Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Writer's Block Overcome for Good

Do you find yourself brimming with blogging ideas, at all the wrong time? Do your best ideas usually come to you in the shower, while doing chores, or when trying to fall asleep at night? They do for me, brilliant ideas (in my opinion) but when I sit down to write, I HAVE NOTHING writers block at its best.
Perhaps it's your mind is giving you a warning, creativity cannot be forced, or called upon at will. Instead creativity has to be captured when it pops up, or may be lost for good.

Not anymore

Your goal, as a blogging artist, is to capture the ideas when the arise, and save them for a time when you can expand upon them to turn them into valuable site/blog content
How You ask?

Capture the Ideas RIGHT When They Arise

Keep a pen and paper handy at all times

Wherever you go, whatever you're doing, make sure you have a paper and pen handy. When the idea strikes, take notes. If you're out shopping, mark up a receipt. Eating out? use a napkin. And of course you can keep a handy little 'idea notebook' in your purse

Keep a Recorder Handy

I recently downloaded a recording app to my cellphone. But you can also use any any other recorder. Be sure to keep it in your pocket at all times. Verbally recording ideas work even better than writing them down, for 2 main reasons

1- Most People Think Faster Than They Write/Type

Even if you type fast, you probably think faster. When an idea comes to you, the creative thoughts will be flowing in every which way, without rhyme or reason. Taking the time to write this down forces you to slow the creative flow and squeeze huge concepts into a few words or bullet points. But a recorder will allow you to ramble on with any idea allowing the puzzle pieces of thought to fall into place

2- Most People Speak Better/Easier Than They Write

Let's not start blaming every middle school English teacher out there, but the truth of the matter is, most people talk better than they can write. Personally, even when I do have a paper with jotted down notes, I still find myself at a loss of how to put the ideas into words. My posts turn out very short and not alot of fun to read
But if you're anything like me, then you can probably talk a mile a minute. So use that to your advantage, and translate your chattiness into blog content.
When the idea for a blog post strikes, or if you have the time to elaborate on a previous idea, simply whip out your trusty recorder and go to town. Start the creative process by telling yourself what you are about to discuss, for example: "This is a blog post idea on the topic of ..." And then simply talk
Imagine that you are speaking to a friend. Tell this friend, your recorder, why you want to speak about this topic, and what aspects of this topic are important to be discussed. Once you get into this habit, 5 minutes is all you will need for a content-rich blog post
Using this method the question of 'what else can I write about this topic?' turns into 'what can I cut from this topic?' because you will probably have an abundance of ideas recorded on a single topic
And the best part is, you get to capture every aspect of the idea as it comes to you. Even with a fresh idea, if it takes so long to type, some of your idea may be lost by the time you get to typing it.
(I forget where I heard this one) But if you don't have a recorder, call your own cell phone, and leave yourself a voicemail

What methods do you use to capture your ideas as they happen?

Let me know in the comments below

This post was brought to you by Leah from Blogging For Online Artists
Learn more about my art-blogging experiments by visiting my site HERE

Friday, September 21, 2012

Growing your Wanelo

Wanelo has become a very popular place for people to shop for items both handmade and retail. This growing site has just invested $2 million and will keep growing like crazy. So don't wait until it's to late, jump on the bandwagon now and get your items out to new potential buyers. All you need to do is sign up and grow your followers.

Growing your Wanelo can be easy as 1,2,3! Here are the simple steps I have been using to grow my followers. Now be patient it does take time to grow followers. As with any other social networking system you have to wait to be followed back!

Here are the steps I take after signing into Wanelo:

1. Search for a tag that relates to your shop/business. I think that people who follow others with items like yours might be more likely to follow you back. in the example below I am searching the tag #jewelry

2.  I find an item that has been saved a LOT. the more saves means more views and more chance of large followers.

3. I view the item and then click on the person who listed it. I want to see her followers and who has been saving this item 3000+ times!!!

4. I now see she only has a handful of followers, but someone who followed her and saved it must have a decent following so I will click on the 186 FOLLOWERS button to see them!

5. Scroll down and through the pages until you find someone with a large following. Here I found someone with 900+ followers which is a good person to copy followers from. So I click the members name STAYGOLDMEDIA

6.  from here I once again click on the FOLLOWERS button so I can see this person's followers and start copying them

7. START FOLLOWING!! The people in BLUE can be followed and you can go page by page and add 100, 200, 300 new people to your list.  I don't follow people with 0 followers or no saved items. The saved items show up under there name. you can see in this example the person on the right only saved 2 things. If they aren't saving items (which is like Repining) then they aren't worth following.

The only bad thing is there is no way to see who is following you back vs who you are following. so you may en up with a large following group.  I would suggest you treat this like Circles and go through and remove shops and add more.  People use Wanelo to shop, and I have seen stats in my shop to reflect they are visiting. So I would try to grow this like you would your circles and Pinterest and get your shop items seen.

Hope this has been helpful and easy to follow.

