Friday, August 28, 2015

Setting Stones and Reviewing a Book



What have I been doing this week?  Setting some of the Mojave Stones that my dad cut and polished into my silver metal clay settings  I’m really happy with these two pieces! 

I’ve also read an e-book that just might be of interest especially if you have an etsy shop or a website store.  When I received an email from Hunting Handmade asking if I would like to review the new ebook, ‘The Art of Audience Building for Etsy Sellers’, I said ‘YES, please!’ 

I’m always looking for ways to improve my two Etsy shops and I’m always interested in new ideas.  The book was written for Etsy sellers but after reading it, anyone with a business on the internet will find it interesting and  useful.  I also enjoyed their website and thought you might also:    http://www.huntinghandmade.com/

If you have shopped on the Etsy site, you know that there are thousands of shops represented.  It is so easy to get lost looking for something or selling something.  There is so much so see on the site.   Learning to get your best item seen can be daunting.  This 64 page e-book is not so much a ‘step by step how to book’ as it is a book about changing a seller’s mindset and opening the seller  to new opportunities.  The book does not talk about how to manage your time to get all this done.  It does a very good job of laying the groundwork for online businesses.  

There are 6 chapters in the e-book:  

Chapter 1- The art of audience building. This is about getting us to understand the importance of maximizing our audience first (creating an audience ready to buy our goods, creating an awareness and a demand.)  Audience first and business second - Of course there has to be a quality product ready to sell!

Chapter 2- Six Steps for Blockbuster Branding –  Good reminders on the importance of finding a niche market

Chapter3 – Success with Social Media – I found this chapter most helpful.  It talked about the 4 largest social media networks (etsy, facebook, tumbler and instagram) explained some of the differences and when one might be more useful than another.  I’ll be investigating instagram and tumbler after reading this.

Chapter 4 - Networking for success – We need each other to grow and one of the best ways to grow is through networking and combining voices and efforts.  Good suggestions in this chapter.

Chapter 5 – Becoming a thought leader – Sharing ideas, writing a blog, lots of good suggestions to help a business be more visible

Chapter 6 – Back to Basics – Includes things to do offline in your community.

There are secret tips at the end of the book that are good reminders especially about the importance of photography in selling.


I could not help but think of my own etsy stores, my blog, my website, and my facebook page as I read this book.  I wanted to stop and apply some of the suggestions to see what I could improve.  For me the book was successful in its attempt to get me to see my sites in a new way.  

Anything that gets us to look at what we are doing in a new way seems worthwhile to me!  Buy your copy at http://www.huntinghandmade.com/the-art-of-audience-building-for-etsy-sellers/

Friday, August 21, 2015

Making Sun Catchers



Don’t you just love seeing colors change when sunlight makes the color sparkle?  When I decided to play with translucent polymer clay and use alcohol inks to make color, I had no idea where that would lead me.  I just started conditioning the translucent Pardo polymer and passed it through the pasta machine.  My alcohol inks were lined up ready to be brushed on the flat surfaces.  They dried and I started blending the colors.  Then I made shapes, all kind of shapes, stacked colors, made designs and cured them in the convection oven. I sanded and polished and arranged them in groups – still not knowing how I would use them. 
   
Before curing
After curing

Holding the pieces to the light fascinated me by the color changes.  The more I looked at them in the light the more convinced I was that they needed to be hung by themselves and not worn as beads.  Sun Catchers!  Perfect use of shape and color and light.  I drilled holes and used glass beads and jump rings.  Bought small suction cups and started hanging them at my window.  What fun. 


       


I gave one to a friend who used it on her patio door to stop people from bumping into it.  I gave another one to my friend, Jay, who stuck it on her truck window.  I have three of them in my display case and some will be on my etsy site. 

Thanks for the picture Jay!
 I had such a good time making these!  Some are on my etsy site.  www.etsy/shop/lindabrittdesign

Friday, August 14, 2015

Another Year of Learning at Art Unraveled



August in Phoenix means that it is time for Art Unraveled!   Once again my good friend/artist Judi Dalton (http://www.artplaylaugh.com/) and I attended 2 classes at Art Unraveled in Phoenix.

For those of you who are not familiar with this conference please take a look at their website.   http://www.artunraveled.com/ARTU15/AUindex.htm 

Judi and I have been going since it started and have taken an array of art classes.  There is also a Shopping Extravaganza that should not be missed!  Every August we sign up for some new class and time to spend catching up with each other’s news.

