Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Treat yourself right.

I need a break. I am tired of my routine of do this, then do that and whatever. I am so excited to get to go on vacation next week! I can't wait. Since I seem to mentally be on vacation today, even though I won't be there physically until next week, I thought I would treat myself to a spa day. Here are a few homemade recipes for face masks, hair treatments, lotions, bubble bath, hand care, etc.

Take a break and have fun!

Handmade Hand Lotion

Homemade Bath Bubbles
Natural Mom’s Blog provides several different recipes for homemade bubble bath that will help you relax and forget that you have a million things to do.

Homemade Hairspray

Savvy Homemade gives a super quick and easy way to turn vodka and lemons into hairspray for your next night out on the town!

Homemade Hair Mask

If you get dry hair like me, try this easy hair mask once a month to bring back some luster!

Wednesday Item Feature: Time for Typography

As a designer, I'm aware that typography books are being published left and right and font-related designs from jewelry to apparel to art are all over Etsy. It's my pleasure to find more and more people becoming aware of the importance of typography or just being interested in the art of beautiful letterforms. Happy to find a fellow designer in the EBAC team, Dee Adams from Oakland (also known as DeeDee914 on Etsy) grabbed my attention with her typography posters.

From Ballpark Wiener to Gill Sans Ultra Bold to a handwritten script typeface that states something I personally believe in ("Almost anything goes with bacon."), Dee presents what she calls "Feldmanisms", a collection of one-liners from a graphic design colleague. In beautiful hues of green (another hit for me, with green being my favorite color), these Feldmanisms are framed by boldly vectored swirls and a wavy border that almost looks like a thickly hand-sewn embroidery.

Printed on archival quality, 100% cotton rag, acid-free paper, using UV-stable pigment inks to maintain the rich green colors, the poster measures 18 x 24 inches and ships to you in heavy duty rolled shipping tubes.

If you're looking for something new, something different, or something to add to your typography and design posters and art all over your room or house, you'll find Dee's Feldmanisms typography poster is an entrancing green mix of magic for your walls. Well, what do you think?

Check out DeeDee914's listing on Etsy now: 18x24 Design Quotes Typography Poster - Feldmanisms!

Tune in next week for the Wednesday Item Feature!

Love & donuts,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pricing handmade with 'Pay-as-you-go': Autumn Wiggins

Here's a novel approach to pricing handmade. Don't price it at all. Autumn Wiggins, owner of Upcycled Exchange Materials Market in St Louis, proves it's in fact a great way to run a business. I thought I'd pick her brains and get to the bottom of this unusual approach. She was kind enough to oblige.

What made you go with a pay-as-you-go business model versus the traditional one?

We have a couple restaurants in St. Louis that use this model successfully. It made sense in my scenario, since I’m not paying for the inventory. It saves me a lot of time and angst since I don’t have to tag and price things. I can handle running the store - sorting out stuff and taking care of customers by myself with time to spare for working on freelance websites and other projects.

Shock? Wonder? What were some initial reactions from the community?

People seem to love it! It’s a totally different shopping experience when you aren’t focused on getting a deal or stressing because what you need is expensive. Some have described it as the feeling of getting to treasure hunt in your grandma’s attic(as in, there’s all this neat stuff, and you can take anything you like), only instead of junk, it’s really well organized craft supplies. I try to make it feel more like a spa than an attic.

Let's say a business owner decides to go pay-as-you-wish. What are some rules or guidelines to keep in mind?

Having a suggested price is necessary, but the broader the better. I have one section by volume and another by weight. I am very dismissive of the suggested prices though. When I show new customers around, I emphasize that it’s totally up to them - I’m not going to measure or go through what they buy.

Presentation is everything. I like to think that I give our materials dignity just by having the shop in a beautiful space and making it very organized. You want to add value however you can, and visual perception is very important.

I have a rule of one purchase per person per day, only what you can carry out the door on your own(besides bulk sized items). Now, so far, no one has even come close to that limit. My intention with that rule is to make sure some smart ass that just wants to put me out of business can’t come rolling up to my door with a Uhaul.

You also have an online store with a subscription model for ordering supplies. That's brilliant, but also new concept. Do people get how it works?

