Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stress over the Holidays

As a self emlpoyed artist, the stressors of daily living seem to pile up real quick: family, work,  doctors visits, children ( they seem to always need to eat dont they?) car repairs, cleaning, creating, managing, promoting your craft, craft shows, learning new techniques ad infinitum.

So whats a gal to do?  I prefer to continue to work until I am so exhausted I bite everyone's head off or fall into exhaustion.  I realised last year this was not the way to handle it ( for me)  It may work for you though heheh.

I have learned to break projects into manageable bits  and write them on a day planner so I can see progress.  If it is all swirly in my head, I get confuddled and make mistakes.  I also have a stressor on a subconcious level.  Therefore, writing it down takes the stress away.

Meditation is another way that I relieve stress.  Even if you do it for five minute increments throughout the day, it helps you focus on your breathing, lowering your heart rate and becoming in tune to the world around you.   I have visualized  a dark crevice and go there, feeling and being one with the world even if for a bit. Amazingly refreshing.

I try to avoid toxic people or snarky threads cus I get sucked into those always.  I am a wet paint toucher.   I find that not letting my expectations exceed my limitations helps as well.  "an unexamined life is not worth living"  is a truth I believe in.  I know that today is going to be my past tomorrow and I will not get it back. How do I want to spend those precious 24 hours?

Sales are important, but not to the point that I cannot create.  I have spent more time lately promoting and working with others than I have in solitude with my gems and metals.  I  am planning on spending more time with that and listing ( I go in spurts) Unpacking my studio after the move, I was so excited touching the stones .... that is sad that I have neglected my friends.  They give me purpose and comfort in creating.  So that is what I focus on in these times.

So how do you deal with it?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Texas On Fire At Artfire

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More New Members! Welcome!

This is so exciting!  More new members to our Texas ArtFire Guild!

1.  Roxy And Things - Roxy says:  "I provide handmade, handcrafted, bridal, custom, vintage and vintage redesigned pieces to customers like you. All of my jewelry arrives at your door in special packaging, whether a gift for yourself or someone else."

Checkout these beautiful 14kt Gold Filled Earrings with Chunky Adventurine!

How about this one - Glass and Gemstone Multi-strand Neclace!

I absolutely love your 'torso' display!  I want one of those!

Lovely - Sterling Silver Breathe Bracelet!

2.  Polkadot Toadstool - Cherie says "My art is mostly in creating of characters in the form of art dolls, fantasy, or anything else I feel inspired to give a personality to:-) Recently I also started making miniatures."

Ohoo, how lovely - Dollhouse Doll Miniature Child in 1:12 scale one inch scale

So pretty - Fairy Queen or Goddess necklace in tan with some sparkles

Oh, no, the space aliens are here!  Miniature Space Alien in his spacecraft

3.  Dougal's Doo-Rags - Bio reads "My dogs love their bandanas, and soon people noticed the cool patterns and fabrics. I started making them for neighbors, friends and co-workers, and now I make them for you! I also make catnip pillows, using organic catnip. Kitties like to huggle the pillow while on a nip trip."

What a cutie this one is (dog and bandana)!  Snowflake Dog Bandana with easy Velcro close

 My cat would love these!  5 Animal Print Catnip Pillows

Love this one! Patriotic Flag Dog Bandana with east Velcro Close

4. Sonora Kay's Creations - Bio reads "I have been weaving dream catchers for about 10 years now, of all shapes and sizes. I also make jewelry from hemp, and I have recently taken up playing with beads and wire, which have been incorporated into my designs.

The dream catcher earrings and pendants are all hand woven with beading thread. I have been creating and selling my work for close to a decade now at craft shows, consignment shops, online, and by word of mouth."

These are so beautiful!  Holiday Pearl Necklace

Picked one I would love to own!  Antiqued Copper Earrings with Green Accents OOAK

Wire Dream Catcher Earrings

Well, I picked all the ones I want, now you go visit their shops and pick the ones you want!  Have fun visiting and be sure to add their studios to your Market.  And tweet those items you really love!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to put Your Best foot Forward

I thought that a good discussion would be about photos ( the bane for many of our existence) for selling on line.

