Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

So, it's been a few months since I last posted. I've just been dealing with a lot of stuff. Broke up with my boyfriend, stressed with school... but what a perfect day to get back to posting!

Mother's Day. A day to appreciate all the moms out there. Being a mom is difficult. There are many times you might feel unappreciated. I am not a mom myself but I sure do appreciate my mom. I made my mom a nice brunch today after I got home from church. Show your mom you care.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fun Treasury on Etsy

Looking for some cute new items to buy? Not only can you find something cute to buy, but you can also find some very nice ladies to chat with and get in a few laughs.

Purchase from this BNR treasury:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How To Crochet

I've always wanted to crochet but never had anyone to show me. Luckily, nowadays, there's the thing called the Internet and Google. I tend to Google search everything, more than I should. So, I decided to Google how to crochet. And this is what I found:

Gather Your Supplies

Crochet Hook: I suggest a size H/5.00 mm for beginners. It will be easier for you to use until you get the hang of crocheting. I prefer wooden hooks because they feel smoother, but aluminum work great as well.
Yarn: Pick a bright colored, worsted weight yarn. Worsted weight is the most commonly used yarn for crocheting. You want to choose a brightly colored yarn, instead of a dark color, because it will be easier to see your stitches.
These are the two basic supplies every beginner needs. As you get more practice, you will find use for rulers, longer hooks, and markers. Keep a pair of scissors handy too!

How to Make a Chain

Every crochet project and pattern begins with a foundation chain. You will find that the stitches of a foundation chain look like a row of V's. To make a foundation chain, you need to start by making a slip knot (see video Hook, Yarn, & Slip Knot).
  1. Put your hook through the slip knot, holding the hook in your right hand and the yarn and slip knot in your left hand. Bring the yarn over the hook (you want the yarn to come towards you) from back to front.
  2. Pull the yarn through the slip knot with the hook. This will give you two stitches in your foundation chain.
  3. Repeat until have a chain with 11 stitches. (Practice until you have a smooth, loose chain to work with.
Note: When you make one chain stitch, it is often called "chain one". The abbreviation for chain is ch, for chains it is chs.

How to Single Crochet

The single crochet stitch is the shortest stitch in height. It is also one of the most common stitches you will use in crocheting.
Row 1:
  1. With the last chain still on your hook, insert the hook into the back ridge of the second chain from hook (the ridge is the piece of yarn under the V-shape).
  2. Bring the yarn over the hook, like you did while making the chain, and pull it through the ridge. You will now have two loops on your hook.
  3. Bring the yarn over the hook again, and pull it through the two loops. You have just completed one single crochet.
  4. Insert hook into the next ridge, and yarn over. Pull the yarn through the ridge.
  5. Yarn over again, then pull it through the two loops. You have made another single crochet.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you reach the end of the row. By the end, you should have 10 single crochets (count the Vs to make sure).
Note: The term "yarn over" refers to bringing the yarn over your crochet needle. In patterns, it is often abbreviated to YO. When you are making your first row, make sure you don't let your chain twist--keep it straight.
Row 2:
  1. Before you turn your work to start row 2, you need to chain one. This chain is called a turning chain.
  2. Turn your work around, pulling the row you just completed towards you. The hook will now be at the beginning of the work again.
  3. Insert the hook under the two top loops of the single crochet closest to your hook. Yarn over, and draw the new loop through. You will now have two loops on your hook.
  4. Yarn over again, and draw it through the two loops on your hook. You have now made a single crochet on your second row.
  5. Continue across the row until you reach the end. Count the Vs to make sure you have 10 single crochets.
  6. Make a few more rows for practice, until you feel comfortable to move on.

Half Double Crochet

The half double crochet is taller than the single crochet, but shorter than the double crochet.
Row 1:
  1. Chain 11 stitches (loosely). Yarn over and insert hook into third chain from hook. Yarn over again, and pull yarn through the chain. You will now have 3 loops on your hook.
  2. Yarn over, and pull through all 3 loops on the hook. You have just completed one half double crochet.
  3. Yarn over and insert hook into next chain. Yarn over again, and pull through chain. You should have 3 loops on your hook.
  4. Yarn over, and pull through all 3 loops on hook. You have now made another half double crochet.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you reach the end of the row. By the end, you should have 10 stitches.
Row 2:
  1. Before you turn your work, you need to make a turning chain. Chain 2 and turn your work (the 2 chains will count as the first half double crochet on row 2).
  2. Insert the hook under the two top loops of the half double crochet from the previous row, work a half double crochet.
  3. Half double crochet in each half double crochet across the row, until you reach the end of the row. You should have 10 stitches by the end.
  4. Again, practice by completing a few more rows, until you feel comfortable to move on.
Note: If you are following a pattern, read it carefully. The turning chain won’t always count as the first half double crochet. Always count your stitches to make sure you haven’t dropped or added a stitch.

