Sunday Morning Coffee #13

This illustration is by Trina Clark, a wonderful illustrator whose works you can not only appreciate, but purchase for use in your own projects. More about that shortly.

News from Under the Bed . . .

Many of you noticed there was no Sheer Heaven Sale in December – or any other kind of promotion either.

Many of you have noticed me doing some mumbling about what I want to be when I grow up.

Many of you did not notice (and I was hoping you wouldn’t) that I have been absolutely freaking out for the past two and a half months. Sometimes, something happens that delivers a gigantic jolt to the status quo, and your head doesn’t stop shaking for awhile.

But you hang on and see it through. You drink a lot of chardonnay and wax poetic about it all. You process a lot of what-ifs. You think you are going through “Sheer Hell” for awhile, but then you have to put things into perspective. It’s not life or death, after all.

I have been sharing Sheer Heaven with the art and photography world for more than 11 years now. For almost 6 of those years, I’ve been waiting for a shoe to drop. The machinery used to make Sheer Heaven is old. It has been in need of a retooling for a long time, and we have been putting it off.

It got mad at us for ignoring its pain, and it broke.

Then we find out that one of the parts we need to fix it is not made anymore. Can we find an old one hidden away somewhere? Can we find somebody to make the part for us? And how long can that take?

While these questions remained unanswered, I did a lot of thinking. I looked for every kind of solution. I even ran tests on every other synthetic sheet in the world to see if just maybe, anything was enough like Sheer Heaven that it could see us through this crisis.

The answer to that  was a resounding NO. In fact, the silver lining to this whole thing was that I found out how truly miraculous Sheer Heaven is. Nothing has its unique set of qualities, or can do what it does. Nothing even comes close, in fact – and now I know that.

So, when I was presented with the cost of the “fix” for our problem, and fell on the floor from shock, I had to weigh whether it was reasonable for me to lay out that kind of cash to save this product. That was a very difficult decision . . . but I decided that Sheer Heaven is worth it.

Even with the problems solved, we are about six weeks out from having another mill roll, so I have had to make a couple of changes – my first price increase in eleven years, and the suspension of the 100 Pack until we can get our supply replenished.

If you have visited my website lately, you have seen some of this change. You might even have checked in during the time that Sheer Heaven was actually “rationed”! Only 10 Packs for sale, and only one to a customer for a little while there, when I thought it might be the end of the line.

Anyway, all’s well for the time being, and hopefully, we won’t have to do this kind of thing again for a long while.

I have crawled back out from under the bed, and now, let’s hear some good news . . .

Good News . . .

It has long been a belief in the news business that good news doesn’t sell. People want the dramatic and shocking stuff which mostly comes with bad news.

The great thing about the web is that you can go ahead and try things for yourself. You don’t have to wait for the big guys to get around to it. And several innovative websites have proven that good news is indeed a good thing.

The Huffington Post actually has a “Good News” section – which you can find under “More” on their menu bar.

And they just ran a great list of 15 Uplifting Sites that I think you will enjoy exploring:

15 Uplifting Sites

How Well Do You Know Yourself?

OK, the world is full of more self help stuff than we can possibly help ourselves to, but some of it is really worth consideration.

I was first attracted by the way these questions were presented with beautiful photos, and then by how much I had to think to get the answers, and then by what I learned about myself while thinking.

Like this, for example . . .

Wow . . . hmmmm . . . mmmmm . . .  can I get back to you on that one?

Here are 39 more of these on a favorite blog of mine . . .

Marc and Angel Hack Life

Artist of the Week . . .

When I go in search of our Artist of the Week, it is difficult to choose among the truly amazing artists I run into.

So, I usually go for the artist doing work that is right on the edge of unbelievable, and that is certainly true of Simon Beck – who walks these patterns in snow.

HIs story is well told in this blog post on . . .

My Modern Met

Country Clip Art – Amazing Sale . . .

I have used Trina Clark’s artwork in the past when I found it on a clipart subscription site. But then, while I was chasing some other thing around the web, I ran into her own site – full of fabulous illustration.

There are bigger fans of the Country Style than I am (just sayin’), but I found plenty of garden art to love – and use in my store signage, little notecards sets, etc.

Because, you see, Trina Clark (that’s her coffee cup and doughnut up top) has probably the most liberal usage rights I have ever seen.

