Below is my first article I have written for Examiner! Feel free to check it out if you'd like :)
Spotlight on Madison+Main Advertising and New Media
What tools are a must in your day to day business?
The internets! If the internet is down I feel handicapped. I draw a lot of inspiration and strength from my fellow artists, especially those on Plurk (like Amanda!). Having bipolar disorder sometimes requires a good swift kick in the butt as motivation and I know I can always count on my internet friends for that!
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
A cat, definitely! Big cat, little cat, doesn’t matter! They are so beautiful in appearance and movement. They are also very independent and terribly clever. I’m sure the 18 hour naps wouldn’t be that bad either!
What is your favorite color combination?
Black and pretty much anything (except maybe orange, yellow and brown).
What's your favorite drink?
COFFEE! I’m pretty sure my doctor counts my blood in cc's of caffeine rather than cell count! I’m a coffee snob though. No Tim Horton’s coffee, no instant coffee. Must be real cream and sugar! If you’re going to get a soy Sweet 'n Low decaf coffee you might as well lick pavement! Why bother? You really want to get on my good side? Bring me a gingerbread latte from Starbucks!
What could I find in your refrigerator right now?
Condiments. Husband has a HUGE problem buying condiments. If the world ended, however, I could probably survive on three or four types of mustard.
What is the last book you read?
Er. I don’t remember! I LOVE to read but I get so involved with my books that I lose track of time. So I don’t read unless EVERYTHING is done and I have time to “lose.” If I think real hard, the last book probably would’ve been from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series.
What blogs do you like to keep up to date with?
GHOULS GUILD - Keep up on what my fellow Ghouls and I have in store regarding our Halloween/dark art in our Artfire shops!
BENT OBJECTS by Terry Border - His work is hilarious. I can always count on it to make me smile. And he’s an awesome guy even though I only know him via Facebook.
TORONTO CRAFT ALERT - Keep up-to-date on all of Toronto’s crafty happenings!
CRAFT CRITIQUE - Amazing art product reviews and giveaways!
And there’s tons more…which is why my Google Reader reads 880 unread posts!
What's your favorite movie?
I can’t pick just one! Return to Oz, Sweeney Todd, Pirates, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Coraline, Up… there’s loads of them!
What's the best part about selling online?
You get to meet so many people you never would have if it weren’t for the internet!
What's the biggest challenge being in business for yourself?
Not getting frustrated. When there are lulls in sales or craft shows are slow it’s very easy to want to give up. It’s especially hard if you have to be your own cheerleader. But stick with it and remind yourself why you’re in this business in the first place – the love of creating!
Tell us a little about how you manage your time.
Managed time? What’s that? My days are pretty much a free-for-all! I don’t really have a set schedule. I’m not sure I’d get more done if I did. I work best and am most creative under pressure. But I also get peeved when I can’t finish everything on time!
Thank you so much, Mel, for giving us a peek into Kaotic Ekko's Curiosities! Be sure to check out Mel's shop for all her great products!
1. Simbiosis by Julia - I fell in love with the colorful aspect of this gadget bag the minute I saw it! Rarely do you see so much vibrant color associated with squirrels, so this really caught my eye.
2. Peaches 4 Me - I love the little acorn accompanying the sweet squirrel on this necklace. This is a perfect accessory for the cool Autumn weather!
3. Janey Mac Press - I've been really into wall decals lately, because they add such a statement to any living area, but they are easy and cheap to change often! I love this little squirrel perched on its branch, and the fact that he is leaning over toward the chair.
4. Moxie and Oliver - What a sweet wallet this is! The distressed feel with the little squirrel in the corner is so subtle and cute!
5. Freshy Fig - Here is another necklace I just couldn't resist. He is so sweet!
6. Fuzzy Mu - I love this notebook and the mirroring quality it portrays when the notebook is open. This is sure to give any artist creative inspiration!
7. Marmee Craft - What an absolutely adorable print! These squirrels look so happy and would certainly put me in a good mood!
8. Elpy - How simple and sweet are these magnets! And sturdy enough to hold multiple papers! I love that the set includes different designs.
9. Buttered Parsnips - I just love the vintage feel of these sweet buttons! How cute would these be adorning your favorite cardigan?
I hope you enjoyed these squirrel picks and take the opportunity to check out each of these lovely shops!
