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Day of Reorganization and Thought

Fabric Organization

Today I took time to begin reorganizing where my fabric and yarns are kept. There has been a bit of a lull in orders on Amazon and Etsy so it is giving me time to make things hopefully a bit more efficient. My orders have been evolving into more and more personalizing and embroidery. So……all this fabric needs to be out in front instead of stuck away in bins. You know how that is right? Keeping the juices flowing.

So…..I did some searching on Pinterest, of course, to see what everyone was doing to store fabric.  I found many people were wrapping them on custom made boards. But, the DIY’er that I am, and with a stack of foam core that I had stored from my watercolor painting and framing days, I cut boards to fit my cabinets perfectly! AND WA-LA! ORGANIZATION IN PROCESS.

Through the day I realized I had an added benefit to cutting, folding and wrapping the fabric. Can you guess what it was?  Yep! Thoughts and designing in my head. Now I can’t get this fabric organized fast enough so I can start on some new projects that will be just in time for the holiday shopping.  I am so excited!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When is your best thinking and designing time?  Normally mine is first thing in the morning before I get up or while I’m laying in bed at night trying to fall asleep.  I don’t think we allow ourselves the quiet times during the day to really think about things that are not right in front of us screaming. Unfortunately, this is what our world has become. Hopefully, you have a daily job that you enjoy and are challenged to improve yourself each day, not one that just drains every drop out of you.  So, I share with you, take time to think and reflect as often as possible. I know it is hard. But allow yourself this time, even if it is only for 15 minutes a week.

As I spent today reflecting, I also want to send a shout out to all our veterans out there and say THANK YOU for serving us and our country. Happy Memorial Day to all.

 

 

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PhD or NOT????

PhD or Not —–That has been the looming question for me over the last six months. I have continued writing and trying to keep my head around the literature review, research design and working with my chair.  But, do I really need to have a PhD any more?  I am retired and working in my studio and loving every minute that I am there creating.  I’m 57 years old and I don’t think that I will ever go back to higher education.

I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this topic.  It has been interesting as my college friends say – ABSOLUTELY FINISH and my other friends say DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

What do I do………..

 

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Business goes Amazon

Amazon Handmade…….I made the jump – have you? Many have been on Etsy for a number of years selling your wares.  Now Amazon offers a site for handmade items where you can sell handmade items after being approved through a review process by Amazon.  The application form takes approximately thirty minutes to complete. It requires photos of your completed items and an explanation of the creation process of your work. It takes a few days to receive approval.  Once you obtain approval to sell on Amazon Handmade your work really begins!

I was so excited the first week I had three sales and couldn’t believe it!  I was hoping it would just keep me busy every week and increase as I went.  But, I have learned very rapidly that with anything on the internet you really have to work with communication and promoting your own site and products. You wonder what that includes for me?  Well here is my list:

  • business Facebook page
  • personal Facebook page
  • Instagram posts
  • Pinterest
  • Blog posts
  • sharing and commenting on others social media
  • advertising
  • ratings on the best adwords to use
  • education, education, education

Is this a full time job?  OMG! It is a real balance between promotion, designing and customer service. Amazon and Etsy have good tutorials and do their best.  But, you have to make sure you do your part. You have to figure out where best to promote your items and connect with those who are looking for them.

I am finding with this blog that what started out one direction is really better if I develop it in another direction.  I am finding, interestingly, that people in their late 50’s are not really working to understand how to promote and grow their cottage business. So what do I do?  Any suggestions? What is your age group for your work? Who follows your blogs?  Has your focus changed?  Let’s help each other.

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Celebrating Sibling Day!

Today is sibling day!  Not quite sure where this “DAY” of celebration came from. But, it gives us time to think about our brothers and/or sisters hopefully in a loving way and be happy they are in our lives.

Doing some research I found that Claudia Evart created the day and also the Siblings Day Foundation. Evart lost her siblings very early in life from two separate accidents. Forty-nine governors have acknowledged the holiday. President George W. Bush recognized the day in 2008.  But, it takes much more to become an actual holiday.

Now that we have the historical out of the way, what about your siblings?  How is your relationship with them? Was it better when you were younger or has it gotten better as both of you have grown older? Have there been events in your life that changed your relationship? If you have elderly parents, has this changed your relationship with your siblings?

If your like me you have had a roller coaster relationship with your sibling.  I am 3 1/2 years older than my brothers.  He was never in school with me and when he was in high school I was married (young) and we weren’t real close. When I was in high school he was always that pesty brother who was in the way with friends and boyfriends. Ha Ha Ha! My brother was really different then me too.  He struggled in school and everything came easy for me.  He was the wild child and I was the typical first child who did everything she was suppose to.

Over the years as we both have our own families and lost our mother we have grown closer, not caring about the differences, caring that we are family and that is the most important.  We have had our tiffs – actually more between things my husband has done, but, we all grow and it isn’t worth holding any grudges.

I am sure many of you were challenged with divorces in your family and then parents remarrying.  How did this affect your relationships with your siblings?  I know that each one of us have our stories……what is yours?  Share in the comments and give a tribute to your siblings today.

The picture above is me and my brother.  We had our first vacation together since we were kids still at home. It was actually a lot of fun and we didn’t kill each other.

HAPPY SIBLING DAY!

 

 

 

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Creating with Chalk Markers

I have been able to learn a new medium while being part of my grand daughters growth and part of the photos.  I have be assigned the responsibility of creating her monthly boards that are included with her monthly photos.  I started out using dry chalk markers and just this week purchased a set of chalk markers by VersaMarker with a finer tip.  I have to tell you – I LOVED them!  The color is richer when they dry and I was able to get more detail.  You should try this.

