Saturday, July 31, 2010

Beautiful Papers

I've  mentioned  before  in  my  posts  about  art  and  craft  shows,  basically  that  it's  pretty  much  either feast  or  famine.   Well,  right  now  it's  feasting  time.  My  next  show  is  in  September,  which  is  the  start  of  the  Fall season.  The   outdoor  Fall  shows  are wonderful  in  every  aspect,  but   I'm  getting  off  track.   Point  being-- now  it  gets  a  little  hairy--you have to build up a  pretty  big  stock   of  items.   I  don't  mind  this--in fact I love  it.  The  only  thing,  is  that  I  can't  play  around  or  experiment.  I  have  to  do  what  I  know  best.  I  really  like  painting  my own  papers  to  use  in  my  art,  but  I  can't  really  take  the time,  but my new  K & Co.  papers   are  the  next  best  thing.

These  are  on  the  very  deep (over 2'')  canvases  that  I  found  at Dick Blick.  They're 6 x 6.  I   just  love these!   They  really  add  somethinging  to  the  art  piece.

And  yes,  I  made  another  piece  with  my  original  Hippie  girl.  I'm  seeing  how  many  shows  and  how  many  different  ways  that  I  can  use  her,  untill  I  don't  sell  her.

So  here's  the deal--if  I  don't  sell  her  at  my  September  show,  I'll  give  her  away  on  my  blog--stay  tuned.   It's  a  good  chance  that  I  won't,  because  this  is  more  of  a  folk  art,  primitive   type  art  and  craft  show  in  a  rural  area,  so  there's   a  different  shopping  crowd  there---but  still  a  good  one.

This  all  brings me  to  something  that  I've learned  about myself  too.  This  is  the  first  year  that  I've  taken  all  of  these  online  classes, and  I 've  learned  that  I just  can't  devote  the  time  that  I  want  to them  when  I'm   in  the  middle  of  the  show  season.  So, I'm waiting until  January  to  take  anymore  classes.   I   just can't  do  it  all   and  enjoy  what  short   of  a  summer  that  we  have  here.

Speaking  of  summer  activities.  I  wanted  to   show  you  all  a  couple  of things  that  I  found  at  garage  sales  yesterday.  I  found  this--
This  really  large (over  16"  tall)  world  atlas  book  filled with  many  maps, and other great images.  And  look  at  the very  first  and  last  page!

I also found these--

These  wooden  spools  are  great   feet  for  boxes,  among  other things.  I  bought  all  of  these  spools  for  $1.00--good  deal!

And........One  more  thing--be  there  or  be  square!

Mystele,  your're  my  hero!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Winners of My Giveaway

I  want  to  thank  everyone  for  such  an  overwhelming  repsonse  to  my  100th  post  giveaway.   And I've  went  to,  and  let  it pick  the winners  for me.  So  the winner of  my Garden Girl  print on wood--


#167, and  that's  Vickie  from  Redfish Artwork!   Congratulations,  Vickie!!

And  the  2nd  winner of  my   houses  print  on  wood --


#44, and  that's  Isabel  from Ooodles of  Doodles  Studio!   Congratulations  Isabel!

I  hope  you  two  enjoy  these  as  much  as  I  enjoyed  making  them,   and  Thanks  so  much  to  everyone  again!  There  will  be  more  giveaways  in  the  future!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So How Fun Are These?!

More  boxes!

This  box  was  fun  to  make.   What  I  did  first  was  collage  pages  from  a  children's  school  reader book  on  it, and  then  I  took  my  house  prints   from  different  pieces that  I've  made  and  cut  them  out to  make  a  little  village  that  wraps  around  the  box.  And   I  really  like  what  I  did  on  the  lid--

I  have   an  old  glass  doorknob  on   it.  If  you  are  a  flea  market  shopper,  you  know  that  these doorknobs  don't  come  cheap.  They're   a  heavy  glass with  brass hardware.  Well, I found 4  of  them  at  a  garage  sale (which  is  unusual  in  itself  ) for  $2.50 each.  That's  a  VERY  good  price  for  these.  I  really like  this for  this  box--it   fits  the theme  of  the  houses  so  well.

And  do you  remember  Button  Town?

I  don't  think  I'll  ever  get  tired of  making  these  boxes!

