Monday, June 30, 2008
I'm getting ready for a craft show and thought I'd create some little tatted bracelets for both big and little girls. We'll see how they are accepted. I thought I'd make up some tatted headbands, also. I've even trimmed little white socks in the past and I sold some of them. These are just a few ideas you can do with tatting that are practical, also.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I am taking awhile to complete this Altered Book. I just can't come up with ideas--I'm having artist's block, I guess. However, this is what I have so far. I want to add some words to the cover, I'm just not sure what yet. I have another page just about completed, which I will add to my blog in a few days.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I have been making lots of these bookmarks lately for a craft show in August. As I said before, I work for an assisted living home as an "activities director" and love it. We are raising money for the Alzheimer's Association, so I decided to have a craft show to raise money. We will hold it in our home in the "parlor" and invite residents from other assisted living homes in the area to come (over a two-day period) and also invite friends and families of our residents.
I also have three of our residents who help me make crafts, and we have made many beautiful wreaths to sell. I will post pictures of our craft show in August for you to see. We are also making the wreaths for other residents who have no door decoration. So, needless to say, I love my job!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
After such a hectic week last week, this week is a breeze. I only have to work two days this week at Elmcroft. For those of you who don't know what "Elmcroft" is (which is probably most of you), it's an assisted living home that I work at, and I love working there. I am a part time Activities Director and plan all sorts of activities for the residents to do. In other words, I keep them busy during the day. I sing with them, play the piano, play games (including Wii), and also have a craft time once a week. On Tuesday (one of the days I worked), I took some pictures of my white kitties and showed them off. I had three kitties, but one of them disappeared (and I'm very sad about it). I think someone stole him, as he was so lovable and friendly. And he had one blue eye and one green eye--we named him "Blue." So, now we have Sophie and Buddy left. So, at least they have each other.
Actually, I'm a transplanted Northerner living in the South. We moved down here about 35 years ago so my husband could attend college, and we never moved back. The life style is much slower down here and much more enjoyable. We have lived in Chicago and Indianapolis in the past, and we like the smaller cities better. We can get just about anywhere in 20 minutes. Well, that's enough about me today. Please enjoy my kitty picture!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Wow! This last week went by so fast! I have not had a chance to post on my blog, so I'll try to catch up. I don't know if I mentioned this, but I am a musician and teach piano and voice. This past week, I had the privilege to sing in a group at our local music festival called "Riverbend." It is a week-long event and is attended by thousands of people. Our group didn't sing until 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night and we got through about 11:15 p.m. Lots of songs! I have also been busy adding pictures to my Flickr site, so between my blog, lessons, Flickr, and extra activities, it's been hectic. You can see more of my pictures at www.lllangel.flickr.com. I also added another chapter to my "Angel Story" and will be adding more in the future. It's a long story--I hope I can keep you interested in it. My picture is of my first altered book that I made about four years ago. I cut out around the book and probably won't do that again. It was very difficult to do. I glued the pages together and painted most of the pages with acrylic paint. Please read the page with the poem I hand lettered. It says everything about me as an artist and I hope you enjoy it!
Monday, June 9, 2008
Thank you for all your kind comments about my tatting creations. Here is one more that I have made. I also love making Altered Books and here is an "altered board book" with tatting added. This is my Angel Altered Book, which I am not through with yet, but I do have the cover finished. I am also working on an Altered Tatting Book and I will put some pictures on when I finish it. Thanks for looking!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
As you can see, I like to add tatting to what I create and not in the traditional way. This was a plain white metal mailbox and I altered it by gluing my hand dyed paper to it and then added my tatting. In the future, you'll probably see other items to which I have added my tatting. I also like making greeting cards with tatting on the card front. One of my favorite items to tatt are tatted bookmarks. I make them because they are practical and look beautiful when used in a Bible and vintage books. Even though tatting is almost a "lost art" there are many tatting lovers out there and we are bound and determined that tatting will continue on for people to enjoy. Many of my items that I am showing can be purchased on my Etsy site which is www.lllangel.etsy.com.
