This week I'm Photographing Glass Doll Eyes; Some things I'm Learning about Growing a Business from a Graphic Designer; and a New Free App for Teddy Bear Makers and Collectors.Read Now
Photographing Glass Doll Eyes has it's Unique Challenges
I took a few photography classes in college; but photographing Glass Doll Eyes has been a real challenge for me. We have some gorgeous Glass Doll Eyes; but I have a great deal of difficulty showing that depth and detail in the iris and pupil. I also fight with glare and reflections on the glass.
Jerry hand selects the Glass Doll Eyes to assure the pupil, iris, and overall diameter of each pair of eyes are the same for our customers.
We have been getting lots of customer feedback about their Glass Doll Eye purchases this year.
"I love these eyes. They are a much better quality than they appear in the photo."
That was a clear message that I needed to work on updating the Glass Doll Eyes photos to more accurately reflect the beauty and craftmanship.
I started with the Fantasy Glass Doll Eyes and Jerry worked with me to post 4 of the 5 in the Series last night. Within 1 hour of posting the new photos, we received an order for 5 Pairs.
We are both convinced that we need to continuously update and improve the quality of our listing photos. As you can see in these photos; it is a work in progress for me.
If you have tips or suggestions for photographing small items like eyes and how to minimize glare and reflection; Please Share. I'd love to read about it in the comments below and appreciate any help.
I'm Learning about Growing a Business from Jamie Starevich, a Graphic Designer at Spruce Road
I signed up for newsletters in the fall when I was getting ready to write the monthly newsletter for our business. I wanted to see how newsletters were designed and what content was included to get a feel for what I would like to include in our newsletter. I chose newsletters in a variety of industries including arts and crafts, crochet and knitting, business, and marketing.
Jamie Starevich's, Spruce Road has become one of my favorites. Jamie is a graphic designer and last week she recapped her first year of freelancing in her Spruce Road Newsletter and Webinar. She reviewed data about her business and described her plans for next year. I've enjoyed a few of her free lunch and learn webinars this year so I was thrilled to find out she plans to continue the webinars next year. She records them so if I am unable to be in the live lunch and learn because of a schedule conflict; I can view it at my convenience. She also has a chat room and Q and A time for participants during the lunch and learn.
I feel like Jamie shares her genuineness and joy when she talks and writes about her experience with branding, marketing, graphic design, and starting a business. She has the gift of being able to write about her experience in a way that I can see some parallels in my own journey with growing a small business.
During the re-cap webinar Jamie talked about being a part of a Mastermind Group and working with a Virtual Assistant in her business. I'd like to explore these as a possible options for our business next year.
Jamie's webinars are definitely not just for graphic artists. If you are thinking about starting a business or growing your business; she shares her experience and I learn new things every time I participate or review the recording that I can use in our business.
New Free App For Teddy Bear Makers and Collectors
If you create or collect Teddy Bears, a new Free App is available for your phone, I-Pad, and Google Play.
Teddy Bear Who's Who Artists
is a wonderful collection of photos of Teddy Bears and interviews with their makers. We worked with Sarah at Teddy Bear Times to get a cool flip ad that links up to GlassEyesOnLine.com We are thrilled with the results and hope to provide eyes to teddy bear artists around the world next year. Download the App and Find our Flip Ad. Let us know what you think about the app and our ad.
A trip to Asheville, NC for the Big Crafty and a Thoughtful Holiday Note Are Recipes For a Serendipitous Meeting and Moose Cafe Pancakes.Read Now
Moose Cafe and The Big Crafty
We headed up to Asheville, North Carolina for The Big Crafty last weekend and stayed with our dear friends, Belinda and David. Their home is built on the side of a mountain next to a running stream that rushes off the mountain and lulls us to sleep at night.
In the morning, we stopped for breakfast at the Moose Cafe. It is a local favorite next to the Farmers Market. I love their complimentary biscuits with apple butter and usually order the pancakes like I did during this visit.
