Archive for the ‘ebay’ Category
What a beautiful Monday morning! It’s 10 AM and I’ve already accomplished photography of baskets, cutting fabric for the next project, and done all the Christmas cards. Plus – lots of great stuff accomplished over the last two weeks!
So….finally updated the Facebook business page with our gift baskets for sale – sold two, and I have another ready to go up. It’s been a lot of fun making the baskets and choosing some of the “ugly” fabric in the stash, as that turns out pretty darn cool. The Etsy store is up and running again, as well as Ebay, so check them out.
I’m contemplating a new online platform – just need to do the research. One of the biggies was the first newsletter in just over a year. No sales or offers, just a welcome, we’re still here, and it’s good to be making art again. I have plans for the first of the year to get back to a regular newsletter. Redid framing on a small 9 x 12 piece ready to go on Etsy, and another piece that needs new serging and mounting. Have another show set for three months with two other artists, starting in April – law firm, so will probably do some fiber, and we’ll save the digital work for the solo show in August. Had a great time at the Essex Art League holiday party this past week. We’ll be doing a demo for them, as well as a class or two, and we’re looking at a couple of open studios within our new apartment complex. We are back to seriously looking at video, so who knows where or when….or who?
The big thing for me has been the decision to self-publish my novel, so Monday Marketing will also include my work there – need to set myself some deadlines. I’ve given agents and publishers seven months – time to move on and get this out there!
Let’s see what the rest of today brings for momentum!
Trying to get caught up on all the endless marketing things to do…..I took a look at the Etsy store and updated what was needed, pinned a bunch of fabrics (until Pinterest wouldn’t take them), tweeted them, and renewed a few expired listings. Most of the Etsy work has been turned over to hubby. Now we need to increase our sales!
Also got some pins and tweets up regarding ebay, so we will see the difference in hits and if there are any sales. When I do this on ebay, I usually tweet half the items so I can see the difference in traffic and if it leads directly to sales.
The crunch is on to prepare for StashFest at the La Conner Quilt Museum in April – we are marbling more, and we will soon get into gear for twice a week. We plan to set up our really large tray in mid-February for larger pieces and special orders (we have a couple in the pipeline).
Fabric of the Month of January is up on the website, as well as a special offer for subscribers in the newsletter. We’ll see if this leads to some sales.
With the end of the month on Thursday, I am curious to see just how I did on my list of goals for January. I know there are a couple I won’t get to, but maybe……I will have a lot of time on Wednesday and Thursday, so maybe……
Upcoming: 2 potential book deadlines, where our fabric creations will join others; Martha Stewart Weddings mag to hit the stands with our ribbons spotlighted; possible licensing in the works with some of our patterns…and that’s just through March.
How’s your marketing going?
In keeping with my plan to actually write about what I did for marketing on Mondays, I made my list yesterday, as I had a lot of loose ends floating around in my head. Beside each heading is what I actually got accomplished today.
* marbling – 12 fat quarters, including some for the new set of Seasons patterns, plus more for the Etsy shop. I’m glad hubby is doing all the Etsy work of listing items. I then go in and promote them through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Got a really gorgeous new one that I’m trying for a quilted piece of driftwood. I’ll post a pic when the fabric is ironed.
* update Facebook business page, go back through some previous likes, make comments – I had been doing pretty well about a month ago with posting regularly and commenting on other’s art, but the month got away from me. So now I’m back.
* check on SAQA entry -read through the call to artists, and I decided this would not be right for me.
* email Anne about SOCAL Fiber Arts show and getting some appraisals done on recent quilts – done; need to know if I am qualified as legitimately disabled. I qualify, I’m making arrangements for appraisals in January for some of the newest art quilts, and now I can put together the packet for this show.
* Handmadeology blog – done and sent along the way. In researching a couple of blogs to boost holiday sales, I discovered a couple of venues I need to check on, so I’ll be busy with Digg, SumbleUpon, and Kaboodle this week, finding out all about them. I’m not sure about StumbleUpon – I don’t usually do that kind of surfing…..we’ll have to see. Same for Kaboodle – don’t know that it will be productive, and I have enough time-wasters as it is.
