Archive for the ‘Alyson Stanfield’ Category

Getting Organized – Day 3

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Sculpture at the Denver Art Museum, photo by Linda Moran, c. 2013

  I was looking through pictures to see about something appropriate for this third day of the series, and I stumbled upon one of my favorite sculptures from our trip east in July – the Broom and Dustpan at the Denver Art Museum. What a perfect way to look at a clean sweep of the least year and a new start for this coming year! Remember that you can start this series ANY TIME you want to. So…on to day 3!

 Dreaming the New Year

Now it’s time to think about this coming new year, regardless of when you consider your year to begin. When I was teaching, September was always the beginning of the year, not January. With retirement, my new year is the end of May. So you can do this at any time of the year, for however long a time period you want. Start with a month or two, or go for the whole year. If the process works for you, then consider doing a five-year plan. I promise you that this whole process really works!

First, though, you need to DREAM. If you need help in dreaming your goals, check out Dale Anne Potter’s website. She offers a lot of positive ideas for getting goals accomplished, and she has great resources. So does Alyson Stanfield, author of “I’d Rather Be in the Studio!”

I’m asking you to do away with limits on your thinking. No worrying about how much money you need, whether you think it’s actually possible to accomplish, or any other roadblocks you might place in your path. This is dream time. A year from now, what would you like to have accomplished? Just DREAM. Don’t limit yourself! And…don’t make it just about your business.

Here’s what I came up with in my brainstorming for last year:

a second online gallery carrying my artwork; publication of the book with my art quilts in it; a line of stencils for mixed media; two ebooks on marketing; an ebook on quilting marbled fabrics ; finish the ebook for a friend ; licensing some of my digital designs; at least four new patterns developed and available; at least three teaching gigs around the country; visiting Paducah to tour Quilt City; a trip to Kauai in the fall; visiting the Maritimes this summer; entry into at least two fiber/art shows; increase by 25% each the income from Ebay, the website, Etsy, and Cafe Press; another connection to the Martha Stewart folks for another article; additional writing and work done on my website; a visit with my foster son; visiting the old homestead in New Jersey; seeing my college buddy again; staying healthy; blog posts at least four times a week; articles in two art/quilt-related magazines; monthly lunches with my second mom; weekly Friday night dinners with my sister-friend; at least once a month something art/music-related to see; outdoor cactus garden established; and….a trip to Vienna to visit a friend.

Here’s how I did:

a second online gallery carrying my artwork (done); publication of the book with my art quilts in it (coming in June 2014); a line of stencils for mixed media (nope); two ebooks on marketing (got one, second in the works); an ebook on quilting marbled fabrics (just a tutorial); finish the ebook for a friend (done); licensing some of my digital designs (in the works); at least four new patterns developed and available (developed, not completed for sale); at least three teaching gigs around the country (did two, got one already booked for this coming year); visiting Paducah to tour Quilt City (done); a trip to Kauai in the fall (nope); visiting the Maritimes this summer (nope); entry into at least two fiber/art shows (nope, but not a priority any longer); increase by 25% each the income from Ebay (done), the website (nope), Etsy (done), and Cafe Press (nope); another connection to the Martha Stewart folks for another article (first article was a bust, not very cooperative, never got print sheets, not worth the time and effort); additional writing and work done on my website (nope); a visit with my foster son (YAY); visiting the old homestead in New Jersey (done – and in New York); seeing my college buddy again (nope); staying healthy (pretty much); blog posts at least four times a week (nope); articles in two art/quilt-related magazines (nope); monthly lunches with my second mom (done); weekly Friday night dinners with my sister-friend (done); at least once a month something art/music-related to see (done); outdoor cactus garden established (nope); and….a trip to Vienna to visit a friend (nope).

In retrospect, a lot accomplished, and some of the “nope’s” are not priorities any longer. The math person in me looks at 17 out of 30, a percentage of 57%. OVerall I’m pleased, because some other things got accomplished that I wasn’t anticipating, so a good year!

