Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Interview with Karin Lorenc Pottery!

this week Karin joins us to shares her wonderful pottery! 

Please tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in Niagara Falls NY with my husband and 2 cats. I love nature, cheese, world music, and camping. I have a rather goofy personality and this tends to show itself in my work every now and again.

What do you create? How long have you been working on your craft/art?
I make functional stoneware pottery. Bright colors have become most of my glaze palette. White exteriors tie my pieces together so that a collection can consist of a rainbow of color. I've been making pottery ever since I first got my hands on a chuck of clay as a child. I just had my 5 year Etsyversary for my pottery shop in April.

What inspires you?
I'm inspired by nature and my minimalistic personality. Natural materials have always been my favorites to work with. Creating with a chunk of earth is a perfect fit for me. I keep most of my forms rather simple and functional. I like each of my pieces to serve a purpose so that they will be used in an everyday setting.

What is the best thing about having a etsy shop?
Being your own boss is pretty great. Waking up to a snowy WNY day and being able to stay in to work in my home studio isn't terrible either!

How do you promote your work to the world?

I have Facebook and Twitter pages for my pottery. Keeping the Etsy store fresh with new items is important too.

What is the hardest part about selling online?
Taking good pictures can be a challenge. Unfortunately my creative interests don't extend to photography, so this part is a bit of a chore for me. 

Where can your work be found locally?
 I do the occasional craft fair, and I have some work at Thin Ice on Elmwood.

Do you have any advice or suggestions for new sellers to etsy?
Forget about trends and make what you love! Keep the creative process fun for yourself. That's why you're doing this in the first place right?

Do you do this full or part time? If full time how did you get yourself to that status?
My pottery making has become full time. At first I worked part time jobs along with it, but as I became more established I shifted my focus. I am very thankful to be able to fill my days doing what I love!

What do you do when you're creatively blocked?
I walk a lot. Fortunately I'm within walking distance of the Niagara gorge. A good hike by the water seems to fix just about everything.

Where can you be found online?
fan page:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

April Creative Challenge Voting

I interrupt this gorgeous spring day to present to you the eight entries we received in our April creative challenge. Aren't they lovely? It will be hard to pick one, but please try to do just that, and vote for your favorite in the comments. Please include both the number of the entry and the name of the Buffalo Etsian who made it.

Here we go!









Just venture on down to the comment box below and vote for your favorite. I will keep the voting open until the end of the day on May 1 and announce the winner and the theme for our next challenge May 5.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

ART SHOWS 101: Survival Tips for Show Artists and Crafters


                                           Volume 6: I’m What?!! WAIT LISTED?

So, once you’ve applied to a show the results are clear -- right? You’re either accepted or rejected. It’s Yes or No, Yea or Nay. Well -- not always. Here’s a bit of information about being chosen as a Alternate; a.k.a. being Wait Listed.


Being Wait Listed for a show means that you were “almost” chosen to be one of the first pick exhibitors. You’re On Call in case an exhibitor cancels -- and they do cancel, more often than you’d think. Wait Lists are usually set up by categories -- so if a painter cancels a wait-listed painter will be called, if a photographer cancels another photographer will be called to take his place, and so on. 


Show promoters DO NOT like empty spaces at shows! Other than looking bad and messing up the flow of a show, empty spaces often mean lost revenue. Show promoters have a laundry list of expenses including advertising, municipal permits, security, entertainment, port-a-johns, etc. Their costs for putting on the show are set whether artists show up or not. Many shows have a sliding refund policy. For example, if you cancel 90 days before the show you might get 80% of your fee back, 60 days before - 40%, 30 days before - 20%, down to 0% if you cancel within a week or two of the event. 
The reason for this is obvious. While it might be pretty easy to fill a vacant space a couple months before a show, a cancellation a couple days before the event will be much harder to fill. The wait-listed artists may have found other shows to exhibit at, they may not want to travel last minute, or they may not have built up enough stock to do the show last minute.

No, and you’ll see empty spaces at these shows more often than not. These shows usually have much less flexible refund policy.

No, and you won’t be charged an exhibit fee either. I was once called off a wait-list for the 3 Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh 24 hours before the show. I didn’t have hotel reservations, I hadn’t made travel arrangements, and it was just too short of notice to pick up and go.