Thanks to my relaxing weekend, I am feeling refreshed and ready to start the week on the right foot! And I am now totally prepared to start cranking out inventory for my upcoming craft show! I chose this week's item based on the cheerful, bright colors. The citrusy colors remind me of a refreshing glass of lemonade on my porch with no worries or cares. Make sure you check out Exotic Flavours shop and see what other lovely items they have available!
Maybe I am just old-fashioned, but I don't believe Jackie O. would ever approve of this.
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Is this statement too much? Does this exceed the boundaries of "art" and "fashion"?
A couple of weeks ago Brenda asked me if I would create a logo for Little Acorns Child Care. I was so ecstatic to be a part of this opportunity, and Brenda and I immediately began brainstorming ideas! Our first direction was to create a whimsical tree, trying to figure out how to incorporate an acorn into the design. After working out some sketches, and talking about the direction of the company and the logo, Brenda and I came up with the final design, which you can see below!
I'd love to know your thoughts for this logo! Do think it portrays the idea of Little Acorns Child Care?
My favorite drink is a Seabreeze. I saw them made on one of the Food Network shows that my hubby and I watch and just had to try them. I was instantly 'hooked'. Very good!
The biggest challenge of working for yourself is keeping focused. At least for me. There are so many things that scream out to me that need to be done around the house, if I am not locked away in my sewing room, I get sidetracked! I have to admit that I am getting much better but I still have a ways to go.
The best part about selling online is the people you meet. The internet makes the world a much smaller place. I have met some amazing people online and have many wonderful friendships with people I have never met in person.
Thank you so much for giving us a peek into your life, Lora! Hmm, I think I am going to have to try that Seabreeze now....
1. The Natural Hand - I just love the sleek look of this gorgeous rosewood box! And this would be perfect for the little knick-knacks I have lying around that I just cannot seem to find a home for.
2. Little Pink Studio - I just could not resist these adorable luggage-looking boxes. Not only are they perfect for storing my supplies in my studio, but they would look so cute sitting out as well! And the colors are simply irresistible.
3. Jenny N. Design - I admit that I am a sucker for a great bag. This bag is the perfect size for holding all my necessary items and a sketchbook for those spur of the moment ideas! And the color is absolutely gorgeous!
4. Raven X - I've had my eye on these cute sewer's wall hangings for quite a while now. While I am, by no means, a professional sewer, I do enjoy sewing, and know that these would spark my creativity - even if I am a paper crafter!
5. Julie Meyer - Talk about cleaning in style! I would happily clean if it meant I got to wear these adorable gloves! And in a variety of colors, there's a pair for everyone!
6. Brooklyn Bookbinder - I just love these accordian-fold calendars. They are compact enough to fit in any bag,yet large enough to stay up-to-date with your current and upcoming events!
7. Sara Schalliol - I've also had my eye on this jewelry stand for quite a while. It is very well made and comes in a cheerful bright pink. What's not to love?! I could even use it to house my ribbons and embellishments in my studio!
8. Joosy Card Co. - I've always loved this shop - and I certainly love the playfulness of Joosy Card Co.'s patterned clipboards. These are perfect for keeping your current paperwork together, or using at a craft show!
9. If N Books - Last, and certainly not least, I have always loved this cancerpants journal. Not only is it a perfect resource for housing all your ideas, but $1 from each sale goes to a cancer-related organization!
I hope you enjoy each of these just as much as I do! Have an idea for a future treasury you'd like me to feature? Feel free to let me know, and I will add it to a future list!
That brings me to my Moody Monday. Today I am certainly longing for the four day weekend back! I think this stunning watercolor by krscutie421 perfectly portrays the longing I am feeling. The pink in her hair portrays a cheerfulness, however, indicating my excitement to finalize my holiday line and begin my weekly features!
Let me know what you think about today's moody item! How are you feeling today?
It's not exactly the way I'd like it to look, but I need some more shelving before it will be exactly right.
But, first, here is how it looked before Destination: Organization!
And here are the lovely 'after' photos:
That ribbon shelf needs to be hung, but other than that I think it's as close to complete as it can get until I get more shelves! I can't believe I can actually sit on the bed now! WOW, is this going to be a great start to my week!
I hope everyone had a wonderful week and is geared up for my new features that will begin running tomorrow!
Today, my Friday consisted of a full day of Spartafest 2009 where I was a vendor at the Spartafest Craft Show! Not only was it (and will be again tomorrow!) so much fun, but I've met some incredible Etsy sellers, including Ella Scott Jewels.
