July 30, 2011

A Larger Net


a larger net is not always

the answer, sometimes you must look

at what you already have, see

what's around you, pick

through everything, catch

and watch for a glint, a glimmer

a gleam that could be

used, re-used, made new, applied

combined, re-worked, colored

with an old notion or a new

brush, buffed, polished, put

up to the sun to see

what an idea looks like

-- smh

Susan M. Hinckley
Small Works in Wool

July 27, 2011

An Opportunity for TAFA Artists

 by Linda Moran, Marble-T Designs

Since I updated my profile on Linked In, I have joined a couple of discussion groups through Linked In and have made some interesting contacts and done some very good networking.  As a result, here is a call for work that looks very intriguing, as well as meaningful. I'm planning to do a marbled piece that looks at oil spills. Join in and become part of the group. Feel free to share this post - let's see if we can get a lot of artists involved. Let's get fiber and textiles into this show.

TIKKUN OLAM: A Restoration Project
 Artists Respond to Earth's Crises Past & Present
Presented by Alta Contemporary Art, Tubac AZ in alliance with Industria Studios in Tucson.
The Jewish Community Center Tucson, Arizona
September 15 thru October 25, 2011
Opening Reception: Sunday, September 18th 1-4 PM
In the wake of recent natural and human-made crises artists often feel compelled to respond in a tangible and productive way. Here's your chance to be part of a group project raising money to replenish the earth. Alta Contemporary Art invites you to submit a 12 x 12 inch work of art for a collaborative grid presentation. All media welcome. Work must be exactly 12 x 12 inches, appropriate for the JCC venue and ready to hang on the wall.  Work must be received no later than September 10, 2011 (see art delivery details below). Participation is free, but artists must willingly donate 30% of sales to the non-profit charitable organization selected by the group as a whole.

TIKKUN OLAM Collaborative Grid Presentation Entry Form
E-Mail:                                    Website:
Title:                                       Price:
Artist's reflection on their submission and earth's crises past & present (250 words or less):
Nominate 1- 3 non-profit charitable organizations you would like TIKKUN OLAM to support.
E-mail completed entry form and a JPG of your work (1MB large) to mickeybond505@aol.com

Hand Deliver Your Work:
Tucson Artists: Deliver work to Marc Leviton at Industria Studios, Saturday, September 10, 2011 between 10 AM – 3 PM or contact Marc to make other arrangements 520- 235- 0797. INDUSTRIA STUDIOS, 1441 E. 17th Street Tucson, AZ 85719 industriastudios.org
Santa Fe Artists: Deliver work to Mickey Bond by Friday September 9, 2011.E-mail:
mickeybond505 or call 505-660-4085 to schedule delivery.
All Other Artists: Deliver  work to Rebecca O'Day at Alta Contemporary Art, Friday, September 9th between 3-8 PM  or contact Rebecca to make other arrangements 520-869-8626. Alta Contemporary Art, 8 Calle Inglesia (across from St. Anne's Church), Tubac, AZ.
Mail Your Work:
Mail work to Rebecca O'Day, PO Box 252, Tumacacori, AZ 85640
Work must arrive no later than September 10, 2011 to be included in the show.
Artwork shipped via mail carrier must be accompanied with a pre-paid return.
Unsold work will be available for pick up on October 29th &  30th.  in the location it was hand- delivered from 10 AM – 3 PM.  Shipped artwork will be returned if accompanied by a pre-paid return label.

Agreement of Entry & Liability:
Great care and respect will be given to all artwork submitted. The Tucson JCC, Alta Contemporary Art & Industria Studios and its agents do not assume liability for any loss or damage of any artwork submitted while in its possession. Your entry constitutes acceptance of all conditions and terms in this prospectus. Artists desiring coverage can do so privately through their agent or one offering short-term “show”  coverage such as Artists, Craftsman and Tradesmen Insurance Program: http://www.actinspro.com.

July 21, 2011

TAFA Team Etsy Pick of the Week: Patchwork Quilt Kit

Let's face it, most of us TAFA people are makers.  We see things that we like in a shop and the first thing we think is, "Hmmm, I could make that!"  Not because we don't appreciate the original artist's work, but because we just can't help it!  That's why I like this patchwork quilt kit by Monika Kinner-Whalen of My Sweet Prairie.  She makes it easy to "make it yourself!"

Patchwork Children's Quilt Kit by My Sweet Prairie
Of course, if you don't have the patience to make your own quilt, she has many handmade quilts and art quilts available in her shop for you to purchase as well!

