Archive for the ‘Cafe Press’ Category

Day One, Season 3

  I chose my “Explosion” piece for today because that’s the kind of excitement I feel starting this new season three. Seasons one and two of Cocreating Our Reality were eye-opening and exciting, and for the last few days I have been building up to starting a new journey today. First, I am so blessed to be retired and able to work on art when and where I want to, for as long as I want to. I get to spend every day with my hubby, and life is pretty much wonderful. Health problems – of course, who doesn’t have them at our age. But – that’s not stopping me from living a great life.

I discovered over the last two seasons when it was time to evaluate my goals, that I hadn’t really stretched myself – or thought big enough. So I have been pondering that for the last week or so. What is it I actually want to do?

First and foremost, kind of came to me last night in the moments before sleep, is probably the one most on my mind. I need to take this season and concentrate on me. It sounds selfish, but it isn’t. I have health issues that really need to be addressed, and for so many years they went to the side as other things – students, work, hubby – took their place. If I expect to be as creative for as long as I want, and get out and be politically active, and write – do all the things I want to – than I need to focus on my health. So that is goal number one for this season: take the cholesterol medicine, take my vitamins, watch what I eat, get out regularly and exercise, track my food intake, get some yoga teachings, get my blood readings where they need to be. I actually started thinking this way a few days ago, and I’m pleased to say the exercise has already increased, as well as having a bit more control over appetite.

A second goal is tied in to all this. I am getting a second opinion on my vision issues and will work to find strategies to help with the depth perception and balance issues. A new doctor’s appointment is scheduled for next week Thursday, and I have a teacher friend to talk to about some basic yoga stretches. I always knew this day was coming, and now that it’s here, I need to learn to work with the new limitations.

Overall, for the first time, these two goals seem very positive. One hundred days from now, March 10, I expect that I will have been enormously successful at these first two. That statement alone is a major change for me. It’s very positive, rather than using the word “try.”

Business-wise I have some very specific goals.

Number three in my list is to solve the newsletter/collectors’ information issue. I am, as was said to a friend of mine, “leaving money on the table.” This has to be a regular business goal. I am considering taking Alyson Stanfield’s “Cultivating Your Collectors” class in February. That will depend on a number of things, primarily finances. I am good at reading and implementing, and since I accomplished four of Alyson’s goals in I’d Rather Be in the Studio!, I should be able to accomplish at least three this new season. So: newsletter, portfolio (which we will need for a major event the end of March), and I will look through the list for at least one other. Newsletter once a month should be definitely do-able. A collectors’ newsletter once a quarter should be reasonable. I’m sure there will be others to add here.

Number four is searching out wholesale suppliers for cutting back basic costs of making marbled fabric. As of yesterday I have a new wholesale account with Kona Bay fabrics, as we use their colored cotton quite successfully. We are looking for wholesale sources for premium white cotton, silk/satin ribbon (like Offray), and probably some other materials.

Number five is ramping up our Etsy shop, our Fine Art America galleries, Cafe Press, and looking in to Red Bubble, Three Sisters, and at least one other online selling site. My overall goal in all this is to be able to update these sites once a week, as well as include items from these sites in our soon-to-happen newsletters. I’ve tried setting monetary goals for Etsy and Ebay, and they are very fickle, depending on the economy. I do tweet my Etsy and Ebay offerings once a week, which certainly drives traffic to the site, but I don’t see it converting. However, I know that it is only a matter of time, as is the case with this blog. I am about to hit 1500 viewers per month, so I know it is consistency. (Concerning the blog…when Facebook changed its latest set of operating, my blog numbers dropped. Turns out, on exploration, Networked Blogs was a casualty and needed to be reactivated. Once that happened, I saw numbers increase again…..I am amazed at how net-savvy we need to be these days!)

Art-wise I also have some very specific goals.

Number six is to enter a major show with new work. The deadline for this is mid-February, and I am already hard at work on the first of two pieces. The fabric has been created, and the ideas are flowing. Here’s just some of the fabric…..

Unpolished red satin

If I get accepted, great. If not, I will have two new lovely large art pieces for our body of work. But I am putting out to the Universe that this will be show-worthy art.

Number seven is to create the kit for Marbled Seasons. Yesterday’s blog post showed the first of the four small quilts/table runners. I used to have several patterns, all of which I sold the rights to. So I just need to make more. For this goal I want this set of kits completed, and two new ideas for pattern kits, plus a rewrite of my Polynomial Quilt pattern – which I used the quilts for that very successfully in an adult algebra class to teach multiplying, and it was highly successful.

