Monday, July 30, 2012

30 Things on the 30th to Celebrate 3 Years...

Hello dear Blog Readers! Many thanks to my blog buddies for leaving such wonderful and encouraging comments regarding my last blog post and many thanks to my dear friends for e-mailing, calling or visiting me and providing support. It is really wonderful to know such great people who are so supportive =-)

I've been in the doldrums lately but yesterday was an important anniversary, or should I say BLOG-iversary...I was not as prepared for this special event as I hoped to be but here is my offering to "celebrate", as it were...

30 Things on the 30th of July Regarding My 3 Years of Blogging

1) This is my third year of blogging
2) I love the number 3 since "3 is the magic number"...
3) Here's a video about that...
4) My first Blog-iversary went like THIS
5) My second Blog-iversary went like THIS
6) Lately I have not been in a great place after this happened 
7) So I have not been in a festive mood to celebrate three years of blogging
8) YET...some interesting things have been taking place despite my being in the doldrums
9) Then I began to look at what has transpired since last years blog-iversary...
10) I began to feel much better - let me share the good, the bad and the things in-between:
11) I participated in a holiday boutique to sell my grandmothers vintage goods and learned a lot about how to approach this event if I participate again this year
12) I've seen first-hand how NOT to conduct business as an artist 
13) I learned about some of the blocks regarding my sense of worthiness
14) I've learned the things that are most important to me are BOOKS, ART and FRIENDS 
15) I now keep these things in mind so I now bring more of them into my life to cultivate more JOY
16) I've begun selling my grandmothers vintage goods at local flea markets as well as continue selling them online (You know, I made nearly $800 from those online sales for last year - not bad considering I do virtually no marketing for this shop!)
17) I've learned about the blocks I have regarding my cluttered home and finally moved out a tired worn piece of furniture which made space in my home
18) I've put together a fun creative sewing project with my Fabric Scrap Book
19) I pitched my workshop idea and set up a date and time for the first workshop
20) No one signed up for my workshop but I learned a LOT from the experience
21) I realized that I've started putting myself out into the world of teaching, or as I like to call it, "Sharing What I Love"
22) I've found some possible venues for teaching my workshop that seem more in alignment with me and my creative style and I will be contacting them soon...
23) I received an email out of the blue from someone who requested that I teach some young girls the basics of bookbinding, book arts and artist techniques
24) I put together some ideas for a lecture, examples, a demo and the opportunity for the girls to make one or two small hand bound books  
25) I SUBMITTED MY PROPOSAL and waited with baited breath to find out if I would be conducting this newly formed workshop
26) I got anxious waiting for a response and used the energy to clean out a corner of my creative space!
27) Three days later I got the response that I WILL be conducting this workshop! (3 really IS a magic number!)
28) I got a request to sell some of my creative goods at a local in-home event and I think I will do it
29) I've been having a REALLY hard time putting this blog post together because BLOGGER insists on acting like "SHITE" but I'm still persisting in making this blog post work =-)
30) I've learned...that I have had quite a lot of learning lessons this year!! All of it fruitful, if occasionally difficult...and those difficulties have been taking center stage these past weeks which means I do not have anything in place to conduct a proper giveaway to celebrate 3 years of blogging...
***   ***   ***
However, my next post will be my 390th blog post. It's not quite 400 but it's getting there! I will put together some pictures of goodies I want to giveaway and I will post them in my 390th blog post for a  belated celebration of 3 years of blogging. Does that sound like a plan??
Many thanks to each and everyone of you who continue to stop by my blog and continue to read about my learning experiences as I continue on my path to be a self sustaining self employed Artist. I do hope you are learning as much I have and I hope you are continuing to create as I do! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Feeling Like A Failure

Dear Blog Readers,
I wish I had some great news about how fun and fantastic my Fabric Scrap Book workshop turned out, but I don't...

My workshop in making a Fabric Scrap Book did not happen because no one signed up and I found out about this a few days before the workshop was scheduled to take place. I hoped that there might be some last minute students, but there weren't.

It felt like I planned a party and no one showed up

I also felt like a failure and an idiot, I wondered where I had gone wrong, what I didn't do to get students to sign up - maybe my workshop idea wasn't good enough, maybe my Fabric Scrap Book was a silly idea...and on and on.

Those feelings lasted for about one day...

Pages from the sample books I made to promote my workshop

The day after the workshop would have taken place I called the store and spoke with the manager to ask about what happened. She was very kind and told me that there have been other classes they've offered that their clientele do not sign up for. She also mentioned that it is summer time and many people are probably away on vacations or busy taking care of children on summer break.
I realized that she was probably right...

I then asked her about what the next step should be - should I offer this workshop again and if not, how I might be able to get my book samples back so I can take them to other venues to pitch my workshop idea. I also asked if they might be interested in other workshop ideas I have.

The manager said she would speak with the owner since they generate a class schedule per quarter and the next round of classes offered would begin in September. It did sound as if they are open to trying my workshop again and listening to other workshop/class ideas I have for their store and I began to feel better...