It varies. 
The number of artists on the wait-list varies from show to show, so it’s hard to say what the odds are that you’ll be called. 
If memory serves, I think I’ve been called to exhibit about 1/3 of the times I’ve been wait-listed -- but I know others who almost always get into shows they’re wait listed for. 

Wishing you all the best for your upcoming shows!

Until next time -- keep creating!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Everything Old is New Again.....In Vintage Sweater Clips

If you have ever watched an episode of Glee, you know that sweater guard clips are not just for Grandma anymore.  Guidance counselor, Emma Pillsbury played by Jayma Mays can be seen wearing sweater clips on her colorful sweaters.  

What are sweater guard clips?

They are essentially clips that hold light weight sweaters in place when worn loosely around the shoulders.  The peak of their popularity was the 1950's.  They come in many different styles, materials, lengths and designs.  You can also wear them on a blouse as decoration or for securing a scarf.

Here is a link to a set in my shop to give you an idea:

I've had great success selling sweater clips in my shop.  They are one of those items that are both fun and functional.  
Many people are crafting new sweater clips. There are many tutorials on line for how to do this. You can use new or broken bits of jewelry.  If you are looking to buy a set, Etsy really is the best place to do that. Sweater clips are a small investment that can perk up any outfit.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

                                                                                               Following YOUR Path...

Spring is upon us and starting to show itself in many different ways. It's a season that brings excitement, hope and energy.

It's also a busy time for many ETSY
shop owners like Alison Kurek. We were
introduced to Alison and her shop -
SilentMyloStudio  - a few weeks ago.

Alison has been working full-time on her art for a little while now and is nice enough to let the rest of us watch and learn as she makes her way towards her goals.

Since her introduction, she's gotten involved in some new things that are pretty cool and recently shared some thoughts on a few things that many of us "I wish I could go full time-ers" are wondering.

                                            You can find the introduction article here

 When dreaming of going full-time, many people wonder about things like pensions plans, health insurance etc.... What was your strategy when you were preparing and has it changed since?
   I can’t say I really had a strategy. Being an artist, I had limited experience with jobs that offered benefits; and I was so unhappy at my last full-time position that it really  wasn’t that difficult to walk away from it. Right now I get my health coverage through Healthy New York and I make a small, monthly contribution to my IRA. But I think it needs to be said that I’m single and don’t have children. If I was a single Mom, or if I was supporting other family members, my decision making process would be very different.

Being full time for a little while now, have you recognized "seasons" or patterns over the course of a year that help you plan and prepare for the next year?  What I do is definitely seasonal. My two major selling seasons are summer (outdoor shows) and the holidays. January through March is usually dedicated to developing new work, and the rest of the year is production time. It would be great if I could say that I spread the production work out evenly throughout the year but that’s really not the case. May through September can get a little hairy -- as well as November and December.

Now that we are past the 1st quarter of the year - how do you feel? What are some positives you see so far this year? This is a nerve-racking time of year! Spring is always a slow time for sales. Taxes are due as well as fees for summer shows, and supplies need to be purchased. Aughhh!! But on the bright side, my Spring sales to date have been higher than they have been in past years. And my show schedule is starting to take shape. I’ll be returning to my two best shows of 2012: the Allentown Art Festival and Boston Mills Art Festival (in Peninsula, Ohio). Also, I was wait listed for Cain Park, a very competitive small show in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. My fingers are crossed on that one but who knows if I'll get in.

Since you began full-time effort on your art, how have you changed?
 Hmmm -- Ha ha -- you mean besides being broke? I'd have to say that, in some ways, I'm pushing myself more. Instead of "thinking" about things like making a promotional video about my work I just do it. I also think my work has changed a lot. I always dabbled in different styles and mediums and to some extent i still do -- but I have a "body of work" now. I can easily put together coherent, consistent digital portfolios of images to submit to shows and galleries -- I couldn't do that even a couple of years ago.

                                   Here's a link to the newest video Alison has created.