* TAFA request for community groups – sent out the request for information about the various communities we network with, as part of a blog post for Handmadeology.
* Craftsy class with Cindy Needham – the reality is that with the holidays coming up, and the number of unfinished projects, I really don’t have time for this class. I do want to wait and take another Elizabeth Barton class in October, since I got so much from the first class – and I’m not done with that one yet…….
* Promotesy – did my month sign-up yesterday, and I’ve started using it. I can schedule ahead of time, and things automatically post to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Looks to be easier to use than Hootsuite – which never did seem to publish my scheduled tweets.
* pin ebay – done…..it usually drives some traffic to the site, but it doesn’t seem to be converting to sales. Maybe when October rolls around….
* AZ SAQA info – emailed two jpgs off to the group. These are the two quilts that have been chosen to be in Linda Seward’s book The Complete Book of Art Quilt Techniques. We’ll see what happens. At least there’s no entry fee….
* Phoenix Public Library call for submissions – deadline October 10, $15.00, CD with 10 images. Images need to be from the last two years, but because of teaching full time, I am only now getting a lot more new work completed. Need to think this through.
* start newsletter for the month, at least outline what will be in it. I know what will be in the newsletter, I just need to get started on it, for it to go out a week from tomorrow.
* email stencil lady – go through website on stencils. I went through two sites that carry stencils, looking at ways of constructing some designs. I think I have a couple of really cool ideas, and I have emailed about pursuing this idea further. Over the next two weeks I want to see about doing actual designs for possible approval. This could be another source of passive income.
Okay, I was very productive getting all this stuff done today. This seems to be the way to go, rather than just writing about it and not necessarily doing it…..go figure……
Wow. Lots of new visitors to the blog – and WELCOME!!!! I said to hubby about three weeks ago “are we ever going to get past 1400 readers a month?” (according to Google Analytics), and the next thing I know, a mere three weeks later, we just passed 2100 readers this last month. Yay! I promise to make visiting worthwhile. We’re getting ready for our first newsletter this month, so please feel free to sign up (the link on the right), and be entered to win some free marbled fabric.
I have a tab on the top navigation bar that takes you to some resources. I invite you to view those. If you are interested in this marbling journey of ours, click here. Some are great art blogs that I follow regularly. I invite you to send me your URL if you have a blog. Others are resources I actually use, feel great about, and can recommend wholeheartedly. Yes, I am an affiliate of some of them, so I am attempting to make a few pennies off your clicks. But as I said on that page, nothing is there that I don’t trust implicitly. When I get time, I like to take a piece of really cool marbled fabric and work with it in Photoshop. You can see some of the journeys in Digital Marbling (TN), and we plan on adding lots more.
Tuesdays I try to include cool stuff I’ve found on the web the previous week. I go through a lot of blogs and try to include interesting, amazing, unusual – and of course weird – links for you. I try to keep Wednesdays for works-in-progress, but right now the WIP is for an entry and I can’t show details….Mondays I try to give you some marketing advice – sometimes what I’m doing that I find helpful, and sometimes links to how other people are doing it amazingly well.
Lately I’ve started my own “Brain Dump,” as a way of making my list and then checking it off to see how I’m doing with projects. Sometimes there’s just too much floating around, and the mental noise makes us nuts. This is what I’m trying to do, and I invite you on Sundays to add your own Brain Dump for the week and see how you do. Each Sunday I’ll do my own brain dump and ask you to do yours in a comment. Then the following week you can post how you did….I may set up a FB page for this……
And now a SALE…..through Sunday at midnight ONLY. Any Sampler 1 package from our website at 15% off, and 15% off anything on our Etsy site. Now if you need to see what you buy, then the Etsy offerings are for you. If you want to be pleasantly surprised, then the website deals are for you.
