Friday, June 20, 2014

Artisans Market in Steamboat Springs, CO

I am happy to share that a sampling of Isa Creations will be arriving soon at

Colorado Artists
& Cabin Creek
Antiques

located at

626 Lincoln Avenue
Steamboat Springs, CO

I met Jan Lomas at Old Glory Antiques Fair.  She was very kind  and asked if I was interested in selling wholesale or consignment.      I am happy to have a wholesale order from Jan of Artisans Market.   Here is a preview of the items I will be shipping to Jan later this morning. 



Later today the kids and I will be busy packing and getting ready for a 3+ road-trip to Texas.  If you read my blog you may recall that our Spring Break trip to Texas (Houston/San Antonio/Austin) was abruptly cancelled after our rollover accident was caused by black ice near Limon.  Thankfully, for the most part, we walked away without any serious injury.  

The kids and I will go to El Paso, TX for our annual summer trip to visit my family.  Unlike other years, instead of coming home after our visit, we will instead drive to Austin, TX to visit my husband's family.  David will fly and met us in Austin,TX.  From Austin we will go to San Antonio, then Padre Island (rented a condo), then Rockport for some fishing and finally Houston. One the way back we will go to Waco, TX so my daughter can have her tour of Baylor University.

We will be praying for a safe trip.  I know our family and friends will be doing the same.  After our last one, we need a really good safe road trip.  We literally have to get back on the road and put the last one (March 22, 2014) behind us!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

To Share or not to Share...


Growing up I was taught to share.  To share what I had.  I may not of had much in terms of material goods growing up, but I never grew up feeling like I didn't.  I was content with what my parents were able to provide.  I always admired how hard they both worked.  My parents have been my first and perhaps my best teachers in life. 

When I worked as a tax auditor or revenue agent, whether the for the State of Texas or the IRS in Houston (almost 18 years ago!), sharing our work experience was part of our workday.  Although we worked our cases individually, we were encourage to share our experience as it would save others time.  I never hesitated to share a file full of tax research on a particular tax issue or problem with a co-worker.

As an artisan, sharing is part of my process.  I learn from many artisans on line either through  blogs, online tutorials, and on-line courses where I pay a fee for the class.  Most if not all on-line courses have rules where the artisan request you learn as much as you can but also give credit where credit is due.  Artisans request you use the skills you learn in their classes to create your own work, not copy it.  Use the skills learned to inspire you, to propel you to add your own artistic ideas to the project.

I have many board on Pinterest.  Whenever I feel a need for inspiration, I visit Pinterest.  I love to share many of my own original creations on various boards on Pinterest.

I have always done my best to be respectful of what I learn from artisans on-line.  My mix media inspired bags is a good example.  Mix media on canvas is a favorite medium of mine.  Creating She Art by Christy Tomlinson is a favorite.  However, instead of creating girls on canvas and sell them at local fairs/markets, I created girls using vintage patterns as a template and rather than paper I used fabric and other vintage fabrics:



When my bags got published, October 2013 by Haute Handbags, I gave credit to the two artisans who inspired these bags.....Christy Tomlinson and Jeanne Oliver.
 



In the past few years, I have been asked by friends and strangers, how did you do this or that.  I have never given it a second thought.  I told them.  I learn so much from others who share their knowledge, why not do the same when asked?

Although I do get to work on my handcrafted items from home and work at my own pace, I think I work harder than I ever have in my life.  Although it is a labor of love, at times, especially just before shows, it's real work.  I work mostly at night, sometimes till 1 a.m. then get up early to get my son off to school.  Some of those days, I work as a substitute teacher.  Now that it is summer, I still have to wake up earlier than I like.  I may get an extra hour of sleep in the summer compared to a school day.

Where is all this leading to?
I have been asking myself if sharing my original ideas is a mistake?  Even now, I do not know.

What I do know is this...
I work very hard to come up with original ideas.
Sometimes they evolve...
sometimes one idea spins off into another.
For example, if sharing how I make my vintage embroidered pin cushions is wise..
business-wise.

Since I sell hundreds of vintage embroidered linen pin cushions at local markets every year! I know, it surprises me even today that my little idea has done so well.  Maybe that is why I am feeling a bit overprotective over it?

Maybe I am now thinking more as a business person rather than Artisan?

I am proud to say, using vintage embroidered linens to create  pin cushions with vintage jell-O Molds is an original idea of mine. Others have used the jell-O molds to create pin cushions with fabric, crochet or quilt material, but I had not seen anyone use vintage embroidered linens.   I got the bird pattern on-line; however, rather than using fabric I came up with the idea of using Vintage embroidered linens.   