I spend hours taking pics to get 10 good ones for 3 items LOL!  I have gotten better over the last 4 years with the help of others and I am ALWAYS looking to improve.  It is great to stay teachable.  It will help one develop and evolve  with the technologies that can be over whelming.

the photo is what draws people into your studio ( if they find you on TheFind or googlebase) which are shopping  sites.  All of our items are submitted to these engines.  So I think to myself, how am I comparing to some of those pics?  well, truth is, that I don't compare well enough.   If you ever sneak a peak at the back section of my studio cctexan3, you will find some awful pictures. Until one day some wonderful person told me about Picasa.com

I had been using my MSN pic Manager for editing, but it just isn't the same when you try out a better editor.  what do you use?

Also, you might learn your camera and how to use the macro button, the white balance and how to open your shutter ( or close it).  I'm still struggling with that stuff too.

Sara did a thread on photos here:

tony has one as well: Photo Q and A

 let us know what you do, or what you are struggling with, maybe we might all learn something new! Love and Peace Yall!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Free Ads for Contributors to Our Blog!

To all guest guild member contributors we will be running a free ad at the top right hand column for one week.

Scott, the Mad Moravian, will be featured today and run until next Sunday.
This is our thanks for contributing a post to our guild blog.  

In order to be a contributing blogger you will need to be a member of the Texas Artfire Guild on Artfire and you will need to join our Yahoo group.  

If you want to get your free featured ad contact me about posting an article here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Four More New Members! Can You Say Welcome?

Welcome to four more new members to the Texas Artfire Guild!

1.  Reans Forte - From Grapeland.  The bio reads: "All of my products are handcrafted by me in my Texas home. Customer satisfaction is our NO. 1 goal here at Rean's Forte. I have been making bath salts and glycerin soap bars for approx. 5 years. I love to pamper myself and believe that everyone should take the eime to indulge in a true luxury of a warm. relaxing and calming bath. It does a mind, body and spirit good."

How about this awesome travel pillowcase in a Texas theme!

You can almost smell the Spearmint scented Mineral bath salt!

2.  Ravnys Nest - From Round Rock.  Bio reads, "I have been making jewelry, frames, painting, and taking photographs for a while now and I truly love all that they entail. I love every aspect of art and the tiny details that make each piece unique and one of a kind, be it a beautiful necklace for yourself, a frame that holds a beautiful photograph, a painting or any other hand crafted item. There is so much beauty to be seen in the broad array of colors, textures and points of view in this world and I try to bring it all into my work."

Won't you love to keep your trinkets in this elegant, decoupaged box?  Very nice.

Or hang your trinkets from this one!  Cool!

3.  Remarcs -  From Dallas.  Bio reads, "I have always enjoyed reading (post school days) and had a tendency of losing my store bought bookmarks. I started making my own beaded bookmarks, this grew into making earrings. I have told myself I would stop at just bookmarks and earrings (even though I know the combination is odd!) but I have dabbled in necklaces too."

Wow!  These are silver interchangeable earrings, there is another set of feathers to interchange!  Very pretty!

Very trendy peacock earrings!

4.  Sweet&Sassy - From League City.  Bio reads:  "Meet the Sweet & Sassy Girls..... (we won't tell who is sweet & who is sassy!)

TxParrotGirl (R) ....relocated to Texas from Louisiana...loves the beach and all things tropical...likes to read and thinks Jimmy Buffet is the king!

JLady Create (L) ...relocated to Texas from South Carolina...has a gift & talent for crafting just about anything, esp. scrapbooking... enjoys a good book and is also a Jimmy Buffet fan!"

What a really cute idea!  Wish Bracelets!  Want to know more?  Visit their studio!

Now this is a really nice keychain!

Give a shoutout to our new members by visiting their studios and tweeting or sharing on facebook!   

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Stars at Night...Are Big and Bright...

Fine Art Paintings

Thanks to Sassy Classy for this one!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honoring All Veterans!

Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That's not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America's war dead. 

Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free. 

Our thanks to all men and women servicing today, you are in our prayers daily.  And to all those not with us today who gave the ultimate sacrifice we offer our thanks to God for their service and prayers to their families.