Wednesday, March 20, 2019

BUSINESS: Making A Successful Business

Small Business Revolution Main Street's 4th Season starts October 19. The winning town is Searcy, AR. The creators started out by producing 100 photo and video stories on various small businesses In the US. They were so impressed by the spirit and success of these American entrepreneurs that they created an acclaimed documentary about the power of small business.

The producers say about the show, We created the Small Business Revolution – Main Street to help those small businesses, and in turn, those small towns, reignite the spark that drives them and keeps people coming back. Each season, we search for one lucky town – and six of its small businesses – to win a $500,000 boost from Deluxe, and document the transformations in an original series. Season 1 featured Wabash, Indiana; Season 2 – Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania; Season 3 – Alton, Illinois; and Season 4 – Searcy, Arkansas. 

The show is shown online at the website.

Friday, March 8, 2019

EVENTS: Happy International Women's Day

Honoring the accomplishments of women.
Happy International Women's Day
The Creative Seller
Artsy Craftery Studio

Image Credit:

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

CRAFTING: Is It Upcycled, Refashoned, Altered Couture?

Is It Really Altered Couture?

Refashioned, upcycled, reconstructed, embellished, transformed, recycled, re-purposed, wearable art, altered wearables, altered couture.  With any technique there can be many descriptions, names and definitions.

Old Ivy Cottage
The Free Dictionary by Farlex defines alter(ed) as to make or become different in some respect; change; modify.  There can be a little or a lot of change, but I think there can be a significant difference between embellished and altered couture.  Just as with vintage, some listing sites can have strict guidelines on what can be listed as altered couture.

Margot Silk Kidder Shimmery Sandals
At the community forum of a handmade listing site, a member asks just how much does an item need to be upcycled, reconstructed or otherwise changed, in order to be considered altered couture.  She also asks if a newly purchased item, to which one element has been added, can be sold at her venue.  While her questions are site specific, we can learn a lot through the 26 responses to her post.  Etsy Site Help post:

Darcy Fowkes Recycled Silk Shirt Hat
As with the snazzy hat above, altered couture is not only apparel and shoes.  The definition often includes many types of accessories.

Custom belts $135 to $160. — in Los Altos, CA.
Wearable art can be simply practical to elaborately impractical.  How about Caleb Calabro for spectacular and unimaginable wearable art creations?

Caleb Calabro Wearable Art
For many, the ultimate in altered couture is the wedding ensemble.  See how Brenda Abdoyan creates Christine's wedding dress, altered bridal purse and jewelry.  It may be a little ostentatious for some, but imaginative and unique it is.

See Michelle Nance's Clothes-Altered Couture at Pinterest.  Her interesting gallery features:

  • a bleach-pen peacock
  • re-purposing dad's shirt into a little girl's dress
  • a pom-pom scarf
  • old t-shirts into baby clothes
  • a fabulous orange scarf-necklace with silver embellishments
  • cut it, slice it, pull it scarf
  • dollar store knitted stocking hat refashion
  • revamped cardigan
  • little girl's scrap tutu
At her blog, The Brass Paperclip Project, Cindi shares the most beautiful men's necktie recycled items that I've ever seen.  Check out the gallery, at which you'll also find images of bracelets, purses, cell phone cases and others.

Altered Art Images
Ever had questions about using images in your altered creations?  This article,

Altered Art Images ~ How to LEGALLY Use Other People’s Images

helps you navigate important considerations such as:
  1. Altered definition
  2. Rule of thumb for copyright considerations 
  3. Public domain image links
  4. Info about Creative Commons images
  5. Using stock photos in altered work.
LunaGirl-How To: Altered Art Charms

Want more inspiration on designing your own upcycled, refashioned altered couture?  Jill at Jembellish is running a blog hop that features:

Altered couture creations run the gamut from shabby chic  and scrap embellishments on everyday clothing and accessories, to re-tailoring of designer duds.  I prefer wearable crafts, as shared by Linda Jackson Graham at her Pinterest board, Wearable Crafts.  Whatever is your definition and level of altered couture designing, embrace what you do.  Share it with others with enthusiasm and love.
Amanda at Fun Family Crafts


Caleb Calabro Wearable Artwork
Wearable Art Blog interviews Caleb Calabro
Altered Couture on Facebook
Artistry In Fashion
Sassy Feet
Diva of Vintage at Pinterest

