Archive for the ‘Marble-T Design’ Category

Photography and Packaging…Oh, My!

Vermont Open Studios, 2016

When we did Vermont Open Studios last May with artist Mary Hill, one of the great things about sharing the space was all the time we had to talk about our various art and marketing attempts. Mary had some GREAT ideas for us concerning packaging. We continue to process everything we thought about, with some definite changes in what we are doing. Thanks to Rachel of The Textile and Fiber Art List, we have also been improving photography – both how we shoot items and how we present the finished product.

First, the photography. Our pictures have a “muddy” cast to them, and we are basically rephotographing everything we have. The place we are living now doesn’t allow for much flexibility for setting up good lighting. Hubby experimented with a lot of options – including moving to a rolled fabric presentation rather than each piece in a haphazard manner. Give an overall idea as opposed to every thing about each piece. In this manner we can still send the packages flat and save customers money (on international orders – domestic shipping is free). Some “before and after” ideas –

Getting the overall set-up of the product looking good –

Lighting and color still issues….but against the white background looking better. Also, we discovered that we needed to save pictures at a larger size in order to get more detail in the pictures. Next is better with a good cropping and some adjustments in Photoshop to correct the lighting.

Definitely getting there –

Uh-Huh…..

Definitely brighter –

Close-up shot for the Twitter picture, which I am slowly getting back to using…..

This is just for our Charm Pack 2 – ten pieces of hand-marbled pima cotton, assorted patterns and colors, 10 x 10 inches each. Slowly working on others. The pieces need to be appealing, hence all the work on presentation in the pictures. The mailing is easier than a rolled item, which costs more to ship and doesn’t give customers a good look at the fabrics.

This looks better in person when displaying for a show – but not for online sales.

Much more ahead for us as we continue adding new items…let me know your thoughts and how you solved packaging problems.

 

 

 

 

 

Gift Baskets AVailable Now! SOLD!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SOLD!

We’ve been almost missing the holiday season this year, but we finally have enough of our lives together again to offer gift baskets of marbled goodies. The top is a basket from a year ago; the new pics will follow. These baskets contain:

  • a hand-wrapped fabric bowl, good for all kinds of uses around the house (and perfect for regifting!);
  • a fat quarter of marbled fabric;
  • two 8 x 8  swatches of marbled fabric for piecing or applique;
  • six 6 x 9 swatches  of marbled fabric for piecing or applique;
  • five pieces of hand-marbled satin/nylon ribbon in two lengths;
  • 4 note cards with digital marbled designs;
  • a coupon for a FREE table-runner pattern for the fat quarter or other material (sent to you as a PDF);
  • a coupon for 10% off any sampler package from the website;
  • two notions of our choice; and
  • hand-marbled leaves and flowers.

For your viewing pleasure –

Contents of the gift basket

Contents of the gift basket

The Stuffed Basket!

The Stuffed Basket!

So you want one……email me. Baskets are $50.00 – a $75.oo retail value, shipping is USPS Priority, $16.00. We can custom, but our time is short…..If you want to order one beside this one (they are all one-of-a-kind)- and want it by Christmas, December 10th is the LATEST!! Domestic orders only. OR….plan now for birthdays and Mother’s Day!

Yes, We’re Teaching Classes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We will be in Cottonwood, Arizona the end of October at Quilter’s Quarters – a really great quilt shop! We’re teaching two marbling classes – beginning and advanced, and two free motion quilting classes, also beginning and advanced. Contact Quilter’s Quarters for more information!

Beginning Marbling

4 hours, $50.00 class fee, supply fee $25.00

            (minimum 5 students, maximum 10)

            Learn the ancient art of marbling by creating cotton fabrics using traditional marbling patterns. You will learn 5 basic patterns (stone, freeform, chevron, nonpareil, bouquet) and create pieces of marbled cotton suitable for a small sampler. This class is an overview of the process, using existing supplies, with fabric that is already prepared for you.

Supply Fee: $25.00

1/3 yard pima cotton, 1yard Offray ribbon, carrageenan, alum, paints, combs, brushes,  drying racks, soda ash, pins, toothpicks

Student Needs to Supply:

cookie tray or roaster pan (at least 10 inches in width, and a half-inch in depth),

sheets of newspaper (no color) for drying fabric, notebook for notes and diagrams, ruler  and pencil, rags/paper towels, small plastic tub for carrying wet fabrics,   gloves

Wear old clothes!

