Monday, June 28, 2010

Amazing!  Artists With A Special Touch
Reef Botanicals


Okay folks...  let me make you hungry!  Honey and chocolate to the left...  Beer and greens to the right.  And, oh, those gorgeous blocks of cheese!!  Are you ready to run to the kitchen for a snack?  Don't leave your chair yet, because the kitchen is the wrong room to run to!  To indulge in these wonderful creations, the bathroom will work much better!  Those gorgeous blocks are hand-crafted soaps!
It is my pleasure to introduce you to Eric and Larissa of Reef Botanicals.  The subtitle on their blog reads, "handcrafted soaps and other indulgences."   This is a promise they keep with things like Chocolate Chip Lip Balm!  This statement from their About Us section of their store sums up their products. "We do not use any pre-made bases, but make all of our soap and candles ourselves, from our own recipes, with our own four hands, in small batches. The products you are purchasing today were likely made last week!"
They use only the finest natural ingredients in their creations...  the lovely scents of their finished products are generated by the ingredients themselves.  Their finished product exudes a sense of pride in their work.  And that pride and attention to detail begins with the exquisite photography throughout both of their sites.
When thinking of 'artists,' soapers probably isn't the first category that comes to mind.  But Larissa and Eric will quickly change that notion.  Please do visit their blog and their web shop and let the indulgence begin for you!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Groovefest  Was Groovy!

We did our very first ever Arts & Crafts show Friday and Saturday!  It was an ambitious undertaking to take on a two-day event when we'd never done it before at all!

Groovefest is a long-standing American Music Festival in Cedar City, Utah, which this year combined with the Cedar City Arts Festival to form one huge two-day event.  Live music performances began each day at 11:00 AM, with the last performance at 10:00 PM.  The entire Main Street Park was filled with food, laughter music and art for two full days!

 Day 1
Friday - we arrived at just past 7:00 AM, ready to set up for the first time.  We were more than a  little anxious about doing this...  we did NOT want to be the sideshow entertainment or comedy routine!  It went incredibly smoothly, which was a happy surprise.  We had played with this L-shaped design and thought it would work well.  It made our shop look full, which we thought would be a very good thing.
What we learned was that it seemed too crowded.  Plus, our customers needed to walk past us to get to many of our items, and we think that may have inhibited some people from browsing at all.   To get behind the tables was possible but very confined with only about 18 inches between the tables and the walls. Regardless, we had a great day on  Friday, but BOY were we tired when we got home at just past 11:00 PM!
Day 2
Saturday - we weren't required to be open until "tenish," so we arrived at about 9:15 AM.  We had no price signs on Friday, thinking that would make people talk to us.  But we don't think that worked... when they found things unmarked, we think many of them just put it down and walked away.  So Saturday morning, we made colorful signs so that everything was clearly priced.  Still, probably 60% of all our customers looked right at the sign, then turned and asked, "How much is this?" !!

We decided to arrange the tables differently too...  one on each side as far forward as possible.  This put us all the way in the back (where we had lots of room!) and twice as much of our merchandise right on the aisle for people to see as they walked by.  This seemed to work much better!  We even brought a vase with a couple of beautiful roses in it for the TV tray we had between our chairs.
We were amazed at the difference between the 'crowds' on the two days!  Surprisingly, our best day was Friday.  But when all was said and done, we came home with more money than we had paid in entry fees, we gave away almost 100 business cards, and we met some really nice folks who we believe will be customers in the future.
When we do this again (yes, we are going to do it again!), we're thinking we need to display fewer pieces to begin with.  There were so many things on each table that it was a bit overwhelming to take it all in.  Plus, you couldn't really see just one thing.  So next time, we'll take all of our things, but put them out in waves.  The other thing we will definitely do next time is to take our comfy camping chairs.  Sitting on that hard surface for 24 out of 36 hours took its toll!

Monday, June 21, 2010

THANK YOU!

A while ago , I wrote a short article here asking for your vote in the HAF Team Road Trip Challenge.  When I entered this contest, my goal was to not come in last.  I never even dreamed of being the winner!  To everyone who voted, whether it was for my quilt or one of the other amazing entries, THANK YOU!  I am so incredibly flattered by all of this!!!! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Amazing! Artists With A Special Touch
TamsJewelry

In keeping with the title of my feature, I like to concentrate on the special touch of the spotlighted artist.  I know I've introduced you to a significant number of jewelry artisans, but perhaps none demonstrating the incredible patience of Tammy of TamsJewelry.  Of course, all artistic endeavors take patience.  In my opinion, working with seed beads requires that virtue in spades!  Not only is the work of stringing them painstaking, but they are so incredibly small, that everything becomes more tedious.  But Tammy sees it through with incredibly beautiful results!  See for yourself:
 I just can't imagine!!!  Tammy has four shops on the web; on Etsy, Artfire, Zibbet, and Handmade Artists Shop.  The are some hot deals in her Handmade Artists Shop right now, too!  She also has a great blog!  Drop in on Tammy at any of her web locations and view more of her delightful pieces!






    

 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Amazing! Artists With A Special Touch
Brenda Miller - A Touch of Glass



Let's start right off with an image. This painting has so many rich elements...  color balance, emotion, great format, the wistful lady with the sad, sultry eyes...  it's a work of art ready to be displayed and enjoyed.  Now consider this...  this piece is a one by two INCH pendant!  Surprised?!?

Brenda Miller painstakingly hand paints each of her wonderful pieces on fused glass.  Each tiny work of art is signed and dated.  Here are some more samples of her delightful work:

 
This is an involved process.  Brenda writes, "...first I cut the glass, top and bottom, to the desired size and shape. It is then fused together which takes about 1 1/2 hours. Then it is allowed to cool. Then comes the fun part, painting. After the painting is completed it goes into the kiln again for about 3 more hours and allowed to completely cool again."

Brenda has two shops on the web - one on Etsy and another on Artfire.  She also has a delightful Flickr gallery, and a blog.  The title of this series is Artists With A Special Touch.  Brenda Miller fits this category perfectly!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I NEED YOUR HELP, PLEASE!!!

I entered one of my quilts in a web contest, with the theme of "Road Trip."  My quilt, Trucks, is in the final vote!  Now I need you to vote for it!  There are brief instructions on the site.  Plus, after you vote, if you leave a comment, you could win a beautiful necklace!  Please visit the link below, read the instructions, view the entries and cast your vote!!!  Thank you SO MUCH in advance for helping me with this!  Here is the link:  http://handmadeartistsforum.com/road-trip-hafteam-challenge/ .

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Amazing! Artists With A Special Touch
Fantasy Dream Knits
Her profile states that she's, "the homeschooling mother of five and wife of one," immediately leading me to wonder how there is time for literally ANYTHING else!  But I found myself engaged by the banner in her shop, even before I got to her delicious items!
Aren't you intrigued?!?!?
I had never considered knit or crochet lingerie, but Fantasy Dream Knits may have just changed my mind!  Take a look....
 
You can see more of her work in so many places!  She has an Etsy shop, an Artfire studio, a facebook page, and a wonderful blog, complete with everything from spotlights on other artists to stories about rescuing pets!  I am also so impressed that this very busy lady has at least one item in her shop where the proceeds of the sale will benefit a child in need of medical attention!  Please do visit Fantasy Dream Knits.  It will be time very well spent!