Archive for the ‘Martha Stewart’ Category

It’s Monday…….

So it’s Monday, and I am slowly recovering from a bad couple of weeks. It’s been busy with family stuff, none of it pleasant, and a lot of creativity and art-making has been non-existent. I have been sleeping a lot, and unfortunately my appetite is seriously out of whack. I’ve done a lot of reading, because there is no effort involved there.

But as of today I think I might be surfacing. When we were marbling last week, I had some new ideas for marketing fabric for the start of the new year, so at least I started thinking in the right direction. I also have a new commission for the spring, work for StashFest at La Conner in April, and – our big news – marbled ribbon that will be featured in Martha Stewart Weddings in the March issue. I delayed saying anything until we knew it was absolutely definite, and today we confirmed all the final details for the magazine. We marbled lots of ribbon that will evidently be used for boutineers (and a few other things) in their issue. So that is really exciting. There will be a link on the front page of the website in February  with all the details.

There are a few loose ends in finishing up the website, the patterns….so I am slowly getting back into lists and accomplishing items. At the same time I signed up for two Craftsy classes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Cindy Needham class, and I have been trying a lot of ideas on the one dresser scarf I am working on. I also signed up for Jane Dunnewold’s dyeing class, and hopefully I will start some of that in January. It is so hard to believe that December is more than half over. Since September, the days just have seemed to fly away.

On a final note, I am glad I wasn’t teaching today and having to answer questions about the shootings at Sandy Hook. I don’t think the majority of the population realizes just how much of a “first responder” teachers are. We have to answer the questions sometimes way before the parents….and sometimes when the parents won’t. September 11 was horrible all around. January 8 in Tucson – that Monday morning was draining, and then when the Westboro Baptist folk said they were coming….well, trying to deal with teenage brains that aren’t ready to make rationale decisions, it was a week that took way too long to recover any type of normalcy of operating. We have to have this discussion about guns. I am not saying ban the guns. That’s unrealistic. But stricter regulation would go along way, much like we do with automobiles, licensing, driver’s tests. I just can’t stand seeing anyone else die needlessly, especially little children.

 

Thoughts for a Thursday – Marble-T Design

Marbled Fabric

While on vacation, hubby and I had plenty of time to talk about our marbling business and how we wanted to proceed. Readers of this blog know we went through some very difficult times as we had problems with marbling: nothing worked – water, paints, fabric finishes – nothing. Prior to this time we had an active business, with a mailing list of about 300 people, and a list of products that sold each month fairly well. Once the art problems hit, at the same time I changed jobs, and time became a real premium.

Fast forward to now, and I am spending lots of time reading and researching how to build our business. About two weeks ago, on the road in Tennessee, I had one of those “2 by 4 on the head” moments, when I realized that everything the internet marketers tell us we have to do to build an online business we had been doing years ago. So I have been spending time updating, revising, incorporating social media (which wasn’t around when we went online in 1998…). I have learned a HUGE amount, I have loads more to do, and most importantly, I am having fun, as well as meeting lots of new and interesting people. I am glad that I am on summer vacation right now, and I don’t need to take classes or teach any remediation, because building this business is taking a lot of time.

So what does an art business need? We have a website that has gone through several versions since 1998 when the learning curve was EXTREMELY steep.  It has again been updated by our amazing web designer Suzan at Saltwater Systems to reflect new fiber work, some of our digital work, and some new products to be released within the next two weeks. It is now easier to sign on to follow our work through our newsletter.

We did a lot of work off the website way before blogs, but blogging makes it a lot easier to update and refine offerings. Plus, I like being able to write about and reflect on new work, especially as our digital marbling (TN) increases. Now on our blog, Marbled Musings, you can follow updates to the blog, as well as sign up for our newsletter.

Social media has mushroomed. I’ve been on Facebook for about two years, and I have loved getting back in touch with former colleagues and students, as well as meeting and reconnecting with other artists. I am learning about Fan Pages and am just beginning to experiment with one. If you are interested, sign on to follow Marble-T Design on Facebook. Pretty soon we will have a button you can just click.