This year I opted for the class ‘Dremel After Dinner’  http://www.artunraveled.com/ARTU15/Workshops/Dremel%20After%20Dinner.html  Thomas Ashman is a mixed media artist http://www.blacksheepartist.com/ and had lots of solid information to share.  I learned the difference between and how to use diamond drills and carving tools.  I have all my attachments for flexshaft and dremel in a plastic box.  When I try to find one and have to sort through all of them.  After this class and after understanding that tools are to be used for which jobs, I’m looking for a way to separate the attachments by job.  Seems like such a common sense way to organize and I’m amazed I’ve never thought of doing it!  Might be worth the price of the class just for that insight! 
Dremel 4000 Series 39-Piece Variable Speed Rotary Multipurpose Rotary Tool Kit with Hard Case

The second class was taught by Mary Hettsmanberger http://www.maryhetts.com/  
This year’s class ‘Unique Ways to Connect with wire’ http://www.artunraveled.com/ARTU15/Workshops/UniqueWays.html 
The class reinforced a lot of the learning from last year’s class. I really like having Mary for a teacher. She shares her knowledge freely and obviously enjoys teaching. She has written several books and my favorite Heat, Color, Set & Fire has many of the techniques used in her class. http://www.amazon.com/Heat-Color-Set-Fire-Surface/dp/1454700165/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439320342&sr=8-1&keywords=mary+hettmansperger

This was the first time that I did not come home with several finished pieces of jewelry.  Instead I tried different techniques, torched and textured pieces of copper and silver, cut shapes for 5 pieces, balled the ends of copper wire for the pieces I would make when I got home.  I made netting, practiced weaving, reviewed patinas and generally had a great day in the classrooms.

After I came home this week I’ve finished several of the pieces and wanted to share them with you.  

Three layers of torched copper, three 16 gauge wires and a druzy bead woven with 28 gauge copper wire.

Back of the above piece.  Pattern made with rubber stamp and Gel Flux

Two layers of copper, three 16 gauge wires and a porcelain bead woven with 26 gauge copper wire.

Back of above piece.  Enameled disc attached to back plate of copper

Wire netting woven over the curved cone of copper.

Back of above piece.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Setting Stones and Reviewing a Book



What have I been doing this week?  Setting some of the Mojave Stones that my dad cut and polished into my silver metal clay settings  I’m really happy with these two pieces! 

I’ve also read an e-book that just might be of interest especially if you have an etsy shop or a website store.  When I received an email from Hunting Handmade asking if I would like to review the new ebook, ‘The Art of Audience Building for Etsy Sellers’, I said ‘YES, please!’ 

I’m always looking for ways to improve my two Etsy shops and I’m always interested in new ideas.  The book was written for Etsy sellers but after reading it, anyone with a business on the internet will find it interesting and  useful.  I also enjoyed their website and thought you might also:    http://www.huntinghandmade.com/

If you have shopped on the Etsy site, you know that there are thousands of shops represented.  It is so easy to get lost looking for something or selling something.  There is so much so see on the site.   Learning to get your best item seen can be daunting.  This 64 page e-book is not so much a ‘step by step how to book’ as it is a book about changing a seller’s mindset and opening the seller  to new opportunities.  The book does not talk about how to manage your time to get all this done.  It does a very good job of laying the groundwork for online businesses.  

There are 6 chapters in the e-book:  

Chapter 1- The art of audience building. This is about getting us to understand the importance of maximizing our audience first (creating an audience ready to buy our goods, creating an awareness and a demand.)  Audience first and business second - Of course there has to be a quality product ready to sell!

Chapter 2- Six Steps for Blockbuster Branding –  Good reminders on the importance of finding a niche market

Chapter3 – Success with Social Media – I found this chapter most helpful.  It talked about the 4 largest social media networks (etsy, facebook, tumbler and instagram) explained some of the differences and when one might be more useful than another.  I’ll be investigating instagram and tumbler after reading this.

Chapter 4 - Networking for success – We need each other to grow and one of the best ways to grow is through networking and combining voices and efforts.  Good suggestions in this chapter.

Chapter 5 – Becoming a thought leader – Sharing ideas, writing a blog, lots of good suggestions to help a business be more visible

Chapter 6 – Back to Basics – Includes things to do offline in your community.

There are secret tips at the end of the book that are good reminders especially about the importance of photography in selling.


