April 29, 2009

Bags and tags

The bags for the show have arrived!! yep…colorful, fun and best of all~earth friendly. After pouring over options I decided on these. I LOVE a good shop bag (I’ve been known to ~she admits bashfully~ make purchases just to get the bag.) These non-woven fabric reusable bags are made of virgin polypropylene fiber that is 100% degradable. The cost averaged out to about 85 cents each for different colors in assorted sizes. To me that is money well spent not only for the reuseable factor, but to give my customers something special and show that I value my art. In my opinion, mixed messages are sent when vendors stick their gorgeous handmade items in a Wal-Mart bag. It devalues both the item(s) and the handmade movement. A cake with no icing or worse yet, a cake with big ugly mass retailer advertising all over it. Now hopping off my soapbox…

I also just received my freshly designed business cards. Overnight Prints did the printing and I’m quite pleased with how they turned out. little details: I requested rounded corners for a more handmade/less commercial touch. Also, had the front of the cards coated, but left the back uncoated to pen notes and thank yous.

As for tags, I’m using these awesome Fiskar squeeze punches to cut circles and squares from decorator paper. You squeeze the handles together and out pops a perfect circle or square (and they have tons of other shaped punches available.) The best part is they are designed so that you can see exactly what you are doing. You can punch shapes at lightening speed…such a great investment. Easy on the hands too.

Fluffy fibers attach cards to bags and tags to items. Here’s “Love Bird” getting all tagged and ready for her first show. I’m finding out that prepping for an art show is more time consuming than I E*V*E*R dreamed. Admittedly, it’s not helping that I am a sweater of the small stuff and think about details almost to a fault. The already packed lint brush and first aid kit are proof. Now watch me forget the art.
April 27, 2009

where my toes keep wandering

skipping out to do lawn/garden things despite large amounts of studio work.

did I miss the April showers part? sunny and 80 degrees already??!

not complaining…just saying.

actually rain is forecast tomorrow which is a good thing for project deadlines sake.

goodbye nature kisses for now.

today, this is where toes need to stay planted.
Filed Under: about me mostly
April 22, 2009

Hiding the Table or more 1st Art Show prep

I’ve had my eye out for fabric for my upcoming art show table for awhile now. Nothing uglier than your standard 2′ x 6′ white plastic hotel table…yeah, that baby must be covered. Yesterday on a thrift shop pop-in, I rooted through the fabric/bedding section to find 4 yards of the above for the bargain price of $2 (total). I questioned its busy-ness, but decided that the shade of purple perfectly matched my color scheme. This certainly isn’t bed-in-a-bag matchy that I’m going for with this and this and now THIS, but it’s all working and “matching” in my colorful, patterned world. I also loved that the funky paisley had a nice sense of movement, and was a non-wrinkly-silky kind of fabric that would look pretty good pulled out of a box if an iron couldn’t be located, and ~LOVE~ that it was $2.

After trimming the fabric to size, I decided it needed the other kind of trim. I rationalized that 8 yards of perfect trim probably wouldn’t turn up at a thrift store anytime soon…so I purchased the above ribbon from a craft store for a big $4. Bringing my table investment to $6. With all the other show necessities adding up, I’m being cautious. My goal is to at least break even.

I hemmed the edges of the fabric first and then went back and added the trim. Not sure if there’s a “right” way. If so, my making a trimmed table cloth by the book would have been purely accidental.

Here’s my purple, paisley, polka-dotted table cover all finished taking a test run on our dining table. I’ll also have a white cloth under it at the show which will extend to the floor so I can hide stuff like bins and bags and maybe myself depending on how things go… : 0

Another big check off the prep list….I’ve got the table covered.
April 19, 2009

*P* dust

We’ve returned from our family reunion/spring break in Disney World. Our family, along with grands, aunts, uncles and nieces had a *magical* time with gorgeous Florida weather. As I was doing the many loads of return home laundry, I found a couple pieces of “pixie dust” thrown as we opened the Magic Kingdom one day last week. My three-year old niece called it “pissy dust.” I’m thinking now that she may be on to something as “pixie dust” once home from the magic, does indeed transform into “pissy dust” when found in the 7th or 8th basket of laundry. Settling back into reality…one load at a time.
Filed Under: family
April 10, 2009

Bloom today

I am always a bit shocked (especially in my garden) when those kinda-ugly bulbs planted in the fall, peek up through the ground the following year and bloom into the beauties they truly are. (what a message, wouldn’t you say? )

Wishing you and yours a blossoming spring and a happy Easter. I’m giving myself a blog spring break, but I’ll be back in about a week. Big projects to wrap up including prepping for the show and hustling to get my entry done for this. ~enjoy your weekend!~

update: “bloom today” print is available for sale in my etsy shop.
April 9, 2009

Rolling out the Blank Canvas

After flag garland, the next thing on my list for my upcoming first ever art fair booth was the main sign. I purchased a 3′ x 5′ piece of primed canvas from Dick Blick. And I really have to remember this stuff for future sign making, kid projects, etc. This huge piece was a steal for under $8. Plus I can roll it back up on the sturdy cardboard roll it came with for easy transport to wherever my show tour may take me.