I have been so thankful that my daughter has wanted me to be such a part of their lives as our first grand-baby arrived. I remember I was so thankful for my mother and she was a big part of my daughter’s life.  All I can hope is that my grandchildren want me to be around and allow me to teach them fun things.

Here are a few of the boards! It was fun to change with the holidays and seasons. The top three are with the dry chalk markers and the bottom two photos are with the liquid chalk markers. Love Love Love

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Regenerated – REQUIRED

Two weeks in paradise every February is what this girl needs.  Sun, water, no alarms, a6398B78D-C8AC-4CBD-AD02-7887E2F12619nd no planning! Just time for my brain to rest and explore shapes, color and nature.

Now it’s studio and design time, which there is never enough, between my granddaughter and family requests my life is pretty busy.  I thought I would have so much time after retiring.  Little did I know that my daughter would loose her job and need mom more than ever. How do I balance everything?  I have so much that I want to do on my blog and designing, But, I can’t resist getting on the floor with Ava. She is growing so fast. Yesterday was her 6 month birthday. REALLY!

So…..visit my Facebook page and Etsy page in the next few weeks to see new items.   Hopefully, after I have completed listing items in my new Amazon Handmade page I can start doing some tutorials for watercolor as many of you have been asking for.

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DESIGN, DESIGN, DESIGN

Things have slowed down from Christmas orders and Valentine’s Day.  I have gotten tired of the snow in Michigan so I am spending a few weeks in the wonderful southwest Florida sun. Now is my time to design and to bring fresh, and new items to you. You will see more items with embroidery as well as designs for those Cricut and hot press users. All new items will be featured here on our blog and in our product page then you will be available to purchase here and on Etsy.

We are also excited to announce that we will be selling on Amazon Handmade with all of our embroidered and heat press items.  Watch for our announcement that we are up and running. We will focus on a lot of personalizing and custom designs initially. Send us good vibes! Hoping this out sells Etsy.

So here is my question to you……..What would you like to see in my shop? Do you want to see more designs that you can purchase; do you want to see more baby gifts, or more embroidered gifts in general?  Help me out here ok?  Can wait to get your feedback.

 

 

 

 

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The Little Joys

This week was a bit challenging as my daughter was reorged out of her position after 12 years at a large international corporation. For the second time this year the company has eliminated hundreds of jobs in the name of reorganization while their job postings continue to increase.  Hiring new lower paying employees you ask?  What do you think?  I have owned a number of manufacturing companies and watched the equity firms come in, buy up thriving companies, only to close them because they aren’t profitable “enough” for their stockholders.

But, then I hold my granddaughter and think “SO WHAT!” We all have our health and families close to us.  My husband and I came out better on the other side of our diversities and my daughter and her husband will too.  She will get to spend some valuable time with her sweet little girl and research what she wants to do with this next stage of her adult life.

What diversities have you gone through? Have you had change in careers?  I think we all have a couple times.  Where our parents often worked for a company for 30-40 years, now our kids are being told to expect 4-6 job changes in their life time.  Thinking about everything with the half full mentality…..lives sure don’t get boring do they!

So……this week I am holding my little Ava a little closer and giving more hugs to my daughter……you do the same.

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Color Theory and Design

Color theory is used to emit a feeling or create a mood.  It might be in a painting, a room, a flower arrangement, you name it. Here are the main color theories:

Complementary – Colors used that are across from each other on the color wheel

Analogous –  Colors used that are next to each other on the color wheel

Monochromatic – Use of one color and all of its light and dark shades.

And there are many more. But these are the ones that I primarily stick with. So, which color theme did I use on my bandanna design? If you guessed analogous you are CORRECT!  I sort of threw in the mint green too. However, I primarily used purple, pink, and red, colors that are next to each other in the wheel. An analogous theme offers a feeling of serenity and calming.  The colors work well together because they all have elements of the same primary color, with this design it was red.

Color theory is really a lot of fun to play with when painting, coloring or even when you are decorating a room in  your home. I pulled up the image from this great website if you would like to study further.

Now to continue on with the designing and placement of the elements in the LOVE bandanna. There are six fundamental principles of design. They are:

  1. Balance
  2. Proximity
  3. Alignment
  4. Repetition
  5. Contrast
  6. Space. 

As with color, design principles can be touched on the surface one element at a time or go into great depths of each element. I first remember learning balance when I was learning to decorate cakes with my mom many eons ago. The instructor drilled into us how pleasing a triangular design was to the eye and utilizing an odd number of elements (or flowers as it was for decorating) would be a big help to any young designer. As I found later in college, triangular flow of elements with odd number of objects or focal points WAS a good rule of thumb.

So…..let’s go back to the bandanna.  What do you see?  The large heart and Love is the focal point of the design. That gives us TWO elements.  Then we count the hearts around the edges and we have FOUR more elements…..HMMMMMMM well I was a bad designer on this one wasn’t I.  I have 4+2=6; an equal number of elements. So where would you put another little candy heart to make this design more appealing?

I hope you have learned something about color and design with this article.  Keep learning and growing-no matter your age!

To continue more detailed understanding of design visit V6 designing

 

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Hearts, Kisses, and Candy Wishes

The studio is full of Valentine’s day fabric and designs with hearts and candy.  I love the colors of red, white, pink and pastels, and at the same time spreading the love. Don’t you? I have created two little designs for those Cricut and Silhouette users.  I placed them on bandannas for my grand daughter. But they can also be made for your pets or even placed on clothing for your little ones – heck even for yourself to wear!

The great thing about designing these is that my years of art classes get used and I can remind my 80 year old dad that my money and time from classes is really being used. Can you guess which color theory and design key I used for the bandanna in the picture?  How about you leave your thoughts in the comment section below and come back tomorrow and I will tell you.  LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!