AND she sells full color or coloring book versions.

AND the art comes in both JPG and PNG formats. The PNG has a transparent background which means you can easily combine images.

AND Trina is having an unbelievable 95¢ Sale through February 29. Not single images, but whole sets for 95¢.

I went overboard. You will too . . .


17 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Coffee #13

  1. Claire Ramsey

    I had no idea what goes into the making of Sheer Heaven! I do not imagine you under the bed though, now I see you at a big desk with a cigar in your mouth talking into an old fashioned black telephone.

    I am in love with Snow Shoe Man. . .


  2. Gill M

    Thanks for another great Sunday morning (or evening in my case…) coffee. And, if I am not mistaken birthday wishes are due – I hope you have a good one Jessica.

  3. jessica Post author

    Claire – you made me choke on my coffee (one must not snort whilst sipping) – a cigar, no less!

    The Snow man is pretty cool, alright, but I bet he has cold feet.

    Last month was the big day, Gill. but thank you so much for the good wishes! I would think it would be tea for you over the pond there.

  4. Louise W

    I am with you Jessica. IF I were drinking coffee, it would be all over the computer!!! But I see it. Amazing visualization. I’m also surprised about sheer heaven. I’m glad you have that resolved so you can move on t another crisis!

  5. Timaree

    I wouldn’t worry about a little price increase. What HASN’T gone up? I’m sure most people won’t think twice about it.

    So Huffington Post has a good news section. I’ll have to go look at it and then I can tell my husband I read his favorite paper! It’s nice to know where to go when you need a “life really has some good in it” fix although I find a lot of good in the artistic world’s blogs.

    Happy Sunday and also, happy belated birthday!

  6. MarionE, Australia

    Thanks, Jessica. I love the treasures you unearth and share with us. Snowshoe art – who would have thought…?

    Very sorry to hear of your troubles with the Sheer Heaven machinery, but relieved for you, and for all the art community, that you’ve been able to continue.

  7. Linda Swanekamp

    Thank you for still making Sheer Heaven. So many of the media that I have used in the past are technologically gone. I had a marvelous illustration technique using the drafting mylars with brown line prints (the ammonia machine) and prismacolor pencils. The paper, the toning , etc. were perfect. Now the machines are gone. I have been trying to use low tech media for my artwork because I do not want to be tech dependent. If they take silk screen photo emulsion off the market, I am sunk. I am getting back into old, mechanical sewing machines, and simple media to create art.

  8. Betty

    Thanks Jessica for the link to DigiScraps. Visited the site and left a few $’s. By the way Loved the PSE workshop..Letting that soak in, before I try the next one.Old dogs can learn new tricks, just a little slower.:)

  9. jessica Post author

    Hi Linda,
    Just want to let you know that Sheer Heaven is the greatest thing for colored pencil work because the tooth is like no other – DEEP – and does not flatten.

    Also, it is already an off white, but a short time soaking in coffee will give you a whole range of taupe tones (depending on time soaked).

    In fact, this is important stuff, and I think I will be putting this info in the blog because we have not talked about it for awhile.

  10. Linda N


    Do you have one single place with all the little tidbits and discoveries for Sheer Heaven?

    Linda N

  11. jessica Post author

    Linda – no, I haven’t got it all in one place – that is something I am working on. Meanwhile the Sheer HEaven Pages on my website get you a lot of info.

    Paula – I did respond to you and wondered why I never heard back. I actually did have some sheets on hand that could have served your purpose. When I didn;t hear from you, they went into the emergency pile.

    But my mill rolls come in a certain size and we cannot afford waste by cutting sheets that don’t fit evenly. I will have some of the new roll converted to the same large sheets as last time (17×22 and 22×34) but not a lot – most has to be cut letter size for most people’s desk top printers.

  12. Barbara D

    I find it so amazing the amount of talent in this group. Jessica – you are such an inspiration and wealth of information. I saw a card the other day that said something like this: When I’m going through a tough time, I try meditating. Same thing as ‘ignoring people’, except while I sit crosslegged on the floor. Hang in there. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a big gathering where we could all meet? I know ‘one more thing’.

  13. Melanie Fincher

    Jessica, you mention that the coffee and donut art was by Trina Clark. I contacted her and she says it is not hers. I am desperately trying to find out whose it is as I want to use it for my bakery. Can you help me?

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