 

Advanced Marbling

4 hours, $40.00  class fee, supply fee $25.00         

(minimum 5 students, maximum 10)

Learn the recipes needed for the carrageenan bath and pretreatments. Make the combs and rakes you will to marble any time you wish. Learn advanced marbling patterns (wave, clamshell, wing, feathers, cable, fountain, cascade) and experiment with paint and pattern on cotton and silk.

Supply Fee: $25.00

1/2 yard pima cotton, carrageenan, alum, 1/2 yard 10 mm silk, paints, combs, brushes, drying racks, soda ash, balsa wood, popsicle sticks, box cutter, awl

Student Needs to Supply:

cookie tray or roaster pan (at least 10 inches in width, and a half-inch in depth),

sheets of newspaper (no color) for drying fabric, notebook for notes and diagrams, ruler  and pencil, rags/paper towels, small plastic tub for carrying wet fabrics, gloves, masking tape (at least 1 inch wide, wider is better), Elmer’s glue, straight pins and/or t-pins (no glass heads), rubber bands

Wear old clothes!

 

Beginning Free Motion Quilting

4 hours, $40.00

Now what? Your quilt top is done…send it out or quilt it yourself? You can free-motion your own quilt top, no fancy domestic or long-arm machine needed! You CAN do it all yourself – it just takes some practice! From thread choice, basic supplies, setting up your machine, to learning basic FMQ patterns, you will learn the happy sounds of your machine as you practice five basic patterns on a fat-quarter sandwich: straight lines (without a ruler or sewing foot), various size stipples, pebbles, and a leaf/vine shape.

You supply:

sewing machine in working order, ability to lower feed dogs, instruction manual

free-motion (or darning) foot

#80 or 90 machine needles

a selection of threads, from “old and cheap” to “fancy and expensive”

low-loft cotton batting in fat quarter size

4 fat quarters, one for the top and one for the bottom of two quilt sandwiches (not  fancy fabrics, just for practice, and muslin is fine)

scissors

scrap paper and pencil or pen

marking tools (fabric marker or chalk)

optional: finished quilt top for design ideas

optional: a machine extension table

 

Moving Ahead with Your FMQ Skills – Creating a Whole Cloth Quilt

8 hours, $80.00 (1 hour break for lunch)

The sewing machine is working, and you’ve started stippling away on your quilt top, but you’re getting bored. Now is the time for new free motion quilting patterns. Yes – you can do feathers…and spirals…and gridded patterns…and leaves and grapes…and cathedral windows. Once you’ve practiced these now patterns, you will create a small whole cloth quilt, showcasing your skills. Experiment with bobbin work, and create a stencil of your own.

You supply:

sewing machine in working order, ability to lower feed dogs

free-motion (or darning) foot

#80 or 90 machine needles

a selection of threads, from “old and cheap” to “fancy and expensive”

low-loft cotton batting in fat quarter size

4 fat quarters, one for the top and one for the bottom of two quilt sandwiches (not fancy fabrics, just for practice, and muslin is fine)

scissors, mat, rotary cutter, and ruler

scrap paper and pencil or pen

marking tools

a “top” for your whole cloth quilt, at least FQ size, but larger if you desire; choose a fabric that can add texture to your design but not overwhelm it

batting and backing for your whole quilt

optional: a machine extension table

 

In Retrospect – Year 2 of Retirement

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve been retired now for two years. Last year on the one-year anniversary I took a look at what I accomplished for the year. I was afraid of looking back on retirement and not seeing anything to show for it. So I tracked everything this year. The last four months have been pretty fallow, as I struggled with some personal issues, but I feel like I am finally reclaiming myself. All in all, I had a pretty productive year.

