Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting Things Done

This week has been busy, busy, busy. I finished preparing my hand dyed fabrics for the Trinity Valley Quilt Show and just have cards and patterns left to prepare. I also need to prepare kits for the Painted Cheesecloth and Sunflower Art Quilt workshop I am teaching to the DAFA members on September 17th. But I think this will wait until closer to the workshop so I know exactly how many to prepare.

I have taken time for myself this week with a wonderful massage and mani/pedi on Tuesday. Then I did a little shopping. Since my birthday is tomorrow, I decided that it was time to take some time off and pamper myself a bit.

This morning I received a wonderful email about one of my pieces of fabric being included in a Treasury on Etsy. Here is the link to Style Study #26 Mediterranean. It is a beautiful, relaxing collection. I'm honored to have one of my pieces included!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Reorganizing my "To Do List"

I am truly thankful for all God has put before me - the challenges and the rewards. I am thankful that He has given me my faith, my family, and the talent and drive to create beautiful (and sometimes not so beautiful) artwork. Today was a wonderful morning at church and I have been able to make time this afternoon to catch up on group discussions, Etsy discussions, business development emails and watch a few movies in the process. For those of you who know me and are getting to know me, you know that if I could multi-task in my sleep, I would. I just have a hard time “not” multi-tasking. Even with the perpetual habit of multi-tasking, I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. Trying to accomplish so much in what seems so little time. I started to give you my “To Do List”, but I decided you could already relate and didn’t need (or want) to be burdened by my overwhelming need to do so much.

I will share with you that I have read and been involved in some wonderful discussions lately. I am a member of TAFA, the Textile and Fiber Art List. There are a number of us linked on LinkedIn and Rachel led us into a discussion this week on how we price our products. Great discussion on how we set our pricing and being careful not to under-price our products, and/or ourselves, and how hard this is sometimes. The timing was apropos because I had just received the weekly email from Etsy Success about using Product Worksheets to help with the pricing of product. I have already priced my products and do a lot research when I’m in the process and calculating my wholesale and retail prices. However, this discussion and online support from Etsy has me reevaluating my process and double checking my pricing. Reading and networking with the other artists involved with TAFA and Etsy is wonderful support and I appreciate both groups tremendously.

Honestly, networking with the groups I am involved with online seems to fall to the bottom of the list sometimes because I put more time and effort into producing product. However, as of today, I have decided to spend more time networking and I realize that as I do, it will help me with my production process. When we get so busy with our lives and the “To Do List”, it is easy to let our priorities become misaligned. So my friends, I encourage you to evaluate your “To Do List” and see where you are out of balance and how making sure your faith, family, community and work on in the proper order. Oh, and don’t forget, we have to get some exercise too.

Are you interested in TAFA? Here are the great links to the different venues TAFA has available!

TAFA - the Textile and Fiber Art List
TAFA Market
TAFA on Facebook

Happy creating everyone!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hail Damage Repairs = A Creative Process

Today starts the first of the major hail damage repairs being made. After this morning we will no longer look out onto our English Garden through broken glass. Saturday and Sunday, the old roof will be ripped off and the new one put on. Then we will schedule the gutters to be replaced. This entire process reminds me of quilting. We rip fabric, dye it, cut it up and create something new and beautiful. We rip out stitches to replace them with better ones. I think I could go on and on, but I think you get my drift.

Hmmmmm, today I’m ripping fabric so I can dye it! I ordered new dyes this week and still have plenty on hand, so the dyeing process will happen this weekend when my buddy, Kathy Mayhew, comes over to enjoy my air conditioned Dye Studio. With this Texas heat, you have to have an air conditioned garage to dye in, otherwise you would have to dye during the night time hours. We have been reaching temps of 110°, today is suppose to be 108° and we are suppose to get down to a cool 102° this weekend. I definitely think we will break the record of the continuous days running of 100°+ temps of 1980.

Kathy and I will have a booth at the Trinity Valley Quilt Guild Quilt Show (September 30, 2011 – October 2, 2011), so we are working hard to have a beautiful variety of Kathy’s surface design fabric and my hand dyed fabric. We will also have some completed art work and hand dyed notions. Saturday Kathy is going to continue creating her one of a kind surface design fabrics and I am going to work on creating fabrics for fat quarter bundles. I wasn’t sure about dyeing fabric for this type of product, but after I did these three bundles, I decided it was a good idea, they are darling and I think quilters will really go for them.

What do you think?

Don’t forget about the Hot Sale in my Etsy and ArtFire shops! 25% off! Beat the heat and stay inside and create!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beat the Summer Heat, Be Creative!

Will this heat ever stop? Not anytime soon, according to the weather people. Texas is headed to break the record from 1980 of the most consecutive days with temps at or above 100°. I remember the summer of 1980 very well. I was attending college in the Texas Hill Country, taking summer school, walking to classes and the cafeteria in the heat; it was not the best summer of my life (for several reasons). This summer, I’m lucky; I get to stay in the air conditioned house and I don’t have to leave, unless I want to and when I do, it is early in the day. Yesterday, my car thermostat read 103° and it was only 11am and today it is suppose to be back up to 110°. What’s a person to do? Well, I’ll tell you! BE CREATIVE!

To encourage all of you to stay inside and do something creative, I am running a HOT Sale on my ArtFire and Etsy shops. 25% off everything! Just use the code HOT2011 at check out, on either (or both) shops! Now, since it is hot outside, please remember to drink plenty of water before you shop, hydration is the key to successful shopping!

Stay cool and be creative!