Double Crochet

The double crochet is another popular stitch, and one of my favorites. It has one more step to it that the half double crochet, so take a while to practice it and get the hang of it.
Row 1:
1. Chain 12 stitches (loosely). Yarn over, and insert hook into fourth chain from the hook. Yarn over again, and pull yarn through the chain. You will now have 3 loops on your hook.
2. Yarn over and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook. There will be 2 loops remaining.
3. Yarn over again, and pull through the remaining 2 loops on the hook. You have now completed your first double crochet.
4. Yarn over and insert hook into next chain. Yarn over again, and pull through chain. You should have 3 loops on your hook.
5. Yarn over, and pull through the first 2 loops on hook.
6. Yarn over again, pulling it through the remaining 2 loops on hook. You have completed another double crochet.
7. Repeat steps 4-6 until you reach the end of the row. By the end, you should have 10 stitches.
Row 2:
  1. Before turning your work, chain 3 as the turning chain. These 3 chains will count as the first double crochet in the new row.
  2. Turn your work. Double crochet into both top loops of the next double crochet from the previous row.
  3. Continue across the row. By the end, you should have 10 double crochets (counting the turning chain).
  4. Repeat the rows until you feel comfortable enough to move on.

Treble Crochet

The treble crochet is the tallest of these four stitches. It is also called triple crochet (you begin the stitch with 3 loops on the hook).
Row 1:
  1. Chain 13 stitches (loosely). Yarn over twice, and insert hook into fifth chain from the hook. Yarn over again, and pull yarn through the chain. You will now have 4 loops on your hook.
  2. Yarn over and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook. There will be 3 loops remaining.
  3. Yarn over again, and pull through the next 2 loops on the hook. There will be 2 loops remaining on the hook.
  4. Yarn over, and pull through the remaining 2 loops on the hook. You have now made your first treble crochet.
  5. Yarn over twice, and insert hook into next chain. Yarn over again, and pull through chain. You should have 4 loops on your hook.
  6. Yarn over, and pull through the first 2 loops on hook.
  7. Yarn over again, pulling it through the next 2 loops on hook.
  8. Yarn over, and pull through the remaining 2 loops on hook. You have completed another double crochet.
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 until you reach the end of the row. By the end, you should have 10 stitches.
Row 2:
  1. Chain 4 (turning chain counts as first treble crochet), and turn your work.
  2. Treble crochet in the next treble crochet from previous row.
  3. Continue across to the end of the row. You should end up with 10 treble crochets.
  4. Complete a few more rows until you feel comfortable with this stitch.

Finish Off

To finish off your project, cut the yarn at the end of your last row. You will want to leave about 4 inches of yarn at the end.
Bring the loose end through the last loop on the hook. Tighten it. This creates a knot, keeping the ends from unraveling. Weave yarn end into stitches.
This is called finish off, fasten off, or end off.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Featured Etsian: Raishelle Laney

I started scrapbooking about 12 years ago, which led to crocheting 10 years ago... At first I just made blankets for my kids and family, but I needed to expand because I was getting bored! So, I started a website, but it didn't do very well, and then I found Etsy! I have 4 daughters that inspire me with their styles, colors, and ideas. I have 1 son that makes it fun to camoflauge stuff, and boy things. My husband works in an underground gold mine, and he is really supportive of my hobbies ( and he gives me great feedback, sometimes reality checks as well haha) He is my best friend and biggest fan. I don't work outside of the home, I just do my Esty stuff, and run around ragged with 5 kids lol. I love making hats, but my new favorite thing is the headbands, they are so much fun! I just ordered a bunch of stuff for Valentine's Day and Easter so I can't wait to get to work making fun accessories! My favorite listing has to be the baby girl hat "There's no place like home, Toto" It's the softest blue, with red sparkly ribbons... I t would make a great photo prop and I am surprised no one has snagged it up yet!
 To see more lovely items visit Comfy Couture

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Featured Etsian: Stephanie

I have always been creative. When I was younger it was dance and painting. Then a health problem came up and I found making jewelry very therapeutic. I will never be able to wear all of the things that my mind creates so I thought I would share my love of color and unique composition.

