Hooray I got into Austin City Limits artists market! They sent out the announcements on Friday and I had been waiting with baited breath! I have done the show with the Austin Craft Mafia on and off for the last 5 years. The picture above was taken the first year we did the show and a week before my wedding! The picture below is the most recent year and we have clearly improved on the decoration front. The booth will actually be just be me and my friend Amy Barber who owns Sweet Tooth Bags. We might consign a few other fun things in the booth but for the time being it is going to be chocked full of jewelry and purses! If you need a vacation this summer might I suggest Austin City Limits. Besides the shopping the real attraction is obviously the music. Here are a few of the bands I am looking forward to seeing when I can sneak away from the booth….
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Tegan & Sara
Iron & Wine
Band of Horses
The Black Keys
Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
It went from no Craft Lab to Craft Lab 4 times a week on two different networks. Our letter writing campaign must be working because coming in July you can see Craft Lab Season 1 Mondays on HGTV and Craft Lab Season 2 Mon, Wed & Fri on DIY Network! Sure the show is still on at the butt crack of dawn (I’m talking 3am) but that is because the networks did a little market research and discovered that crafters Tivo their shows. It’s true, I Tivo so what time a show comes on really does not matter to me. I’m just happy Craft Lab is back on TV again. There are so many fun episodes from season 2 that have yet to see the light of day. On top of all the Craft Lab excitement, Stylelicious is also airing on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the DIY Network. That is a whole lot of Austin crafty goodness! Now I am not positive about these days and times becuase the DIY Network says one day and the TIVO says another. It might be on Tuesday and Thursday, we will just have to wait until next week to know fer sure!
Remember if you want your craft TV be sure to write DIY and HGTV and let them know to bring it on.
Monday June 30th – HGTV – 5:30 AM - Airbrush Skateboard and Helmet with Chris DeRubeis. If you have never tried to airbrush I dare you to mock how poorly I do before you try. It’s like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time.
Monday June 30th - DIY Network - 3:00 AM - Polymer Pop with Anne Igou. Anne & I whip up some pop art inspired polymer clay containers. I also show a quickie project for making a polymer clay coaster.
Wednesday July 2nd - DIY Network - 3:00 AM - Kaleidoscope with Keri Plezia. Soldering and sparkles, do crafts get any better than that?
Friday July 4th - DIY Network - 3:00 AM - Hipster Parasol - Lori Meeker Lori and I put an old umbrella on a one way ticket out of snoozerville and into the land of awesomeness. Learn how to make some fun fabric cards too. Crafty lady about town Sarah Utter hangs out as a crafter too!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
What crafty lady has not thought of starting a crafty business of their own at one time or another? With places like Etsy making it so easy and gas prices always climbing who couldn’t use a little extra pocket change. Starting your business, marketing your business and knowing what to do when your business is a success can be tricky. That’s why I am teaching a 3 part series at Austin’s Craft-o-Rama in July to help talk you through it. You can sign up for all 3 classes for a reduced rate ($72) or take just the classes that suit you best ($30 each). As a super special extra bonus I will have some free copies of Craft Inc. to give away to a few lucky students! Here are the class descriptions, you can sign up online by clicking the links, call Craft-O-Rama, Stop in anytime or the day of the class.
Starting Your Small Business
Tuesday July 1st 7PM-8:30PM
Did you know you could have your own craft business up and running in under an hour? Signing up for Etsy is that easy. Or do you think a traditional website is the right angle for you? May take a little longer, but it is not a whole lot trickier. Once you have your business all set up the next steps are letting the world know, networking and making some sales. This 1.5 hour long class will you give the run down on getting started! Fee: $30
Marketing Your Business
Tuesday July 7th 7PM-8:30PM
The success of your business is 40% what you make and 60% how you market it. Not yet signed up for Twitter? Don't have a blog? Not swapping swag with other crafters? You could be missing out on easy, crucial and often free ways to promote your crafty business. Whether you knit booties or solder jewelry this class will help you understand the best avenues to market your small business. Fee: $30
Taking Your Business to the Next Level
Tuesday July 15th 7PM-8:30PM
Things are running along smoothly with your small crafty business, but you want to know what else the world has to offer. How do people get product lines, book deals and TV shows? There is no secret formula, but Jennifer Perkins has experience in all three areas and will tell you what she knows. Fee: $30
If you don’t live in Austin I leave you with a few juicy links about starting your own business.
