Decoding contemporary art and hand-crafting matters.

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Sometimes it’s Preferable to…

…stay in a hotel at a moderately local conference, instead of doing a daily commute. You have an infinitely reduced chance of appearing as though you are a zombie when others meet with you professionally. This is to be avoided at all costs. Shame I can’t follow my own advice.


When You’re at a Cocktail Event and Know Positively No One…

…it just means that you haven’t formally met! Don’t be afraid to go up to people, smile, introduce yourself and ask them who they are and what they do. Everyone in a business networking scenario likes to share who they are and what their business is about – and if they don’t, thank them and move on.

I met a person last night who expressed a regret over missing another event; since I was at said happening myself, I told him what took place, then introduced him to the panel member he wanted to speak to (there would have been no way he could have picked him out of the crowd). So two firms met, connected, and have the potential to do business together in the future. All because I wasn’t afraid to say hello.

How does this benefit me? Well, it was no effort to extend the favor, but the return of goodwill has the potential to be a windfall for me. Not only do I look like I have the pulse on what’s happening at the event, but I am seen as professionally generous and willing to work with others (this isn’t 100% always the case but still…). Also, when I want to work with either of them in the future (which could happen), that won’t be nearly so difficult because we have established a relationship.  This is fundamental for growth these days, in such times of flux.

No money down, big ROI.

Don’t Skip All the Business Seminars at a Conference…

…they can be where you get your best ideas to grow your brand or company. Even when it’s dry or not applicable, that’s when you daydream and may get a sudden bolt of inspiration.

CHA Coverage: Day One Brief

Today was the first day of the Craft & Hobby Association 2012 Winter Conference & Trade Show. It was an education day with two streams: business seminars and manufacturer/designer workshops. I attended all the business seminars; heard a lot about blogging, building bridges, legal issues and even some product development. There was a host of fabulous manufacturer-sponsored workshops with designers teaching. I hated to miss them but the business talks are always important information, and I prefer to these events in person. There was also the Innovations Sneak Peek Media & Buyer event. Saw some great new products – a few that really blew my mind. More to follow…

CHA Winter Conference 2012

Heading to the Craft & Hobby Association Winter 2012 Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim, CA. Will be there from Saturday to Wednesday. Hope to get an information and inspiration overload – maybe do some business, too. And take a bunch of seminars. And meet great, passionate craft and design professionals. And crash a few parties. And…

Brainstorming: Prepping for a Quick Meeting with Potential Contacts

When preparing to meet with new potential clients, business partners, design professionals and their ilk, take time out while researching them to devise a list of questions that they can answer. It doesn’t need to be long (if you’re a natural conversationalist), but open ended questions – ones that can’t be answered with a simple “yes/no” reply, could lead the conversation into new and interesting directions.

Ask them about plans for the upcoming year, what their biggest professional successes were in the past year, and what challenges they may be facing next. The more you find out about them, the better insight you’ll have into the company – and the clearer the picture will be of whether or not they are right to partner with.

Quick Tip: When You Need Your Stitches to Disappear…

…use silk thread to sew with. It is pricier than cotton, polyester or rayon, but it has a wonderful stitch quality.

On Occasion, I Have Been Known To…

…watch entirely ridiculous episodes of obscure reality TV shows at 3 a.m. while working on repetitive crafting tasks. These include cutting out paper for card-making class kits, doing machine cross-stitch embroidery (while stuck on a metallic thread color change), or knitting a scarf. That is all.

Antique Inspiration: PBS’s Antiques Roadshow

Another Monday night in, viewing Antiques Roadshow on PBS. Aside from the historical insights and offbeat family lore, one of the delights of watching the show has to be the items destined for appraisal themselves. Whether it’s an elaborate Tabriz rug, early American pottery, Native American basket weaving, European dolls, or one-off pieces that could almost be described as precursors of “outsider art,” the show runs the gamut of decorative styles.

Two of my favorite genres are the fabulous vintage jewelry pieces, and the graphic impact of poster art. Sometimes an object will stay with me, and my mind will wander until I start to devise a project of my own. If inspiration is like a gas tank that needs to be filled in order to run the car, as it were, then hanging out with Antiques Roadshow is one of the many ways I prefer to “fill up.”


Bonne Fête – un Jour Plein D’inspiration Artistique.

C’est tout.

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