You mention making new promotional videos, is there anything else you are experimenting with or trying?   I’m starting a one year program offered through UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership tomorrow. Our first seminar is on Creative Problem Solving. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Find these and other cool paintings and mixed-art pieces 
by checking out Alison's shop 


We will check-in with Alison again in 3 weeks to get updates on:

-  the shows she has entered

- the Entrepreneurial Leadership program at UB

- as well as other helpful insights on going full-time with your passion!

Coming Next week:

We visit again with Sarah Trumpp of Wonderstrumpet

Written by Al Pilato of harvest woods

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Interview with Mehandi Mahal

Please tell us a bit about yourself?~
A Buffalo, NY Native, I am a self trained henna artist of 11 years and entreprenuer of 5 years.

What do you create? How long have you been working on your craft/art?~
I love the art of mehndi. I try to create each henna tattoo to be as unique and as beautiful and wonderful as each person who wears my artwork... I also create "Henna- inspired" canvases and clothing..... I dabble in jewelry fabrication. I am also a Certified Master Gardener; I love nature...

How did you come up with your store name?~
In an Epiphany... It just came to me one day.... MEHANDI {literally means Henna art or art of henna tattoos}... Pronounced Meh~ndi. MAHAL { Literally means Palace. like taj mahal}

How does Buffalo influence your work?~

Buffalo is awesome, I just feed off of Buffalo's energy.... All the people I encounter are always so excited to watch me applying henna on somebody.... I always have soo much fun interacting!

What inspires you?~
Old and new Bollywood! and Nature.... Also, I love fashion, so I try to incorporate my art into what I'm wearing as far as clothing goes....

What is the best thing about having a etsy shop?~

I can be creative and try new things and gauge on how well it does/or will do by the views and purchases made by existing / potential customers... It's very nice....

How do you promote your work to the world?~
Mostly, through FB, Word of Mouth of previous clients/customers....

What is the hardest part about selling online?~
People can't touch the object.... That's tough...

Where can your work be found locally?~
I will be at the Saturday Artisan Market at the Central Wharf this summer as well as the Music Is Art this fall... I also do smaller events here and there... I usually post my events on My FB Walls/Pages. I just Recently participated in Buffalo Art Studio's TRIMAINIA... soo much fun!!

Do you have any up and coming art shows/craft shows that you would like us to know about?~
I will be at the Saturday Artisan Market at the Central Wharf this summer as well as the Music Is Art this fall... I also do smaller events here and there... I usually post my events on My FB Walls/Pages.

Do you have any advise or suggestions for new sellers to etsy?~
Don't get discouraged, be open to suggestions.... Have friends and family "shop" your store periodically and get their feedback..

Do you do this full or part time? If full time how did you get yourself to that status?~
Part Time. The nicer weather is definitely needed for most events in Buffalo... But we're getting more inside venues and spaces available....every year a few more... I'm saving up for a Studio...

Have you had any formal training in what you do?~
Do you teach any classes in what you do?~
I plan to in the fall/winter season.

Where do your ideas come from?~
My Muse.

What do you do when your creatively blocked?~

yoga.... I do yoga everyday to keep my heart open.

Where can you be found online? ~

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Accepting Creative Challenge Submissions

Happy Sunday everyone! Don't these two ladies look like they are having a fine spring day? Today is a fine day for us too, since today is the day we begin accepting entries for our April creative challenge! If you'd like to submit an entry, please leave a link to your item in the comments of this post. The link can be to your Etsy shop, your Facebook page, or to a post on your own blog; just make sure it's a link directly to your entry and that it is publicly accessible.

If you haven't come up with anything yet, don't worry, as we will continue accepting submissions until the end of the day on April 26. And remember, the theme is Spring in Buffalo.

If you need a refresher on the rules, please check out these two posts.

I hope to see lots of entries; I want to have a tough time picking my favorite! We will all get to vote starting next week, so if you are not submitting an entry this time, stay tuned anyway, because we need your help selecting a winner.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

ART SHOWS 101: Survival Tips for Show Artists and Crafters Vol. 5


                               Volume 5: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Outdoors?

Have you read Al's post this week? It’s all about accepting the scrapes and bruises we get on the road to success and not being afraid to fail -- because without initial failure, we often times do not succeed:

I smiled when I read his post -- in part because it was well written and inspiring, but also because I’d like to talk about one of those topics too: fear.