The commodities idea is really in it’s infancy, and people don’t quite get it yet. I’ve been so busy just getting the shop open and all that, I haven’t had much of a chance to promote it, but I think it will evolve. If other people who start Upcycle programs had it in place from the get-go, it might be a little easier to integrate.

Too many artists tend to underprice because they believe that's how they'll move merchandise. Do you have any advice?

They probably have nothing to lose by trying a pay-as-you-wish setup in person and gauging what they should charge in their online shops from that. Back in my crafty hayday, a really nice lady paid twice my asking price for a sewn zipper pouch. She was very upfront about me not charging enough, but most people would never question your asking price. If you put the ball in their court though, they will be really open to assessing the value for themselves. You just have to give them permission to.

I would be terrified to have a pay-as-you-wish model at my Etsy store. Am I being paranoid?

I don’t think that’s even possible on Etsy, but what an interesting tangent. Someone should start a pay-as-you-wish handmade market. Although, I think it would work much better in person. The anonymity of the internet doesn’t lend well to this model. You could easily do it at any craft show, but keep in mind people do like a reference point. Simply saying “suggested price” on your tags might be a way to test the water.

Before money, bartering was huge. Now I hear about a lot of bartering (swaps) happening around the bay area. Should the treasury department be concerned?

In the immortal words of Bork, “Start your own currency!”

I think the treasury department is pretty concerned with Bitcoins right now, actually.

You know though, bartering evolved into money because it was inconvenient. I think we are still a long way off from bartering being universally convenient, but the internet is beginning to facilitate that.

You organize the Strange Folk Festival? Can you tell us what it is and what makes it unique?

It’s just a little ‘ol indie craft show I started 6 years ago! I guess the gnome with no legs is unique, but Strange Folk is in the suburbs, and it’s pretty eclectic compared to urban shows. We have a lot of kids activities on one end of the spectrum, and people in period costumes doing demos of blacksmithing and such on the other.

What are some other innovations is brewing in Autumn's mind?

I am really focused on open sourcing Upcycle as a franchise right now. That’s #1, but it does segue towards my interest in seeing crafters experiment more with open source concepts in general. I think there is a lot of needless angst right now within the handmade community over intellectual property, and I have a few ideas I’d like to experiment with in that realm.

Thank you Autumn, plenty of new thinking here and you may have just inspired a few stores in the East Bay to give 'Pay-as-you-wish' a try. Wish you best luck for all your future projects.

Store Details

Upcycled Materials Market Exchange

3309 Meramec Street, St Louis

This post is part of a monthly series on the touchiest of all subjects, pricing! See you again in July.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wasteland is not a waste of time.

Just a quick post to mention that Wasteland is a MUST SEE if you haven't checked it out yet.

I don't really know how to describe it. As an artist, it makes me want to jump into a project and give it 200% It's a reminder that art changes lives. It's eye opening. Watch it.

This movie gets suggested to me just about every other week, so the momentum is building. This is a band wagon you want to be jumping on. I promise.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tips for a Tuesday - Creative Ways To Fund Your Work

Say you've got a great idea for a new artistic endeavor - a new line of jewelry, a new series of paintings, a new documentary about some wonderful thing you've stumbled across - but you lack the necessary dinero to make it happen.

Starving, yet clever artist, meet

Kickstarter provides an ingenious way to leverage your existing network to help fund your project in exchange for a piece of what you make in return. This way, you can get the money you need without having to beg a bank for a loan, or feel like a big ole mooch. The process is something like this. Submit your idea to their editors. It has to be a creative project with a fairly specific and narrow scope. For example: "Help me Pay My Bills for a Year So I Can Keep Making Art" is less eye-catching to them than, say, "I'd Like To Travel The Country for a Year Painting National Monuments." If they like what they see, they give you the go ahead to create your pitch.

You also have to set a specific financial goal and a specific amount of time in which to reach it. Say, $2,000 in 30 days. This is an important part to give thought to, because if you don't reach the minimum in the allotted time, you don't get to keep any of what anyone has pledged. However, if people pledge more than your minimum, you get to keep the extra money. Once you've got that part all figured out, you create rewards to give your donors/backers in exchange for certain levels of funding. Again, the great part about this is that it incentivizes people to contribute because they're getting something out of your project as well.

