Archive for September, 2008

Hurry and Celebrate OneWebDay!

Happy OneWebDay!

September 22 marks the annual celebration of OneWebDay! Founded in 2006, OneWebDay is designed to encourage people around the globe to express how the internet has changed their lives.

The holiday was created by Susan Crawford, who after two years of campaigning about OneWebDay, is still traveling to different cities to get people involved and organized.  With her hard work, OneWebDay inc. has gained 501(c)(3) nonprofit  status, with holiday events held in England, Australia, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Singapore and Tunisia.

Artisan home business owners should understand more than anyone the goal behind OneWebDay. The internet offers crafters different marketplaces and venues to sell their handmade items.  Without the internet, many home business owners’ lives would be dramatically different. Without trading sites like Art Fire, artisans would be limited by their geographical location. They wouldn’t have access to the sea of buyers surfing the internet, not to mention the fellow artisans and online tutorials.

Think of all the ways the internet has helped your crafting skills and business. Today is about appreciating this new technology and making use of it. So get on artfire.com and take full advantage of what the world wide web has to offer!

 

–Sara

www.artfire.com

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It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Ahoy me hearties! Today be international talk like a pirate day.  Avast ye scurvy dogs, it be time to cast your grammatical skills to Davy Jones’ locker and start talkin’ like a rum drunk seadog! Arg!

 Ye thinks I be a liar? Talk like a Pirate day be a real holiday! Aye, it was birthed in 1995, when the young buccaneer Cap’n Slappy (Mark Summer) cried “Aaaarr!” after being blown down in during a game of racquetball.  He and his heartie, Ol’Clumbucket (John Baur) declared a holiday from the event, and before they could say “shiver me timbers” the day was internationally famous. It be true! Talk like a pirate day be recognized in de United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands (where they be speaking Dutch pirate lingo).

Arrgh! This day cannot be celebrated properly without arts and crafts! Pirate crafts be my favorite! I love them pirate costumes, little pirate dollies, pirate jewelry, and pirate decorations. In honor of this fair holiday, get ye crafting skills out and make some pirate booty! Pull out your parrot, daggers, and doubloons. It be time to celebrate de golden age of piracy with arts and crafts! And don’t forget to check out all the crafting booty on artfire.com!

Yo ho yo ho a pirate’s life for me!

-Sara

www.artfire.com

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Tips for Finding your Artistic Muse

Sometimes you just can’t get it right. You work on a project for hours, but you just can’t seem to make it work. Or worse, you just can’t seem to get started on something. You know you want to craft, but you don’t know what.

This is something I call ‘artisan block’ and it happens to us all.  It can be especially difficult if you’re an online seller, and designing handmade goods is part of your livelihood. But don’t despair, and most importantly, don’t give up.  Listed below are some tips from my personal experience to help with artisan block.

Tip #1

When I’m looking for my artisan muse, I take a long, relaxing walk. Try doing something to get you physically active and clear your mind. It will calm any frustrations, and get you away from the workshop. 

Tip #2

Try just diving in. Choose your medium and start. Go with what feels right. This doesn’t always result in a masterpiece, but it generally is a lot of fun and relieves frustration. And sometimes, just sometimes, you can get something brilliant.

Tip #3

Browse other artists’ work. It can be intimidating, but it can also show you what they’re up too. Visit a museum or just surf the internet to see what other artisans are doing; it can be inspiring and insightful.

Tip #4

Try a different medium. It may feel wrong to temporarily give up your chosen art form, but when you expand into other areas, you have the capability to express yourself in different ways.  I’m not asking you to give up your original medium forever, just try something different for a while.   If you like painting, try pottery.  If you make jewelry, try sewing.  It will broaden your horizons and allow you to better appreciate your favored medium when you’re done.

Tip #5

Sleep on it. Watch a movie. Go out with friends. Just do something to separate you from the piece. Don’t look at it—don’t even think about it—just sit back and relax your creativity. Then, after some time has pasted, revisit your craft studio. The inspiration will come to you when the time is right.

Tip #6

Put on some inspirational or unusual music. I prefer tribal music.  Sew, bead, draw, paint, or sculpt to the music. Let the music guide your art. Allow yourself to let loose and go wild. There are few things as artistically stimulating as music.

Tip #7

Think of a book or movie you felt touched by.  Let the movie inspire your artwork. Paint a picture about something about the story that inspires you. Try crafting a piece of jewelry or pottery from the book or movie. Make a sculpture about the scene. Take whatever it was that moved you and make it your own. It doesn’t matter that the idea isn’t original, you’re changing it with your art and making it unique. After all, every idea comes from somewhere.

Tip #8

Never underestimate the power of snacking. How can you do art on an empty stomach? When you feel stuck on a project and need to find your muse, look no further than your refrigerator. I’m not telling you to overdo it, but a healthy snack break from your artwork many provide the inspiration you need.

 

I hope these suggestions helped.  Remember, the world needs crafters, so kick that artisan block and keep on crafting!

 

-Sara

www.artfire.com

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Calling all Artisan Writers and Bloggers!

Readers, Bloggers, and other Artisans:

 

We’re looking for talented contributors for Art Fire’s e-newsletter, Art Daily.  Share your knowledge and skills with the Art Fire community by becoming a contributor or artisan columnist!  

 

Art Daily is a seven-day-a-week eight section newsletter posted on Artfire.com.  All articles are completely free and accessible to anyone with an internet connection.  Our editorial staff is currently entertaining submissions, so send in your work today for review! Your work could be viewed by hundreds of people in the Art Fire community and even more on the world wide web.

