Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
OR...read it below:
by Jim Calder
Its a phrase thats sweeping the nation and now the world. If you arent a member of the popular networking site www.myspace.com, you might want to think about jumping onboard quickly because you may be missing out on a great opportunity to promote yourself and your craft business.
The media is constantly portraying MySpace in a negative light, creating a climate of fear around the site. However, the reality is that MySpace is no more dangerous than the Internet itself.
The Web site was started in California and is free to join. Basically the site allows you to post your own Web page in a matter of minutes without needing any knowledge of HTML. Once you join, you can upload photos, information, links to other Web sites, post bulletins of upcoming events, join groups, host a blog and start collecting contacts. As of press time there were more than 86 million people with accounts on myspace.com.
Craft artisans and galleries along with all businesses are quickly discovering that finding an audience of 86 million people (and growing) for absolutely free is no laughing matter and something to explore.
Amber Gutry (www.myspace.com/neverenderreno) of Reno, Nev., owns a gallery, which sells art in all mediums by local artists. MySpace has helped us get the word out about upcoming events and artist opportunities. Using the event invites area of MySpace has helped us get more people to our art shows, Gutry says. She uses the site to promote her own Web site www.neverenderreno.com, invite people to events and post information.
Julianna Qualls (www.myspace.com/paisleypieces) of Anaheim, Calif., is a craft artist working in mediums such as sculpture, sewing, beading and fabric art. Its amazing. Theres so much traffic. People view your profile all the time and there are so many groups to find information, Qualls says. She uses the site for free advertisement and selling her work and often puts a slide show of her work in comment boxes when she is added as a friend.
Bekki Harris (www.myspace.com/pinkbird) of Honolulu, Hawaii, specializes in making jewelry using wire, metal, glass, gemstone and plastic beads as well as unique found objects like recycled bottle caps, records, CDs, toys, etc., for her business PinkBird Creations (www.pinkbird.net).
At first I thought making a PinkBird MySpace was kind of silly, but then the more I thought about it, well I just jumped right in, Harris says. Its been really great for networking; finding not only other crafters, artists and DIY-ers in my area, but to meet people all over the world. She also started to blog on her MySpace page to announce sales, display new creations, promote friends Web sites and let others know about general PinkBird happenings.
Some people are MySpace people and some arent. It has its pros and cons, says Harris. The site has really helped me meet people and network but also I do get the occasional annoying friend request or bulletin, but those people are easy to delete and block.
Harris suggests if you want to keep in contact with your friends and old classmates; make a separate account for yourself, and one that is solely for your craft business or gallery. I think because my MySpace page is solely devoted to my jewelry shop, weirdos and perverts dont tend to hassle me, Harris says.
So why do you need a MySpace site if you already have a Web site? My MySpace site allows me to be more in-depth or show more of my creations on one page, and show more of my PinkBird philosophy than my actual site, Harris explains. She finds that people who otherwise would not have found her store are learning about it, checking it out and buying her work.
Modern Business Card
MySpace has been great for our group, it is a quick and easy way to network with other people like us, says Mandy Jouan one of the founding members of the San Diego Craft Mafia (www.myspace.com/sandiegocraftmafia). The San Diego Craft Mafia is an extension of the Craft Mafia formed in Austin, Texas, in 2003 by a group of nine businesswomen with a love of craft. The group developed into a forum for networking, promotion and sharing ideas and others have popped up across the globe.
Its almost like we all have our own trading card and are collecting everyone elses, Jouan says of Myspace. Id say its the modern business card.
The main focus of our organization is to help each other with our established businesses. You could say it is like a support team that keeps you motivated and aware of crafty things going on in the world of today, Jouan says.
Reach Lots of People with Little Effort
MySpace is clearly a youth-driven format of networking and its power is growing daily. Katrina Zerilli (www.myspace.com/kzerilli), a student at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, is a textile major working in weaving, crocheting, knitting, wearable art and fiber sculptures. Since I am still in school and dont have my own business, I use MySpace to let my close friends see what I have been up to, and to meet other crafters who share the same interests, she says.