The site gives you a place to post a video about your project, which it encourages making in order to connect you better to people you don't know. At any rate, if you'd like to know more about the process, their FAQ can be found here.

I just spent the past 2 days creating and launching my own project and found the site really easy to use. Even better, my project has been live about 8 hours and I'm already at 25% of my funding goal (29 more days to go)!

So go check out the site - check out some of the projects seeking funding, get inspired to create your own. I'm working on getting a trip to Costa Rica funded so I can experience first hand the interesting personalities of all the little critters there and create some art from the adventure.

What might you be inspired to create if you had the funding to do so?

Until next time,

Wednesday Item Feature: One of a Kind Necklace

I recently sent my best friend a "care package" for starting grad school, which included various playing card related items (such as "chocolate cards" and dice with card suits on them instead of numbers). Though I know zip about poker, having a best friend obsessed with cards makes me more aware and attentive to things with the combination of hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades.

Bronwen Mauch (also know as TirelessHearts on Etsy) handcrafts unique charms upcycled bicycle materials. Bronwen has recently started a new series called "The Love Letters" which features pendant designs of card suits and "Love". Carefully created with standard card colors, the Queen of Hearts 2 necklace is made from red and pink latex and black butyl tubing.

Shipped ready to wear, the pendant comes on a coated stainless steel cable at choker length. Bronwen's necklace is a cutely rough square that would be a nice surprise to fall out of a love letter to your object of affection, especially if the love of your life is a poker player or card dealer. Or, on the other hand, if it's something that's your style, pick it up for yourself and show off your love for card suits right where your collarbone meets. As Bronwen says, "Hopefully, love is a gamble that pays off." And hey, you can love yourself and give yourself a gift, too!

Check out TirelessHearts's listing on Etsy now: Queen of Hearts 2, loveletter-style!

Bronwen also has an upcoming show in San Francisco THIS WEEKEND at Hecho Local! Like Tireless Hearts on Facebook and get updates and find out more! For more information on Hecho Local, click here.

Tune in next week for the Wednesday Item Feature!

Love & donuts,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Young at Heart: Ribbon "Fire" Poi

Happy early Summer Solstice everyone! The warm weather has arrived just in time! For this much belated edition of Young At Heart we have fun tutorial for kid-friendly "fire" poi. It's just the thing for those warm Summer days, playing out in the yard.
Poi is a long loved tradition of the Bay Area and practiced by many circus troupes and artists in the area. However the tradition of poi first originated in New Zealand and the first time the world was exposed to fire poi was as a tourist attraction in Hawaii by the early 1960's. For more information on poi check out this link to Wikipedia: Poi (performance art).
Obviously, we don't want to hand over
any fire poi to our nearest and dearest young ones. So this is a fun solution that looks as pretty as fire and has less of the safety hazards. These ribbon "fire" poi are so fun and easy to make that they would be a fun toy for folks of any age.

Materials: The only things you need are a pair of scissors, small embroidery hoops or any other small hoops you can stick your hands through and a whole lot of ribbon. I chose reds, yellows, oranges and other colors to make it look like fire.

Step 1:Take off the outside ring of the embroidery hoop. We are going to be using just the inside hoop.

Step 2:Cut a piece of ribbon. Make sure it is extra long.

Step 3:Fold the ribbon in half and make a loop.

Step 4:Put the ribbon loop through the wooden hoop. Then thread the ends of the ribbon through the ribbon. Check out this picture to see what the ribbon should look like.

Step 5: Tighten the ribbon to secure it on the hoop.

Step 6: Repeat steps 2 through 5 until you have a full hoop. It should look something like this.

Step 7: Play!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Art teachers need inspiration too.

If you teach arts & crafts in any aspect, you need to check out THIS LINK. It lists 50 blogs that are a must read. It is separated out into sections by age group, completed art from art classrooms, project ideas and other resources.

To give you a taste, here are 3 blogs I really enjoy from that list.

Doodler's Anonymous.
It is a reminder that art should be fun! It is also a great place to see an eclectic grouping of art which I find useful when I am in the mood to channel surf art.

