Monday, April 14, 2014

Hiatus-ville I & II

sailing photo: sailing sailing.jpg

Thanks so much for visiting my blog during my hiatuses. Still making changes and will be posting something new next week.

Watercolor, botanical tags.

I plan to make it a hub for creativity, including crafting, visual art, writing, publishing and marketing.

Folk art-inspired, parchment leaves tag.

Consolidation is the only way that I will be able to continue blogging.

Forever handmade dress design tags w/removable banners.

I'm excited about my plan because I love organizing and designing.

Tags cut from vintage photos.

Connect with me here:
Inspirational Blog



Again, thanks for visiting. I may be crawling with the overhaul of this blog, but I'll never give up!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ensure That Your Handmade Products Lead To You

Ensure that potential customers can find you by applying identifying/contact info onto every piece of work that you produce. 

If you like to add variety and jazziness to your work, like I do, merchandise tags can be made out of any old thing. Within the junk mail that you get everyday are potential creative tags. Though there is a lot to be said about ordering coordinated business tags, labels and seals, I am an eclectic type of person. I like showing a different tag on each of my items. I make them from greeting cards, scrap paper, recycled artwork and other salvaged items. Here are the fronts and backs of some of my recent creative tags:
Handmade product tag: made from tissue box design cut out.

Merchandise tag made from a salvaged drawing.

Handmade product tag: a salvaged paper star.

Handmade merchandise tag made from a greeting card cut out.

 While tags are a fun identifying addition to your work, they are made to be removed. How do you add a non-removable identification to your work? Some other ways that I do are:
  • print out a sheet on which I've added various sized web addresses and emails, and my logo too
  • cut out one to adhere to the back of every piece of artwork and crafted items that I produce
  • if the craftwork is very small, I print some type of info with an ultra-fine permanent marker
  • try to place it in an inconspicuous place, corner, bottom, side
  • it's similar to an artist signature, but on the back
  • depending on the size and shape of the product, the identity tag can be just the web address, just the email, or both
  • on larger wall art pieces my identity tag includes both and my logo as well
  • always seal over it, with Mod Podge, gel medium or PVC glue, so it will remain.
For some items, of course, I simply can't find a way to do it, and don't worry about that. With an ultrafine Sharpie though, there are few times when I can't. Below is the back of one of my wall art pieces. You can be formal or creative on how your apply our identifying tags. Thought you might like seeing the backs of two of my mixed media pieces.

On cards and tags I always try to apply a strip of info along the bottom or up the side, or I write the info, as tiny as I can. I even try to take time to add identifying info on items that I think may be thrown away; ephemera like product tags that I attach to my work. If thrown away, someone else may find it, like it and contact me. Yes! Even about a product tag. She may want to know where I got it, and I can say I made it, would you like me to make you some? Sales can come from any direction. I try to think of creative ways to open the window of opportunity.

I committed to this idea long ago when I was often disappointed to find myself at home with a favorite item, and had no idea who created it. No identifying info on the back or bottom. If I wanted to learn more about the person and maybe order more from him/her, the opportunity was forever lost to me.

Anything that you provide on your product may one day convert to several sales. If you could have seen me searching and examining the products that I have over the years, for some minute scrap of identifying info, you would understand how important this is. It has involved anything from a papercrafted pieces to sculpture; things that I've bought in department stores, discount stores and thrift stores. Some of my fav items are from thrift stores, flea markets and other little out of the way places, to where the artwork or crafted items of some creative person ended up.

So, don't forget your identifying info, if you can at all add it. It does take extra time, but it's work it because wherever my product ends up, I'll be with it :) Don't rely on customers to hold on to packing and shipping info. If your product should end up at a church bizarre, that info would not follow it anyway.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Spot-On-Art: Dragonflys, Dragonflies, Dragonfleis

Dragonflies are my favorite insects. I couldn't believe it when a black one flitted onto the balcony, and flew back and forth. I rushed inside because I didn't want to scare it way.

Les Jardin de Vie

Natural Earth

Also, that old childhood superstition comes to mind when I see them. Supposedly, if a dragonfly lights on your eye, you will go blind.

First Palette

AZ Embroidery Barn

It lighted on the balcony railing, and to my delight, sat there for some time as I watched. I don't get to see them that often. They seem magical, something that I would not see in the ordinary places in which I live. 

Krafty Chix

Shaboo Prints
Black Gossamer & Legs

Gossamer wings they always have,
Like the one I saw today,
Perched on the balcony railing to say,
Don't just look, come out to play.
But I'd quickly went in when I saw him come.
As much to see him as not to be touched.
I ran inside and stood looking out,
Trying to figure what he was about.
He sat there on his crooked legs.
Black sheer wings flicked to and 'fro.
Thinking of what I just don't know.
I looked away, and when I looked back,
The dragonfly had quietly left,
And I was lonely and bereft. 

Perdita's Glass Art
Studio Bling

Kpoel Maarts


Gardens And Crafts
Needful Things of Salem
Warm Heart Craft

Sandi Holland Mixed Media

Sandi Holland Mixed Media
Blue Sky Pottery

Dragonflys are just lovely in their mysteriousness.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Once In A Blue Rose

 While no real blue rose, hybrid or otherwise, exists,...
Henry Field's Blue Girl Hybrid Tea Rose

Suntory Applause Blue Roses does on my Blue Roses handmade card. This unusual blank, collage card features navy rose blooms. They were discarded blue ink pen doodles that were designed for a decoupage box.
Blue Roses handmade card
Rather than throw the doodles away, I highlighted them with a silver paint pen and designed the card around them.