ART: Using Water Brushes To Make Watercolor Art

Have you always wanted to know how to use water brushes, the brush-tipped pens with the hollow barrel in which to put water? Here is a quick vid from Arteza on using water brushes. It is mainly to promote their water pens, but you can see how they are best used.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

CRAFT EVENTS: AnnaRita Visits The Tarpon Springs Craft Fair

Embellished starfish by crafter Designs By G

Get excited about the spring craft fairs and artist markets with this report on a crafter's visit to a fair this past fall. AnnaRita said she had a fun time at this annual November craft fair. Read what she had to say about her exciting experience. 
The fair was in Tarpon Springs, a nice little town known for fishing, and sponge docks and real loofah sponges from under the sea. It was small but nice. A lot of hand made jewelry, and home decor, but some mass produced items that were from other countries.  

The first booth that we stopped in was Designs By G!"

G made beautiful wire wrapped jewelry. Wood craved crosses that were wire wrapped with colored wire, jewels, and beads. Starfish that were also designed by her too.
Wire-wrapped crosses by Designs By G

The second booth was very different, but interesting. Steampunk creations, jewelry, pendants and very cool top hats with visors and decorations.
Steampunk Creations By Mystical Star Designs

Took these pictures that were on and near buildings next to the fair.
Mother Meres mosaic on building in Tarpon Springs
Garden Fairies Mosaic Sign In Tarpon Springs, FL
Seems like AnnaRita had a pleasant, inspiring trip to this local creative event.  So get prepared to make your own jaunt to your local craft fairs and artist markets. Get inspiration and Buy Handmade First, always!

Here's the Facebook page for this past year's event:

This is the St Pete/Clearwater page for the event:

See my Jealous Mealous blog feature on AnnaRita's crafts here:

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Colorful Memory Wire Bracelet by AnnaRita

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Glass Prism And Crystal Suncatcher by AR Handmade Creations

Shop for AnnaRita's crafty products at her Etsy shop:

Do What You Love Wood Slice Sign by AnnaRita

Friday, February 22, 2019

NEW PRODUCTS: Printable Scripture Pocket Cards

I have a variety of little cards like these around the house and they are very handy. One good use they have is in helping me remember my fav scriptures and motivational confirmations.

I designed these pocket cards, which can be used also as mini bookmarks and memory flash cards, with scripture encouragement to not live in fear.
Flowers are always encouraging and uplifting, but I will eventually design a set with a non-floral design. I like to design products that men would like, with darker, muted colors and less-feminine motifs, because the majority of merchandise seem to be geared towards women.

Printables and digitals are passive income streams. They are also becoming more popular as buyers look for more ways to enhance their lives and save money. Maybe you should consider building your skills and designing and selling printables.

Fear Not Printable Pocket Cards at Printaphoria

Saturday, February 16, 2019

NEWS: How Useful Are Zibbet Sales Channels?

The new Zibbet Sales Channel Hub is interesting, but not sure I want to pay an extra $5 per month to list at Etsy. The Hub will work as a central base of operations, but I will still have to visit the particular venue to see stats, interact at the forums, edit my shop, etc., I assume. Maybe this assumption is incorrect.

Unless I'm not understanding the value of the service, it seems that I'd be paying to export, basically. Would it be frugal to pay to do that when mostly everything that I would need to do would have to be done off-Zibbet-site at the other site? I do think that this is a valuable feature, as described by Zibbet, and the basis for the usefulness of the channels:

Make product changes onceList your products directly from Zibbet and publish it everywhere you sell at the same time. Any product changes, such as a new photo, title etc, only need to be made once and it’s updated everywhere.

I'm always interested in what the Australia-based Zibbet is doing. I used to be a member there and made a few sales. I enjoyed my time listing at Zibbet, because it was a very exciting period in the selling venue's history. I only left because free shops were pushed aside for subscription-based enhancement and promotion. There is still a token free shop feature, but it is marketed as a trial to evaluate purchasing a subscription. Jonathan assured me that I could return at any time and I think about it often.

Zibbet says "The new Zibbet is pre-launch, but you can sign up today to request early access." I'll have to see what other Zibbet Sales Channels value points will be shared. Each channel is $5 per month with a minimum of 2 channels required and that does not negate fees charged at the other venues. Current channels available are Zibbet, Etsy and Stitch. What do you think?

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