If you are looking for a new project to inspire your creativity or just get you into the studio, check out Daisy Yellow. Currently working on a Index-Card-a-Day Project, this blog has lots of great ideas. Seems to focus on creating journals, which is great for anyone that like to sketch out their ideas or brainstorm new creations.

To give yourself an idea of what another high school art class is up to, check out The IB Art Studio. There you will find posts of works in progress and project ideas. It might ignite something in you or one of your students.

Happy Creating!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Item Feature: Give your ears something to think about

It's summertime (is it really, though?) and these months remind me of the times my friends and I were on campus for summer courses. Several of my friends were around retaking the dreaded organic chemistry summer classes, spending endless hours in lab and pulling their hair over the dizzying text in huge, heavy textbooks. Now, that was something to make you sweat more than the beaming sun and humid weather.

For the chemists and aspiring scientists out there, Lani V. from Emeryville (also known as nnvillan on Etsy) makes affordable handmade "science jewelry". As a huge earring enthusiast, her "ThINK" earrings really gave my ears something to yearn for. With a mom that's a chemist, I'm no scientist myself, but I'm pretty nerdy, and I generally think anything referencing the periodic table of elements is pretty cool.

Measuring at 2 1/2 by 1/2 inches, let some lightweight elements dangle from your ears. Shipped in a gift box, this pair of inspiring earrings is crafted from shrinkydinks, shrink plastic, base metal wire hooks, and lots and lots of love. Lani's earrings are a perfect gift for the science nerds out there or for the chemistry students taking summer classes and need a little inspiration to keep them company while they're thinking hard in the labs.

As Lani says, "Think clearly, think often, but try not to over think."

Check out nnvillan's listing on Etsy now: ThINK Inspiration!

Tune in next week for the Wednesday Item Feature!

Love & donuts,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tips for a Tuesday - Keep Calm and Carry On

Alright, I suppose by this point you've all had the saying pounded into you, but it bears repeating: Keep Calm, and Carry On. This post is dedicated to all of those people who've forgotten the other saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." 

Don't you love me?
We, as artists and craftspeople have the unfortunate distinction of being in a position of subjecting ourselves and our creations, as extensions of ourselves, to public scrutiny. Be it online, or in person, I'm always amazed at how cavalier some people are with their remarks. I was at an event a few months ago and had brought along some of the plush creatures I make. An older lady picked one of my goofy owls up, looked it over, and then gasped upon seeing the price tag ($52) and tittered to her friend, "How can she POSSIBLY justify charging so much for THIS!?"

Um, hello? I'm sitting right here.

So to clarify, my little critters aren't your average stuffed toy made with toxic materials by tiny, slave-wage, child-hands in some third world country. Nope, they're handmade by me, a Bay Area resident (with Bay Area rent!), no less, that survives off her art. They're hand embroidered, one of a kind, made from high quality and mostly green materials, and I basically come out close to minimum wage for what I charge for them. This little rant was what I wanted to respond with, but instead I just smiled and said nothing. Because this is the pill we all have to swallow in some form when we start pedaling our wares out in the flesh.  Now, to be honest, I've had handfuls more people say nothing but kind words of appreciation... but it's the zingers that seem to stick and contribute to that post-show emotional exhaustion.
A fellow crafter posted this blog post a few months back which include a few more of my favorite all too typical comments that we're lucky enough to hear out in show-land:
  • This would look great in my bathroom.
  • You should do/add/take out this next time.
  • This is too expensive.
  • I/my kid/my dog could do this.  
I'm sure you all have your favorites as well. By now, you're probably wondering, "So Maggie - where is the tip in all of this? When will this tirade of yours conclude?"

What Not To Do:  

Some Possible Alternatives:

{Deep Breath In} Ok, Now! So how do you deal with moments like these? I tend to remind myself that I'm doing what I love for a living, and that for every one snarky or inadvertently ignorant comment I receive, I get ten of support and thanks. I remember that people smile as they look at my work, and if that smile should again appear while they're viewing my art from the comfort of their toilet, well, at least I'm still bringing them a bit of joy. And I remind myself that chances are, they/their kid/their dog would actually have one heck of a time replicating what I do, and that if they were to try, perhaps that would just bring them a higher level of appreciation for what us artists are sharing with them. Of course, I'd still like to occasionally throttle some of my booth visitors, but in the end, I just repeat to myself, "Keep Calm & Carry On."

