I have new dates for you to mark on your calendars!
The first one is a not a new show, in fact I’ve done it many times but I did take a break last year and decided to apply again this year. It’s the Holiday Bazaar at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. It’s probably already on your calendar because if you’re like me, you’ve loved this show for years. It was my go-to show back when I was giving Christmas gifts – such a good place to find original art, and plenty of it.
I was happy to be accepted to this year’s RMSC show but even more delighted to learn I get to have my old space back on the second floor. I’ve done my time being in nooks & crannies of the museum but I really love being in a big room with other artists with plenty of natural light (until it gets dark so early in November)!
The other show is a one-day Artisan Sale, right in my space at The Hungerford. It’s a show that my good friend and exquisite jewelry maker, Lori Prince, has been doing for years in various locations. I was happy to join her last year and we’re eager to team up again this year and make it better than ever. Our other partner Tom Zachman, glass artist, will be there as well. Our other two partners will be at other shows or out of town but their beautiful pieces will be for sale too.
The details are found on my Shows page – and of course you’ll be hearing much more about my shows as the time approaches.
Hand-Stitched Greeting Card Workshop
Sat. July 30th 1-3pm
Cost: $25 per person, includes materials
In this 2-hour workshop, paper artist Stefani Tadio will lead you through the steps to stitch her Shellburst design on cardstock and assemble it into a greeting card. All materials are supplied for the class, including a pre-punched cardstock circle, embellishments, greeting card & envelope. Additional supplies will be available for purchase after class.
I’m taking this Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship course – it started last night. It’s really good but I feel I should experience more than the introductory class before writing an official review! There’s another session starting in September and I know there are still some spaces available. Click the image above for more information or register here.
Already, in the middle of last night’s class I decided to switch my online shop from Shopify to Etsy. I won’t bore you with the reasons but let’s say I decided to keep it simple.
One unexpected perk is our class has its own Etsy Team, like a closed Facebook group, where we communicate among ourselves, ask questions, etc. Our beloved teacher is Rachael Gootnick, many of you know her from her business, Just Terrific. She posted a question in the group so we can get to know each other better and jump-start our “About” page for our Etsy shops.
I’m a big fan of entrepreneurs. I consider myself an entrepreneur. I read a lot and listen to a lot of podcasts about them. But when asked when I first knew I was an entrepreneur, I really had to think. I kind of liked what I wrote so I thought I’d share it here.
I don’t think I knew I was an entrepreneur until sometime in the last few years. I’ve always been creative – my family has always made things, partly to be frugal, partly for fun. Even when I started my business in 2004, I didn’t set any real solid goals.
I’ve always loved business, organization and processes in addition to my art. When I left my corporate job in 2012, I had more time to spend on my business so I really started to dig deep to be purposeful in how I proceed with my business. The more I learn, the more success I have, the more fun I have and that pushes me forward every day. I feel like I’m always trying to “crack the code” on success and I love every minute of it.
PS The Rummage Sale that was part of Second Saturday at The Hungerford went well. I fell a few bucks below my goal but overall I consider it a success, even factoring in that I accepted credit cards for these silly-cheap items. I have a little bit of reorganization of the remainder but it will be donated to Craft Bits & Pieces this week.
OMG. I’ve been talking about this Rummage Sale of craft supplies for so many days, I’m boring the snot out of myself. But I was just rereading my blog post of 2 days ago and said I was going to post these appetite-whetting photos of crap for sale, and so I shall.
Thurs & Friday, July 7 & 8, 11am-2pm
Saturday, July 9, 10am-3pm
Suite 240 – Use Door 2
1115 East Main Street
Rochester NY 14609
Email me or phone me, if you must. 585.507.5223. You can call or text that number if you need help with the elevator on Thurs or Fri. It’s a freight elevator near door 2 – a little funky but fairly intuitive.
After Saturday, let’s not speak of this again. Moving on.
(This was for transport, all stamps are lined up neatly on a table.)
