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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Top 10 Blogging Mistakes

Another Blogger recently posted their top 10 Blogging Pet Peeves.  Being so new to blogging, I am always worried about making mistakes.  Mainly, I want to network and support other artists and bloggers, but I am not sure how to properly link and so forth.  There is so much to learn about the technology itself that it can feel overwhelming.

Some of the top 10's on the list included having a website all about yourself.  (Gulp. Turning Red.)  I think that is me.

In an effort to remove myself from this category, I would love to feature a new artist daily on my blog.  Your story, your favorite shops (pay it forward), a web link to your site.  Please please please, just comment below or send me a convo privately and I would be happy to get your lovely shop and creations posted TODAY.  I will be working to develop some criterion in general, but my goal is to support fellow artists and bloggers through networking and promotion.  Pictures are welcome!

Hope to hear from you all! ~ Lisa

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Promote My Shop: Blogs We Like

Promote My Shop: Blogs We Like:          100 Craft Links - Browse the list of the Best Craft Sites on the web! And add your craft website! ...

Promote My Shop: Online Shop Hop - March 27, 2013

Promote My Shop: Online Shop Hop - March 27, 2013: Do you have an online shop? Would you like more exposure for your handmade or vintage shop or booth? Love to check out other s...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Craft Show Know How? Tips for us Newbies!

I am just starting my "Art Business" and feel positive that if I could just get people to see my art I would surely get more sales and possibly even a more loyal fan base.  So as a newbie, I want to do a "HOLLA": Have you participated in a craft show?  What are your suggestions for others? 

  1. How much product should I make?  
  2. Which crafts shows should I select?  
  3. How do you find good craft shows?  
  4. What about larger shows that ask you for pictures when you haven't even done a craft show yet? 
  5. How much should I pay when just starting? 
  6. How do I know it will be worth it - Will I make my money back? 
  7. What do you use for displays?
  8. How do you package your product?
  9. What are some cool business card/branding ideas?
These are all questions I have, so I suspect others have them as well!  If you are experienced and have done some craft shows, please please please - leave a comment with your wisdom!  Thank you!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Craft Business Thank You Cards

Uniquely designed handmade artistic "Thank You" cards that fold into a star are a great way to shower your craft shoppers with appreciation for their purchase! Each card is stamped with a Thank You sentiment on the back and then embellished with a hand cut flower. Once opened, the card is triangular in shape and stamped with the corresponding sentiment "For Your Business". There is a small amount of room to place a little necklace, a flat sample, your information sticker or some small giveaway underneath the message.

These cards are small and perfect for transport to craft shows or large public displays. They measure about three inches (3") when closed. When opened the thank you cards measure six inches (6"). No card is exactly like another, but can be made to follow a common color palette. Flower styles vary from card to card to compliment paper style.

I love making custom orders!  These cards can be made with different messages for weddings, birthdays, holidays, baby and wedding showers. Any sentiment from Congratulations to Best Friends 4 Ever are possibilities. If you can think it, I can probably make it! Just ask!

$8.50USD + Tax
& Shipping

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Beautiful Gift Boxes

Special occasion gift for presentation in this beautiful handmade spring themed purple and yellow gift box/ favor box. Upcycled gift box is purple and yellow, decorated with yellow and purple patterned papers, embellished with silk purple ribbon and a yellow cloth-like hibiscus flower. Interior of lid is decorated with musical themed purple paper. Lovely for springtime or any seasonal occasion.
Purple & Yellow Spring Gift Box
$5.85 USD + Shipping and Tax
The box measures three inches in length, width and height or 3" x 3" x 3".
Lid extends an additional one quarter inch or .25" around. 

About Me

Contrary to popular belief, I don't really enjoy writing about me.  I had to complete this for my Etsy shop and have been very lazy about getting it done.  So, here it is. All about me!

I remember the first time I created something special. I had a big dream and had created my own world which I drew on my brothers bedroom walls. Unfortunately I my "big dreams" didn't include getting in "big trouble". So after that I stuck to paper and crayons. Still, I was always an imaginative kid. At recess, I made enormous cities in the dirt on hills where ants could travel. We dug tunnels and created an entire world. At the beach where we stayed at length in the summer, we would do more than dig holes and build sand castles, we would make detailed stories, and play for hours using our imaginations making villages, large animal sculptures and intricate images in the sand.

