Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New year challenges and exiciting NEWS!!

Wow!  The holidays were fun and a nice break from my usual "same-ole same-ole," but now it's back to my reality of creating art -- and I couldn't be happier!

2010 will be bringing many new challenges and exciting things for me.  With the winter rush, I let my studio and workspace get extremely messy and disorganized.  I think my first priority once I get the rest of my house straight is to get all my stuff put up and reorganized.  Second, I am on a new diet that is supposed to help prevent lupus flares.  So far, I have been energized and I'm starting to feel a difference - albeit small, it's still a difference nonetheless. 

Also, I would like to give an update on the Artisans Center grand opening.  I can sum it up in one word - YAY!!!  I will be working with the rest of the board to finish scheduling classes and workshops.  I foresee grand things for the future of this marvelous endeavor.  This would certainly not be possible if it wasn't for Christina Chastain's vision to allow the arts to flourish in our community.  The Artisans Center will bring a necessary vitality to Main Street Lancaster!

Finally, last but certainly not least, I have been accepted as a member of the 2010 EK Success Creative Artist Team for jewelry design.  I don't know where this path will take me, but I know that I am ready and willing to accept this journey and all the good things that come along with it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Working outside my comfort zone... Whew! It's fun!

I decided to take a challenge from a friend and work on something outside of my comfort zone.  So, I pillaged through my supplies for a medium that I could work in... I discovered polymer clay!  WOW!  It is so fun to work with.  I enjoyed creating pendants from scratch and watching them grow from a blob of clay into a beautiful piece of art!

Of course, I added my typical "Heather" flare to each of them and painted them with my favorite colors... and added ephemera... and added a bit of this and that to come up with these marvelous pendants...

On some of the pendants, I added both ephemera and embellishments....

And again on some I added pieces of found objects like antique fork handles or crystals...

I also used rubber stamps to add texture and to create more depth.

I'm finding that the more I work in this medium, I love it.  I am stretching my comfort level as an artist and releasing my fear.  Not only that, but I feel that a handmade pendant means more to a piece than a store bought pendant.  Having a one of a kind handmade pendant means that you will not see your friends wearing the exact same necklace.  You are unique so why shouldn't your jewelry be??? 

Don't get me wrong, working outside of my comfort zone was scary at first.  I was nervous because it made me feel like I did when I first started creating art to sell.  However, I read and researched polymer clay and became knowledgeable before I tried it.  I was also inspired by a piece of jewelry that I saw in one of my favorite magazines. 

The challenge was difficult, but rewarding.  Now, I am working on a new challenge that my friend Lisa brought up... minimizing my palatte when I paint... Stay tuned to see how that works!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween, y'all!!

Sharing the holidays with family is the best.  For my family, Halloween kicks off the holiday season as we have Joel's birthday on November 10th, Thanksgiving, my birthday on December 16th, Christmas and then New Years!  Lancaster, South Carolina's art community is alive with all the wonderful festivities.  Not only will we be offering workshops that will take us into the Christmas season, we will be kicking off the new year with the Artisans Center Gala.

Above are my beautiful children, Erin and Joel.  Erin is a witch wearing a vintage black evening dress.  Joel is Mr. Incredible - the hero from his favorite Pixar movie.

The Halloween Art Draw on Friday October 30th was successful!  Not only were there many of my wonderful friends and family members in costume, a good time was had by all.

I am pleased to say that there were lots of handmade costumes this year rather than store bought ones.  I admit, I had to purchase Mr. Incredible for Joel... but how can you say no to a boy that can't trick-or-treat because of food allergies???

My husband Michael and I were dressed in our Halloween bests as our favorite cartoon characters, Lucy Van Pelt and Charlie Brown.  I made both of the costumes, but honestly threw Michael's together on Friday afternoon.  I was also in a costume making frenzy because I made a friend's Dorothy costume as well.  Here we are pictured above.  Michael is without the sheet that he was wearing for most of the night.  It was cute, but got a little hot as the night went on and made it difficult to talk to people, eat and drink.

Also worth noting, each costume that placed in the costume contests throughout the night were handmade.  Since I have been a part of Etsy, I believe in the handmade movement.  I would like to challenge my readers to create handmade gifts for the holiday season because handmade gifts are more thoughtful.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blog redesign...

For a more aesthetic appearance and personal feel, I decided to redesign my blog and I think it looks nice.  I chose the beautiful 'rustic bees' background from the Graphics Fairy, whose link is in the upper right hand corner of my blog.  Like I have said in the past, I like to 'date for a while before I marry' so don't think you've stopped at the wrong blog if you see something different.  I think I will be trying different designs and layouts until I find something permanent.  What do you think? 

I really like the graphics that the Graphics Fairy offers.  Not only are they just the whimsy that I love, but they are FREE!  Check out her blog and see what she has to offer!

The link is: http://www.backgroundfairy.com/


Thursday, September 24, 2009

A picture paints a thousand words....

How do we make our online venues better??? What do we do to ensure that we positively represent our quality product?

The answer, my friends is probably not simple, but I can tell you in one word: PICTURES! Since we are online, our pictures have to do the talking for us. Our customers can't hold our product and turn it over in their hands. They can't try it on... We have to have a set of really good pictures that do more than show our product. Our pictures have to speak to the customer.

I got a compliment today on my pictures - for the first time ever!! Another seller told me that the lightly scripted background that I started using for my pics this week was "a classy touch to my beautiful jewelry." This made me blush, but it also made me want to retake the pictures for the rest of the items in my shop. However, that would mean taking about 250 pictures in one day, so I decided that it will take some time to get them all done. I am taking this critique to heart.
I read a great piece of information that I purchased from RiskyBeads on Etsy. This instructional masterpiece really helped me see the light. I would like to send kudos. Many thanks!!
My advice to anyone who has put their heart and soul into their online shop, but feels like they need to do more is to buy this book! Not only read it, but heed the advice.