I could not help but think of my own etsy stores, my blog, my website, and my facebook page as I read this book.  I wanted to stop and apply some of the suggestions to see what I could improve.  For me the book was successful in its attempt to get me to see my sites in a new way.  

Anything that gets us to look at what we are doing in a new way seems worthwhile to me!  Buy your copy at http://www.huntinghandmade.com/the-art-of-audience-building-for-etsy-sellers/

Friday, August 21, 2015

Making Sun Catchers



Don’t you just love seeing colors change when sunlight makes the color sparkle?  When I decided to play with translucent polymer clay and use alcohol inks to make color, I had no idea where that would lead me.  I just started conditioning the translucent Pardo polymer and passed it through the pasta machine.  My alcohol inks were lined up ready to be brushed on the flat surfaces.  They dried and I started blending the colors.  Then I made shapes, all kind of shapes, stacked colors, made designs and cured them in the convection oven. I sanded and polished and arranged them in groups – still not knowing how I would use them. 
   
Before curing
After curing

Holding the pieces to the light fascinated me by the color changes.  The more I looked at them in the light the more convinced I was that they needed to be hung by themselves and not worn as beads.  Sun Catchers!  Perfect use of shape and color and light.  I drilled holes and used glass beads and jump rings.  Bought small suction cups and started hanging them at my window.  What fun. 


       


I gave one to a friend who used it on her patio door to stop people from bumping into it.  I gave another one to my friend, Jay, who stuck it on her truck window.  I have three of them in my display case and some will be on my etsy site. 

Thanks for the picture Jay!
 I had such a good time making these!  Some are on my etsy site.  www.etsy/shop/lindabrittdesign

Friday, August 14, 2015

Another Year of Learning at Art Unraveled



August in Phoenix means that it is time for Art Unraveled!   Once again my good friend/artist Judi Dalton (http://www.artplaylaugh.com/) and I attended 2 classes at Art Unraveled in Phoenix.

For those of you who are not familiar with this conference please take a look at their website.   http://www.artunraveled.com/ARTU15/AUindex.htm 

Judi and I have been going since it started and have taken an array of art classes.  There is also a Shopping Extravaganza that should not be missed!  Every August we sign up for some new class and time to spend catching up with each other’s news.

This year I opted for the class ‘Dremel After Dinner’  http://www.artunraveled.com/ARTU15/Workshops/Dremel%20After%20Dinner.html  Thomas Ashman is a mixed media artist http://www.blacksheepartist.com/ and had lots of solid information to share.  I learned the difference between and how to use diamond drills and carving tools.  I have all my attachments for flexshaft and dremel in a plastic box.  When I try to find one and have to sort through all of them.  After this class and after understanding that tools are to be used for which jobs, I’m looking for a way to separate the attachments by job.  Seems like such a common sense way to organize and I’m amazed I’ve never thought of doing it!  Might be worth the price of the class just for that insight! 
Dremel 4000 Series 39-Piece Variable Speed Rotary Multipurpose Rotary Tool Kit with Hard Case

The second class was taught by Mary Hettsmanberger http://www.maryhetts.com/  
This year’s class ‘Unique Ways to Connect with wire’ http://www.artunraveled.com/ARTU15/Workshops/UniqueWays.html 
The class reinforced a lot of the learning from last year’s class. I really like having Mary for a teacher. She shares her knowledge freely and obviously enjoys teaching. She has written several books and my favorite Heat, Color, Set & Fire has many of the techniques used in her class. http://www.amazon.com/Heat-Color-Set-Fire-Surface/dp/1454700165/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439320342&sr=8-1&keywords=mary+hettmansperger

This was the first time that I did not come home with several finished pieces of jewelry.  Instead I tried different techniques, torched and textured pieces of copper and silver, cut shapes for 5 pieces, balled the ends of copper wire for the pieces I would make when I got home.  I made netting, practiced weaving, reviewed patinas and generally had a great day in the classrooms.

After I came home this week I’ve finished several of the pieces and wanted to share them with you.  

Three layers of torched copper, three 16 gauge wires and a druzy bead woven with 28 gauge copper wire.

Back of the above piece.  Pattern made with rubber stamp and Gel Flux

Two layers of copper, three 16 gauge wires and a porcelain bead woven with 26 gauge copper wire.

Back of above piece.  Enameled disc attached to back plate of copper

Wire netting woven over the curved cone of copper.

Back of above piece.