Your list can be as long or as short as you wish. Please do not try and limit yourself, even subconsciously. I have found the key in planning is to shoot for the moon. You’ll get a lot farther into the atmosphere than if you try to keep yourself grounded on earth.

Also, DO NOT FEEL OVERWHELMED with this list! In the next installment, I’ll be sharing the idea of backplanning – something that I have used throughout teaching, especially when I was doing theater. Backplanning makes everything seem absolutely do-able – I promise.

Feel free to share your dreaming with us. Some of us might get inspired by something you mention and decide to include it on our list. Let a comment and tell us what you’re dreaming about. You’ll head in to the New Year feeling very positive about what you’d like to accomplish! When I introduce you to Backplanning, you’ll realize you can accomplish what’s on your list. Now go and DREAM!

Monday Marketing (yeah, I know, I’m late……)

Last week I received a post card as a thank you from Alyson Stanfield – who runs the ArtBizBlog – an essential for your marketing information. This was a hand-written thank-you as a result of an article I wrote for Handmadeology that mentioned Alyson as a source for goal-setting information. I felt like I was appreciated.

This is what we have to do for our customers. Make them feel appreciated. I have a postcard that gets included with every order. The front is a piece of artwork, and the back is all the information about Marble-T Design: website, blog, Facebook, and an invitation to sign up for the newsletter, plus, a hand-written “thank you” for their business.

 This particular article by Alyson looks at a greeting card business – which I think many artists do, as a way of getting more mileage out of their art. But Alyson has a really neat idea: offer to send a card for a new subscriber to someone. You use one of your cards, the new subscriber provides the recipient’s name, address, and a brief greeting, and you do the rest. Love the idea. I also want you to read the comments on this post, because they mention a couple of caveats if you are going to do this….time limit, etc.

What ideas do you have for a type of give-away for new subscribers to your newsletter? We offer a drawing each month to receive free marbled fabric, but I’m not sure it’s enough to get new subscribers. I’m thinking of combining all my organizing posts into an ebook and offer that free to new subscribers, but I would REALLY like to hear from others as to what you do.

 

Monday Marketing

This has been a very busy couple of months, and I am into a lot of planning for this coming year. Here are a couple of articles that might be helpful as you look ahead to what you want to accomplish for 2013.

From the artbizblog and Alyson Stanfield comes a 5-step plan for generating income for 2013.  I think a lot of us forget about step one, analyzing your income for the previous year. This should help drive some of your goals for the new year.

From Dumb Little Man comes 88 Simple New Year’s Resolutions. These cover a wide range of categories, and you should find a couple that will work for you. Here are just a couple:

 I like number 29 – I am slowly getting through my unfinished quilt projects, especially since I am using them as practice pieces for all the new free motion quilting I have been learning. And concerning TV – well, there’s not a whole lot on that’s really worthwhile – I’d rather be in a book.

This last is something I am going to focus on this year. Harriete gives LOADS of useful web and design advice, and this one is about correctly tagging our images we have on line. Since I have redone the website, I need to address these. She has four tips for improving searches on your images.

 In other marketing news on this end, I am getting the newsletter ready to go out with announcements about our “Fabric of the Month offerings this year. The Etsy store has been restocked….well, we’re marbling like crazy to get new fabric available. We are planning for Seattle, as well as a magazine article that will come out in March. One of my goals this year is to get a better handle on using social media….at least, I’m thinking I can……

 

 

Part 2: Getting Organized – Start Dreaming!

Here comes Part 2 in my Getting Organized Series. You can follow along on the blog and get a head start before the posts appear on the Handmadeology blog. Share comments about your dreaming at the bottom of this post.

 Part 2: Dreaming the New Year

Now it’s time to think about this coming new year, regardless of when you consider your year to begin. When I was teaching, September was always the beginning of the year, not January. With retirement, my new year is the end of May. So you can do this at any time of the year, for however long a time period you want. Start with a month or two, or go for the whole year. If the process works for you, then consider doing a five-year plan. I promise you that this whole process really works!