And  I just  want  to remind  everyone  of  my 2 giveaways--there's  still  time for you.  I'll  be  drawing  the names  on Thursday.  Just  go  to  this  post  and   leave  a  comment--good  luck!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A New Art Piece I Made

So  I  started  out  with  this  cupboard  door  with  a  glass  insert   that  I  had.   I  originally  had  2--the  first  one  I  showed  everyone   here.  Here's  the  door  before  I  had  done  anything  to  it--


On  the glass,  I  collaged  papers  onto  it  so  I  could  have  a  painting  surface.  But   these  papers  are  so great,  that I'm  using them  as  part  of  the  design.. I  bought  a  scrapbook  paper  pad  made by
K & Co.  I  love  this  company--everything  that  they  make--I   could  represent  them!   This  pad   is   filled  with  butterflies  and birds.  Some  are  slightly  embossed  and some  of  the papers  have a  touch of metallic  in  them.  So  here's  the  background  that  I  chose--

Beautiful  paper--the wings  of  the  butterflies  are  metallic  bronze.  So  what  did  I  do  with  it?  Well,  as  promised,  I made  another  flower  child--

My   Hippie   girl  needed  a  friend!   I'm  very  happy  with her.  I used  some Lumiere paints on her,  and   also  Byzantia by Stewart Gill.   I   found  out  about  the  Byzanita  paint  from  Suzi Blu's class--it's  great  paint.  And  I  purchased  it  from  The  Artist Cellar .  This  is  a  new  online  store  started  by Lisa  at  Random   Veracity .   She's offering  some great products   and  the  service  is excellent.  I received  my  order within  a  few days  of placing my order.  So  Lisa,  if  you're  reading  this--Thank You--I'll  be  back.  This is  one  of  the  reasons  that  I'm  so  glad  that  I  started  a  blog.  I  found out   about  this  store  from  Janet--another blogging  friend  whom  I  never  would  have met  otherwise.  If  we  lived  closer  to  each  other,  we'd  be  having  play dates  together--no  question!

So  here's  the  finished  piece  in  it's  "frame". 

You  can't  see  it  in  the photo,  but  the piece  has  a soft  shimmery  look--that's  why  I   like  these 2  paints--they have a  subtle  shimmer  when dry.

I  also  made  another box  with  my  new  papers.

I   found  this  great  metal  butterfly  knob  for  the top.  I  just  painted  it  to  match  the box.  I  really  do enjoy  making  these  boxes!

And  on  another  subject,  but  still  related  to  art.  Is  anyone  watching  Bravo's  Work  of  Art?!?!  (remember   you  can  also  watch  it  on  And  if  you  are  watching  it--what  do you  think  of  Miles,  the  "tortured  artist",  or  how  about  the  tight-fitting  clad  Jacqueline,  who  complains  about   men  leering  at  her  all  the time--Love  this   show!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

100 Post Giveaway--Not 1, But 2!!

I  cannot  believe  that  this  is  post  #100  for  me.  I  still  can't  believe  that  I  even  have  a  blog!  Well,  to celebrate  my 100th  post,  I  have to  have 2  giveaways.  The  first  name chosen will  get her--

This  is  a  print  of  my  Garden  Girl  on a  7 x 9  piece of  wood.  And  the 2nd  name  chosen  will  get  this.

This  is  one  of  my  woodblock  prints,  and this is part of  an original  collage  that I did.  I just  cropped it  to  make it  a brand  new piece.

So  this  time,  you  can enter  your name  3  times.  First,  you  can just  leave a comment  on  this  post,  but  if  you're  a  follower,  your  name  will  be  entered  again  (just  let  me  know).  And  also,  if  you mention  my  giveaway  on  your  blog,  then  I'll  enter  your  name  again--just  remember to  tell me that  you   did.  I'll draw  the  name on  Thursday, July 29--so  good  luck  everyone,  and as  always,  thank you  for  your  visits  and encouragement!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Much Needed Break

Hi Guys, I'm back from a very hot, fun, exciting one-day show.  This show was in Willoughby, Ohio--just outside of  Cleveland.  And doesn't  it  sound  like  the   name  of a  town that  you  would  read  about   in a  story  book?  Well, it's  that  kind  of  town.  And  like  I  said  in my  last  post,  it  was all  along  the  main street  and  in the cute little  park that was  there  (everything  was  cute there!)