The first step was to transfer my nameplate to the canvas. I printed out my name (in tiles…this was huge) from the computer. After I drew lines and knew where everything should go, I attempted to hunt down carbon paper. Stuff I knew I had somewhere, but for the life of me could not find. Refusing to go to the store, I came up with an alternate plan for transferring that works just as great. I took charcoal sticks (wowza! that’s my box from college!) and charcoaled over the letters on the back of the paper. Then I flipped the paper right side and traced the outline of the letters with a pencil. The charcoal left a perfect line on the canvas.

Next I recreated what you see at the very top of this blog (‘hey did ya notice the new header…up there?!’me pointing to top of screen.) Paint flew and things got pretty messy at this stage, but that’s okay. You gotta have a little fun to sell it. I laid the canvas out to dry in the guest bedroom a.k.a. warmest room of the house with a threatening sign. Maybe a “Please DO NOT STEP ON” would have been nicer, but that might have taken away from the strong message I wanted to communicate to the eight other feet in the house.

Tah-dah!… here it is all finished. Well, almost finished. I still need to give it a coat or two of protective varnish. Plus an edge trim. Checking this off the list + flags is HUGE. I’m starting to see my vision come together. Next up is bags. Believe it or not, over thinking bags for customer purchases is what threw me into logo redesign mode in the first place. I’ve got a thing for a good store bag. More prep craziness coming soon.
April 6, 2009

This is what you look like when you’re mad

I’m not exactly sure what triggered my memory of this little gal. Maybe it was the latest kid temper tantrum or it could have been me having a grouchy day. Regardless, I remembered “mad doll”, proceeded up to the attic and dug her out of a box of saved memories. My grandma gave me this figurine back when I was five which was sometime in the mid 70’s. Apparently, I was going through a stage of “mad-ness.” Grandma G wanted me to see what I looked like. She wanted me to look at this crazy mad doll and laugh instead. I sure wish I knew Grandma G today because that lady had to have a great sense of humor plus she was a crafty genius (I definitely remember that.)

I tried to track down evidence of me needing a mad doll back when I was supposedly going through this little growing phase, but couldn’t find any. Just look at this angel with a matching cake nonetheless…could she possibly have a temper? naaaah, I didn’t think so either (if anything maybe she was “mad” about the curtains? guessing.)

So Maddoll is out of the box and now has a permanent home in my office for a quick referral in case anybody around here “forgets what they look like.” My kids are both amused and “freaked out” by her which I think is exactly the point. I wish I would have remembered her sooner. Nothing like a visual. :0 (
April 2, 2009

Making it up as I go

I decided it was about time I signed on to be a vendor at an art fair. It’s one of those things that I knew I wanted to try on for size sooner or later to see if we were a fit for each other. So when opportunity knocked, I answered and signed on for what I felt was a good fit for novice me (good fit for my first show = one day, inside, laid back yet professional, whimsical vendors with a humorous, friendly organizer.) Now with a little over a month to go, I’m working on my booth design. If you’ve ever peeked over at my etsy wares you know I’m all about bright colors and fun. The goal is for my booth to match, yet not overpower the goods. My vision includes a pennant garland to add to the festive atmosphere I’m working to create. I didn’t use a specific tutorial or anything to make…this wasn’t wheel invention. I just created a triangle shape from cardboard for a pattern, then cut, interfaced and pinned together more triangles than I ever cared to count.

For the triangles, I used three solids (found at yard sales for pennies) and then sprinkled in my more cherished prints. I powered up my sewing machine and had fun sewing triangles with funky multi-colored thread and zigzag stitches. Nothing too serious…this garland was all about having a good time. Next, I laid out a pattern of sewn triangles (yes, there is a pattern, but heck no, it’s not obvious.)

After rummaging through my rick rack box, I found yellow bias tape perfect to string the flags together. (disclaimer: my rick rack box filled with vintage bias tapes, trims, etc. does not exist due to years of sewing. I picked it all up at a yard sale years ago before I sewed anything more than buttons. I
knew it was a jackpot for $1, even though I had no idea what to do with the stuff. Self pat on the back…glad I didn’t pass that find by.)

Yards and yards of flag later, I can check ‘garland’ off my booth prep list. Next up is signage. The 3′ x 5′ piece of primed canvas I ordered from Dick Blick came in the mail yesterday. I’m excited to roll that baby out on the floor and go to work. I’ll keep ya updated as the days tick down. It’s exciting to see it all come together. Making up a space design and loving it.
Filed Under: decorating, sewing

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