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Monday Marketing – A Little Progress……

Cactus Fountain

Cactus Fountain

There are some things I have been slowly trying to attempt to get myself back in the swing of marketing. Right now (as I write) I am on hold with an Adobe representative for an inline chat to see why my Contribute program (which allows me to change my web pages and the ability to upload the changes). It looks like I will need to purchase another piece of software……I hate these kinds of changes…..Now I’m awaiting pricing…….

There are so many loose ends involved in getting back into some serious marketing. We have already restocked the Etsy store and are making plans for more marbling sessions.I need to dye some Kona so we can marble on top, and I want to review the Jane Dunnewold Craftsy class before I dye again. Really enjoying the surprises that dyeing brings. EBay seems pretty stagnant – seems to happen each summer. But primarily I need to get back involved in TAFA – The Textile and Fiber Art List.


There are so many more connections I could be making.

I haven’t really marketed my marketing book (am I the only one who sees the irony here?). A friend purchased the book and raved about it to me. So I think for this next week I need to see about getting the word out on the book. It is iBook platform only, and I am planning on expanding it into a more involved ebook through Amazon, for all platforms.

In the meantime, here is Marketing 101: Niche Marketing.

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 7.55.56 AM

The book is a compilation of all the things I have tried (some successful and some not) to market our fabrics. I provide all the details and checklists. I definitely want to expand this into a larger book on a larger platform. Click HERE for the link to the book.

My task this coming week is to work on InDesign from Adobe Creative Suite, and I’m going to do a $25.00 subscription to for a month of learning. I should be able to make a good dent in learning what I need to. It’s CS3, but there is no way I can afford $699 or $20 a month, so I will make do. Along with learning InDesign, I need to think through what else with happen with the website.

I am trying not to make the typical long list for me…..a few things at a time…..wish me luck…………..


Top Ten Tuesday

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it. We were around lots of friends and had a wonderful time. It was so nice to know I didn’t have to face a 5:30 AM alarm on Monday! Been catching up – here’s a few cool things this week from the web.

From the Philbrook Museum of Art….LOVE. THIS.

Now I will admit, I am not a car enthusiast, but I can understand…when we gave up our Rav4 I gave it one last hug, and I still miss it. That said, on Cool Hunting comes some really wild cars. By far my favorite….

A new blog by Vivian Swift has a great water color tutorial on doing leaves – on my list for this coming year is a water color class.

From The Best Article Every Day comes this little bonus clip…..The article is also quite funny – Ten Things 90s Kids Will Have to Explain to Their Children.

From NASA comes a look at the new Mars rover, curtesy of The Best Article Every Day. Pretty amazing the steps it’ll take to land on Mars.

From Joan Wolfrom comes a look at a color challenge, with four really interesting quilts. Each is based on one specific color, and the techniques in them can’t help but spark creativity.

It’s always a joy to discover new math videos…thanks to Kathy Nida for this one…..Pythagorasaurus……

If you’re not following The Free Motion Quilting Project, you really should. I just bought two embooks on quilting designs, and I am SO looking forward to expanding my repertoire. Here’s a snap of Leah’s latest – OMG, amazing……

From Kate Harper’s blog was a link to Joan Beiriger’s blog on Advantages in Using Google Reverse Image Search. Who knew? I tried using it – pretty simple, and it should be interesting to see if any of our images are showing up on the web – beyond my blog and website.

From Artsy Shark comes an article on some creative marketing – love the use of the iPad!

And some political sites that might be worthwhile to explore. This article on Facebook privacy comes from The Blog of Rights. You may agree or not, but I’m a strong proponent of civil discourse. At least we can be aware of issues as they arise.

Enjoy your week!

Monday Marketing – Making Progress with the Goals

Marbled fabric Another good week for making progress with marketing. Again, though, the thought about what’s enough, what’s too much, and what is just a time-sucker. Last week’s goals are here.

* I finished the LinkedIn course from, and I got my LinkedIn profile set up, as well as joining a couple of groups to network. It was interesting developing the profile to work for both tutoring clients and building an art business. I still need to set up the visual portfolio for the site, but I joined a round robin of new people looking at each other’s Facebook fan pages, and as a result received some more “Likes.” Took time, but it’s done, and now I think just some weekly maintenance.

