Revolutionary Art: Egypt

July 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I had been meaning to post this a couple weeks ago when I first saw these amazing images from NBC chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel of revolutionary art in the Tahrir Square, Cairo.  So often we make art to say something about ourselves that we forget how powerful art can be in telling people something about themselves.

Everyone back to your nest.... the revolution is over

on the sides "Detention, Poverty، Coercion, Torture, Fear, Frustration" In the middle "Injustice, Loss of identity"

Political awareness is the key to the future

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Creative Girl Book Group: Chapter 17

July 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

We are finally at the end of the book.  Chapter 17 is the last ‘OFFICIAL’ chapter that focuses on HOW TO in building your business.  The last chapter is more of a recap.  I will make sure and share more on that next week.  Chapter 17’s subtitle is “You Are Your Own Publicist.”  I love this section of the book.  Katharine Sise, the author of Creative Girl: The Ultimate Guide for Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career, goes into the differences between marketing, advertising and publicity.  I have to admit I thought marketing and advertising were synonyms.
On personal branding, Jane Lauder, General Manager of Origins (One of my FAV companies!) says:
“Creating a brand is like creating a story and there’s value in telling your story over and over again.  Sometimes you’re too close to your product and what you may think is repetitive hasn’t even scratched the surface of becoming clear to your customer.  It’s vital to get feedback so that you’re sure your message is shining through. “
This one piece of information has prompted me to begin meeting every Wednesday with two other local business women and FOCUS ON branding.  This fits nicely into Wednesday’s post transition since the completion of the book is next week.  I am super excited to get started.
Anyone else out there picked up this book and begun the process? I would love to hear!
-Robin Norgren

Seeking New Voices

July 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

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Do you enjoy blogging about crafting, design trends and inspiration?  We are now seeking new voices for both guest posts or weekly contributors!  Contact us now using the submission form below.

Hardware Store Jewelry Tutorial

July 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

Jezebel featured this great tutorial project of re purposing hardware store finds into jewelry from their DIY series.  Though its not a new concept of picking thru a hardware store for inspiration (which can sometimes be more dangerous than being lost in a craft store because…Oh the possibilities!) and these designs are loosely based on Lanvin’s 2009 Fall collection (I actually like Jezebel’s reinterpretation much better), its a fun project challenging us to look at materials in a new way.  Here’s how to make your own from Jezebel:

For this project, all you’ll need will be parts from a hardware store in the desired dimensions and quantities, plus ribbon — I used a mixture of velvet and organza ribbons, to vary the texture and transparency — and a set of scissors. Straight pins and a needle and thread are optional; you can either sew or knot your ribbons together. Obviously, the key ingredient here is the hardware store stuff: I used mostly pipe couplings from the plumbing section of my local hardware emporium, but you could go heavier on the nuts, washers, incorporate some chains, or choose to work only in one color metal depending on the look that you want. Go for what inspires you.

This project is dead simple. First, lay out all the hardware store bits in some approximation of how you want your necklace to look.

String ’em up.

Knot or sew your ribbons together at the desired length. (For a Lanvin-inspired touch, you could make little bows out of your ribbon, and stitch them over your knots.)

Bam! Necklace. I’m into how the ends of the copper couplings that are bent tuck inside the pipe couplings that are straight. That gives the necklace a kind of neat articulated look.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Creative Girl Book Group: Chapters 15 and 16

July 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

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It’s amazing how when you have resolved to keep moving forward, though the obstacles seem insurmountable, you can find the stamina to keep moving forward.  I have had the chance to begin dabbling in custom invitations this week and it has been fun just to play.  As you have probably heard me mention in the past, I love children’s books.  So the idea of making some fun invitations geared towards kids is a nice fit.  Of course I did not come up with this on our own.  This is the beauty of etsy and its convo system.  Sometimes you get requests to try JUST TRY.

So onto Chapters 14 and 15 of the book Creative Girl by Katharine Sise.  Chapter 14 deals with getting your ducks in a row tax wise and setting up your business whether it be as an LLC or sole proprietorship.  There is a gem in the midst of this chapter about where to go to find out what’s deductible for your business: search and look up “Schedule C” to find a checklist for write-offs.

Chapter 15 tackled the myth of the Starving Artist and really challenged me to think of ways to become a THRIVING artist.  What jobs am I willing to take that offer exposure but may not offer money.  At the same time, which jobs am I willing to take that may not work in my passionate realms but help supply monetary resources to keep the business going forward.  I love this bottom line:

“You have to pay attention to and pursue what’s sellable about your creativity if you want to make a living.” (p. 235)
-Robin Norgren

Making Books: Coptic Stitch Binding

July 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

Bound Coptic Journal

I think books are way hot and as if I do not have enough to read, quite possibly bordering on an addiction with the written word, I’ve decided to make my own.  I was really inspired by the above journal (for the record…totally not my work…but imho, knock down gorgeous that inspires me to create).  So began my research to find the best resource on how to create a coptic stitch journal of my own.  What I found was a treasure trove from the helpful artists’ collective of Booklyn, who to quote their website:

Booklyn’s staff works tirelessly to put books in the hands of the people and to encourage the people’s hands to make more books.

Within their helpful site is and education manual detailing how to bind all types of self-made books including the Coptic Stitch.  What a wonderful resource!  The directions were really helpful in my first attempt, but I always kind of do my own thing (which made a so-so journal) but it was amazingly fun.  I love flipping through and seeing all the fun papers I collected bound together waiting to become something new!  Now what to write?

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Daytrippin’: Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art

July 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

This past weekend I went to Biloxi, Mississippi and visited the partially constructed Ohr-O’keefe Museum.  Though it’s offering was small it was certainly made up in content.  First off the building, designed by Frank Gehry, is simple and striking all in one; plus we got sneak peak of what finished building will resemble in 2012.  There were lovely examples of ceramicist, George Ohr (for whom the museum is named), an amazing exhibit of jazz photographer Herman Leonard (man, I cannot tell you how thrilling this small exhibit was!) and in the lobby they had local artists creating their wares and discussing with the visiting public.

It was a really nice space, enveloping local art past, present and future all situated right on the beach.  The other really nice thing about the Ohr-Okeefe is the gift shop; I know ALL museum gift shops are fascinating but I’ve never seen one with so much support for local arts and crafts.  If you find yourself in the area; its a stone’s throw from the beach and the most delightful and cultured way to cool off!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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