Zerilli is among the many who love the site and feel that any negative press is due to a fear of new technology and its capabilities. MySpace is harmless. The only bad press I ever hear about it is about young kids and MySpace predators, which was the same story that was all over the place when Instant Messenger first came onto the Internet scene, she says. If you can check your e-mail, you can handle MySpace.
Zerilli believes the biggest advantage of MySpace is that you can keep in touch with a large number of people, putting in very little effort. People in the craft world are so busy, especially those with their own businesses, but on the Internet one can let a large group of people find out about what you make with the click of a button, she says.
In an industry where keeping in touch and updating customers, gallery owners and artists is crucial to survival, the question isnt Why should I join MySpace? its How can I justify not joining MySpace?
Jim Calder is the associate editor of "The Crafts Report."
Monday, November 26, 2007
Click here for PinkBird Sale
Sunday, November 25, 2007
You will need:
Then, add the next color. I usually drip the colors along the inside of the ornament.
When you have a good amount of paint inside, cover the hole (I just used my thumb) and slowly begin to swirl, roll, and shake the ornament. (It is very important to cover the opening, or you will have paint all over!) If you want to add glitter, now is a god time to do so.
You may need to add more paint (and if you have too much, just pour it out). When your ornament looks the way you like it, leave it to dry. This may take a while (a day, maybe) depending on how much paint you've used. If you find that the paint has all settled in one spot, that's ok, just add more and let this dry.
Then, in a day or 2 when all the paint has dried, you'll have some lovely swirly ornaments!
And, as you can see from this picture, these are not completely done...when you finish, you can glue the ornament cap on, and there you go! Perhaps when I have all of mine (yes, I made about 8 different ones) on my tree I will photograph them and post them.
This is a bit of an abbreveated tutorial, since this is a fairly simple project...all you need is a bit of paint and a nod in the right direction.
Until then, happy crafting! And, as usual, please share with me any finished projects!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
This Thanksgiving I am extremely thankful for all the wonderful things in my life. I am grateful to all of PinkBird's customers, supporters, and friends.
Thank you to all of my fabulous friends for supporting me in every aspect of my life, art, and otherwise. I have had a very "lucky" year...and I know it is because of all the positive energy I try to put forth into the universe, and also the positive energy I receive from those in my life.
I chose the life that I am living, as it has chosen me. And I am thankful for this. It is with my greatest and humblest appreciation that I say "Mahalo" to those special friends (and family) who will always remain close to me, despite physical distances. I say "thanks and nice to meet you" to all the wonderful souls I have yet to meet but who will change my life once again. I have learned more in this year than I can put into words...or if I did it might span pages and pages. So, instead, a simple, "Thank you" and the hope that I can somehow, some day repay the honors, love, and kindness that I have received from the world. As each day passes and I slowly realize the ways in which I am living my dreams and following my Path, I am thankful beyond words for this life that I have.
Thank you for traveling light and allowing me to do the same,
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Want to know more? Just Google the words Urban Outfitters Infringement, or better yet, check out this here blog.
This blog, Urban Counterfeiters, mission is to "[Bring] American consumers reports from small companies and artists who have been taken advantage of by large corporations. We wish for these corporations to be held accountable for their actions and to change their business practices."
See for yourself, I'll get off my soapbox now...
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The Arc de Triomphe in
Thursday, November 15, 2007
We always send out free PinkBird Creations stickers with our orders.
(And some special buyers, who buy lotsa goodies and place lots of orders, even get PinkBird logo pins, magnets, calendars, and pencils!)
