Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Party With Trash

At the Art Center in Ozark we've been busy designing in the front Window. The above feature is a collection of shots I took during construction. This is the first time the window display has been changed since I've lived here. It's looking quite fresh, I think, and it's just in time for the change of the season.
The display will officially be finished by tomorrow. I have a few more newspaper flowers I will be adding. I don't think a display can ever have too many flowers. If you live in town please stop by and check it out. The project was designed as a way to involve the community in recycled art. Recently some afternoons at the gallery were dedicated to making flowers out of various materials. We have incorporated each flower into our new front window.
Because of all the work I did yesterday I neglected to answer some questions from The Homefront Team's meet-up. Here they are a day late:

What is your most treasured posession?
My collection of music. If I didn't have any musical accompaniment life would be unbearable.

What was the best gift that you gave someone?
I don't fancy myself very good at giving gifts. This could be a cop-out answer, but nothing comes to mind. I would have to say anytime I buy something off a registry, it's the best, for me.

How do you battle a "crafter's block?"
I think the best way to get out of a funk is to press on. Even at the worst of times, when I have no ideas what to make, I just pick something up and start working with it. In the worst-case senario I start by doing something I have already done. Eventually a new idea will emerge.
I would never let myself ignore working on a project until the feeling was over. I find that if I endure the situation I am more impressed by my results.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Button, Button, Who's Got The Button?

The single most outstanding feature on any one of my scarves is the button. In seasons past I have worked hard ( as have a few of my friends) to gather unique buttons at flea markets, old coat factories, antique shops, grandma's basement......the list is endless. On occassions, I myself strayed from the sewing machine to the wood shop or clay studio to make some buttons of my own. This year I wanted to work cooperatively with more artists. To give Florida Scarf a new dimension the pieces will now be featuring handmade buttons from artists across the globe. I'm still early in the mission but you won't believe what I've found.

First I would lilke to introduce Elysium’s Beach Stone Supply of Battle Creek, Michigan.

This Etsy shop specializes in stone supplies from the shores of Lake Michigan. These stones are polished by the waves and sand over many years. The artist then conditions the stones with a little dab of unscented lotion which brings out their color and pattern.

A few words from the artist's profile are, "My favorite season is spring, and I love all water activities, horseback riding, traveling, spending time with my family, and creating."
I found this artist incredibly easy to work with. After a few conversations about what I needed she made me the exact kind of buttons I wanted. The order was produced and shipped in a timely manner. I was so excited for the package. When I opened it I realized this artist had taken the time to develope her product into something perfect for Florida Scarf. Every detail was taken into consideration. This is an important factor to me when dealing with customers. I'm glad Elysium was of the same mindset. I can't wait to put some of her stones to use.
Aren't you excited? I am. I can't wait to construct some new pieces. For these stones I'm thinking stormy scarves. I want fabrics rich in blues and grays. The texture is thick and warm, but silky too. Maybe even fabric that's delicate and feminine on the outside to complement the essence of the button.

Be sure to check out the artist's shop. There's more than just buttons. The artist also does links, pendants, key chains, and spacers. BONUS: She only charges $2.00 on shipping for multiple orders in the US!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Adventures in Homefront Team Promotion

I had so much fun yesterday debuting the Homefront Team at the Ft. Rucker Spouses' Club Luncheon. As many of you know the Homefront Team is comprised of spouses of military members that sell handmade goods on Etsy. I purchased a vendor slot and was able to represent seven of our team members. It was pretty easy since five of us live right here. My thanks to Well of Creations (Arizona) and One Stop Crochet (Idaho) for mailing me items to share.

The Ft Rucker Spouses Club is a bunch of (really awesome) spouses that get together monthly for lunch and an activity. Lunch is always preceded by shopping. Our members were delighted by the abundance of handmade goods at the Homefront Table. A few purchases were made and a lot of business cards were handed out. I also printed copies of the Homefront Flier. Thanks to Katie, from Knackatorium for passing fliers out too. She did a great job of engaging our audience. They couldn't wait to tell another family member (military and non) about us. I'm really happy with the results.

