Friday, March 5, 2010

Found New Books on Creating Jewelry

Well, I made another trip to Ft. Wayne yesterday.  Stayed overnight.  Since our town doesn't have a Michaels or Barnes & Noble, it's a treat to come and see what's new.  While at Barnes & Noble, I found some very interesting books that some of you may be interested in.  I've begun creating wire jewelry.  Just finished a copper wire bracelet that I did using twined copper.  So I wanted to see what might be available for different types of jewelry books.  I found, Beading Vintage-Style Jewelry by Marty Stevens-Heebner & Christine Calla.
I love antiques and moved from an Itallianate 10-room home not long ago.  I've loved antiques as long as I can remember.  And so recreating vintage jewelry appeals to me.  The book has many examples of reproductions from many eras and shows the "how-tos" for each. 
Another book that I picked up for reference is, Wire Jewelry Workshop by Susan Ray. Again this book, too, has great examples for using wire, which I enjoy.  And also has "how-tos" for creating wire jewelry and wire jewelry parts.  Speaking of...I didn't know about a form called a WigJig that allows you to create an amazing amount of decorative wire elements to use in all types of jewelry.
The last book (I know $$$$, right, but couldn't help myself), is called Beyond the Bead by Margot Potter. An amazing book.The cover says, "Making Jewelry with Unexpected Finds".  Very true!  Great ideas and this one, too, shows how to construct everything shown in pictures.  I know Juls does her flowers, but might think about expanding after viewing some of these special books. (Thought of you Juls) as I was looking through these books.   Anyway, for any of you interested in making jewelry, these are great references for your library.
I will post my new bracelet in my next post, hopefully soon. 
Happy Crafting,

Friday, February 26, 2010

New Logo for my Art

Hello all! I decided I needed a logo for my cards, glass hangings, jewelry, and any of the other items I sell and send out so here it is: 
How about some feedback. What do you think of it? I use the small Avery circle stickers to add to all my items and so this is what it will be now.  Also used it as my Avatar on my greggsgoodies store.   Come and visit me!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Here's What I Have to Reorganize-For My New Studio

Today, I'm sharing. Even with the small space I work in, I have managed to get things done.  I've also learned how to organize many things.  AND a big concept I've internalize is that IF YOU PUT THINGS BACK IN THE SAME PLACE EVERY TIME, YOU'LL KNOW WHERE IT IS THE NEXT TIME YOU NEED IT. HA
In this group, the first is the pegboard I put up to house many of the silhouette card designs I use in my blank cards.  The second pic is one of a creative way to use one of the storage cabinets I had that I really needed to use for my computer and Cricut Expressions Machine.  So I put a slideout drawer for the computer, with shelves above and below to house not only the above, but an external hard drive and 1T drive for all my graphics.  The third pic is a corner of the area. The neighbors across the street had this small picnic-type table for kids that had a little shelf attached to the back and top of the table.  It measured then, 2 feet by 5 feet by maybe 2 feet high. They had the table out by the street and so I asked if it was a giveaway.  They told me to take it.  So I reworked it, by taking off the original legs and adding legs tall enough to be the height of my other work bench, which has an 8 foot length of countertop.  So it is countertop height. I also added a shelf underneath the table as well.  As you sort of can see, I put plastic drawers underneath, added a new wood top over the original wood which was like a picnic table. Then put two of those containers that have 18 compartments in each of plastic boxes.   Great for all the little stuff I use with paper flowers, jewelry, ink pads, medallions, glitter, etc. I also put it on rollers.  A great idea, because making different arrangments is easy.  The lower cabinet seen in this final pic to the right in the picture is another find.  Someone on the alley was taking out their old kitchen cabinets and I saw 2 30 inch by 30 inch wall cabinets out for the trash.  I snatched those up. Brought them in.  Cleaned them up and then attached rollers to one and set the other toward the back of the new cabinet I previously described (this 30" cabinet doesn't show..did that later).  But it has been so handy to have the lower rolling cabinet with shelves underneath and a surface to use for whatever I need.  So for now it all works...but I plan to create a better space on the other side of the basement where I can have more room and not be in the path of traffic getting to the door to the attached garage...duh.  SoI will post new pictures when that happens.