The inspiration comes from the beads themselves. Some have sat here for monthes and not been touched and all of a sudden they need to be made and thats all there is to it. Today being such a day, saw a bag of glass pearls that I've had forever and suddenly they had a destination. I know it sounds strange but as a creative person I hope you understand. They are the last 5 pieces listed.
When a piece is difficult to put together I know that isnt supposed to be.

Anyway, I spent about 25 yrs working in restaurants from the ground up, now this is my full time occupation (pre-occupation is a better word) I do craft shows in season and here on Etsy.

Necklaces, esp. longer ones for larger size women. Being a large girl myself I had a hard time finding pieces that fit right and didnt look like a choker, thats where the'' voluptuous woman '' section of my shop came from. I worried about offending people but we know we're big, might as well buy what fits.

This piece is currently my favorite
not sure why.

For more beautiful items, visit: Silver Lining Kreation

Monday, January 9, 2012


Infrared Photography taken with Hoya R72 IR filter and Lens used is the Nikkor 17-35mm 2.8

I can never seem  to get enough of looking at photos. Photography is such an interesting field to me. A lot of people think it's so easy to do photography but it's really not. You need to have good colors, good composition, and knowledge of which lenses and cameras are best.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

More About Pricing Art

In order to price your art realistically, you must understand and respect how the art business works and how collectors shop and buy. You must step back and objectively evaluate the significance and quality of your art in relation to all other art. You must also objectively assess your art world accomplishments and determine how they position you in relation to all other artists. These are difficult tasks and not necessarily pleasant, but they're absolutely essential to achieving the goals of making a go of it as an artist and of selling art.
Understanding common mistakes that artists make when setting prices is the first step in this process. Perhaps the most significant error is the tendency to focus too much attention on only that segment of the art world that pertains to you and too little attention on the rest, or even worse, dismissing the rest as irrelevant. If you let this happen, your asking prices may make sense to you and to your inner circle, but make little sense to the overall art community. The more aware you are of the big picture, of what other artists are creating, how it's being priced and marketed, and who's buying what for how much and why, the better prepared you are to price your art sensibly.
Many artists make the mistake of equating dollar values with psychological factors like how emotionally attached they are to their art or how much angst they experience during the creative process. They place special meanings and, therefore, special asking prices on certain pieces of their work that may make sense to them inwardly, but have little or no relation to the selling prices of the rest of their art or to art prices in general. Dealers and collectors see these prices as inconsistent or excessively high.
Avoid this pitfall by keeping any art off the market that you feel exceptionally close to or involved with. Keep it in your own personal collection. Any insights, enlightenments, sufferings, or inner pain you experience while creating art are your own business. Don't bill collectors for it. People in all professions have intense emotional experiences just like you, but you rarely see the prices of milk, plumbing, clothes, or other goods or services fluctuate wildly as a result.
The opposite of placing excessively high prices on works of art with high levels of personal meaning or emotional attachment is placing excessively low prices on works of art that lack those qualities. Experienced collectors who bargain hunt for art love when artists under-price art based on feelings rather than on more objective factors such as those that will be discussed below. Consistency in pricing is a cornerstone of successful selling.
Artists sometimes confuse subjective opinion with objective judgment when comparing the quality of their art to that of other artists. At the same time, they may also ignore outside factors that influence those artists' prices like who they show with, what their reputations are, how long they've been active, or how collectible they are. Once again, unrealistically high asking prices are often the result.
If you think your art is as good as that of Picasso or Matisse, for example, do you price it into the millions of dollars? Of course not. Your art may indeed by as good as that of a well-known or even famous artist who sells for lots of money, but many other factors must also compare favorably before your selling prices can approach those of that artist. Your personal opinion about how good your art is has little to do with that artist's prices or why collectors pay them. If it did, any artist could sell any work of art for any price at any time.
And don't make the mistake of thinking that your art is so unique that nothing else compares to it. All art is unique. Every artist is unique. Uniqueness, however, has never been and never will be the sole criterion for setting prices at any particular level.
Collectors rarely see themselves as having only one choice when selecting art, no matter how "unique" that art happens to be. Not only are they cost-conscious, but they almost always compare work from artist to artist and gallery to gallery before they buy. The more comparing they do, the better they get at collecting, assessing quality, determining fairness in selling prices, and getting the best bangs for their bucks. This is what good collecting is all about and what you're up against when it comes to pricing your art.
So how do you price sensibly and realistically? At the most fundamental level, you must be able to make a fact-based case for what your art is worth. You certainly know how to explain what it means from a personal standpoint, but if a collector asks, can you explain it equally well from a financial standpoint? Convincing people that your art is worth what it's priced and is therefore OK to own is an essential part of completing sales. This is especially true when buyers are on the fence, not familiar with your work, or just starting out as collectors.