First, though, you need to DREAM. If you need help in dreaming your goals, check out Dale Anne Potter’s website. She offers a lot of positive ideas for getting goals accomplished, and she has great resources. So does Alyson Stanfield, author of “I’d Rather Be in the Studio!”

I’m asking you to do away with limits on your thinking. No worrying about how much money you need, whether you think it’s actually possible to accomplish, or any other roadblocks you might place in your path. This is dream time. A year from now, what would you like to have accomplished? Just DREAM. Don’t limit yourself! And…don’t make it just about your business.

Here’s what I’ve come up with in my brainstorming, in no particular order.

  • a second online gallery carrying my artwork;
  • publication of the book by Linda Seward with my art quilts in it;
  • a line of stencils for mixed media;
  • two ebooks on marketing;
  • an ebook on quilting marbled fabrics;
  • finish the ebook for a friend;
  • licensing some of my digital designs;
  • at least four new patterns developed and available;
  • at least three teaching gigs around the country;
  • visiting Paducah to tour Quilt City;
  • a trip to Kauai in the fall;
  • visiting the Maritimes this summer;
  • entry into at least two fiber/art shows;
  • increase by 25% each the income from Ebay, the website, Etsy, and Cafe Press;
  • another connection to the Martha Stewart folks for another article;
  • additional writing and work done on my website;
  • a visit with my foster son;
  • visiting the old homestead in New Jersey;
  • seeing my college buddy again;
  • staying healthy;
  • blog posts at least four times a week;
  • articles in two art/quilt-related magazines;
  • monthly lunches with my second mom;
  • weekly Friday night dinners with my sister-friend;
  • at least once a month something art/music-related to see;
  • outdoor cactus garden established;
  • and….a trip to Vienna to visit a friend.

Your list can be as long or as short as you wish. Please do not try and limit yourself, even subconsciously. I have found the key in planning is to shoot for the moon. You’ll get a lot farther into the atmosphere than if you try to keep yourself grounded on earth.

Also, DO NOT FEEL OVERWHELMED with this list! In the next installment, I’ll be sharing the idea of backplanning – something that I have used throughout teaching, especially when I was doing theater. Backplanning makes everything seem absolutely do-able – I promise.

Feel free to share your dreaming with us. Some of us might get inspired by something you mention and decide to include it on our list. You’ll head in to the New Year feeling very positive about what you’d like to accomplish!

Next: The Concept of Backplanning

Monday Marketing…Catalogues? Rules? Truths?

Some nice marketing help from two of the gurus out there: Alyson Stanfield and Tara Reed. These four articles resonated with me, as their topics have been on my mind. First up, thinking about a catalog? Alyson has two articles on catalogs. “Peek Inside a Catalog of Your Art” has fabulous tips. This past spring I put together a “quickie” book from Shutterfly to showcase our work, but I would definitely do things differently next time. I lacked a good artist statement, credit lines, prices….oh so many mistakes. It did look gorgeous, all nice and big, but it could have been so much more. With the availability of print-on-demand and good software that makes designing books and catalogs easy, this is something we should all look at.

“Where to Distribute Catalogs of Your Art”  by Alyson follows up on your design and printing. Again, thanks to print-on-demand, pricing might now be so bad. Catalogs can be pricey, so think carefully about who gets a catalog. Optimize your audience.

I love this next: “Thirteen Truths About Marketing Your Art.” Oy, I need to review these every couple of weeks! Number 13 is my absolute weakness…..

Be sure to check out Alyson’s blog – loads of great advice!

 The last marketing gem is from Tara Reed of the Art Licensing Blog. Titled “The Rules of My Treehouse,” six great rules to help you continue creating art. I love “Don’t dwell on the negative.” Keep those folks out of your treehouse – and your life!

 If you are at all interested in checking out licensing your artwork, click below. I’ve used Tara’s books as I develop my own licensing plans, and they are really excellent. (Disclosure: I get a commission if you buy any of her materials off this website.) And…if you would rather be in the studio creating art, then check out Alyson’s book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio!



Make something happen this week! My newsletter is set to go out (almost written), so sign up at the top right if you’re not a subscriber – a chance to win free marbled fabric!