Happy Crafting,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hey All, I've Changed Where My Store is Located!

After some heavy thinking, I decided to move my store to  I really like it and especially for the fact that you pay a set fee, the same each month!  Actually you don't even have to pay a fee if you don't want all the extra things it allows if you do go Pro. So we will see.  I had only entered items on my site the first day, when I got a sale!  So I was happy about that.  Juls, one of my followers is on Artfire and it is because of her that I took a look at the site, first looking at the wonderful flowers she has for sale on her site.

 Oh, the other thing I like about the Artfire site, is that you don't have to pay Artfire an amount when you do sell something.  You retain all the profit.  Quite different from Etsy.

Well on another note, the weather has been crappy here in "Funcie Muncie".  Although, at least today it rained rather than snowed.  So maybe we are getting closer to Spring.  It seems that way when I look at the exposed ground and try to find sprouts coming through the ground and snow.  Spring is my favorite time of the year.  Aside from my birthday being in April, the fresh smells of the earth and all the bird sounds.  I'll be able to walk the Whiteriver trail again (boy do I need to) with my neighbor, Sarah.  The trail has now been extended to the west about 3 and a half miles.  So a great option from taking the same trail (to the east) each time.  I always see so much life near the water.  There are blue heron living in the area and they swoop down to the water or roost on a branch to stay out of harms way.  Beautiful creatures.  They almost look prehistoric and sound that way as well (not that I know what a teradaktyl (sp) sound is like..ha). 

Well, I was at Hobby Lobby again just the other day..can't go into that store without finding something I want or need..ha. I found a magazine on studios.  I'm wanting to remodel in the basement to make my studio area as functional and as much as a sanctuary as possible.  This magazine by cloth-paper-scissors had wonderful studio examples from all over the country giving me many ideas. I've included the front cover of the issue here.  Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine (Studios Inspiration & Ideas for your art and craft space, Winter 2009-2010)Lots of great pictures of storage ideas, etc.  Love it.  Didn't feel so alone as a guy doing my art.  There were several guy artists among those in the special issue showing their studios; lighting, storage, inspiration, how they put their places together.  It was a great issue.

Well, I can't wait to have the chance to redo my studio area. It actually is only about 6 feet by 10 feet.  And to make it worse, the door to the garage from my basement area is in the direct path.  So I definitely need a new plan....which I have created, but have to wait till spring arrives.

Hope I haven't rambled too much.  Love to journal, though.
Take care & happy crafting.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Where I Got My Talent for Art & Latest Project

I decided that today  I'd write about one of the family members who has passed on her genes to help me to become the artist I am today.  My grandmother on my mom's side was very artistic and painted oils.  She lived in Rockville, Indiana. Her maiden name was Woodworth.  Yes, we're related to the Samuel Woodworth who wrote, "The Old Oaken Bucket". Ha.  Grandma Gregg (that's how I got my first name from my grandpa's last name of Gregg, which originally was MacGregor.  So yes, I'm Scottish.  Grandma was a pretty stern sort, but I loved all the art she did. Besides painting oils, she created hats.  She loved making hats..and had them all over the house.  She would sketch little pictures for us, too.  Sometimes she would send us a letter with a little book inside for us to color the sketches she made.  Her name was Kate, but she didn't like the name and so wanted to be called Katharine.
This picture is her with one of her hats she made.  I think she looks proud of her work.  I don't think she made megabucks selling her hats, but enough to keep the career going.  My grandmother had 12 children.  I can't imagine having that many children running around.  My mother, her daughter, had half that many...and that was plenty for me. Being the oldest I had many responsibilities.

I always thought grandma's name was Katharine, until I began doing genealogy for the family and found out her true name.  Anyway, she always encouraged me to keep creating my art and loved to see the things I produced.  As a high school student, I worked with clay, throwing pots, did weavings, and painting and drawing.  So her encouragement and interest kept me going. In college, I continued in art with weaving, ceramics, and painting.  I did create a woven basket that traveled the country in some show. I felt honored.  While in college, though, I changed my major to elementary education, because I kept complaining about the state of things. My friends all said that I could still do my art in the classroom.  They were right.  But now retired, I'm glad to get back to doing more of the art I enjoy.  

