Tuesday, August 31, 2010

a personal challenge

Busy weeks coming ahead.

4 shows in the next two months.

Reroofing our house this weekend.

Starting teaching again at both the college and the art center.

So what am I doing?

I am implementing a self challenge. Every day unless I am away at a show, I will make a new one of a kind piece. It doesn't have to be extravagant. I just have some ideas bouncing around in my head and while I love my poppy and candy lines very much, they get to be a bit blah after I work on them all evening. So, every day I will make a piece and I will post. Hold me to it. Seriously. But not too seriously because I might have some double shares in certain posts. I really need to keep away from this computer so I can get some work done. I just keep falling down those rabbit hole searches on etsy that lead to more and more fabulous things. Inspiring, but doesn't really help me get any work done.

Look for a star tomorrow here. You are sure to find it... if not there is Thursday. :D

Monday, August 23, 2010

Best Day Ever

I had such a wonderful day today. My mom had been wanting to have a day out with "her girls" meaning my sister, Carley, Adele, and I. We had all been wanting to go see the Chihuly exhibit at Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids so we decided that would be the perfect destination. 

After a short sidetrip to the Fulton Street Artisan Market so I could visit my new friend Heather of the Paper Peacock (<---check that link for her etsy shop) to snag some more of her incredible hand sculpted porcelain buttons we wandered to lunch and finally to the gardens, but not before Carley popped a few wheelies in her stroller with the help of her mommy. :D

I was like a little kid at the gardens, so thrilled to finally make it to a Chihuly exhibit. I had been rather upset that I didn't make the short drive to Kalamazoo at the KIA a few years ago when they held one. All of that glass was incredible!
The children's area was great fun and also a wonderful way to cool down if you stood near the fountains the kids were playing in.

Of course there are other great artist's work exhibited there.  Some of Deborah Butterfield's horses were prominently displayed and a few of Tom Otterness's sculptures remained there from a G.R. wide exhibit a few years back.

Each time I go to Grand Rapids I think of my friend Hillary who is currently in Morocco as a Peace Corps Volunter. Seeing this sculpture made me miss Hillary even more because the last time I was this close to one of his sculptures was on a visit to see her. I do believe some silly pictures are floating about the interweb of us with our friend Julie and some finger puppets perhaps? Soon my friend will be home and I will be so glad to see her again.

Anyhow, a lovely day indeed. Such a rare occasion to be able to get us all together, it will definitely be a cherished memory.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Introducing: Batt of the Month Club!

I have been having a small internal debate about whether or not I could handle doing a Batt Club. This Fall I will be cutting down to four days a week at the store (thank goodness finally!) This was made possible due to the fact that I will be teaching another section of Art Appreciation at the local community college which happens to take place in the afternoon on Thursdays. I am so thrilled to have the morning time on a weekday when I'm all by myself at home to create. No distractions and then off to teach! I know I'm still going to have my hands full because I'll also be teaching at the Art Center of Battle Creek on most Thursday evenings. No complaints here though! A whole day full of art and teaching, two things I love. How could one be upset?

Anyhow, that brings me back to the point. Since I will have more time that I can use to create art, I can use that time to custom create batts for anyone interested! The clubs will be a 3 month "membership" where you will receive 3+oz. of fiber and other goodies each month. All natural fibers will be hand dyed almost exclusively by me using Greener Shades Dyes. I am going to start off with 10 spots and if enough interest is shown I may add a few more in the future. Immagonna post one to get it up there but please convo. me on etsy if you would like me to reserve a spot for you! You can find me here.
 After a bit of a fight with Gimp, I finally finished a batt club picture that I can live with. (to be honest this may have been holding me back starting a club more than the actual time it will take me!) After trying several different font colors I settled for these two because they were the best I could do. I know some of the text is difficult to read but I am just not a graphically inclined person. Give me something tactile and I'm all in though! :D

Monday, August 16, 2010

thank you blogger

for putting a spam comment blocker on. I'd much rather have no comments than 2-4 spam comments from Asian porn sites.

so thank you blogger, you made my blog night.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

First Annual Harsen's Island Bluegrass Festival

Hey all! I'm doing a show tomorrow with my wonderful friend Starr (the one who designed my logo) tomorrow at the First Annual Harsen's Island Bluegrass Festival. If you are in the area come check out some art and bluegrass! http://harsensislandbluegrassfestival.eventbrite.com/

We will also be seen together in September at the Art-A-Licious Art Fair and Festival in Adrian, Michigan. http://www.artalicious.org/

P.S. anybody noticed how near that 100th post is getting? I've only had a few responses to requests for that giveaway. Jewelry seems to be the consensus so far. Get your suggestions into the comments! 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

new stuffs a brewin! giveaway ideas?

