Busy Cleaning

WIP-studio-mess-1How did I let my sunroom studio get in such a mess?!  I have been busy all day off and on on this small piece of territory.  It’s only 8’x12′ for goodness sake!  But my, what a mess!  I have way too much stuff for the space.  But I do use it…most of it.  I have enough fibre for a while.  I’ve been thinking of going through and culling some of it.   There are some naturally dyed fibres that are not quite as lightfast as I’d like.  They will go.

Speaking of lightfastness…in the past I’ve used Majic Carpet dyes for all my dye jobs.  Some set with vinegar and some with citric acid.  I’ve determined I prefer citric acid.  It seems to hold the colours better over the years.

I am also in the process of switching to ProChem dyes.  I suspect this will take a few years, and I still intend to set with citric acid.  Citric acid does smell though, so I restrict my dye days to days I can open my windows for a nice breeze…preferably warm.  That’s about 6 months of the year here.

In the process of cleaning up I am attaching price tags to work I’ve yet to tag for sale.  My cleaning slowed down considerably yesterday afternoon as a result.  I cannot believe I let myself get this far behind!  Good thing I’m doing it now.  I’ll be ready for the CVAF Street Fair (Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair) this May.  It appears I haven’t tagged anything since last fall!

WIP-Studio-mess-2 WIP-Studio-mess-3

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Getting My Art Out There

Had a phone workshop last night on this subject.  It’s my first phone workshop ever.  It was a weird feeling.  When I talked into the phone I couldn’t hear myself in the ear piece.  Really weird.  The workshop was really good though.  And the handouts that were delivered via email attachment beforehand are going to be very useful.

Ended up having a longish nap yesterday afternoon, so not much accomplished I’m afraid.  I did work more on the business plan.  It’s taking a lot more time than I thought it would, BUT I am turning up some really useful ideas/leads to follow.

Hubby was able to fix my rug hooking frame!  Have I mentioned how much I love him lately?!  What a nice guy to do that so quickly for me.  He must have sensed my mild anxiety (?!) over the thought of having to buy a new one.  Rug hooking frames do not come cheap.

I filled in my “Intent to Enter” form for Dimensions 2015 last night.  Off to mail it today.  Anyone else out there a member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council?  It’s time to think about mailing yours in!

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It Broke!!!

My floor frame broke!  More accurately a glued section came unglued.  Hubby is reglueing it, but that means I have to wait 24 hours for it to dry.  Bummer!  So instead I’m working more on that business plan.

Today I’m taking the time to scout out the competition.  I’m checking rug hooking blogs and websites online and deciding what I do and don’t like about them.  Trying to find if there’s a niche that’s been overlooked.

I also decided to check out the ATHA magazine for advertising and see what I could find.  Interesting.  There are no Canadian rug hooking shops advertising in the ATHA magazine.  Hmm…wonder where they advertise?  Or if they need to?  A question to ask vendors at the TIGHR conference this fall.  Most curious…

I have Prairie Sunset all set to hem.  Just haven’t got around to it.  Lots happening here.  Just heard that Hubby’s step-dad had a  massive stroke and is not expected to live.  He’s in palliative care.  Yes, we did just go to the funeral for Hubby’s mother two weekends ago.  We could be making another trip soon… :(

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It’s Finished! And more about that business plan…

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Finished hooking Prairie Sunset yesterday afternoon.  It is pressed and ready for hemming today.  Then it and Prairie Sky will be shipped to Saskatoon for jurying for Dimensions 2015 – the biennial traveling exhibit of the Saskatchewan Craft Council.  But not till I pick up a couple of mailing tubes at Staples for them.

I also spent more time on my business plan.  It is developing into a large collage.  I am afraid I will not have room for everything.  Especially if I combine the information from both books – When Talent Isn’t Enough and The Right-Brain Business Plan.  However I will have fun trying! :)

Yesterday’s headache was finding demographic information and market area information.  Thankfully I have a librarian hubby who specializes in researching that sort of thing for prospective entrepreneurs.  With his help I was able to flesh out that section of my business plan.  I spent considerable time mapping my competition.  Google maps was being difficult, which did not help.

My brief summary at this point is to note that The Right-Brain Business Plan goes into more detail than When Talent Isn’t Enough.  WTIE gives you a breakdown of what you need to think about and incorporate into a business plan, and TRBBP details the exact information you need and where to find it, including the statistics.  Though as noted I need my librarian hubby to negotiate the government websites and dig out the information for me!  TRBBP is good for both Canadians and Americans.  It was wise of me to read WTIE before TRBBP.  It broke me into the whole idea.  Though WTIE is aimed more at American freelancers, primarily writers.  TRBBP seems to be aimed more at visual arts creative people. I don’t think it much matters really.  The information from both books is useful.

So has anyone else reading this created a business plan for a creative endeavour?  How did you do it?  What resources did you use?  I mean, just how detailed does this have to be?  I’m not going to be borrowing money, at least I have no plans for it.

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Business Plans, etcetra

WTIE-blog

I finished reading When Talent Isn’t Enough by Kristen Fischer.  It gives a great overview of how to develop a business plan for the creative minded entrepreneur.  I used it to generate a huge mind map of ideas for an official business plan.  Combined with my JLT Studios Facebook page statistics I should be able to come up with a decent plan.

I may, or may not, visit Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan offices.  I’ve used their services before and they were good.  They might help me fine tune a business plan with actual sales figures, etc.  I am not sure where one would turn those up.

TRBBP-blog

I’ve moved onto reading The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee.  So far it looks interesting.  I have over two pages of notes on the first chapter alone…lots of ideas.  Jennifer has you do creative exercises throughout the book to get the ideas flowing.

images4BP

Here are some images I cut out that I determined later really tell me I want a separate studio from the house!  Not likely to happen here.  City bylaws would prohibit it.  However, there are some ideas here for furniture that would make my life a whole lot easier.

As for Prairie Sunset… It is close to being finished.  A few more loops in the sky.  Some switching of colours near the sun, and I should be done.  :)

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In my studio this week

WIP-PSunset-5I am hoping to finish hooking Prairie Sunset this week.  Also planning to press and hem it.  I will work on finishing Goldfish too.

I have a phone workshop mid-week and a social media workshop this weekend.  Should be interesting.  Lots happening.

I want to finish reading When Talent Isn’t Enough.  Picked up two new books on the weekend, courtesy of a gift card I received for Christmas.  The two book are: The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee, and How to Start a Home-Based Etsy Business by Gina Luker.  I am looking forward to reading them and fine tuning my business plan and Etsy business.

What’s everyone else up to this week?  Anything creative happening?

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Saturday Meanderings

WIP-PSunset-4Busy working on Prairie Sunset.  It’s definitely colourful!  I may need to tone it down a bit.  Values wise it works, but there’s just a lot of intense colour there.  Reminds me of a Rod Charlesworth painting!

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