Monday Marketing – Online Business

This week I have two projects to finish, only one of which involves any marketing. The first is to finish a UFO from three years ago – my forest quilt. I’m practicing a lot of patterns learned in the free motion quilting challenge. The quilt is looking amazing – only a few boo-boos that I’m willing to worry over, but oh, the feathers on the border….yummy! They are taking a while, but it is so worth it! Maybe pictures by Wednesday…..

The marketing piece is to do final revisions on my table topper pattern – had great samples made, so I’m really excited about releasing the pattern. Mostly I need to make the pattern less wordy and more organized. But that needs to be done this week so it can be included in the next newsletter for next week, as well as my marketing plan for the holidays. Yes, I’m bound and determined not to miss the holiday season for shopping this year. Hubby has been learning the ins and outs of Etsy, so he is busy restocking the shelves. We have some GREAT fabric pieces in the store.

Readers know I have a number of places I do business on line, from Facebook, eBay, Etsy, and our website. Hubby has handled the time effort in eBay for the last 8 years, and now he is picking up Etsy. Alyson Stanfield had yet another good post on analyzing the time you spend – or need to spend –  setting up your online outlets. I will say the work gets easier the longer you are at it and set up systems for posting items. Our first two weeks of posting for eBay took close to four hours for six items. Same for Etsy when we first started. You have to be willing to spend the time, have the inventory, and write good descriptions to go along with good pictures. That’s several hours a week you need to spend – or in our case, hubby needs to spend. I write up the more unusual Etsy offerings, like the small table toppers, ribbons, and the like. You also need to add in the time to post items on Facebook, tweet them, and now use Pinterest.

A lot of us are online because we are convinced it is the way to do business. For us, online didn’t cost anything beyond our time. No stores, just free sites. As long as we were willing to invest the marketing time, we were able to get these venues to work for us. We also knew the art/craft show wasn’t the route for us, being such a niche market. But…and a very big but….you can’t put stuff up and expect it will sell if you don’t do anything more than just listing items. I did drop Tophatter from my venues for three reasons: one, not really selling anything, even in the “fabric and textiles” auction; two, a HUGE time commitment, as you want to be present at the auctions to promote your item; and three, I’m not willing to be burned by uncivil people (blog post here). These are decisions you need to make, and I like how Alyson’s guest blogger spelled things out for accounting. Our business has always been the two of us. Hubby is primary marbler, I’m the designer. I handle most of Photoshop, he does accounting, eBay, and Etsy listings. Retirement has made it easier to spend more time on what we love, as I am not exhausted from the school day.

If you’re not familiar with Handmadeology, I have done (and continue to do)  a series of posts on marketing your niche market. You can find them here, plus there are loads of great articles about running your business that are well worth your time.

Part 1: Niche Markets

Part 2: What is your wackiest marketing idea?

Part 3:  Getting out there

Part 4:  Have you done your newsletter?

Part 5: Your Newsletter Revisited

Have a great marketing week!

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Well, it has been a while, what with projects and a few days in San Diego. I have loads to work through on my blog list, so I am thinking there’s at least three posts here!

First up, from the 365 Project, some amazing photography yet again. In honor of beach time in San Diego……

Beach Sand by Michael Elliott

From the ArtBizBlog and Alyson Stanfield comes some organizing ideas. I just happened to see her Evernote mention, and I have just started using that on my iPad, so I want to go into this post more in depth….organizing lately has been off, to say the least!

Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) does an auction of artwork every year as a fund raiser. This is the first year I have contributed a piece. One thing members are doing to promote the auction is doing 6-piece “collections” around a theme. I pleased to say my “Hotwired” has made it into two collections.

Here are a few more samples of SAQA collections, put together by Kathy York.

Here’s a quick video from Freida Anderson with some fusing tips, something I am just getting in to:

Jane LaFazio interviews Leslie Riley. I’ve admired both for a long time. Jane is a very successful water color, mixed media, and art quilter, and Leslie Riley is quite the motivator. Enjoy the interview!