In the past few weeks, not only was I preparing for my workshop, I have also been keeping an eye open for other possible venues to teach at and I'm thinking about this venue, this venue and maybe even this wonderful venue for some of my mixed-media workshop ideas.

Friends have also mentioned this well known venue for teaching my Fabric Scrap Book workshop and it has been coming up so often I am sure the Universe is sending a clear message!

Now, instead of feeling like a failure I am looking at what I've learned from this process of pitching my creative ideas and I'm also looking at the fact that I had the courage to even pitch my ideas in the first place - this is so much more than so many other people even dare to dream of...
  • I have learned to approach the right person who is in charge of the venue and speak with them about what I have to offer
  • I have learned that I will need to find more ways to promote my workshops to generate students since some venues are not well versed in promotion or marketing
  • I have learned that not all websites are functioning with online registration abilities and this could be problematic for potential students I may have that are used to such high tech offerings
  • I have learned that I may need to start thinking bigger than I did for this first time out...
One aspect about this experience is that I chose this particular venue because the size of the room used for classes is small and cozy and I wasn't sure I was ready for a large class of over 8 people. I'm beginning to think the Universe was not happy about me thinking small for my first time teaching and that I need to think BIGGER! I'm not sure I'm ready for bigger, but as my Rock Star Designer friend Phyllis would say to me:

"You grow into it"

Now, she was taking about home-owning and the responsibilities that go with that at the time she made this statement, but I find it has always been true about anything I have had no experience with, such as buying and owning my first car, maintaining my own apartment and it will apply to teaching large classrooms of up to 20 people...when I get there!

I'm working on looking into the venues I've located to see if they might be a good fit for me and the creative work I do so I can then prepare to contact the managers, make appointments to meet with them and pitch my ideas.

In the meantime, I am going to make time to play with my own Fabric Scrap Book and add some fun embellishments to it...

 Rubber stamp images can make great embroidery patterns! These stamped scraps will be added to my book pages when embroidered...

I've been meaning to add some written journaling and hand embroidery to my own book, but since I was so busy preparing for the workshop, I haven't had time to play in any of my art journals, let alone my fabric book. I do know that adding to my own fabric book will help people see the possibilities for making their own books, which I hope will encourage people to sign up for my workshop.

I found a place in my fabric book to put this little bird when I have embroidered him...

I've been feeling much better about this experience as I focus on all the things I did and the lessons learned along the way and I look forward to playing in my fabric book and art journals in the days to come...

After all, I certainly don't feel like a failure when I am playing with my creative skills!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Addition to my Blog...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!

I've been busy, busy, busy preparing for my upcoming creative sewing workshop, not to mention making time to register for Cindy O'Leary's wonderful art retreat, Artful Journey. I also made a little time to add a new page to my blog...

It's a new page where you can find out where I'll be "sharing what I love" with others and it will be updated as new venues and workshops come along. I hope to start adding fun tutorials to this page in the future as well!

I can't believe that I'll be teaching my first workshop and sharing my love of sewing and books with others by next Thursday!

My new blog page is HERE so be sure to stop by and check it out =-)

In the meantime, here are some pics of the sample Fabric Scrap Books I made for display in the store for students to see...

I've been making fun journal tags so each student will go home with one for their Fabric Scrap Book, though the tags are different than the ones in the sample book...

If you're in the San Fernando Valley area, come and join me for some sewing and book making fun next Thursday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Artful Journey 2013 Registration TOMORROW!

Goodness! I nearly forgot that Cindy O'Leary's fabulous Artful Journey Retreat is coming back for 2013 and registration is TOMORROW!

Artful Journey held at the beautiful Presentation Center in Santa Cruz, California

I love the Artful Journey Retreat - it is the the VERY FIRST art retreat I ever attended and it is very dear to my heart*. I have met so many wonderful blog buddies and art friends at this retreat, not to mention meeting wonderful instructors such as Nina Bagley and Orly Avineri...

I met Nina Bagley at my first retreat and I took her workshop at my second retreat - she is AWESOME!

This retreat is held in a beautiful location called The Presentation Center in the Santa Cruz mountains nestled among lots of trees...

...with a charming town just a few miles away, where you can find sweet baby chicks being sold at the local hardware store!

Sweet little baby chicks - I make sure to visit the hardware store to see these little darlings!

You have three whole days of painting, jewelry making, paper and book binding, art journaling or mixed media making with other creative soul sisters (and the occasional soul brother!)...

An art workshop in full swing with creativity just bubbling over!

You can take a moment for quiet, meditative reflection in the courtyard...

...or out in nature...

Cindy O'Leary has created an amazing retreat in Santa Cruz that I know you will thoroughly enjoy. If you have not attended an art retreat before, I highly recommend attending this one! Registration opens on July 10 at 10am - here are some links about the retreat:

Information on who is teaching at the retreat is HERE
Information about this year's instructors can be found HERE
Information on registration is HERE

I hope to see you in Santa Cruz next February!

* - You can read about my experience at the 2010 retreat in these blog posts and you can read about my experience at the 2011 retreat in this blog post =-)