Well, my latest creation was a custom bridal shower album for a New York lady's sister.  It was created using a cotton material backed with paper so that I could run it through the computer and print a blue hydrangea photo on the 4 sheets needed to complete the project.  I used a great punch by Martha Stewart that had a hearts design edging. Looped Hearts Edge Punch (martha Stewart)  I edged a royal blue cardstock piece with the punch runing horizontally in the middle of the front and back of the album covers.  On it, was stamped a saying in white pigment ink.  I also cut a peek-through on the front cover to reveal a silhouette of a couple kissing.

The pictures show the front cover with details showing more with the second and third picture.  I added the mini-bouquet of hydrangeas Punch: Hydrangea under the peek-through, since I have the ability to create flowers (see my store) that have been given a sparkle with very fine glitter...(doesn't show up so much in the picture).    My grandmother would probably be in awe if she were still alive and could see the album. I know she would have loved it.

Well, I promise to blog more often.  I love to write and have two journals going of my own right now. 
Take care and happy crafting,

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Crafting Book Finds

One of my weaknesses is books.  No wonder I jump at the chance to go to Barnes and Nobles  when I go up to Ft. Wayne here in Indiana.  I am constantly looking for books on organizing my crafting space and also ones about  how to make crafting a successful business. Recently I found three books that I found to be very useful:  Organizing Your Craft Space by Jo  Packham, The Savvy Crafter's Guide to Success by Sandra McCall, and Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey.

The first, Organizing Your Craft Space is a very thoughtful book, meaning many things to consider when putting together an efficient area to do what you like to do.  Making it a space that stimulates creativity and thinking about where to put everything are the two major focuses.  Jo introduces the reader to seven artists and has them give their take on creating a space for creativity, while knowing where to find that one thing you need to complete a project. Here is the book cover....a very inspiring look at organization.  I got ideas just looking at the cover.

Lots of ideas just here on the bookcover, but having those opinions by the seven artists makes this book a very good resource for your own studio.

The second book I found was one that I really needed help with, The Savvy Crafter's Guide to Success by Sandra McCall.  I started crafting in March of 2009 and so did so without much thought to the ideas of recording sales and purchases on spreadsheets along with other ideas to consider like; organizing your workspace (as above with the other book), teaching your craft, being a writer, selling your art, choosing our venue, finding outlets to sell, the business-end of things and taking care of paperwork.  Artists' bios are included in the book. A resource guide is in the back, and it is indexed. Example forms are even a part of the book to give you ideas of how to "take care of the business part of crafting".  Here is the cover of the book.

It will be a great resource for me to refer to as I pursue my own crafting business.

The last book is one I felt I needed for my blogging.  Not that I don't think my blogs are okay, but suggestions really don't hurt anyone.  So I also purchased Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey.  She has done a great job of discussing considerations for what, how, and where to blog on the internet.  The chapters include; Why Blog for Bliss, Tools of the Trade, Learning the Ropes, Beauty and the Blog, Traffic School (about visitors to your blog), Finding Business in Bliss (promoting your business through the blogging), and If Emily Post(ed) (manners, behind the scenes, language translation, pictures, pet peeves, and continuing the creative circle)
Accompanying all the great text are beautiful photographs and actually she talks about trading in her old camera for one that allows for exquisite photos on her own site.  Tara gives example blog pages by many that she follows telling what they blog about and also telling who those bloggers follow, giving the URL so you, too, can checkout other blogs to see what others are doing and whether you might want to follow them.

I love to write and have a daily journal I keep.  I must get that urge from my grandmother Abby, who kept  a daily journal for many years.  My aunt Bonnie was the lucky one who ended up with the journals when my grandmother passed away.  Aunt Bonnie was sweet enough to give me the journal for the year I was born.  It so wonderful to read what went on during that time period and how the family lived, what they did for entertainment (they loved going to movies), and their work.  Grandma didn't really discuss emotions, which  I think would have been interesting. But it is a great historic documentation of her life frome the early 1940's to the '90's.  I miss her so much.  We were such buddies.  I think much of my crafting came from her as well.  Every holiday celebrated at her house was a fun time.  She always asked me to come over about a week before and help her create table decorations an other decorations.  Being an art person, I loved it all.