Now Twitter….this is really interesting. My students make fun of me for being on Twitter, but I tell them I am way ahead of them in this piece of technology, especially when it comes to business.  I am not always logging on with information about what I am doing, but I do enjoy the resources that are posted. Following the NY Times arts columns has led to some great artists. If you’re in to Twitter, you can follow me @ArtsyLindaMoran. (And there wil soon be a button….)

Have I made any art lately? No, and that is by far the downside to building a business and doing the necessary marketing. I worked on a few pieces before I left for vacation, and there is time next week built in for working on art. My goal is to have the business running smoothly within the next four weeks, and then I will carve out the art time throughout the school year – a tough task as any artist knows who has to share creativity time with the job that pays the bills.

I am very interested in what all of you do. Comment about how you’re building your business, what you have found that works, and anything in particular you know HAS to be done. Love to read your comments.

AND….giveaway this weekend with Blog Post 400 – I promise you it’ll be a good one!

PS – a popular post about Martha Stewart and her “marbling” – this ran a year ago as we were just coming out of our hard times marbling, and I was incensed at how she tried to put her spin on this ancient art!

Welcome to Marbled Musings!


Welcome to the world of marbled fabrics, creativity and Photoshop, and the occasional comments on life. Most of the posts revolve around these topics. I’ve broken them down into categories, along with some of the keys posts in each. Feel free to browse, and come back, for I have been really increasing my design productivity.

Photoshop:
Orange Blossoms
Photoshop Transforming
Creativity:
The Digital Generation
Artists, Creativity, and Depression
Organization Queen
The Importance of Art Education
When Art Class Works
Marbling:
Adventures in Marbling
History of Marbling
History of Marbling – Part 2
Top Ten Lists:
Boo on You, Martha Stewart!
Top Ten Inspirational Books

Top Ten Reasons Martha Stewart Doesn’t Know Marbling!


Martha Stewart on the Today Show, demonstrating “marbleizing” and promoting her new book, The Encyclopedia of Crafts. What’s wrong with this picture? Here’s a quick “Top Ten.”

1. Marbleizing? It’s called “marbling,” or “ebru” (the Turkish name), and anything else is an insult to marblers around the world.

2. Easy? Good marbling isn’t easy. This is a centuries-old art form, practiced by masters around the world. I’ve spent close to 17 years learning this art form, and I’m still learning! It was 10 years of work before we really felt we had fabric that we thought was good enough to sell commercially. Guilds used to put members to death for sharing secrets of marbling.

3. Italy? Not the birthplace of marbling, as Martha stated to a nationwide audience. Turkey is still the home to learn from the masters.

4. Paint brushes? We don’t use no stinkin’ paint brushes! Horse hair, at least! And we make ouor own!

5. Methyl cellulose? Martha stated it was fine to use, no problems, but she managed to ignore the warning that comes on the back not to inhale the stuff. Most practicing marblers use carrageenan, a natural seaweed found in many of our processed foods.

6. Recipes? Granted, it was a five-minute segment, but if you are going to encourage people to marble, as least reference recipes for an alum bath and the carrageenan bath. IT’S NOT JELLO! and a marbling bath can be very temperamental, depending on temperature and humidity.

7. Tools? Sheesh, Martha, we marblers make all our tools, and it’s time-consuming. Just because you have toothpicks and pins doesn’t mean the tools are cheap – either in price or measurements. It took us several years to collect the information and successfully make a bouquet comb.

8. Patterns? Martha, you used a toothpick to swirl a few drops of paint, and you told Meredith she was doing fine. Do you remember that Meredith disagreed with you? You didn’t lay the paper correctly, and you certainly didn’t do any of the really amazing patterns that can be had by beginners.

9. Crafts? Martha, you showed lots of applications, but bottom line? None of them were great examples of what can truly be done with marbling. At least you could have had great products.

10. How many pages? Oh, you the queen of how-to books, don’t you realize just how many books are available on marbling? Books, not pages. Art, not craft. Love, not money.

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