You can read more about her and her work by visiting her on the TAFA List and on her Etsy site

*Etsy Pick of the Week feature by Stacey Sharman from Peppermint Pinwheels.  Every Thursday, we will post one item from a TAFA Team affiliated Etsy store. In choosing a Team member photo, we will be looking for beautiful, Etsy Front Page worthy photos.

Do you have a garage sale mentality when selling your work?

Do you have the garage sale mentality when selling your work?

We just had a garage sale. That is a lot of work to be sure. Yet, it's fun too.

But the one part I dislike, is when a person comes up holding a brand new item with the tags still hanging on it, marked $85.00, that I've marked down to $2., and they say," will you take .50 cents for this?"

Now, I like a bargain as much as anyone else. Garage sales are my recreation.

But when I hear, " Will you take .50 cents for this?", I usually think,
" Look at this brand name, look at the tags, with the price I paid for it still hanging and viable, on the attached tags, it's never been worn or used and you want to pay 50 cents? You'd pay much more for it at Goodwill! Are you out of your mind?".

The really strange thing is, I will often accept this low price request. I'll bet you do too.
It's that garage sale mentality.

I got to thinking though. Do we do the same thing when pricing our work?

If some other sellers are selling their items for less than it cost to make them, we may feel that to be competitive, we must have similar prices. "Would you take .50 cents for this?"

It is pressure, no doubt about it. If you're just starting out, naturally you can't expect to charge the same as an artist with a well earned reputation and a huge following would.

But if you're giving your work away, what are message are you sending? Valueless
People expect to pay little for valueless junk, is that how you perceive your work? Certainly not.

Walk onto a car lot and if you see a Porsche priced dirt cheap, what's the first thought that runs through your mind? Isn't it,"What's wrong with it?" There has to be something wrong at this low price".

Place value on your work and others will too.

July 20, 2011

TAFA's New Marketplace!


TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List now has almost 300 members.  About half of those have shops on Etsy.  All of the Etsy shops are listed on this blog in this catalog of shops, so those of you who visit us here, have immediate access to these shops.  But, we are a part of the larger TAFA and are excited about all of the things that are happening there!  Our main site, www.tafalist.com, hosts our member profiles.  There, you can find where we are on the web:  our websites, shops on Etsy and elsewhere, blogs, and social media links.  We knew that we would eventually grow out of this platform and that time has come.

So, we have been fundraising for a new site on IndieGoGo!
Fund a new website for TAFA.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....  (ha, ha!), we have been working on how this new site should function.  There is a lot of info on the indiegogo site, so if you are a reader and want to know more, go there.  In short, several members are meeting on a special think tank group on facebook, looking and discussing at all kinds of complex issues.

I felt that we needed something visual to look at, where we could get a better idea of how our products would look on the new site.  We set up a temporary market on Wordpress and the result is absolutely gorgeous!  This platform is limited on what we can do, but there are several categories that showcase our main types of products with a list of tags that also help group the items in different ways.  

Here, for example is a screen shot of the Accessories page:

Most of these items just happen to be made by our Team members here on Etsy!  The images are all linked to the product's shopping cart.  If you hover over them, you can see at a glance where that cart is hosted, on Etsy or elsewhere.  

We hope that you will explore this site, shop if you see something you like, and spread the word.  We don't know yet what we will do with this site in the interim.  We have seven more days left to the fundraiser.  We have raised $3,000 out of the $5,000 goal.  Enough to launch the core part of the site.  We would love to be able to launch the whole thing at once, but if we cannot raise the other 2K, then we will have to do it in parts.  Right now, TAFA is all over the place and this site will help us bring everything together in one cohesive hub.  One thing we know for sure:  TAFA rocks and it will become a major destination for anyone who is interested in textiles and fiber art.

If you like what you see, give us your vote of confidence with a donation.  Go to IndieGoGo and donate what you can.  Any amount is appreciated!  For those of you who have a business and can afford it, we have an ad special:  a $215 donation gets you 18 months of advertising!  (Less than $12 a month!)

The TAFA Market has a great handmade supplies page!

Need help with your website or with graphic design?  TAFA member Aynex Designs set the TAFA Market up for us.  She can help you make your web presence gorgeous and professional!  Visit her site.

