24 February 2016



To follow on from last week's post where I commented: "I must admit that I am becoming both very nervous and excited to start my next chapter, which has taken me forever..... And the reason why I'm ACTUALLY starting will be in my next Blog Post....."

Well, here it is! I'm putting myself out there.... I have been reading this inspiring book: "I'd Rather Be in the Studio by Alyson Stanfield The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion."

Alyson, an Art-Marketing Guru, offers sound advice, a wealth of ideas, tips and encouragement that I'm sure that I will be referring to this book, over and over again. 

Her mission is to Empower us Artists and to say Goodbye to those Excuses and say HELLO to our new found Success, therefore each chapter ends with a summary (a "no-excuse principle") and a gentle nudge (a "no-excuse action").

For so long, I have doubted my ability to promote my work for so many reasons, which Alyson regards as excuses. Some of the Excuses are: "There aren't enough hours in the day to do it all," (Previously, one of my excuses....) and "I don't know where to begin."  So where to begin? Well, for starters, I have begun by reading her book (a move in the right direction, no doubt, otherwise I would not be self-promoting, here). What to do next? Well, that would be to follow her suggestions and perhaps this will be a challenge on my part to make my voice heard, as my art is my voice. "I am an Artist, I Make Art," is just one of the many words of encouragement from Alyson. 

It is great to be self-employed, however, goals and boundaries do need to be set. It is time to get out of that comfort zone and to be taken seriously and not just muddle along. All the while, wondering why you are not growing as an Artist and remaining as a Hobbyist only gifting art for family and friends! I have to become more self-disciplined, which means that I have to set regular studio hours and to use this sacred time, actually creating art. I need to ensure that my Art comes First before marketing does, as one actually needs a product to market before marketing it. Then set aside an hour or so, everyday, marketing my Creations.  All the "other" stuff (domestics, chores, etc.) can wait, as they can be done after studio hours and they always have to get done, anyway.

If you have not read her book and you are making excuses for self-promotion then I suggest that you download her book and start reading today. In addition, you can find ongoing support on her website: ArtBizCoach

I will be using this book as my Self-Promotion objective as I really don't want to be that cliché artist who starves because I'm too afraid to market myself, therefore, I would like you, my audience, to appreciate and buy my work for your pleasure as much as it is my pleasure to create it.

18 February 2016



I thought it would be a great blog post today to show you what on earth has been keeping me so busy that I have neglected my Blog..... No Excuse, mind you, but I was having so much fun creating "unique handmade treasures for your pleasure" to start selling on Etsy, soon.  Watch this space!

My latest project has had me creating beautiful unique handmade cards, as seen in the images, and preparing them for marketing.  For the purpose of marketing, I needed good stock photography, but the lighting in my home constantly caused many issues.  Why? Well, I have so many large windows, producing far too much light and casting shadows throughout the day and outside is way too bright and mostly windy. Leaving me with only one choice.

My solution a Lightbox, but Lightboxes are so expensive :-(  and this lead me to do some research, which is when I discovered: yay  How to Make Your Own Photography Lightbox in the Etsy Seller Handbook. In addition, they also give tons of advise on Photography, Seasonal tips, Growth Strategies, Productivity, etc.

The Lightbox they shared was so easy to make for my intended purpose of photographing cards.  I made it so quickly though, that it is not perfect, however, I will make another, neater version when I make my next project, which will be to a make a bigger one to photograph my Mixed Media Crafts.

The Tools needed to produce these images where the Lightbox, my Nikon D3100 with a Tamron 16-300mm lens and tripod, different backgrounds and of course the cards. For the backgrounds I used beautifully designed serviettes, (I have collected so many for creating Mixed Media Projects) different coloured papers (who doesn't have enough of those) and even some prepared canvas (for future artwork). A handy tip is to attach your papers with Washi tape and let the papers drape to form a curve. This way your photos will have a seamless background and a white background will give the image an illusion of floating.

I mostly shot with the Macro setting and no flash, as I sat with my back to a large window.  As the sun moved overhead, I had to beware of shadows that my body created, but that was easy enough to rectify by just moving to the side.  I used a LED strip light attached to the top of the tin foil, (reflects the light)  creating an even light on the cards and no additional shadows to contend with.  The Result:  These stunning images which I will be proud to showcase for my products on Etsy.

Next step:  Cards photographed (check). Produce packaging for them (not checked).  Etsy store is set up and almost ready to go live (check). I have registered with a Courier Company (check).

I must admit that I am becoming both very nervous and excited to start my next chapter, which has taken me forever..... And the reason why I'm ACTUALLY starting will be in my next Blog Post:  I'd Rather Be in the Studio by Alyson Stanfield The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion

3 February 2016


How on earth do you add a widget?

Fear not! You will not have to try and figure it out, like I had to,  aah and after a very unsuccessful experience with Symphony Widgets I believe that you will find this a much easier experience.

This is a step by step guide how to add a widget from AddThis


Sign up with AddThis and sign in
Choose Tools
Choose your option.  I chose "Sharing SideBar"


Follow the prompts
Then Update
You will taken to the code which you will need to copy


Go to Layout in Blogger
Add Gadget

Step 4:

Choose HTML/Javascript

Step 5:

Paste the code which you copied above


Step 6:

View your Blog to ensure that it is what you are wanting
or go back and make the necessary changes.

Now you will have a widget which can help you to promote your site or blog. I hope this was helpful