* I am part-way through the course on Twitter and Facebook, again through, and I learned some interesting things. I read the Terms of Agreement (interesting…), checked all my privacy settings, changed the Twitter background, made some lists to make it easier to let people know about happenings. I still need to figure out my strategies for both the Fan Page and Twitter, so that’s on the list for this week.

One thing that is interesting in the way I work is that I can’t seem to finish one complete thing at a time. Maybe it’s the nature of the marketing process that you flit around, fixing/doing what you can at the time. I’ve gotten lots done on a bunch of things, but nothing really “completed.” Maybe it’s also because of the not-so-static nature of internet marketing.

* Defining my marketing goals: well, I have made progress on this, actually. I am carrying around a small notebook with the idea of jotting down some of the marketing ideas as they occur to me. I have about eight different headings at this point, and a bunch of ideas under them. But in keeping with trying to define what will be productive for me, a couple have “Goals?” as the only thing under the heading. I find I really do need to think through what I want to do, if I truly want to do it, and the best way to do it – something I’ve not done before.

* Figured out how to add Google Adsense to the WP blog…managed that okay – and I still have some money coming to me from Google……Now I gotta figure out why an ad is appearing in the middle of this blog post……

* Marketing the Etsy store through circles and additional contacts. And…sold some things on Etsy this week!

* I got new pictures taken for some of the items on the website. I need to work some Photoshop magic on them and then get them in place (which I think I can do on my own).

So it’s time for my goals for this week:

*Finish Twitter class and implement any changes and decide on a schedule.

* Start the HTML newsletter class.

*Check out Mail Chimp for newsletters. I’m very happy with my experience with Constant Contact – the company doesn’t have the money at this point to continue with their newsletters – but I LOVED the design they did.

* Set a plan and an update for the FB fan page, and start a schedule for it.

* Goals for the marketing plan in the following categories: newsletters, classes, and writing.

I also plan to finish the commission I wrote about on Saturday and do two table runners for my second mom – part of a larger commission I need to finish. I’ve got a list of projects to keep me busy through the summer!

Thoughts for a Thursday

I’m looking at a really beautiful sky – dark cobalt at the top, three-quarter moon up high, a great orangey-purple at the horizon, moving up in stages to the cobalt. Didn’t last long, but really gorgeous.

I’ve had a great week at school. I so do love my teaching now. My students went from fighting me on showing steps for simple equations to accomplishing the distributive property three-step equations today, with one student actually saying, it’s a good thing you made us show our steps. Two and a half weeks on basic equations, and they are flying. It’s the best feeling!

Distributive Property Day is Saturday – if you missed the post, you can click here. This whole idea of “sharing is caring” is working really well in having the students remember exactly how to do this type of equation. I’ve got candy corn for us during quizzes tomorrow, so we can celebrate a day early. I plan to dress as a “dryer.” Lint, dryer sheets, and mismatched socks for my costume. The kids already know I’m a nerd…..

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve found some great eye candy on line. Here’s a sample so you can go exploring yourself.

Kevin Van Aelst is an interesting digital artist. I’m particularly fond of his math images – food and math – very clever! Here’s two samples of the many pics on his site.

The periodic table in gummy bears – gotta love it!

Country Channel TV has a series called Talking Threads, out of England. I’ve watched three episodes: interviews with an artist, and then a demo. Watched Jill Kennedy silk artist tonight, and now I gotta tell ya I HAVE to do some silk painting! She makes it look so easy (but I truly understand that to be great at something doesn’t mean it’s easy).

Zentangles are something new to me, but very cool. I am in the process of trying to do one. Suzan and I are going to trade at Thanksgiving. I’ll post pics as I finish – right now I am looking for a couple of new pens.You really need to visit the web site and look at the samples to get a really good idea. I’m thinking there are a lot of quiltart images to be created with the zentangles. Here’s a quick blurb from the site:

“Zentangle is an easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is a fascinating new art form that is fun and relaxing. It increases focus and creativity. Zentangle provides artistic satisfaction and an increased sense of personal well being. Zentangle is enjoyed by a wide range of skills and ages and is used in many fields of interest. We believe that life is an art form and that Zentangle is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.”