Number eight is to be completely prepared – except for minor loose ends – by March 10, for StashFest at the La Conner Quilt Museum in La Conner, Washington. We have been invited to participate, and it means marbling about 400 fat quarters in the next three months…..another reason for looking carefully at wholesale outlets! This is an interesting goal, because after our last guild presentation, I put out to the universe that it would be fun to travel and do demos in the Southern Arizona, southern New Mexico area. Well, two days later I had this email…..as Dale Anne Potter, my muse with Law of Attraction said, I was open to the possibilities.

Number nine will build on the previous. Develop a letter/sample to go to local guilds for demos and classes. I think just the development at this stage, because we will be focused on making fabric for Washington.

Number ten, under the category of Miscellaneous, comes continuing to work on Art From the Heart, a site devoted to spreading peace and nonviolence in the aftermath of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. We had two new entries this last month, and I am hopeful for more.

Now that I have these written, I have to chuckle in that I was concerned about trying to get my goals coherent for this season. These are more detailed than the past two seasons, and they will certainly stretch me.

So Day One – I’m going to sew, work on some lists, and get ready for a small craft event on Saturday. Plus, it’s the holidays, and I want to “do more good” this year on a daily basis. May you have a really awesome day!

What’s Available This Week

Lots available this week! We’ll start with Ebay:

Silk remnants available – some really nice patterns and colors. Hand-marbled Habotai 8mm silk remnants.  Four pieces in assorted  colors.   Sizes are 8 x 25 and 8 x 26 inches. Designs are Large Feather(Chevron), Freeform, and Stone. All pretreated, heatset,  and preshrunk – ready to go for your project. Perfect for art projects, scrap booking, doll clothes,  embellishment, accessorizing.

Also on Ebay this week:

Hand marbled cotton remnants available – assorted colors and patterns. Thirteen  pieces in assorted colors and designs. The sizes range: 3 x 8, 4 x 8, 6 x 8, and 3 x 17 inches.

On Etsy, a really scrumptious fat quarter of cotton: This fat quarter on Pima cotton is hand-marbled on white pima cotton in a very traditional nonpareil marbling pattern. There is incredible detail to this piece, and it can be used horizontally or vertically, depending on how you want to use the “movement” in the piece. 17 by 21.5 inches. Edges are serged to prevent raveling during the marbling process. Pretreated and heat-set and ready to go for your project. Perfect for piecing, applique, wearable art accents – plenty to think about for projects! This fat quarter on Pima cotton is hand-marbled on white pima cotton in a very traditional nonpareil marbling pattern. There is incredible detail to this piece, and it can be used horizontally or vertically, depending on how you want to use the “movement” in the piece. 17 by 21.5 inches. Edges are serged to prevent raveling during the marbling process. Pretreated and heat-set and ready to go for your project. Perfect for piecing, applique, wearable art accents – plenty to think about for projects!

From Cafe Press, a package of Digital Marbling (TN) postcards, with one of our favorite designs.

We are always open to custom work, so let us know if there’s something you would like, and we’ll see what we can do.

What’s Available This Week

Busy week at the marbling ranch….getting ready for a marbling session tomorrow – lots of leaves for our holiday baskets, new fat quarters, and some ribbon coming. In the meantime, here are some goodies available now in our various shops.

On Ebay this week: some great remnants. These are hand-marbled Kaufman cotton remnants,  fifteen (15) pieces, in  assorted colors and designs.  Sizes are 3×6, 1×9, 8×9, 5×8, 4×15, and 6×17 inches.  All pretreated, heatset,  and preshrunk – ready to go for your project. Perfect for art projects,  scrap booking, quilt blocks, doll clothes,  book marks, embellishment,  accessorizing.

On Etsy this week, a really gorgeous piece of hand-marbled crepe.

Hand-marbled silk crepe fabric in a contemporary wave pattern. Size 10 by 28 inches. Edges are serged solely to prevent raveling. There is so much movement to this piece, and the colors are summer-bright. You can use this for a center medallion, for applique flowers – nice and bright for a basket design! Fabric is pretreated and heat-set – ready to go for your project. Also perfect for ATCs and small art works.

Also on Etsy, a unique table runner, made of a batik that is machine quilted, edges serged, and then woven in strips for this look.

And on Cafe Press this week: our best-selling journal. One of our most favorite Digital Marbling (TN) pieces on the front of a journal. With the increase in personal journals, you owe yourself a great design!

Go ahead and browse – you never know what you’ll find! Start shopping early.

