Thursday, July 31, 2008

navigating the nets

Now that the summer shows have ended I am working on finalizing my "line" which means I'm making samples and taking pictures. This was my plan at the beginning of the summer. So after the next series of firings, I'll have what I hope will be a line of work to market for the holiday season and maybe beyond. I can't express in words how excited I am about what I'm making. I feel connected and skilled in the studio, which is such a nice way to spend each day.

So about the post title! I am a little less connected to the internet these days then when I first started little flower. I no longer spend my days on the nets reading blogs, looking at shops and well, doing my very thorough market research. So any one at my previous day job who wondered, yep I fooled around a good bit! Anyhow, I'm trying to navigate etsy and I feel like I'm doing it all wrong. I have a love/hate relationship with the site. It's easy to use, but it's an extra fee, my work gets buried in minutes/ it's another way to reach people. So at the summer shows, one of the most popular questions asked was if I have an etsy shop. Well, yes I do but it's empty! Please shop directly from my website that I spend zillions of hours working on! So, after a little thought I've come to the conclusion that people trust etsy and want to shop on it. It must be the "in" site to shop! So here I am again trying it out and feeling lost. So I've listed some ready to ship items and we'll see. This is how I get sidetracked from the task at hand, which is finalizing my line so I can send my info to stores, which is my goal!

Sharing for any potters/ crafty biz owners who happen upon here!
also, the funny bird cups above are available in my etsy shop!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

trying etsy

Good day! has it really been a week since my last post?! I know I promised pictures from Artscape, they are coming, we had a little camera issue (they are on the Mr's camera and he never downloads!) Anyway, I decided to put a few items up on etsy while I spiff up my site. with new pics and wares. So here it is!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Monday, July 21, 2008

back from Artscape!

Howdy! I'm back from Artscape, the hottest dang show I've ever done! It was 3 days of sweltering heat, bbq smoke and banging club music, oh yeah and crafts! I'm still a bit loopy from the trip but wanted to pop in and post a THANK YOU to everyone that helped make the show a huge success for me and my little biz. Each and every purchase and kind word is so appreciated, may I just gush over all of you? Thank you! This show was a huge undertaking for me and quite a risk business wise - you never know how a show will go, a girl can hope for the best but you never know what will happen. I met so many lovely people and sold so much I came home with very light and yep, some empty bins. I still have a good bit of work and this show told me I don't need to drive myself quite as hard as I do, so for the rest of the summer I'm going to work normal hours and take the weekends off! Thank you customers for making this possible. I'll post some pictures this week so you can see, for now, here is a link to a nice recap on the Baltimore Sun's blog where Christy Zuccarini was kind enough to include me (goofy smile and all) and my work sweating it out!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Artscape this weekend!!!

Well, it's here, the big weekend at Artscape!! Come on by and say hello, buy a pot and listen to music. Oh, the fun to be had! I have a TON of new stuff which came out so beautifully I can't even believe it. I'll take lots of pics at the show to share next week. I'm looking forward to seeing my crafty pals and meeting some new ones. I'm in the DIY section which is at Charles St. and Mt. Royal. Visit the Artscape web site for more information, I sure hope you can make it : )

Have a lovely weekend - send me nice cool vibes, it's going to be a scorcher!
xoxo, Linda

Friday, July 11, 2008

counting down to Artscape!

One glazed, oh so many more to do! My to-do list is insanely long, I have a habit of setting impossible goals. I wanted to make 40 serving bowls and 20 platters but I will have more like 20 of the bowls and 12 platters. I had to stop making new work on tuesday because I just can't get it all etched/drawn, apply the 3 layers of glaze, fire it all twice and have it all cooled and packed in time for the show. So, here I am after staying up until 2am last nite, however the first of 4 firings is happening right now!!! It's almost noon and I'm just heading back into another very long day of glazing. However, it's all worth it when I see my pretties sitting on the shelf ready to go to market!
A new bird bottle vase and a few more with the anemone inspired flower that I'm loving. All hand etched with 3 layers of glaze on creamy white, hand thrown stoneware!
Have a wonderful weekend - can you guess what I'm doing this weekend??
xoxo, Linda

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

diy, indie, new wave, alt-craft

I am braving a subject I often have trouble clearly explaining but is a topic close to my heart. A comment on my last post (Hi Kris!!) asked me to explain the difference between the Artist's Market and the DIY section at the upcoming Artscape show. What a great question!! So juicy! I am in the DIY section, a mix of indie makers.

The comment/question:
"I can't see or comprehend the difference between your work listed in the DIY section and the work of the 10 individuals listed in the Artists Market under ceramics. Can you shed some light on this?"