I have had success with both in the last few years at fairs and markets.

More recently, I started creating clutch handbags using vintage embroidered linens and have found them to be well received.

  The same can be said about my Altered Vintage Dress Pattern Dominoes Pendants.  I have seen a wide variety of altered dominoes pendants but none using vintage dress patterns.  Again, my new dominoes pendants have been very well received.

From time to time, I have been asked, "how do you do your pin cushions." Even last week at A Paris Street Market, I was asked and I told them.   Yes, you can call me stupid or maybe naive (that does not sound as harsh).  The ladies were grateful and appreciative I shared...from one artist to another.  Again, I learn from other artisans.  I get inspired by many pins on Pinterest; however, I do try to add my own spin or my own style to it.

I have to admit, after sharing how I made the pin cushions at A Paris Street Market I wondered if that was smart.  A year ago, I would not of even given it a second thought.

I pin much of my own original creations on Pinterest.
I love to share my work with others.
Should I however NOT  share how I make the item, especially,
if it is something I sell hundreds of?
Coming up with the pattern to get my pin cushions just right took time and many attempts until I was happy with the results.  There are also several "tricks of the trade" I have learned in the process of creating several of my original items.

 I have shared in good faith.
Good faith that the person will make a pin cushions with a vintage embroidered linen created by a grandmother or someone special for themselves or a gift.
What is to stop them from just creating a bunch and selling them?  
The reality is ... Nothing!

The question is...
Should I continue to share my ideas with others when asked?
I don't know...I do not have an answer.
I am conflicted...

Anyway, just had to get that off my chest.
I know I am not alone when it comes to sharing of ideas and trying to protect them. That last statement is a contradiction because sharing and protecting are polar opposites.
Is it possible to do both?

In today's culture, it's impossible.
 In any case I wanted to share my feeling about why I am feeling protective over my original ideas.  Especially my vintage embroidered pin cushions,
perhaps because they are my first successful original idea.
These little vintage embroidered pin cushions are dear to me, 
they are after all... MY BEST SELLERS!

You will find Isa Creations at the following locations.  Vintage embroidered  linen pincushions, birds, and clutch bags at

The Pink Attic Cat
2555 West Alamo
in downtown Littleton

or SEWN 
18 Broadway, Denver


or The Bees Knee's Antiques & Interior at the Barn in Castle Rock (Pin cushions only)

or Gemini Gardens
(Birds and pincushions only)
in Minturn near Vail

The Rose Tea Room
Broomfield, CO
(Altered Vintage Dress Pattern Dominoes Pendants only)

And in the near future, you may find them in a another shop! If and when it happens, I will post it on my blog and Facebook page.

I am happy and proud to say if you find these items at the shops listed above, they are Isa Creations!
 I have made each and every one!


 Altered Vintage Dress Pattern Dominoes Pendants

and Vintage Embroidered Linen Clutch bags:

and finally,

I want to share a drawing my son Alex made for me several years ago.  It made me smile.

Love to see my pin cushions, my boards and even my birds...
Mommy making a sale!  Sweet!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Old Glory Antiques Fair - Isa Creations Vintage Booth

I guess I can work under pressure because last week I manage to create many new items  for  Old Glory Antiques Fair.  Before I post pictures, first thing I want to say:

Many thanks to many people

My dear friend and business mentor = Amy Kozdron (formerly Doherty),

Without Amy I would not of had the confidence to even apply 

Thanks to Amy, I got a spot next to her (Pink Attic Cat) 
next to a big tree which
provided a wonderful afternoon shade

My dear friend Lisa Iannacito
She came to help me all day Friday and Saturday
Each morning she sent me a text
"what do you want for breakfast?"
My response:
"surprise me"
She knows me so well
Breakfast was Delicious!

My customers at Old Glory
I appreciate your kind words
Thank you for liking what I do

A great group of people
Thanks for the vendor dinner
my entire family enjoyed it

I may have another wholesale or consignment 
opportunity  as a result of being a vendor
at Old Glory Antiques Fair!
I will have more details later,
Isa Creations is now at SEWN
18 Broadway, Denver
(This opportunity came from being a vendor at
Horseshoe Market a month ago)

Many hours of labor and dedication go into Old Glory Antique Fair, from the organizers to the vendors.  Although it was hard work, I enjoyed the experience.  Especially to hang out with my friends Thursday (during setup), Friday and Saturday.   Not only did I get to spend time with Amy and Lisa, I also got to spend time with Tracy and Paulette ( of The Pink Attic Cat).

