Archive for the ‘Selling’ Category

I’m a little distracted this week…I’m trying to get ready for my other big show of the season:

AFC 09 Email Invite But I’m also putting the final touches on the new website with the help of my fantastic web designer, Tara (a.k.a. Scoutie Girl)! 

Here’s hoping all goes well and it launches next week soon, (no jinxing here!) I’ve got a fantastic giveaway planned! WooHoo!

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Hello all! I spent a large part of the weekend taking & editing photographs. I’m doing less shows this Fall, and hope to make up the difference with sales from my etsy shop – fingers crossed! Actually, as we all know, fingers crossed for etsy sales doesn’t work…we have to get out there and promote. Of course, the 1st step in promotion is getting the stuff in the shop, so I’m working on that 1st!

I listed all the baby outfits that didn’t sell last weekend (20 in all), then had a little fun making this collage of all the motifs:

Freshly-Picked-Collage Yes Virginia, Candy IS a quilter!

I then listed my new journals in the shop as well, I love these in situ shots:



I’m trying to get “back in the saddle”, but it’s been a difficult transition week back to balancing the day job, the kids, etc… With that, I’m off, I’ve got an exam to grade!

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Hello There! I’ve missed you all and I’ve got plenty of blogs to catch up on! I thought I’d review how my show went, both FYI as well as FMM (for my memory!). The show opens with a 7-10 PM reception on Friday night, then 10-5 on Saturday and 11:30-5 on Sunday. They do a wonderful job of providing 2 electrical outlets to each of the 60 booth spaces, so I was able to use all 8 of my cheap-o clip-on lights, 4 of which are the trumpet top bulbs I talk about here. My 10x 10 had plenty of light, and lots of artists came by to ask about the lights, they were so bright and the colors so true!

My problem (as always) with the setup is that I always have too much stuff I want to show. This was especially true at this show as I had neighbors just to each side of me, and the walkway wasn’t very wide, so I couldn’t ooze into any space outside the tent. Here’s how it looked Friday night:

I had a huge panic attach because I sold less than half of what I had done the year before that 1st night. There were lots of crowds walking by, but not many buyers, and I wasn’t sure whether it was the economy or my booth setup. Considering some of the folks I talked to had done pretty well, I was convinced it was me, so we changed the setup the next morning so there was more room for folk to enter the booth. Hands down the most awesome thing was this scarf stand built by hubby. Each arm has little indentations for 5 scarves to drop across the top. I’ve divided my colors into 4 season, so each arm held all the same weight (5mm habotai or 19 mm charmeuse) of a particular season. I have a stack of plastic bins with extras of all the colors (because I dyed 200 in the past 6 weeks!)…this made it so easy to show all the options.

I moved my stand that holds all the misc. packaging and hanging stuff to the back, and this seemed to make it easier for folks to come in, but it still was a tight fit with more than 4 people.

One thing I’m happy with, I now have some video of me doing the free motion quilting, I was able to show folks who asked exactly how I do what I do, most often impressing them with the fact that i do my stitching without any pre-drawn lines. I’ve got this little freebie DVD player I was able to plug in and leave running throughout the show.

Sales picked up on Saturday & Sunday: I ended up selling 55 scarves, 8 each of the baby outfits and going green totes, a couple of Scribblers, a messenger bag and a medium tote. I may also get a couple of commissions for bags in weeks to come…

So why do I feel so dejected?

  1. I sold less than last year.
  2. 3 people asked if my Branch & Bird series were coasters.

I see-saw back and forth between making things that are practical/beautiful and things that are made just for the joy of it. Many MANY people commented on how I’d come up with new things, and how clever I was. I take it as a compliment, because to me, each thing I make allows me to hone my artistic vision and improve my craft. BUT, I don’t want to fall into the trap of becoming a “Jack of all trades, master of none”.

Both the Branch & Bird series and the Botanical Sketches series were made for 2 purposes:

  1. I had this need to make them and see them hung up in groups on a little clothesline and
  2. These could be affordable art – something small that someone who got my art could purchase without a huge investment. 

I only connected with 2 people who felt the latter during the 3 days of the show.

My earliest venture into the world of art selling was with my quArt, which also involved multiple pieces that people could combine at re-shuffle on a whim. Although I’ve sold a decent amount of the quArt mounted pieces (20-30 I’d guess), over half of them were single pieces. My husband feels that I should be making larger combinations, mounting them in some way and selling them as larger, complete installations, which of course defeats the goal of the small, affordable art.

If you’re still reading this, I’d love your point of view. Obviously this is going to continue to be a struggle for me…

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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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Well, I’m just about back to normal. All the laundry is done, the house is (relatively) clean, and I finally got all my journals listed on Etsy! Even though I had taken nice shots of the front & back of each notebook with my fancy new lighting setup, I still had to take shots of the insides, as well as these cool (at least I think they’re cool) “still life” photos: Warm-Mini-Doodle-Tan-Spine5

Cool-Mini-Doodle-Chartreuse-Spine5 Warm-Scribbler-Brown-Spine-5 Cool-Scribbler-Chartreuse-Spine-5 Warm-Planner-Tan-Spine-5 Cool-Planner-Gray-Spine-5

I also listed the 5 convertible clutches I made awhile back:


Now, with the bags, I’ve been listing them as a group, with a labeled photo to indicate the name of each item, and then when I sell one, I just change the text in the listing to indicate which are still for sale. Although I could have done that for the journals (all the warm color mini doodles in one listing, all the cool planners in another, etc…), I’m still not sure which way makes the one-of-a-kind, unique-and-not-to-be-repeated-ness of what I do more apparent. I know I’d love your opinion, dear blog reader!