Alisa Burke has a fabulous post on tools for sketchbooks and frequently asked questions. Lots of “I wants” in this list…it’s probably a good thing I don’t do a lot of sketching……

Thanks to Rachel of Rayela Art and The Textile and Fiber Art List, here’s a cool look at a new tool called PicMonkey for editing pictures easily. Rachel did some fun playing around with pictures of her own.

Here’s a wonderful sense of humor video from YouTube about European shopping bags. Some very clever designs!

A very “enterprising” story of a 10-year-old who has started her own sewing business. You go, Lizzy!

And finally, a piece of honesty and courage from an Eagle Scout from The Best Article Every Day.

Have a great week! Let me know what you find that’s cool.

Monday Marketing

It’s Monday, and I’m trying to get back in the swing after a few days off…and actually a couple of weeks off from anything more intense than just sewing. I have been finding myself thinking a lot about this year’s holiday season….and it was 110 degrees today, so I’m thinking I’m nuts…..but the holidays are coming, and I don’t want to squander the opportunity this year. This week’s Handmadeology post will be about getting ready for the holidays.

That said, there was some great information from the ArtBizBlog and Alyson Stanfield today.

The first is about writing book reviews for your blog. I really should look at doing that, as I just picked up a couple of great ones on machine quilting, and they are making a difference in my latest quilting. It’s a distinct possibility that I will make one day a week a book review, and not necessarily about art quilts. There’s a lot of science fiction in my future….

The other blog post by Alyson is on organizing. I just downloaded  Evernote to my iPad, as I needed something for word processing during tutoring. I don’t know much about the program, but if I can use it for some other organizing ideas, then I’m game to try it.

Alyson references Tim Ferriss of the Four Hour Workweek, which I read about two years ago and proceeded to get very depressed. I was still teaching at the time, so there really was no way to look at four hours. However, the one piece that really stuck with me was all his information on outsourcing. Very intriguing, especially as I am headed in to some serious research for a potential book. Interesting read if you are ready for a drastic change…..

Top Ten Tuesday – New Art Blogs

It’s been a while since I’ve written about some of my daily go-to blogs. I’ve discovered a lot of new ones over the last year, both art-related and not, so here’s an update of blogs you don’t want to miss.

365 Project – aside from the fact that there are amazing photographs each week, the site has you start your own daily photo journal.

365 Project homepage

 

Waiting, by John

Elizabeth Barton writes a blog with tips, inspirations, art work, and wonderful pondering thoughts on your own art. If I could choose a mentor for a few months, it would be Elizabeth.

The Art Biz Blog is essential. Alyson Stanfield gives you spectacular advice for managing and promoting your art business. Start reading her if you aren’t already.

I love Larkin Van Horn. Not only does she create amazing work, but she likes using our fabrics! I had a chance to reconnect with her this past March at StashFest for the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum.

I follow the C&T Publishing blog for two reasons: I like to see what’s new….and they do giveaways, and one time I actually won! If you’re in the business, you need to keep up with trends,

Dale Anne Potter got me started last year on positivity and the Law of Attraction. She is a great artist, and she has been helping others achieve their dreams.

Vicki Welsh does some of the most amazing hand-dyes, with color gradations to dye for (pun intended)!

Generation Q Magazine just made it into print, after a year of online articles and features. Lots of potentially great stuff here!

Insights from SewCalGal is my go-to site this year for machine quilting. My skills have improved tremendously, I did a tutorial for Darlene, and there are great giveaways – fantastic site!!

And last, but certainly not least, the Textile and Fiber Art List, a group of over 300 artists from 30 countries. Amazing eye candy! Take a trip through blogs and Etsy stores for artists in everything “textile and fiber” you can imagine! A wealth of awesome information.

Top Ten Tuesday

Another interesting week on the web…..

Do you know about Tophatter? This is a new auction site on line – live auctions, a few times each day (actually, a lot each day). It’s just getting started, but seems to be a fun community. You can check it out and get emails about the various auctions – watched a hour’s worth on Saturday, and it was quite fun.

From the 365 Project, another set of amazing photographs.