Here’s how each works. On Etsy, we have some small art quilts that are mostly marbled fabrics, and a lot of pieces of marbled cotton – and one exceptional piece of red silk – even better in person than in the picture. Decide what you want, and the discount is taken at checkout. This week’s coupon: WK1SPECIAL
On the website we have a page that shows patterns, but what you get is a surprise to you. The swatches are marbled depending on mood, desire for different patterns, and colors. So if you like surprises, this is a deal! Code: SAMP1 Coupon Code.
We hope you’ll take time to browse the website and look at the fiber art we’ve created using marbled fabrics. Some of these pieces have traveled to juried shows. We have a few that need to get into the galleries, and we have a line of ideas just waiting for the time to become new fiber art.
You can visit us at the La Conner Quilt Museum in April at Stashfest. We will have marbled fabric available to sell as part of the fundraiser for the museum.
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…..
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!
Busy week – lots of marbling going on today as we start to gear up for the holiday season. The last two years we just weren’t organized enough to deal with the holidays, and we let them get completely by us. Not. This. Year. We will have fabric!! And…you can always email us for orders or go to the website and see what’s available.
Speaking of the website, the question we get a lot is why no pictures of the Sampler Packages. Good question, and we have a good answer. Marbling creates unique pieces, and for us to put a picture up of each package, each piece, would be time consuming, very expensive, and probably lead to unhappy customers because you wouldn’t be getting “exactly” what’s in the picture. So we’ve given you a basic description. You can be pleasantly surprised! Or, if you want to know exactly what you’re getting, you can browse the Eaby auctions. We have a liberal return policy if you’re not happy, but we’ve gotten two packages back in the last 10 years…..and we’ve been on line since 1998…….almost the beginning of e-commerce!
Sampler Package 1: assorted colors and patterns. Eight 6 x 9 inch hand-marbled swatches on 100% white pima cotton. Perfect for piecing, appliqué, patchwork, scrapbooking, wearable art. You get a variety of marbled colors and patterns so you get a “taste” of this wonderful art form. $10.00
Sampler Package 2: assorted colors and patterns. Four 18 x 22 inch hand-marbled fat quarters on 100% white pima cotton for a great stash builder. Available in the following color ways: volcano reds/oranges; underwater blues and greens; deep woods browns and greens, and pinks/purples. Perfect for some serious quilting. $25.00
Sampler Package 3: assorted colors and patterns. Eight 10 x 10 inch hand-marbled squares on 100% pima cotton, for those larger block patterns you want to create. Perfect for piecing, appliqué, patchwork, scrapbooking, wearable art. $15.00
Now for Ebay this week:
A REALLY gorgeous piece of silk art cloth, in greens and blues, 17 by 23 inches. All preshrunk and heat-set and ready to go. Some nice movement to the piece!
The Etsy shop is a little bare this week – we’ve been selling lots of fabric, but we do have a few small art quilts that would make good presents – and they are reasonably priced. Here’s “On the Rocks” – a small 8.5 by 12 inch fiber art piece, perfect for a small table or a small wall area that needs just the right bit of color.
More coming next week! We’re surrounded by fabric around here!
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.
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!
Don’t forget our coming Holiday baskets – perfect for the artist or crafter who needs some unusual goodies. More on this next 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.
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.
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.
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.
On Ebay this week is silk crepe art cloth:
And in Cafe Press this week our Southwest Gecko tote bag:
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!
Wow, it has been an amazing week! So much of what I worked on in June and July is coming to fruition. Etsy is beginning to sell, and I have a marketing plan developed for just Etsy that seems like it is going to be easy to implement. The marbling is going very well; we purchased a metal tray just for doing fat quarters, and all we needed to do was waterproof it – which worked well. We’ll use the new tray the end of the week. Along with this good vibe has been the studio remodeling – what a difference with everything in its place, and room for both of us to work at the same time and share ideas.