Average Jane Crafter – Rachel has put together an amazing list of online resources for the small crafty business owner/
The Boss of You – the authors of the book also keep a blog with great advice.
Bringing Home the Crafty Bacon – Listen to Craft, Rock, Love Podcast I did with Vickie Howell
Naughty Secretary Club – From Time to Time here on the blog I write an article about business or marketing.
Crafting a Business - My buddy Jenny Hart writes an amazingly informative regular column for Venus Zine.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
As I flipped through the pages of a recent issue of Elle I was struck by a small picture of a girl in a pink and gray dress. What caught my eye was the detail work on the dress. The blurb under the picture mentioned that the designer was Scottish textile designer Louise Gray and that she had worked for houses like Lanvin. What was holding my attention was trying to decide if the pink detailing on the dresses was in fact curly phone cording. I went online for further investigation and Elle.com proved me right. I have been a bit obsessed with old school phone coils as of late so this was quite a discovery to make!
The interest goes back to my collection of vintage phone cord purses. I have been picking them up for years and have managed to amass quite a nice little collection. I am not totally sure when these purses were made (the 40’s or 50’s) or why, but I’m glad they were. I have a solid yellow one that my friends call corn on the cob, several rainbow stripe models like the one pictured, black and white stripes and more. People always want to touch the purses and ask questions about them when I carry them out on the town. A few pieces from my collection are going to make an appearance in Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girls Guide to Handmade Jewelry along with a bracelet project called Thank You for Calling. I used to sell the Thank You for Calling Bracelets on Naughty Secretary Club years ago and they were always a big hit. Now I am giving you the complete instructions on how to make your own in the book. The project starts from scratch about how to make your own bangle bracelet and how to cover it! Plus there are some fun matching earrings!
I would love to know how to recreate these fantabulous purses and conquer that project for my next book, but in the meantime I might have to settle for one of these telephone bags by Betsy Johnson or a hand painted purse by Hot Pink Pistol.
If the dresses by Louise Gray don’t tickle your fancy and you are looking for something else to match your new phone cord bracelets and purses check out the rad Hotline Overalls by JEREMY loves KSUBI. According to this picture of Robyn the print also comes as a jacket!
That reminds me we are going to start doing some book related giveaways here on the blog since it is just a little over a month before the book comes out! The contest of the day is to win a How May I Direct Your Call Necklace. We only have 4 to give away, but don't you worry there will be tons more contests and prizes all July and August long. See the Naughty Secretary Club web banners for the book over on the left hand side of your screen? If you would put one of these banners on your blog through August I would love you forever! You can have it link here to blog, to Amazon or to Naughty Secretary Club, totally up to you. Leave me a comment here and let me know you put the banner up and I will email the 4 winners! Every Saturday through the end of August when I do my Saturday link round up I will include a list of all the blogs that have my banner listed!
As mentioned we are about to start getting contest crazy, so just because you don't win one of the necklaces does not mean there are not other cool prizes coming - T-shirts, Craft Supplies, Copies of the Book and more!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Did I tell you I got a new job? Because you know I needed something else to add to my ever growing list of job titles. I am now officially the Craft Artists Life Editor at Craft Gossip. It all started innocently when I saw that they had a posting about position openings on their website. I submitted a few ideas for new positions and the one about interviewing some of my favorite crafters, artists and designers stuck. This is my second week on the job and yesterday I did a hello nice to meet you introductory post on Craft Gossip so I figured it was only fair to do an introductory to my other blog post here. I will be posting on Craft Gossip 5 days a week. You can go here to sign up to receive updates about my posts. Each week will be a combination of interviews as well as links to fun interviews other places on the internet. I have 3 weeks worth of interviews already lined up and others in the work, but am always looking for more and this is where you come in.
Wanna help me out and win some free magazines? All you have to do is give me a little advice and I will hook up 5 lucky winners with some free magazines. I have copies of Bead Style and Bead Style Under $25 to give away. Post your comment here or on the Craft Artists Life Blog about who would you like to see interviewed (even if it is you!). What kinds of questions would you like to see asked of crafters? Know any fabulous interviews on the internet I should blog about? I appreciate any and all suggestions you could leave here and this time next week I will pick 4 people at random to mail the magazines too!