I like to add my tatting to my ACEO's for a different and unique look. It is also very dimensional which adds to the look. I have been tatting for about 12 years now and still love the process. When I feel stressed, it relaxes me. Between tatting and playing the piano, both of these soothe my troubles away. My degree is in music and I teach both voice and piano. I have found more musicians are not just talented musically, but also talented in the arts and crafts. I'm not sure why, but it must be the part of our brains that we use more. I'd love to read a study on it sometime. It would be interesting.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
I already posted one of my little ACEO Display Books and here is another one that I have created. I dyed the paper with walnut ink and added one of my ACEO's to the cover. Creating ACEO's are so enjoyable--they are like creating altered books. There are really no rules. You can do anything you want with a 3.5 x 2.5 piece of paper. When I look at all the ACEO's that are created, every one is unique. And I can catch a little glimpse of the creator's personality in each ACEO.
Friday, June 6, 2008
I love all forms of art, including painting in oils. I probably should narrow down my "loves" because I seem to be dabbling in many things but not concentrating on any one thing. My mother drew many beautiful ladies for me in my young life and I have always remembered asking her to draw me one more. So, I decided to draw some myself and here is one that I painted. My mother only drew with pencil and never really explored art like she should have, because she would have been very good at it. But her love was knitting and she knitted all her life. I guess she felt that was more practical, and she was right. But I'm not really the practical one--I just love to create. This lady looks so sad because she is saying goodby to someone she loves.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I am very thankful that both my daughter and son have become artists with their own unique style. This is a sample of my daughter's art. She has a three-year-old son, so much of her art is created with him in her mind. I love her bright colors and how she combines them. I will share my son's art (which is totally different) in future posts.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Over the next few weeks, I made several little dolls and each time, they looked a little better. They still did not have the "look" of my sister's dolls, but they were improving. After making several more, I finally was satisfied they were presentable for sale. So I took them to my friend's shop and asked if she would be interested in selling them on consignment. She said she would try them and see how they would do.
"Consignment" is an easy way to start marketing your crafts. This way, you can see if the customers like your product enough to purchase it, and the shop owner is not out any money if they don't sell. If, after a month or so, your product doesn't move, it's time to go back to trying something else.
Well, the dolls did sell and this gave me the encouragement to continue on this journey. I then started to visit other local shops and show them my creations. Most of the time, I put the dolls in their shops on consignment. Not many shops turned me down cold. A few did, though, and when that happened, I would have to regroup and tell myself that my dolls would not appeal to everyone. Over the years, I have read lots of "how to" books and one thing that helps keep me going is a positive attitude. It is easy to get discouraged when venturing out like this and your product doesn't sell, especially if you are not a born sales person, which I am not. I am timid and not a very self-assured person by nature. I have to pray a lot for courage and the incentive to keep going when things get tough.
Another attribute you need is patience. If you are going to do the same task over and over, you have to enjoy doing it and you cannot quit. Have set goals. When making the dolls, I would break the tasks up into repetitive little steps andwould make one dozen of one step and then go on to the next step. Don't look at the big picture--it will be mind-boggling and very discouraging.
As I made the dolls over the next few months, I kept branching out looking for new shops. I have always enjoyed browsing in gift shops, so, in our travels, I would look for new and unique shops. On one of our little trips, we went to Stone Mountain, Georgia and I found a shop there that I enjoyed. It was owned by a very talented and smart woman who had many wonderful items in her shop. I would always pray before I showed my dolls. That way, I felt the Lord would give me that extra strength I need to deliver my "sales pitch." I had bought a nice large Wedgewood blue basket to display my dolls, and I would carry this around in our car trunk just in cae we came upon a shop.
I walked into her shop, looked around and felt really comfortable there. When the owner asked me if she could help me, I told her that I had some unique little dolls with me that I had made and asked her if she would like to see them. She said, "yes", so I went back to the car to get my basket. I never would take my basket in at first, because I wanted to use the "soft" approach. That way, if the owner or manager was not in, I would not be embarrassed with all the dolls--I would just give them my business card and leave. But this day, I took my basket in and she immediately liked them. She ordered some for consignment and I left a few with her that day. I mailed her the rest that next week. Over the next six weeks, I continued to contact her and my dolls were selling. I sold to her for the remaining time I was in the wholesale business and made a good friend as well.