Although Old Glory Antiques Fair unofficially ended about an hour earlier due to a wicked rain storm that included some hail, thankfully I was prepared and none of my items got wet!  Again, I owe thanks to my friend Amy who told me that at some point during this fair, for years now, it rains at one time or another.   The weather forecast, sadly, was correct.  As soon as the clouds came Lisa and I prepared my "clear rain covers", so when the rain came we were covered....literally!

Now the pictures from my booth, Isa Creations Vintage.  I posted pictures on my Facebook page on Friday and Saturday.







 A big thanks to the customer who purchased one of my original mix media canvases.  This was the first show I have had these large mix media canvases available for sale and was humbled that someone actually paid the asking price (didn't think anyone would be willing to pay  "my price").  I am a believer.... if you can Dream it, you can Do it -Walt Disney

My vintage embroidered  linen pin cushions
  along with my vintage embroidered linen birds

 and my altered vintage dress pattern dominoes pendants.  
for the record, All my original ideas
My best seller...My Vintage Embroidered Pin Cushions!!
  I painted many suitcases this past week using Annie Sloan Chalk-paint and added stenciling details. 

 The altered globe and a red suitcase and house pillow sold early Friday...



Altered 3 tier wood organizer....SOLD 









 Creating a clutch handbag 
with Vintage Embroidered Linens...
again, another original idea of mine. 
 If all goes as planned, 5 of my vintage embroidered linen clutch bags will be published in the Fall 2014 issue of Haute Handbags (I submitted the article on what inspired my latest creation last week).
 Needlepoint clock.  I painted the wood frame with Annie Sloan Chalk-paint.
Chandeliers with an assortment of lace and doilies.   Inspired by Pinterest...



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Will be working very hard...

Where did the time go?  It seems like I have been too busy with working and volunteering at the school during a good portion of May, I have had no time to create so many items I wanted to get done.  Dealing with a hacking cough leftover from a Spring cold has not helped either!

I have been working very hard to catch up.  Feeling a bit behind and overwhelmed at the moment.  In fact, I had promised Alex and his friends to take them to the pool today.  I really just wanted to bail and say NO.  But, I know how much Alex wanted this time at the pool with his friends.  So, I took my work with me to the pool.   I worked on stuffing my vintage embroidered linen pin cushions this afternoon at the pool.  Pin cushions are my bread and butter.  Since I sold most of the new ones I created at the  Horseshoe market, I have to re-replenish my pin cushion inventory for  A Paris Street Market and next weeks Old Glory Antiques Fair.

So here is the info on both upcoming markets, hope to see you there!


And,

http://oldgloryantiquesfair.tumblr.com/



Here is a map for Old Glory Antiques Fair:

http://oldgloryantiquesfair.tumblr.com/
Visit the Tumblr page for Old Glory Antiques Fair here.  Visit the Facebook page for Old Glory Antiques Fair here.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Scrapbooks for My Son's 4th Grade Class & Teacher

The end of May is always crazy busy, mostly due to end of year school activities.  Thankfully, the shows I was involved with were early May.

In the last few weeks I have worked several days a week at school.  Add to that, the days I have been at my son's school as a volunteer.  4th Grade at Governor's Ranch is full with tradition.  The 4th graders study and work towards Colorado Day for weeks before the day of their presentation held on May 16th. Each student selects a person who has made a contribution to Colorado's history.  On Colorado day, the student comes to school dressed up like that historical person and presents a board with facts and information about the historical person's life and contributions.  I was in the classroom all day to capture each of the kids presentation on film, which would become a big part of a scrapbook I created for each student.  The kids also have a lunch box social during Colorado Day (a favorite of the students).  They fill out a questionnaire with their preferred lunch choices and their lunch partner decorates or handcrafts a lunch box for that student.

My son Alex was "Otto Mears" during Colorado day.  His lunch partner was "Molly Brown", survivor of the titanic.  This is the lunch box my son decorated for "Molly Brown."

I don't post pictures of my kids on my blog, for reason's I have mentioned before.  However, since he is in costume and wearing a big beard, I thought I could make an exception.  
 Here is Alex's display:


When we first moved to Colorado, my daughter Laura was starting 4th grade and Alex was only 2 years old.  This was eight years ago.  Laura is now a Senior, as of a few days ago.  Alex has two more days of 4th Grade.