July 16, 2011

Facebook Apps: an artisan learning social media

By Jess Wrobel

This all started because I wanted to have both of my Etsy shops on my Facebook page.  The Etsy  App only allows you to have one.  So, the research, trial and error began!  In the end it was much easier to pull off than I ever would have thought.  And if I can do it, you can, too.
The more I learn about Facebook, the more impressed I am.  The flexibility of creating a user friendly interactive web presence is right at your fingertips.  Let's start with my initial project of getting both my Etsy shops on my FB page.
1.  Log in to your FB account and click on Edit Page>Apps>Search for and then Choose the Static Iframe Tab App.
2.  Follow the instructions for installing the application.  They walk you through each of the steps.  Once the App is installed, you can start customizing your Facebook Page. From there everything is easy as pie.
3.  Look at the screen shot of my broodbaby tab below, and you'll see a table of contents across the top of the opened tab. Click on Edit Tab Content and you see a screen like the second image.

4.  Notice that when you are in Edit Tab Content you have the option of selecting HTML, URL, or FBML. I used HTML and then went to my Etsy account to get the code for an Etsy Mini. Copy that code, come back to FB, and paste that code in at the top of the Edit Tab Content Box. There is some preexisting code when you first open the window, so just make sure you don't erase that. Click on Save. That will bring back to the page shown in the first screen shot.

5.  To add an additional tab, now, click on +Add More Tab.  I repeated the previous process to get my second Etsy shop, JwrobelStudio, on its own tab.

Another option in using this tab is to click on URL instead of HTML. This will take you to a screen where all you have to do is write in a web address. For the screen shot below, I just used the URL for an Etsy shop, but it could just as easily be the URL for my own website or blog or professional group I'm part of.

As I hope you can see, the possibilities for this application are endless and it's not just for Etsy people. In addition to both my Etsy shops, I've included tabs for specific collections on my own website and one for purchasing Gift Certificates. On my agenda of additional tabs to add are one for my Little Burd charitable program and I'm also toying with vendor/artist features. You could also promote special or seasonal collections, fundraisers, tutorials, or what's in the works that your customers should keep an eye out for.
Really, in this social media marketing world it is all about generating engaging content. And, unlike the name "Static FBML", there is nothing static about it. It is a tool that allows you keep things fresh quickly and easily.

Questions?  Ask and we'll try to answer them...

July 7, 2011

TAFA Team Etsy Pick of the Week: Thread Art Wall Hanging

The TAFA Team Etsy Pick this week is from Danny Mansmith's shop, SCRAP.  Danny is a self-taught artist who uses thread to draw his art.  I love this one, the waiting spirits, in particular!  His shop is eclectic and fun, full of art in a variety of mediums.
"the waiting spirits" by Danny Mansmith
You can read more about him and his art by visiting him on the TAFA List and on his Etsy site

*Etsy Pick of the Week feature by Stacey Sharman from Peppermint Pinwheels.  Every Thursday, we will post one item from a TAFA Team affiliated Etsy store. In choosing a Team member photo, we will be looking for beautiful, Etsy Front Page worthy photos.

July 3, 2011

Using Acrylic Inks for Fabric Painting

My latest art quilt, a little different?

By Barbara Harms/Asian Art And Quilts

I promised to share my impressions of the new acrylic inks when I got a chance to use them. They arrived in the mail and Hot Dog was I excited! I played around with them for a bit and decided I was ready to jump into a real piece.

This quilt was the result of my experimentation with the new acrylic inks. When I saw the results, I knew these would be a fun new addition to my tool chest of art mediums to work with.

I’ll give you my impressions, but if anyone else has had some experience, jump in with your comments

I loved how the ink flowed on, when applied as a wet on wet wash, making unique shapes and designs. I liked the resulting piece of silk so much that initially, I thought I’d just make a whole cloth abstract quilt with the fabric so I wouldn't cover any of it up. Just make a wholecloth abstract art quilt.

Once I really got going, I couldn’t rein myself in. I started silk painting items to applique . First the big snarled tree, it fit. Then what goes with an old gnarled tree? Certainly not bluebirds and butterflies. Well I thought and thought… CROWS! Of course or Ravens. SO it took on a life of its own.

I must say I loved working with the inks. I mixed & matched them with my beloved Pebeo Seta paints. It worked fine, they’re both acrylics. The inks are very good for finer detailing I found. It was a good combination and I’m hooked! The inks dry faster. You can easily reapply more color over dried ink. They will bleed when applied onto dry fabric around them, but seem fine when reapplying over painted areas.

Give them a try, but remember that you still might need acrylic fabric paints to partner with them. Depending on your purpose.

I am already finding the, very useful. Hope this was helpful. If you want more info or want to ask more detailed questions check with me on my blog: