The 4 P’s of Marketing {your crafts!}

Hi friends! Tomorrow is the fist day of June and I have already been seeing calls for vendors at local sidewalk festivals, farmer’s markets and community fairs hitting my Facebook wall. If you are considering selling your art work or crafts soon check out tonight’s video where I tell you about the 4 P’s of Marketing!

Video!

All it takes is one of these elements to be off to lose sales. So let’s take a closer look at them:

Product: This is your beautiful artwork. Whether it is a painting, a necklace, cards or purses this is the thing you make. You need to take a good hard look at an item you want to sell and ask yourself “Would anyone want to buy this?” and “Who would want this?” You need to keep that person in mind. Sometimes what you make for yourself because you love it will be different from what you would make to sell, for instance, I love bright colors and bold patterns so that is what I make to keep but what I make to sell will be more on trend and conservative because most people do not dress like me and they might even think that purple, orange and turquoise clash, hard to believe I know.

Price: How much you will charge for an item. Generally it is figured by the cost of raw materials plus overhead (labor and overhead like a % of studio rent and utilities, packaging etc.) plus a profit margin. You are probably thinking “Hey, I am the labor, why do I need a profit on top of that?” Because there may come a time when you need to hire help to fill or package orders and you will need to account for that expense as well. You also need to temper this price by what the market will bear and what other artisans are charging for a similar product so the price you can charge in a ritzy city will be different that what you can get in the country but it is a starting point anyway.

Place: This is where you are selling your goods. Don’t expect to get Upscale prices if you are selling your jewelry at a yard sale (Top tip from RichMomBusiness.com BTW!) Your items need to be sold where the customers will value them. Fun and funky costume jewelry will go well at casual festival while more upscale pieces will sell better in a gallery setting. I have a rented booth in an antiques mall that works great for selling my cards, earrings and watercolors as they make great add-on purchases for items customers buy from other vendors. You might also decide that your local economy is not diverse enough to find enough people who want to buy your wares and selling online might be a better bet for you. BTW, RichMomBusiness has a free ETSY Webinar coming up if you wanted to check it out.

Promotion: This one I save for last but it is equally as important because what is the point of making all the beautiful things to sell if nobody sees them? When you are picking a place see if there is any promotion included. Is the festival advertised? If you are selling in an online multi vendor marketplace does it have built-in traffic? if you are making your own website from scratch how are you going to get people to see it? Now it is so easy to get the word out via social media and ask your friends to share it too expanding your network because it only takes a second to hit the share button. Maybe you will post some flyers on community bulletin boards or offer a coupon for a free trinket to shoppers ahead of time. Don’t skimp here, this is probably the hardest, out of the comfort zone, “P” of them all but it has to be done if your business will be a success.

Now I ask YOU, have you ever tried selling your work? How did the “Ps” fit in. Can you identify any parts of your marketing plan that were off? If you want to make money selling your work I advise that you jump in and try. You will learn more from your failures than your successes so if you compare the cost of a bad craft fair vs. the cost of a business class it was a sweet deal on education! You learn by doing, these tips I share are to get you started so hopefully you can learn from my experience and grow faster. Good luck!

I want to take a moment and thank Renae Christine from RichMomBusiness.com for sponsoring my YouTube videos during the month of May. This gal knows her stuff especially about selling handmade items online. You can check out her FREE 3 handmade training video series here and tell her “Hi!” from me. She can teach you way more about online sales than I ever can and her tips even help me with my brick and mortar sales. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Don’t squeeze the pen so hard Lindsay!

Hi friends! I am feeling like a big doofus tonight because, as you will see in tonight’s video I am seriously clueless as to how to use a Wink of Stella pen. I just got my first real one this week and I loved how sparkly it was but at my rate of consumption I was going to use it up in a week! Apparently after you get it going for the first time you do not need to squeeze it (although I am pretty sure it says push or squeeze on the side of the barrel and I did by golly!) So, if you get one of these don’t squeeze it so much LOL! Many YouTube viewers said their pen lasted over a year and you can add water to it after round one is used up. Also don’t toss it because it is a really nice water brush when you are done too! Tonight I am going to use a very underutilized tool in my studio, embossing folders, with watercolor pens to create a couple colorful cards!

Video!

Supplies:
Embossing folders
Watercolor Markers (I used Kuretake/Zigs but you can also use Distress, Spectrum Aqua, Tombows, or even Crayola!)
Watercolor Paper or Bristol Board
Waterbrush
Bender pen
Spray bottle of water
Wink of stella pen in clear

Try this technique with the embossing folders and watercolor markers you have (or pick up some at Hallmark Scrapbook, it helps support my blog) and til next time happy crafting!

Polaroid Winner and There is still room to get into my watercolor techniques class!

Hi friends! Happy Friday! It just occurred to me that next week at this time I will be relaxing after teaching 2 classes at the Heirloom Stamp Show…more on that later, first I need to announce the winner of the Polaroid Zip Printer (drum roll….) Melissa Clodfelter! Yay! Please follow he instructions in the email I sent you so we can ship out your prize!

OK, stamp show housekeeping! I still have some room in my Watercolor Techniques for stampers class June 5th from 10am-12noon. In this class you will make 4 cards and learn how to expertly color a stamped image!

Of course I have goodies for you! You will get to keep the small reusable plastic palette and the paint that is in it (watercolor goes a long way so you should leave with enough to complete more projects at home) AND thanks to my friends over at Royal Brush you will take home a beautiful brush that will give you years of painting enjoyment. Plus the 4 lovely cards you will make. Not bad for the super low price at $35! You can register online here.

This is what we will be making:

DCF 1.0

Meet Up Announcement!!!! I will be at the Lost Coast Designs Booth at 1pm during the convention Saturday and Sunday if you want to meet me (and you can’t even begin to imagine how foolish I feel typing this, I mean, do I sound like a diva or what?)

But wait there’s more! Kathy and Lorraine will be there too! (BTW Kathy and Lorraine, if you are reading this would you mind coming over to the LCD booth at 1pm next weekend?) I’m like 99% sure they will show up.

I filmed a video the other day when I was packing to go teach at the show. If you have ever wondered what that is like have a look:

Thanks to Creative Options for the cool tote and for sponsoring that video!

If you had your heart set on taking the Using Watercolors to Stamp class you might be able to get a spot, there were only 2 spots left early this week when I called but it is worth a try. That class goes from 12:30-2pm and Students will make 3 cards and get the palette and brush as well! Love the free swag! If interested call Heirloom at 541-574-8000 to check availability, who knows, someone may have cancelled.

I plan on reporting from the show, I ordered a smart phone (who am I? It is a crazy upside down world!) so I can post photos and video. I plan to be most active on Twitter and Instagram so follow me if you want some behind the scenes and also pics of stamp show goodness! I also want to try shooting video with my new Android phone for you tube. Those are my intentions anyway. Wish me luck:) That’s all for tonight! I’m off to watch the kids play ball. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

A Thoughtful Gift for Dad!

Hi friends! I heard recently that the best thing you can give someone is time. What better way to make Father’s Day more special than giving dad back some time by doing one of his chores. This is a thoughtful gift for a child to make and they will also learn to appreciate all the things dad does for them after tackling one of his chores (and what kids doesn’t like to wash a car?)

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I also like that the tags can be used as bookmarks too. You could even give a book to go along with it, there is some good “dad humor” in Jim Gaffigan’s book Food-A Love Story but if you have any other suggestions leave them in the comments. My hubby was laughing out loud at Food so I read it too and it was super funny and clean so no worries if your kids pick it up:)

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Watch the video to see how easy and affordable these IOU chore coupons are to make using supplies from Papermart!

Video!

Supplies:
Kraft tags
Kraft Jewelry Boxes (I used 5 1/8″x6 1/8″)
Washi Tape
Baker’s Twine
Pattern Paper (I used a 6″x6″ paper pad by Teresa Collins)
Dies: (Darice, Spellbinders)
Glue Sticks and Wet glue
Stamp (IOU ticket from Inkadinkado)
Ink
Cream card stock
Small office hole punch

Directions:
1. Cut shapes out of kraft tags and adhere tag over patterned paper. Die cut or punch complimentary shapes from paper scraps.

2. Stamp IOU ticket with brown ink on cream cardstock and cut out. Adhere to tag with washi tape. Add extra die cuts with wet glue.

3. Re-punch hole in tag and add bakers twine.

4. Write what the “coupon” tag is good for (such as a car wash, raking the yard, sweeping the driveway etc.) on the ticket and package in a kraft jewelry box that you can decorate with paper and tie with string.

Think of other ways YOU can adapt this idea to your needs, maybe make a set of bookmarks to give someone with a gift card to a local bookstore or a booklet of “free babysitting” coupons for a friend or sister. What you are giving someone is time to do something they enjoy and time, like all the best things in life, is free and priceless. Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Has it been THAT long? A watercolor tutorial!

Hi friends! I have been doing a lot of painting for a freelance project that I am working on so I did not realize how long it had been since I posted a watercolor painting tutorial! My apologies 🙂 Please accept this humble tutorial (viewer requested) of a stargazer lily (you can find the reference photo  by Tracee Murphy here) for your painting enjoyment.

Video!

The watercolor pencils I sketched with can be found here. You can use any brand you like but the Primas are a good value for the quality. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and til next time happy crafting!

Sometimes you just need to relax and color!