The light:
This is my personal perspective on the world of craft/ craft shows and there is a clear difference when I am doing a show. I started out like most doing small local craft shows, I did ok but could tell it wasn't really my market or crowd. I also didn't enjoy those shows or even want to shop at them. I've been involved in the indie craft scene for about 3 years now, however I took notice well before I jumped in! I'm not comfortable with the DIY title and usually refer to these shows as indie. I think of myself as a maker of indie pottery. And when I am deciding to apply to a show I first think about if I would want to shop it myself. I am not sure if a clear title has been declared for this change in craft but I vote for calling it the indie craft movement. Anyway, the differences: I feel that I fit in the DIY section because of my aesthetic, the indie craft shopper is looking for something non-traditional but likes the quality of my work. The Artscape site defines the DIY section by saying:

"Artscape is supporting the emerging DIY trend by creating an entire section of the site dedicated to hip and talented new wave crafters."

I love this definition, so I am hip and talented and after all the years of making, I am new wave! Thank you! Ok, back to the definition! I think that when the traditional shows are being juried they are looking for the best in the various craft fields. By best I mean the most skilled and technically correct according to standards that those shows have established. The indie shows have a different way of jurying, I've never juried a show but I believe they choose their makers more like a boutique would pick their merchandise. The shows are styled somewhat. The makers are at various stages in refining their craft, some starting out and some are very well established but what brings them all together and makes sense is that they will appeal to the same shoppers. It's more about a scene then just building a fine craft show. And this I find so exciting. It is a brilliant way to plan a show, I remember the first time I went to an indie craft show - I ventured up to Brooklyn to check out the Renegade Craft Fair, I was looking forward to it for months and so excited to see all the makers in person. After shopping the fair I knew where I needed to be. I was one of them! Knowing your market is very important so while it is an honor to be accepted into the well established fine art/craft shows (which are expensive to do and come with a long list of rules) it is not the best business decision if that is not your market.

I hope this helps shed some light onto the differences between the 2 sections, really to see the difference you just need to attend an indie craft show. There is an excitement in the air and usually some good indie music!!

I welcome all comments and corrections on this subject!
xoxo, Linda

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of july

Happy 4th of July!
It's been awhile since my last post and now it's a holiday, ah, a day to rest and celebrate our freedom's. And to see fireworks with my Mr and to be a part of my community. Our local high school puts on a pretty good show and it's so much fun to see everyone come out in light spirits to enjoy the show. Maybe Miss Marley (aka Miss Fearless) will join in on the outing.

Since it's been awhile and I'm caught up in craft show preparations- busy, busy - just one more to go! I thought I'd share some of the non-little flower interests I've had of late.

First up is the slow food movement, I love this idea and have been trying to make dinner everynite and eat outside when we can. I try to plan out our meals for the week when I do the shopping, which means trying to include lots of organic, fair trade, and local foods into the cart. Sometimes it's a challenge but I'm hoping that every little bit helps.

Second is gardening. I'm teaching myself to include the herbs we grow in our garden into our meals, some are easy like oregano and basil then others are a challenge like mint, we have so much mint and all I can think to make it tea. We have a shady yard so it's hard to grow veggies but we're hoping the tomatoes, squash, eggplant and peppers somehow will make it onto our plates later this summer. We had a pretty good strawberry harvest, my tip for shady yards, plant early strawberries, they can get a head start before the trees fill in and you'll hopefully have a nice bunch to eat each day.

The third thing I'm into right now is spiffing up the house, I have a nice print collection going and I'm slowly framing them up to hang, and after show season we can finally do a bit of painting to brighten the place. A new rug was bought and I have lots of fabric to sew up into pillows and drapes. I'll take some pics once we get into it. Just 2 more weeks to my final show!!

About that show, I'm totally freaking out! I've never done a 3-day show and an out of town show is just nuts! This show has a list of rules to follow, forms and documents to submit and did I mention tons of rules! I also had to book a hotel, find overnite parking, book little Marley in the kennel, find a house sitter (who can't handle Miss Marley and all her antics!) Have my Mr. take a few days off from work, and I haven't even begun to figure out what we'll eat for the 3 day's I'm going to be in a tent from morning to nite. My Mr loves festival food so he'll be in heaven but I need something healthy so I don't get sick. I'm hoping all the locals can direct us to a few places that have healthy to-go food and hopefully a good fruit slushy place will be nearby. And then there is my display, luckily the show is providing us with a table and tent but I need lighting so I have to rig up some track lighting or make some lamps! So many details! See, a little freaking out is definitely in order! Thanks for letting me vent!

Have a terrifically fantastic 4th and a lovely long holiday weekend.
xoxo, Linda