Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

Be Original – Not a Copy

crafts

Recently I saw that a friend’s beautiful metal artistry had been copied and sold as an original. Her shop creates the most stunning designs of wall decor, standing art and business signs.  She was devastated by this blatant act and contacted the individual.  To her amazement, she was told that a few changes to the original design had been made and it was now their artwork and sellable. A similar situation was repeated a few weeks ago by a friend in one of my Facebook groups.  Her original drawing and artwork was literally stolen off the net and claimed as their own.  She was able to get this resolved quickly.  In my opinion, these are desperate thieves who lack creativity of their own and stoop to robbing others of their livelihood.

These are just a few instances of artists’ hard work and imagination having been stolen.  I have an Etsy shop and noticed many ideas being duplicated and sold without compunction.  The term original is now interchangeable with enhancing, embellishing and reworking the piece to claim it as their own design. They steal the idea, make a few adjustments and then cheapen the cost to sell their replica to customers as an original.  A recent Etsy policy now allows sellers to add adornments to retail items and call it handmade. Somehow I don’t see that as “original”.  That’s a blog post for another day.

In the fiber community, it is true that there are basic knit and crochet stitches which become beautiful products.  The originality comes from taking those few stitches and creating a one of a kind masterpiece. When I sit down and design a new headband pattern,  I let my fingers work the yarn and write down each row in the event it’s a “keeper”.  It’s automatically recorded in my pattern journal, date it and sometimes draw a picture of it even though I may not market it.  But I know it’s my design for shopladylike.

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A few years ago, I was contacted by a lady who wanted to buy one of my headband pattern designs pictured above and make it for all her friends. Since I don’t sell any written patterns in my shop, I declined her offer.  Yes, I was happy that she loved it so much that she wanted to make some herself. She didn’t want to buy one of the headbands, just the pattern that took me many hours and mistakes to perfect.  But I’m in the business of selling my finished products, not my designs.

I’m sure that we all have similar stories.  There’s so much elation and excitement in being an original!  Why would you want to be a copy?  I hear that being copied can be considered a form of flattery, but is it really?

Craft Business or Hobby?

Business, crafts, lady like

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How many times has your business been confused with being a hobby rather than a legitimate endeavor? Have family or friends complimented you on finding a craft to fill your extra time?  Then there’s the one person who says, “It’s a great hobby but you can’t make any real money”! Really! I believe the problem lies in the assumption of what constitutes a craft.  I looked at a few of these terms according to Wikipedia:

A craft is a pastime or a profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work. Hobbies are practiced primarily for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. A business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers.

There it is, in black and white. The first one for using your skills as a pastime, the second one is simply for enjoyment, and the latter is for making money. When Etsy (an internet storefront to buy and sell handmade items) launched, crafters and hobbyists finally had a venue to showcase their wares. This was the first great opportunity for millions to transform their craft into a business.

My friend Tracey recently shared her perspective, “The contribution that hand crafters make to the cultural stability of our culture, keeps alive and updates crafts that are inherited from family and history. Many crafters today have combined modern technology with ancient skills to make all things old new again.”

The terms we use to define ourselves is how others see us. I am a crafter but I am firstly a designer and creator of handmade fiber products. Whether you are a photographer, painter, card maker, wood or metal worker, or quilter, you are a talented artisan and deserve the respect of the business community.

Loving your Craft

Business, crafts, crocheting, knitting

Have you ever wanted to ask fellow artisans how they got started in their craft?  Being a curious kind of gal, I love to hear their stories.  Through their tales, it can be awe-inspiring to take those first steps toward your new passion.   I know a professional artist, photographer, knitter, author and I’m amazed at their talents.  I personally know a few developed their gifts from youth while some fell into it by accident.  One day they were gifted a camera and their love for photography became all consuming.  Others become accidental artisans who are fortunate enough to find their gift and pursue it.  In the same vein, from childhood I’ve always had a thirst to learn or try something new.  I can actually say that I’ve even been a little bit of a daredevil. Don’t ever tell me I can’t do something!  That’s when I’ll surprise you.   One little question started me down a path I never would have anticipated.

While talking to my cousin one day, she asked the big question.  “Have you been knitting?”  She had to be kidding.  I hadn’t picked up needles since I was in college.  With a little encouragement from her, I bought some needles and went about trying to learn how to knit and purl again.  BUT first I had to remember how to cast on.  All thumbs and pinkies, I was a tad disappointed by the sight of my first few rows. This just wouldn’t do.  Not one to give up easily and with her over the phone tutorials, she retaught me how to knit!  Together with YouTube videos and printing off lots of easy patterns, I got my knitting mojo going at a steady pace and I never looked back, only forward.