So, fellow artisans, do you have any other particularly fantastic lines you've received? Want to get them off your chest? Share! And feel free to pass this post along, and perhaps our craft-going friends will give that not-so-polite patron a slight whack the next time they ask you, "So, this is art?"

Signing off for now,

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Monthly Seller Feature: Andrea I Jewelry

For this month's shop feature I bring you, Andrea I Jewelry. Read on and enjoy!

 1. Your name? Andrea Isom 
  1. Your shop name?
    Andrea I Jewelry
  1. What do you make?
    Necklaces, earring & bracelets
  1. Why do you do what you do? Is it your passion? Have you created jewelry/clothes/collages, etc for a long time? I’ve always loved buying hand-made everyday jewelry from street vendors and at craft fairs. That whole idea of supporting a local artist instead of a faceless corporation appeals to me. When a friend turned me on to making my own stuff, well, the rest is history, as they say. I absolutely love browsing through rows and rows of beads and
     findings at bead shows and in shops. 
    When I go on vacation I make a point 
    of finding local bead shops. I’ve even
    done this in Buenos Aires - I couldn’t speak the local
     language, but that didn’t stop me!
  1. (kind of in the same vein as #4) What inspires you?
I’d have to say that most of my inspiration comes from the beads themselves. I’ll find something beautiful, envision it in a design, imagine someone wearing it, and head for the craft studio!
  1. What are some of your favorite pieces in your shop?
Blue Turquoise and White Pearl Necklace, Black, Silver and Crystal Necklace, Green and Purple Necklace and the Blue Azurite Pendant Necklace
7. How have you acquired your skills? Books/classes/college/self-taught?
After I went to my 1st Bead Show (Bay Area Bead Extravaganza) I attended some classes at Baubles and Beads and Bead Inspirations. Since then I have found several helpful on-line videos at Aunties Beads, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads and Magpie Gemstones. I also subscribe to Bead Style Magazine, which always has helpful tips and techniques.

  1. Do you make a living off of your art/craft?
No, not yet. So far it just keeps me in ‘bead money’, which is fine with me! That way, I don’t have to feel guilty about my ‘need to bead’.
  1. What is your favorite part of your crafting enterprise? Do you love selling at craft fairs? Or maybe you prefer online networking? Or maybe it’s searching for the perfect supplies at beads stores. . . it can be ANY element of running your crafty business.
You can probably tell from #4, my absolute favorite thing about this business shopping for more products! I love to browse shops, go to bead shows and stay current on the offerings at my favorite online bead sites. My craft studio is bursting at the seams with gemstones, crystals, and pearls that one of these days will find their way into a design!
  1. What are some new techniques and/or skills you would like to acquire in the near future?
I’ll be working to make my designs more unique and one of a kind. My philosophy is that everyone should be able to have a little glamour in their everyday jewelry so I work with pearls and Swarovski crystal a lot. I’m trying to find that perfect combination of affordability and versatility without the jewelry looking like everything else out there in the marketplace.
  1. Lastly, tell us anything extra you would like included in the blog post. It can be a coupon code for a discount in your shop, a funny anecdote, anything!
    I don’t know who wrote this, but it sums it all up perfectly:
You know you're a beader when...
  1. An exciting night for you means organizing your massive bead collection.
  2. You have more pairs of pliers than your husband does.
  3. The first thing you do while on vacation is flip through the yellow pages to find a bead shop to buy more beads, and you already have over 200 pounds sitting at home.
  4. You count beads and stitches instead of sheep to fall asleep at night.
  5. Beading stores know you by your FIRST name, and have your credit card number on file.
  6. Every conceivable surface in your home, including your pets, is covered with finished jewelry, multiple beading projects, new beads not yet put away, beads on display and beaded d├ęcor.
  7. Your pantry and cupboards have more beads than food in them.
  8. Long gone are the cute little bead storage containers. Jumbo sized Costco toolboxes that are full to overflowing, but you still have beads everywhere!
  9. You justify buying more beads with one-liners like, ''My beading addiction is healthier than smoking,'' or ''Beads won't ruin my diet because they don't have calories.''
  10. Your family can't remember the last time they ate at the kitchen table, which is known as no man's land under certain death if they dump over your bead board or cups of beads.
    Thanks, Andrea! And if anyone else would like their shop featured, take a look at the questionnaire in our Google group!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tips for a Tuesday (on a Friday) - Save Yourself!