Hi friends! We never get too old to color. I think that is why stamping is so popular, we get to be a kid again but this time we get better art supplies (unless you are my kids who get to use all of my stuff LOL!) It was funny, my children (10-year-old twin girls and 12-year-old son) have been on a color by number kick and commandeered my Spectrum Noir pencils to color the intricate designs. They know how to treat nice supplies and so I let them 🙂 I like to see art supplies being used. Don’t let them be too precious that you never use them! I was having a rough time painting day the other day and I realized it was because I was really trying to come up with a nice watercolor tutorial for you guys that I was forcing the process, nothing was working and finally I gave up and decided to color this image: bouseblog I did not attempt to narrate it, I did turn on my video camera in case (despite all other efforts that day) in came out OK and it was really happy with it. The image tool about 17 minutes to color and the card took 4 minutes to make. I sped it up for the video, hope you don’t mind. Video! Supplies:

  • Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens
  • Tombow Blender
  • Archival Ink in Black
  • Fully Content House Mouse Stamp from Stampendous
  • White colored pencil
  • Tile or plate for scribbling markers on
  • Watercolor paper
  • Cardstock and pattern paper
  • Seam Binding/ribbon
  • Bow Making Jig: My hubby makes these out of beautiful hardwoods, if you want to order one you can email me at artstudiosofbangor@yahoo.com with “Bow making Jig order” in the subject line. They are $20 plus shipping (USA Priority mail $6, First Class Canada $10, Everywhere else $15) Let me know where you want it sent so I can apply the correct shipping.

You can use whatever watercolor markers you have for this technique. You can substitute watercolor paper for cardstock but it does not always blend as nicely, I’d test on a scrap of you cardstock first so you don’t waste it. Above linked products are from Hallmark Scrapbook, I am an affiliate there and if you click a link and make a purchase I receive a small portion of the sale.  Oh! They also have all of their We R Memory keepers Punch Boards on sale for 50% off, $9.99 each! And I was thinking of this because I need to make a custom envelope for this card and I could not believe they were all so cheap! I love the envelope punch board because you can make boxes and bows with it too. I am thinking about grabbing the flower punch board while it is on sale, what do you think? Have any of you used it? I like to use flowers on projects and it looks fun! So, the next time you are feeling stressed do a little coloring! I have a new real-time watercolor tutorial filmed and it will be up in a few days, I guess I just needed to chill a bit before that would happen. 😀 Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Blue Ribbon Day!

Hi Friends! I hope you had a great memorial day. Ours was quiet and relaxing and included a quick trip to the pond for a swim. I thought for sure it would be packed but we were the only ones there, then again there was ice in the water a couple of weeks ago LOL! Let me add, the kids swam, I sat on the beach and read. I’m sure many of you had large family get togethers today that might have involved lawn games or other friendly competitions. Wouldn’t it be fun to give the winner (especially if it was a kid) a blue ribbon? Today I’ll show you how easy it is to make one using ribbon from our sponsor Offray.

Video!

Supplies:
2 1/4″ Double Faced Satin in Royal Blue
1/2″ Maggie Ribbon in Sapphire
Cardboard or matboard
Cardstock
Glue Dots
Hot Glue or Carpet Tape
Rhinestones
Glitter
Pin back finding
Lighter or Fray Check (to finish ends)
Circle dies (optional)
Scissors
1/4″ double stick tape or clear glue

Directions:
1. Glue cardstock to lightweight cardboard (like a cereal box) and cut out circles the size you want the center of your award to be. Cut an extra for the back. OR you can cut the circles from colored matboard. I used circle dies for this.

2. Cut 9″ pieces of both ribbons at an angle for the tails.

3. Use glue or double-sided tape to make a #1 on the cardboard circle in the front and sprinkle with glitter. Let dry if using glue.

4. Using hot glue adhere the end of the wide blue ribbon to the back of the circle. Keep adding glue and pleating the ribbon as you press the edge in the glue. Continue until you have gone around the circle.

5. Glue on ribbon tails. Add finishing circle to the back and glue on a pin back.

Make a blue ribbon for yourself while you’re at it because you’re #1 in my book! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

A Beginner Oil Painting Tutorial: Roses

Hi friends! Today I am going to share a quick oil painting tutorial with you!

rosefinal

I was having a rough painting day, nothing was turning out right and I hated to trash the watercolor board I was working on so I collaged some book pages on, sealed it with mod-podge then stenciled and smeared it with acrylic paint. Once that was dry it was a perfect surface to use oils on. You can paint oils over acrylics but NOT acrylics over oils. Watch the video to see how I did it and how to fix common mistakes you might make if you are out of practice or using oils for the first time:

Video!

