Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm Taking My First Online E-Class - Artful Gathering 2012


I have been wanting to take some online e-classes for years and have just never had the time.  This morning, while nursing a head cold and perusing Pat Winter's "Crazy Quilt Gatherings" magazine for the umpteenth time   I saw a page on the "Artful Gathering 2012 - An Online Video Art Retreat" which was offering online classes in June 2012.

While browsing through the Session One Workshops I saw several that I thought would be nice to take.  And, I saw one that was being taught by Pat Winter, who is one of my all time favorite crazy quilt designers. I met Pat many, many years ago when she signed up for my Top Blogs By Crafters toplist and fell in love with her creations.  She was one of the first artists who participated in my "Get To Know The Artists/Crafter Series" that I was writing at the time for "I Love Crafts and Craft Blogs."  I loved her creations and loved her "Comfort Doll Project" that she was doing back then and decided to write a blog post about it.  When I learned that Pat was going to publish a "Crazy Quilt Gatherings" magazine I was thrilled to pieces.  I believe I was the first in line to purchase it - that is is anyone can be first in line when purchasing online.    And, of course, I LOVED it and wrote a blog post entitled "I Just Love Crazy Quilt Gatherings Magazine" on it.

So, when I saw that Pat and several other amazing artists that I know were teaching I decided "if not now - when" and signed-up for the workshops.

I haven't decided which of the Session One and/or Session Two classes I'm going to take.  I would LOVE to take them all, but that is impossible.  So, I'll have to trim my list a little.  When I know more about the online gathering and what classes I've decided to take I'll let you know.

YIPPEE!!!!!!  My first online class.  I'm so excited.

You can't tell and certainly wouldn't want to see me doing this, but right now I'm doing a "HAPPY" dance in my jammies.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How Can Small Business Artists and Crafters Not LOVE Pinterest?



I don't know about the rest of you, but I have fallen in LOVE with Pinterest.com and have been in love with it for several months now.  If you haven't heard about the Pinterest.com phenomenon by now you certainly will be.  It is by far the most wonderful way to organize everything and anything about "you."

What moves you, what you like, what you're keeping tabs on, things you saw online that you want to remember, things you want to try in the future, places you've been, what you consider "beautiful", your creations, your interests, foods you like, websites you like, blogs you like, your dreams, future plans for a wedding, dream home, your decorating style, must haves, things you'd like to make, inspirations, DIY projects to try, tips for everything and anything, tutorials to try, your bucket list, beautiful pictures, beautiful colors, things for your kids, nature at its finest, beautiful animals, decorations for the holidays, and your favorites - whether they are artists, crafters, movies, pictures, collections, music, recipes, favorite hobbies, etc.  The list goes on and on.  Your boards and your page give your followers and the world a pictorial glimpse into the essence of "you."

But, it's also become a great tool for small business artists and crafters online.  In fact, in my opinion,  it's become a "must" for artists and crafters.  A "must" not just because it is one of the easiest ways to promote your creations online, but one of the best ways today for artists and crafters to promote each other.  In fact, it could easily be called the best link exchange ever.

For example, I am a doll maker and doll pattern designer who loves dolls of every kind and creation, who loves doll pattern designs, who loves art dolls, teddy bears, cloth dolls, etc.  However, I also LOVE artists and crafters blogs,  tutorials, patterns, projects, sewing, quilting, handmade goods, beautiful pictures, animals, etc.  As you can see my list go on and on and on.  Yours could, too.

Well, what Pinterest.com does is it allows me to organize my "likes", "desires", and "inspirations" into boards containing whatever I want to put there.  Everything and anything is fair game as long as there is a picture online and a page to link to.

Just by looking at my boards you get a feel for who I am and what I like. And, it helps to keep me organized. For someone in the "baby boomer generation" any help in this area is always welcome.

So, how does it help one small business artist or crafter? Well, if you look at my "Favorite Art Doll Artists" board you will find that I have 161 pins. Each and every pin contains a picture of one of my favorite art doll artists creations along with a link to the page I found it on. Plus, I'm a firm believer in crediting artists and crafters with their creations so every one of my original pins contains the artist or crafters name and is linked back to their website and/or blog, their Etsy page, etc.

When someone clicks through my board to the pin and clicks through to the original source they wind up on that artist or crafters website, blog, Etsy page, etc.  If they like my pin they can "like" it or re-pin it in which case the picture and all the links follow through to their board.  If someone sees their re-pin and likes it they, too, can either "like" it or re-pin it to there boards.  All of the descriptions, likes and re-pins for this particular picture are linked together on all the boards.

Talk about a beautiful way for all of us to help promote one another. It doesn't get much better or easier than this.  My motto has always been, "What Helps One of Us Helps All of Us!"  Pinterest.com is a fabulous way to do just  that.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

CRAFTSY.com - A New Venue For Pattern Designers


NOTE: Unfortunately, as of 12/28/18 Craftsy is closing all indie designers pattern stores.

I'm a Craftsy Designer

If you're a pattern designer, like me, you might want to visit Craftsy.com as they are adding a FREE PATTERN sales service for Indie Designers to their website that is set to launch in February 2011. It's a win-win for pattern designers as right now it's totally FREE for pattern designers to upload and sell their e-patterns on Craftsy.com.

Here's what they had to say about selling patterns on their website:

Why Indie Designers sell their patterns on Craftsy -

As an independent designer, you want to get your patterns in front of great crafters looking for inspiration. Plus, you need to get the most out of every sale and your marketing budget. That's why we've made Craftsy free for independent designers to sell patterns to our huge audience of enthusiastic crafters. When you sell your patterns on Craftsy:

It's free. Buyers buy directly from you via PayPal. Craftsy does not charge any fees. End of story.

It's hassle-free. You use a simple form to set up your lovely pattern sales pages, and Craftsy handles the rest. Buyers download your pattern directly (no email headaches). You get paid!

You get your patterns out to a vibrant, growing craft community. With over 1 Million Facebook fans and 500K monthly visitors and counting, Craftsy is a rapidly growing marketplace where great designers can connect with LOTS of potential buyers.

You create an ongoing relationship with your customers. As a small business owner, you know it's critical to stay engaged with your best customers. On Craftsy, your followers get notified every time you post a new pattern. Buyers are encouraged to post photos of their finished projects and review your pattern. Popular patterns can gain even more attention on leaderboards, increasing sales and reputation within the community.



Craftsy.com is a crafting community that offers online classes and workshops in all sorts of crafts as well as holding MeetUp Craft parties and events all over the world.  They also offer free projects, crafting challenges, a blog, and great deals on craft supplies. And, soon they will be offering e-patterns.

According to the buzz they are one of the fastest growing crafting communities on the web. They went online in March 2011 so they are still a relatively new community.

I became a member, set-up a profile page, and then set-up a pattern store for selling my e-patterns. The set-up and adding of e-patterns is EXTREMELY easy to do and takes no time at all. Besides selling your e-patterns you can also offer free e-patterns and projects for the community, which I did.

You can include a description on your profile page as well as links to your blog and websites(s). Your page will have a tab for your projects and your pattern store. If you'd like to see my Linda Walsh Craftsy.com profile page please CLICK HERE.

This is a win-win for e-pattern sellers. If you're a pattern designer you might want to check out Craftsy.com as a new venue for selling your e-patterns.