Hi Folks,
Sorry for the delay. I've been in frenzied headless chicken mode, as I'm participating in the Live Oak Park Fair this weekend (you should come by and say hello if you're around!).

Anywho, I thought I'd borrow a very important piece of advice that Pikaland shared this week: Back Up Your Work! For me, I've spent hours photographing and editing my artwork, and if one day my computer decided it had had enough, the amount of work lost would be utterly devastating. I would also lose my website, all serious records kept of my business, marketing materials I've made, and on and on. As most of you know, I'm a big fan of all of the wonderful free or mostly free services the interweb has been kind enough to offer.

This week's plug goes to Dropbox. They offer 3 pretty reasonable plans depending on the amount of storage you need. Why do I prefer this to having my own external backup system? Well, for one, external hard drives can fail as well, or be stolen, or go up in smoke should your house burn down. Dropbox has the added bonus of being accessible anywhere you have an internet connection, so you can think of it as a portable network for file sharing.

Well folks, sorry for the brevity, but I've got to get back to the work production line. If any of you have any tips or comments, please feel free to share!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hello from Sunny Alaska.

I am currently on vacation visiting my family in Alaska. They live in Fairbanks, which during the summertime is all about sunshine. The sun never really sets, so the darkest the sky ever gets is what most folks experience at twilight. In celebration of the sun, I wanted to share some of my favorite fun and sun-related craft tutorials.

Turn an old cd into a new suncatcher! Tutorial HERE.

Turn those umbrellas that protected you from spring rains into a new sun shade.

Tutorial c/o CRAFT

If you are spending time in the great outdoors whether it be on an urban hike or a jaunt on a trail, you will need to take your trusty bottle of water with you. Here is a great tutorial from My Recycled Bags on making your own water bottle holder from reused plastic bags.

If you like to be outside and online, reuse a grocery bag to make a sunshade for your laptop. No more glare on that screen!

Tutorial c/o Instructables

And, if you are a sensitive sally like me when it comes to the sun, make yourself a sun hat.

Tutorial c/o CLEAN.

Happy Creating!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Send June and July babies a splash of color!

There's nothing that shouts summer more than bright, warm colors. Lemonade stands, orange juice (with or without champagne) in the morning, half a grapefruit sprinkled with sugar for a healthy snack — these citrusy thoughts make me want to run barefoot on fresh green grass or hot white sand.

Rachel Bloom from Berkeley (also known as BerkeleyBloom on Etsy) shares her love for island themed prints and super bright colors in her handmade Citrus Print Collage Birthday card, perfect for a friend or kid whose birthday is coming up in these summer months!

Made from textured shiny white cardstock, warmly colored citrus prints, striped prints, and a yellow and white flower print, you can wish someone a "Happy Birthday" with hand-stamped pink letters tucked inside of a rich dark pink envelope (you can contact Rachel directly if you want a different envelope color). The inside is blank so you can write whatever you feel like and add your own personal touch. This card just radiates sunshine and is certainly a card to cherish (if you're the recipient).

Rachel's cards get shipped to you wrapped in plastic so you can buy now, keep it safe, and use it in the future. The quality of handcrafted greeting cards is a million times better than what you'd find on 99-cent shelves in your local stores, so spend some time writing a nice birthday note in Rachel's delicious card. You'll be sending a splash of specialness to the birthday boy or girl of your choice.

All you have to do is put the lime in the coconut and shake 'em both up!

Check out BerkeleyBloom's listing on Etsy now: Citrus Print Collage Birthday Card!

You can find BerkeleyBloom on Facebook as well. "Like" her stuff and you'll be updated on new listings and sales!

Tune in next week for the Wednesday Item Feature!

Love & donuts,

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Craft Fairs Galore Part 3

Hello all! Firstly, let me apologize for my delinquency in this posting, as it's supposed to go up on the blog the first of every month. I was on the road until the 2nd and thought I'd be able to make the time for this posting. . . and, well, we all know how time gets away from a person.