SAQA quilt submitted to major show

SAQA auction quilt submission

continued blogging

Tried out Tophatter, gave it up after some really obnoxious feedback from an a-hole, who actually burned my quilt

Newsletters for 10 out of 12 months

Wrote a dozen blogs for Handmadeology

Remade hubby’s blue quilt

Participated in the free motion quilting challenge through the end of the year

Yoga instruction throughout the year, including pretty regular daily practice

Completed two more table runners for Momma BettyTableRunner4

Completed Stepping Stones table runner

Completed “Clammin’,” a small art quilt up on Etsy

Completed pattern and two samples for the table runner pattern

Sold “DesertScapes”

Machine-quilted the Forest quilt

Machine-quilted two bed-stand table-toppers and one dresser scarf

Worked at stocking and marketing the Etsy store

Took a Quilt University class with Elizabeth Barton

Finished Spring Wall Hanging

Guest post on Craft Gossip

Finished makeover of small Christmas quilt

Pictures in Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring issueMSWeddings

Quilted Ali’s green picture

Participated in three challenges for Art Quilts Around the World

Took two Craftsy classes

Joined Galleribba online gallery

Potentialgallery  representation starting fall 2013 in Tubac

Participated in StashFest again this year for the La Conner Quilt Museum

Submissions for three books, one accepted, the other as an ebook

Green and purple whole cloth quilts completed

Started commission of 7 quilted chakras, finished Root chakra

Completed two bed-stand table toppers and one long dresses scarf

Accepted into the juried Faculty/Staff art show for The Art Institute of Tucson

ArtShowAI

There are probably a couple more, but the mind has been kind of blank. It’s nice to have this list, so I know I accomplished a lot! Now I have to start the new one for year three.

Thinking about the Shopping Surge….

CYBER MONDAY – 50% off all fabrics, 20% off all artwork in our Etsy shop.

Cyber Monday is tomorrow, and I think I am ready…Etsy is loaded with fabrics, and I have a few more art pieces to get listed this evening. In the meantime, my mind is going to the last couple of days and what I am learning about trying to take advantage of this gift-buying weekend. I did a blog post for Handmadeology about getting ready, but it never made it up in time, so here’s what I was thinking about preparing for Black Friday and ensuing Madness:

Get Ready –

1. Send a newsletter, even if you haven’t sent one at all, or it’s early for your next newsletter. Ours is going out a week early, several days before Thanksgiving with the holiday specials. We did this – haven’t checked stats yet because I’m waiting for the end of Cyber Monday. The sales pitch for all three sales was at the bottom of a pretty newsy newsletter….maybe it needs to be on the top, but I feel uncomfortable with that.

2. Decide on your specials. Internet marketing shows folks love deep discounts and/or free shipping. This latter is usually the easiest for us, but be sure to specify if it is continental US or some other limited range. Black Friday was 20% off anything on the website, plus spend $40 and receive a free pattern. Saturday was free domestic shipping off the website. Nothing Sunday, but I will change that for next year, as that’s what I saw a lot of retailers doing. Sunday will be 50% off any fabrics on Etsy, and 20% off artwork on Etsy. Have not seen a spike in visits.

3. Have products ready for shipping. Check for : care codes, package supplies, postage scale (we finally bought ours today), custom slips, tracking slips, padded envelopes – anything you can think of that you will need for shipping. Think about various combinations of items you could sell and be prepared. All of this is set. We do carry-over from other events, and we pretty much have this down.

4. Check website, blog, Etsy store, Redbubble – any place you have product to sell. Are the sites ready? Prices set? Postage listed? Pictures up? Any descriptions need to be changed? Discounts added? Interesting comment from a website visitor – why no pictures by the samplers? I added a rationale about two years ago, but now I think I need to come up with something that closes the sale.

Get Set –

1.  Make sure your Friday and Monday are available for taking online orders. Printer ink? Paper? Not a problem – ready to go for tomorrow.

2. Consider sending a brief reminder newsletter on Friday morning reminding your subscribers about the sales. Consider doing the same reminder for Monday. Been using Promotesy to send out reminders on Sunday for Monday. Need to think about “how much is too much.”

3. Have blog posts ready to go announcing your sales Run one on Thursday evening, and then run one Sunday night for Cyber Monday. Did this for Thursday and Friday, and this is the one for Sunday night. Cyber Monday is already to go.

4. Have something on your website announcing your sales. Have a link directly to your products to make shopping easier. Did this (for the first time) on the front page of the website, with links.

Go –

1. Send confirmations of orders and give customers an estimated shipping time. Done.

2. Send out a brief email when you ship to let buyers know their package is on the way. Thank them again. Done.

3. Wrap carefully. Check Paypal for confirmed addresses, and if not confirmed, email to be sure the address is correct. Done.

4. Consider giving a small percentage of your profits to a nonprofit for the holiday. eQuilter has done that successfully – over one million dollars donated. We’ll be way under that, but it’s a very good feeling. Once we know a total, the check is going to Tucson’s Ben’s Bells, a nonprofit representing kindness.