So,  did you grow up with family member who influenced you? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Re-organized my Art Studio

Well, I couldn't stand it and so reorganized my art studio in the basement. I had about 6 white cabinets down there for storage. I was able to put things that were in them in other cabinets and/or put them in the pile for Goodwill. So I was able to give away one white cabinet and that allowed for another 5 ft. x 5 ft. space. Looks so much more spacious. I have an old upper kitchen cabinet (may have talked about this in the last blog) that I put wheels on and can roll it around to where I need it. Very handy! Of course, I'm never satisfied with the way I have it organized, so there will probably be more re-positioning of workbenches. Having the benches on rollers is such a great thing.

Just bought two more old readers at the Treasure Mart in Kokomo on Saturday. Both are great. One is from the year my mother was born, 1929 and the other is earlier..1904. The 1904 reader is an Indiana one and of course both are public domain at this point. So, I'm planning to possibly make .jpegs of the illustrations in both and adverstize them on Etsy. May use some of them for my work, as well. I love art nouveau things anyway and the one from 1929 has some very nice illustrations of times gone by...the other one from 1904 is even more interesting with the illustrations presented in the book. Maybe you can guess that I also love history and genealogy as well. So, I think about the books, who might have used them, the time period, what was going on then, how might they have dealt with things during that time.

Well I just published another altered journal on Etsy that is a custom one for a lady in Youngstown, Ohio that will be for a friend of her's birthday. She wanted one with a collage on the front and back covers and also a peek-through on the cover. Here is the link if you'd like to view it.

Well, till the next blog....Happy Blogging...ha.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sharing my Sort-of Organized Art Studio

I love seeing how people have arranged their studios. There aren't enough books out there with ideas that I can find. I have swapped out my tool area in the basement for my art studio. I too use pegboard and have found that if you have a place for everything and IF you put it back in that same place, then things stay pretty neat and tidy. It can be over-whelming with having so many different things and not having a permanent place to put them. I have included photos of my studio that I'd like to share, either for critiquing or just to see how someone else has organized. I started with an 8 foot countertop and put it over two drawer and door cabinets. It's a perfect height for working. I have a sink (essential I think), bookcase, drawers, and have even taken an old upper cabinet that measures 30 inches wide, put wheels on it and use it to hold things I need currently. The top is just another place for use in paperworking, cutting out, etc. I also expanded to having an L shape with another workbench on wheels. This one hold drawers of paper scrapes, yarn, and many of the stamps I have. The upper area has two blue containers with 38 smaller drawers in each...very handy and I've labeled each so I can find things. Well, maybe my area looks chaotic to you, but it is where I like to be and create!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Been away from my Blogging too Long-January 4, 2010

My new banner on Etsy was created by me! I really like this one even better. Hope you do too. Just felt it was time for a change and decided to use the Rabbit Moon Art Nouveau card for

the background. I've really been busy with my crafts. In November before Thanksgiving, I did a show locally at an early American shop and did very well for the day. After that, I was so busy creating for my family and friends. I started, sometime after Thanksgiving, to create glass coasters using many of the same designs I had created for the cards I make. I think I've made over 100 glass coasters.

What I do is to cut the glass 4" x 4", cutting two of those. Then I resize the designs and cut them on my Cricut Expressions machine to fit between the glass. Last, I use the 1/2" copper tape to enclose it all and put sticky-backed felt circles (3/8" round) on the back so to not scratch surfaces. They really have been a hit. Above is a sample of the glass coasters done in the snowflake pattern.

Well my kids came and stayed overnight on Christmas Eve. We usually open presents on that night rather than on Christmas Day. Had a great dinner with my daughter Abby fixing most of it. She's 24 and loves to cook. She brought her boyfriend David and my son Carl came, too. We all had a good time.

Wishing you all a great new year and also hopefully a prosperious one..ha.

Take care.