Archive for the ‘Candied Fabrics’ Category

New Business Cards!

My new business cards are in – and I LOVE them! PSPrint is the company I used this time. They are

  • Pretty inexpensive ($38 for 250 with full color both sides including shipping) with no download fees
  • I chose the slowest shipping option, they upgraded me to a faster one
  • PSPrint often has sales (one of the reasons they were so cheap),
  • Closely compare to MOO quality, (not QUITE as thick) but the price made the difference for me (I do like that you can have lots of different photos on the back of MOO cards, but the cost really was much higher)

Here’s a quick photo:

The file’s I sent them are pictured here

Thanks again to all the folks who chimed in with their 2 cents – I really love these, and you all helped!

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Well, I had to scurry and take advantage of 60% off business card prices at PSPrint that expires on Monday. A couple of weeks ago I got some EXCELLENT advice from 18 kind readers…thank you all again!

Most of us (me included) like the informality of Saginaw better, so  I decided to go with that. I did change the kerning around the letter i to make the name more legible, as well as other small tweaks to size and spacing. I’ve also decided to make them 2-sided!

PsPrint business card back outlines


Then, when I need more business cards, I can make them feel new by putting a different image on one side, but not have to fuss with the other side (that’s the hope anyway, I’m such a tweaker that I’ll probably do it anyway!And since I was in the swing of things, I also designed a vinyl banner to hang at the top of my EZ-Up for shows, this thing is going to be 8’ wide by 1’ tall:

Candied Fabrics 8' Banner Outlines

And another sign to cover the front of my stand I use to store packaging and have customers write checks on, about 2’ wide by 4’ tall. Only TODAY did I discover live trace and use it to trace 2 of my birdies from a picture of one of my art quilts…holey MOLEY, what I’ve been missing! All those lollipop flowers I drew by hand in Illustrator, who knew there was an easier way…NOT ME! Oh well, I know now!

Candied Fabrics 22 by 41 Sign OUTLINES

The cheapest place I’ve found to print banners is Empire Banners, I’ll let you know if they’re any good!

I’m really liking these! And I REALLY like that they’re DONE! Phew!

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Balancing it all

First of all, thanks for all  the AMAZINGLY positive comments on my photography efforts of the other day. I’m pretty sure I answered each one individually, but please know that I am so happy that the pictures look great to you all, and that the palette idea works the way I want it to! I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that by the time I’m done with a photo, I no longer know if it looks good, and external validation is needed! So, thank you! I feel validated! 😉

And then…look what I woke up to yesterday!


Yup, my houses were featured on Design Hole! How exciting! Not only is it fun and head swelling to have some other blogger feature you, it also is marketing, something which is…work! I’ve explained to my husband how I actually HAVE to spend time reading & commenting on blogs…it’s market research and development – I’m clever, aren’t I 😉 What started as fun entertainment has now turned into part of my career as an artist! Any old who, this Design Hole mention kicked me in the pants with a reminder of my main point of this little business is to be able to financially support my artistic endeavors, and to continue to grow as an artist. So although half of me wants to dye and photograph the other 10 palettes I’m working with right now…I really NEED to make some more of these houses this summer, and let the business of Candied Fabrics take a little back seat action!

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Item Date Due % Done
Floral quArt 3/20/2009 100%
30 Tie Dye shirts etc…for Elixer 3/20/2009 100%
Design Clutch – Will Tuba 3/26/09 100%
10 Notelets 4/24/09 20%
5 Warm Colors Grab & Go 4/24/09 0%
5 Warm Colors Clutch 4/24/09 0%
30 Going Green Totes 4/24/09 30%
5 Cool Colors Clutch 4/24/09 0%
Cool Colors quArt 4/24/09 0%
Crazy Colors Bags 4/24/09 0%
5 Cool Colors messengers 4/24/09 15%
Candied Fabrics Quilt 4/25/09 0%
Medium tote for Nicholle’s sister 5/30/09 0%
Laptop bag for Liz 5/31/09 0%

Slowly but surely, but dear Lord, I’ve been sneezing all day and I’ve got that sore throat creeping up in the back of my nose…AAAHHH!!!! no time to be sick!

