Thursday, January 29, 2009

My thanks to Nancy Lefko over at My Collage Art for this award! Now I have to list for you 5 things that I'm into right now. Hmmm. That's a good one. Well let's see what I can dig up:

1. creating another digital workshop
2. keeping warm
3. won't last long, but I got a new vacuum that actually works after years of a really crappy vac!
4. homemade ciabatta bread my DH keeps experimenting with making
5. my new studio
Oh Lord. I even bore myself. ;-) Thanks again Nancy, I hope you don't regret giving this award to me!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thank you Mary Jane!

You know, when you are in business for yourself, there is a lot to think about. And marketing is always a top priority, no matter what our private feelings are about marketing. After all, if you can't draw people to your business, then face it, you won't stay open for long.

Some people will disagree with me, but I am not a subscriber to the theory of "build it and they will come". Especially with an Internet business. The only way they will come is if "they" know you are there. And the only way they will know about you is with a lot of hard work which includes networking, marketing and advertising.

But advertising can be very expensive. If you want to put a pretty color picture ad in a national type magazine, you are going to spend, depending on the size of the ad and the magazine, something like $400.00. And that is more than likely about 1/12th of a page. For one ad. For one month. For one magazine. Statistics say that you need to run a magazine ad for approximately 3 to 6 months for people to start to respond to your ad. Which is why I run a text ad in the Online Connections area in Somerset Studio. It fits my budget better. :-)

So. When one receives a free mention of their business somewhere, anywhere, as a business they are (or should be) most grateful. And I want to say here that as a business woman I am honored and most grateful for the mention in the Mary Janes Farm Magazine Dec-Jan. issue. I didn't even know this magazine existed until I started to get orders for glass glitter and some of my customers were kind enough to answer my one check out question: "where did you find us?". That question is so important to a business and I always appreciate anyone who takes the time to answer that question. And doesn't this magazine look scrumptious. I checked it out online and also see that it's founder and creator Mary Jane Butters was in one of the latest "studio" magazines just out. So go, check out her and her magazine. I just may have to subscribe.

So to whoever I owe my thanks for this mention in your article. You have it. Many, many thanks. And thanks to my sweet friend Dawn Edmonson over at The Feathered Nest for sending me a copy of this article.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Want to Take a Studio Tour?

So my studio makeover is finally done! Yay! And I know I promised pictures but I changed my mind. I have a new toy so I thought it would be fun to practice using it and give you an actual studio tour at the same time. So I hope you will forgive the videographer, it is her first video attempt and there is definite room for improvement. ;-)

Before you play the video I suggest you scroll down and turn off the play list on your right...otherwise your ears might rebel on you! we go :-)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Studio Makeover -Part Deux

As promised here are some more photos from the studio makeover. It's funny, I knew there would be a big mess and I knew I would have to live with it until we were done and I knew that it was temporary and worth it to have new studio. Yet it still drove me CRAZY!

This has been the state of my dining room table since the day after Christmas ACK!

And my computer room - I didn't even take a picture of the get the idea!

But lookee, part of my nice new loooong work counter :-)

And the last part of my nice new looong counter and shelving :-)

The vintage valances I purchased years ago and had sitting in my fabric stash all this time :-)

The new Roman shades for privacy and sun control

And then back to another big mess in order to start finding a place for all the "stuff"

But I am almost done now and I will post pictures of it when I finish :-)
Big, big mess...worth it, worth it, worth it!!! :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Are you cocooning? Bad weather/cold weather keeping you inside? Want to start the new year off fresh? Learn new techniques? Well over at Creative Workshops we have just the idea way to do this! Take a workshop, learn some new skills or new techniques to carry over into your own personal style of art!

Creating Custom Digital Brushes/Stamps 101 ~ Gail Schmidt

My Photoshop/Photoshop Elements workshop started Tuesday but this class is set up to be open ended and anyone can join at anytime as long as it remains open, and not miss a thing. Start at the beginning and follow along with the videos, have the ability to ask questions and get answers. Just like sitting in a classroom with the actual teacher. The only difference is we're virtual and you can work at your own pace within your own schedule and even in your jammies and slippers if you like!