It’s occurred to me that, in an effort to prepare new show exhibitors for possible weather related issues, I’ve scared the hell out of them! I’d like to say right now, LOUDLY, that that was NOT my intent! 

In truth, outdoor shows may not be for everyone. They really are a lot of work -- and our inability to control the weather does put us at risk. But let’s face it, there is risk in everything we do! 

So -- instead of talking about the “what ifs” of outdoors shows, I’d like to point out some of the well known positives of exhibiting al fresco.

I’d also like to correct the comment I made last week about $200 canopies not being a good option for outdoor festival shelter. I’ve since learned that one of our team members, and a rather successful one at that, has been exhibiting at outdoor shows with a canopy she purchased at BJ’s Wholesale for, you guessed it, $200! I’m so happy to eat my words about this that I'm going to purchase one for myself as a back-up canopy. But I’m NOT going to budge an inch on weights! Be sure to weight/anchor this and ANY canopy as if your art and craft work safety depends on it, because it does.

Here’s a link to BJ's canopy info:

                  TOP Reasons to Exhibit at Outdoor Art and Craft Shows:

• Outdoor shows are community events so they are well advertised

• Most outdoor shows have MUCH higher attendance than indoor shows.

• Most outdoor shows attract a MUCH more diverse audience than indoor shows.

• Outdoor booth spaces are bigger than most indoor show spaces. A LOT bigger!

• A well advertised show that draws a large, diverse crowd to view your large display of work 
  can often time lead to more sales

So -- before you make a final decision against outdoor exhibiting, visit a few shows, ask some questions, and do a little research. You may find that the great outdoors is the perfect setting for your work.

Until next time -- keep creating!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Everything Old is New Again Collecting Vintage Advertisement Posters

What do I love most about vintage advertisement posters?  There are so many things-the colors, graphics/artwork, the movie stars and recognizing some of today's products in their early days. These pieces make interesting pieces of art to liven up any room in your home.  

If you are interested in collecting vintage advertisements you may want to start with choosing a category.  Some of the popular advertisement categories include: cars, kitchen/household products, smoking/tobacco, movies, food, military, medicines, airline, brewerianna, etc.  

Advertising posters are very collectible because they were not meant to be saved, especially those from the early 1900's. If you cannot afford advertising posters themselves, a great alternative is advertisement pages from old magazines that can be removed and framed.  

Some General Tips:
-Choose a category
-Research pricing
-Handle them with care and mount on acid free paper. 
-Look out for condition as it effects value.  Stay away from pieces that have folds, tears, rough edges, discoloration, water/grease marks

Above is a favorite piece from my Lucille Ball collection.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Following YOUR Path...

                                                                                             Following YOUR Path...

Simple is always better. It adds clarity and focus.

Here are four simple
truths we all know, but, for many
of us, fail to use to our advantage.

We will continue with updates from Allison
next week and Sarah the following week.

In the mean time: simplify your life

Simple Truth #1
There are 24 hours in a day. Every day - for everyone. How you prioritize the things you do in a
given day,week, month and year determines what you will accomplish. "I don't have the time" is
actually another way of saying "it's not as important". If it is TRULY important to you, you'll find a way to make the time.

Simple Truth #2
Never failing is a result of never trying. The more you fail, the more likely you are to succeed.
No matter how many things you try that fail; just keep trying. You must fail if you want to succeed.

Simple Truth #3
Our attitude is the most influential and powerful tool we possess. As the late Earl Nightengale pointed out in his program Lead the Field; great attitude = great results, fair attitude = fair results,
poor attitude = poor results. People don't develop great attitudes because they are successful, they become successful because they have great attitudes.

Simple Truth #4
Fear is the main reason most people never reach their goals or take a chance or try something new.
We fear everything - failure, embarrassment, rejection, ridicule, change and even success!!

Ask yourself what would the worst possible outcome be if you did ????????. Chances are, in the big scheme of things, it's nothing to really worry about. Take a deep breath, swallow the fear now that it's in perspective and get busy.

Good Reads

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable - Seth Godin
The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? - Seth Godin

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Interview with The Cotton Road

 This week we have with us Mel from The Cotton Road!