Now that that 's out of the way, on to the good stuff! As far as the craft season goes, summer is here! Which means there are WAY to many fairs and such going on to enumerate them all here. . . Starting with: Art Murmur/First Friday at the 25th Street Collective. This is the space that some of us members came together at in May to sell our wares. Hiroko (the head of the collective) would love to have more of us there in the future. From here on out tho, please contact her directly to inquire about vendor space. The table fee is $50 + 10% of what you make that evening.

Other fairs to consider:
1. The Oakland Art and Soul Festival. They have a new application process on their website and it looks like you don't see how much it costs until you register. Since I'm not doing this one this year, I'm not sure how much it costs. . . It is a 10 by 10 booth tho.
2. Indie Mart is up and rarin' to go. The first one is in July and I do think there are still spaces available. As I mentioned in the last craft fair post, there are 3 different price points, depending on how much space you need.
3. The Rockridge Out and About Fair had been scheduled as well. Slated for October 9th, it's a bit later this year than last year. The deadline to apply is September 15th, so that gives you some time to think about it. I, personally, so very well at this one. It's $125 for a 10 by 20 booth space.
4. Fourth of July at Jack London Square - I've heard this is a good one. And as I type this I realize I have completely misplaced my info on this one. . .
5. Capsule - this one is on September 18th, Octavia and Hayes Streets in San Francisco.

I'll wrap it up there for now. As always, feel free to contact me with questions!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Monthly Positive Dose : Opportunities

"Don't Forget To Be Awesome" taken from Pinterest

Would love to hear your stories of opportunities! Have an awesome month!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fabulous Art Exhibits

Last Sunday, I stopped into SWARM gallery in Oakland. "In the Bracken" was being shown.

The digital image does not do this piece justice. Everything is shiny, golden, richly textured. The brush style reminded me of traditional Japanese brush painting. Gorgeous. SWARM is such a great gallery. There are artist studios behind the gallery, friendly faces and a nice feeling. Stop in! It's great!

It's Friday again, and it's ART MURMUR, again!

My recommendation is Vessel Gallery. They have a spring showcase on display, presently.

The exhibit at Hatch Gallery also looks interesting. Check it out!

Please leave a comment if you have seen a gallery exhibit recently that sparked your imagination. Also, let me know if you have checked out any of the exhibits that I have posted about. Thanks for reading!

What dreams may come.

Have you ever made art from your dreams? I find that when I need a little kick in the art pants creating work from a recent dream helps. I get to dive deep into something that I have only some control over. It is a fun challenge that usually leads and inspires loads of other work.

Poem of the Soul, Nightmare, Louis Janmot

Kellie Meisl

If you like to journal, why not make your own dream journal?

HERE's how.

Check out the wiki on Dream Art HERE.

Happy Creating!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

For eyes that shine like the ocean

Summer is coming slowly, but people are eventually going to be frequenting the beaches as soon as the sun stops being shy. For the girls who love makeup and lively colors, there's something that will make your eyes shine and bring you a little bit closer to the ocean while you're waiting for the random rainy days to go away.

Roni from Berkeley (also known as DaisyWares on Etsy) mixes shades of ocean greens and blues for her original Coral Reef eyeshadow. Being all vegan mineral makeup, Roni's eyeshadow contains no oils or bismuth oxychloride (which may cause skin irritation or itchiness for some people), but does contain SPF properties which is perfect for those beach days. Affordable and safe for skin, the Coral Reef eyeshadow is packaged in a 5-gram sifter jar, which is a perfect size for travel as well.

As I made a recent switch to mineral makeup in the past year, I always have my eye out for eyeshadows. This beautiful Coral Reef color is a sparkly and rich teal that will bring life out in any eye color — I'm pretty partial to teal shades as a brown-eyed girl myself. Roni's Coral Reef is a sweet color that could be used any day and every day, beach or no beach; it's definitely a color I associate with mermaids and the underwater world, something that makes me smile even on an overcast day.

It's time to pull out your makeup brushes and control the ocean with the blink of an eye. ;)

Check out DaisyWares's listing on Etsy now: Coral Reef Vegan Mineral Makeup Eye Shadow!

Tune in next week for the Wednesday Item Feature!

Love & donuts,