Monday, January 30, 2012

Social Media Spring Cleaning

@1986 DuBois Beavers Majorette Squad

Is your social media profile

"so last millenium?"

If you've been on social media for any length of time, it may be a while since you've looked at your profile pages.  It is so easy to focus on chatting and sharing that those profile become a distant memory. But for potential customers, the profile page is a critical source of information.

"Out with the Past"
Just like people, businesses evolve over time. With the new Timeline roll-out on Facebook, I started to view my profile pages (on Facebook and beyond) with fresh eyes. I need a mini-makeover to bring my pages up to date. The biggest thing I need to work on is getting rid of the photos of old work that don't reflect my current artistic style.

"Open for Business" or "Locked Door"
Dated or haphazard profiles don't help anyone communicate well, however, for those of us who own creative businesses, they can be a business dead-end. For us, social media profile pages, blogs, and other online pages double as doors to our business.

I'm often surprised at how many times I've stumbled upon a great artist or photographer I can't figure out how to buy their work.

The latest example was a local photographer. Friends of mine posted their first family portrait on Facebook. It was such a precious photo that I had to check out the photographer's site. It was a beautiful gallery site with lots of examples of her work, but I couldn't find any contact info. I later realized that her information was at the bottom of the page. It didn't show up in my window until I scrolled down, which I had no reason to do because everything else was visible "above the fold."A "contact" or "about" tab at the top would have made all the difference in the world.

Julie Buck Photography
Another place that I see a many locked doors is on Flickr. While you are not permitted to conduct business on Flickr, you are allowed to have links on your profile page. The same applies to Pinterst. Too many people ignore their profile pages. One simple link to your store can mean the difference between a sale and a dead-end. Just remember, never link to a commercial listing from your Flickr photos, you could lose your account.

Inactivity can also make your social media presence look like a locked door to buyers. If you really aren't interested in maintaining a blog or other page that you started, you may want to put a note up saying that you've moved onto other things and let them know where they can find you now. 

Social Media (early) Spring Cleaning Checklist:
1. Business information is easy to find.
2. Information is interesting and up-to-date
3. Great photos of current work are there.

If you have some spare time, hop around my sites  and let me know what dust bunnies you find. There are plenty!

What is on your spring cleaning list?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Smile Maker

Winter can be a tough time, but there are bright spots. I saw this poster in one of the student lounge areas of the university where I work. It made me smile. Apparently I'm not the only one who needs a little pick-me-up when the temps fall. I wonder what words found their way to someone who really needed them.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Home Business Challenges

Cats and photo shoots don't mix!
Running a business from your home comes with some great perks, but also some interesting challenges. Those of you with kids and pets (or maybe even some husbands) know what I'm talking about.

This is my 6-month old cat Lucy trying to get in on my photo shoot this morning. I have a dedicated work space, but it doesn't have natural light so I end up working in my kitchen more than in my studio, especially for photo shoots.

Usually I close the cats in another room when I'm working, but they were napping today so I thought I could grab some quick pics without worrying about them. WRONG!

What are your challenges and tips?
What are some of the challenges you face working from home? Do you have any great tips? I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to link to your blog posts etc in the comments.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oreo Cameo and Insect Curiosities

From Scratch series: "Oreo Cameo #3" by Judith G. Klausner

A sampling of weirdly wonderful art

When my friend Stacy, the one who created "Tub Hair" art,  sent me a Facebook link to this Oreo Cameo, a light bulb went off in my head. Why not use this find to kick-off  a series of posts celebrating the best of the "weird" in the art world? So here is the first post in a this new series of weird to inspire your inner creative.

The work of Judith G. Klausner
This cameo, carved from an Oreo cookie was created by Judith G. Klausner, an artist from Somerville, MA. Judith does a beautiful job rendering traditional themes using unconventional media.  The Oreo is from her "From Scratch" series where she uses Victorian handicraft processes to transform modern packaged foods. In addition to many Oreo cameos, the series also features condiment wallpaper and a cereal sampler.

Off with Their Heads series: "Queen of Hearts" by Judith G. Klausner

I loved viewing her work in the "From Scratch" series in her online gallery, but I delighted even more in her work featuring insects. Judith creates the most wonderfully detailed miniature scenes using insects. She collects dead insects on her wanderings to use in these projects.  I think my favorite is her "Off With Their Heads" series that playfully references the fact that female mantises are notorious for decapitating their mates mid-coitus. Above is the "Queen of Hearts."  She also recreated the tale of "Judith and Holofernes" with mantises.

You can view Judith's work in her online gallery or purchase select prints from her "From Scratch" series at

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Virtual Collecting

Pinterest Virtual Collecting:

Margarets, Batgirl, and nympo librarians! oh my!

People collect some pretty cool stuff. And with the introduction of Pinterest Boards we are no longer limited by money, geography, or even the bounds of physical reality. I love "collecting" my precious internet finds on these virtual boards, cataloging them for future reference. I also love looking at what other people "collect." If you have a cool Pinterest collection give me the link in the comments. I'd love to check it out.

My Pinterest Collection

One of my favorite pinners is Margaret Almon, a mosaic artist from Philadelphia. Margaret collects things that speak to her life and her personality, things like other "Margarets." She dedicated a whole board to authors, artists, actresses, really anyone of interest she can find named "Margaret." Neat idea!

She also has a board of really cool librarian stuff. She shows a great sense of humor in curating this collection. Mixed in with her nostalgic library finds are a cover shot of Nympho Librarian and a poster of Batgirl trying to get you to return your library books. Did you know Batgirl was a librarian?
My former Librarian Life

These are just two of her 21 boards. See her collection at:

If you want to learn more about Pinterest, check out my previous post: Pinterest: 5 reasons you should be pinning. What do you collect?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Roaring 20s Wine Bottle Stopper

Elegant wine stopper-Roaring 20s Red Flapper Heart

Beyond Jewelry: Exploring Polymer's Possibilities

Roaring 20s Flapper-Inspired Wine Stopper
Polymer clay is a great jewelry medium, but it can be used to create so much more. I love making wine bottle stoppers with it. Each one is a miniature sculpture.

This stopper plays off my fascination with flappers. Fringe, fringe, and more fringe- all hand-cut out of polymer and layered onto a black swirl mokume gane background. Glass beads finish off the design.

Make it your own
This conversation starter is available for sale in my YoungCreative Etsy store:

Vote and win prizes
This stopper is also my entry in the Polymer Clay Artist Guild of Etsy Monthly Challenge. The theme is "Not Jewelry, Not Wearable." If you head over to the challenge blog and vote for your favorites you'll be entered to wine a prize.


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