Here's  everyone  setting up   in  the morning.  The  weather  wasn't  too bad,  as far  as the heat  and  humidity,  but you could  tell that  that  the  day  was  going   to  be a  scorcher!

You  can  click  on  any  of  these  photos  for  a closer  look.

And  you  know,  you  can  always  tell  when  the  residents  support  their  town  by   the  types  of shops that  are  flourishing  there.

The  town's  downtown  area  is only  a  few blocks,  but  it's  pretty  much  filled  with  local  businesses like  these,  not  to  mention  the  great  restaurant  selections.  I've  never  seen  so  many  restaurants (with such great food)  to  choose  from  in  such  a  short  distance  from one  another,  except  in larger  cities.  (forgot  to  take  photos of  the  restaurants!)

So,  seeing  all  of  this,  you  can  imagine  how  many people  showed  up  for the festival,  despite  the  high  temperatures  and  humidity.

And  yes,  these  people  supported  us  artists,  by puchasing  art.  Needless  to  say,  you can see why   this is one of   my  favorite  shows--great town--very  friendly people--and  an  added  bonus  of  excellent  sales.  I  made  as much  money  in  one  day as  I  did  in 3  days from  the show  last  week.

Plus,  I  forgot to mention that they had  a  very  impressive  farmer's  market  there  (which  is  weekly).

A  large  variety  of   produce  and  a  BIG  selection  of  Amish baked  items!

I  was  even  able  to get a  great  photo to  use  in  my  artwork--

Loved this house!!

And  my  intuituion  was right.  Remember  the boxes,  the mirror, and the embossed  metal  piece--ALL SOLD!  I  was  only able to  make 5  of  the  boxes, but   I  know now  what  I'm  bringing   for  my  fall  shows--they're great  for Christmas  presents.

And  there  was  one  more  tip that  I  wanted  to  share  with  you  about  selling  your  art  at  shows.  This  goes for everyone.  Alot  of  times  you'll   sell  out of something--everyone wants  one.  So  you'll  always  make  sure  to  make  a  TON   for the next  show, and  when you  do,  not  a  one will sell--this  is  very  common--just  ask  any  crafter  or artist.  In  this case, though, just the opposite  happened--my boxes went  just  like that!

So now I  don't have a  show until September--I need this break--it  was becoming very hard to do this  all  the time.  I  think that  I  would  actually  like to  clean  my  house  now  if  I  can  remember  how to.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

To Sum It Up

In these last couple of posts, I've just given a general idea of what is involved  in  selling  your  art  at  shows--there's lots more, but  if  anyone  is interested in more, just  let  me know. So to sum  it  up  about  shows--you're always learning  new  things  about  them  no  matter how long you've  been  doing  this.   Anywhere from set up, what to bring, how much, and the list goes on.  So  what  have I  learned  this year so far?  Well, I found that people like mirrors!

I guess you could call this functional art--right?  People have to check themselves out before they leave the house.  (Boy, did I have a hard time taking this photo.  I ended up putting a piece of wax paper on the mirror, but it worked.)

And embossed metal is very popular--

Along  with  sun faces or a flower face--however you want  to look at it.

And, also to my surprise--Hippie art!

Everytime I take this Hippie girl with me, she never comes back--somebody always takes her home. I think that she might be getting a little tired of going alone from show to show--I think she needs another  Hippie   friend--what do you think?

And  I've  also  learned  not  to  put  my  wood  blocks  on shelves, but  hang  them all  up so  people stop trying  to  open  them!  I'm  leaving  tomorrow for just  a  one  day show on  Saturday.  It's  a tough set-up  in the morning, but it's  a  good  show.  I did  it last  year for the first time and  I  loved  it.  I  hope  to take photos, because  it's  right  on  the main  street,  and  it's  such  a cute  little  town.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Selling Your Art in Person vs. Selling Online.....PLUS A Bob Update

I would have to say that one of the advantages of selling your art at a show is the feedback that you get from potential customers.  For example--remember the wood blocks that I made?  Well, I  received a good response from customers, but I didn't sell as many as I thought I would. Most of  the  blocks were   displayed on shelves that I had in my booth.  And  if  I had a nickel for every person who came up to them and tried to open them, I'd  have  some  decent  pocket  change now.  And another nickel for ladies saying to me that they wished  they were boxes-----so,  I took their advice, and went to the local craft chain  (Pat Catan's--if you're ever in Northeast Ohio--go to one of these stores--excellent prices), and bought me some small boxes.  They're the  exact  same size  as  the  blocks, but a little deeper.  So  I'm  making some for the show that  I'm  in  this weekend.