CYBER MONDAY – 50% off all fabrics, 20% off all artwork in our Etsy shop.

Black Friday Sales!

WHAT’S ON SALE TODAY

Here’s what’s on sale at Marble-T Design TODAY only. Sale ends at 11:59 PM Mountain time. Add some marbled fabrics to your stash, to your new projects, or give to a friend.

EVERYTHING on our website, including art work, on sale at 20% off. Spend $40.00 and receive our Table Runner Pattern FREE! After your order clears, we will email you the PDF of the pattern. Our website page is here. Orders placed will take two weeks to complete. If you would prefer not using our shopping cart, just send us an email with what you would like, and we will invoice you via Paypal.

Oder $40.00 and receive the table runner pattern FREE!
Email us if you have questions…….

Getting Ready for SALES!

So for the first time in MANY years, we are actually ready for the holiday shopping season. Newsletter went out Sunday, sales are planned, website has had a significant makeover, and the Etsy store is stocked. So here’s what’s coming…….

Black Friday Special

For your shopping pleasure, you will find everything on our website at 20% off. Good on Friday, November 23, until 11:59 PM. Spend $40.00 and receive our Table Runner Pattern FREE! After your order clears, we will email you the PDF of the pattern. Our website page is here. Orders placed will take two weeks to complete.

Small Business Saturday Special

Free shipping in the continental United States on everything on our website, including art work. Support Small Business Saturday! Our website page is here. Orders placed will take two weeks to complete.

Cyber Monday Special

One day only, CYBER MONDAY, 50% off fabric pieces in our Etsy Store. 20% off all artwork. Good until Monday, November 26, at 11:59 PM.

Some Finished Projects

A busy week, no question about it! Since we are leaving for a few days away and up in Sedona, I had a long list of things that needed to be finished before we left. I’m happy to say I got it ALL done….as well as start the list for next weekend! Cannot stay idle – too many projects to do!

First up is part of an order we really can’t say too much about, but we sent off a load of marbled ribbons to Manhattan for a magazine shoot coming up. When we can say more, we will….it’s pretty cool…..

And…as part of the ongoing table runner project for my second mom, I finished the last of the 5 table runners and delivered it in time for set-up for Thanksgiving. I am finished with old white polyester, but the runners did work out beautifully. This last one was really hard on the eyes, so I only did three motifs, rather than the five. I extended the size by making the connecting pieces wider, and then I went to town on feathers. Love doing feathers, especially since I never figured I’d ever be able to do them. This was the one delivered in June.

This is the last of the five.

And…I finished the makeover of my Christmas quilt.  I learned a great deal. I still have to work at the trapunto, but my goal with this makeover was to get the star blocks to be the prominent feature of the quilt. I did three kinds of stippling, from micro to very large. And I did bobbin work for the first time, using the Razzle Dazzle thread from Superior. I picked up a small Christmas tree stencil, traced it on the back (and learned I need some new markers), and then quilted with the front facing down on the machine. It worked really well and I love the effect. I am planning to add a few beads as tree ornaments when I get a chance. I did a lot of machine quilting on the marbled centers of the stars, on the nonpareil pattern. I can tell I have definitely done a lot of machine quilting this year, because it was far easier to follow the pattern than it has been in the past. I now understand what quilters mean when they say “pedal to the metal,” as I was  very speedy with the tiny and medium stippling. I also tried a new pattern in the border and it was moderately successful. Again, fast speed, and from a distance you really can’t tell that a lot of it is uneven. I liked the pattern. Here she be:

Wednesday Work in Progress

Lots of work redoing the website – looking at old pictures, seeing how far we have come, and it’s been quite the journey. I tend to get obsessive on these things, and I am now trying to rein myself in….not every piece we’ve ever done has to be on the site, but I want a good representation. This site has served as an online portfolio, and it’s been great. Now I want to expand into other information, as well as attempt to rev up the sales portion on the site. Many thanks to web guru Suzan of Saltwater Systems – nothing short of amazing!

We’ve added more fabric samples so people get a better idea of what can happen with marbling. You can see that here. We could add so many more from our pile of “Never Sell These,” but this gives a good idea.

Also, I’ve added small pieces we’ve worked on to the Small Works page. I do like working in a 12-inch-square format, and I want to do more of that when some of the bigger projects are finished.