Monday, June 23, 2008
I keep forgetting to post about Seventeen Magazine. I have had jewelry featured in the last two issues! Whoo-hoo! Remember my hot tips about how to get editorial coverage for the things you make by sending a look book? Have you sent yours out yet?
In the June 2008 issue with Taylor Swift on the cover the Indian Wonder Woman & Peter's Puppy Bracelet as well as the Full Metal Necklace grace the pages!
The July 2008 issue of Seventeen with Alicia Keys on the cover features a whole bunch of Naughty Secretary Club Necklaces! Look for Minty, Stud Muffin and Perky Necklace. The price for the Perky Necklace was listed wrong in the magazine sadly so I have had a few disappointed people write me about the price. Sorry those are vintage beads! One person was even angry and accused me of taking advantage of the editorial coverage with a price hike, I swear it was a mistake on the magazine's part. They are human too.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I often half jokingly tell people that I was raised in the aisles of flea markets and fabric stores and it really is not far from the truth. When I was 3 my parents moved from their dreamy 70’s home with hot pink and orange shag carpeting in Dallas to a small town in north Texas called McKinney. Not only did we move, we moved into a 100 year old Victorian home. All my parents had was their chrome and wood laminate furniture from their modern house so there was a lot of decorating to be done and antiques to be bought. From as early as I can remember weekends were spent going to various small Texas towns like Pilot Point, Whitewright, Canton, and Tioga – any where there was a flea market. Over the last 30 years my parents have built themselves an impressive collection of antiquities and I picked up a serious addiction to flea markets.
One of my earliest memories of a flea market involves toilets and tears. A vendor had a pink and white plastic toilet that went with my Barbie Dream Home set perfectly and I wanted it bad. I asked my dad for the .25 cents that it costs and he said he would only give it to me if I asked the vendor if he would take .10 cents for it instead. I took the quarter and marched over to the man to haggle for the first of many times. I asked him my question and better yet he just gave me the toilet for free. Who can resist a small child asking someone for their best price? As the legend goes, this free toilet brought me to tears right there in the booth. When my parents and the nice vendor asked what was wrong I explained through the sobs that I didn’t get any change back.
If I cry anymore at a flea market they are tears of joy over things like giant panda heads & tacky naked lady paintings for my bathroom. Today was the City Wide Garage Sale here in Austin and though no tears were shed, some treasures were found. For starters I found a $24 crazy quilt. Sure it is a bit rat sucked as my mother would say, but it’s nothing a few passes on my sewing machine can’t fix. I am either going to make it into a bedspread, maybe curtains or possibly cut it up and make throw pillows. I even chatted with a woman who owns a fun little store called The Vintage Laundry who said she could recover a couch with the quilt Squint Limited style! Other scores of the day include a pair of confetti Lucite earrings, hand painted castanets and millinery flowers.
While I shopped my friend Erin and I filmed a quickie little video with 5 hot tips on shopping at a flea market. Please excuse my starting every sentence with the word always. These are just a few tried and true life lessons I have learned over the last several years. Remember I scheduled my wedding around the Round Top flea market, flew to Massachusetts last year to go to Brimfield and spent one of my favorite birthdays ever under the California sun at the Rose Bowl Flea Market – so I speak from experience.
Here is a more in depth list of tips and tricks when making the flea market circuit. Let me know if you have any tips that I am forgetting or tricks of the trade that you want to share.
Bring wet wipes and hand sanitizers, flea markets are dirty and port-a-potties don’t have sinks for you to wash your hands.
Choose your shopping partner wisely. You don’t want to go to the flea market with someone looking for the exact same things you are, that can get awkward about who saw it first. Make sure your partner shops at about the same speed as you. A big talker is also known as a big distraction. While you are trying to courtesy nod at their annoying stories you are missing treasures galore.
Make a list of the key items you are searching for, it is easy to get to the flea market and get overwhelmed.
Tell your shopping partners what you are searching for so that they can also help you keep an eye peeled.
Carry a big purse or large tote bag to hold all your treasures.
Don’t bring a metal rolling cart with you, they are bulky and prevent you from going in tight fitting (possibly treasure filled) booths.
