Wednesday, March 11, 2015

CRAFTING: Free Digital Paper Pack By Shery K Designs

Shery K Designs
This free, digital paper pack is available from Shery K at Meylah. She has over 80 design packs available, some with clip art sheets included. Her prices are very good too! To get the free downloads you will need to provide an email address to Shery K Designs. She reminds you, though, that you can unsubscribe from her shop emails at any time. Though I am a member at Meylah, I think non-members also can get the download.

Free Digital Paper Pack by Shery K: click here


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

CRAFTING: Plans For Your Craft Fair Booth

Kit's Crafts

With spring and summer coming on many of you will be considering exhibiting at craft festivals, artist markets and street fairs. Kit's Crafts blog shares excellent tips on good booth design. Under posts such as Prepping For The Craft Fair, Craft Display Ideas, and Screen Backdrop Tutorial, you'll find savvy suggestions to get the most out of your display tables at the craft show.

She teaches you how to make your backdrop screen easier to carry and store, how much inventory to plan for and the best way to increase your display space. She also shares many links to other display design information sites to help you make your booth not only functional, but attractive as well. "You don't have to spend a ton of money to stand out, although, you may need to spend a bit of time," says Kit.

One valuable tip that I ran across is to carefully evaluate and prepare for adverse weather, especially windiness and blowing rain. I read a disastrous but humorous account of a crafter who was not prepared for this. The comical descriptions stuck in my mind as something I would never want to experience. It is surprising how often we don't think of simple considerations like checking the weather report as newbies. We do it for picnics and sports, though.

See my Pinterest boards:
Displays, Labels & Packaging
Organize My Life

Saturday, March 07, 2015

MANAGEMENT: Scrapping A Faulty Browser

I have used Mozilla Firefox for years, and sometimes Chrome. Recently, I decided that I wanted a new browser experience. I chose to download Opera. Have been enjoying the clean interface, and familiarizing myself with the bookmarks/favorites feature for a couple of weeks now. In my research, I vaguely remember reading that Opera has been reported to not display web pages correctly. Well, I found out this morning that it is true for at least one site that I visit almost daily.

At Society6, where I sell my surface designs on decor, accessories and functional products, I saw that the check marks on the avatars, that identify the artists whom I follow, were missing. I loaded Firefox to be sure that it was not a temporary site glitch, and sure enough the check marks were where they should be.

So, my fun with Opera was short-lived. Can't take a chance on missing out on important information from other sites. For business success always evaluate, make a swift decision, and don't look back.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

MANAGEMENT: Free Courses & Tutorials At

It's totally free to learn at GCF. There are 125 turorials that include over 1,000 lessons. There are even courses that provide a certificate for online education and CEUs. Some tutorials include:
  • Digital Photography
  • Internet Safety
  • Use Information Correctly
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Powerpoint 2013
  • Excel XP
  • Food & Cooking
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Grammar
  • Practice Reading
  • Money Basics
  • Career Planning
  • Resume Writing
Ever wanted to write a blog, use Twitter or Youtube? The category Social Media can help. Ever wondered what using the cloud is all about? There is a category titled Using The Cloud.

The program is dedicated to helping people learn what they want when they want, regardless of income status. The site is available 24 hours a day, and 18,000,000 people around the world have been taking advantage of it for a decade. Whether you choose to learn through one tutorial, or an entire class, there is no fee. You don't even have to create an account, but if you do you can track your progress. You must create an account if you want to obtain a certificate and CEUs.

education, lifelong learning, continuing education, online learning, online classes, self study, self-paced study

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SELF-MARKETING: Ideas Are Free For The Picking

Ideas are free, and always ripe for the picking and promoting. Consider Rita J. King's mystery and other jars. She packages condensed memories, pieces of places and even souls of books into little corked jars.
Rita J. King's Mystery Jars

She attaches attractive tags, museum-quality tags, mind you, and offers these little time capsules for sale. Why? Because she had a vision about condensing the memory box, travel album and dusty stack of long-ago read books into neat, portable jars. She saw the value of and became excited about offering these reduced experiences to today's driven consumer.

