Quick note – July 2023

Etsy July 4 sale is over.

But there are still deals to be had on my Etsy shop for those willing to place a larger order. Right now until end of July, the following rules apply shop wide:

10% off all orders over $20.

15% off all orders over $30.

Free shipping on all orders over $35 (this has been true for years and will remain true after July)

20% off all orders over $45.

25% off orders over $60

30% off orders over $75.

If you want to buy a ton of items – custom print orders of large scale, etc, this is a good opportunity to do so.

When this July opportunity is over, we’ll head into August and throughout August the deal shifts into a similarly experimental ‘flash deal mode’ – daily deals become the norm – with a random number generator picking five really random listings to discount by equally random amounts anywhere in the range from 5-55%. Every night at midnight the set of discounted listings will change. Could be fun and if you time it right it’s entirely possible you could nab a ridiculous deal on an item you want at some point that month!

Finally, early September is Labor Day sale time, and *everything* will be over 15% off. Exact numbers TBD but… certain listings that have gone nowhere for a long time will see drastic discounts of up to 70%. That is pretty nuts!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MatthewLHornbostel – once again, here is the Etsy link.

Bad news and good news despite it

I’ve been so swamped with Etsy orders some of them have been sent out pathetically late. So… of $600+ in sales this month, roughly $200 of that total will be refunded, more with orders that were over a day or two later than estimated.

This of course means all pay and profit for the month is now gone, in my attempts to resolve all the piled up complaints. The month has had well over 100 hours of Etsy work involved and I’ve earned nothing.

Upside: the buyers are generally all getting the items they ordered, even if later than is acceptable. And they get usually anywhere from 30-55% of their order value refunded in problem cases.

Downside: This consumed a lot of time and cash on my end so that now I cannot reasonably give family members a decent Christmas this year AND realistically release a debugged version of Vivid Minigolf in 2022, so that little indie game is being delayed. It is being pushed back to a projected release on Feb. 23, 2023. This lets me get that launch done right even if it is later than everyone was hoping.

I can still pledge this: HornbostelVideos.com and TriumphantArtists.com will be nicely overhauled before the end of 2022, among several other sites. And yes, I know, they were supposed to be ready in mid October. But the Etsy chaos has delayed a lot of things.

The weirdest note though here is that it seems the economy is tanking fast or something. I saw the sale activity was frenzied for the first 2/3 of October and after that just kind of… drop off a cliff the past week starting Oct. 23… which is very weird. Possibly ominous. Especially given that the Etsy shop is now set with everything 15% off or more, and yet I went full 180 from insanely overloaded with orders to suddenly wondering where everyone went as soon as the sale began.

And it isn’t like there have been a pile of bad reviews so far. I managed to resolve most complaints at least passably, and the total number of ratings has gone up 18% since the month began. They’ve been still all positive somehow.

I am really unsure what is going on here.

And if you’re wondering, delays were NOT just me overloaded with orders.

At one point the printer flat out stopped working for a while, and only printed the cyan and yellow. I tried a ton of easy, then increasingly weird long shot fixes until hitting on one that (thankfully) worked, involving temporarily dismantling some parts in the printer and using Q tips dipped in distilled water to scrub specific areas in the printer. That printer malfunction delayed a bunch of orders and is responsible for a substantial chunk of the current delays.

Otherwise, nothing extremely odd. Just a few shipping and packaging issues, including a damp package that had to be redone/reprinted at one point (got wet because USPS didn’t pick it up in a timely manner, it just sat there for hours on end and was damaged) occasional lag and freezes in Photoshop, and a ton of stress trying to clear out the (still partially present) backlog of orders.

Yes, I am pulling two all nighters this week and yes, I am finally almost caught up with every order that has been placed.

I’m really sorry about how all this has played out for everyone. I tried to handle this well but things did not work out in anything close to an ideal way and I apologize for all the terrible missteps I have made here.

Update – new art, new listings and a big sale boom from Thanksgiving through Dec. 20.

Thanksgiving to Christmas:

15-20% off all printing services

40-50% off papercraft and handmade art on canvas

60-70% off digital products.

PLUS – extra 10% off orders above $35 WITH free shipping included too!

Or if the order is over $50 in value, the extra 10% savings grows to 15% (!) making this the best pricing on large orders in a LONG time. 35% off big print orders potentially!

I’ve run through a few tough challenges in October, order pileups and scattered delays, refunds, even fully replacing my printer. But now things are finally running smoothly again and I am so excited about how the future looks here. ūüôā

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MatthewLHornbostel

Papercraft miniatures

I’m moving forward on a range of print products for sale on Etsy.

Art prints, posters, booklets, and – interestingly – papercraft miniature designs for use in model railroads and other scale models.

Related to that news, I’ve redesigned NScaleScenery.com, a long-dormant website, with a new layout and new content. Take a look at that if interested.

Some products, we’ll note, won’t be active until I have a high-quality large-format printer at home. So don’t expect big poster art or cardstock print sets above N scale until about a month or two from now.

The plan as it currently stands:

N, Z, T scale papercraft designs, the first British set anyway, will all be finalized and all listed – I’m pretty sure – within the next 48 hrs. The N scale listings already are viewable on Etsy.

I’m continuing to make some slight adjustments and these explain the occasional inconsistencies in the existing posted photos on Etsy. The clock on the ‘town hall’ building is now smaller, and not oversized. The church is being reworked to change the tower to a [more conventional looking] bell tower. And print contrast and sharpness has improved due to a few recent changes as well. Expect the showcase photos to be updated in the next day or two to reflect the last-minute improvements.