In the world of selling, all reputable and established art galleries are fully prepared to explain their asking prices to anyone who asks. This is how the business end works. Dealers know that collectors are concerned about how they spend their money and, as a result, they have plenty of ammunition on hand when the focus of a presentation turns from art to dollars.
The best way to justify your asking prices is to do exactly what the galleries do. Present documentation that you've been selling art consistently for dollar amounts comparable to what you're now charging. The more records you have of recent sales through dealers, galleries and agents or directly to collectors from your studio, the better. These records, of course, should be relevant to the situation at hand. In other words, if you've sold three paintings to your rich uncle for $3000 a piece, but have never sold to a collector for more than $500, quote prices in the hundreds to collectors, not the thousands. You might also think about giving your uncle a price break while you're at it.
When you don't have a record of consistent sales in a particular price range or sales have been erratic and you're not sure how much to charge, setting your prices the way that real estate agents do is one of your better options. They base home prices on "comparables" or what similar houses in the same neighborhoods sell for. In your case, this means basing prices on how much other artists charge who live in your geographical area, work in similar mediums, sell through similar venues, create similar art, and whose accomplishments, experience, and quality of work are comparable to your own.
If you're just starting out and have not sold very much, pricing your work based on time, labor, and cost of materials is often the best way to go. Set yourself a sensible hourly wage, add the cost of materials, and make that your asking price. If materials cost $50 and you take 20 hours to make the art at $15 per hour, then you price it at $350. Don't forget the comparables, though. You still want your final asking prices to be in line with what other artists with similar credentials to yours are charging for their work.
Whenever you set prices by comparison, compare to what sells, not to what doesn't. Supposing your "comparable" artist has a show with prices ranging from $2000-$25,000. Suppose it closes with only pieces in the $2000-4000 range selling. This result tells you that collectors balk at paying anything more than $4000 and can be interpreted as their verdict on the artist's high-end prices. You, consequently, would be advised to price your art from $2000-4000 and forget going much higher.
A similar situation can occur if you compare your prices to those of artists who primarily sell limited edition prints of their work. They price their art to sell their prints, not their originals. The more expensive the originals, the more they tend to elevate the collectibility of the prints in the eyes of collectors and stimulate sales.
Dealers use the expensive cost of the originals not to sell them, but rather to justify the print prices being as high as they are while at the same time, portraying those prices as bargains. "The original costs $100,000, but you can have the signed limited edition for only $600." It's just basic marketing, folks. Selling prints is what this tactic is all about and not selling originals. The prints, meanwhile, have nothing to do with the originals other than being photographic reproductions in one form or another and the idea of equating the two is absurd-- but don't get me started on that one.
No matter how you set your prices, be competitive. As distasteful and capitalistic as this may sound, you're in competition with other artists. Every time a collector buys a piece of art from you, that's one less piece that they're going to buy from someone else. Naturally, you want to maximize the number of pieces that collectors buy from you.
The best way to stay in the hunt is to make sure that you're always charging the same or even a little less than what you determine to be the "going rate" in any given selling circumstance. For example, if you're in a group show or exhibition, enter a piece that's priced competitively with those of the other artists. You don't want to have the most expensive piece in the show; you don't want the first impression that collectors have of your work to be sticker shock. You want it to stand out for art reasons, not money reasons.
Another issue that artists often wrestle with is when to raise prices. The best time is when you're experiencing a consistent degree of success and have established a proven track record of sales that's lasted for at least six months to a year and preferably longer. You should also be selling at least half of everything that you produce within a six month time period. As long as sales continue to be good and demand remains high, price increases of 10-25% per year are in order. As with any other price-setting circumstances, be able to justify all increases with facts. Never raise prices based on whimsy, personal feelings, or because you feel that they've remained the same for long enough.
Remember that today's collectors are more sophisticated than ever. The idea of falling in love with one piece of art and having to have it at any cost fell by the wayside years ago. Collectors now research and compare before they buy. The only ones who don't are new to the game. Just in case you get lucky and find one who's a little naive, by the way, resist the temptation to take advantage and overcharge. You risk the possibility of turning them off to continued collecting. We all know that we need all the art collectors we can get.
Lastly, have something for everyone. Offer art in all price ranges. People who like your work, but can't afford the big stuff should at least have the opportunity to come away with something. These are your biggest fans, your collector base, the people who will stand by you throughout your career. Do whatever you can to provide them with art. That's the best way to maximize your exposure, create good will, get yourself out there, jump start your sales, and become known and respected in the arts community.