Her excitement was catching, as all excitement is, and she launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund her venture. The upscale tags, among other things, impressed some of the investors. I like the corked bottle and her fonts.
Book In A Bottle by Rita J. King

I think it's a great idea. Very unique. Very attractive. Very interesting. Very much catering to our lives today, which more frequently must be managed, digested and experienced in condensed form. We just don't have the space or time for anything else.
Ms. King climbing supervolcano Mt. Epomeo to collect ash from the peak

How clever of Ms. King to create this revenue stream, and at the same time, design an exquisite method for herself to enjoy famous locations and obscure locales. As she collects pieces of places and bits of locations for her Imagination Glyph Mystery Jars, I'm sure she feels very fortunate to have uncorked her creative flow on this one.

Now what is YOUR excuse for not releasing your vision. Your creative idea, unlike Ms. King's, can't help you or others if you continue to keep it bottled; inside that is.

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there's love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." — Ella Jane Fitzgerald 

Quote Clipped From: EarthSeaWarrior at Etsy

Thursday, January 22, 2015

CRAFTING: Metallic Paper Patchwork and Wire Bottles

I like working with glass because of its sparkling transparency.  Even when covered up, as I've done with these bottles, it's still exciting to feel the heftiness of glass in my hands.

I had thrown so many bottles away that I put my foot down and declared I'm going to find a quick, decorative technique so that I can salvage these bottles.
Wire-wrapped, paper patchwork, decoupaged bottles.
Before I tore up my papers, I decided on a color scheme of: 
  • whites/creams/silvers for the 1st bottle,
  • pinks/mauves/fuchsias for the 2nd,
  • and golds/silvers/cremes/whites for the 3rd.
Once I tore up a supply of various papers, it was easy to apply glue to each piece and stick it to the bottle.  I started from the bottom and worked up to the top of each one.  Once finished, I painted each bottle with a matte sealer.  I decided to add another fav medium, craft wire, to the largest bottle.  I chose a golden wire and twisted a design with wire pliers.  Wrapping it around the bottle, I crimped each end back onto the wire, securing it.
Salvage old bottles and cover with paper scraps and wire.
I painted and embellished a wooden ball for the top of one bottle, attaching it securely with tacky glue.
Glitter, wire, paint, bugle beads and tiny Styrofoam ball used to embellish wooden ball topper for patchwork bottles by Artsy Craftery.
I kept the black, plastic, twist-on cap on the silvery bottle, decoupaging it with silver paper. I then formed a sculptural design on top of the cap with another piece of the paper.
White paint and gold metallic pen used to decorate cork stopper.

I really like my design for the cork stopper that I used for the gold and silver bottle. I painted it with a spiral design and glued it into the top of the bottle. I created a sculptural topper for the bottle cork out of reclaimed metal, wire and beads. The metal disk had a metal post on it (it was part of an old pierced earring), which I stuck into a glue-filled hole in the cork.
Felt used to pad bottoms of paper patchwork and wire bottles.
The most time-consuming part of this technique is, of course, designing the paper patchwork design. Once you get started it goes very quickly.  I like my work to be finished on all surfaces, so I cut and glued craft felt to the bottom of each bottle.  It helps keep them from sliding off of shelves, and protects surfaces.
Silver metallic paper used in decoupage.
I like looking at these bottles.  They dress up any table or shelf with a pretty flash of creativity. Get busy! Make your creative flash today!
Find Products Used In This Project At Amazon:
Matte Sealers
Craft Wire
Decorative Papers
Tacky Glue
Bottle Corks
Craft Felt
Decorative Bottles

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MANAGEMENT: Alison Wood Says Flip Those Business Resolutions

Here's a new take on making New Year's resolutions. Resolve to consider your business successes, improvements and advancements. Launching your resolutions in this way is a great learning tool that can help you grow your business even further. This winter and spring, resolve to learn from yourself, rather than push yourself with the usual self-admonitions.

Alison Wood, of Art-Of-Crafts, shows you how in her article
Alison Wood

Alison Wood is a writer, crafter and entrepreneur. She is the owner of Cartwheels Across The Sky and Art-Of-Crafts. She is a graduate of the University of Gloucestershire, and has done postgraduate studies in teaching. She has built a number of successful websites, and offers her writing and web content services to anyone needing a high standard of English. She also provides a full range of social media set-up and management services, as well as online courses to help you build your business with joy.

Alison is passionate about crafts and creating online spaces. You can find her handmade jewelry at her Etsy shop, Arts of Crafts Designs.