We’ve begun to brainstorm other products for the company, as ten years ago we had a lot more than we do now. We have started preparing the guidelines for our gift baskets. WE NEED COUPONS: if you have a business related to fiber and textiles and would like to put together a coupon that could lead to some added publicity, all we are asking is for you to make some coupons that we can include in our gift baskets. You can email us for more information. We did this about 10 years ago, and we had great participation from other businesses, so folks got a goodie basket with lots of other opportunities in it.
Ebay business is picking up, and we’ve had to raise our prices, due to the serious increase in the cost of cotton. Ebay will continue to be an outlet for smaller, cheaper pieces of marbled fabric, mostly remnants. We have a good, steady business here. Etsy looks to be the place to sell larger, more expensive pieces of fabric, which is good.
Facebook is also bringing in lots of comments, but the best thing I’ve done has been the Linked In profile and joining a few fiber and art groups: Art Business, Art Marketing, Manhattan Arts (check this one out), and a few other groups – lots of comments and interest, and all this should add to business down the road.
The biggest concern with all the work over the last two months was would I be able to actually continue making new artwork. I pleased to say the answer is a definite yes. I finished two small studies this past week, both of which will end up on Etsy in the next two weeks, and I started a large piece with my Quilt University class. I have two small pieces to do for two art shows coming up, and I should be able to take care of those within the next two weeks.
One of the classes I took from Laura Bray was on Multiple Sources of Income. She spent a lesson on getting organized and goal setting. A great part of this class was seeing how I could distinguish the actual marketing of the business with making art. As a result, yesterday I spent the day getting everything into a notebook, organized by sections, long-term goals and lists, places for business cards as I develop my contacts list – it feels SO good to have it 1) all in one place; 2) a section for everything I need; and 3) a way to see my progress in all aspects of the business.
I think one thing that will help me (and I don’t know it it will work for others) is that I am going to include within my binder other projects I am working on outside of Marble-T Design, so I can easily keep track of deadlines and goals all around.
So it’s taken me a couple of months to figure out a system that will work, and now I just have to “work it.” I start each day with the notebook and make my list for the day, being sure I handle both marketing tasks and art tasks. What have you found that works for you?
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!
Wow. That’s all I can say….wow wow wow. All the work from June and July really began to pay off at the end of the month. A finished commission, a major fabric order from England, Ebay and Etsy sales, and LOADS of inquires. And…….I got a lot of quilting done, and took two classes in the meantime. I am LOVING every minute!
This time last year I had spend 6 weeks doing a lot of work, and then school started and I lost all momentum – but NOT this year! I don’t have to go back to work next Wednesday. Did I happen to mention I am THRILLED to be retired?!?!?!?
Here’s the plan of attack that seems to be working, after a month of refinement. Each morning I take care of a lot of social media stuff, respond to comments, check out other business pages. Then I try to leave “thinking” time during the day for the long-range goals, and then it’s off to actually create. I feel like the social media piece is no longer controlling the cart – I am, and it’s taking way less time. Each evening I look at my folder – check off what got done for the day, what’s coming up for the next day, and pieces of my various “action lists” for my goals that I want to attempt.
Probably the best thing I did for social media was do my Linked In profile and join a couple of art groups through Linked In. We have been doing round robin on Facebook business pages, and the traffic all around has increased tremendously. Plus – ya gotta admit opening FB comments each morning and seeing what people think of your work is quite the motivator.
I found this morning I had to actually make a list of upcoming shows. deadlines, and commission to be sure I didn’t miss anything. The new newsletter is in the works, and I have actually set up a group for people who are collecting our art – that’s a very cool feeling!
I have over 500 blog entries since I started, as well as over 100 Facebook “Likes,” so it’s time to be thinking about a give-away along with the blog makeover……stay tuned!
Below are a couple of fabric studies done as part of The Artist’s Toolbox class through Quilt University. I am learning a lot about what is working and what isn’t – and why. I recommend these classes – I have now done three, and I learn great stuff each time. In fact, I found myself with the camera out this weekend in Sedona, taking pictures of some incredible textures – 25 pictures of a grouping of sunflowers, because I kept seeing different things!
It’s going to be an AWESOME August! What do you have planned for the month?