Don’t forget our coming Holiday baskets – perfect for the artist or crafter who needs some unusual goodies. More on this next week.

What’s for Sale This Week –

It’s Thursday, so let’s take a look at what’s available for MarbleT-Design around the web this week.

On Ebay: I love a couple of the pieces this week, and if they don’t sell, well, I’m a gonna quilt ’em. This one is very organic and would be great to quilt. A fat quarter in Halloween colors, looks very much like an actual piece of marble. We are getting MUCH better at creating that pattern!

Also, a great fat quarter in the traditional peacock/bouquet pattern. Some great colors and lots of movement.

On Etsy this week: a gorgeous fat quarter of unpolished white satin – multi-colored with lots of movement to the piece. Satin requires a lot of work – from pretreating to the actual marbling – you have to be very careful about each step or the pattern washes right off the satin. Once it’s heat-set, you’re fine. All our fabrics are heat-set and ready to go for your projects.

On Cafe Press: a cool little magnet, of the traditional pineapple quilt block, made with marbled fabric. Great little gift for yourself and your refrigerator….

And from Zazzle: a piece of artwork created a year or so ago that you can put on any number of cool items. “I’d Rather Be Making Art!” And wouldn’t we all…I gave this mug to a few of my teacher friends who would lament about not having time to make any art during the school year. I’m still trying to figure Zazzle out, so you’ll have to click on the link. It’s so cool that you can customize this item on whatever you would like – different mugs and so forth.

There will be more – we are making fabric each week now that we both have the time and can work together. So check back – or better yet, let us know if there’s a custom product you are interested in.

 

Monday Marketing – Social Media Revisited

After nearly three months of work to get Marble-T Design in shape for some serious expansion, I have been thinking about the role of social media, since that has been a big focus. I’ve also been thinking about the market pieces in place now and how they are working.

Biggest help of all so far has been getting up and operating on Linked In. I completed my profile with two basic pieces: the art and my interest in doing private tutoring, with the emphasis on the art business. Even more so has been the group aspect of Linked In. I’ve joined a couple of discussion groups and met some great folks. Art Business, Art Marketing, Manhattan Arts International, and TAFA have been incredibly productive. Advice, people viewing and commenting on the art, increase in “Likes” on the fan page as a result of round robin visiting – lots more people know about our marbling.

Twitter – can’t seem to develop this one to the extent I probably should. I do tweet interesting articles, retweet others’ information, but I am lucky to get a half hour each day to read recent tweets. I do know that taking advantage of the Tweet aspect of listing items on Etsy has led to a lot more views, as well as some sales. That’s a plus, but I can’t seem to devote the time – at this point – to being a major presence in TwitterWorld. I use Tweetdeck to schedule my tweets, but I got really frustrated when it wasn’t posting tweets for the TAFA fund raiser. That’s on my long-term list of things to do, because frankly, it’s not a priority right now.

Facebook has been great – of recent interest has been the 7th grade picture of my class in elementary school – lots of interesting comments there! But in terms of business, the Fan page has been much more active, with an increase in “Likes,” and I am trying to post something every day. With the integrating features, my blog automatically gets posted, as well as Etsy items, and I try to get an Ebay item up at least once a week. I can tell from the stats on Ebay that the traffic increases each time I post. And…sales have been up.

Responding. This is the key. You just can’t read this stuff without letting people know you’re out there, enjoying/responding to what they’ve posted. And that takes time. But it has to be done, and done in a meaningful manner. When I first started blogging (some 528 posts ago), I was thrilled the few times a comment came in, but I never acknowledged it.You must do that, and you must have something sincere to say. I love doing this now – it is so gratifying that someone visits, and I want to respond to that.

Ebay – business is increasing, and we can see that because we are marbling more often.

Etsy – slowly starting to build. The key has been finding the niche market for Etsy, which is some of our more expensive marbled fabrics, not the big art pieces. I do think with the right marketing I can sell some of the small marbled art pieces, if I keep things under fifty dollars.

Blog – back to almost every day, and traffic is increasing significantly. I’m finally taking the advice of some other bloggers and having at least one day a week for what’s on sale from Marble-T Design. I do enjoy writing, and I enjoy visiting other blogs. I’ve expanded additional pages on the blog, from art blogs to visit to resources available. I still have more that I want to add.

These have been the Big Three that are in place and are working. Each week I am nurturing them along.

Website – we need to add more items (we used to have close to 14 items available for sale), and we need to increase the traffic/sales to the site. I need to update some of the art work, and I have done some rewriting of copy within the site.