Please tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Melissa but everyone calls me Mel. I am married and have an 8 year old son. We also have a dog named Zoey who is very active. I grew up in the southern tier in farm country. I love nature and natural fibers. I started crocheting when I was 12. I would watch my aunts crochet and slowly picked it up. I use crocheting as my stress reliever. My crocheting gives truth to the old adage "if you do what you love you never work a day". My crochet business started over a year ago and I still love crocheting everyday, in fact not crocheting can make my day worse.

What do you create?
How long have you been working on your craft/art? I crochet primarily baby items, but I am very picky about the patterns I choose. I make hats and slippers for adults. I have begun to make toys, rattles, and pillows for babies. Mason jar covers, doilies, mesh tote bags, and things for the home. I learned to crochet when I was 12 but have been doing it regularly for about 5 years.

How did you come up with your store name?
I love cotton and primarily crochet with cotton, but wanted to pay homage to where I came from and learn my trade it was on a dirt back road tucked back on the farm in between cornfields. So I combined the two for The Cotton Road.

How does Buffalo influence your work?
The seasons are what inspires me here. I have to change the type of item and the thickness of the yarn for the warmer months. I know Buffalo weather changes fast but most people don't wear winter hats and boots in July.

What is the best thing about having a etsy shop?
The freedom to make and sell what I want and to control the amount of items in my store. I also love that I can sell to more people than just here in the WNY area. I have sent items to Australia, Canada, Hawaii, California, among other places. I am trying to create an interactive map so that I can pin where I have sent items. I'd like to send one item to every state I think that's be cool.

How do you promote your work to the world?
Twitter, Facebook both personal and business pages, Instagram, Pintrest

Where can your work be found locally?
I am a member of Gallery 464 and some of my items are featured there. I am working on a few open work hats to take there in the next few weeks.

Do you have any advise or suggestions for new sellers to etsy? Don't get discouraged if there are not a lot of sales in the beginning. Focus more on building a fan base that will refer others to your page.

  Do you do this full or part time? If full time how did you get yourself to that status? If I really tally up the amount of time it would be full time, but it is realistically a part time thing. I work a full time and part time job on top of Etsy. My dream would be to open a little store front someday where I can sell my items, yarn, other local artist work and teach the art of crochet full time.

Have you had any formal training in what you do?
I have had no training beyond my Aunts instructions.

Do you teach any classes in what you do?
I have taught before at JoAnn's but I am not currently teaching there.

Where do your ideas come from?
I love nature and things that are functional. I just bought a wire lamp shade a flea market and hope to crochet a lamp shade. I like to make things that people can pass down to others.

What do you do when your creatively blocked? I go to Pintrest or Etsy and search crochet.

 Where can you be found online?,
@thecottonroad on twitter, intstagram, and Pintrest.!linton/c1b0h is the website from Gallery 464.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Creative Challenge Update

Wasn't it nice to wake up to some sun this morning? Let's forget about all that rain from last week and talk about our creative challenge for the month of April: Spring in Buffalo.

Here's a recap of our rules for the challenge:

  1. Create or find something inspired by the theme.
  2. Put photos of that something somewhere online where the public can see it. You can list your item on Etsy or post it on your blog, for example.
  3. Next Sunday, April 21, I will make a new post and you can post a link to your entry in the comments. You have until April 26 to submit your entry.
  4. On April 28, I will post pictures of all the entries here on the blog and we will vote for our favorite in the comments. Voting will be open through May 1.
  5. I will contact the winner, who will pick the theme for the next challenge, which will be announced on May 5.
The theme is Spring in Buffalo, and you are welcome to interpret that theme any way you wish. You can incorporate Buffalo imagery, like our architecture, parks, events, people, and our beloved bison, like in the above suncatcher from buffaloartglass. Or you can be inspired by anything that makes you think of spring in Buffalo. Here are a few items I found made by Buffalo Etsy Team members that remind me of spring:

Easter has past, but nothing says Buffalo like pisanki and nothing says spring more than birds and eggs, except for perhaps flowers:

I love the smell of lilacs; these flowers are one of the best things about spring, in my opinion. And does anyone remember those little butterflies that arrived in town last April? They had been swept into the area by a warm front and for a while they were just about everywhere you looked. I saw this antique lithograph from team member teardrums and immediately thought of those lovely little creatures that visited us last year:

I am looking forward to making my own entry and to seeing what our talented, creative team members do!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Art Shows 101: Seeking Shelter

Volume 4: Canopies

Art shows are about creativity, individual achievement, and personal style. Right? 