Over at the digital workshop I've heard from a number of the ladies already and they tell me they are having fun, learning, and that with the correct instruction Photoshop or Elements is easier than they thought. So come on over and join might be surprised at what you can learn to do with this powerful graphic software and how you can incorporate it into your artwork. But be careful...I'm here to attest to how addicting it can become once you start to learn your way around Photoshop! ;-)


Visual Journalism 101 Workshop - Pam Carriker

Next Monday Jan 12, 2009, Pam Carriker's workshop Visual Journalism 101 Workshop begins and even if you don't particularly want to create an art journal, I had a tiny sneak peek at what Pam is going to offer and just what you will learn in techniques alone is worth the cost of the workshop! Pam is mixing it up with images, written information and video...this is a great opportunity to learn from a very talented wonderful artist.

So come on over and find some time to while away the winter blahs.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Studio Makeover WIP

Finally, my card reader has been found and hooked back up. So here are some promised pictures of the work being done on my new studio.

I just love to see this man up on a ladder. Makes my heart go pitty pat. ;-) Mr. Shabby has to get all the high places for me as my tendinitis won't let me put my arm in that position. Oh dear, such a shame.

I thought this was a good picture so you could see the color. I'm crazy about this color. I used it in my bedroom and it is also going in my new kitchen...eventually. See the ugly, ugly trim around the closet door. Same around all the doors and windows and I have hated it all these years. Everything is going to clean looking white when it comes to trim! See the nice light I get in this room even with the lights off. :-) an old house you have drafty walls. We can't afford siding yet. And the south side of the house gets all the wind. So we had to come up with something to deal with the problem and this is our solution. Pretty isn't it? LOL No, that's not the finished part. This is some thin skim board that goes up on the wall first. Then we had to deal with the seam issues.
What's this? Come on don't you recognize crumpled tissue paper when you see it?
Yep! I did a tissue treatment on this one wall. Gives it nice texture and covers the seams very well.

Unfortunately you won't be able to see it because I didn't glaze it. A nice brown glaze would bring out all the texture but I wanted to keep everything as light as possible so I opted not to glaze and leave the texture subtle. But this is the same wall. Notice the beautiful white trim? :-)

Okay, I admit, seeing Mr. Shabby on his knees ain't to bad either. ;-) Especially when he's installing my new commercial grade carpet. Look at that beautiful light! I bet in it's 80+ years that room has never seen so much light!

I am still at this stage and waiting on my work counters (being built as I type) for the other side of the room under the windows. So I decided to play with furniture arrangement, and moved some of my shabby furniture back in on the other side of the room and although this is different than my original plan, I like it better. It feels like a little room within a room. Since I don't sew much but like to have access if the mood strikes me, the sewing machine will go back on the desk in the corner out of the way but easily accessible. I definitely have to find a new, pretty chair for that desk instead of the ugly folding chair I've been using.

So, that's it so far. I'll have some more pictures hopefully later in the week. I found some vintage valances I had stashed away that go perfectly at the windows and have wonderful faded shabby colors! I ordered cream roman shades for light control (certain time of the day it's actually to bright to work) and privacy at night and I'm a happy woman.
Okay, I have to go back to work!

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Collage Sheets & Papers

Well I hope to have the card reader found by tonight so I can upload some in progress studio pictures I've been taking. We're not done yet but getting closer! Last night I actually was able to move in a couple of my shabby pieces of furniture. So instead here are pictures of some new Collage Sheets and Decorative Papers I've recently designed. Hope you like them.

4 New Collage Sheets....Altered Children 9 and for Valentine Projects how about Altered Cupids Love Prompts and You're Invited Tickets ("You're Invited" isn't just for parties anymore! Invite someone to a movie or dinner or both. Invite a friend for a special day of antiquing or a pizza at get the idea!)

How about a paper for those Valentine Projects? Red Damask

Plus, I've added a new Floral Collection to our Decorative Papers category for all us Flower lovers!

Iris Beauty Heirloom Roses, Birdsong and Wild Rose Pink