My Nature series has really grown, and as I look at all the pieces together, I can see how I am really drawn to quilting the traditional stone pattern. I want to do more with the bouquet and nonpareil patterns, and I have the perfect piece of red cotton that has started calling me. In the meantime, I’m practicing my machine quilting on some smaller quilts. My Christmas quilt is almost redone – I succeeded in accenting the stars. I need to sew the binding, so hopefully a reveal in another couple of days.

It’s great to be so busy….we have a major order we are marbling in the next few days, and it’s a secret at this point….but it’s for a magazine feature…………….

Monday Marketing

 

 It’s been a busy month of completing a lot of loose ends, especially in getting ready for the holiday season. But I am always on the outlook for great ideas for and about marketing. Ask Harriete has had an interesting series on displays for windows and booths – lots of great ideas to enjoy – as well as think about what could work for your own purposes. Window Dressing for Booth Display – fascinating ideas for setting up displays.  Made with pencils, and there is a video to go along with the photo as to how the booth was constructed. Who knew hangars could look so cool?

A fascinating TED talk on Collaborative Consumption – lots of food for thought……Would love to open a dialogue with folks about some of these ideas.

In the meantime, getting the Etsy shop loaded with fabrics in preparation for a 50 percent off sale on Cyber Monday. Promotesy (from the folks at Handmadeology) is a great tool for scheduling and marketing posts and items. And you really can’t beat $5 a month. The biggest marketing task has been a total makeover of the website, which has kind of sat idle for a couple of years, as the blog and Facebook page moved to the forefront. Lots of major changes on the site: new pages: Testimonials, Snapshots, Patterns, Digital Marbling, Classes and Workshops. Plus, new work is finally up, and the gallery has been seriously updated. Some pages still need writing and pictures, and the order form is getting a makeover, but the site is so much more comprehensive. And….two new domain names….

The domain name has been an interesting issue. We’ve had “marbledfab” since the late 1990s, since “marbledfabrics” was already taken. Hence a play on the words, but we always have to spell it for people. When we got our domain name, e-commerce was still very much in its infancy. It would be several years before domains became the critical component they are now. So we now have two new domains that point to the website (and I actually learned how to do that…): deanandlindamoran.com and MarbleTDesign.com. It’s all about branding and making it easy for folks to find us. We’ll see how it works…and the new business cards will have the new domains on them.

I decided to also add more examples of fabrics and patterns to our fabric page. These are pieces from our “we’ll never sell anything in this folder because it’s so gorgeous” file. These are just a few…..

Ideas to share? Pas them along!

Quilting Marbled Fabric – A Tutorial

Ever since we started marbling in 1993, people have asked us “What do you do with the fabric? It’s too gorgeous to cut in to.”

We’ve made lots of quilts, both traditional and art-quilts so that folks can see how marbled fabric can fit into a quilt or wearable garment. That got us started, but there was always the feeling that we could be doing more with the fabric itself. A friend took a fat quarter to “play with,” and the following week she came back with a gorgeous piece of completely quilted marbled fabric….simply by following the line of the pattern.

Well, that was truly the beginning of taking marbled fabric and really working with it in a quilt. My first attempt was to work with a freeform pattern, just following the lines of the pattern. This uses the stone pattern, as well as a beginning chevron pattern, both of which are easy to follow.

This piece, “Gaia 1: Interdependence,” used a free motion foot, as well as a regular basic stitching foot. Because the strips are relatively narrow, and the batting was thin, I chose not to use a walking foot. Your mileage may vary; if you are comfortable with a walking foot, by all means use one. I find I almost exclusively use my regular foot and my free motion foot.

Here is an example of quilting a line using a regular foot. I like having the even stitches, which I don’t always get with my free motion quilting (and no stitch regulator….).

You can have a great piece of marbled fabric, but sometimes it just needs something. I’m finding that more and more…it is an addiction…..

Getting Started

You need a piece of marbled fabric. We’re starting with a freeform pattern, made by creating the stones by dropping paint on the carrageenan bath. Then using a stylus, we swirl the paint around the whole piece. This gives us the effect you see here. This also involves the first very basic marbling pattern, the very organic-looking stone. From this pattern, using a variety of different combs and rakes, you can get very complex patterns. But let’s start with this pretty basic pattern.