Another good tip--functional art sells very well, because not only is it a piece of art, it also has a purpose.

But the best reason, I feel,  for  displaying  your artwork  at  shows,  is that  people like to see the art in person.  They love to touch it.  This is what I want.  I want people to touch and see the colors up close, and ask me questions like   "what is this, or how did you do this".  I love when my art puts a smile on their face, because it puts a smile on mine.  You can't get that when you're selling online.

And there's one more thing that I should mention about shows.--Juried vs Non- Juried shows.  With the non-juried shows, all you have to do is fill out the application with the required booth fee and send it in.  They just require that your work is handmade, but you're going to see alot of non-handmade, anywhere from Tupperware to Home Windows--this is just how it is.  And you're  also going to see crafters that are not really making their craft--this is very common.

Now in the juried shows, they want to see photos, slides, or a CD of your work, and sometimes your display.  The fee is usually quite a bit higher, and 9 times out of 10, there's a non-refundable jury fee from $10.00 to $30.00.  But in the long run, they're worth it, because  for  the  most  part,  sales are  always better in these types of shows,and the quality of arts and crafts are much better.  And every artist who does the show circuit as had the dreaded "rejection" letter.  It's not a reflection on you--really--it's just that some of these shows get way over the amount of applicants that they need,  so they have their pick and choose.  It's a bit of a blow to your ego, but in the long run, it's an advantage, because it pushes you to go farther with your art.  I consider it a challenge, and I don't give up year after year   until I finally get accepted, which is a great feeling.

So enough business talk--What About Bob?  Well, my daughter told me that the night he came home from getting his tooth removed, his mouth was swollen, and he was "gently crying" all night--Awwww!  But, the next day, he was fine.  And she also told me that before they had  found out  about the cracked tooth, he had been mopey for a quite a while.  She thinks that the tooth was hurting him all along--Awwww!  She says that  he's a very happy dog now!!

But he's too cool to show it : )

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Help For Anyone Who Would Like To Start Selling Their Art At Shows Part 1

Hi everyone--back from my long weekend at my art show.  It was in Westlake, Ohio--just outside of Cleveland in a lovely setting on the grounds of St. John's Medical center.

Lots  of  shoppers  and beautiful  weather.

And you'll always see all kinds of "shoppers" there too--

So, first off, I wanted to thank everyone for your wonderful comments on my last post,  and I also wanted to reply to some of you asking me if I was going to start selling my work online.  Well, I'm thinking of starting an Etsy store probably in November--I'm not quite sure about how to set  it up, but I know that everyone will help and give me advice when the time comes.

Plus, a few of you have asked  me  for any  help or advice I could give  about getting started at  selling  your art  at  art/craft shows.  So I decided to tell you how I got started and what I've learned  throughout  the years.  I know that it sounds a little  intimidating  if  you've never done this before--but if you just take it in baby steps, it's  not so daunting.

The First Step
I started in 1990, and  way  back  then, I didn't even know what a paintbrush was.  My craft was florals for many years, which  I was very successful with, but after a while, it started to become  a job, not a passion. But, that's another story.  The first thing I did, and what I feel everyone should do  is start small--local craft show in a school or church--a craft/ bazaar show.  It really gives you great experience of display, how much you should make and bring.  And before that, you can visit the show/shows that you're interested in.  Look at the customers--are they just walking around or are they shopping-- and talk to the crafters about the show (are they happy with it) and  their overall  experience.   All  crafters  are very  generous  with  their help and advice.

