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.