When you have a marbled pattern, look at it closely for lines that lead to other sections of the pattern. This is a different type of free motion quilting. You aren’t deciding the whole quilting schema, like in most regular quilting; you are just analyzing and deciding where you want to go with your thread.  A pattern like this one has gentle curves to it, unlike more complex marbling patterns. This is a good one to start with.

Using this next picture, see how you can travel from one end of the pattern to another. Once you’ve studied a pattern, you can decide if you will do individual sections or travel across some pattern lines to do a new section. With this first marbled pattern, you have several possibilities. You can outline the little stones. You can follow most of the curved lines. You can do a combination.

Some marbled patterns are pretty intense, and you end up doing a lot of quilting in very small areas. These take more control, but the results are fabulous.

You have some decisions to make at this point: backing, batting, thread choices. I chose a green cotton for the backing so it would play off the green in the marbling. I used a left-over piece of Fairfield cotton low-loft batting, and Superior Thread’s Bottom Line in the bobbin. I chose a white thread, because for the purposes of this tutorial I wanted you to see the design aspect on the back. You get some very interesting quilting effects on your backs.

When I put my pieces together, especially if they are small, I spray baste top and bottom to the batting. For larger pieces I also use safety pins.

All of these are various threads from Superior. I am a bit of a thread snob, as I only use Superior Thread and needles (their titanium needles are pretty amazing). Ever since I did the School of Threadology in St. George, Utah, I have been hooked on their threads…and I NEVER have thread break. The threads above are Rainbows, Brytes, and Art Colors.

I thought this bottom thread, Bryte, would work the best, so that’s what I started with. I thought the dark green would emphasize, but not be obvious.

I checked my tension, according to Dr. Bob’s thread guide for Superior Threads. Then I picked a place to start the free motion, did about an inch, and checked my tension again.

You can see how I just followed the basic line of this first swirl. I usually pull my threads to the back and tie them off or bury them, depending on how the piece is going to be used.  With the next photo, you can see how I chose another swirl and followed that particular curve.

You can move around the fabric and pick different areas to quilt, but if you are going to quilt the whole piece, continue quilting out from the area where you started.

I also decided to change colors of thread, as I wanted something lighter to accent the pattern. Don’t hesitate to do this if you feel it will add to your design.

In this next example, I have changed thread color again, and this time I am outlining the smaller circles. The circles are part of the “stone” pattern, which is the first layer of paint in developing a marbling pattern. The circles take more control in your free motion, but you get great results in texture. You will want to plan your “traveling” stitch as you move from small circle to small circle.

Every now and then take a look at your back. Check for tension, secure your knots, and just admire the developing design. I used white in my bobbin because I wanted you to see the actual stitching on the back. You may choose something else, but the backs of marbled quilting can look spectacular.

Hopefully you will enjoy this technique. Email us with questions, and we are always interested in seeing your finished projects. To get you started, you can order fat quarters in this swirl pattern at a discount from us. Just email deanm@marbledfab.com, and tell us you want the quilting special fat quarter for this tutorial, and give us an idea of the three or four colors you would like. Cost is $6.00 per fat quarter, plus $2.00 shipping and handling, up to three fat quarters.

Keep in mind that this marbled quilting works best if you have some definite contrast with your color choices.

Copyright 2012 by Linda Moran and Marble-T Design, LLC. You may NOT reproduce this handout/post in any format without express permission from the author or Marble-T Design, LLC.

What’s for Sale….and Where Are We….

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 follow us on Facebook – I am trying to get better about posting regularly. Sometimes deadlines just govern everything else! You can follow along on Twitter.

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.

And if you visit, please leave a comment. I always write back – it’s SO COOL to hear form people! So WELCOME again! Ain’t stitchin’ grand?

First Quarter Marketing

So a while back – like the end of November – I did goals for my third season of practicing abundance and attraction. December was pretty melancholy for me, made more so by the fact that I couldn’t seem to get it together to work on my new goals. So I decided on a “do-over.”

January 1 came and I was into the zone. We’ve been marbling like crazy for StashFest in Seattle the end of March. And selling on eBay and sewing like crazy. So I recognized I would need to take some time and look at what was planned already for the first quarter and then build on and in those plans. January first we both sat down and looked at what was ahead of us to get ready for StashFest, and once the calendar was blocked out, I knew what I wanted to add.

First, updating my profile on The Textile and Fiber Arts List, which has a totally new design. This will take a while, but I need to get it done.

