Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Silkscreening results

Sadly, my printmaking class is over. It was great fun, and a good introduction to several printmaking techniques. In particular, I really enjoyed silkscreening, and will probably take an advanced class in the future. Here are some highlights of what I made (the coffee cup prints are linoblock):

I was able to produce quite a few prints on paper and fabric; some of the paper prints I've made into cards and will have them available at the craft sale this Sunday. The fabric pieces I plan on using to make bags or pouches of some sort(when I find the time!).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Craft show = success!

Saturday's craft show was a great success! It was busy non-stop all day. I debuted my new pins and magnents, and some new cards. My robot magnets and pins were such a I hit that I sold out.

I have another show in two weeks, so I need to get busy making more pins.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Snap-Frame coin purses

Oh how I love these little purses! But, they can be a challenge to make. Here's the tutorial I use. (This site is great for other bag and purse tutorials, take a look). I buy the frames from Sussman's Bridal Supplies on Queen Street West in Toronto (a deceiving shop name, as they carry many different sewing supplies). The trickiest part of making these purses is knowing which glue to use; I use a gel-based heavy duty multi-purpose glue, suitable for metal and fabric. I recommend sanding the inside track to help the glue adhere better. If you pinch the frame, remember to use rubber-coated pliers so you don't leave marks. Here's one of mine:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Current sewing project - update

I'm almost finished my dress:

Just need to make a few minor adjustments, and it will be ready to wear! I found the pattern on Burda Style (it's the Mushroom Dress pattern), but made some changes. For example, I put darts at the bust and didn't put elastic around the neck.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

lithography prints

Here are some of my lithography prints produced in my night class. The one on the left is from the first edition, the one on the right from the second edition (I used dry point to make some adjustments to the plate). Overall, although I really like the effect, I'm not happy with my image. I drew it freehand, not knowing that you could transfer an image with a grease pencil (the instructor told us this after I had already done mine. D'oh!). This method is more complicated and time consuming, and chemicals are involved, so I'm not sure I would do it on my own, but it was fun to test it out, and to use a printing press!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Current sewing project

One of my most favourite stores in Toronto is The Workroom, a sewing studio and store on Queen West, near Dufferin. Every time I go in there, I end up buying stacks of fat quarters, which are a good size for making Blythe clothes. Last year I purchased a serger, with the intention of making my own clothes. Well, the time has come: at my last visit to The Workroom, I purchased this lovely fabric:

It's called Moondance, by Jenean Morrison (take a look at her design work - oh!) for Free Spirit Fabric. I'm making a dress with the fabric, which has already been cut and basted so I can adjust the fit. I'm hoping to finish it by the end of next week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The art of self-promotion

Admittedly, I'm a rather private person and do not enjoy talking about myself, nor do I feel the need to share the minutia of my life with others, whether in person or virtually. (Who are these people who have such interesting lives? Not I!) I would rather express myself through creative means, which, when lacking confidence (not to mention time, self-esteem, momentum, support, the skills or tools to do so), can be challenging.

My little sewing hobby is starting to become more than just a hobby, and I take great pleasure in knowing that people actually like what I make. My daydreams consist of being able to sustain myself financially with a part-time librarian job, and dedicating the remaining hours of the day to creating wonderful things in my (currently non-existing) little studio. In my fantasy world, what I sell in my online shops or at craft sales would supplement my part-time income. But to get to that point would take a lot of work. To achieve such a dream, one must be prepared and able to take care of the business aspects, which can be daunting and overwhelming. There are so many tools available, many of them free, but how do you know which ones are worthwhile?

As a way to promote my two online shops, I currently have this blog, a Flickr account to showcase my creations (one must be careful with Flickr though, in not linking to commercial sites), and Facebook fan page. I have a print business card to hand out in person and at craft shows. I also participate in online forums and groups, and am a member of several guilds or teams. All of this takes time and effort, but is necessary. Google Analytics helps in deciding where I should be investing my time and effort, but I know I need to do more. (Although, one bandwagon I have yet to jump on is Twitter, and I don't plan on using it). I know I need to 'sell' myself to other bloggers and to make better use of my own blog; what I need to do is devise a marketing plan. And time to implement it!