Well -- maybe not so much. At least not when it comes to display set ups.

Many years ago, shows were casual events. Painters laid their canvases on the sidewalk, potters stacked their bowls on homemade shelves, and photographers hung loose prints on A-frame stands. While you still may find that relaxed atmosphere at a small, local show or two, most larger festivals somewhat demand conformity in the size, shape and color (white) of your outer display canopy.

If you are just starting out, or plan on doing only a show or two, you may want to borrow a canopy from a friend or look into tent rentals. You can also check Craig's List and other Want-Ads for sales of used equipment rather than going to the expense of buying your own, brand new tent.

There are a number of canopy manufactures and styles and prices vary -- but from the research I have done, you will probably need to invest upwards of $500 to purchase a reliable 10’ x 10’ canopy with a roof and 4 water-resistant side walls. And yes, there are MANY canopies available under that price point, but keep in mind: you get what you pay for. A $200 canopy that's great for a backyard gathering on a sunny, windless day may not cut it as a show canopy on a rainy weekend.

Here are links to the best known canopy dealers:

And a few things for you to consider:

  • EZ UP, and other pyramid roofed canopies require less set-up time than dome roofed canopies because they are pre-assembled. The roof is attached to the frame and set-up is basically accomplished by two people pulling part (expanding) the frame -- kind of like an accordion. Side walls can be attached on all for sides once the frame is expanded.

  • Dome roofed canopies, like Craft Hut, have no pre-assembled parts. You have to connect poles, legs and roof rafters before attaching your canvas roof. They are more time consuming but, if set up properly, tend to hold up better in rough weather conditions.

  • the roofs of EZ UP/pyramid roofed canopies tend to collect water and sag during a rain storm. Many exhibitors use hulu hoops, wedged between canopy frame and canvas roof, to lessen this. 

  • Regardless of tent style, keep in mind that you are setting up a mini store that is at the mercy of the weather.  ALL tents MUST be anchored in some fashion! Stakes, ropes and tension straps are great but can’t be used on concrete or blacktop. In addition to staking, you should have 40 pound weights (or heavier) for each corner of your canopy (see picture below). Keep in mind that this isn't only for your protection. In addition to destroying your art or craft work, an airborne canopy can damage other exhibitors set ups, or worse yet, hurt other artists and show patrons. 

  • Always come to shows prepared for bad weather. Bring stakes and weights, bungie cords, plastic sheeting and dry towels. In this case, over-prepared is a good thing!

Until next time -- keep creating!


Vending Opportunity:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Everything Old is New Again .....In Weddings

            Weddings are a very costly endeavor.  One of the best and unique ways to save money is to use vintage items or re-purpose items into crafts for decor, accessories, etc. It's also a great way to inject your own creative personality into your wedding design.  Brides are embracing these trends fully. If you are looking for inspiration Pintrest is full of beautiful ideas.  
            If you choose to buy a vintage wedding dress avoid dresses that need repairs or have stains.  Avoid the oldest dresses, those before 1900 because of deteriorating fabric. Remember sizing is very different today than in the past.  

Below are some of the top vintage trends this season.

Colors: mint green, orange, pink, print
Grooms:  hats, bow ties, seer sucker suits
Dresses:  1920s flapper style dresses, satin gowns, vintage lace sleeves
Accessories: birdcage veils, vintage jewelry pieces, lace and crystal garters
Decor:  aged wine barrels, colored bottles with flowers, lanterns, mason jars, antique books, crates, dried flowers

 Below is a photograph from my wedding circa 2008.  I chose a new Michaelangelo gown that had a vintage style-lace overcoat.  I wore my mother's (1978) bridal veil.  We slightly altered the veil to make it less heavy.  

My Three Favorite Items From Local Etsy Shops!