Cafe Press – well, not so much, but I am advertising something each week. It’s been interesting to see the Cafe Press ads online – every time I see one, one of the items is usually our gecko tote bag.

Marketing materials – new business cards with all the social media information on them, thanks to Vista Print freebies. Plus, new postcards as thank-you’s for customers, encouraging them to sign up for our newsletter and win free fabric.

BUT – absolutely the BEST thing in all of this is that hubby and I are finally able to work together each day with our art, creating and having fun together all the while.

 

Thursday Specials – What’s Available This Week

Marble-T Design

Busy week with the marbling tray, and lots of great fabrics up on Ebay, as well as a couple of yummy ones on Etsy. First up on Etsy, a piece of silk crepe in some really summery, bright colors.

Silk Crepe on Etsy

On Ebay this week is silk crepe art cloth:

And in Cafe Press this week our Southwest Gecko tote bag:

Lots of other goodies, so kick back and explore all the sites! Ebay is good through early Sunday morning only, so if you see something, bid on it!

Monday Marketing – Preparing Collections

So one of my goals over these ninety days is to look at the pictures I have developed over the last couple of years, analyze the licensing materials, and determine ten collections that I can develop. According to the research I have been doing, I am going to need twelve to fifteen different collections. I have some ideas, but I need to get them organized, set up folders, look at what needs to be enlarged, adapted, and so on. I also want to see what can cross over to Cafe Press and potentially Zazzle, so I get as much mileage from some of the pieces.

Whew. There’s a lot there. One of the things I learned in the lynda.com classes was about Bridge – a program in Adobe Creative Suite that let’s me easily look at all my images and organize them easily – something I really need to do.

Now to get started….and DON’T EVEN THINK OF COPYING THESE IMAGES – ask if you have something in mind.

Botanicals: I have a LOT of photos that could go for calendars, prints, cards. Interesting – as I’m writing this, I realize I really haven’t given much thought to WHAT these could adorn. I have been through numerous stores, looking at design, but I’m not sure I have really thought about extending these pictures into more than two items. Hmmm. Food for thought.

(don’t even think about copying….)

Black and White: prints, cards, kitchen items, gifts, fabric designs.


Indigenous images: I love taking regional designs and seeing how I can interpret them through marbled fabrics that have been digitized. This would make good regional products. Cards, calendars, prints, fabric (if the repeat works), gifts.

Art Deco Revisited: taking images in the public domain and embellishing them with marbled fabrics that have been digitized. Cards, calendars, prints, fabrics, gifts. The designs are from a public source, in this case the Dover book on Art Deco Designs.

                                              Original                                                                                                                With the digitized marbled fabrics

Abstracts: digital manipulation of marbled fabrics to create a new design, in this case “Moons.” Prints, cards, calendars, potentially fabric, gifts.

Inspirational: Taking either marbled patterns or images from nature and creating inspirational/motivational prints and cards, t-shirts, calendars.

Seasons: digital marbling, as well as nature images that could be used in fabric, cards, calendars, prints. Pictures here could overlap other sections.

Nature: Places around the country and the world, cards, calendars, gifts, prints.

Southwest Designs: since I’m in the southwest, and I know how popular many of these images are. This one is already set in repeats. Lots of fabric possibilities here, as well as simple gifts.

Holidays: (valentines, etc) Got nothin’ here, and I know companies will want to see holidays, so I have a great place to start.

Interesting. That’s potentially ten collections. In my mind there were more, until I actually started listing them. Next steps: take this list of collections and go back into the stores to see how else these prints could be used. Stay tuned for the progress here.

And if you’re looking for resources, I regularly read Tara Reed, who writes an art licensing blog. Also, I have purchased materials from her about licensing (disclosure: if you purchase anything through this site, I do receive a small commission as part of her affiliate program). Also, her “Just Ask” calls are filled with great information from a wide variety of experts in the field. It’s another resource for you.  July 2011 Ask Call Replay

What’s Available This Week….

  Another busy week, and a new marbling session tomorrow – back to creating lots of fat quarters, and I can’t wait. Lots of silk, ribbon, flowers, and FQ’s headed out of the tray in the next few weeks. We have so many loyal Ebay folks, and our Etsy store is beginning to attract a lot of visitors interested in larger pieces of fabric.

Cafe Press is becoming a place for showing our Digital Marbling (TN). The example below is a set of note cards, using the Grand Canyon as the subject. We took a basic piece of marbled fabric and scanned it. Then we worked within Photoshop  to create a really interesting layer to add mood to the primary image. The shot of the Grand Canyon fit the mood of this additional layer. Part of future plans is a gallery of Digital Marbling (TN), and I want to get back to my “Photoshop Fridays” of explaining how some of these prints come to be. The idea came about because some of the pieces of fabric were just too gorgeous to have only one life as a piece of fabric. This set of cards is available for this week; just click the link.

