Do you have colors gathering dust?

Hi friends! When I did my live painting class Friday of a seascape I brought out some colors that I don’t typically use and I enjoyed the freshness of adding those unique hues to my palette. One color I thought I hated but I had a tube of it because it came in a set: Naples Yellow but it was the perfect shade for the beach as well as adding some subtle luminosity to my waves. I started to think of all of the other colors I had turned my nose up at. Do I have treasures collecting dust in a drawer waiting to be unleashed on paper? Then one of my regulars to the live stream who always has tons of valuable info to add Dr Rich Boden (a genuine scientist!) challenged me to make a painting using 3-6 colors that I rarely use. I thought it was a heck of an idea and here are my forgotten favorites:

paintchallenge

My colors are:

  • Winsor & Newton Opera
  • DaVinci Vermillion
  • Winsor & Newton Aureolin
  • MaimeriBlu Hookers Green
  • Mission Gold Peacock Blue
  • M Graham Van Dyke Brown

You can read more about his challenge here. Now, his challenge has rules and I’m gonna try but I’m not big on rules and art so I was supposed to tag someone but I can’t pick favorites so I decided to challenge ALL OF YOU who want to play along! I think that it would be easiest to hop on the Frugalcrafter Facebook page and post on this thread either a link to your video or blog post (so you can get a little love on your site) this will also serve friends who don’t have a blog or YouTube because they can easily post photos of their palette and finished paintings right there in the comments. I want to make it so anyone can play along with or without a website. Let’s have fun and encourage each other! So according to Rich’s rules I have 24 hours to create a 30 minute or less painting. There might be a spontaneous live show sometime in the next 24 hours just to give you a heads up:)

Speaking of paint, I recorded this vlog about lightfastness a few months ago. Good thing because I have been slacking off big time this weekend so otherwise there would not be a video! BTW there might be a couple of days with no posts this week as I am putting the finishing touches on my class for Wanderlust 2016 and that is this weeks priority. I probably could have got that done today but I had some important napping in the sun to do;)

I hope you enjoyed this odd, eclectic blog post and I hope you will dust off those unloved tubes of paint (and it does not need to be watercolor) and give them some love. If you are posting on social media use the hashtag #paintFFchal and people can search it (don’t ask me how it works, I’m clueless, it’s not my circus, I’m just the monkey LOL!) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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What makes me happy?

Hi friends! I just received the most awesome photo from a school teacher in California. As an after testing treat she let her students paint using the glass bottle tutorial from a couple of weeks ago. I have to say that Ms. Gulledge and the kids at Avocado Elementary School did a fantastic job! Wouldn’t you agree?

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I love that she used art as a treat! Growing up in a small town we did not have a school art teacher, it was part of the job of our homeroom teachers to provide art class. Honestly, there was something nice about that because they would let us have a certain freedom with supplies because they were not caught up in the “right way” to do art. Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful that my kids have an art teacher in school but wouldn’t it be lovely if any teacher could say, “Great job kids! We have some extra time, let’s dig out the cray-pas!” Rewarding kids with art-making is so beneficial and empowering and I hope more teachers and parents give it a try!

Since Happiness is the theme of tonight’s post, and I get asked everyday how I stay so happy and positive all the time, I thought I would share a vlog on the subject.

Video!

Disclaimer: Please note that my opinions come from my experiences and from what I know to be true. I am not perfect, I am lazy sometimes and I am not always happy but this is what I have found keeps me positive and accountable. Also, I am not a therapist nor would I ever suggest that watching a 4 minute (or any length) video on you tube to be substitute for seeking professional help if you are feeling truly depressed or mentally unwell. I received a bit of anger and criticism from a couple viewers on YouTube from this vlog and I want to make it clear that I am NOT trying to dole out psychiatric advise, rather I am trying to inspire you to make the best of your day using  a method that works for me: being grateful for what I have and taking responsibility for the choices I make. Polite discussion is welcome in the comments:) For all of you who have the day off Monday (Memorial Day in the US and many bank holidays elsewhere in the world) have a great one, be safe and til next time happy crafting!

The Elephant in the Room…

Hi Friends! When I recorded this vlog the other day I had no idea that so many people felt the same way I have lately about our “stuff”. The word hoarding has negative connotations but when you are a crafter and artist you selectively build a stash of supplies so you will have options when it comes time to work…but if our stash overwhelms us to the point we are too stressed out to work or our supplies become too precious to use it is a problem. Our tools can become our trappings. Let’s chat about that in today’s video.

Video!

If you are feeling overwhelmed you are in good company, just check out the comments left on the YouTube page of this video.  I actually rent a year-round booth to sell my work in so it doesn’t pile up in the studio, since I do a video a day and often extra practice pieces you can imagine the pile-up of projects. Sometime I look at a stack of supplies in multiples and think “If I didn’t teach classes I would not need all of this” but I like teaching and even if I don’t get to teach in person as much as I would like because of my schedule I am not ready to let it go.