Posters and booklets are a ways off, but I can say that the booklets are VERY extensive and cover a vast range of my artworks over the past 20 years, in four volumes, and they’ll include a great deal of material not accessible to the public elsewhere. Some really cool and quirky stuff will be shown there. There was a cover design rendered in 3d for this, that incidentally is viewable and has been for some time, somewhere on one of my Pinterest boards. It’s the design titled ‘The Triumphant Artist’.

Posters – I noticed that creative maps are popular on Etsy and I’m well aware that the ‘cartoony’ stylized depictions of states, cities, and the landmarks within them, are perennial print sellers. I have been developing a concept of ‘3d-rendered’ versions of those sorts of things. The first one I’m doing? Texas, as it’s a huge state with a lot in it, and it’s a place that has a sort of independent state-pride streak that few other states have. So I’ve taken it upon myself to create a map graphic in 3d, complete with dozens of notable landmarks depicted in a somewhat stylized sort of 3d style, relatively prominent form all over the 3d, topographically realistic terrain. The map as a whole is very high quality, purely in pixel count terms we’re talking about a resolution of the source digital file, that is over 24k total image resolution. In other words, sharp and packed with details even though it’s covering an entire 13″ by 19″ poster surface!

More European building-set designs for papercrafters will arrive on Etsy in time for Valentine’s Day in February, potentially including some of the following:

-French city and rural buildings like those seen in Paris.

Amsterdam styled colorful buildings. And a windmill?

-Swiss Alps, architecture

-Venetian / Italian coastal town architecture

-Greek architecture as typical of places like Santorini, plus some ruins.

-Castles, with modular walls and drawbridges, of a generically Western-European sort, complete with banners and other medieval detailing.

If the miniatures sell decently out of the gate (even despite a few issues admittedly at the start) I might be able to justify expanding the product line to include HO and O scale by the end of February. I will also make an effort, in that event, to add other parts of the world beyond the European styles I’ve started this with. If you’re wondering what all this looks like, here’s one of the early diorama photos I’ve posted:

N scale diorama with some of my [admittedly somewhat shoddily assembled] buildings.

I encourage you to check the new website:

www.NScaleScenery.com

And maybe browse Etsy for cool new products this next month? There will be some interesting new things there, and yes, including a few new handmade original artworks soon as well. I haven’t given up painting!:

Etsy – watch for a new sale to start in early February up through Valentine’s Day!

In answer to a couple of recent queries:

No, no sale for Valentine’s Day on Itch.IO – sorry. But I haven’t stopped work on the stock media or the indie game dev stuff. Far from it! Right now, in fact, I’m about to submit the first collection of my stock media content to the Unity Asset Store! And then on the game dev side, well, just know there’s a great deal going on there too, and while I failed to post much new in December-January there should be some major updates put online for all to see, by late February, including many new images, GIFs, and video content as well. There’s a ton of work going into those games but right now the public-facing focus is squarely on Etsy momentum and print products, and I’m really hoping that goes well.

Crafts Fair in Houston TX and other news

Okay – a few notes. ¬†One is that after a great deal of frustration I’ve gotten my PC working again. ¬†I backed everything up and then it went from bad to worse, from ‘blue screen of death’ to ‘black screen of death’ in which I could not even reach the command line. ¬†Fortunately I found a way to get back to BSOD, then from there I wiped the C: drive and reinstalled Windows, followed by copying the backed up data back onto the C drive.

The day or two after that? ¬†Mostly spent reinstalling a long list of utilities and software packages. ¬† Then and only then, could I resume work on a range of projects that had been unfortunately on hold while the computer was screwed up. ¬†This has been a huge hassle and I’d like to replace the aging video card as I’ve long suspected it as the root of my PC issues. ¬†I know what other better cards are compatible with my desktop, and I am planning to get a replacement, as soon as I’m able to factor it into my budget. ¬†To that end:

I’ll be attending a crafts fair at 5700 Lawndale, Houston, TX, this Saturday April 22nd from 9 am to 3 pm. ¬†This is the Redeemer Lutheran church buiilding and they’re hosting the event and organizing it, plus some Redeemer Episcopal and Missio Dei Houston members are also involved and participating. ¬†

Anyone who wants to meet me there can do so, I’ll have a booth and will be selling handmade art and will also have some great freebies available. ¬†Some of those free items may run out quickly so it’s advised to show up on the early side of the event, ideally during the first hour or two.

There’s a massive crafts fair there, plus garage/yard sale and bake sale, bbq, etc. ¬†It’s basically one of those huge fundraising deals, which I’ve attended in the past. ¬†The booth fees are $25, which gets you an 8 foot table, although it may be too late for anyone else to sign up now.

The vendors keep whatever’s raised, generally, and I am hoping to sell a few handcrafted artworks at this event. ¬†I will also have some other stuff like stickers, pencils, prints, push pin buttons, and DVDs/BluRays which are going to go fast it looks like. ¬†I’m still agreeing to hand them out for free on a ‘pay what you want’ basis. ¬†My dad says they should cost $20 but I’m fine with just handing them out.

Church of the Redeemer DVDs
DVDs of closing services for Church of the Redeemer Episcopal Houston

Those are mainly of interest to people who have been a part of the Redeemer Episcopal community, but the handmade stuff has much broader appeal.

I have sold a set (triptych) of three artworks at one of these old events, at a price of $90, which was later appraised at $150 by an art dealer. ¬†You might find similar bargains here; many items will be marked 15% lower than on Etsy, given the local nature of the event and the fact that they won’t need to be shipped, so shipping isn’t built into the pricing.

What is?  Well, materials, plus a rate of about $3 per hour for my creative work on each item.  Some items are a bit more if new, or less if old.

Worth a look for anyone in the Houston area.