Ebay this week has hand-marbled silk. We LOVE marbling on silk, and now that we’re back to doing bigger pieces, we should have a lot more silk available. These are available till early Sunday morning.

In Etsy this week is another gorgeous piece of silk, a fat quarter with great movement and detail to the piece.

We are slowly building inventory, and we’ve got some ideas for the holidays, so we will keep you posted on what’s new and developing – marbled silk flowers and leaves, scarves, half yards…lots coming ahead. Got ideas? Let us know!

What’s Available This Week…..

  Before I get to the goodies available this week, I am almost at the end of my first season of 100 days in the Cocreating Our Reality challenge, where we look at practicing the Laws of Attraction. I have had an amazing nearly-100 days, both personally and business-wise. I love the feeling of always being positive and aware of the possibilities in our universe. I haven’t done the daily journaling, but I have been very mindful of the Attraction practices. I’ve met most of my goals for these 100 days, and that’s something new for me I usually think about goals, maybe write them down, and then kind of forget them. Not this time. Once I realized just how negative I normally was, I began to focus in on being positive all the time….and it does work!

Now on to what we have available this week, from Ebay, Etsy, and Cafe Press. First from Ebay, we have some very interesting art cloth, three pieces in different patterns and colors. These are all Kaufman cotton, lots of movement to the pieces. There are some minor flaws, but hey, for $4.50 you can do a lot of applique or piecing! The left is a traditional bouquet pattern, the center is a traditional nonpareil, and the one of the right is more of a contemporary freeform pattern (and the greens in this piece are brighter).

On Etsy this week is an unusual piece of hand-marbled unpolished satin, a perfect length for a table runner. The traditional chevron pattern is a joy to machine quilt to accent the lines of the piece. It’s 12 by 59 inches, and I can’t wait till we set the very large tray up again to do more large pieces like this.

On Cafe Press this week is an example of some of our Digital Marbling (TN) of our “Fossil” piece. I love this piece, based on a traditional stone pattern in the marbled fabric, and it looks great on a mug.

For so many years hubby and I would talk about how we wanted the time to do our artwork together, all the time, and now with retirement we can. The ideas are flowing rapidly, we’re getting larger trays for bigger pieces of fabric, we’re experimenting more and generally having a great time together. If you have some ideas you would like to see us try, please leave us a comment. We are always willing to try new things!

Places to Sell Your Work On Line

Linked In has been giving me lots of new connections and interesting articles and websites to follow. One of the articles was on ten online sites to sell your work. I’m planning on combing through each of them over the next month or so, but here is the list, with some preliminary thoughts. Also, cost is an issue – at this point almost everything we do is based on free stores, with commissions off sold pieces or listing fees.

Ebay – obviously. For many of us, it’s the first place we started selling. You can see a sample of what we have for sale at the link. We’ve done very well selling remnants and some larger pieces of fabric – but definitely no larger fiber art pieces. I don’t think Ebay is the place to sell fiber and textile artwork. That said, we do have a pretty good following of repeat customers. We’ve been selling since 2004 – the first time we listed two items it took us 2 hours…..there was a steep learning curve at the time, but once Paypal resolved its issues, and we figured out how to title the items, we began to build our base. It does take time.

Etsy – slow going here, but part of it is learning how to build up the shop. Three years ago I started a shop and it had maybe five things in it….and I did nothing to promote the shop. A year ago I revisited the shop, had ten things in it, and still had no idea what was going on. With still teaching full time, I wasn’t able to get the marketing going to get it known. Along come the Textiles and Fiber Arts List with an emphasis on getting publicity for our Etsy shops. I started looking around, and besides art pieces, I am stocking more pieces of marbled art cloth, at a higher price than what goes on Ebay. That seems to be working, as our sales have started to pick up, and pieces from each week’s marbling sessions are finding their way into the store.

TAFA – The Textiles and Fiber Arts List just completed their fund raising for a new marketplace site for all things fiber and textile. The goal is “markets for members,” and the group is aiming to become a major hub on the web in this area. What I particularly like about TAFA is that all artists are juried in and pay  a membership fee (extremely reasonable). This keeps the quality high and the artwork definitely unusual. This site is also all about networking for artists, so there is definite community being built at this site. I joined nearly a year ago, and now that I have some time, I am becoming active in the site. If you are an artist working in fiber and/or some form of textiles, you need to be a member. Another plus – you don’t lose anything in “commissions” – all dealings are between you and the buyer.