I like having the options of a full stash, I never have to run to the store for a bottle of glue or spend $100 on craft supplies for my kid’s school project at the last-minute. On the other hand I have to be honest, I was just going through my oil paints because the drawer I had them in was too heavy and I had a lot of huge 200ml tubes of paint from when I used to teach oil painting…then I found my travel oil painting box with more huge tubes of paint. I also had oils that people had de-stashed to me. To make matters worse some varnish or linseed oil leaked in the drawer it was stored in so the labels looked yucky but since I knew the paint was perfectly fine I could not toss them. But then I was kinda happy because I was like, hey, I can just use these, make a huge painting and have fun with them since they are not prefect looking and precious. They will not go in the museum of pristine art supplies, so let’s have fun!

Luckily I have the shop to put my creations in, online sales won’t work for me, I can’t be surrounded by all of the finished art AND the supplies or it would suffocate me. It’s how I cope with so much stuff that I really do like and enjoy. This is where hoarding art supplies is different from hording other things I think. At creatives we see potential in everything and it is tempting to stock up on new supplies because we are not buying supplies we are investing in our creative future. But if we have so much stuff that the task of making art is daunting you probably have too much. You deserve to enjoy the things you bought. Creating should be a positive experience and if you find yourself with feelings of overwhelm, stress or guilt when you go to create it’s time to take action for your own sake.

I can’t tell you how much stuff is OK, we are all different. My sister only keeps supplies for current projects and only buys what she needs and gives away leftovers (usually yo me 🙂 when she is done, I love having lots of supplies at my fingertips but even I can feel oppressed if I have too much (this usually happens when I have supplies arriving for a class and other freelance projects entering my studio all at once.) Supplies are meant to be used, you deserve to enjoy the supplies you have collected but if you don’t want them or feel guilty about having them because you don’t like them anymore let them go to a school, church or senior center so they can be enjoyed. We don’t know how long we have so we might as well use up that pretty gold paint and gorgeous scrapbook paper!

I want to give you all a big hug, if you have read this far you have probably experienced some of these distressing feelings of craft supply overwhelm. You are not alone in this.  Ironically I have no trouble getting rid of other things like clothes and nick-knacks elsewhere I my home so I know I don’t have a hoarding problem. If you do feel like you have no control over your hording or feel obsessive about your supplies you might need help from a professional therapist. I care about you and creating should be a source of joy and positivity in your live and you deserve that:) Let’s continue the chat in the comments below. Til next time happy crafting!

Art Marketing After the Holidays {art marketing vlog}

Hi friends! For many of us tomorrow is the first day back to work or school after the holiday break. It can be tempting to take some more time off while business is slow but I don’t recommend it. You can use this time for professional development  such as: learn a new type of art, take a business class or begin a large project. This is the time of year I plan summer classes and workshops and undertake large freelance projects. I also like to use my slow time to build my content inventory reserve by filming extra videos and writing extra blog articles that I can publish quickly if things get hectic. That is what I am talking about in today’s Art Marketing vlog! *I filmed this in October by the way… 😀

Video!

This video is sponsored by Rich Mom Business, they have a free handmade training course that can help you design a product line that will sell. Now is the time to be designing products for spring and summer fairs and festivals. Remember that thing I said about “professional development”…

So, you might be wondering how making videos or writing blog articles will really help your bottom line when people are not spending much on art and craft items this time of year. Well, this is where YOU give back to your customers. It is nice to sell a painting or necklace but that should not be the only reason you want people coming to your website. Give people a reason to stop by even if they are not looking to buy. You should be giving value WAY more than asking for a sale. People won’t come to your blog just to be sold to. You want people coming to your blog and pining your posts to Pinterest and sharing them in Facebook because those back links are powerful. Search engines see that, and rank websites based on the amount of traffic and high quality websites linking back to them. You will not get this to happen without offering valuable content to your audience.

What do I write about?

  1. Share your process.
  2. Show photos of your studio or where you create.
  3. Explain why you choose certain paints, beads, paper etc. This could be a weekly series called “My Favorites”
  4. Show them how to make your art. You may think it will cost sales but it will really make them respect you more and make customer realize all the work that goes into your craft.
  5. Haul video: Show people the supplies you bought for your projects and why you chose those particular pieces.
  6. Storage ideas as pertains to your work.
  7. Review a product you just tried.
  8. Collaborate with other artists who may share similar customers (consider crafters who compliment your work instead of competing with it, like a framer and a painter)
  9. Share artwork done by students (if you teach) it will encourage your readers to give it a try, and if you do workshops you may get a boost in enrollment.
  10. Share “behind the scenes” anecdotes, I always looked up to designers in magazines before I started getting published, I thought it was so weird how I had to have Christmas projects done in May to meet the printing deadlines. What quirky stories could you share?
  11. Show how you photograph your art or film your videos.
  12. Write about the difference in quality of the supplies available for your craft.
  13. Share pics from trade shows or craft fairs you attend or snap reference photos to share with your viewers.
  14. Try a different craft and see how you do, if it’s not a success it will be good for a laugh LOL!