At the end of Laura's 4th Grade year, I gave every student in her class a personalized scrapbook with pictures I had taken throughout the year.  The scrapbooks had pictures from the start of the school year all through the end, including many pictures from Colorado Day.  Eight years ago, my creative energy was spent more on scrap-booking, so I was able to work on those scrapbooks on and off for many months.

These days, I have very limited time for projects like creating a scrapbook for every student in Alex's class.  Especially since now I spend as much time as I can on creating handcrafted items for Isa Creations and work part-time as a substitute teacher and/or paraprofessional (teacher's aide). 

But, I felt I should try to give Alex a similar experience his sister had when she was in the 4th Grade.  Although the personalized scrapbooks I created for each of Alex's classmates is a much less comprehensive scrapbook than Laura's classmates, it actually comes close.  I have worked on them almost round the clock for two weekends.

The scrapbooks are a hybrid of digital scrap-booking and simple traditional scrap-booking.  With the help of Alex's teacher, Mrs. Walls, I was able to incorporate the kids owns words by incorporating some of their work, including a self portrait.  The self portraits were on a much larger paper, which I photographed.  The photograph was resized onto an 8.5 x 11 sheet.  Here is Alex's self portrait now part of his 4th Grade scrapbook.


Here is the cover for each scrapbook, personalized with the name of each student on each cover.
 

The scrapbooks include 4 pages of personalized digital layouts of Colorado Day.  Black card-stock pages with photos from Halloween, Holiday Class party, and pictures of their Diorama's (which were done on May 23, 2014).  I have taken all the photos in these scrapbooks.  Although I may not scrapbook like I did at one time, I continue to take lots of pictures.  A page with Mrs. Wall's picture along with a note from her to each student. I added a page with a pocket so the kids can add other school memorabilia along with blank black card stock pages where they can add additional photos.  I created a book for Mrs. Walls using the Colorado Day layouts I created for her students. 

This project has taken more than two entire weekends to accomplish.  Why do this?  For my son Alex.   It's a labor of love.  This is something I did for his sister and her classmates when she was in 4th grade.  Now that he is just finishing 4th grade, I want to do something similar.





Monday, May 26, 2014

She Who Sews Challenge by Isa Creations

It has been several weeks since my last post.  Several reasons for my absence. Tomorrow I will post about a project I have been working on for two solid weekends involving my son's 4th grade class.

Add to that, I have been working at school (2 days) or volunteering at school (2 days) 4 of the 5 days this past week.  All of this has been done while having a cold with a hacking cough.  I am still coughing as I write this post, I can't tell you how tired I am of this cough!

Anyway, I want to share my two completed projects for

Challenge involved using the Handmaids fabric created by J. Wecker Frisch.  These are the challenge rules as posted by the Joy Studio Blog:
Challenge Rules:
1. Sign up by April 25, 2014 with an email to tidings3@aol.com and comment to this post – Accepting the first 30
2. Make any item (s) of your choice using one (total) or more yards of the “She Who Sews” fabrics (collection from Quilting Treasures – available in quilt shops & on line)
3. Use two “She Who Sews” fat quarters – We provide
4. Also (must) use at least 2 more cuts (skus), your choice, of the “She Who Sews” fabrics, in any increments, totaling an additional 1/2 yard or more – You purchase
5. To be eligible/entered for the participant giveaway/drawing, you must email photo(s) of finished project(s) to tidings3@aol.com by May 26, 2014

I created two styles of bags with the two fat quarters I received along with the She Who Sews fabric I had previously purchased.




The first one is a clutch bag, fully lined and with a layer of fusible fleece for added support.  I love to use the free-motion sewing attachment on my sewing machine.  I stitched the outline of the the girl, her hair and added some free-style stitching doodling throughout the bag.  On the back I free style stitched "Create with Love." I just added a bit of vintage red rick rack trim to the top.


 Free-style stitching on hair:


The second bag is a lined zippered bag.  The bag itself is square but the quilting itself is not.  The paint palette  inspired me to have the square a bit off centered.  I believe in art it's okay to color outside the lines and think outside the box.   The yellow and red rick rack trim are not in a straight line.  All the rick rack trim is vintage.  I added some fun charms to the zipper pull for fun.  For the lining in this bag  I used both fat quarters sent to me.






Working with the Handmaids fabric line, She Who Sews has been fun.  I have more lined zippered bags just waiting to be sewed.  Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will get those done. 

 J. Wecker Frisch is coming out with new fabric lines, (Angelband and DrawNear) I look forward to purchasing both fabric lines as soon as they become available.