Monday, October 31, 2011

More new things with Harmoniously Tangled

There is something about getting your own Logo that makes your business seem more real.  Often when you work from home people do not see you as a business owner.  This can include your spouse.  You know the person who barges in your work room when you are concentrating on something and then gets mad when you give them one of those looks.

My journey to creating the logo you see at the top was sort of a fluke.  I had been thinking it would be nice to have something that people could identify with.  When networking on facebook a page that I added as a friend posted a logo she had created for another business.  I decided to ask about the cost and how you go about it.

That is how my logo started.  It was a fun and easy journey thanks to Frogjunkiee's Creative Creations.  When creating your logo you want your business to come to mind.  There are different ways to accomplish this.  You show your name in words or pictures or your logo may imply what you are shooting for.  Your vision, your friends comments and the person designing the logo all have thoughts and ideas that play into what is created.  It will be a meeting of theses ideas that will bring forth a creations that express your business the way you want it to.  Here is the key.  Your idea of how you want your business displayed to your customers is the most important aspect of the creation.

Although I am not a florist I chose to use vines to represent  harmoniously tangled.  I felt it was a great representation of turning and twisting for the best out come.  My business is jewelry but not so long ago I was trying to start an aromatherapy business under another name.  I live in rural Indiana and it was a hard sale.  Even though I know the great results you can achieve I gave up.  I had spent a good chunk of change getting signs, cards etc. to promote that business.  I also had chosen a name that could not expand or grow in a different direction if I needed it to.  My name this time makes sure I have more flexibility and I wanted to make sure my logo could do the same.  My saying is "Creating treasures for you."  When I gave all this information to Shannon she came back with an idea.  We bounced ideas off one another until we had a logo I felt represented what I was trying to achieve.   Shannon made it fun and was very open to hearing what I was interested in achieving.  Below is the logo I mostly use but she has given me other options, like the black one, for my use.

I enjoy adding it to my cards and pages.  I show it when ever I get a chance.  I want people to become accustom to seeing it and think of a friend and a great place to buy for themselves and for gifts.

Another new thing that has come along for Harmoniously Tangled is a helper, of sorts.  This little helper is being featured in many of the photographs taken for my store and online presentations.  Meet Harmoni...
Harmoni is a little gnome created for me by Gniffer's Gnomes.  You will be seeing more of her in the future.  She has a wonderful story.  To read more about her visit my facebook page and look through her photo album.  There is a very sweet story there about her.  Be sure to visit Gniffer's Gnomes and see the other wonderful gnomes she creates specially for each person.  Harmoni has already been spread all over facebook but here is her debut in one of my store pictures.  She has brought magic to my store by helping create new hand painted charms for Harmoniously Tangled's Attitude line.
 These charms are only one inch and hand painted.  They fit inside the interchangeable bottle cap necklaces that are unique to Harmoniously Tangled.  Click on my store link above and go to the Attitude Collection to learn more.
Whew!!  So much going on here at Harmoniously Tangled.  The best part is that it all means growth!  This is a very fun journey and I am glad to have you along.  If ever possible I would love to meet you in person.  This coming weekend (November 5 & 6) I will once again be teaming up with my sister Lisa over at Creative Kitty Crochet and we will be at St. John's 21st Annual Craft Show in Dover, Indiana.  Stop by and see us if you are in the area.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Polymer Clay Lessons

Never satisfied me went looking for another project to tackle.  I decided to try my hand at polymer clay items.  There is an ulterior motive for this project.  Sometime in the future I would like to make my own beads.  There are hundreds if not thousands of places to buy beads through the mail.  My problem with this type of shopping is the time it takes to locate what I have in mind and then waiting for it to arrive.  This is becoming a real problem when it comes to holiday style beads.  My local craft stores never seem to carry beads for holidays.  I like offering special holiday items for my customers.  I also like having them done up ahead of time so I am not scrambling to get the items out at the last minute.
I have had my clay, tools and a toaster oven for a while now.  They have been sitting here laughing at me or that is the way it seemed to me.  For some reason I was intimidated by those little packages of color.  I wanted to take them and make a treasure out of them but I was afraid I couldn't get the results I wanted and even more afraid to waste the clay.  Things have been tight for us since I left my job and I try to not be wasteful.
So those bright packages have sat there until today.  I went to bed last night telling myself that in the morning I was going to get up and conquer my procrastination on this project.  First thing I learned was how grateful I was that I had spent the money on a machine to roll out the clay.  It was so nice to have sheets of colors rolled out in seconds.  Now cutting out the different shapes was a snap.  I twisted, rolled poked and sliced to get the effect I was looking for.  They were adorable!  I was so excited.
I placed those creations in the oven and waited to see what would happen.  There are difference in opinions on whether or not the fumes that come from the baking clay are toxic.  To play it safe I took my oven to the garage and set a timer.  I knew immediately when I walked in the garage the outcome would not be what I was hoping for.  Here is what I found.