Bill Guest

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Featured Shop - Glitterbird Glass

Decorative Dish - Blue Green and White - Handmade Fused Glass

Wine Bottle Stopper Blue Arctic Ice - High Relief - Large

We are a mother and daughter team who, several years ago, took a series of classes in both glass fusing and PMC (precious metal clay) at a local glass studio. We found it to be an outlet that perfectly suited our personalities and so we invested in the equipment, tools and glass stock necessary to form a small home studio. We enjoy the days-long process, the challenges, and the outcomes involved in creating treasures with glass and precious metals. We love the sparkle and glitter and the amazing relationship it has with light.

Inspiration strikes at the most interesting times, we can see a painting, a color combination, a flower or just about anything and ideas are sparked. We often draw out the design / concept so we don’t forget, which is why we have lots of napkins and odd pieces of note paper in our workspace! 

It often starts with a particular idea, but sometimes we stare at the glass and what we intended to do becomes something else entirely. That’s what we love about the creative process and inspiration; it guides us where we are supposed to go.

Projects are always fluid, and there are always several in progress at different stages, at any given time. There are many stages, and stops and starts, because glass fusing is not something you can do in one sitting.

• There’s the time spent cleaning the glass - and keeping it clean - until we place it into the kiln.
• Glass scraps that have to be sorted by color and size, to be incorporated into future projects.
• There are always sheets and pieces of glass laid out on a table where we can “percolate” for a while about what we want to do with them.
• There will be some on the cutting table waiting to be “sliced and diced” or cut in a circle.
• After cutting, there must be some nipping and shaping to be done.
• And at the far end of the cutting table, there will be a line of beauties waiting for their turn in the kiln. Some of them will be slumped into or over a mold.
• After coming out of the kiln some are not quite smooth and are then lined up waiting to be cold worked (hand filed or smoothed out on the grinder).
• There are pieces that are lined up to be fire polished for a second or third time, with additional elements added at each firing.
• And then there is the time we spend cleaning the kiln shelf and reapplying kiln wash (while wearing my respirator). And cleaning and reapplying kiln wash to the molds. And remixing the wash when we’ve run out.
• All crafters have to spend administrative time on things like placing orders, tracking expenses and so on, so we won’t go into all that.
• There are some technical aspects of glass that we have to factor into our projects – coefficient of expansion, annealing, and calculating firing schedules.

So if you have ever wondered what we mean by “days-long process” perhaps all this helps to clarify! Working with glass can be dirty, messy, wet, and sometimes a bit bloody – but we love it.

Our styles are quite different, which helps brings a wide variety to our shop. We critique each other's work and push each other to grow and evolve our design work. We strive to stay original and avoid replication so that our customers can be assured that theirs is a completely unique piece.

 Cobalt Blue Necklace - Dichroic Glass Triangles

While jewelry is a large portion of our work, we also make a growing assortment of decorative and functional items that make lovely design accents for the home, all of which are hand cut, shaped, kiln-fired and cold worked in our little studio. Right here in the U.S.A.

As a SPECIAL OFFER FOR 3 days only!  Expires September 21st

COUPON CODE:   PFTB15OFF    Enjoy 15% off of your order with her shop.

 Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/GlitterbirdGlass/
Twitter: twitter.com/GlitterbirdGlam
Blog: glitterbirdglamour.blogspot.com/
Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/glitterbirdglamour/
Pinterest: pinterest.com/spraydm/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/glitterglass
Google+: plus.google.com/u/0/103184449632714823503/about

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Featured Shop - NewCreatioNZ

 Rose Print Graham Thomas yellow old fashioned


I live in the beautiful, far away land of New Zealand, also known as 'the land of the long white cloud'. I moved here from South Africa 16 years ago with my husband and then, two children. 12 years ago we had another little surprise to complete our family of five. Before getting married in South Africa, I had spent three years doing what we call my “OE” (Overseas Experience). I traveled through Europe, UK and US and so loved the travel bug I caught that I have not been able to shake it yet! So moving to my new home in New Zealand was not so much daunting as an adventure.

For my day job I work in a local Christian School that my youngest daughter attends (my other daughter and son are in their 2nd and 3rd year of university) I work with children that have special needs and am also involved in a mentoring programme at another school. Though I would love to be a full time artist, my job takes up a lot of my time so creating is slipped in where I can.

If I had my way I would be creating all day, every day. I have been tinkering in all sorts of crafts since a young age but never dreamt of selling anything until, in our early days of coming to New Zealand, my husband lost his job and I was forced to find creative ways to make some money. Those were very tough times but I look back on them now and see how God used them for good. I started selling my paintings in a few galleries and was amazed when people actually bought them! My camera had been stolen shortly before we left South Africa and I did not have a replacement so my photography was non existent at that time. It was only when my dear husband presented me with a digital SLR for my birthday that my passion was ignited again.

I was first introduced to Etsy by my niece who happened to mention it as a place where you could find “really cool” handmade items. I had never sold online before but the more I browsed the site the more it intrigued me and and before I knew it, I had opened my shop and listed my first few items! My shop has evolved a lot since those early days. Not content to just sell prints and paintings, I was constantly looking for new practical ways to use my art. I now sell my photos and paintings in many different formats, such as pendants, magnets, stationery, calendars, cards – the list goes on!