And because no post is complete without a picture – here’s the 1st piece of art I ever sold…Just under 2 years ago at my 1st art show. It’s a “construction” of several of my little pieces of quArt (see larger description of quArt here).

quArt construction LH

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I’ve now done ~ 10 local art/craft fairs, some juried, some not. I’ve learned a lot from other folk in the blog-o-sphere (this list of craft fair advice from The Small Object is awesome, also comments on this Pink Chalk Studio post), but I wanted to share some things I’ve learned:

  1. Have a sign or something that tells people who you are. On my list of things to do is to make a 2-3 foot square quilt that has my business name 7 tag line on it. until then, I’ve got some 8.5 x 11 signs printed on glossy photopaper.
  2. Tote bags look better hanging than sitting. You may even want to stuff them with something so they have lots of shape.
  3. I am LIVING the “I’m not going to have enough to sell!” So you only do the best that you can. Every time I have a show, I keep meaning to make some smaller items like simple wallets, etc…and I never get to them, because the profit I would make is so small. I’d rather make one more bag than 10 mini wallets, and the profit would be about the same.
  4. Assembly line – make 4 or 5 of something at once. It truly does cut down on the time/item – but freaks you out because none are done until they’re all done.
  5. If you make stuff that can be worn, get a dummy/dress form to drape your items on.
  6. I’m sure you’ve read lots of general advice about this sort of thing, things like wearing comfortable shoes, bringing plenty to eat/drink & duct tape etc… All of that is helpful, but the most helpful advice of all is that you have to engage the customer. You have to figure out when to just say hi and when to schmooze, but interacting with the customer makes all the difference.
  7. Take the time to write or stamp your business name across a bunch of your sales slips. I ALWAYS flake out on writing all that I want to write on the sales slips – you want to be as quick as possible at the time of sale so that you don’t make the customer wait, plus you want to sell to someone else.
  8. Keep your money in an apron or a bag that you keep around your neck – you never want to worry about where that has gone to.
  9. Have a pad setup to add people to your mailing list.
  10. Have a space for people to write checks that is separate from where you’re merchandise is. The last picture in this post shows the stand my husband built for this purpose (it’s like a tall, skinny bookcase. I keep plastic baskets with bags and other stuff I need to sell on the shelves accessible on the back. Plus my diet coke.) This is a new addition and I love it – before that people would scoot some notetakers out of the way to write, and I ended up with a notetaker with a pen mark across it – ouch!
  11. Have some special order slips made up so you can quickly write those up – if you’d like to do that.
  12. Bring some red sticky dots in case someone buys something but doesn’t want to take it just yet – then you can make it sold but keep displaying it…I’ve gotten a few special orders this way.
  13. Don’t hold something for someone unless they give you the money.
  14. Be prepared with an answer when someone asks for a quantity discount. Um, have two, the nice one and the forceful one when they don’t like your 1st answer.
  15. Lighting! The cheap clip on lights in my booth are a godsend – you can get them for like 5$/each at your local big box store.
  16. Have fun and rake in the dough!

show 002 show 001

show 003

I hope this advice helps someone!

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Selling Art

Tonight I sold a piece of art I was still attached to:

Home Cabot Trail (37)

Home Cabot Trail (40)

Yup, I sold “Home is Where the Art is: #3, Cabot Trail”. A friend of mine is going to give it to some friends of hers for their wedding present. I’m happy that she wanted to buy this, and I’m sure her friends will appreciate it…but oh, it was harder than I thought to let it go! I’m hoping that it’s because it was so new…I made it in January, but it spent 6 weeks in a gallery, so I haven’t been able to spend much time with it! I’ll have to make another something with this color palette – soon!

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So, I’ve got some shows coming up. The 1st is 6 weeks away, so I need to focus. Part of me is really inspired to make a lot of art right now, the pragmatic part of me knows I’ve got to make things that will sell, so I could possibly be in the black (supply wise) before summer. The economy being what it is, I’m going to focus on smaller things. I’m also tiring a bit on the making of my bags, so they’re going to be later in the cue, and if I don’t get to them, then I don’t. So, here’s a list of what I want to accomplish:

Item Date Due % Done
Floral quArt 3/20/2009 0%
30 Tie Dye shirts etc…for Elixer 3/20/2009 10%
Design Clutch – Will Tuba 3/26/09 0%
10 Notelets 4/24/09 10%
5 Warm Colors Grab & Go 4/24/09 0%
5 Warm Colors Clutch 4/24/09 0%
30 Going Green Totes 4/24/09 30%
5 Cool Colors Clutch 4/24/09 0%
Cool Colors quArt 4/24/09 0%
Crazy Colors Bags 4/24/09 0%
5 Cool Colors messengers 4/24/09 15%
Candied Fabrics Quilt 4/25/09 0%
Laptop bag for Liz 5/31/09 0%

So, yeah, I’ve got a lot to do. Fortunately, the week before the April show is my break between spring semester and May term classes, so if I keep on task with my school stuff, I should have a nice chunk of time to get a bunch of stuff done!