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I have a love for the art of sliding those needles and yarn from one side to the other.  I’ve enjoyed making my first pair of socks, baby sweaters for all of my great nephews and niece and fashion items for women.   This love of fiber arts brought about my daughter Kristy and I opening our shopladylike offering both knitted and crocheted items.  Over the years, I’ve designed and created unique headbands for ladies and children.  Who would have guessed that I could actually take yarn, needles and hooks in hand and feel confident to make a pattern specific for our shop and customers would want to purchase them?

New Mini Ski Headband in Grey

Do you have doubts that’s stopping you from attempting that new project idea?  Do you buy all the necessary items and then put them in a drawer?  Take them out and surprise yourself.  Believe and you’ll amaze yourself!  If I didn’t have that little push to retry an old craft,  I may not have found my perfect niche to share my items with family, friends and actually open our Etsy Shop.

From my blog you can find Shopladylike links to my Facebook Fan page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  I’d love for you to link up with me and share your craft story or what inspires you.

Where’s My Craft Room?

Business, crafts, crocheting, knitting

A while ago I did a post on reorganizing my craft room. I worked for hours putting all my yarn, needles, fabric, and all other accessories I use on shelves, in baskets, or drawers.  You see,  I really can’t stand to lose anything.  When I need that particular skein of yarn for my project and it’s not where it’s supposed to be, creativity stops dead in its tracks.  Nothing else will get done until that pesky lost item is found!  That’s when I know it’s time to reorganize yet again.  Now what does telling you about organizing my craft room have to do with anything?  Read on.

For new inspiration, I look on Pinterest at the beautifully designed and organized sewing,  scrap booking and art studios and drool.  But seriously,  my craft of knitting and crocheting really doesn’t need anything elaborate but I love to look.  Recently,  Lady Like was asked to do a special project with the sweet company littleyellowcouch next month and they asked for a picture of my studio,  where I create my projects.    Simple, right?   Panic set in because I don’t really have a studio where I sit in a comfy chair knitting and crocheting.   I’m not surrounded by baskets of overflowing yarn, stored in special cubbies, projects displayed and an inspiration board.  So where is my craft room?  Wait, here it comes…the couch is my creating space.

Yes, I do have shelves and organized drawers for my yarns, needles and books, but it’s very simple.  Sorry I don’t have a photo of “all of my yarn stash”.  That’s my secret!   I keep those in special drawers to protect them.  I love to open drawers and pick out a new skein of yarn and get to work.  It’s all about the sound of the needles clicking together when knitting or the slide of the crochet hook as it weaves its way through the loops of yarn.

Here’s a little basket I made up just for this post.  It contains all Malabrigoyarn which is Lady Like’s favorite fiber.  We do use other brands but for specialty items, there’s nothing I love better.

 

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So the truth is that I truly love to sit down with a cup of tea, notebook and pen,  yummy yarn in hand and start designing new headbands or cowls on my comfortable seat.   Since Lady Like’s color theme is all about nature’s beautiful pallet, I’m content to sit on the couch and take in the view from my living room windows.  It’s the perfect studio setting and awe inspiring.   Sometimes my studio travels with me to a friend’s house for a craft day which is one of my favorite times.   Your studio or crafting room doesn’t have to be perfect or a special room.   It’s your place of comfort and creativity.  So enjoy wherever that may be.

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The march to March is on

crafts, lady like

Well February is almost over and I must say that it’s been a very strange month…temps at 21 degs. and up to 62. This morning it was 21 degs. at 6AM and now at 1 PM it’s a comfortable 45 with the sun shining gloriouslyl Looking forward to March and spring being around the corner. It’s going to be gardening time soon and can’t wait to get those veggies planted.

Have been working on and designing new packaging for LadyLike products. Didn’t realize how much work is involved in actually creating a professional logo and packaging identity. @wrecklessgirl has been instrumental in pushing my crafting abilities beyond what I thought I could do. I must say that the first thing I found important was to have your craft room organized. Seriously! It tends to get out of control at times and you just can’t be creative amidst a sea of fabric, skeins of yarn trying to escape from the wrapper and tiny tiny pieces of thread that insist on attaching themselves to your black pants! Feeling overwhelmed by it all, I took on the task of organizing first. So yesterday I spent three hours putting my items back in some semblance of order and tossing junk that couldn’t be re-purposed! Now all the recyclers out there don’t get upset. I seriously tried to make a case for the junk but in the end, it ended up in the circular file with a sigh.

