Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
1. Trace your silverware onto the newsprint. This way you know how big to make your designs.
2. Draw and color Halloween themed images within your traced outlines. Simple images work best—ghosts, pumpkins, bats, etc. If you don’t want to draw your own images, try using clip art or stickers.
3. Rip your images out, crumple them up and flatten them back out again. The torn edges and wrinkles will give an old, weathered look.
4. Use your paintbrush to apply varnish directly to the silverware where your image will go. Press your paper image down on the wet varnish and apply one coat of varnish on top. You might have to hold the image with one finger while you apply the first coat so it doesn’t move around. Let this first coat dry until tacky.
5. Apply glitter paint to selected areas of your images, if desired. Let dry.
6. Apply second and third coats of varnish. Let the second coat dry to tacky before applying the third.
Once the third coat is completely dry, you are ready to decorate your garden, potted plants and anywhere else you can find to stick these things!
Feeling ambitious? Create a silverware graveyard! Make all your images headstones, coffins, zombies & ghosts then arrange them together in one area.
As always, I’d love to see photos if anyone tries this project for themselves! Just post links to the photos below…
Monday, September 27, 2010
Tell us a little about yourself… Where you’re from? Art background? Why you started Isette?
I’m from Minnesota, but I’ve been in the Chicagoland area for the last 10 years. My education is actually in Anthropology and Humanities - I’ve loved studying human nature and material culture for as long as I can remember. “Stuff” is fascinating to me - why people keep make, collect, show and dispose of objects like they do. That’s how I ended up a museum curator!
I’ve always had a creative streak as well, and did an art minor in college. I tended towards the more sculptural and functional arts - basketweaving, pottery, bookbinding and jewelry are all things I’ve explored.
Lets get the important facts out of the way first — where can people purchase your items?
Well, on-line you can purchase at my Etsy site - http://isette.etsy.com . I’m also fortunate to have some retail locations - you can check out if there is a shop near you at my website http://isette.com (The website sometimes takes a little bit to load...it’s there, and I’m working on that :) )
You can also find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Isetteshop
and now Twitter! : http://twitter.com/isetteshop
Why the name Isette?
Isette is actually a derivative of my grandmother’s name, Izetta. I’ve always thought the name was unique and beautiful!
Where do you find inspiration?
I draw inspiration from the world around me - and I am fortunate that the world around me includes a 100+ year old museum collection that I'm given free reign over and a typography obsessed graphic designer husband!
What does your creative space look like?
I love my office. Right now it looks like a hurrcane hit it as I’ve been frantically prepping for Renegade Chicago, otherwise I’d send a photo. Functionally, my favorite pieces of furniture are a couple sets of Alex drawers from Ikea. Aesthetically, I have a lovely antique headboard framing my desk. It’s one from my mother-in-law - always one of good taste!
Can you explain the laser cut process for those of us who are not familiar with it?
Lasers can cut a variety of materials, from acrylic to wood, even leather! The laser cuts what I tell it to, like a great big cutting printer. The design process is actually what takes the longest - dreaming up the design, drawing it, cleaning it up in the computer and then plotting the path for the laser to cut. Design is a surprisingly long process for me, which is why the laser is really an important tool for me to produce my work. My designs are better for the amount of time I put in them, but the end product for the user is not exponentially more expensive because of it.
Do you have a favorite piece or design you’ve made since starting Isette?
I’m starting to go bigger than I dared to previously and I love it! I’m just starting to get some of these pieces in the Etsy shop, like the Ornamental necklace (http://www.etsy.com/listing/54085374/ornamental-necklace) and hopefully have them available on-line in October!
How do you advertise or promote your shop?
I’ve been very fortunate that word of mouth has been amazing. I’ve advertised at craftcult and craftopolis as well and have seen good results.
You have a couple other stores on Etsy, tell us a little about those?