In the truest sense of do as I say, not as I do – I haven’t been paying attention to my business. I’ve been feeling a fresh wave of creativity washing over me for a couple of months now but I’ve also been a little stuck. Stuck by the disorganization of my studio. Stuck by not selling much lately even though I need a nice cash influx to head in my new direction. Stuck by having too many possessions. Too many new ideas. Just too much.
Finally these things motivated me into action. Finally, I moved out of overwhelm into working through it. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m one of the least sentimental people I know. So getting rid of old art supplies is easy. I’ve either been trashing stuff or will attempt to sell the rest at Saturday’s Rummage Sale. The sale leftovers will go to Craft Bits & Pieces. Done & dusted. So I have a plan.
See all these flip flop pins & magnets in the photo above? These are years old (but in pristine condition because they’ve been carefully stored away). I made these back when I thought go big or go home was a good idea. I made a boat-load. (I said recently on Facebook that I love production mode, making things with paper, doing the same mindless task over and over. Even got a few amens to that statement!)
Because they are “still good”, I’ve been trying to let go of them for months now. I marked them down 50% in our space at The Hungerford. I could donate them to swag bags. Tried to rack my brain about where I could donate them. But I don’t really want to give away something so passe. What kind of gift or donation is that? I finally made peace with letting them go when I decided I would remove the crystals (valuable on other projects) – and then I could throw them away because nothing valuable was wasted. Took me forever to process this through! I’m ridiculous sometimes. Frugality can be a curse too, ya know!
Today, I was at the Hungerford setting up my sales tables. I was looking at my display of beautiful (to me) pins. I remember a friend asking me months ago, “How many pins do you really sell?” It kind of stung so I decided not to think about. Ha! Showed her. Then I heard myself later tell someone else that I thought I was going to start a pin-wearing revolution. I wear pins, people do. Not a lot of people, it turns out. But why not, people – these are beautiful and handmade and . . . I really like making them . . . and I wear them . . . Exactly how did you plan to start this pin-wearing revolution, Stef? Hope is not a plan, woman! Sheesh.
I love data. So I looked up on Square how many pins and magnets I sold in 2015. Okay, I don’t like that data. Why wasn’t I paying attention?? If you could hear how often I tell others (in my head) to pay attention to their lives. I sometimes even say it out loud if I happen to be the mother of that person.
So I marked all pins and magnets down 50%. I won’t be making any more. I have new directions to go and these things are in my way. And I’m quite certain I’ll have to learn this lesson many more times. As one does.
So the sale is Saturday, July 9, 10am-3pm in suite 240 at The Hungerford. I see that Tony just posted 39 photos of letter press type and equipment he’ll be selling that day. There are several studios participating, not sure who else will have what.
In addition, I’ll be in suite 240 Thursday & Friday, July 7 & 8, 11am-2pm, and by appointment (email me). Here’s the FB event page if you want to see more of what will be for sale.
Just to back up a second. This Saturday is Second Saturday at The Hungerford. A few weeks ago one of the tenants asked if anyone wanted to hold a Rummage Sale. I was thrilled with the timing because I had already started a big re-org of my studio and had a crate of things ready to donate to Craft Bits & Pieces. Now maybe I can make a little money on some of my stuff, maybe even tens of dollars!
This weekend I’ve been going through everything and think I’ll have more than I first imagined, for sale in suite 240. I’ve been posting photos on the Facebook event page all weekend, as I gathered & priced another category. It feels really good. (I was absent the day the sentimentality genes were passed out. I might have two genes, tops.)
Today I came upon the things in the photo above. The very roots of my hand stitching on paper career. Let’s review.
This pointy circle is so perfect that I must have traced it from something professionally cut, to make my own template. You can see the pencil marks so I can tell you I traced this many times.
It would have been used to make Spirelli shapes like this one from Capadia Designs. This was before paper punches were available to punch these out.
Then you’ve got the scalloped circles. These would have been for Spirelli pieces too but by then I’d come upon paper embroidery and wanted to create my own patterns. On the one without the pencil marks you can see that I folded the papers in half, half again and even more sometimes, to form even segments. Because everything had to be symmetrical and perfect, of course! Then I poked holes between the scallops to serve as stitching holes. You can see that I started getting fancy with the other one – there are 5 holes per scallop. Crazy me – I eyeballed the even-ness pretty darn well, because I’m just that good.🙂
Then I graduated to bigger designs with more stitching. This one has 9 stitches per scallop. I think the pencil marks around that one hole near the center, indicate the stop and start point. I didn’t want to repoke holes because they could be off from each other and I just can’t live like that.
