Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Community of crafters

Connecting online and off.  

I have been reading the Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin and in a move a bit unlike my usual self, I have actually taken her advice. The importance of connecting with a community of online crafters has really struck a chord and so I have been dutifully checking out blogs left, right and centre.

In my research so far, I have been inspired, educated and wooed. I have been inspired by the lovely ladies at A Beautiful Mess, who I was aware through Mollie Makes, but didn't really GET until now. Elsie and Emma present things beautifully and it's easy to get drawn into their world. They now even have a blogging course which is very tempting to subscribe to.

I have learnt that that one image, that looks so seductive and simple, is the result of MANY photos. I don't think that blogging is easy anymore, but more like any art form that beguiles the onlookers with deceptive ease.

Kari Chapin stressed the importance of getting involved in online conversations, adding something useful and offering advice and support where needed.  I never would have dreamed of leaving comments on a blog before, but now I know how nice it is to get feedback and how actually it can make your day feel a little brighter and hold a little more hope.

She also suggested getting involved with craft swaps which sounds like fun and there seem to be daily and monthly challenges to get involved in that would be a nice way of getting to know other crafters.

Some days though my biggest challenge is finding time for a shower and so I'm not too desperate to give myself extra work. However I would love to know how you get involved! Do you have to drop some heavy hints?

I like to support other crafters and have recently purchased a great necklace from a lady on Facebook that is designed for teething babies. You can choose your colour combination or pick one from her regularly updated page. I bought a very simple wooden beaded one that Tabitha loves to play with and I am happy for her to put in her mouth. It's a great product and you can find her by searching for Fiddlebeads.

My other great purchase was a custom made tutu for Tabitha that I commissioned after falling in love with everything on Each Peach's stall at the Outlaw Craft Fare. Izzy from Each Peach creates fabulous tutus straight from a fairies dream and you can find her on Facebook and Etsy.

It feels good to buy things that are made with love and passion instead of mass produced and they seem more special because they have a bit of a story to them.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting to know more of my fellow blogging, tweeting, instagramming craftsers. Please don't be shy to say hello. I'd love to meet you. X

Friday, 25 April 2014

Art on Etsy

So I managed to take some photos of my artwork in the last bit of afternoon sun in between entertaining my baby. I have read plenty of blogs from Folksy and Etsy on the importance of photographs and so it made me giggle a bit to end up frantically trying to stage my cards with random bits that happened to be lying around.

The toy sheep and other cuddly toys got swept out of the way to give me a fairly clear space. I used my crystals as props, which actually was quite appropriate as I used to have crystals around me while I painted. I'm quite into crystal energy and have even had an article published in Prediction magazine about crystals and their healing qualities.

A bit more time and I probably could have done a better job, but hey, at least some of my work is out there!

Now I'm looking forward to getting on with my handmade cards while Darren entertains the baby!

Please take a look at my art on Etsy

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

How to work with a ten month old baby

Well this is tricky! When she is awake she is crawling straight for the cracked glass on the front of my woodburner that is desperately in need of replacing or about to get licked to death by my springer spaniel. When she falls asleep she is on me and so I am a little bit limited as to what I can do. But hey! Thank goodness  for my iPad!

This is my usual work view!

So my beautiful little girl is asleep on me at the moment which gives me the opportunity to blog, update my website, write a to do list, research techniques, buy supplies and maybe watch an episode of the Big Bang Theory or Nashville. After all, it can't all be about work can it!

Now, the to do list:

  1. Take photos of my existing art cards and upload those to my website www.jacquelinewild.com
  2. Add a shop to my websites people can buy them.
  3. Put them up on Etsy.
  4. Carry on with my handmade cards so that I will finally have a bit of stock to play with and promote.
So,  although at the moment I am desperate to do something a bit creative, the sensible part of me keeps insisting that I do something with box of art cards that I have which are currently taking up room in the nursery. About five years ago I had a couple of art exhibitions, thought I would take my work seriously and got 25 cards done of each  of what I thought were my most saleable images. 

This was as much as I could afford to do. And although I sold a few, I was still left with said box which I have looked at remorsefully and without a plan for far too long. The thought of being rejected by gallery after gallery has been enough to keep me from doing anything. Until now. When I want to do something but actually, physically can't move.

But I have my to do list in place now and so as soon as daddy comes home, or if Tabitha is happily entertained in her high chair, or I get up extra specially early (!) then I can be armed and ready for my next session with the boobie snoozer.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Handmade fairy cards

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Here are some card designs that I am working on. Although I am slowly being seduced by Tim Holtz and his distress inks, I have used acrylics as a base because this is the medium I have in the house! 
I simply squeezed a few colours onto a tray and sponged them onto acrylic paper. I like working quickly, especially in the early stages of a project and also because I tend to only get half an hour in the evening when my baby is in bed!

In my spare moments I have been making my own stamps out of the pink block stuff so that I have got a few images that I can quickly apply to build up a picture. It was really important to me to be able to make my own stamps so that I had more control over the image and also more ownership.

People make amazing images using commercial stamps, but somehow for me I don't feel that is enough as I want to be able to sell these.


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Let me introduce myself....

Well, hi, for starters. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog out of the millions out there. I think that is what has put me off starting a blog before, the thought that I would be lost in an ocean of  words and internetery. But no, if you are reading this then that is not the case!

Anyway I want to share with you my love of beautiful things. I have a passion for glitter, colour and positive thinking.

I have painted and made things since I was a little girl. I remember getting little kits to make soft and furry toys with and the pleasure of assembling the different parts. I loved those silver scratchy type pictures (what were they called?) and I will never forget a rose picture made by pinning hundreds of sequins onto lush black velvet.  Sequins are still a big love of mine!

I like to be busy and productive and there is nothing like the buzz of completing a project and other people enjoying your work.

I am currently at the beginning of two very big projects in my life. One is looking after my ten month old baby girl and the other is my handmade card business. I have sold my handmade cards to shops for years, but I want to take the quality up a notch and make something really special that people will want to keep and frame.

I have strong environmental concerns and I am researching recycled products at the moment to make the process as 'light' as possible. After all, a lot of my images are fairy based and I don't want my fairies having a heavy carbon footprint. That would be so wrong.

If anyone can point me in the right direction for good retailers of recycled card or ways of working that are less wasteful then that would be great!