Blue Roses card detail

I also applied silver eyelets and narrow purple ribbon. The mini-flowers and the text are stamped and highlighed with silver.

Using doodles in handmades card designs.

I don't throw away any doodles anymore, and I am doodling more now that I'm allowing my whimsical side to emerge.

Wikipedia shares that:

....A blue rose is a flower of the genus Rosa (family Rosaceae) that presents blue-to-violet pigmentation instead of the more common red, white, or yellow. Blue roses are often portrayed in literature and art as a symbol of love and prosperity to those who seek it, but do not exist in nature as a result of genetic limitations....In a book entitled Kitab al-felahah written by Ibn al-‘Awwām al-Ishbīlī, which was written in Arabic the 12th century and translated into French by J. J. Clement, being entitled Le livre de l'agriculture, there are references to azure blue roses that were known to the orient. These blue roses were attained by placing a blue dye into the bark of the roots....Nominal "blue roses" have been bred by conventional hybridization methods, but the results, such as "Blue Moon" are more accurately described as being lilac in color.
Suntory rose
While this Suntory rose was billed, by the company and the press, as a blue rose, it is actually mauve or lavender in color. The Henry Field's Blue Girl Hybrid Tea Rose, though it appears to be dusty blue, is listed as having a rare silver-lavender shade.

Suntory Applause rose
In 2011, the silvery-mauve flower, named Applause, was the closest, at that time, to the elusive blue. It was genetically modified to synthesize delphinidin, a pigment found in most blue flowers. It is lovely, but not true blue. So man cannot make a tree, and neither has he yet been able to make a blue rose.

Blue Rose Products From Zibbet, My Newest Venue
Accents and Petals: blue rose made from wood shavings

Oohlalacafts: hand-frayed and hand-stamped blue rose fabric ribbon

KirasDebut: blue rose hair pins
Berniolie: blue rose crocheted brooch

Henry Fields

Monday, May 27, 2013

Is It Really Altered Couture?

Refashioned, upcycled, reconstructed, embellished, transformed, recycled, re-purposed, wearable art, altered wearables, altered couture.  With any technique there can be many descriptions, names and definitions.

Old Ivy Cottage
 The Free Dictionary by Farlex defines alter(ed) as to make or become different in some respect; change; modify.  There can be a little or a lot of change, but I think there can be a significant difference between embellished and altered couture.  Just as with vintage, some listing sites can have strict guidelines on what can be listed as altered couture.

Margot Silk Kidder Shimmery Sandals
At the community forum of a handmade listing site, a member asks just how much does an item need to be upcycled, reconstructed or otherwise changed, in order to be considered altered couture.  She also asks if a newly purchased item, to which one element has been added, can be sold at her venue.  While her questions are site specific, we can learn a lot through the 26 responses to her post.  Etsy Site Help post:

Darcy Fowkes Recycled Silk Shirt Hat
As with the snazzy hat above, altered couture is not only apparel and shoes.  The definition often includes many types of accessories.

Custom belts $135 to $160. — in Los Altos, CA.
Wearable art can be simply practical to elaborately impractical.  How about Caleb Calabro for spectacular and unimaginable wearable art creations?

Caleb Calabro Wearable Art
For many, the ultimate in altered couture is the wedding ensemble.  See how Brenda Abdoyan creates Christine's wedding dress, altered bridal purse and jewelry.  It may be a little ostentatious for some, but imaginative and unique it is.

See Michelle Nance's Clothes-Altered Couture at Pinterest.  Her interesting gallery features:

  • a bleach-pen peacock
  • re-purposing dad's shirt into a little girl's dress
  • a pom-pom scarf
  • old t-shirts into baby clothes
  • a fabulous orange scarf-necklace with silver embellishments
  • cut it, slice it, pull it scarf
  • dollar store knitted stocking hat refashion
  • revamped cardigan
  • little girl's scrap tutu
At her blog, The Brass Paperclip Project, Cindi shares the most beautiful men's necktie recycled items that I've ever seen.  Check out the gallery, at which you'll also find images of bracelets, purses, cell phone cases and others.

Altered Art Images
Ever had questions about using images in your altered creations?  This article,

Altered Art Images ~ How to LEGALLY Use Other People’s Images

helps you navigate important considerations such as:
  1. Altered definition
  2. Rule of thumb for copyright considerations 
  3. Public domain image links
  4. Info about Creative Commons images
  5. Using stock photos in altered work.
LunaGirl-How To: Altered Art Charms

Want more inspiration on designing your own upcycled, refashioned altered couture?  Jill at Jembellish is running a blog hop that features:

Altered couture creations run the gamut from shabby chic  and scrap embellishments on everyday clothing and accessories, to re-tailoring of designer duds.  I prefer wearable crafts, as shared by Linda Jackson Graham at her Pinterest board, Wearable Crafts.  Whatever is your definition and level of altered couture designing, embrace what you do.  Share it with others with enthusiasm and love.
Amanda at Fun Family Crafts


Caleb Calabro Wearable Artwork
Wearable Art Blog interviews Caleb Calabro
Altered Couture on Facebook
Artistry In Fashion
Sassy Feet
Diva of Vintage at Pinterest


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