Ultimately, I’m designing my own website so I can have more control over how things look when they’re for sale, and hopefully more closely illustrate my process to a prospective buyer, but I’ll probably always have an Etsy shop as well, populated with just some of what I do.

Anyway, speaking of the website, I’m going to work a little on that today, then take a look at my July list and see if I can get anything done on it!

Rest assured, you’ll be seeing Yellowstone pictures off & on for weeks!

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Idaho Report!

We had a great visit with family in Sandpoint, Id.


My Stepsister Pam lives there, with her awesome hubby Tommy, and her cutie-patootie son Max! Looking through my pix for this post, I realize I don’t have a picture of my Mom & Stepdad, who also were visiting Sandpoint! Oh, well!

I had a little trunk show, that a bunch of her friends who work at the Coldwater Creek main office came to. Believe it or not, all this stuff fit in 1 and a half Rubbermaid totes!

DSC_0002 blog

Showing off my journals for the 1st time:DSC_0007 blog 

Pam & Me!


Me and the boys – Logan needs to learn to stand still for a picture!

DSC_00113 blog

Of course, I forgot to take pix during the event, but a lot of fun was had by all!

Liam spent each day fishing with my husband in the nearby streams. Logan, Max & I got a short visit to the beach at Lake Pend Oreille.

Tommy & Max (Hold your horses ladies, he’s happily married to my stepsister!)DSC_0142 blog

Logan having fun:

DSC_0092 blog 

Max is NOT so sure about the beach!

DSC_0013 blog

We then got to visit with even more family, we spent the evening with Andrew’s sister & brother-in-law in Missoula, where I finally have normal speed internet.

But NOW…it’s off to Yellowstone, land of NO INTERNET! Wish me luck! AAAHHH – 8 days without blogging, reading blogs, twittering…whatever will I do???

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Updating the shop

So, I’ve done a shop update adding the notetakers and going green totes I made in the past month. This took – oh…most of a day. Seriously. I’m a bit bummed about this because I do NOT add the time I spend on stuff like this into my prices. I probably should…and I worry about if this will effect my sales. Sigh… I DID however, find a great site that (if you use Firefox) fixes a lot of Etsy’s annoying little quirks, most especially, giving you the power to copy a listing so you can base a new listing on one you’ve already set-up. Etsy Hack God bless this man!

This is one of the reasons I’m looking to build a website this summer. Which of course just blows my mind when I think about how much that will take.

So, mark me down as having a frustrating day, and enjoy the pretty picture:

Going Green

Which was created by a sweet freeware program called Photoscape. I’ve got a VERY old version of Adobe photoshop elements, and can’t bear the thought of upgrading – it seems to have so many different functions that I kind of get lost. This program does some neat things very simply, and added a little joy to this dismal day!

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to say HI! I Miss you blog-o-sphere! There are 340 unread posts in Google Reader as we speak!

We had a crazy busy weekend, what with 2 whole days in the park, a birthday party for Logan on Friday afternoon, then family bday celebration with him Sunday night. I’ve officially decreed next weekend as Mother’s Day! Poof! I will have breakfast in bed next Saturday!

Until then, I’m in the throes of teaching – the 3rd of 4 weeks. I had format/edit the Redlands Art Association newsletter this evening, and there’s concerts to attend this week as well! AAAHHH!

Show report:

This year was much better than last year. My sales are still mostly small stuff – scarves and Going Green bags. I did sell one piece of actual art:

6  little birds

Sigh, my favorite little birds piece. LOVE that red! Must make more…soon…

Here’s some pix of my booth setup – although I was happy with it at the time, looking at it now, as well as with some input from dear hubby, I see it didn’t do a god job of drawing people in. We’re going to get more gridwall before the next show (not til next Fall, thank goodness) and try to do away with the tables…

Art in the Park S 09 007

  Art in the Park S 09 013

Art in the Park S 09 014  Art in the Park S 09 008

The best part of this show is that I was surrounded by friends and acquaintances – and that makes all the difference! As I begin my 3rd year of doing business as an artist, I realize how much I’ve grown as a member of this community, as well as an artist! – Worth it’s weight in gold!

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My friend Linda was one of the folks who, when she saw my Grab n’Go bags:,Grab n Go 0091000 held it at her hip and said “I want it to go over my shoulder like this!” So when she saw my new convertible clutches, she quickly snapped up 2, one for a family member who had recently had an achievement worth celebrating, and one for herself! I was able to quickly quilt the name of this lucky family member right onto the flap.

happy customer 002But then she thought of someone ELSE who needed one…and then someone ELSE who needed one: happy customer 003 I customized them all (but didn’t get close-ups) and sent her on her way.

When someone loves my  bags, they really love them. I’m moving towards a new model of producing these, where they are all commission based. I need to get organized so I can quickly explain colors, motifs, options etc…but I think this is where I want to go with the bag making. I’ll make one when I’ve got a customer who really loves the bags, and customize a bag specifically for that person.

Ultimately, I’d like to be in a world where this is happening with my art quilts…but for now, baby steps, we’ll go this route with my Everyday Art!

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