistic Insomnia Goes to Last Night and the 6:30 AM Bedtime #liberateyourart

I prefer working on creative projects at night. No pretty birds in the yard to distract me. No one to bother me. Not much of interest on TV. That warm, delightful silence that the darkness offers after everyone else is asleep. Best working hours always.

Last night apparently my sketchbook practice turned into a much more elaborate effort than I had anticipated...bedtime ended up being 6:30 AM...just before sunrise so at least it was dark when I shut my eyes.

Here is the painting that true insomnia produced. All images copyright Virginia E. Berry 2015

Again, rough images taken with my cell phone. Better images another day. My laborious, whimsical sketchbook addition:

Close up of raw crystal crown, an idea I've had for a while for a jewelry project.

Pocket pet rat baby on an arrow that reads "Big ideas constantly swarm me"

Rumination text in bird reads: "My mind is swarming with big ideas, they keep me up at night. Like a constant fight, I rarely sleep for fear of losing the good ones. The ones I ruminate on for hours on end, I try to write down, to capture, like wild creatures I hope to cultivate into remarkable contributions. My meager marks on this world. I know we race through this short life, and with that I hope to leave it better than when I entered it. Some nights my thoughts wake me in the middle of my dreams, demanding I record them. I am of simple means, extravagant dreams and humble talent. I read, study and practice constantly, seeking a way to launch my dreams into the universe."

Friday, February 06, 2015

Liberate Your Art Sketchbook Practice #liberateyourart

I'm participating in #liberateyourart this year and haven't done hardly any drawing or painting in almost 15 years (wow, shameful!). I pulled out an old sketchbook that had some blank sheets left and did some artistic explorations last night in the middle of the night. (Most creative in the silent, dark hours). All images are my original work and copyright Virginia E. Berry 2015

These are quick cell phone photos and the color/grain is not great. Another day when I decide which I will make into postcards for the Liberate Your Art project, I will take better images. For now I am practicing drawing and painting and exploring technique as it has been a looong time and my skills are rusty. I like these paintings but know there's more impressive something in there...

Text reads: "Is there a line where the soul ends and the universe begins?"

Text reads: "I ruminate my dreams away hoping not to lose my visions and ideas like petals in the wind..."

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Liberate Your Art Postcard Exchange Project

I've signed up for this cool art exchange project. It's free, your only expense is materials to make your postcards and postage. There is both a facebook event page and info on the organizer's website

Join us!

I plan to explore this ink and water color technique I used for my friend's self-portrait postcard project last year.

Liberate your art image copyright Kat Eye Studio 2015 and available at the above facebook link 1.29.15 
Self Portrait watercolor my original art work. Copyright Virginia E. Berry 2015

Friday, November 14, 2014

Still Time to Get Your Orders in For Baby Shoes Before the Holidays

I've been busy batch processing baby shoes the last few weeks. I am caught up on my outgoing orders and am taking on more orders that I will be able to finish for you before the holidays. Need some baby shoe inspiration? I've put together this collection of fancy fabrics perfect for holiday dress up. 

Kimono baby shoes and Casual baby shoes start at $30 and for $2 you can add on an ankle strap to the Kimono style and for $5 you can add a cushioned neon green leather sole to either style (plain suede soles available for $5 as well, fabric and coated non-skid fabrics included in $30 price). 

TO ORDER: Contact Virginia to discuss your options.

Color descriptions:
1. Deep red shiny brocade with small flowers and vines.

2. Red paisley brocade with metallic gold.

3. Deep red satin with black flocked velveteen damask print.

4. White satin with black flocked velveteen damask print.

5. Vintage Japanese kimono obi, red floral motif with metallic gold.

6. Vintage Japanese kimono obi, screen printed black with gold metallic geometic design.

7. Vintage Japanese kimono obi, dark blue with gold metallic medallions and stripes.

8. Pink and green bold Asian floral printed black cotton.

9. Lavender with dark purple flowers, brocade with silver metallic.

10. Green brocade with medallions and gold metallic.

11. Aqua paisley brocade with silver metallic.

12. Light aqua satin with chocolate brown flocked velveteen damask.

13. Vintage Japanese kimono obi, white with gold metallic screen printed linear design.

14. Vintage Japanese kimono obi, striped black, gold and red metallic.

15. Vintage Japanese kimono obi, black screen printed with gold and silver metallic geometric design.

16. Vintage Japanese kimono obi, textured red and black lacy design.