Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tribal Canoe Journey Coming To La Conner, Washington!

I finished up six colorful lampwork bracelets and two pendants and will likely post them tonight. I'll also have four more Galaxy Bead sets from Scott as well. I tried to do a blog post last night and I couldn't access Blogger. Seems to be ok now. Must have been the universe's way of telling me to be done for the day.
Today I wanted to share something that is coming up in our special little town of La Conner, Washington. The Tribal Canoe Journey is landing in La Conner this year and it is quite a big deal. One side of the channel in La Conner is the downtown and schools, many homes, etc. and the other side is the Swinomish Indian Reservation - which is where we live. This is a wonderful community and I am proud and happy to live here. The Rainbow Bridge makes it easy to get from side to side.

Anyway, right across the channel from our studio is where the landing will take place. We have been watching the construction of the landing site and you'll see from the photos below that they are going all out. They have created three shelters in the form of the cedar hats that were commonly worn by the native tribes of this area. You can see these hats if you watch one of the videos I have linked to below. Thousands and thousands of people will come from all over to attend this event. I can't imagine how traffic is going to be and how the town will do handling the crowds. I'm sure it will be great, but what an event!! The photos below show it from each side of the channel. In the first photo, you can see a light green building on the far right. We are on the street side of that building. This event is at the end of July. I keep thinking they are going to put grass in, but who knows at this point. I'm sure it will all come together. You should come to La Conner. We have so many great galleries, museums, and restaurants. Here is a link to the Chamber of Commerce. Hope to see you!
Paddle To Swinomish Website
Tribal Canoe Journey Video Clip from past event
The Canoe Way - video clip

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eye Candy and Inspiration

I returned home late-ish tonight, so I am just sharing this photo of some past work that is meant to inspire Scott and I, but to also give your eyes something lovely to look at. You can click on the photo to enlarge it, but then click it again to see even more detail. These pieces were all sold long ago. I forgot my camera at the studio tonight, so I'll have to share tomorrow what I had intended to share tonight. Night all! -Monica

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Grouping of New Work - Flickr slideshow test....and my little garden.

This post is my first attempt at sharing our new artwork with you via Flickr slideshow. If you have any trouble with it let me know. If it doesn't work for you, here is a link that will take you to the photo page. In the future I will most likely wait until I actually have the work uploaded to our website, but I'm too excited to wait this time. If this works, it sure makes my life easier and you will just get to sit back and watch a relaxing slideshow and hardly have to click a thing. Much easier that clicking a lot of links or flooding each post with photos. It may take a bit to load. I hope not too long. goes! If you want to see a couple of photos from my humble little garden planted in pots, you'll find them below the slideshow that hopefully shows up for you below. Thanks for looking! If you leave a comment you'll forever be in my heart as the first person who left a comment on my new blog escapade. :o) Ciao! Monica Ok, I just tested it and am now editing my post to say "It Worked" did just show a black rectangle for a while while it loaded. It took a little longer than I wanted, but it should still be ok.

From left to right...lettuce, strawberries, sweet peas (flower kind), snap peas (my youngest helped me plant these from seed), sunflowers (my eldest child's school project replanted). Oh and more lettuce in the front. The slugs can't get my lettuce or strawberries being up on those pots!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Goal and Online Marketing System

The trick is for me to make this easy for the both of us. Those who want to view new work and me who needs to get it up and online so it can be available to you. I have tried various ways over the years and this new system will likely need some tweaking as well, but so far it's looking good and I'm pretty darn excited about it. First however, this is a photo of the new jewelry I made today for restocking the shop. These will not go up online, but I wanted to show you what I've been up to anyway. I will show you the PrintScreen images below that I was referring to in my post from a couple of days ago.

These images below show what the home pages of my new "system" look like. Links for these are also available on the top of the page of each page on our website. The first step of my plan which is maybe one I will revise, is to upload my new item photos to Flickr and create almost daily "sets" of photos. That way I can have a copy and pasteable link to a set of photos. Great for sharing on Facebook and Twitter, but my as of yet untested hope is to post them as a slideshow on my blog so I don't have to add each photo separately. From there my blog autoposts to Facebook that I updated my blog and then from there my Facebook autoposts to our Twitter page. I especially like that in Flickr and in this blog, I can add Labels/Keywords/Tags to each set of photos or posts. Always good for getting "found" "out there". I will also post each of Scott's new videos that he posts to Our YouTube on the blog which will start the Facebook to Twitter post sharing. So, it will be up to you where you want to sign up to receive notification of our new work, new tools, and new videos. I will also still send out my monthly email newsletter, but with 910 subscibers and only averaging 300ish "opens", I feel there is room for improvement in getting my info out to those who are intersted. My intention in sharing all of this is to also show other artists out there how I market online and perhaps that can help you decide how you'll go about maketing your own work on the internet. I will be testing this system tomorrow. The only really untested part is the Flickr slideshow to Blogger. This was kind of a "techy" post too. Bear with me if this is of no interest to you. I'm sure you'll find other things interesting that I will post in future. Well, I hope you do anyway. :o) Ciao, Monica

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just a Quick One.