Don’t just walk the middle of the aisles scanning booths, especially if you are a jewelry designer. There is no way you can see everything that is hidden inside
the booth from walking down the center of the aisles.
Wear a tight fitting tank top underneath your T-shirt that way you can take your first layer off and try on clothes right there in the booth even without a dressing room.
Bring a list of measurements and a measuring tape. If you have spaces in your house where you are looking for a new piece of furniture measure the space so that when you find something at the flea market you can measure it and see if it will work.
Carry fabric or paint swatches if you are trying to match something.
Carry a cell phone, not a walky talky. You want to be able to get in touch with your shopping partners in crime should you get separated, but no one else at the flea market wants to hear you chat with your friend over a two-way radio.
Wear something comfortable. Much like how you can spot the newbies at the airport by those that have their shoes off before they even step into the security line, those that dress for fashion as opposed to comfort at the flea market are equally obvious. Trust me wear tennis shoes, your feet will thank you for it later.
It’s all about the Benjamins’, bring plenty of cash especially small bills.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone their best price or if they will give you a better deal if you buy a bunch of something. Most dealers expect this. Just don’t offer someone an insultingly low price or wave money in their face.
Vendors have feelings too. Just like when you are vending at a craft fair and you want to whack shoppers that are muttering things like “$10! I could just make this myself” keep your comments to yourself at the flea market. Vendors don’t want to hear your snide under the breath comments about how their prices are too high, things are junky and they also probably don’t care if you had that when you were a little girl.
If the flea market is outside pack some sun block.
Take your biggest car. The day you decide to drive your 2 door sedan instead of your gas guzzling SUV is the day you find a Heywood Wakefield Dining Room set with matching chairs for $150 that you can’t get home.
Don’t dress the part. I’m not saying dress like a homeless person but if I am sporting a cha-cha bracelet, fancy earrings and a big necklace and asking someone what their best price is on a bag of Bakelite Beads they are going to take one look at me and know that I am a jewelry designer and quote me a price accordingly.
Most importantly consume at least one of the following: Funnel Cake, Sausage on a Stick, Kettle Corn, Ice Tea Slushie or Caveman style Turkey Leg.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Fashionology - A fun new store in Los Angeles targeting Tweens and Teens encouraging fashion design and a DIY aesthetic.
It’s Grow Time - A while back I mentioned I seen a Miracle Grow commercial with the most adorable planters made from bowling balls, globes and drums. Well I finally found the website and no it is not miraclegrow.com
Stencil Punks - A free online archive of punk rock themed print ready stencils.
Dinosaurs and Robots - The mannequins used on the cover of the Naughty Secretary Club book referred to as exciting weirdness. Not sure if that is good or bad.
Love Anna James - While perusing the Style Files I found what is possibly the most amazing armoire of all time by Love Anna James. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with Verona.
Did I mention that I am doing interviews with some of my favorite crafters, designers and all around creative types at Craft Gossip?
Manic Trout - Meet Sierra she paints, has jewelry in Seventeen and InStyle and lives in an old Dr.'s office.
Tammy Powley - Get the deets on Tammy's new book Picture Yourself Creating Metal Clay Jewelry.
Ponoko - I chat with the dudes from Ponoko about their commitment to the environment and how an aspiring jewelry designer could win $1000 entering their latest contest.
Plus I report on interviews at Fred Flare and Murketing!
Bead Bloggers is sprinkled with a few of the new things we added this week to Naughty Secretary Club.
About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy hearts jewelry making! Find a load of heart-themed jewelry projects along with a free e-course designed around the theme of love.
Art Bead Scene
Ahoy Mateys! Cap'n Heather Powers sails us to a new ABS Feature - The Trendy Bead! This week's trend is nautical - no swabbin' the deck required!
Barbe Saint John's Blog
Tool Love-How many pairs of wire cutters can one girl own, and whats the difference between them?
BeadStyle Senior Editor Naomi talks where her great finds from the Bead&Button Show will turn up next.
Jennifer Jangles Blog
Want to know where to buy ceramic supplies? Check out Jennifer's Blog.
Katie's Beading Blog
Check out Katie's new video clip from the public television show Beads, Baubles & Jewels!