When I first started punching holes for stitching, I used a push pin. A needle would have made a smaller hole but too hard to hold onto. A long needle tool was too flexible and didn’t offer enough control. My dad was a woodworker so he turned a few handles for me, on his lathe. We glued a thumb tack to the end. This was much more comfortable but this was still tedious, not-that-much-fun work. And I’m a fan of tedious, usually!
A few years later an online friend emailed me to say she thought her computerized cutting machine could pierce the paper to make the stitching holes. I was skeptical the holes would be small enough – no way! She put me in touch with the Klic-N-Kut distributor who ultimately ended up creating files from my photos and mailing me the examples. I should look it up if I can – because that’s the same machine I have today. It might be ten years old and still a workhorse.
So why do these pieces make me sad, as in the title of this post? Because bless my heart, I was trying so hard. I was figuring out how to do what I could see in my mind. I have to say though, through writing this post I’ve become less sad and more proud. Damn girl, you were determined and you did it!
Come to the Rummage Sale on Saturday and see all the other things I’m selling than I’m not sentimental about at all. I’ve been posting photos on the Facebook event page, as I said. I’ll post some of them here tomorrow, to whet your appetite.
1115 East Main Street
Suite 240 – Use Door 2
Rochester, NY 14609
July 9, 10am – 3pm.
Free parking, elevator concierge on duty.
I know lots of people don’t like change. Of course it depends on the change – I don’t like all changes. But sometimes, yes, I like change just for the sake of change. Feels like a freshening up to me.
One of my recent changes include this new website. I moved it from Weebly to WordPress. I run the Rochester Artisans website site on WordPress so I was familiar with its functionality. I had a good deal of it completed but there were some tweaks that were taking me way too long to figure out and I was feeling frustrated. I remembered a post in our Rochester Artisans Insiders Facebook Group by Heather Collins about her Indie Graphic Design & Marketing business. So I sent her an email and she completed the tasks within a week at a very reasonable rate. She did just as I asked (including custom social media buttons) and made a couple of suggestions which I used.
Meanwhile, I was free to do the things I do best, while she did what she does best. I feel good about buying from another small business and keeping the local economy humming along.
As you explore my shiny new website, you’ll notice links to Classes and my online shop. The shop is still a work in progress but I have lots of inventory & photos to work with so that will grow very soon. I’m still learning Shopify but I think it will fill my needs nicely.
There’s a box in the sidebar for you to sign up to be notified whenever I publish a new blog post. I’m working on adding a link to my paper art email list. Thanks so much for staying in touch – this is gonna be fun!
I ran across blog posts by Susan Carmen-Duffy a couple of years ago and could tell right away that she’s a do-er! We then got to know each other through our studios at The Hungerford. I was thrilled when she asked me to co-exhibit with her, in her gallery at Create Art 4 Good for the month of June. She asked me how many pieces of framed wall art I would have and I blurted out 25. Totally made up that number on the spot – seemed possible in the time span given. Nothing like a good deadline to light a fire!
I love stitching these larger pieces because the possibilities of interesting color combinations are even greater than with smaller pieces. I haven’t sold a lot of my framed work yet but I’ve never had a lot to choose from. Human nature is such that the more there is to choose from, the healthier sales are. (I know, duh!) The opposite is true too, no one will buy the last one of something, just like no one will take the last donut in the company breakroom.
Our opening was this past Friday, June 3 and I want to thank so many friends (and not-yet-friends) from coming out to see us!
Here are the rest of the June hours:
Thursdays, June 9, 16, 23, 4-6pm
Second Saturday, June 11, 10am-3pm.
I hope you can stop by and see all the mandala-inspired work painted by Susan and stitched by me. I’ll be in the gallery again Saturday, stitching away, I’d love to show you how it’s done!