Second, update my Etsy site with more fabrics. I am getting down (a good thing) because of the holidays, and I want to get at least two more gift baskets up on the site.

Third, make a list of art shows available through June that I could enter. This looks at what work is already done and acceptable, and my availability for doing new work. I narrowed to five shows, of which two need significant new pieces. I am up for that challenge, as the fabric is already created for one of the entries.

Fourth, newsletters. For some reason this has been really difficult to work on….don’t really know why, except I read so much about how great your newsletters need to be and I think it intimidates me. I also have to figure out how to work Mail Chimp…..There will be two newsletters: a general one once a month, and a collectors one once a quarter.

Fifth, the portfolio needs a major overhaul in preparation for Seattle. This shouldn’t take long, once I get to it. Along with this are additional business cards and postcards. I just need to get the images set for these.

Sixth, continue normal marketing. the blog is continuing, and readership has increased, due to my posting on the FMQ list as I quilt along. I don’t tweet as much as I should, but I do post on Facebook. I haven’t been as regular with postings on the Facebook fan page, and that needs to change. I also need to comment on more blogs – get out of Google reader and pass on comments.

So those are the goals, keeping in mind by March 15 we need 400 fat quarters…..with today’s marbling we will be at 75 (and that’s just since December 30), so I’d say we are on track…….

What have you decided to do for marketing for this first quarter of a brand new year?

Work in Progress Wednesday

Not a whole lot of pictures today, but a whole lotta work going on.  We are in the process of marbling 400 fat quarters for StashFest the end of March. This is a fund raiser for the La Conner Quilt Museum, and we have been invited to participate and sell our marbled fabric. Yay! So needless to day, there are a LOT of marbling sessions ahead of us. With hubby’s health, we are being very careful about scheduling the sessions. And…we are planning ahead. Counted the number of weeks we have, allowed for vacations, and started ordering LOTS of pima cotton. Hubby is really in the groove, and the fats are looking fabulous. We pulled out one of the marbling books and are going to try some new patterns as we work. Pretreat, alum one day, then marble the next….all our mornings are set aside for this. Plus, I can’t wait to get to the Northwest. It’s been on our bucket list for a number of years. and now it’s actually going to happen. So send me suggestions for things to see and do – and eat – in the Seattle and Portland areas. We’re going to save the ocean spots for another trip. We’ll be happy, us desert rats, with rain and fog and humidity!

Those of you in the Seattle area, mark your calendars for March 31 and April 1. There should be publicity hitting any time now in your area. You can check the Stashfest website for more information. Also, we are taking small quilts with us for display purposes at StashFest, so if any of you in guilds would like us to give a talk (and perhaps a demo), please let us know.

Now, along with that are several shows I have decided to enter. Some I have recent work for, but most of them will require the creation of new work. And I am so up to the challenge. The piece I am working on now, for a show deadline in February, is teaching me – and speaking to me – a great deal. I am thrilled with how it is turning out, and even if it doesn’t get accepted to this show, I know I have created something different, meaningful, and beautiful

Here’s what I’m looking at:

Visions – 2/13 (If I’m going back out there, go big….last acceptance for a major show – Expressions in Fiber – was in 2004. And if accepted, I’ll let you in on what prompted me to go for this.).

Art Pin-Up – 3/2 (12 x 12, very do-able, and no jurying….)

Fish Follies – 4/20 (?) (great acceptance rate over the last 6 years for fiber. This year I have a really wacky fiber idea…..it is Follies, after all….)

Tactile Architecture, Hands All Around – 4/27 (one piece is already completed….)

I’m Not Crazy – 5/5 (idea is sketched)

Pushing the Limits – 5/16

Pattern Base – book inclusion, June 12

And this is just the first 6 months. So I guess a goal for this year is to get out there and enter my work! Along with trying to set up two individual shows.

It is going to be an awesome year of taking chances!

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!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
A Chance to Win Free Fabric!

Subscribe to our Newsletter - a chance to win free fabric!

* indicates required
Email Format
Marble-T Design Etsy Store
The Textile and Fiber Art List
Art From the Heart
Follow ArtsyLindaMoran on Twitter
FTC Regulations – Affiliates
Disclaimer: Please be aware according to FTC regulations I need to let you know I am an affiliate of some of the companies listed here and will receive compensation if you order from them.
Interesting in Licensing?

Archives
Post Categories
ANALYTICS
Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.