1000 Markets – looks like it has become Bonanza. Under the Art category was “art from the artist,” which I should browse more. There are some possibilities under the Crafts section, but I don’t like listing my work in a craft section (me, I guess….). Searching “fiber art” brought up mostly ATC’s and fiber magazines…..at first glance doesn’t look like something I will spend a lot of time on now.

Fine Art America – I have been really impressed with this site so far, even though it seems “too good to be true.” I want a site to sell my digital work, and this looks to be it – print on demand, with framing and shipping included. I have been hearing some good things from folks in my increasing business network, so I will definitely pursue this one.

Three Sisters Marketplace – I’ve heard a couple of good things about this group, and it will be one I investigate further later this fall. It sounds much more like a community, and artists are juried into this site also. I think for me personally that is a plus to the sites I decide to join.

Artfire – I’m thinking this is in competition with Etsy, as it advertises “handmade,” but for some reason I just can’t get into the site – the home page just seems extremely jumbled, and it looks like a lot of work….

Made It Myself – looks like a lot of other sites, and this says it’s geared to the hobbyist whose friends say “you can sell that.” Don’t think I’ll pursue that further.

Cafe Press – slowly in the works – this is one where I need to have my artwork settled before I seriously work on marketing my (again) free store.

Now – let’s hear from you as to your experiences. This is just a snapshot, I’m sure, of what’s available to sell your work on line. But let’s get some dialogue going with ideas, feedback, more sites – just leave a comment!

What’s Available This Week

We are getting quite active around the web and I thought it’s time to spotlight some of the things available on line this week – you can only find them this week.

First up is Ebay this week – lots of great fabric pieces available – assorted colors and marbling patterns, perfect for piecing, applique – and don’t forget – sometimes you can just make a small quiltlet with quilting the marbled pattern line. Two pieces of denim – really intriguing designs and effects.

On Etsy this week is a piece of art cloth again with lots of possibilities. We were trying for a starburst effect, and I think we achieved it. I have a smaller piece that I’m going to quilt for a small hanging.

On Cafe Press, one of our most favorite digital prints from our Botanicals Series:

And also from Cafe Press, a cool totebag with a digital manipulation of a Southwest gecko:

So enjoy exploring this week – we’ll have some new goodies next week!

Monday Marketing – Creating a Schedule

It’s Monday again….and it seems like all I did was read, look at emails, and set up buttons and the like. This is the “time-sucker.” So my goal for this blog post is to try and identify what needs to be done each week for marketing and set up a kind of calendar to work with.

This is what I’m dealing with: Ebay, Etsy, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Cafe Press, Zazzle, newsletters, a website, lynda.com, flickr, and a blog. I am trying to avoid doing all of this every day, because nothing else seems to get done. I’m brainstorming as I write, with the hope that by the time this post is done, I will have a plan.

Ebay: hubby handles almost all of this, including postal trips. But…if we are going to increase sales, we need more product, and I would like to help with the actual marbling. So…..marbling weekly. I do need to update the About Me page…..

Etsy: the bulk of the organization is done. But…I need to be adding product on a regular basis, which means I need to keep making things. It would be nice to have one new product up each week, if not more often. One of the goals this week is to add some of the major artwork (even though I don’t expect to sell it on Etsy, it is more exposure) on the site, as the pictures are redone. I want to continue with the circles marketing, which, if I have enough products, could be done every day – 15 minutes for this. Plus, I need to keep working…….

LinkedIn: profile is done, and I have registered for several groups for business. I have found already difficulty in keeping up with reading emails each day from the groups and have already deleted one group. This week I will determine which groups look to be the most advantageous. I also need to complete the setting up of a profile of artwork.

Facebook: I read this several times a day. I have a fan page which needs serious work, as well as Art From The Heart, which is to support healing art after the Tucson shootings in January. I have added FB buttons to my blog and this week to my website. I have read the Terms and looked at all the privacy settings. I also went through the photo stream stuff for FB and fixed photos for both the personal and fan page. I need to really think through what is going to happen with the Fan Page.