I was heavily influenced by my musical father and free natured mother. Music and art were a big part of my childhood.

I trudged through school and remember telling myself would just die if I had to get a job that was "inside". I laugh at this now because that is what I eventually did of course, but not with any level of pleasure or sense of commitment. I went to art school and ran out of money. So I pretty quickly realized that finding a job was kind of important and the whole "Art thing" became a hobby than a way of life

I moved to San Francisco and started working in banking making great money as a single woman. Money turned out to be a good motivator. Enough to put Art on the back burner. I worked and played for a good long while and then decided I wasn't fulfilled. No surprise there!

I moved to Taiwan where I lived for over a year and met my future husband, came back to the US in a terrible economy and developed a small side business with my brother to pay rent. After my husband and I got married, I got hired for a well known company as a High Tech Executive Recruiter. As our family grew and my husband became more knowledgeable in his work, it afforded me the opportunity to stay at home with the kids. We felt being with them in the formative years was important.

I dabbled as an Executive Recruiter too. I was able to secure contracts and find people work which is exciting and fulfilling. But my art kept sneaking in. I would find myself re-purposing something found or taking a project I planned for one of my kids and then going over the top making it bigger and more complex for my own satisfaction while they excuses themselves to play with friends or do something else. I was familiar with Etsy and could see all the different artists work thinking "I can do that" or "I want to try that."

It was then that I realized I have nothing to lose by posting something for 20 cents, right? Well that started the whole process. Building enough to put in my store, marketing, blog and everything else that I had NO IDEA was involved, but LOVE! And I have to thank Etsy for that. I never would have been brave enough to embark into this art business world.

I have only just begun, but I feel empowered now. I have sold my craft pieces, and I have also sold my fine art pieces. That makes me SO proud and motivated to do more and create everyday. My shop isn't always perfect. I want to separate my paper goods from my sculptures from my fine art, from my re-purposed and up-cycled pieces. Create separate shops for each. But fulfilling those bigger dreams will come in time. It is more important for now, that I just keep creating. I am so happy to follow what I love. Life is what happens when you aren't paying attention or attacking it with intention. So no regrets, just reaffirmation of my life's calling.

Please feel free to visit my shop anytime. I love the visits and the opportunity to see your work, too. I am an avid supporter of my fellow artists and bloggers, and am always available for help, questions, advice, or suggestions for improvement.

I really hope you find something in my shop you like enough to make it your own. In advance, thank you for getting to know me a bit and, dare I say, for buying at least one of my handmade original pieces!

Sincerely and Appreciatively,

Lisa van Heerden
Owner, Creator, Artist and Dreamer

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Uncreative Space & My Creative Process

Today I received an email asking me if I would like to be featured on another bloggers page.  WewHOO I high five to myself, this is COOL.  Abso-freakin-lutely I would LOVE to be featured.  What a great opportunity, I think.  I proceed to read through the questions. 
What/who inspires you? Check.
Why did you choose your shop/company name? Check
What are your goals (personal and/or business)?  A little more thought, but I have been intending to write something meaningful about my shop anyway, so I can handle this too. Check.
What do you do when you are not creating?  Easy peasy, take care of my three kids! Check.
But oh no, what is this? The nail in the coffin?
Where do you create?  Uh, I start to panic.  This could single handedly unravel my entire brand image of having it all together!  No.  Seriously.

I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, the reason I have a board on pinterest for scrapbooking organization and dream rooms is, well, because I NEED ONE! I dream of those rooms and feel like even if I had one, it would never look like the pictures.  