The following is a list of artisans represented yesterday.

frame by cheryl Frank allendesign2009@gmail.com

I encourage everyone to find artisans on your posts (or for non-military "in your neighborhoods") and do the same. Here are a couple of tips on how to make it easier on yourself.
Gather up items to be sold a week in advance. This way you can price and inventory everything prior to the day of the event.
Make signs and fliers describing the team, as well as your vendors. It needs to be easy for shoppers to understand what is going on at the table. There will be a lot of items all over and it can be over-stimulating visually speaking.
Merchandise items from an individual seller together and keep their business cards close. Cross-merchandising may seem like a good idea, but it's just confusing in this setting. If you know your inventory you can always suggest paired items later.
Don't do it alone. This is probably the most important. If Katie, from Knackatoirum, and Holly, from Ava Tate Designs, hadn't help me set up I wouldn't have been ready. Also, it is easier to enage customers if there is more than one seller behind the table to chat.

I'll be doing this again at our next luncheon in May. If anyone would like to participate please contact me. sarah@floridascarf.com

Sunday, April 10, 2011

She Sang Her Own Songs

'She Sang Her Own Songs...' by Wellofcreations

The girl had her own thoughts and believed that if she would continue to put one foot in front of the other, the journey would be JUST AS FULFILLING AS THE DESTINATION.

Tall Jewelry displa...

Batik and Stained G...

Mixed Media House Y...

The Most Lively Min...

baby bLu poPPie vas...

Music Sounds Better...

Set of 6 She Believ...

Gypsy Summer Dress

Dream Wish Hope Cam...

Mini Handmade Peace...

Waffle Cone Slouch ...

To Follow

Altered Vintage Sui...

boho inspired Sweet...

the Moonlight Trave...

Bridge -- recycled ...

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful weekend. I have. Saturday we attended the Crawdad festival in Ozark. Totally fun. As you can see.

I also started a new project at the art center. I am collecting flowers made out of recycled materials and will build a community garden out of them. If you are reading this and you live in the area, please contact me to participate.
I will be collecting flowers until 4/25. Then the sculpture will be built.
I'll be sure to post the results of this project by the end of the month.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Shot by the Tracks

For the Record: If graffiti is illegal and subject to fine or inprisonment, even if it's not permanent, that is not me in the photo.
I recently got together with a couple of girlfriends and did a photoshoot. The purpose for me was to get better at using a camera and get some new, and fun, shots for Florida Scarf. The general purpose was for my friends and I to hang out, enjoy the weather, take advantage of our location, and do something new and creative. As a bunch of grown women we explored make-believe for the first time in a while. (If you just want to see the results skip to the bottom.)

With Florida Scarf I have found that it isn't enough to just be good at making stuff. You must also be good at photographing it, describing it, putting it on the internet, and letting people know that it's on the internet. All of these different duties can make a creative business practically impossible to maintain. Going through this cycle can be draining. It is wonderful to stop and take a breather. I am thankful that my business is seasonal. It is crankin' from September to January. February to April is a time I take, not to sew, but hone all of these other skills needed to be successful. In this time I focus on enjoyment and refreshing my creativity.
Every January I do an assessment. It is awesome to reflect on your business and lifestyle to find out what is working and what isn't. In doing this you must be honest with yourself for maximum improvement. For me, one skill that constantly needs updating is my photography ablility. I am not alone in this deficiency. Luckily, I have a few friends who have needed to get better at weilding a camera as well. We decided to take a day and spend it working with our cameras and our creativity. It was great. I recommend doing a photoshoot with girlfriends no matter who you are and what kind of camera you have. It is simple to do. You get a couple of friends and any crazy accessories you all may have. You find a kooky location, preferably outside, and you go at it. If you are like us you might be shy or nervous at first, but give yourself time you will open up. Once we all got comfortable we got some really awesome shots. The day was a success on many levels. We all bonded, obviously. I got some new, and fun, promo shots for Florida Scarf. Chrissy got some rad photos of her guitar. Laura got to do the Hobo shot she always wanted. Sarah found out she is pretty good with creating an interesting composition herself. The list is endless. We took a ton of pictures but here is a slideshow of my favorites. I recommmend this activity as not only something that can refresh creativity, but refresh life in general. As I said, it was interesting as an adult to go back to a form of entertainment revolving around our imagination. It was so much more fulfilling than shopping, going out to lunch, or going to a movie. And we've got something to show for it.