You can also find items similar to what you sell, and check their prices to stay competitive.  I've heard  alot  of  different  formulas  for pricing, but I feel it depends on where your selling and who you're selling to.  Obviously at an art show, you can raise your prices as opposed to a craft show. The customer base is different. I tend to keep my prices on the lower side.  I want my art to be affordable so people can purchase it and enjoy it for their own home. It  thrills  me when people are thrilled to be able to purchase my art.  And before I go any further--if you want to start selling your art hoping to support yourself with your sales, then stop reading this, because most likely, you won't.  The term "starving artist" is SO true. If  I was just doing this for the monetary reasons, then I wouldn't be doing this at all.   I'd be in another line of business.  All  I can say, is  that   I'm very grateful  that  my husband  has  a good  enough  job  to support my "job"! 

Another good reason to visit art/craft shows is to get ideas for your display and presentation.  It's all about the presentation.  Look at the booths that are more crowded.  It has ALOT to do with how the artists display their work.  I read somewhere that people's attention span is only a few seconds, so you need something to grab their attention, or else they'll just move on to the next booth.  The best way to do this is to have your biggest, most impressive piece  right out in the front of your booth displayed in a creative way.  Some of the display items that I've used throughout the years, I've found, where else, at garage sales and flea markets.

vintage suitcases, shabby small benches covered with linens, preferably vintage

And this is my "check out" table that I purchased from the wood

This is a great website if your looking for display items--they can be a little pricey, but they will last forever and they're all collapsible.  Here's what the table looks like without anything on it, front and back--
I've had it for almost 20 years--it's the best investment I've made.

And earlier this year I had decided to upgrade my display by getting the artist panels that you see all the time at art shows--a MAJOR investment, but I decided to stay with the lattice panels that I've always used. They just seem to suit my type of  art, and I like them.  I spray painted them a cream color lightly so they have a white-wash look to them.

Another way of attracting people to enter your booth is to demonstrate your art or craft whatever it may be.  People LOVE to watch artists at work, and they'll ask questions, which makes them appreciate what you do that much more--to see what's involved in your art process.

Best Time to Start Out
And don't give up if you're sales are slow.  In these times, people just don't have luxury money anymore.  Some barely have enough to pay their bills and buy food for their families.  Case in point--the show that I was in this weekend was not  that  great  for  sales.  It  was  like  that  pretty much  for all of the artists there too, but this is how it is--you  never  know what  to  expect  anymore  with art shows.   But like I said, I'm not in this for the money--I just enjoy the whole art show experience. Don't get me wrong, you can do very well at a show--you just have to find the right ones for you.  When I first started out---shows were amazing.  It didn't matter what you had to offer  (especially in the fall), sales  were  excellent.   But  the  fall  was  and  always  will  be  the best time to start, because that's when sales are the best.

So I hope I've helped everyone who is thinking about selling their art  in art shows.  There's more I want to share, but I'll save it for the next post.  Remember to email me any questions you might have.  My email is on the top of my sidebar.

And on another subject, I want to thank Cheryl Richards from Artella  for publishing my metal embossing tutorial post in her online magazine, The Art Journal Journey.  This is very cool to see an article in a magazine written by me with my name , Diane Salter,  right there on the page!--I love it--Thank you Cheryl!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Leaving This Morning & Bob

Okay, I'm off again--this time to my much anticipated art show.  It's starting tomorrow at 3:00 till 9.   I think that it's kind of a preview party thing--I'm not sure. I used up my painted papers for more art pieces.  I did a couple of "praintings" with my prints--


And on the next one, I just cut up one of the papers that I had and just jumbled it around and then added collage accents.  I really liked the way it turned out, and it was very quick to do.

And I used the rest of the scraps of paper for this mirror--really fun!

Today we're going to set up our booth/tent, which I like to do--set up the day before, although the temperatures are going to be in the 90's with the high humidity.  But I'm trying not to complain.  I remember all of those very frigid winter days when I'd be blogging and longing for warmer weather--so here it is!  I'll try to check in with everyone when I'm gone too!

P.S. I haven't talked about Bob lately, have I?   Well, I wanted to tell everyone that he had his yearly check- up, and the Doctor found that his back molar was completely cracked in half   (poor thing)--now of course they have to watch what they give him to chew on.  Well anyway, yesterday he had to go to have the tooth extracted, but of course with a French Bulldog, nothing is easy. I guess the molar has 3 different roots, so they had to take it out in 3 parts, so that means he had to be put under with  anesthesia  (more $).  He was at the Doctor's most of the day, but he did come home last night--completely out of it.


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