I see these lovely amazing crafters and artists with immaculate high design rooms dedicated to their craft.  It is indeed inspiring.  It is just not me.  I chose my name for a reason.  There is a famous artist who is reported to have left such a mess of paint on his floor that the paint got so heavy it collapsed the floor onto the apartment below.  Now, I am not THAT bad, but for me personally if I am in a creative frenzy, the last thing am thinking about is cleaning.  
I saw one Artist/Illustrator that had her work/supplies organized in....*** wait for it, wait for it...*** BINDERS.  I try to imagine why in the heck would I put a dremmel or a hammer or a screw driver and wire cutters in a binder? Where would my Cricut cartridges go? Okay paper maybe could fit in there, but then I couldn't see my stash and I would literally have to tear down each and every binder to find the right piece of paper for a project.  Designers would hate me - It would look like world war III once I finished a project.  I've got mad skills like Martha Stewart, but just not that level of organization and tidyness. 

I know I can not possibly be alone here.  I feel empowered admitting I am not concerned by appearances.  That freedom is what I think makes my art great!  Are there anymore of you out there with me?  If you are a super immaculate, that is okay too.  I still love you!  I respect everyone has their own unique way of creating.

Here is a quick story to help me make my point:  I was buying some supplies at a local craft store and offered my email to get future coupons.  When the woman behind the counter heard my information, she shook her head at me and said, "I hope you aren't selling anything with a name like that."  Aside from the mean and nasty things I wanted to tell her, I thought how narrow minded she was not to understand that "MessyCreator" is my process, not my product.  I intend for it not to be an end result.  My process of creating is all encompassing and anything but organized, straight forward or, well, neat.  But that doesn't mean my work is messy, or unkempt or that I am inattentive to it in some way.  Quite the contrary, I am meticulous about the final outcomes!  I want my customers to be happy and I take great care to make sure my work is well crafted. 

So, with that, when you eventually see pictures of my creative space, be forewarned - They won't be photos of super cool loft spaces in manhattan with high ceilings and contemporary chic art design.  The pictures will not show well lit, beautifully organized rooms full of Art binder systems.  My space will not include built in or storage drawers for each and every item I use in my processes. Nor will I have my award winning items displayed on the walls as if the room itself is my very own art gallery.  In fact, I should call my creative area my UNCREATIVE space.  Because, A.) I have more than one area depending on what is happening in my house, or B.) It is not technically a designated creative space when it is the dinner table, coffee table, living room floor, bedroom floor, bathtub. (Just joking about that bath tub one to see if you were paying attention!)

I can't help but dream though.  Pinterest has taught me so much and I wonder sometimes, if I had a fantasy room like that, would I change my ways? Oh to be able to have a place for everything! (SIGH as paint brushes float themselves back into the drawers after they clean themselves, tables wipe themselves off, paper scraps march single file back into their neatly alphabetized binders that nothing ever spills from.)  As you can see, I am not short on imagination and dreaming is not a category I ever failed.  I guess I better get back to organizing my piles so I can take some less embarrassing photos of my UNCREATIVE space. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Little Kawaii Monkey, Tiny Kawaii Monkey, One Cute Little Monkey, Monkey with Heart, Tiny Handmade Monkey Sculpture

Little Handmade Kawaii Monkey Animal sculpture is hand sculpted from lightweight and durable polymer clay. Tiny Orange and multi-striped polymer monkey is so lovable. Monkey sits cutely on a desk, in a basket, or as part of a child's toy collection. Monkeys hold either red or blue hearts. Adorable for that someone you love!  This listing is for ONE Monkey.  There are only 2 available since they are a limited addition piece.

$7.00USD + Shipping

Each monkey has been hand painted with acrylic, and given several coats of a sealer.

The largest Monkey measures about 1 and 1/2 inches tall!  The Smaller Monkey is just under one inch.

Want to see more?  Come see me in my PricklyPaw Etsy Shop

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Oh My Stars!

Pastel Origami Stars are unique handmade gifts for Easter or Springtime. The set of 6 is made from coordinated paper and patterns and you can mix and match any of the 4types in this picture to the left.  Consider using these soft pastel colors as table decor at your country or beach wedding.  Bulk orders qualify for shipping discounts and custom orders are welcome!

