Saturday, January 28, 2012

Valentine's Day Roses- DIY

To all my fellow cricuters I have great Valentine's Day craft for you.  In today's post I will show you how to make a stunning rose bouquet to use as a center piece or give to someone special.  Don't worry if you do not own a cricut machine!  I will be selling these in my shop this spring, both pre-made sets and DIY kits

First, you will need:
  • Cardstock- any colors you like
  • Close to my Heart Art Philosophy cartridge
  • Hot glue
  • Floral wire
  • Markers
Use the "font, shift" function to choose the rose design.  Choose whatever size you like, the smallest pink roses were cut at 3.  Once they are cut use the marker to outline the edges of the petals.  I find its easier if you outline them before taking them off the mat.

Next, tightly roll the paper starting from the outside.  I let the paper uncoil on its own to make the rose look like it has bloomed.  Glue the coiled paper to the tab left in the center of the flower. 

Now take one piece of floral wire and wrap one end around your marker.  Depending on how larger your flower is will determine how wide your loop should be.  Since the pink roses were very small I only needed a small loop.  Flatten loop to act as a stand for your rose and glue together.

Tip: you can cut floral wire at different lenghts to give your bouquet dimension.

That's all.  A nice, simple craft to add to your Valentine decor.  My bouquets featured 3 different sizes, edged in pink, dark red, and gold.  The heart votives are available at Target for $2.50 per set of 2 (I found mine in the bargain section when you first walk in). 

Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Craft Shows & Art Fairs- Prices and Selling

Hi all.  It is craft show season so I would like to do a small series of what to know, bring, and expect at your upcoming event.

I’ve been spending the last week designing a booth display for shows as well as deciding what to make/bring.  So far I am scheduled for two shows this spring and I can’t wait.  These will be my first in my new city.  I am also compiling a craft show checklist that I will be posting next time.  So before we jump too far ahead let’s talk about sales. 

The reason we do craft shows or art fairs is to give ourselves exposure and make money.  So what kinds of things sell at these shows?  I’ve found that small and less expensive items are more likely to move.  Smaller items because most people don’t want to carry large items around with them while browsing other booths.  I still plan on bringing original artwork (usually about 18x24 inches in size) but will offer to hold it until the customer is ready to leave. 

Price.  Most of my paintings sell for around $100.00 each.  Since most craft show dwellers don’t carry cash like that I’ve started making smaller original art priced between $10-25.00.  I also have a paper crafts business which is great for low cost items.  My paper crafts are also easy to make and will help fill my booth. 

I do have a few remedies to hopefully get around price issues.  For 2D artists there are many ways to have prints made of your work.  ImageKind (as mentioned it my last post) is a wonderful site.  You can sell your work directly to buyers from here and set your own markups.  You can also purchase your own work (without markups) on a wide range of supports.  Most craft/hobby stores or printers (like Kinkos) can do prints.  Just make sure your photographs are good- taken in natural light and colors match the original.   

Another great tool for artists and crafters, especially one’s involved in shows, is Square.  It allows you to accept credit card payments anywhere with your iPhone, iPad or Android phone.  It is a small slider that plugs into your headphone output.  Payments are sent to any bank account you wish to link square to.

That’s all I have for today’s post.  I’ll be posting other craft show goodies over the next couple weeks.  In the meantime, enjoy…

Above: Art blocks

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Stop Procrastinating!

It’s the same every year.  We make our New Year’s resolutions and within two weeks we’ve already lost sight of our goals.  It’s January 21, so by now we are already making excuses as to why we can go to the gym, how we don’t have time to finish reading that book, or convincing ourselves that we can live with this job.  I truly want to make this year count.  I have my goals and am determined to make them happen. 

I’ve been searching around the internet and reflecting on my own experiences to find some simple ways to stop that cycle of procrastination. 

1.     Break it down.  Instead of telling yourself “I am going to write a book” break it down to “I want to write chapter 1”.  Which brings us to our next step…

2.     Reasonable deadlines.  I cannot stress the word reasonable enough.  I have found myself with long lists of to-do for a day that would take even the roadrunner 3 days to finish.   Take your final goal; break it down into small steps to give yourself time to do them.  If losing weight is on your resolution list, stress won’t help. 

3.     New environment.  This can be a fun one.  If you feel uninspired change what you’re looking at.  I am always moving furniture and adding decorations to my studio.  You’ll feel much better with a clean, fresh area in which to reach that final goal.

4.     Tell your friends.  Tell others what you’re striving for.  When you see them they are bound to ask how it’s going.  These reminders will help keep you on track.

I have a lot of goals for the year.  My main focus will be on my art and getting it “out there”.  I have recently moved from New Jersey to North Carolina so I definitely have step 3 covered.  Being in a new city and meeting new people has already inspired me to work harder. 

So far my progress has been great.  I finally listed some of my art on Etsy.  I’ve been working on another site, ImageKind, which takes photos off my art and makes prints to sell.  I’m hoping this will be a great tool for me.  My next step is to focus on craft shows and art galleries.  This could take a while- designing my display booth, choosing products, sending applications etc. 

I will keep you posted as I finish each step.  Now since I told you my goals, what are yours? 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Cricut Cartridges

Just received an e-mail from with 7 new cartridges plus a special offer.  The cartridges are:

1.     Ole Cricut- a Spanish and Latin inspired cartridge.

2.     Type Candy- letters, numbers, tags, etc. with 6 creative features.

3.     Greeting Cards- 20 patterns and 50 layered images.

4.     Baby Shower- invitations, decorations, and party favors PLUS gift boxes, wrappers, cards, 3D objects.

5.     Bridal Shower- invitations, decorations, and party favors PLUS gift boxes, wrappers, cards, 3D objects.

6. Giant Flowers- this is a project cartridge, looks like great 3D flowers

7. My Quite Book- another project cartridge, educational.

Special promotion is only for the next 72 hours. Purchase $50.00 or more and receive the Cricut Expression Starter Kit which includes:

  • 1 Spatula tool
  • 1 Cricut Tool Kit
  • 2 12" x 12" cutting mats
  • 1 package of black Cricut vinyl
  • 1 sheet of 12" x 12" Cricut transfer tape
  • 1 sheet of 12" x 12" Cricut stencil material
  • 1 black Cricut marker

It's been awhile

Hi all, it’s been a long time (too long).  So to start out (again)  I want to share some new projects I have recently finished…

Above are some orginal texture paintings. 
I have been playing with textures a lot recently.  Click this link to see everything I’ve been working on: 
Now for some of my jewelry displays...
This is turning out to be my most popular item.  Next are some of my favorites.

Since I've recently moved from New Jersey to North Carolina I would like to share some city love with you.  I just stumbled upon this seller last night and love their shop, especially this item.

The shop is called DapperPaper and here is a link to the shop: