Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lilies In Bloom

I really love gardening and I wish I had more time to cultivate my garden. There are several areas around my home, where I have planted flowers, herbs and vegetables. This year I have tried my hands at some new vegetables, most of which the rabbits enjoyed. However, the greatest joy comes from my flowers. I love looking at the flowers in the garden. I also love having a variety of flowers that I can use to make beautiful fresh flower arrangements for my home.

The lilies are one of my favourites and a must have in my garden. There are so many varieties of lilies to choose from and I will like to include some more varieties in my garden.  I have been doing some research, but have not decided which ones I will plant.

The stunning blooms range in size and have an amazing scent. The blooms last a really long time and the plant is easy to care for. I do not have a large collection of lilies, but the ones that I do have are a beautiful addition to my walkway. They are eye catching and welcome my guest with their amazing aroma.

What is your favourite garden flower?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Let's Play Dolls

When I was a child one of my most favourite things to do was sew clothes for my dolls. I would spend hours designing and making little outfits from ends of fabric. I personally think that I had the best-dressed doll in the neighbourhood.

My love for designing and sewing has evolved over the years into a life-long passion. I also love teaching others how to sew and I am always excited when I have a student that really enjoys sewing. However, it is a special treat to have a young student that has a passion for the craft. One of my passionate young sewing students made this project at the end of our sewing sessions this year.

I have shared an image of this project on our Facebook page, but have finally gotten around to doing this posts. I think it is a great little project and something worth doing with young sewers who also happen to love dolls. If you have a doll of a similar size then I suggest trying out the pattern (McCalls Pattern ‪#‎M6370‬). There are also lots of other great patterns available for you to try. You can also play with drafting your own patterns.

When you were a child, did you make clothing for your dolls?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Creative Entrepreneur

by Dr. Cheryl Cottle

The creative entrepreneur like any other entrepreneur is fast becoming a vocation that many people are getting into. There has been a growth in every sector of the creative industry. In the mid eighteen-hundred, with the advent of industrial revolution and the birth of manufacturing, the creative artisan died. However, more recently with the economic down turn that has impacted the world’s economy, there has been an upsurge of creative businesses. People from every sector of the creative industry have began producing their craft and taking it to the market place.

To be a successful creative entrepreneur there are skills, knowledge and attitude that you should develop to start and run a business. Outside of your talent to create a new idea or new innovation, you also need entrepreneurial skills, collaboration skills and creativity. To successfully manage a business you will also need to master certain skills, and gain an understanding of intellectual property copyright laws. Having an understanding of patenting and publishing, to ensure the security and ownership of your work is very important.

Creative entrepreneurs should also have the ability to manage their creative process as well as the cash flow of their business. Management skills, marketing, branding, communication, collaboration, negotiation and leadership skills, are other entrepreneurial skills that they will need to be mastered. Alternatively, having other individuals within your business or network who have the needed skills for you to draw upon is crucial to running an effective and productive business.
It has been suggested by Howkins (2001) that the creative entrepreneur should also learn how to invent themselves ever so often; developing a professional image is also key to the success that they can achieve. Prioritizing their ideas, is also a skill that they should develop. It enables them to accomplish more. Education and development are also recommended, to update their knowledge base in particular to ensure entrepreneurial success.

Traditionally the creative entrepreneur required an agent or an art dealer, managers or publisher, depending on the area of their creativity. This individual showcased their work and decided the “prospective value” of the creative output, before placing it in front of buyers. The value of the creative individual’s works also included the fee for the “gatekeeper.” With the emergence of a new appreciation for the creative arts, along with government and policy makers support, spaces are being designed to create opportunities for the exhibition and sale of one’s artistic products. In addition, with the advent of digital technology and the Internet the creative entrepreneur can eliminate the “middle man” and go directly to market. Social media has also provided opportunities to connect with prospective clients and develop valuable networks.

Are you thinking about becoming a creative entrepreneur? It is a great sector to be part of, if you have innate skills that you can tap into that will support your livelihood. Why get into a business that is not natural to you or that you do not have passion for? Remember, we must do what we love and we will find the joy and happiness that we seek; and remember the money will follow.

Howkins, John, The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas, Penguin, 2001

About the Author
Dr. Cheryl Cottle is the founder and chief consultant of Cottle's Professional Consulting. Dr. Cottle is an education and business development consultant, and has written several post for Crafted Spaces. She holds a Masters degree in Instructional Technology and a Doctorate degree in Education and Computer Applications. She has worked as a consultant for over ten years and is also a social media expert, who works with individuals and organizations to achieve their professional and business goals. Dr. Cottle also provides women entrepreneurs with valuable business development resources through her CPC Women in Business group and other initiatives.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

Our Crafty Home series has recently ended, however the crafty home decorating fun continues. There are several projects I will like to do for the summer and I am hoping that I can get them all done. Several of the rooms in my home are in need of some personality and there are a few items I will like to update. Among these items was a very standard 36" x 24" wooden framed bulletin board that hangs in the home office. I have had this bulletin board for a long time, and it needed a facelift. I find bulletin boards very helpful, but there is no reason they have to be boring.

I started my project by lightly sanding the wooden frame, then using a brush I stained the frame with the same MINIWAX Walnut colour stain I used in the stained wicker baskets project.

I followed by measuring the inside of the frame and cutting my 100% cotton fabric with an additional 1/2" on all sides. I then pressed under the 1/2" edge. I started tacking the fabric to the bulletin board starting from one corner and I found that it was easier to work on the short side of the board and work across from there. I used a total of 48 upholstery nails or "Decorative Nails." The nails went in by hand with a little effort; however, the use of a small hammer would probably save your fingers some discomfort later.

I debated over what type of print (or none print) to use and finally settled on a quilting cotton that I had in my studio. I think it will work well with my future plans for the room.

The longest part of this project was waiting for the stain to dry. I am happy with the results and I think that it makes an otherwise boring bulletin board look more interesting. What are your thoughts on this project? What do you think is the best way to give a bulletin board some personality?

Tips: Consider the depth of your bulletin board when you purchase your decorative nails. Remember to flatten your fabric as you work and evenly space your nails or tacks. Another thing to consider is the amount of stretch the fabric you have chosen may have.

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