Two Stars = $12.00USD + Shipping

Blog Hopping and Giveaways

In my late night efforts to market my Etsy Shop, I came across a few blog hops.  This one site,
The Review Wire
topgiveawayblogs intrigued me because it was reviewing on it Review Wire, all the best giveaway sites!  Who doesn't just love freebies, right?   I am hooked.  And then I saw these most darling CHOCOLATE Easter Chicks from Chocalatique.  I had never heard of them before, but they look absolutely darling.  Go check them out, but be sure to stop by the topgiveawayblogs first.  They have so many awesome giveaways and you can where to focus your sign up efforts in the hops of winning!  Best of luck. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Birthday Favor Cups - More Paper Goods

Set of 6 Birthday Party Favor Boxes, Birthday Favors, Party Decor for Girls, Pink Party, Paper Holders, Kids Party Favor Boxes

Set of 6 Birthday Treat Holders:  $18.50USD

Birthday Favor Boxes  have a very simple design that compliment a wide range of party themes. Each birthday favor box is handmade & hand-folded with a yellowish-white ribbon. A birthday cake has been hand stamped on a paper embellishment then inked and embossed to raise the edges with gold color. Very classy and perfect for tea parties, birthday parties and cute little princesses!

These pink party treat holders can be placed upright on a table or given as favor gifts at end of party. They make perfect sized children's favor cups. A great way to fancy up a simple celebration with your family, or to spoil your guests! 
Small Treat Holders measure two inches wide at base and three inches at top. They are approximately 3.25 inches tall by one half a centimeter in width.

Favorite Favor Cups

Set of 6 Pink All Occasion Favor Boxes

Fits well with wide range of party themes, like tea party, Easter brunch, girls party, or a ladies spring lunch. Each box or treat holder is handmade, hand-folded and decorated with pink ribbon, paper flower embellishment and a decorative piece that has been hand embossed in the flowers center. Very classy, clean and sweet! These pink party treat holders can be placed upright on a table or given as favor gifts at end of party. They make perfect sized children's favor cups as well.

This listing is for a set of 6 holders. (You can see more paper goodies in my Etsy Shop.)
Small Treat Holders measure two inches wide at base & three inches at top. They are approximately 3.25 inches tall by one half a centimeter in width or 3.25"x.05" in dimension.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3 Jellybean Treat Boxes, Easter Favor Boxes, Easter Treat Holders, Make You Smile Treat Favor Cups, Kids Easter Favors, Easter Party Decor

3 Jellybean Treat Boxes, Easter Favor Boxes, Easter Treat Holders, or "Make You Smile" Treat Favor Cups, Kids Easter Favors, Easter Party Decor - Jellybeans fit cutely in these small unique handmade paper Easter favor boxes with a message "Just to Make you Smile".

Hold candy or party favors in style. Easter treats like jellybeans & Peeps site cutely inside these Easter holders that children and party goers will love. Simple design but very cute inside your child's Easter basket.

Small Treat Holders measure two inches wide at base and three inches at top. They are approximately 3.25 inches tall by one half a centimeter in width.

Make you Smile Treat Holders
$9.25USD + Shipping

CUSTOMIZATIONS / QUESTIONS ****************************
I love making custom orders and would be honored to create an order especially for you! Just contact me with the details and I'll gladly discuss options and pricing. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information! I will respond to your questions as quickly as possible.

New Items from Etsy Shop!
I have been re-purposing some boxes lately and just love how they are turning out!  These special occasion gift boxes are wonderful for one of a kind presentations to that special someone.  This particular gift box has a spring themed blue & gray color palette.

This gift box is decorated with patterned paper, white lace ribbon, blue & white flowers, and sheer ribbon. It is embellished with a clear gem in the center of the flowers and bow.  Interior of gift box is decorated with same color pattern and design pattern so that the box is completely converted from its original.

Special Occasion Decorative Box
$12.75USD+ Shipping

Sides of handmade gift box have been sanded and inked. Some of the original box color comes through, but I think this gives is a lovely rustic effect and an extra level of visual interest. This special box is wonderful decor at springtime, Easter or any classy occasion. Because of the colors, it can be used as a gift for a man or an older boy or even a wedding!

Shop PricklyPaw Today!

Shop PricklyPaw Today!
A shop containing Fine Art, Paper Creations, Polymer Clay Art Sculptures, Scrapbook Cards, Layouts