Posts Tagged ‘fabric marbling’

What’s Available This Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Marketing – Creating a Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly:

* Marbling fabric

* Work on Etsy products

* Sewing and other design

Mondays:

* Add Etsy product

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog post Monday Marketing

* Google reader and at least three comments

Tuesdays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog post Top Ten Tuesday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Wednesdays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog Work in progress Wednesday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Thursday:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog – Thursday Thoughts

* Google reader and at least three comments

Fridays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog Photoshop Friday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Saturdays:

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog posting on Specials

* Google reader and at least three comments

Sundays:

* Read Twitter feed

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

* Blog Sunday Stories

* Google reader and at least three comments

Goals for next week:

* FINISH LYNDA.COM

*Update “About Me” page on Ebay

* Update Etsy products, especially note cards

* Evaluate how calendar is working

* See if buttons are added to the website

* Decisions on what will happen with the Facebook Fan page

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

* Read and decide about Mail Chimp for a newsletter

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

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

Thoughts??

Work in Progress Wednesday

It has been a productive week, and I have two new projects on the agenda, but first – my finished quilt from last week. This is waaayyyy better! It was originally done many moons ago as  a marbled BOM, and I wanted the quilt, which I have always liked, to reflect the new skills I have. It’s from a block pattern from Judy Martin’s Around the Block.

I’m calling it Monet’s Marbles, based on the mottled green fabric, which I bought years ago because it reminded me of Monet. I didn’t quilt anything in the stars, because I wanted them to stand out from the rest of the quilt. Here’s a close-up:

This is one of the blocks from Judy Martin – the quilt has four and uses two different marbled fabrics.

The next project is to finish up some small wall hangings for my second mom. She spent one winter in Vermont cutting out Hawaiian designs for a potential quilt – they never made it into a quilt, and I am  trying to put them into something that Momcat can use. There is one major problem….these amazing blocks are all cut out of a heavy white polyester fabric…that ravels…………so I am using a lot of satin stitch, which also adds a slight bit of color to the blocks.

We decided on a black background to emphasize these wonderful patterns. I am hoping for one of the small wall hangings to be done for next Wednesday….we shall see…..

Many of these are original designs , and they are certainly a challenge in corners, heavy polyester, and satin stitch….but they will be gorgeous!

Monday Marketing – Restarting the Engines

It’s Monday, week four into retirement, and I’ve been getting lots of loose ends accomplished on the home front. But the biggest is starting to attack what I want to do in marketing the business. It’s probably a good thing I have been thinking on this, as I need to answer a very big question first – just what do I want to accomplish for Marble-T Design, as well as my personal art goals? I can’t really start marketing successfully and fruitfully until I make some of these decisions.

I have started a list of some potential galleries and shows I would like to enter, but I find myself asking “is that really the route I want to go?” I probably should have looked seriously at this a long time ago, but, hey, school got in the way. And since Marble-T Design is 17 years old and in a new phase, I should probably also consider what we’ve done in the past and what was successful.

We’ve actually been on line with our website since 1997. We were some of the earliest in e-commerce, without even realizing it. I went through a bunch of computer programs to get the original site up, starting with Pagemill. Eventually I realized I needed to turn the design over to a professional, and Saltwater Systems has handled that beautifully over the last seven years. And we had a much wider line of products available – close to 12 sampler packages. we did a lot more marbling in our large tray, as well as a lot more custom work.

So that’s part of the “thinking” I need to do. More large trays? More shows? More product? Classes and workshops again? Just where are we taking this business? I need to be honest in my thinking about the future. Marbling in the large tray is very tiring as we have gotten older, and with the price of cotton and carrageenan going up, prices will have to go up.

Whew…..that’s a lot of questions to answer. Once again, starting to write is helping me focus on the bigger picture. So I need to start….

What do I really want to do with my art and my business? I want to make art, no question about it. I would like to sell my art, whether it be on line or actually in some galleries. I think  I am realizing I don’t want to do a lot of shows. I do have enough on my resume to show the work has been accepted, but I will probably only look at two or three a year. As for the actual business, I want to be able to bring in a certain amount of money each month to help with traveling during retirement. I’m starting with the idea of $500 additional a month, and moving from there.

That means looking seriously at outlets. Ebay has been steady, but I would like it to do more. So we need to marble more pieces and packages. I have sold a few pieces of fabric on Etsy, but this needs to be seriously marketed. We’ve been selling on Ebay for probably 7 years and we have a good steady family of customers, but I want it to generate more sales.

I haven’t really looked seriously at marketing my work on Etsy, and I think with the TAFA List, I can make a good start. So I think at this point a goal for this week is to list potential products for Etsy and read everything I can about Etsy and The Textile and Fiber Arts List.

The other big thing is we are a sponsor for The Sketchbook Challenge for July, and probably for a few months after that. This will drive more traffic to our website, The Art of Fabric. This means getting the site updated and ready for additional traffic in July. So also this week is spending time learning Dreamweaver to take care of a lot of small changes that will update the site.

THIS WEEK:

Finish Dreamweaver class for making changes to my website

Make the changes to the website

Etsy products, increased Ebay ideas

Reading about Etsy selling and developing strategies

Reading through everything on The Textile and Fiber Arts List and developing concrete plans

I’m interested in the thoughts of those of you selling on line – favorite sites? Suggestions? Pitfalls?

Quilting Like Crazy

Work in progress - Salmon Sunrise

There is a show I enter each year, and I have been juried in four out of four times I have entered. This year I didn’t have anything in mind, until I took out a piece of fabric and tried some thread changes. Well, all of a sudden the sunrise piece became Salmon Sunrise, as the quilting started to look like scales.

I stopped with the quilting until I went to the School of Threadology. I got help not only with threads, but  in how I do my free motion quilting. All of a sudden I was able to do all the tight quilting, and on Saturday, I spent time – about four hours, on the piece.

I wasn’t sure at one point last week that I would be able to get the piece done in time for photos and email for entry. But four hours on Saturday and three hours on Sunday convinced me I just might make the deadline.

I am really pleased with the quilting. The only concern is too much? I have over half of it quilted, and I love the bubbles. I have some decisions to make on the top half, and I think I will decrease the amount of quilting with the darker threads, as there is quite a bit of light design at the top. Maybe just a few rows, but I want the “sunrise” effect to really show through. The bubbles have worked out well.

Work in progress

As I look at the finished portions, there is an extra layer of texture that is visible when the light is right. I am going to have to rein my quilting in, as not every line has to have thread. Ths can be fish jumping from the water. I need to keep the top third less “heavy” than the bottom, watery fishy part.

This has been so relaxing. It has been a very long time since I have done this kind of art quilting. In fact, it took about 5 years for this piece to speak to me again. Initially it was just a sunrise, with a few wavy lines, but I didn’t like the way it hung on the wall – too much emptiness. I had a suggestion to change the border frame from a maroon to  blue, and use some light blue thread on the piece.  Once I started there, it just took off. The bubbles are not an original thought – I saw something similar done on quilts when I was in Utah, and that got me thinking about bubbles. It helps to break up the amount of quilting done on the marbled pattern.

All in all, an extremely productive three days of quilting – even though it took five years to get to this point.

Work in progress

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.