Friday, February 22, 2013

A Space of My Own, A Space to Share

Since starting Gossamer Tangles in February of 2011, I'd never had my own work space.  I had my supplies stored in four different rooms, inside various closets, cupboards, and drawers.  Whenever I worked on a project, I had no space where I could leave it out and continue my work.  I was always moving from place to place, and trying to find someplace to store my work in progress at the end of the day.

After our daughter moved out, Dan, my husband, always used her old bedroom to work in whenever he had a big writing project (he's an appellate attorney).  He would set up a card table and the old kid's game table and spread his work out while he listened to music. But again, the space was temporary.  When the project ended, the tables had to be put away, lamps moved back to their original places, office supplies removed and the cd player stored away.

I am so thankful all that has changed!  Over the course of the last few weeks, my husband, Dan, and I transformed my daughter's old bedroom into a work space we can share. It's nothing fancy and would certainly not win any interior design or home decorating awards, but we both have great space to do what we need to do and be comfortable while we're doing it.  And as a bonus, we can spend more time together because we both spend a lot of our time working.

Betsy's room was the quintessential girl's bedroom.  The carpet was a deep mauve pink color.  The wallpaper had a cream background with pink and green stripes, and there was a large pink flowered border.  She had very feminine looking white bedroom furniture.

When we started working on the room, we discovered it was absolutely impossible to get the wallpaper off the walls.  So, we covered them with a vinyl-to-vinyl primer and then hung a new textured wall covering over the old paper. Despite the many warnings against papering over paper, it worked out well and we experienced no problems in the process.

Here are some photos of the room as we were starting.  Dan had just put the primer over the wallpaper and you can see the old pink carpet.

Then the wallpapering began.  Although we worked on this together, Dan was the real pro.

Rolling out the air bubbles.

The water tray and cutting table.

Newly papered corner.

New paper meets old paper.

Our pugs, Yue Ying and Logan, had to help out.
 After the wallpapering was finished, the new carpet was laid.  We got it from Lowe's and used their installers. They did a great job and they cleaned up after themselves! Then came the furniture.  We purchased a sleeper sofa from Art Van, so that we can use the room as a guest room when needed.

 We also purchased new desks from Art Van.  These are my favorite thing about the new room!  The desks are at a height where you can work standing, or sitting, and they have tons of storage space built in.

Dan's desk

My desk

Storage shelves.

My desk ... the shelves are filling up.
Finally, we added curtains from Target.  I like the print.  It livens up the room a bit.

I ended up crocheting a tie back for the two center panels.

Why use a dog bed when you can lay on the comfy couch?

My daughter's old pine hutch doesn't match the room very well, but it does provide additional needed storage space.

... for my crafting library

... for some of my beads

... for ore beads and supplies

... and of course, more beads
But the shelves under the desk provide great storage space, too.

... like for my threads, including my grandma's old thread box.

... and cord

... and metallic threads

... and wire

... and hooks
I am really enjoying the new studio/work space, and so is Dan.  I'm sure we'll eventually get some art up on the walls, maybe get a hutch or chest that matches the rest of the room, perhaps someday get a flat screen TV; but for now, its a space we can call our own.  It's a space where I can work and create with everything I need at my fingertips, and where I can leave my work at the end of the day and come back to find it the next ... ready and waiting for me.  For that, I am deeply thankful!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gossamer Tangles on Pinterest and Other News

This week I discovered Pinterest for Business!  I've had a personal Pinterest account for some time, but now you can have a Pinterest account with boards dedicated to your business.  I opened an account for Gossamer Tangles and I have three Boards started:  Necklaces, Bracelets and Cuffs, and Earrings.