That's all for now, take it light and have a magical day...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Blu, (one of our cats) jumped on the painting just as I had started. It was irreversible...so I had to begin again: cut the paper, sketch the umbrellas, etc. I'm not thrilled with the colors, but C'est La Vie. Please, forget all the cliches about rain and raindrops and umbrellas...perhaps like Rene Magritte I should say, "ce ne sont pas des parapluies.*" Which is another discussion (and another "art issue" I've been having). Anyway, as for the painting, it now looks something like this (and, it only looks wonky because the paint made my Bristol paper curl):
Listening to: Sound Tribe Sector 9, Unquestionable Supremacy of Nature from May 27, 2007, Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, which you can hear here.
*They are not umbrellas.
Monday, November 12, 2007
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Friday, November 09, 2007
I just signed the pledge to buy handmade this holiday season, and perhaps you will too. (I was number 4611...and that's a lot of people who have signed so far!) I think the idea of "buying handmade" is absolutely terrific. What's better than getting and giving something made my hand out of love, time, and soul? It's not only fun to know the name of the real, live person who made something you love to wear or use, but I think it is very important. If you need more inspiration, please head over to buyhandmade.org
"Buying handmade is better for people, better for the environment, and better for giving truly special and well-crafted gifts. The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us all dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. The connection between producer and consumer has been lost. Buying handmade helps them reconnect. We encourage all consumers to be aware of the social and environmental implications of their purchases."
Thursday, November 08, 2007
While living in Germany we took a trip to Rothenburg (Germany) to spend the weekend with my In-laws who were staying at a bed and breakfast in the town while they were touring Europe. We were excited to experience a well preserved medieval town complete with clock tower, town square and wall to surround it all. The city itself was fascinating with its red roofs, characters, and winding alleyways. This photo was taken in the Town Hall Square facing away from the whimsical central clock tower. I love those colorful buildings!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
But, my last assignment, which of course had me running to the art supply store a 1/2 hour before they closed on a Saturday night (and it was surprisingly crowded, what's up with that?!) really got my gears moving...First, I should say that this was a collage project. We got to make all kinds of fun different paper, using wallpaper paste, paint, and liquid starch. I was super excited to get to do something that I felt was more on my "page" so to speak.
What's more, is that we had to choose a text (song/poem/story) to "illustrate" with our collage. I decided on Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds." (You can read the lyrics here).
When I sat down to actually do the project though I was still feeling trapped by the guidelines (and, perhaps the pressure of a grade. uh!). What I really wanted to do was to create something messy, something organic with no straight lines. I wanted to use brown-paper-bags, and glue and sequins and mix black sand into muted gold paint. I think I was too afraid to do this type of thing for my class though. Why? (ah..another blog for another time...). In an attempt to get these creative urges out of my system, I found a small canvas that I bought in a grab-bag of art supplies at a thrift store years ago and made this:
This picture actually makes it look "nicer" and "cleaner" than it is, which is weird. I used chopsticks for the branch, and they are roughly painted brown. There is also a beaded trim around it, which I used vintage metallic red seed beads for. The blue background paper is covered with inked black spirograph drawings, layered on top of a crinkled up brown paper bag that I painted goldish. The yellow and orange birds are done with bulletin board paper and the pink bird is liquid watercolor paint. It's not done yet though. Who knows if it ever will be.
Anyway, creating that didn't really help too much...but in the end I came up with this for my Art class (please excuse the photo):I used paste-paper, watercolor paint and liquid starch paper, sponge painted paper, scrap paper, and just a hint of silver paint. And, after 2 attempts at this collage, I think I like it...or, at least I like it enough to share.
"this is my message to you...don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing, is gonna be all right...."
Create a lovely day,
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
So, the other day I got an email from a very excited customer who had purchased the one of a kind piece. I was never so happy to see a favorite creation go to someone who seems to appreciate not just the necklace, but the fact that I, just a girl currently living in Maryland, created it with a few beads, some tools, and my own two hands.
Before I even had the necklace in the mail, she had posted this fabulous blog about the necklace, you can read it here. Thanks. I'm blushing.
Monday, November 05, 2007
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