Naughty Secretary Club
Get all caught up on the latest office gossip with the Naughty Secretary Club Newsletter.
Candie's definitely been inspired by her Asian adventures---see a Fan-tastic necklace and some fabric she plans to make into a kimono shirt.
Strands of Beads
Melissa takes at look at Chinese character name stamps from a crafty point of view
Friday, June 20, 2008
Patchwork in crafts can come in many shapes and forms. The first thing that comes to mind is quilting. I remember when I was a teenager my friend Becky’s mom made her a crazy quilt for her bed out of all these vintage fabric scraps she had. Becky secretly hated it, but I loved it. All I knew in the world of quilts were the family quilts my mother had lining the upstairs halls of her Victorian home. Lots of flowers, pastels and girls in bonnets. Becky’s quilt was wild, colorful and well as the name implies crazy. I’m leaning towards scoring any number of the vintage quilts currently listed on Ebay.
When I see handspun multi-colored yarn, it’s enough to make me want to learn to knit. Venus Art is here in Austin and every time I am in Craft-o-Rama I eyeball her delicious yarn. The other yarn is by Folktale Fibers and is equally fabulous. Another idea for us non-knitters is to wrap a bracelet with it. There is an easy how-to at Craft Stylish with all the instructions.
My favorite patchwork craft is collage. I love getting my fingers covered in Decoupage and sorting through fun papers to make jewelry. Some of my favorite papers to use are by Traci Bautista who has a very cool graffiti chic style. They are perfect for my jewelry and Traci keeps me well stocked on all her goodies. I even used her papers for a project in my book! I am so excited to also tell you that Traci has her own line of Decoupage called Collage Pauge coming out through Aleene’s this summer! You can already snag some at JoAnn's and pretty soon I'll be able to wave to Traci at Hobby Lobby too! Shiny, matte or glittery – whoo-hoo! I can’t wait to play with some at CHA this summer!
Recently a fun craft company called Decopatch contacted me and asked if I was interested in trying out their product. Me say no to free craft supplies, ya you know me better than that. They sent over a stack of their fun papers and two little ponies for me to get crazy with. My first thought was that I was going to make bookends. I had seen the cutest pair of patchwork squirrels at Rose and Radish, but then I thought better of it.
I asked Hope “do you think this is horse, is too big for a necklace?” she of course being a blood relative and one with very similar taste in giant tack-a-liscious jewelry said “no it would make an awesome necklace”. So let it be written, so let it be done.
The first thing I did was to tear the tissue thin paper into little arbitrary strips. Sure I could have used scissors, but that is way to precise for me. I just tore until I had a nice little pile and took my handy dandy decoupage and started going at that little pony.
First I covered him in a solid floral print and then went in and added zebra skin accents. Once the Decoupage had completely dried I went back and added a layer of Triple Thick top coat just to make him nice and shiny.
Once the little pony had dried over night it was time to bust out my handy dandy Dremel. Almost anything can be turned into a piece of jewelry as long as you have your trusty Dremel at your side. The paper mache pony was quite easy to drill and I put my bit to his little jugular and made a hole. I knew I would never be able to get it just right where the horse would hang centered so I decided to save myself a lot of heartache and make him intentionally hang with his head reared.
Once the hole was in place I stacked up some vintage plastic flower petals on a head pin, grabbed my pliers and wrapped myself up a make shift bail. I love the blue plastic feather, now Mr. Pony looks like he could work in Vegas!
There you have it. What was once intended as a book end became one of my new favorite necklaces.
I had extra paper left over so I covered a plain bangle bracelet I had lying around to make a set. I also scored these weird wooden things at Michaels that I also covered in Decopatch and then glued to a bracelet blank.
I taught a class on paper jewelry at Craft-o-Rama Tuesday night where we did some similar projects and I wanted to show you a picture of what everyone made. The Decopatch paper was a big hit. Some people brought their own things to use like foreign money and old greeting cards and speaking of cards someone made the picture on my business card into a necklace. She said she chewed a lot of bubble gum so it was perfect for her!
Do you use patchwork in you crafting? Any other examples I am forgetting. I think what it boils down to is that I love as much color as I can get at one time and patchwork is perfect for that. The more color the better for me in fashion, home décor and in my crafts.