Friday, December 27, 2013

Mixed-media Craft room organization and tips/tricks

Hello all,

Very few of us are wealthy enough to have the ideal craft space with all the wonderful organizational gadgets.  Most of us have developed systems over time as we collect, gather, buy, trade, swap and expand our craft to include other styles/types, and have carved out some space in the house for the crafting.

I bead, do paper craft (scrap-booking and cards mostly), sew, and mixed media art (combining multiple forms together)

Before my daughter moved out I had claimed an open side to the great room, closed it off and created this space:

It became impossible to work mainly because my paper craft started to take over the floor space and ended up with very little room to work.  When I wanted to do paper craft - I oozed out like lava into the kitchen and took over the kitchen table area.

When my daughter moved out I figured now is the chance to really organize and make this work.  Here's my current room (one half for beads, one half for paper craft)

 What I am finding out is paper craft is a very different organizational need than bead craft.  I need to see objects when doing paper craft so I can create, which ends up opening boxes, containers, hunting for the right piece to be added to whatever it is I am working on - most likely a card.  I never see the finished design in my head, but feel it is complete in my heart when - it is complete.

For example here's my work table in the midst of several cards and how chaotic it became.

Where with bead craft, I tend to do focused items with specific beads - and rarely do I need to go hunting for a specific item - given I tend to see the finish piece when I start a design.  I might tweak the design slightly or add a bit of color to make a design pop, but for the most part, it is quite self contained.  In fact I got so used to working in a much smaller space for my bead work.

I've looked at Pintrest and some other blogs but haven't found a good way to make use of this space.  My Sewing sits in the closet behind to the right of the bead shelves.  And any container designers out here - design for specific brands so not everything fits in the same containers. For example my ink containers - are for Stamping up, but I have 5 plastic containers filled with inks that do not fit in the Stamping up containers.  Similar goes for my embossing folders and dies for my Cuttlebug.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and here's to a prosperous New Year.

It has been two months since I posted and I realized that this should be part of my day to day marketing task.

I have been enjoying the fun of making all kinds of different Holiday Cards and beaded presents this year for the family.  I have also watched a growing trend to buy home made/hand made/ created craft.  This is awesome.

Here are a few of the custom designs I have done for others this year.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Marketing ones' self - the dreaded Newsletter - or at least my attempt at one such.

I've been staring at this template for now a week, trying to draft some sort of newsletter in regards to announcing my venturing out into the Professional Mixed Media Artist space and upcoming faires/events I will be at and other tidbits of information to market myself.

I read in one of the dozen + books I have on owning your own studio/business/Craft related is that newsletters are a great way to help foster interest in your particular flavor of craft.  It can be used to educate, promote, demonstrate, show off (aka a gallery section) and update your current clientele and future clients.

That in mind, I am drawing a complete and utter blank on what to even say.

I know some of the components/sections of the Newsletter - an Open house jewelry party in the middle of November for example.  The Refer a friend program I want to start.  The Founders club - those folks who have been with me since pretty much the start or close enough, and a how to - take care of Sterling earrings/wires.  And last but not least a article - Why order custom work instead of buying something off the shelf or in a retail store.  

BUT the words just don't want to flow out. 

Funny, I can do my blogs but I just can't seem to write my newsletter.

Anyway - For today's gallery - Three more custom cards (yesterday's inspirations)

This is a birthday card - I really love hand painting with metalic inks

I had a ball with this one.  This was completely outside my style and I wanted to push my element style a bit more.

I hope she really likes her card 
(this is for my daughter actually for her birthday)
Tomorrow since today is Jewelry creation day, the pictures will be for whatever comes out of the inspiration of making my daughters Bridal jewelry.  I have a few earring and bracelet ideas on the boards already, but nothing yet that pops and says This is the one.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Coming a little late to the table - Wandering and Babblings of an Artist.

Some folks say I am a bit crazy for taking my semi-professional hobby and turning it into a full time vocation/business.

Some even say I am setting myself up for failure.  I don't know.  What I do know is that I have not completely formulated exactly what it is I am going to be doing here with the business, other than some basics;

Designing and offering for sale customized items.  

Which includes
  • Jewelry (Necklaces, bracelets, earrings)
  • Cards (Birthday, Holiday, Wedding, Sympathy, Get Well, etc)
  • Decorative Accessories (Beaded Wind chimes/mobiles)
  • Rosaries (I love doing custom designs here, since I believe prayer is very personal)
  • Paper Craft (wrapping paper, bags, tags)
  • Affirmation Cards and sets (Customized for your growth)
  • Wedding Paper Craft
  • Bridal (Jewelry, Veils, hair pieces)
  • Coaching Aids (cards, phrases, packets)
  • One of a kind Necklaces, bracelets and earrings
  • Self Exploration Scrapbooks/Journals
  • Unique Fabric wearable art
One of the things that has become very clear is that my style is staged in a way to allow me to do customized pieces, truly unique designs that are not like others but still fall within the mainstream and desirable.

Leave you with a sample of this weekend's custom work