And, because no post is complete without a picture, I keep fussing with the color field quilts:

color field cont

The colors on this aren’t smack on, but I’m too tired to fuss with it. My hubby thought the upper right green square was too dull, and I agree. He also thought the narrow bands in the center needed more texture, and i disagreed ;-). I’m still trying to decide what I’d like to do in the center of the one that will hang on the right. I had the plum color up on my working wall for a week and was liking it, but now I’m backing loving an orange stripe. Oh well, with that list up above, these 2 will be on my wall for awhile to come!

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Opinions needed

So, I’ve just listed 3 messenger bags in my etsy shop. All my previous listings I’ve had one item/listing. This time I show all 3 messenger bags in one listing, with a front view picture of each individual bag and then using a single collage to illustrate all the details of the bags like this:

Messenger bag detail collage

Messenger bag detail collage

Rather than show all these details of each particular bag in it’s own listing. It sure makes the process easier, but I’m worried it may take away the unique aspect of each of my bags – what do you think?

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I’ve got one more holiday show to do, this weekend at the local YMCA.

1st, I had to make more Grab n’ Gos – my last one from the previous batch was lonely!


"Baubles & Birds: no. 5-10"


Then, I finally had time to crank out a bunch of lower price point items: different sized shopping bags. I bought the blanks from Dharma Trading, then hand dyed them a single color, with some nice scrunchy texture. I then embellished them with a single piece of hand dyed fabric and a free motion quilted simple sketch of something nature-like. Each one didn’t take me long to do – I’m hoping they’ll go over well…what do you think?

Going Green Gorilla Tote 16" x 14" x 8"  with reinforced handles - holds a HUGE amount of stuff!

Going Green Gorilla Tote 16" x 14" x 8" with reinforced handles - holds a HUGE amount of stuff!

Going Green Pockets Tote 13" x 21/2" x 81/2"  with single handle and 2 patch pockets on outside back

Going Green Pockets Tote 13" x 21/2" x 81/2" with single handle and 2 patch pockets on outside back

Going Green Market Bag 13" x 12" x 31/2"  with dual handles

Going Green Market Bag 13" x 12" x 31/2" with dual handles

Going Green Lunch Bag  7" x 10" x 4" with strap and velcro closure

Going Green Lunch Bag 7" x 10" x 4" with strap and velcro closure

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Are People Buying?

Yes, Virginia, they are….but, in my vast experience 😉 selling my work (a total of 7 shows now, the 1st one in Spring of 2007), they are buying smaller, less expensive items. The show I did on Sunday was the 2nd I’ve done since the doom & gloom economy forecasts of this Fall. In both cases, I was busy busy busy, talking to folk and writing up sales – but monetarily I did only marginally better than i did at these shows last year. So I look on these shows as successes – more people are enjoying my work, stopping to talk and buying things. It’s just that they’re buying less expensive items. I expected that this was going to be the case, so I found a less expensive silk blank so I could offer a scarf under the $20 price point. It turns out that I love this weight & type of silk, so I’m glad I went looking forward, it’s definitely going to remain in my repertoire as the economy improves (and it WILL improve!!!)

Show us pictures! Well, I’ve got a couple, but I had to do this setup without my husband who was away on business, so this is all I’ve got:





As you can see, it takes place in a beautiful house (pictured on the invite in this post). Although I felt cramped, and had to take little nooks outside the room I was actually in, I still managed to use more space than some of the other folk in the show. And I just now realize I didn’t get a good picture of my little Grab ‘n Gos:


Thanks goodness I blogged about them the other day, because 4 out of 5 of them got up and went!

I didn’t sell a single larger bag, which is a first for me, but these little guys were really popular! I’ve combined my birds with my baubles and am calling them “Baubles & Birds” when they work together.

Guess which one didn’t sell???!!!

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