The Mannahatta Project is a look at Manhattan island as it once was, back in 1609. There are lots of images and renderings to get an idea of the changes this island has undergone. You could spend HOURS looking through this site. Great idea if you’re teaching science or history. Here’s a quick sketch of putting Mannahatta back together again:

A Little Imagination and a Pile of Junk is another blog I discovered – this is a tutorial on painting a paper towel. I found this interesting because I was cleaning up after myself when I was dyeing fabric and really loved the colors on the paper towel. Turns out I don’t have to throw the towels away! The key is ironing – you can check out the full tutorial – it’s amazing what one can find on the web!

All in all a good day, with lots of new art on the horizon, people I enjoy reading every day, a hubby I adore, and a day closer to the weekend! May you love what you do!

Top Ten Tuesday – Cool Stuff on the Web!

This has been an incredible week for cool stuff from the web. I am getting lots of tweets of art sites and interesting articles. So I’ll pass on to you the best of the best! Most of the stuff I can’t get pics for!!

* The Blooming Lotus – I got this site from Ideal Bite, which is a daily newsletter (you can subscribe) about being ecologically responsible. As Jen, the owner, says “at Blooming Lotus, natural and organic are not marketing buzzwords — they are a way of life.” Check out how they walk the talk.

* Spinning on the Edge – International Call for Textiles – Textile Tide Pool Project. Textile artists – check this out. I have written for more clarification about the project, but at first glance it seems very worthwhile – bring a light to the fragile tide pools of the world.

* Think Geek: Rock Paper Scissors Lizards Spock – for you Big Bang fans (of which I am certainly one), there are some cool t-shirts here!

* Anagrams from WordSmith – type in your name and get a variety of anagrams from your letters. I got some weird ones… “Ad Molar Inn” – lots of fun! And if you like that, look at John Langdon, who did the ambigrams for Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons.” Really explore this site – there is great art work here!!

* Digital Art Guild – Art Through Technology. Great articles and images.

* From – 20 Little Ways to Drop the Pounds and Keep Them Off. I’m working on doctor’s orders to get the weight off, and every little bit helps!!!

* The Lazy Dyer from Melody Johnson – since I have just started dyeing, I found this blog entry really great. “Not Exactly the Right Way…Just Exactly My Way.”

* If you’re using Facebook, then check out these mocked-up Facebook pages – absolutely hysterical!! You need to subscribe to The Best Article Every Day.

* From The Huffington Post comes this article and video about a five-year-old girl and her plan to feed the homeless. The best thing about this video is the reminder that all of us can effect change.

* And finally – from YouTube: Mascara Painting to Betty Davis Eyes. Unbelievable!! Who knew?

And you have seen the LED sheep, right???


Top Ten Tuesday – A Week on the Web

I have spent the day so far at the computer, cleaning out old emails, answering emails, updating links – all the stuff you put off doing. However, there has been some amazing stuff I’ve discovered on the web this week – loads of eye candy! So sit back and enjoy!!

* This first is an amazing marbling video by a Turkish master. I was stunned by it – so different from anything I have seen, and so masterful in technique. I should live long enough to be able to do this!

* The Guild of American Papercutters – not a great website, but the gallery has some really amazing photos. I fell in love with papercuts when I watched a master in Shanghai create a lovely cutting of a girl, with just scissors and his own eye for detail.

* A wonderful artist – Harrison Howard from San Diego – vibrant paintings, some interesting Asian influences. His shell series are quite wonderful. I tend to really like vibrant colors (I think the school is “colorist?”), and these really do it for me.

* Clark Little surf photography – words will never do these images justice. The waves, the curls, the movement – you will drool at each image.

* Human Computation – another YouTube video. You know those made-up words we use for encoding to prove we’re really human? Luis Ahn explains how we are helping to digitize books each time we type them – really fascinating!

* The Scribbler – just downright fun to play with – your own scribbles, and you can upload them into an online gallery.

Art Licensing Info – an interesting resource as we start doing more marketing. Free download e-book on getting started with Twitter.

* 3-D Street Art – more street painting – really great stuff, with how-to photos. Couldn’t figure out how to get a photo to post!

* China’s Olympics Light Creative Flame – interesting article.

