Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Critism it's going to Happen- Response is ok

Anytime that you put yourself out into the world, and try to sell off your wares.... you are open to criticism. That is the scary part. "what if people don't like my stuff? Then they must not like me."

Well, we live in a very critical society. It's definitely going to happen. In art school- you go through these things called "art crits", where the other students give their honest opinion of the work that you just spent 6 weeks making. These are small versions of the "real world" experiences with criticism that come out of the woodwork when you put your name out there. "My 12 year old/sister/ friend can make this for me, where did you get the materials?"  Is a very common comment I receive when I do a public craft fair.

Take time to respond in a way that meaningful to you- well, what on earth does that mean? You can get defensive and reactionary, but it won't teach you anything new. And, usually, this sarcastic quickie comeback, doesn't make any friends. For growth, and bettering your art honing your skills, sometimes, listening to what a client has to say can start a dialog.

So, before you go to your next craft fair, prepare yourself. It's not you- it's them. We are so blessed to receive cheap goods and services. There is no comparing a handmade object to a mass produced item. It is up to you to educate your buyers on what they are actually paying for. How long have you practiced your skills? How long did that thing take you to make it, how do you carefully choose and source your materials, all of these things start a narrative. That's right, they tell your story!

Have your elevator pitch prepared. As soon as you are putting your work out for sale- that might be online, or in a brick in mortar store. Once you have made your product available, be prepared with a positive explanation for what your thing is. Sometimes go into detail on how you made it {barring a few trade secrets, of course ;)}

Creating value, that takes a trick!

Remember, as you are a consumer and evaluating others work... You can choose to treat other artists the way that you would like to be treated. There is power there, and there are choices. You can choose to be an encourager! So Do It!

I feel that there is enough room for everyone in the market. There is room in the market, for as many jewelry artists as there are people that wear jewelry. I'm sure there is room to reach out to those who are new to their craft. If there is a thing that you can offer, do it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dip Dyed Tote Bags

I love giving handmade gifts. Every year at Christmas, I try to make a big batch of, well, thingys. and give them away . This Year it was Chex mix for the boys and tote bags for the girls. Everyone seemed happy!

This project is probably 10 and up. I kept my kids out of it.

I used 4 shades of Procion dyes, however you can use as little as one. I was warned to try to keep it down, because the colors will start to get muddy as you go along.

I used the plastic container that the veggie platter comes in, from the grocery store. I love it when something is recyclable and I can use it one more time before I bin it. Like I got my money's worth.

I used Soda ash on the stove- it smells to high heaven! Keep a lid on it and crack a window.... even if it is December! This helps prepare your fabric for dying. I ordered several tote bags off of the internet. Amazon, Dick Blick, Micheals' and Joann's. It was fun to feel the different textures, they were all different sizes, some had pockets, other's didn't. I kept in mind the women in my life that I was making them for, so 2 went more emerald green, and one went way more purple and blue. The rest were rainbow, purple, blue, turquoise, and green.

grab a wet bag out of your Soda ash, wring it out, leave it scrunched up and dip it right in the dye, about 3 inches deep. Fold the skinny wet bag in half and dip the middle in another color.
Lay it flat in a tub. after they have been wet about an hour- throw it in the washing machine.

after they have been wet about an hour- throw it in the washing machine.

HANG Dry- not in the dryer.

Then I used, Sharpies, and Dacique Dyes painted on to make a few modificatons, You know, make it personal!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Paper Journals

I've learned a lot about journal making, since I started this fun journey. over 300 Journals made.... just a few!!

Electrical tape is actually a form of binding- way stronger than washi tape. Makes the whole notebook more durable, and last longer going in and out of bags.

 More Neutral colors, and some colored Duct tape bindings, the Metallic gold  binding is really fun, makes it more of a design choice, less about demanding function.

I've been making more secure journals by using a contact paper seal- I can use delicate handmade papers, that are like tissue paper in consistency. The Modge Podge seal was making them wrinkle, and sometimes changing the colors. But, when I use contact paper-they are protected from water damage, and I feel secure about that!

There are so many awesome metal details that I now use. The name plates and the corner protectors are old school, and still useful. Age Before Beauty? even if it false age?? Distress inks help me give the illusion of age, but maintain the sturdy reliability of new materials.

Some of my journals for sale: Journals for sale!!!!!

Some of my older posts about making your own journals: composition notebooks tutorial.