There are 2 types of content you should be thinking about writing:

Evergreen: These are not seasonal and can publish any time of year.

Seasonal: These are holiday projects that should run 2 weeks before a holiday or within a certain time frame. Also you can make content inspired by a current trend or cultural phenomenon like I did with my Katniss Wrap free crochet pattern when the second hunger Games Movie came out. When the Great Gatsby movie came out there were lots of jewelry project published on that theme. Did you notice any YouTubers making DIY Star Wars projects lately? There were.

Make sure you post the seasonal content leading up to the events they are tied too and the evergreen content can publish any old time you need something new on your blog. I typically blog daily but if you are new try once or twice a week. You can even write up posts when you have the time and schedule them so you can space them out. You don’t want to post 9 articles in one day and then nothing for 2 months. You want a steady stream of traffic so that when you have something new to sell people will still be looking. The art marketing game is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no “overnight success” and the best way to succeed is to keep showing up!

Hey, if anything else it will force you to be creative everyday instead of binge watching Netflix in your free time.

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PS, another quick tip is to share photos! I was working on a deadline tonight and snapped a quick pic of my desk to share on instagram and I can recycle it here too! I am working on an upcoming class, this opportunity came to me because an editor saw one of my videos (do you see what I am getting at here?)and if I hadn’t posted that particular video I would not have gotten this project. Don’t be afraid to share your crafty knowledge because you think people will not buy your work if they know how you did it, it s the opposite, it builds a connection and opens the doors to so many more opportunities! Ant that is what I call Happy crafting!

Ask a Crafter LIVE!

Hi friends! if you follow me on Facebook or subscribe to my YouTube channel you may have caught the live Q&A session on YouTube today, if not, here is the replay!

I think I will plan on doing a live Ask a Crafter every 2 weeks. We may have weeks where Kathy and Lorraine can be live in my craftroom with me but if not they can join me via google hangouts. I know not everyone will like this new format but it is the only way I can continue to do Ask a Crafter with my (and my busy guests) schedules. I also wanted to interact with the people watching so I took the questions live from the viewers in the YouTube chat box and because I was not hampered with long upload times (one of the reasons I had to shorten the Ask a Crafter show last year) we could go until we ran out of questions. The chat moved really fast and we might have missed one (We are not perfect) but we did out best and had a great time. People have commented so many times that they like to listen to Ask a Crafter when crafting or doing chores and I think this format is good for that. I hope you enjoy the friendly crafty chat! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Slow Internet + Sick Kid = No Project Tonight {So you get a haul video!}

Hi friends! I’ve got nothing for you tonight, a project I should have knocked out in an hour took all day and the internet (which I pay though the nose for) is incredibly slow tonight (both uploading and downloading so I am not sure what’s up, even if I did know I wouldn’t because I don’t really understand the magical airwaves that carry the bits and bites from my house to yours) so I’ll share this haul video I filmed on a more productive day last week.

woywwhaul

Video!

Not too shabby eh, you keen viewers can probably tell I filmed that before the tulip and painting party videos. Sorry for being so nonlinear and out of context but that is how I am feeling this week…nonlinear and out of context. I have a lot to get done this week, I am kinda stressing so if I am not super quick to answer facebook and youtube comments that will be why. Just catching up on work before the kids have spring break. I really want to be caught up so I can chill out with the kids on their vacation next week. Bear with me if I am flakier than usual:) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

It’s time for the Three Craft-a-teers! (Ask a Crafter)

Hi friends! A YouTube viewer call us that yesterday and I thought it was so cute! I had Lorraine and Kathy over yesterday to shoot a couple episodes before Lorraine went south for the winter. I can’t blame her, I have been super annoyed lately and it seems to be temperature related, I have had such a hard time getting motivated to walk the dog or even go downstairs to my studio (did I mention is was 48 degrees down there this weekend…oh yes, I’ve whined about it every day…) Matter of Fact I have been toying with throwing my treadmill out and putting a nice art desk in my office so I could create in the warmth but I am not sure about being away from my supplies. First world problems right? I have no right to complain, I have supplies, I have a space of my own, so what if it is a little chilly. Maybe I am just getting old, I still have not warmed up from working down there today, I even still have my stocking hat on! I offered to let the girls film this weeks Ask a Crafter upstairs but knowing how much you all like the ambiance of the craft room we shot downstairs, and actually, I think all of our hot air warmed the place up! LOL! Sit back with the toasty warm beverage of your choice and enjoy this weeks Ask a Crafter:

I think I am ready for a nice hot cup of tea. If you have a question for an upcoming show or you want to offer some advise or add to something we talked about be sure and leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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