People often ask me if I enjoy painting or photography more. Well, they are both so different that it is hard to pick one over the other. I enjoy the spontaneity and freedom in my painting process. Although I start off with an idea, it develops as I go and my final product is mostly very different to the picture I had in my mind to start. I more often paint in a contemporary style rather than realistic as I feel that's what my camera captures for me. Both my faith and the beautiful surroundings of New Zealand are a big part of my inspiration. With my camera, I love especially to go close up and capture the things that we often miss. We have such an amazing creation around us that leaves me awestruck and I see it as a real privilege to be able to capture it on “film”.

 Abstract acrylic painting - Revelation

So where to from here? Well, last year I had the most amazing opportunity to go and teach art in some village schools in Fiji. What an experience! And it really confirmed to me that art is something to be shared. I have been blessed with a gift and I need to use it to bless others, not least those less fortunate who do not have the opportunity or means to experience art. If you are interested in reading more about my time in Fiji, go here jocelynfriisart.blogspot.com/2011/10/fiji-update-just-blessed.html
And the exciting news is that, God willing, I will be going back to Fiji again this year in October!

Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/NewCreatioNZ
Website www.newcreationzart.com/
Twitter twitter.com/newcreationz
Flikr www.flickr.com/photos/jocelynfriisart
Blog jocelynfriisart.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sapphire is September's Birthstone

The Greek word "sapphirus", meaning blue, is the origin of the word sapphire. Sapphires are considered royal gemstones-priests and kings considered them symbolic of wisdom and purity.
Social, religious, biblical and Christian symbolism all have included the color blue representing heavenly grace. Since ancient times, blue has been considered a lucky color among the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa. According to several rabbinic sages, blue is the color of God’s Glory. Staring at this color aids in mediation, bringing us a glimpse of the “pavement of sapphire, like the very sky for purity,” which is a likeness of the Throne of God. (The Hebrew word for glory, kavod, means “blue” in Arabic.)

Here are some finds from the Etsy Promofrenzy Team
Blue Moon Pendant Sapphire Blue crystal Bracelet
blue_moon blue_brac
Sapphire Blue Swarovski Crystal Seder Plate Earrings Sapphire Blue Dragonfly Earrings
sapphire_pass sapphire_dragon
Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum.  Corundum is found in every color of the rainbow, with red being designated as ruby and all other hues Sapphire. The most prized color of Sapphire is a rich, deep blue. Sapphires with colors other than blue are generally referred to as fancy sapphires. The distinctive blue of the sapphire is due to minute amounts of oxide of iron and titanium in the stone.
Sapphire Corundum
courtesy of minedirect.com

These gemstones were mined as early as the 7th Century BCE from India and what is now Sri Lanka. They are found today in Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China, Madagascar, and the United States. 

Large specimens of Corundum crystals are rare, although the 563-carat Star of India can be seen in the American Museum of Natural History in New York, NY.  This is the largest and most famous of star Sapphires, which are cut to reflect light from inclusions within the stone, revealing a bright six-legged star pattern. 

The Sapphire is second only to the Diamond in hardness, making it a durable gemstone for setting into jewelry.  A gift of Sapphire represents sincerity and faithfulness. As nourishing to the soul as gazing up at the sky on a summer day, this brilliant blue gemstone is truly a heavenly choice!

Sun Rays - Rays of Hope Photo


Fused Glass Dichroic Bowl Emerald Green and Sapphire Blue
sapphire_sky sapphire_bowl
Vintage Sapphire Ring Lapis Lazuli Cats Eye Necklace
vintage_sapp sapph_lapiz
Blue Bicone Toggle Clasp Bracelet Light Sapphire Rivoli Ring
blue_bicone sapp_ring

September birthdays are divided into 2 signs:
Virgo, “the Virgin” in Latin, “Partenos” in Greek is the astrological sign for birthdays from Aug 22 to Sept 21 and Libra from September 23 - October 22 (coming in another article).
Ruling planet - Mercury
Quality - Mutable
Element - Earth
Greatest Overall Compatibility - Taurus, Capricorn
Best for Marriage and Partnerships - Pisces
Color - Navy blue
Metal - Quicksilver
Lucky Numbers 5, 3

Virgo characteristics: Mental agility, analystical skills, healing powers, ability to give attention to details
Virgo is an excellent manager with thrifty ways and a clear head. Virgo should watch out not to be too critical of others not so strong willed. It takes hard work to win the love of Virgo, but once won, the love glows so hot it seldom cools.
Negative traits: Destructive criticism

Celebrities born under the sign Virgo
Lauren Bacall Virgonard Bernstein
Jacqueline Bisset Sid Caesar
Sean Connery Ben Gazzara
Greta Garbo Jesse James
Lyndon B Johnson Sophia Loren
Bob Newhart Lily Tomlin
Racquel Welch
By: Linda Blatchford, Jewelry Designer of www.lindab142.etsy.com
Part of this article originally appeared at http://linorstorecom.blogspot.com