Oldendesigns- custom handmade luminaries

10 Large Vintage Sheet Music Luminaries, Great for Weddings & Parties, Music Decorations, Luminary Bags, Custom Made

DeLoop- Bridal Whimsical Accessories and Fashion Hair Accessories

 White Feather Hat Vintage Rhinestone Brooch Detail, Royal Wedding, wedding, mardi gras
Ageless Heirlooms/Laurenrosedesign- fine and antique vintage jewelry
10K Antique Art Nouveau Baroque Pearl Lavaliere Necklace

Following YOUR Path...


April 11th is a significant Day.

In 1970, on this day, Apollo 13 launched  and shortly after, some 200,000 miles from Earth, radioed the now famous update:

"Houston we have a problem".

Using ingenuity, courage and sheer guts, the crew was able to guide the hobbled spacecraft, against all odds, safely back to Earth.

In 2013, April 11, brings the 1st update from Sarah Trumpp, of Wonderstrumpet. Sarah launched into full-time status in October of 2012. Sarah has plenty of ingenuity, courage and guts, but, unlike Tom Hanks, she doesn't know how this will turn out. Neither do we. Let's check in now and see what's been happening over the last 3 weeks.

                                          You can read the original article here.

When we last talked you had mentioned applying to a number of juried craft shows. What has happened so far with that process?  I applied to six shows and am still waiting to hear about four of them - all of the BIG ones, of course. I did submit my plush and needle felted stuff for the first time to Plush You!, which is a big plush show at a shop in Seattle, sort of the who's who of plush designers, and happily I got in, so there is a bit of positive news. I should be hearing about Allentown HOPEFULLY today - Nicole got her letter on Friday, so I have been on pins and needles about it all weekend. The trials and tribulations of living in the middle of nowhere! 

I have been honestly terrified about this whole process. Last year I applied to two shows: To Mayday Underground (in Rochester) and to send my stuff to Craftland (a store in Rhode Island) for their annual holiday humongous sale. I got into Mayday and got denied for Craftland, and, even with the Mayday acceptance, that denial was all kinds of devastating. Getting a denial from the jury of one of these big shows will be a punch to the kidneys for sure. I was going to apply for more in case I got denied by the bigger ones, but what if I got into ALL OF THEM!?!?! That would be equally horrifying. I will know one way or another about three of the four within the next couple of weeks, though.

Update 4/10/13 - Did you hear from Allentown yet?  I did - denied! As kidney-punchingly devastating as I thought it would be...

One of your goals for the year is to focus on creating specific products that go together. Have any ideas started to come together? I've been working on more of the sculpted peg doll guys (pictured here) since they seem to be pretty popular.

 I think some of that particular goal just needs to be accepting that I CAN actually make a bunch of different kinds of stuff and that it all looks like 'me',
but that's probably a longer time coming. 

Do you have some "measuring sticks" to gauge success from week to week, or month to month(sales, contacts made, # of items produced etc...)? Do you feel you are succeeding by those standards?    Normally it would be measured by sales, but right now it's being measured by piles. I'm not listing anything new on Etsy right now since I'm freaking out about having enough stuff to sell at shows, but I'm still doing all the other marketing-type stuff too... Making it into Plush You! was a huge deal for me, so this week I feel like I'm succeeding. 

I am also trying to do 300 paintings this year - I don't think we talked about that last time. I've been catching up on a bunch of workshops for the last couple of weeks towards that end, too. The link to the 300 paintings page on my site is here: 

I'm actually up to 16, not 14, but still. I have a LONG way to go.                              

Check-up from the neck-up. How are you feeling overall right now? Right now I'm okay. I'm nervous about the show stuff, and it's kind of taking over my brain, but I'm excited about new techniques I'm learning and maybe knocking some more paintings out. My to-do list is 8 miles long and I'm stressed, but it's a good stress, I think. Better this than being stressed over your boss hating you or something, though, right? 

Is there anything you would like to say to your followers until your next update? If anyone wants to start texting me every 15 minutes saying "hey stop pacing and get to work", I'd appreciate it! ;)

          Next Week....

      Simple truths... 

                   Live by these and succeed. Guaranteed.

Written by Al Pilato of harvestwoods