After breakfast, we attended The Big Crafty at the Asheville Art Museum. We enjoyed the arts, crafts and side walk music performed by local musicians.
The show was very busy and crowded; but I did get an opportunity to meet and speak briefly to Haley Nocik. She works with needle felting. Her creations range from the realistic to whimsical and fantasy art. She told me that she uses various techniques for eyes. Some are made with polymer clay, others are painted on the fabric. She also uses glass eyes that she gets on line. My favorite piece was the Mounted Unicorn. The Whimsical and Fantasy Art Mounting would make unique wall decor for a children's room or I could visualize them mounted on walls in the reading area of a library, book store, or cafe. She also sells her work at Nocik Etsy Shop and you can follow her on instagram http://instagram.com/nocik
A Serendipitous Meeting With Mug Monsters and Amelia
Just before heading up to North Carolina for the weekend; we received an order for some large eyes from Mug Monsters. The order also had a lovely note attached from Amelia.
Thank you for everything! Your business is very important to my business. You have helped me a lot through the years, and I appreciate you! Love, Amelia
PS. Happy Holidays!
I really wanted to meet Amelia after reading her kind note and we had the perfect opportunity because we were heading in her direction. It was our good fortune that Amelia was going to be home so we delivered her order and had a brief visit. She shared a few of her tips about painting eyes with Jerry. We hope to get an opportunity to visit her in her studio next year.
We also found Amelia's Mug Monsters shown above at Asheville's historic Woolworth Walk Building while we were shopping on Sunday. They were located downstairs on the right.
I remember going to Woolworth with my dad as a child on Sunday after church to get a Chocolate Coke. This restored building currently features local art exhibits, art classes, and an old fashioned soda fountain where you can still purchase flavored cokes.
Amelia's Mug Monsters will make really cool and useful Holiday Gifts that you can also order on line at MugMonsters Etsy Shop.
Jerry and I are back to work now; but we have fond memories of our weekend and feel renewed energy for our business. We spent invaluable time with each other, our friends, and a special customer that reminded us of our connection on so many levels to each other.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in my Crochet
Fresh Stitches recently posted this photo of crocheted shorts on Facebook and asked "what's the worst thing you crocheted".
I thought the pants were hilarious. I had just finished what I thought was my worst crochet project ever. I call them my Fantastic Frogs because they look fantastic compared to those crocheted shorts.
I decided I would crochet frogs in memory of my dad. I have been thinking about him recently. He liked to garden and had a small pond where frogs lived. I usually crochet scarves or blankets.
I used this cute Free Toad Pattern I found at Great Amigurumi. The author of the pattern is Brigitte Read. You can find more of her adorable crochet animal patterns at her website Roman Sock.
I thought it was going to be an easy project. I was so wrong! Working in the round and with a small project was much harder than I realized. So what's the worst thing you crocheted?
During the Holidays, Take 20 to Decompress with "Art That Moves You" Watch this Video
I can be like a sponge absorbing feelings from all around me. I started feeling a little anxious at work and I asked myself "What came before this feeling?"
It turns out I would be reading an e-mail from a customer or talking with a customer.
Will my order come in time for me to finish this project for my sister for Christmas?
How could the post office loose my package?
Why won't your website take my credit card?
I think the combination of excitement and anticipation of the holidays can increase our anxiety levels. I can relate to how my customers are feeling because i'm currently working on a crochet project that I hope to finish before Christmas.
I was working on this short video clip I made at a rest stop off I-95 as you enter North Carolina. Every time I watch it; I get 20 Seconds to decompress.
If you are getting a little anxious about the holidays you can view this video and get 20 Seconds to slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.
This Whirligig was created by the artist, Vollis Simpson (1919–2013) He created a whirligig field in Wilson County, N.C. The Legislature of N.C. designated whirligigs as the State's Official Folk Art. North Carolina Natural and Cultural Resources:
Art that Moves You
If you have an art or craft that moves you; we'd love to read about it. You can share in the comments below or send us an e-mail.