Curious Cat by Sassik

Cool eye candy in a quilt show from Perth, West Australia, from Joan at Leschenault:

sorry - no credit given on the post, but AMAZING free motion!

 

Ever wonder about how they get all those clowns into a car? Here’s an article that actually explains the physics behind it…with a good dose of mirth!

From The Best Article Every Day comes “How to Fail a Test.” As a math teacher, I absolutely loved some of these.

For a “feel good” piece of fun, this wedding proposal:

From Alyson Stanfield comes another good post on working on our art: 6 Things Nick Cave Said That Made Me Pay Attention:

The best piece of advice for me? Evolve. Continue to grow. With that, I just emailed an artist whose work I really like and asked her about some private study to help me grow.

If you’re looking for the big ideas surrounding us, then go to Big Think for a load of provocative ideas. Here’s a screen shot of the last few articles:

From Cool Hunting comes a look at furniture designed from reclaimed parts of old buildings. Some very clever ideas for repurposing!

In case you need motivation to accomplish something you think is hardly possible, amidst all the naysayers, comes this final video…..perfect for my state of mind right now. I have to believe in myself, and when it comes to my own issue, I just don’t. That’s changing now.

Top Ten Tuesday

I am still so far behind of getting caught up on blogs, even my most favorite ones. But slowly, slowly…I want to enjoy what’s out there!

Really cool shots from this week’s 365 Project. Love the rainbow water drops!!

Cromer High Tide by Paul

As usual, Alyson Stanfield has great advice in her ArtBiz Blog, “Quadruple Your Email Subscribers, and this week is no exception, especially in light of what I wrote yesterday in finally getting to a newsletter.

Now I am certainly behind the time, and this has already gone viral, but what a great story, Caine’s Arcade!

I still haven’t really figured out Pinterest, but I do know that since the TAFA list started using it, the amount of spam I am getting has really increased. So here’s an article I am going to pursue as I learn more about Pinterest.

If you’ve ever wanted to try ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards), here is a blog by Quilt Rat that takes you through the process. Her doodles are excellent.

I have a new guilty pleasure……(that’s how I felt about the ORIGINAL Survivor….), and that’s Fashion Star. I’m finding it absolutely fascinating, both the design and marketing process, and trying to guess which clothes will get a bid. Joan Beiriger’s blog looks at the show from the point of licensing tips.

I love Mamacita and her occasional rants on society and education. Here’s a good one…..

“Back in the day, as George Washington might have said if he’d had to, except he DIDN’T have to because in his day, violent people were dealt with promptly and in a way that mightily discouraged repeat performances, a teacher’s problems consisted of gum, untucked shirts, spitballs, and the occasional talking-back, all of which were dealt with swiftly and firmly.  The teacher was in charge; the parents respected the teacher; the principal usually backed up the teacher, and since decent people were respected back then, the student knew that to be a decent person, he/she needed to shape up or look forward to five to ten in the pen.  At the very least, to be deprived of any further free public educational opportunities, because frankly, those belong to learners, not destroyers.

“Said shaping-up to be done by the student, mind you.  Who else can do it?  Nobody, that’s who.”

Readers of my blog know I love most things zentangle, and now there are zendalas……nice and round. Here’s a couple from the zentangle blog:

Letters of Note always have something of interest from the great and the unusual. This is a letter about writing, from the venerable C. S. Lewis, with advice that definitely stands the test of time.

And on another note, from James Thurber, comes this delightful letter, quite the counterpoint to C. S. Lewis.

Let me know of cool stuff you find on the web this week!

Top Ten Tuesday

Wow, I am so far behind in reading blogs….and I know I will no sooner get caught up then it will be time to leave for our trip. Ah, well, I’ve installed Google Reader on the iPad so I can follow along on the trip – I just haven’t quite figured out how to copy and paste URLs…..So how am I approaching this surplus of back blogs? I started with all the blogs with two or less entries. Got caught up on those and found some great eye candy. Next up will be purging the political blogs that have 50 entries or so….all they will do is make me irritated………

Anyway, from the 365 Project, more stunning photography – this site is always a delight! I love this pic:

Early Morning Fog by marlboromaam

A clever take on technology not working…this time at a TED talk. Be sure to follow the link for the story behind the story.