Twitter: I am finishing a class from lynda.com on using Facebook and Twitter for business, and I highly recommend the site. For #25 you can choose different trainings all available for a month at your schedule. I picked up all kinds of little tips, most of which have already been implemented. But….and this is a BIG but….the time for tweets and what to tweet. By syncing a lot of the programs, my blog appears on Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, my tweets appear in a couple of places. I don’t think I can go further with this – the tweet button is on the blog and soon to be on the website. This is one area that needs some serious scheduling. Since I use TweetDeck (which is free…), I can schedule and keep track of who’s following and what is getting retweeted. So…I’m going to use Sundays for scheduling business tweets for the week, and I will look through the twitter feed once a day to see if there’s some good stuff to retweet.

Cafe Press: I have a site, a free one, so I am limited as to the number of products I can put up. I haven’t looked at this in several months and it needs serious work. To have a store isn’t much money each month, and I could have a lot more products available, but the issue is marketing and driving people to the site. I have some great digital stuff already to go, and I need to start planning around the holidays, reading about marketing through Cafe Press, and so on.

Zazzle: Ditto for Cafe Press……both are not a high priority right now.

Newsletters: oy, it’s been months since a newsletter went out, and I have all these contacts where nothing is happening. I used Constant Contact last year for a few months, until I couldn’t keep up with the demands and school at the same time. I was happy with it, but disappointed that not many people actually read it. I need to go back to a newsletter and offerings at least once every three weeks, and more during the holiday seasons. I need to check out Mail Chimp, which is free, and I have heard people have good luck with it. I’ll try and make this a priority this week.

Website: Most of the changes to the website have been made by my wonderful web lady Suzan. I need to get a couple of buttons set up, and then do something about newsletters and contacts. I also have some pages to add on Digital Marbling (TN), and I need to evaluate “print on demand” for artwork. This is a “need to think about” topic…..

lynda.com: I have until Friday to finish my month of training. I still need to finish Twitter, and I want to get the html newsletter course done. I am not going to continue with Dreamweaver because it isn’t a priority.

Flickr: I have photos up, not all of them with copyrights, and there is a class on lynda.com if I have time. I’m not really sure what I want to do here….

And finally, my blog, Marbled Musings. I went a bunch of months with no new writing, and I’m at maybe three times a week. I need to get back to at least four times a week, and eventually every day. I have plenty to write about…and I need to stay up with my Google reader – as well as comment more on some of the posts. This is probably the biggest area for marketing that I have to schedule.

Weekly:

* Marbling fabric

* Work on Etsy products

* Sewing and other design

Mondays:

* Add Etsy product

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog post Monday Marketing

* Google reader and at least three comments

Tuesdays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog post Top Ten Tuesday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Wednesdays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog Work in progress Wednesday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Thursday:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog – Thursday Thoughts

* Google reader and at least three comments

Fridays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog Photoshop Friday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Saturdays:

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog posting on Specials

* Google reader and at least three comments

Sundays:

* Read Twitter feed

* Schedule Tweets for the week (i.e. Etsy, Ebay…)

* Blog Sunday Stories

* Google reader and at least three comments

Goals for next week:

* FINISH LYNDA.COM

*Update “About Me” page on Ebay

* Update Etsy products, especially note cards

* Evaluate how calendar is working

* See if buttons are added to the website

* Decisions on what will happen with the Facebook Fan page

* Long-term thoughts – what to do with CafePress and Zazzle

* Read and decide about Mail Chimp for a newsletter

* Spend some time thinking about what the website still needs….

Okay, I think I have a handle on this…we’ll see next week as I evaluate how the week goes. And…I’m taking some online classes!

Thoughts??

Monday Marketing….So Many Outlets, So Little Time

This has been my latest project. Rachel of Rayela Art does an amazing job, having only started this in February. Members include working artists, textile businesses, galleries, suppliers and other fiber/textile people. All have an established web presence. Our common connection weaves us together: a love for textiles and fiber art. Getting this together was not an easy task…biographies, store links – there is a LOT of thought put into developing this, and the site is getting a lot of viewers.

I’ve been analyzing all the various areas where I have a presence – some stronger than others. There will be an Etsy group on the Textile and Fiber Art list, and I am looking forward to being mentored, as I need assistance in creating a good Etsy shop. My current shop has a dozen items (as of tomorrow night), and part of what I was stressing over was creating new work just for my Etsy store. Well, duh – it occurred to me that I could list some of the work from our website that gets admired, but no one thinks to buy. So we shall see……

Now along with this was getting the connections to Twitter and Facebook and the Facebook fan page…all of which require time. It’s a good thing I have some basic computer knowledge and can find my way around the web and individual sites. Some just aren’t as intuitive as they could be……But I think Facebook is now linked to my blog, my networked blog, my Etsy…..

