Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Cleaning Your Etsy Shop

I just wrote an article about how to spring clean your etsy shop.
Here's a snippet:

1)Analyze your shop. Do you have items that are only going to attract attention during winter months? Delete them, or discount them. However, if you ship internationally, consider focusing a part of your marketing budget on renewing or advertising for those in the Southern Hemisphere where Autumn and Winter is just starting.

2)Create images with a consistent look. Look around your shop- are all your photos really different? Consider taking some new photographs with the same colorful background, or outside with some spring flowers. People will think you have new items which is always exciting!

Check out my Amtextiles shop to see how it looks! I like it so much better now!

Want to read the full article? Go to How to Spring Clean Your Etsy Shop.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Featured Artist: Jen from Raeburn Ink

I met Jen from Raeburn Ink at the AltCraft section of the American Craft Council show. She had the table next to me and I fell in love with her "Pillow Rings" (see photo) and her creative use of color. I asked her to the the featured artist for March. Check out what she has to say about her work, textile art and make sure to stop by her shops as well!

1) How would you describe your textile work as it currently is being made?
My current processes are screen printing and patchwork. I create functional objects - pillows, bags, jewelry, tee shirts. My screen printed fabrics use images drawn from various sources - some recent collections are inspired by scientific imagery, office supplies, and my trip to Japan. In general, I'm interested in color, geometry, and abstraction. I try to bring a sense of adventure into my pieces through the use of bright colors, contrasts, and hopefully a sense of humor. My patchwork pieces evolved out of a desire to use every scrap of fabric that I create. I couldn't bring myself to throw away the tiny bits, so I created a whole new collection to work with them.

2) List some of your inspiration for your current work
I have recently been working on my Macro/Micro print collection, looking at similarities between the very large and the very small. It has a heavy geology influence. I've been working with delicate line drawings, which is pretty new for me.

3) Do you incorporate other media or non-textile techniques in your work? how?
The actual pieces I produce use very established techniques - sewing and printing. I do use Photoshop and Illustrator a lot in the development of my imagery. I create sketches and manipulate photos and drawings. I test colorways and ideas, which I can do much faster on the computer than I can otherwise. The computer is an amazing tool for me in the development of my work.
4) What are your thoughts on Art, Craft, AltCraft/Indie Craft as categories or definitions in general and as they pertain to your work?
I'm not crazy about the perceived divisions in the Art/Craft/Design worlds. I feel like there's so much overlap in these genres, and I've always wondered where I fit in - I feel like all of them describe my work to some degree. I am very interested in conceptual art, and that informs my work and aesthetic quite heavily. I choose to make functional objects, which aligns my work with much of the craft world. I really connect with and love the return to the handmade that is a main element of the Indie Craft world. I don't fit in entirely to any of these categories, I'm really somewhere in the middle.

5) Any new creations you are excited about?
I'm starting some new designs that are based on my test prints, I love the unexpected results that happen when images are layered unintentionally. I'm also studying clothing construction and design, and I am planning to work on a new small clothing collection. And some plans to experiment with digitally printed fabrics.
6) Where can people find your work?
The easiest place to find me is online at I travel a lot to exhibit at various shows, and I list my show schedule online. I also have an etsy shop, of course! Its

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

AltCraft, ACC and Amtextiles

Whew! I think I am finally recovered from the American Craft Council Show. What a great experience. Overall, the show was successful and totally worthwhile. Here's some highlights and lowlights:

The set-up was relatively easy. The layout was easy to understand, most things were taken care of beforehand and my specific needs were taken care of. Thanks Erika for your help with that !! One downfall was that exhibitors in this space had their backs turned to the main flow of traffic, or had their booths really close to smelly food. People also had a hard time knowing what we were doing in our own section since the signage was poor and, I think, no one really knows what AltCraft is. Even those of us in the section! More on that in another post.

There were plenty of great people to meet and great conversations to be had! I met several internationally known curators (one of whom bought a piece from me!), Wendy Rosen who is the author of one of my favorite How to run a Craft Business books and producer of the Buyers Market, other great artists and crafters who make glorious and creative work...the list goes on and on! I needed cough drops to make sure I could keep talking!

I got to spend so much quality time with my friend Jenn. She is my model as well as my friend (she's in the photo above), so every time I left the table she thought everyone must have thought she was so vain since her image is on all my promo materials! Really, it's just that she looks divine and is so cool to let me photograph her all the time.

The feedback about my work was really helpful. Actually, this was the first time I had unveiled amtextiles Bubble Wraps as its own line of work so I really needed to hear from potential and actual clients. Playful, colorful, funky, diva, formal, bridal, beautiful, fun...

I also had a wonderful time wandering through the rest of the show when I had time. I'll write a post about some of my finds a little later this month.

Thanks to all of those who helped me: Adam, Jenn, Josh, the entire Shreckhise and Coppings families, Daiga, Joan, Erika, Lou, Yoshiko, Erin, are my loves!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Smorgasbord of color

Smorgasbord of color, originally uploaded by ambermayhem.

My studio is currently filled with a multitude of hand dyed silk organza bubble wraps of various sizes and shades. One of the interpretations of shibori is "Memory on Cloth" since the techniques leave an impression on the cloth permanently. In this case, the silk organza of these Bubble Wraps has embedded within them the story of hundreds of marbles, bicycle parts, wire and other objects.