 

There are eight sections of Art Daily, but only six need artist contributions. Those six are: 

 

Main Feature –Offers news on Art Fire events, Artisan Spotlights, and arts or green related news.

 

Crafts and Techniques – Contains free crafting ideas and projects for artisans of all ages.  

 

Member’s Board – includes any work, tips, or fun ideas submitted by Art Fire members.

 

Inspirational Art – Gives inspiring current events and art show information.

 

Green Wise – Offers innovative green living tips and environmental news.

 

Business Tips – Gives advice for artisan sellers on the site. These tips are hand-tailored to the crafting community, and designed to help members expand their business

 

 

We are looking for individuals to add to any one of these sections with as much content as they wish.  Contributions for most sections should fall under 250 words. Work submitted for the main feature which will run about 500 words. Work can be reprinted from your other blogs, so long as it is written by you and not stolen.  This is a great opportunity to get your work published! You don’t have to be a member of Art Fire to contribute to Art Daily, although it is recommended as sign up is free and easy.

 

Please email:  artdaily@artfire.com for more information!

 

-Sara

www.artfire.com

 

 

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Greener Homes

Good day everyone,

This morning I was reading an article online about a green housing community in New Hampshire.  According to MSNBC.com, green homes look just like normal homes, expect they offer triple-glazed windows, recycled insulation materials, organic heating systems, and other green features meant to encourage longevity. 

Apparently, these kind of housing communities aren’t uncommon. There are 113 green neighborhoods within the United States, and another 90 still being built.   While the housing market is troubled, green housing is soaring in popularity, and expected to grow to new heights in the years to come.

And I must say, for being made out of recycled materials, these houses are looking mighty snazzy.

 Just imagine how easy it would be to go green in a house already designed for it! You wouldn’t have to worry much about your wasting electricity when your house is heated by solar power, or wasting CO2 when your dishwasher recycles it.    While this could encourage residents to be lazy, the people who live in these houses seem even MORE aware of the need to live an environmentally friendly life.  These living communities unite people who share a common desire to live greenly, giving them the chance to work together to improve the quality of their lives.

Unfortunately, there simply aren’t enough green houses for everyone—yet.  For those of us who haven’t purchased a green home yet, we’ll just have to keep recycling and supporting green organizations like ArtFire.com.

-Sara

www.artfire.com

P.S. I’m still looking for Art Daily Contributors! Artisans who contribute to Art Daily will have their work posted on Artfire.com and read by the art community.  Columnists can share their tips with other artisans, discuss craft ideas, or offer opinions on art related issues. For more information or to contribute to Art Daily, please email: mailto:artdaily@artfire.com.

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An Ode to Fay

September 15, 2008

Buenos Dias, Crafters!

101 years ago, the then infant Fay Wray was practicing her first blockbuster screams.  Her birth on September 15, 1907 gave her years to fine tune her shrieking ability, which would later lead her to become the first Scream Queen in cinema history.  

I’m talking, of course, about the 1933 smash hit, King Kong, which has become a household name in popular culture. Would this film have gained such tremendous success if not for the shrieking, fainting, and dashing Fay Wray cast as Ann Darrow?  Fay, the doe-eyed seductress who won the heart of a massive prehistoric beast.  Fay, in her satin white dress, carted off to the top of the Empire State Building by King Kong.  Fay, who set the bar for horror film starlets everywhere.  Where would King Kong be today without his lady love of all time, Fay Wray?

Fay died on August 8, 2004, right before the 2005 remake of King Kong was to start filming (so no, she wasn’t able to offer much screaming advice to Naomi Watts). She passed on quietly in her sleep at the ripe old age of 94.

King Kong, like most movies that wriggle their way into our hearts, has inspired a plethora of homemade toys and crafts. From monkey suits to pop art movie posters, King Kong continues to capture our imaginations. Sadly, poor Faye goes unnoticed in these representations. For that reason, I putting a call to all artists, when you craft King Kong memorabilia, remember Fay, and her contributions to movie history!

-Sara

http://www.artfire.com

 

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Art Fire’s ArtiFact Feature

Have you ever felt anonymous on the internet? Like you are just another screen name in a sea of links, unseen and unnoticed by other browsers?

This namelessness is one of the features of the World Wide Web. Users are generally invisible, able to surf without being seen by others. Many people do not always want to remain unseen, especially when it comes to trading and interacting online. They want to distinguish themselves as unique individuals who stand apart from the masses.

That’s why we at Artfire.com are working up a new community feature to show off the unique qualities of our members.  ArtiFacts will be graphic representations of activities Art Fire artisans engage in, services they perform or groups to which they belong.  They will show contributions members have made to the site, each other, or to the greater good.

ArtiFacts will be available to both buyers and sellers. They will be placed on profiles and shops to let other community members know what kind of a person that user is. They will give shops or profiles more personality and depth. 

ArtiFacts are available in many different varieties. Artisans who decide to mentor new Art Fire members can receive a Fire Mentor ArtiFact.   Buyers who have purchased more than $500 in handmade goods on Art Fire can receive an Aficionado ArtiFact. Members who write for Art Daily can receive a Contributor ArtiFact to display. With more than 16 different ArtiFacts in the works, we will have something for every kind of member!

For more information on our new ArtiFacts feature, please visit the ArtiFacts Page. Of course, we’re always looking for new ideas. If you can think of an ArtiFact not listed on the page, please feel free to email us your thoughts and feedback to: artdaily@artfire.com.  

–Sara

www.artfire.com


 

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