And if you liked that, here’s “Gotta Share – The Musical,” again breaking out at a conference.

From Sarah Ann Smith  and Art and Quilting in Camden comes a FABULOUS resource of EYE CANDY….NGA Images – thousands of images from the National Gallery of Art. And Sarah is right – MAJOR timesuck here!! And along with that comes The Art Project powered by Google….even more from the best museums in the world! Oh my! Here’s just a snippet of a screen shot….

…and you can set up your own collections…..Impressionists, here I come!

From Alyson Stanfield and the Art Biz Blog, comes some help on dealing with the new Timeline feature on Facebook – an opportunity for artists. “Tell the story of your art career on Facebook.”

I have missed not following Cool Hunting each day – they always have really interesting things. Here’s Metamorphabets.

Viktor Koen takes pictures of renaissance rapiers in museum corridors. He hordes images of salmon steaks, microscopes, beheaded dolls and nautilus shells. From the thousands of archived shots, the Greek typographical artist composes unique alphabets from layers of objects.” Doesn’t that sound so cool?

And this last image led me to another blog, one that is political, but with a great message: You Don’t Make Peace with Your Friends from the Daily Beast. I encourage you, regardless of your political leanings, to look beyond to the message of peace.

Also by Emily Hauser, and closer to home: What is White Privilege? Let there be an arrest in the Trayvon martin murder.

Need some help designing a badge for your blog? SewCalGal – the amazing woman hosting the year-long free motion quilting challenge – has great instructions up on her blog. I’m headed to them when I’m back from Seattle.

And finally, from The Best Article Every Day comes 58 OMG Facts.

Have a great week!

Monday Marketing

Here’s a great article that I’m going to file for after April. From Joanne Mattera’s Art Blog comes “Do It Yourself.”

What a great list of ideas to jump-start our work. I particularly like “Give yourself a residency.” I could use concentrated time to work on some new projects, but the reality is that I can’t do anything until returning from StashFest in April, and then potentially moving. BUT…if the move happens, then I have a studio space ALL FOR ME……

Alyson Stanfield, as usual, as a great post on what to do after an art piece is finished. Sheesh, you would think by now I would automatically do those things!! 15 Steps to Take After Completing Your Artwork. I have been really neglectful under documentation, and this past week at the Road 2 California quilt show, I picked up software that will enable me to document all my work (and do some passive income as a result….). I will keep you posted on the results.

 I did get a lot of loose ends accomplished over this last week and weekend. My TAFA site profile  (The Textile and Fiber Art List) is finally complete. My Etsy store is restocked with fabrics. We continue to marble for StashFest in Seattle (actually in La Conner, WA) in April. If you read my “Brain Dump” posting yesterday, you know I had a HUGE list, but little by little, I am whittling it down.

My Visions entry is due two weeks from today. I am ALMOST done the quilting. The blocking, facing, and final embellishments shouldn’t take long, once I finish shading all the GD rocks….If there is a major move in our future, one entry will have to wait – probably Fish Follies, since I really want to enter a piece ion the SAQA show “I’m Not Crazy.” We should have some information this week about a possible move. I also updated to the Facebook Timeline for my personal page – still need to wait and see what happens to the business/fan pages.

Now from Alyson comes 19 Art Documentaries You Shouldn’t Miss. Oh my goodness, there are gems here, and many I know nothing about……I’m going to be busy, between these and past episodes of The Quilt Show. I highly recommend Rivers and Tides about Andy Goldsworthy if you’ve never seen it. Refreshingly wonderful. Consider this a different kind of marketing!

And…a last-minute video on selling art on YouTube….

What have you done to market yourself this past week?

Top Ten Tuesday

I found a bunch of new, interesting art sites this week, plus the Free Motion Quilting Challenge started – you can see the badge on the right side, and it’s not too late to sign up. I’m looking forward to practicing a new pattern each month.