I’ve just begun to look at ArtFire as another outlet, but I need to read about that more. I can’t add widgets for Cafe Press and Ebay because I am still using just the free listings for Cafe Press (limited items) and weekly auctions for Ebay. I know you have to spend money to make money, but a store on Cafe Press and Ebay costs additional….need to make good use of marketing dollars, as we still need to buy supplies to continue to make art to sell in these various outlets.

I did enjoy yesterday – spent the majority of the day at the computer, working with Photoshop on some new images, writing bios, and looking for a pic of hubby and moi for the TAFA site. Those of you who know me know it’s not really a current picture, but it is a good one!

Had a great time doing all this yesterday, and then it’s always coming down to reality when Monday morning hits and it’s back into the classroom. I also got the new newsletter out – special on Sampler Package 1 – 20% off….check it out – perfect for collage, mixed media, small quilt projects….

Didn’t get to read my blogs this weekend, and I miss knowing what people are up to. But I do have some good stuff for tomorrow’s post on the Top Ten on the web this week. Stay tuned for Wednesday with unveiling of two pieces that are either home from shows or aren’t traveling to any at this point.

Make art this week! Tell me what you’re working on!

Monday Marketing

Copyright Notice

How did it get to be August? We returned from vacation on June 21st, and I started working on the business on June 23. A lot happened, I can tell that from my sheets of lists, but part of me is thinking, Oh my, so much left to do before schools tarts again.

One of the marketing things I did over the weekend is to make a list of what has to happen with social media for each day, once school starts. I have gotten so many things in place that I was swimming with all the details. Once I took the time to think about how I could work with these pieces each day, in a 30-minute time block, I could feel the stress start to diminish. This looks to be very do-able, and I have this week to make refinements.

As you can see from the graphic on the left, I was busy getting this symbol ready to attach to artwork on line, which means going back and protecting a lot of my earlier images. I did some reading about the legalese that should be on our blogs and websites, and I know now what I need to take care of – pronto. The logo is transparent, done in Photoshop, so I can just add the layer to my images. The problem will be actually getting to the images from earlier posts.

Another thing I did was to start a master list of the “long-range” projects for the next five-six months. Anything on the list this week is a priority – like a new newsletter – before I go back next week. This list will go above the sewing table with reminders of what is coming next. I find it is very helpful to do this type of exercise, primarily because now I won’t have to spend the mental energy trying to remember everything. Items on the list:

* Affiliate information and applications

* Licensing information, pattern repeats and developing a collection

* Spoonflower.com for printing fabrics

* Zazzle.com artwork and potential items

* Cafe Press items in preparation for the holiday season

* An Etsy store

* A tutorial on quilting marbled fabrics

* Feedback pages

* Updating links (and collecting new ones, so send yours along) on the website

* Linked In

* Update the Polyquilt pattern

* Confer with an attorney to vet all the legalese (copyright notice, disclaimers, FTC guidelines for affiliates, privacy policies, just to name a few)

* And…foremost with all of this – to continue making art.

What’s on your long-range list?

DON’T FORGET – sign up for our newsletter to get entered into a drawing for a Sampler 1 package of marbled fabrics! See the sign-up at the top of the page.

Saturday Special!

I was hoping, when I started a regular pattern of blog writings, that I could do some marketing on Saturdays – hence the “Saturday Special.” This has not been my most successful day because I can’t keep up with changing images, especially since Cafe Press isn’t as “intuitive” as I would like it. I did set up a friend’s store – The Edge of the Sea of Cortez – and you will see some really cool sea creatures, many of whom are endangered. Betty Hupp is the co-author of “The Edge of the Sea of Cortez,” a book about the sea creatures you will find tide-walking. Check out the store for an indication of some of her products, with more to come.


I really like this image, created a few months ago, and part of the “Indigenous Images” series I am working on. I put this on a t-shirt for this week – limited time only! I also have this image on a small ornament – looks really cool.

Digital Marbling (TN) is unique – I take a piece of marbled fabric – or two – and manipulate it to other intriguing images. Loads of fun to do. I am learning a lot about photo manipulation – what an amazing field. Were I younger, I think graphic design would have been my career field.


About a year ago I created a great background, and my digital partner Suzan used a shot she had taken of the Grand Canyon – makes for a very dramatic image. You can find this on notecards this week. The image is also available on a small magnet.

Also over a year ago I started my “Fossil” series, again from a traditional marbled stone pattern on fabric. The background has loads of possibilities! It’s available as a small poster this week and as a small mug.

Have fun exploring! If you are interested in Betty’s book on the Sea of Cortez, here’s the Amazon link.

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