Beadoodles is my first business, pretty much started back when I first learned how to make jewelry! It is also where I cut my teeth on Etsy - I started that shop August of 2005. Beadeux was a natural step - I have gotten a lot of great wholesale contacts and found suppliers I love, so I keep it stocked with items that I regularly use and order a lot of. I like to think of it as one of the smallest supply shops on Etsy - that way I can be assured of the quality!
How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t creating for Isette & Beadoodles, or collecting supplies for Beadeux?
Ha! There’s not much time after that with my full time job! I’m lucky to have a supportive husband and a lot of great friends that will take me out when I need a break.
Favorite childhood craft project?
Man, anything with glue. I really wasn’t much for coloring honestly, but glue, paper, and clay were some of my favorites.
What have you found to be the most fun, and the most difficult parts of running a creative business?
I really do love meeting people. So getting out there for shows, like Renegade, is always a fun experience. Also, just seeing something that is in your head come to life is amazing.
Difficult? Well, realizing that you’ve not been able to make anything new for weeks because you are filling orders, doing paperwork, or just plain busy. So I’ve been working hard to regulate my schedule to have set aside periods for “creating” “accounting” and “having dinner with my husband” ;)
And finally, any advice you’d give others wishing to turn their creative talent into a small business?
Realize the difference between a hobby and a business. It is something you like to do, and would do it even if you weren’t getting paid? It’s a hobby, and enjoy it for what it is even if it brings in a little extra money. If you want to start a business, be more critical of your processes. Is it feasible to be making 100 of these? Is your pricing good for wholesale? What if you are a hit, can you sustain it? So it’s a matter of knowing what your goals are!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Tara was recently able to leave her day job to concentrate 100% on her creative business, so hopefully any of you yearning to do the same can learn a bit from her interview below! Want more updates from Tara? Check her out on Twitter @CraftySypria.
Tell us a little about yourself… Where you’re from? Art background?
My name is Tara Fletcher-Gibbs, I live in North Little Rock, Arkansas in a wonderful little neighborhood with my wife Sarah and my two kitties, Leela and Fry. From taking fabric painting classes at Michael’s when I was around 6 years old all the way up to High School and spending 6 out of 7 classes in my senior year in the art department - I would say I’ve always been crafty!
The important stuff — where can people purchase your items?
I currently have four Etsy shops that I sell through frequently - www.Sypria.Etsy.com,www.CleanSypria.Etsy.com, www.GardenOfSypria.Etsy.com, and www.FeltSypria.Etsy.com. Also, if you’re in central Arkansas I have my dryer balls and my more eco-friendly jewelry at The Green Corner Store on Main Street in the Quapaw Quarter.
Now on to the exciting stuff, you were recently able to quit your day job and concentrate 100% on creating and running your own business! How has this affected your creative process, your schedule, and your life in general?
It has been a blessing and a curse all at the same time! I think everyone dreams of being their own boss and escaping the rat race and now that I think I’ve accomplished that - I’ve never worked so hard in my life! I wake up thinking about crafts, I have to force myself to put down the tools and make something to eat even though there is SO much to do and then I have to somehow get to sleep at night with my mind tossing and turning ideas in my head! Though I have the freedom to take a break whenever I want and go to important events on the drop of a hat - you never, ever stop working. I’m going on vacation in about a month for a week in Florida and I have every intention of bringing the laptop and continuing on with business!
Why the name Sypria?
I’ve actually had that moniker for about 13 years now. Whenever I would play any kind of video game or computer name that was the name I chose (I found it in a baby name book and it is of Spanish origin, pronounced - Si-PREE-uh) and thus it just came naturally that I would use the name that everyone knew me by for my businesses.
Where do you find inspiration?
A lot of odd places actually. I love roaming around flea markets and just picking up trinkets and old outdated jewelry and trying to find another purpose for it. I like looking back at pictures of myself and friends when I was younger and try to tap into what I wanted to have when there wasn’t this kind of jewelry out there. I was always “different” when I was a kid and I want to give a voice to the youth of today through the jewelry I make so that they can express their unique selves like I tried to.
What are your favorite materials to work with?