The first thing I have to do is kick my self.  I have baked enough in my life time to know that not all ovens heat the same.  I should have done tests to figure out the best temperature and time for this particular project.  Second I should have only done one maybe two so to not waste so many.  I was so excited at how cute they looked before the oven I was over confident.
I spent the next hour or so placing small pieces of clay rolled out to the thickness that I used in the oven for different times and adjusting the temperature.  When I felt I was closer I placed another in the oven.  This time the result was this.
This is still a touched scorched but much better than the first time.  Whew!! What a day.  I am still unsure about how this type of clay should look and feel once it is cured.  I would love to hear from any of you who use polymer clay.  For today I am done with trial and error.  I will go and  spend more time reading what I can find on the subject.  I will go back at it tomorrow.  Today I conquered a silly fear of failing at this project.  Learning is always a good thing and it is not a waste of materials if it teaches you.
Is there something you are wanting to do or learn?  Go for it.  It may not come out like you are hoping but the learning experience will strengthen you in many ways.
Happy Crafting ALL.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Picking Myself Up and Dusting Myself Off

It is time to pick myself up and stop dwelling on the last festival.  My sister and I set up at Levi Coffin Days in Fountain City.  There were no big mishaps for us and Murphy's Law was not hanging over us like our last festival.  The problem was there were few people buying.  The weather was beautiful and there were many people walking about but they were not interested in what we were trying to sell.  Although we were not selling a neighboring booth was doing very well.  He was selling cutting boards.  Yes you read that right.  Cutting boards.  I am happy for him.  I am glad someone was doing well.  He was a nice gentleman and I enjoyed talking with him.  He explained he was laid off sometime ago.  He use to put in kitchen counter tops.  He had a friend still in the business.  That is where he got the pieces he cut and rounded the corners and made into cutting boards. He was selling them for $15 each or 2 for $25.  For me $15 for a cutting board is high but people out that day was grabbing them up like they were the next BIG THING.  It was amusing to watch the discussion that went on over what color to buy.  This was a big lesson that you just never know what is going to sell.

I have been spending a big portion of my time lately working on a new set up for my next craft show.  With our businesses being new my sister and I are trying to keep our costs down.  For our next show we decided to share a 6ft table.  She does crochet so her items are larger and bulky and I have smaller things but much more of it.  Like I said before I do not want to go out and buy a bunch of things to use for display so I am trying to be creative with what I have.  The best way to use the space is to build up.  So I have taken a display board covered it in green.  When I first started covering this I tried using paper.  It was tearing and would not lay the way I wanted it to.  My next trip to the store I went to the fabric department and found this fabric on sale for $1.50 a yard.  It was cheaper than the paper I had first tried to use and worked so much better.  I glued it to the board using Mod Podge.  I made the two side panels into earring displays and added hooks to the center panel.  I already had the crates you see holding the necklaces so I decided to use them instead of placing hooks all the way down.  This is still a work in progress.

Another thing I am using is a table arm that I have for my dog grooming table. I knew I could add this to any table and it would give me a place to hang some extra items.  I decided to cover a couple of pieces of cardboard and make another display area.  I am unsure if I will add hooks to the boards or cut holes in them.  I may even choose to go with one large board instead of the two I am showing here. Closer to the date of the show I will cover the arm with Christmas paper or with fabric to make it look better.  I need to groom my dogs before then so I can't do it

The craft show is the first weekend in November so I still have some time.  Along with finishing this I am happy to say I will be trying to create new things with clay.  I now have my own little oven and the other things to start creating the things I want to work with.  I decided to do this because I often cannot find the things I want to work with in my area.  I will post once I have completed my first projects with the clay.

Now lets get back to the holiday at hand.  Halloween!!!!!  Since we moved into our home outside the town I have missed not decorating the house for all the little trick-or-treat ghosts and goblins.  It has been a treat for me this year to create Halloween items for my on line store at Storenvy.  You will find Halloween sets, skulls, ghosts and spiders, lots of spiders.  Meet Ice Princess.  She is one of the adjustable spider rings you will find waiting for you in my store.  You can get to my store by clicking the Harmoniously Tangled Storenvy button at the top right of this page.
Stop on by my store and see if we have that special item to make your Halloween costume fantastic this year. Need something in a different color?  Special orders are always welcome.