To top the great day off, as soon as I left the show for the evening, I got word that I was accepted as a vendor for the Richmond Handmade Holiday Craft Show 2009 in December! Talk about excitement! This was my first year applying to the juried show, and they received three times as many applications as booths they have, so what an honor to be accepted! I'll certainly be working very hard on the show, and will keep ya'll posted along the way!
I hope everyone had an equally as cheerful Friday and an even better weekend!
Do you have an inspiring story about how collaboration has helped you expand your thinking? I'd love to hear it!
Collaborative art is probably something all artists and crafters use in their daily creations, whether we know it or not. Not only is it a technique we use subconsciously, but it is a great tool to use when the creative juices aren't flowing so well, or you've hit a creative wall. Using collaborative art techniques purposefully is a great way to expand your creativity and think outside the box (as us artists so love to do!).
Below you will find a loose guide for beginning your journey with collaborative art. Remember, though, this is your creation, so if it doesn't go exactly step by step, then, well, you've probably created a better piece of work because of it! Have fun and be inventive!
Step 1: Brainstorm! As with beginning any new project, quality brainstorming is a must to achieve quality results. This doesn't mean you must sit down at a specific time and start brainstorming; ideas can come to you at any time. For instance, I typically get my "lightbulb" ideas when I am driving. I make a mental note of all my ideas and keep a pen and scratch pad in my purse so that as soon as I arrive at my destination, I can jot down the ideas I had on my drive.
Step 2: Enlist friends and family. This is where the collaboration part of the creation begins. Once you have developed an idea that you are happy with and would like to create from, begin discussing your idea with friends and family members. Tell them your idea and, most likely, they will begin to chime in with their two cents. If not, ask them what their thoughts are! They may be thinking something completely different from the direction you plan on taking your creation in, which in turn will expand your creativity and way of thinking! Be sure to take comprehensive notes from each person you discuss the project with so you remember what was discussed when you are on your own with your creation again.
Step 3: Consider their ideas. Now that you have developed an ongoing list of ideas from outsiders, begin thinking about how they would fit into your creation. This is where you will start melding your bright idea with their outsider eyes. If you feel like it's necessary, you can always go back and discuss the new, collaborative idea with them again to get an even more in-depth collaborative process.
Step 4: Create your masterpiece! Now that you have developed a cohesive idea through notes, sketches, and discussions, it is time to put your talent to work creating that masterpiece! You are the ultimate artist, but along the way, you have received insightful guidance and ideas from those individuals you care for, making thing creation that much more meaningful. Be sure to share your final creation with all those involved so they can see just how their ideas played into your final piece!
As you see, there are many opportunities for variety within this technique. The process can take as long as you'd like. You could do a quick piece that only takes a couple of days, or you could do a year-long piece where you get much more insight from a broader range of individuals. Remember that it is your creation, and you have a world of possibilities lying in front of you from your discussions with other individuals. Even the way you perceive your notes when you get home an hour, a day, or a week down the road becomes something completely new!
Most importantly, take time to enjoy the collaboration process. Get those closest to you involved, and make sure they understand what you are doing so they can enjoy the process right along with you! Have fun!
Photo courtesy of Yael Fran.
MONDAY: Moody Monday - On Mondays I will feature a handmade from an online venue that will express how my week is starting out! If you know of any handmade items (or your own!) that would be a great "moody" feature, leave a link in the comments, and I just may use it if the mood strikes!
TUESDAY: Tuesday Treasures - Tuesdays I will feature either an Etsy treasury that I am currently loving, or items I've found on my own that will create my own treasury!
WEDNESDAY: Wacky Wednesday - I am most excited about my upcoming Wednesday features! Each Wednesday I will feature an interview from an artisan or entrepreneur. The fun part, however, is that these artisans and entrepreneurs will be answering unconventional questions, so hopefully you will learn something new, gain inspiration, and expand your creativity!
FRIDAY: Fridays will be all about fashion. I am obsessed with all things fashion, so I will be featuring some items I am eyeing, or gather your opinions on certain trends, topics, and the like. If it has to do with fashion, it will be here!
Like I said, I would love to hear your feedback! If you think I can expand on one of these ideas, or are simply not even interested in seeing them, please let me know! I am looking forward to bringing these fun features to my blog and really hope you will get involved and throw your thoughts and comments out there!