My plan is to create boards to not only to showcase photos of the different categories of jewelry and accessories that I create, but also to set up boards for crochet and crafting resources, books, work in progress, my studio, artisan markets and craft shows, work of other small businesses, crafting blogs ... those are just my current ideas.  I'ms sure more will follow.  Please take a look at the boards I have set up so far.  If you like them, "follow" me.  :)

After following a great tutorial by "Southern Speakers" about how to add a "pin it" button to a Blogger blog that uses the "dynamic views" template (which this one does), I've managed to add a "pin it" button to the top of the home page of this blog. This will allow you to pin content from the Gossamer Tangles blog to your Pinterest boards, if you wish.  When I get my new blog format set up, I should be able to include a "pin it" button on each individual post.

To change gears a bit... I am so excited!! I was accepted for the Spring Artist's Market at Leon and Lulu in Clawson, Michigan.  I will be there Sunday, March 10, 2013 and Monday, March 11, 2013.  It is such a wonderful and unique store, and such a fun, upbeat place for an Artist's Market!  I was there for the Spring 2012 event.

As always, the market will benefit Cass Community Services, an organization that provides food, shelter, health services, and employment help to the homeless in metro Detroit.  The Detroit Free Press reported in today's Homestyle section that Leon and Lulu is one of the 10 finalists for the Dallas Market Center's Next Big Give, a national contest honoring retailers that make a difference in their communities.

Coming next week -- photos and details about my new studio/work room.  It is almost done!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Gossamer Tangles is Getting a Face Lift (well maybe more like a makeover)

As I explained in my post a couple of weeks ago, one of my high priority goals this year is to grow and improve Gossamer Tangles.  Over the last two weeks, I have been working on new images for my online shops.  I wanted something fresher and a bit more simple that I could use consistently across different media.  I also wanted to continue to utilize Gossamer Tangles signature colors of moss green and peach.

I thought today I would share my new ArtFire and Etsy banners, and my new avatar or logo.

In order to actually give an idea of the types of creations that can be found at Gossamer Tangles, I decided to feature one of my designs in the new banners and logo.  Since many of my designs use flowers, I decided to use a flower hair ornament that includes the colors of peach and green.  I also wanted to use a piece that incorporates some of my favorite elements - beads, wire, and fiber.

I simply cropped the image and added "Gossamer Tangles" to create the avatar/logo.  I am now using it on my Art Fire site and on my Facebook page.

I incorporated the same image into the new banners for both my Art Fire and Etsy shops.  Here they are:

Gossamer Tangles Etsy Banner

Gossamer Tangles Art Fire Banner
Over the next few weeks, you can expect to see some similar "image" and format changes on this blog!

As for the crocheted flower hair comb that I used in the new marketing images, that will be available for purchase in my Art Fire and Etsy shops later this week.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Perky Flowers, Warm Ears - Crocheted Flower Headbands

A couple of weeks ago, a friend sent me a photo of a really cute, knitted headband/ear warmer embellished with a flower and asked me if I would be able to make something like it for her daughter. I had never seen one before, but once I started researching on Google, I discovered these flower ear warmers are a very trendy item!  I can't knit.  I only crochet, but I was sure I could make something with a very similar look to the photo she emailed me.  So, I took on the project and it was a lot of fun! Today, I thought I would share my results.

My friend's daughter wanted her headband done in a deep purple shade.  I sent her photos of several potential yarn choices and she chose Berroco Comfort Heather Yarn in Boysenberry Heather.  Before I made her ear warmer, I thought I should take a trial run at it.  I had some extra worsted weight yarn that I had not dedicated to a project. Through Etsy, I found a cute pattern by RoseDew for a knit-look, crocheted flower ear warmer and I used that pattern, with some minor alterations, to make the headband.  Rather than an Irish rose, as shown on the pattern, I crocheted a Chrysanthemum for my sample ear warmer.  I was so happy with the way it turned out that I decided to keep this one for myself!

It looks great with my plummy purple winter coat!
Now I was ready to make the headband for my friend's daughter. She sent me her head measurement and she wanted the Irish rose-type flower.  I also gave her several different button choices.  It turned out really cute and she was very happy with it!


 Now my friend has hired me to make one for her niece, as a birthday gift.  I may have a new career going here!  Leave me a comment and let me know if you would like to see some of the flower ear warmers in my Art Fire and Etsy stores.