I hope you found that helpful. Let me know if you want to see more oil tutorials because I do enjoy working with them. I will go back to the drawing board with the watercolors I was attempting so don’t worry watercolor fans. I think I was having such a hard time because it had been a while since I had a watercolor tutorials so I was pushing myself to create SOMETHING and that pressure just crippled my creativity. I think it happens to us all. It is hard for creativity to thrive under pressure. I have found when that happens to just cut my losses and try something new, AKA oils. How do you overcome a creative block? Let me know in the comments! Have a safe and happy Memorial Day and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Divided Page Protectors and Shaker pockets WITHOUT a Fuse tool!

Hi Friends! Did you see the nifty looking Fuse tool from We R Memory Keepers that debuted at CHA this year? It is a hot tool that allowed you to make shaker pockets or divided page protectors (like for Project Life type projects) out of ordinary page protectors. I liked the ideas of making divided page protectors for stamp storage since I keep all my unmounted stamps in binders and divided page protectors cost 10 times more than the standard ones. However what would I be saving if I dropped $30 on another tool? So I thought of other similar tools I owned and after chatting with Kathy we determined that I should test out my Creative Hot Marks tool (basically a pretty wood burner by Walnut Hallow) to see if it would do the same thing. I was excited to use that tool again because it was all the rage a few years ago but I have not touched it in quite a while. I am happy to report that it does a great job! In today’s video I will show you how! BTW, don’t worry if you do not have this exact tool because I will suggest some other things that will work!

Video!

So you might be thinking, oh great, now we need to drop $20 on THIS Creative Hot Marks (Wal-Mart seems to have the best price if you are interested at $19.97 but it is on sale at Joann.com for $22 as well) but you probably have something at home that will work just as well. After posting the video on YouTube many viewers chimed in with their DIY success stories (mind you I have not tried these myself so take care when experimenting and use any heat tool with caution especially if you have kids and pets and ALWAYS unplug it after use!)

More ideas that may work!

  • Hot glue gun (with no glue in it)
  • Food Saver
  • Soldering Iron (preferably a low wattage one or one with an adjustable dial)
  • Small iron
  • Stencil Cutter
  • Regular wood burning tool

Make sure you have a heatproof surface. A glass mat or silicone mat is ideal, you might even want a silicone mat on a glass mat just to be sure you don’t burn or warp anything underneath. If you have tried this (great minds think alike!) already and have another device that will work please let me know in the comments. If you like this tip I would love it if you shared it with your friends on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or ANY of your social media places. It really helps me grow and I appreciate it so much! Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Win a Pocket Printer! Polaroid Zip Printer Review & Giveaway!!!

Hi Friends! I have a fun post for you today! Last week I was contacted by Polaroid and they asked me if I would like to review their new portable mini printer that prints 2″x3″ photos from your smartphone or tablet. I was a bit worried that I would not be able to figure out how to use it but it was actually very easy. I borrowed my hubby’s smartphone, downloaded the app and was printing in minutes! I had such a ball with this so I asked Polaroid if I could give a printer away on my blog and they said “sure!” You can read more about this printer here, I’d like to know what you like most about this printer and why you would like to win it, leave your answer in the comments and I will pick one lucky reader to win a printer next Friday. This is one of those products that I didn’t know I wanted until I used it. I think this would be such a fun graduation gift for a kid to take off to college since it is small and works with any smartphone. Also, it does not take ink, you just replace the paper like the Polaroid cameras from the “olden” days. See how much fun I am having with and learn how to use it in today’s video!

Video! (PS, I apologies for my giddiness, I was having too much fun with this!)

My Review/Things to consider before buying/Pros & cons:

  • The printer costs about $130 and each print will run you about 50 cents. A 50 pack of paper is $25 (30 pack is $15 and so on) but there is no ink to by because it is in the paper, or the printer is magic, who knows…
  • I think this is a great way to break the disconnect between taking photos with your phone and getting physical print because people seem to have a hard time getting photos off their phones. I also think this would be fun to take to parties because you can share an actual photo with someone and it’s a sticker! Very cool!
  • Cost: It is a $130 investment and you can only print 2″x3″ photos which will cost 50 cents a piece. The quality is better than a photo booth or my old instant Polaroid camera but not as good as a photo lab photo (then again, that could be the fault of my phone) It looks better than the Instax prints I have seen though but again, that is only MY opinion.
  • This won’t replace the need of a large home printer (it is not designed to) but it is a great on the go device. It was not something I thought I wanted but after having it a few days I am in love with it!

I am looking forward to bringing this with me to the stamp show in a couple of weeks, I think it will be fun to scrapbook those memories because we always have such a fun time:) Good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway, be sure to check out the Poloroid ZIP Printer product page on Amazon and then come back and let me know what you like best about it and how you would use it. Oh and if you have any trouble using it just hand it to one of your kids or grandchildren and they will have it printing pics in 30 seconds flat, heck if I can figure it out anyone can LOL! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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