* The Power of One – a fabulous video – we can all be instruments of change for the better. Check out additional videos.

When Art Class Works

There are times when art class just doesn’t work. For example, this past Monday. I had planned a time in the computer lab for the kids to browse a variety of sites and see some other potential areas of art they might like. One great site is the Frank Lloyd Wright Architect Studio 3D by the FLW Preservation Trust. This site takes the students on a tour of homes and information about the architect, but the best part of the site is the design studio, where kids can actually design a house. Sounds great, right?

Well, only if you are on a certain web browser, have updated computers, and have mice that work. Otherwise, you have 30 minutes of random clicking and shouts of “Miss, it’s not working.” By the end of the 90 minute period (and needless to say, no one had listened earlier to log-in instructions), I was so frustrated. Some kids stayed on the cartoon site the whole time (with some really great instructions for them), and some stayed on the Shadow Puppet site, building their own show (this is a fabulous site!). You can access my art class sites here.

I was both frustrated with the kids and with the computer lab. But on Wednesday the 8th grade class was wonderful – worked hard on mandalas and created and completed some great stuff. Thursday I started the illuminated letter project, with making “parchment” paper to start. After 45 minutes of no one listening to me, I took the kids out of the room and to my math class and proceeded to yell at them – which I never do. They had been horrible.

On Friday I tried the same assignment with my seventh grade, most of whom I have in math class. This is when it works…..

I was able to work with nearly evry student on some aspect of their art. I got all kids making the water color wash for their “parchment.” There were some great questions (can I use another blend?) and lots of creative ways of covering the paper. But the best part was helping the kids finish and mount their mandalas (I promise pictures soon). I would take their work and rotate the design, helping them to make decisions about orientation (not a word they knew). One student actually said, “You can do that?” I can so relate, because there were times when I thought the same thing.
The students were able to articulate which orientation they liked, explaining that it “moved” better. So I introduced the word “flow.”

Some students wanted to be creative in their framing – they wanted their circles kept whole on the white background, but wanted to play with the shape of the background construction paper. The biggest issue for me was trying to just suggest ideas, but still keep their work as the artist as much theirs as possible.

This really was a problem when it came to color. Some of the kids got very involved in the line drawings inside the circles that they had seen me do. They would occasionally moan about not being finished, but they also weren’t ready to quit until it was just the way they liked it. All designs were then gone over with a thin black marker – made the shapes really show, and also let the kids work with the idea of a draft.Then so many of them needed color.

I didn’t want to “instruct,” I wanted to lead. This was tough. I had some colors speak to me immediately, but I didn’t want to force anything. For one, he had some shapes that looked like arrows, and I suggested he look at just those – put his focus only on one area. What color would he like there? He chose red – just the color I was thinking of. So he did just those. We looked at it from a distance, and he decided he wanted to do the part on top in yellow to emphasize some of his lines. Looked fabulous. Then I suggested he do the same thing on the bottom, and introduced the idea of balance. When he finished, he looked at it again and pronounced it finished. He was happy with how it looked. (I would have added blue, but he’s the artist.)

Even better was the fact that I had several students who usually rush through assignments take three class periods to do their line work, and now they are just considering color. At the end, I was able to sit with one of my somewhat “energetic” group of boys and use their five entirely different mandalas to do a brief lesson in art critique.

That’s a class that works. The high from that 90 minutes will stay with me for several weeks.

On Being a Web Nerd….


I first started a web page around 1997. Seems like ancient times from this perspective. We had interviewed a “web designed” who wanted $3000 for the site. No way could we afford that. So I spent $100 and bought PageMill and taught myself. A rather steep learning curve, if I say so myself. That version went through several modifications. Then we added secure ordering – with encryption software for credit cards. How times have changed.

Eventually there came a point – probably about three years ago, when I knew I no longer wante to maintain the site and I wanted to change the look to a more professional site and not spend the time myself learning how to do it. Hence Saltwater Systems. Suzan gave our site a very professional look, and now I just do simple changes. Finally got a trial version of Contribute so I can add links and do revisions.

So I know enough to be dangerous – but then, we’ve been on line for 10 years. Probably even before some of the biggies. Maybe we need to have a ten-year sale…..

ass="level-0" value="113">Tim Gunn
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