I thought I'd post a quick photo of some of the many wonderful large holed beads that Scott has been making for our studio. These fit on the many popular bracelets that need those large holes. We sell them for $4-$16. Currently these are not available on our website. That will change in the future however.

I'm out of energy after a busy Saturday with the boys. Half of the day was purge the home of too much outgrown kid stuff followed by errands and the park. Here is a photo of The Reptile Man at our local library. He was quite the hit along with his entourage. The images I spoke of in yesterday's post, will not be in tomorrow's post.

Friday, June 24, 2011

PrintScreen Is My New Best Friend

So, this post turned a little more techy that I had planned, so bear with me. I will have the occasional techy day, oh yes, I will, but this blog will not be techy land where I go on and on. I think it will vary quite a bit each day and share all kinds of different things and new inventory of course. I plan to make some colorful lampwork bracelets over the weekend, but for now I just wanted to introduce you to my new best friend. It's one of those things that perhaps the majority of you already use and love, but for me, well, I just found out how great it is. And if you haven't been using it, I thought I'd share how it has been helping me. What is it you ask? Well, it's PrintScreen. That magic little button found on the top right hand side of my keyboard that says PrtSc. I used it in my last newsletter and on my newly re-designed website. My first picture is an image made directly from PrtSc. In fact the rest of the photos in this post are captured that way. The first image shows how I pushed the PrtSc button and then went to my photo editing program (PaintShop Pro) and then pressed Ctrl V (for Paste) and a new image came up of that looks exactly like the screen I just captured and in fact the image is of decent size too. (1280x800). I then rename it and save it as a .jpeg.

The second image shows the next step if you want to zoom in. I am using Internet Explorer so I'm not the one to know how it works on other browsers. Anyway, go the top right hand corner and find the word Page. Click on that and from the dropdown, choose Zoom and at what percent. 100% is normal. The second image shows you the drop down menu.

The third image shows me zoomed in at 400%.

Then again at 200%.

The final picture is 50%.

I just thought this was cool and helpful to use in blogs, facebook entries, creating graphics, and other things like that. These technical posts will be likely few and far between for me, but I wanted to share this as a part one of tomorrow's post which I will be showing more examples and explaining more about my new online marketing system.

Today I conquered Mt. St. Laundry and ran a million errands. Scott making a platform hideout for the boys in our huge hedge was the highlight of the night. I'll post a pic when complete and then again when we "Shangri La" it with white Christmas lights. See you tomorrow. Monica, otherwise known as Mo.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Scott's Disc Making Video and NW Nature

I'm glad we went for that swim yesterday as the weather is not quite so beautiful today. Today I wanted to post Scott's video clip of Making Lampwork Discs. Scott has made a series of very informative video clips and will be posting them to YouTube periodically to help show his tools in action, to give you helpful tips and techniques, and to plant the seed of his desire to become a travelling teacher. Yes, I know I'm his wife, but I really have to say that I truly beleive that he is a natural born teacher. He is interesting, scientific, fun, warm, and very smart. I have seen him teaching/demo-ing and I really think he does a great job. I also hear the comments from people after and they are sure to point out to him that they enjoyed it and learned a lot. So, if you could be so kind as to help by mentioning his name to your local glass studio if you'd like to have him visit as a teacher. What he can teach does not always have to relate to using his tools. Well, here is the clip and below I've posted some fun Starfish photos that the boys and I took while exploring Larrabee State Park in Bellingham, WA. This first photo shows a larger starfish (about 10x10 inches) and the other one is a mini or baby one. I've never seen one this small!! Until next time....ciao!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Call A Do-Over!

So, as with all things it seems, you set a goal and do your best and then if it does not work out, you rethink it and try again. I am talking about my quest to find the best way to keep our work and business updated online. For now I am only going to concentrate on this blog and our Bearfoot Art facebook page. I have had separate ones for my jewelry, but that was too much and I just didn't update. So, I'm going to simplify. The kids are out of school now, my taxes are done, our website had a recent makeover, and I'm about to send out a newsletter to let you know of the wonderful new inventory I have added to our site. So, what that means to me is....I can now go forth with fewer distractions and concentrate on my goal of making and listing new inventory at least four days a week. I will still send out newsletters monthly, but if you want to keep informed and be the first to see new work, new tools, new videos, etc., this blog is the place to be. You can sign up to receive updates by email in the top right corner of this page. I will also post to our facebook page everytime that I do a new blog entry. I think this may work for me! This is Monica by the way. Scott will likely start his own blog page with his own personality, but the business stuff and me will be on this blog. Please comment whenever you feel that you can so I can be encouraged that I'm not just talking to myself. Thanks!
The photo above is a screen grab of our new website look. I plan to crisp it up, but for now, I'm going to take the kids for a swim.