Nov 22, 2014

52 Weeks of Felt Paintings - Week 47

Birds are such a challenge to needle felt!  All those little feathers and spots can sometimes drive me crazy.  But all of that extra work makes the end result even sweeter.  I love this little quail!

Have a great weekend!

Nov 21, 2014

Bike It Out!

Happy Friday!  I'm over at Missouri Women Bloggers again today chatting about biking.  Click here to read my post and see ridiculous pictures of me in a bike helmet. :)

Nov 15, 2014

52 Weeks of Felt Paintings - Week 46

I did another wet felted painting for this week and was reminded of how much I love the process.  The wool is layered and composed, dampened, and then rubbed with special tools (or not-so-special tools like bubble wrap) and soap to create a slick friction.  The friction makes the wool fibers felt together and stick together permanently, more or less. 

This piece reminds me so much of the Scottish highlands.  Scotland has been my very favorite place that my husband and I have traveled so far.  It's just so, so beautiful.  Also, whisky. I'm a big fan now after that trip...

Now I'm off to do more wet felting!  And have some whisky. Have a great weekend!

Nov 14, 2014

Craft Show Recap - The Hip Handmade Market

The cutest damn vendor badges ever!

Last Saturday, I was a vendor at the Hip Handmade Market in Joplin, MO.  The very first Hip Handmade Market was back in March in Webb City, MO, and I was a vendor then, too.  As a small business owner, I have to do my research before I sign up for shows, especially if they are out of town.  I have to be selective for a few reasons.  One: I have to make sure the audience is right for my product. (Which brings up another point--you have to know your audience if you are a seller of anything. Maybe I'll write another post on that later...) I make very specialized pieces that won't appeal to the bargain shopper.  I don't do craft shows to make quick sales of cheap things.  I sell quality artwork and collectible pieces.  My prices are fair for the supplies and time I put in.  Period.  Two:  My inventory is finite.  There are only so many things I can make. If I'm going to spend a day or two hanging out at a show (read: not producing more products), then I want to maximize my exposure to my target audience.  Three: I want to have FUN!  It takes a special person or group of people to make a craft show fun for its vendors and volunteers.  Great music and food go a long way--just sayin'.

So, with all of that said, I can HIGHLY recommend The Hip Handmade Market as a vendor AND a shopper.  Really, you know a craft show is a good fit for you and your wares if you can admire and support the other vendors.

Emma, the show coordinator, does a phenomenal job organizing and planning and promoting.  I know she puts in so much time to make the show perfect and amazing for everyone.  She even drove thirty miles to meet me one weekend to get a few things for a TV spot.  She certainly didn't have to do that, but she did, and that makes her amazing. Also, 2014 is the first year for HHM.  So, if she can pull off amazing shows the very first year, imagine what can happen in the future.

So, next time a Hip Handmade Market pops up (likely Spring 2015), you should come!  And if you make handmade things, and you think this might be your audience, you should definitely apply!  I had such a great time meeting and chatting with shoppers and other vendors and very much look forward to the next one.

Nov 10, 2014

Life Lately

The past few weeks have looked like this:

Making products for a local shop, Arts & Letters
Bike commuting to work

Biking for pleasure

Experimenting with wool--this is welsh mountain sheep wool and camel wool

Exploring and having adventures

Making SO many custom portraits

Spending as much time as I can with the husband and pups

These weeks seem to be going by so quickly.  I'm trying very hard to relish the wonderful Fall weather but also practice good time management.  I feel guilty when I'm not spending all my available time on my shop and blog. I'm sure all handmade and small business owners feel this way at some point. It's the time of year when I am so incredibly busy, so I stay up until midnight and feel like I'm wasting time sleeping when I go to bed any earlier.  Then I wake up at six something the next morning and work very hard to be peppy and cheerful for children at my zoo job.  I know this is silly.  I know I need to take care of myself.  Because not only is it my busy season, it's also cold and flu season, and I'm exposed to so much of that through hundreds of preschool kiddos while at the zoo.  Let's just say, my body will be thankful when January arrives.  Until then, I will keep hustling.

Nov 9, 2014

52 Weeks of Felt Paintings - Week 45

Happy Sunday!  I took a break from making cutesy animals to try my hand at these toadstools.  I've actually felted some amanita mushrooms before, but I thought they would look beautiful in a hoop. 

I'm so happy with how this turned out!

I am already making a few smaller versions of this.  I'll put them in small, oval hoops. Contact me if you want one--they'll go fast!

Nov 1, 2014

52 Weeks of Felt Paintings - Week 44

Whoa. It's November. That just doesn't seem right. But the cold weather has arrived here in southwest Missouri, so at least it feels like November.  Brrrr!

This week's painting was such a treat to make.  I work with owls in my zoo job, but I've never worked with a barn owl until recently.  His name is Silo, and he is such a neat bird. Here we are a week ago--he was my teaching assistant for preschool nocturnal animal programs.

Barn owls look so different from other owls, so I thought I'd try to felt one.  The painting turned out beautifully!

Thanks for looking!

P.S. Don't forget to set your clocks back tonight--enjoy that extra hour!