A new blog – The Creativity Post – looks to be very interesting, and I love the stuff on brain research.

The Creativity Post is a non-profit web platform committed to sharing the very best content on creativity, in all of its forms: from scientific discovery to philosophical debate, from entrepreneurial ventures to educational reform, from artistic expression to technological innovation – in short, to all the varieties of the human experience that creativity brings to life.”

Here’s a screen shot of some of their most popular entries:

From DesignBoom comes a spray-painted-skate-boarded-swimming-pool-design, complete with video…..really cool!

From PSD FanExtra comes a tutorial on designing t-shirts. This is very step-by-step – I think even I could do it (but maybe with a dog instead….).

Another MAD Magazine countdown of great blog covers…..Jerry and Joe and their new gig….

If you love dogs….well, even if you don’t, this is an adorable video of two dogs in a “restaurant,” waiting to order…..

And…MAD Magazine’s #1 blog cover – has been my favorite since I first saw it. Boehner vs. Obama and the DEBT…….Think Harry Potter……

A new blog I discovered by an Australian quilter, Emma at Sampaguita Quilts, with her finished quilts for 2011 – some luscious ones for eye candy! I love this one –

Another new blog – 365 Project – amazing photography! This is their official Top 20 post.

And from Alyson Stanfield and the Art Biz Blog comes some interesting resolutions for the new year: 12 Artist Resolutions to Steal for 2012.

Love this one: RESOLVE to stop fiddle-farting around on the Internet or with the TV remote control and start dedicating myself 100% to my life’s work.

And finally, a selection of Happy New Year’s from The Best Article Every Day.

Let me know what you find that’s really cool!

Top Ten Tuesday

Another Tuesday, and more goodies on the web – although it has been slower than normal, due to the holiday. Enjoy!

Here’s a great list from The Best Article Every Day – places to learn on line – for anything!

I found this interesting block design from Generation Q magazine, by way of Scott Hansen and Blue Nickel Studios. It celebrates Kwanzaa, and it’s a striking block. Take a good look at the setting – lots of interesting design possibilities.

I’m taking part in the Free Motion Quilting Challenge this coming year – I really want to learn to do more with my machine. I want to learn how to do feathers….take a look at this example from Ivory Spring’s Thread Talk. She gives step-by-step instructions – I can wish……

MAD Magazine rings in the New Year with its Top Ten posts…..

“The Disturbing Similarities Between New Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri and New Today Host Ann Curry”

From SewCalGal comes insights on free motion quilting, with a year-long challenge coming up. She says in this blog post that after a year of practicing FMQ, she’s much more capable of doing cool designs – and I concur…my FMQ has increased just from the practice. If you’re interested, go ahead and sign up for the monthly challenge – should be fun!

From Generation Q magazine comes some creative pushes for 2012, if you like to spend this time before the new year making plans and setting goals.

You know I love Cool Hunting – here’s some of their year-end best, in conceptual design.

“From ICFF to Art Basel, 2011 delivered a flurry of design objects for the home that while highly creative and concept-driven, didn’t compromise their utilitarian duties. From recycled plastic chairs to roman numeral inspired book shelves, the following are five of our favorite pieces of sculptural design that could just as easily pass as pure art objects.”

Lara Knutson's Soft Chemistry

from Art Biz Blog, a collection of top posts from the year for your marketing pleasure!

Most Commented On

6 Limits for Donating Artwork

12 Tips for Pricing Your Art

You Promise Exposure, We Want to See Results

Attracting Good Karma

Artists’ Day Jobs – What’s Yours?

Is There a Downside to Teaching Your Art?

Social Media Is Only a Tool

…and lots more!

From Fine Art Views, an interesting challenge: Add an Art Challenge to your New Year’s Resolution List: for Smokers…..I’m thinking of adapting this for dieting….

I haven’t posted anything lately on zentangles, but I keep looking at blogs. Here’s one from The Rainbow Elephant that I think would translate really well into a quilting pattern, especially since I want to incorporate some snowflakes on a winter quilt.

Have a great week – send me cool stuff you find!

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