Things have been very busy and exciting here for me with Bricolage Studios. When I set out to make a go of being an artist, I knew it was going to be an awful lot of hard work and recently I have been trying to remind myself of how much I have accomplished when things seem hairy or I'm feeling like maybe I'm doing something wrong. Here is a small list of the big ones for me anyway:

1. I have been creating and teaching classes at the local art center for almost 3 years now
2a&b. I have team taught a college level course AND providing the class runs in the fall will have the opportunity to teach it on my own
3. I have done AT LEAST 5 art/craft/fiber shows for the past two years, some with a fair amount of success
4. I have branched out on my own and been able to teach a few private workshops which were a lot of fun
5. I have reached over 100 sales in my etsy shop, which is actually nearer to 150 now with a majority of those sales having been within the last 7-8 months.
6. I have designed and executed several new jewelry lines
7. I have set up a home studio that function quite well for me for most of my needs.
8. I have done all of these things while working a full time job and also managed to spend time with family and friends on top of doing all of these things
9. I bought a house with my now husband, got married 2  years later, and have made it my little family's home with a rather large flower garden out front (this was always a very important to me, must be all the women in my family that love their flowers so.)
10. AND, perhaps most importantly, I have done all of these while maintaining my sanity, though that was debatable.

I could go on to say that if I can do this, I don't understand how people say, "i just can't seem to find the time," but I won't get into that whole subject. I know that I am driven individual and it takes that drive to be successful at anything. I've gotta say this being a working artist thing is tough and there are times I think that quitting would be easier, but where is the fun in that?

I love every part of what I do. I might dread picking through and washing a greasy OM and VM filled fleece (OM = organic matter which is just a nice way of saying poo/urine really and VM = vegetable matter so all that hay, straw, grass, burrs, sticks, etc. that sticks in the poor little sheepies fuzz) BUT, I find it very gratifying in the end once I have it all dyed up that I can blend it, spin it, and make something out of it. There is just something incredible about knowing that you had your hand in on nearly every step of a process. I mean sure, I didn't raise the sheep or shear it but someday... :D I think that the whole concept of handmade was lost on people for a long time and now that there is a wonderful shift back to it happening, the more you do, the more it is appreciated.
So anyhow, now that I've rambled on I'll get to that new stuff I was talking about. First of all, I am VERY pleased to announce that I have been accepted into YARNCON in chicago. This was a really big deal for me. I have never done an out of state show and in CHICAGO?!?! WOOHOO! I had already begun work on some new items for the shop including: hand dyed silk hankies and cocoons, OOAK freeform knit and crochet wear/accessories, more OOAK fiber and metal necklaces, handmade custom metal diz’, and some non fiber related jewelry. I also had a happy experiment the other night when carding up some batts for Friday's shop update. I was picking some fiber open in my picker box and wondered, "Could I blend fiber directly in here?" So I tried it and the answer was YES!

And so, fiber mixes were born. More coming to the shop in next week's update. Keep a look out for all of these new items that will be filtering soon. They won't be huge updates because I'll be beefing up my stash stock for my upcoming show but you will certainly get a good preview of the items.

Also, please hop on over to the 2010 schedule tab. I have updated it a bit with websites for the shows through the rest of the year. I will start posting my 2011 shows as soon as I know more details about them. I already have a few lined up that had early sign up (some new ones even!) I am also looking into vending at a few different music festivals in northern Michigan. *fingers crossed* :D

OH! and don't forget, for my 100th post I am doing another giveaway, please leave comments with your suggestions for that!