This morning when I walked into my newly straightened room, I almost floated across the room for the space that I created. I must say it didn’t take long to spread out my sewing wings and get to work.

Have been reading lots of blogs lately, especially Traffic Generation Cafe. This is an incredibly gifted lady who gives any crafter or blogger such insight into having a successful on line business. I would encourage you to read her multiple daily posts to stir your creative juices. Also enjoy www.everythingetsy.com which is another gal who blogs about Etsy crafters. She’s very friendly and welcoming.

Time to get back to work. Will see you soon.

First Friday

crafts, crocheting, news

This 1st Friday in September was an exciting and memorable one indeed. Wreckless Photography and House of James had Open House to their newly renovated photography studio. With the renovations came the burst of natural light into the space that is almost heavenly. The transformation has been spectacular to watch. A beautiful display of images could be seen throughout the Studio.

Christine & Christopher

Mother & Daughter moment

Another highlight of the evening was the display of our local artisan and teacher, Julie Rae Bickle. Her work could be viewed in every room of the Del*light Creative Space and Julie was on hand to discuss her pieces with the guests. Three musicians from Grants Pass provided the entertainment and Ashleigh Powley of Troon Vineyard provided the guests with a sampling of their wine.

I was fortunate to have my newly created Lady Like hair clip designs on display and for sale. Sales were brisk and special orders were taken that evening. I would like to thank Heather Smith for the opportunity to have the clips on sale at her salon in Del*light and to daughter Kristy of Wreckless for the encouragement to step out and try something new. It was wonderful seeing old friends and meeting new ones too. Grants Pass is a small community with a big heart and 1st Fridays each month is a great place to reconnect with friends. I’m glad I was able to be a part of this event for the first time in 30 years in Grants Pass.   Hope to see you next month at Del*light Creative Space on the corner of 5th and G St.

Julie Rae Bickle, Artist of the month

Etsy!

crafts, crocheting, family

About a year ago, I signed up for an etsy account, intent on selling my sweaters, gloves, and other knitted creations. I ended up giving everything I made away as gifts. My account remained lifeless while I dreamed up craft creations and chatted with my daughter about them. She was always asking me to make crocheted/knitted flowers to wear as clips in her hair, so I finally succumbed to her demands and created a few. She’d been playing with feathers, using them in things she made for clients in her photoshoots, so she dreamed up the combination of crocheted flowers with feather tails. When she arrived back home from Italy, we immediately got to work on this idea we’d had for a long time, slowly building up our inventory. This weekend, I launched my company, Lady Like on etsy. I sell pretty handmade hair accessories for women. I’ve just added an etsy widget to the sidebar of this blog, so a small portion of each current collection will be displayed and linked here! Please venture over to my esty page and enjoy the collection! Thanks!

Terrific six weeks of quilting

crafts, quilting

Final class today was a world of new techniques and discussing the pleasure of handwork.  It has truly been a gift to share projects and thoughts with these women in the group.  Lots of fun, laughter and fortunately no pulling out of hair!  Mike Sandifer was a terrific teacher with a wealth of techniques and patient with us.  She showed us how to sandwich our quilt the proper way, even though I did it “my” way at home and it was not quite right.  I appreciated Mike’s gentleness in explaining the proper way.  We also learned how to machine quilt and it wasn’t as overwhelming as we thought. She was always supportive and would love to take another class from her.  I will be posting my finished quilt as soon as everything is done…or maybe sooner.

Last day of quilt class

crafts, quilting

Happy Tuesday everyone.  Today is my last day of the wonderful quilting class that I was fortunate to take.  I have posted pictures of the blocks and the top put together.  I have the quilt top, batting and back “sandwiched” together and I’m ready to head to class shortly.  Today we will be learning how to machine quilt with just our regular machines.  Really excited to learn how to do that.  I’ll let you know how it goes or if I’ve pulled out all my hair in frustration.

Happy New Year 2010

crafts, family

I want to wish everyone a Happy 2010! Hope this new year brings much joy and blessings to everyone.

I had a busy crafting year in 2009. I’ve added pictures of most of these projects: gloves, hats, doilies, coasters, an angelic sweater for Baby Bailey. With the news of another great niece or nephew coming this year, I’m sure auntie will be busy once again sewing and knitting! Lots to make for all of them this year. Keeps me out of trouble! Just keep me away from the yarn and needle department!

I’d love to hear your comments from time to time.

Hugs, Diana aka ladyknitster