The magic character of embroidery

“Home cannot do without embroidery. It rewards, forgives, and cures…” they used to say in ancient times.

Let’s look at the ancient towels and garments: where the pattern is located, what colour the mistress used, what she depicted.

Every element of the pattern can tell a story, it defends, helps, bringing the worlds of the sky and the earth together. In the times of old girls used to embroider dowry for themselves. The towels were given as presents and used to decorate the house.

A thing without embroidery could not appear in the house. Stitch work was the measure of the hostess’s thrift and skills. Only the embroidered items had magic influence and could protect the house and the hosts. Embroidered towels were hanged above the windows and the door so that neither misfortune, nor diseases could find way into the house; the patterns on the tablecloth protected the food and the table. Clothes were embroidered too.

If murrain occurred in the village, an ordinary towel became a reliable rescue. All the women in the village embroidered it within a single day or night hoping that it should release them from the misfortune.

A towel from the grandma’s chest can tell a lot of funny and sad stories. If you learn to read the stitch work patterns on the towels and to embroider them, you will discover many wonderful legends as well as you will get to know how people used to live, what helped them to deal with trouble and bring joy to the house.

Let’s learn to give happiness. The beauty of embroidery can make anyone happy.

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Canvaz, Inc: A Good Portrait

Canvaz, Inc: A Good Portrait

A portrait painted by an artist’s hand is regarded as a luxury thing. On the other hand a portrait of your friend, relative or sweetheart can be not only a pleasant thing but also a good investment of your money. Nevertheless looking for a portrait painter it is not enough just to have a definite amount.

A person who needs a handmade painting has to arm himself with wish and patience. Before you find a painter who is able to create right what you want, you will need to visit a big number of studios. But there is another way. You can just order a portrait made by Canvaz’s painter.

Painters themselves state that portrait is the most complicated genre of fine arts. Sometimes it is easier and more remunerative for them to paint a dozen of small studies than one portrait, even if it will be expensive. One thing is to paint a landscape and to give a free interpretation of reality. The other thing is to see a person, to perceive his inner life, his character and to hold his recognizability. Nevertheless, a lot of painters confess that portrait painting is their favorite genre.

Modern painters have two ways of working on client’s portrait: from nature and from photo. When ordering a portrait don’t ask an artist to paint a ‘Michelangelo style’ portrait or ‘Rembrandt style’ portrait, etc. If you insist on such a work you will be turned down. It is better to dispose yourself to a constructive dialog. Express your opinion, propositions, ask for advice concerning your appearance for example. Nowadays old-fashioned style is popular. But by request you can be painted wearing anything you want or even wearing nothing.

Portrait painters mention that a person should be prepared before he sees his final portrait. Sometimes people are shocked seeing themselves not like they see in the mirror, but like they really are. But artists claim that portrait is your real face.

A Panoramic View of Balinese Paintings, influenced by Walter Spies

As widely known, among Westerners who arrived on Bali were already established European and American artists, including Walter Spies, Rudolf Bonnet and Arie Smit. They brought with them Western background and tools such as water colors, oil paints, precut paper and canvas.

Walter Spies is one of the founders of Pita Maha (artist’s organization founded in 1935). All members of this organization learnt from each other. Balinese artists was able to enrich their knowledge of art by adding something of the Western painting techniques such as principle of perspective and the use of light and shadow to create depth to their works.

In return, Western artist was able to add something of the Balinese style and techniques to their own work.

I Gusti Agung Wiranata (b.1969) is known as a regeneration of Walter Spies styli with his own theme. He grew up in an artist family. His late father’s work was inspired by Spies’s style. At a very young age of 11, he helped his farther brought his artworks to some galleries. He experienced the rejections and the difficulties in making extra money through art. His farther, who passed away when he was 12, strongly forbid him to be an artist.

Apparently art has run strongly in his vein. He keep painting following his father’s style. Before too long, his two siblings join him. He then taught his older sister Galuh and younger brother Kepakisan.

Beside the details, Wiranata’s strength is in capturing light and shadow creating a beautiful panoramic view of art.

Professional Photography

If you are naive, passionate, and want to do something exclusive, if you’d like to consider photography as something more than just a creative outlet or a hobby you may be on your way to discovering a new career path, the one that would lead you the success and top profiles. This is not to say that becoming a photographer is easy, nor is it to say that all the people who want to become professional photographers will attain their goal. The photography industry is cutthroat and competitive. There are more people who want to become world renowned photographers than there are spaces to fill. The result is that, those who want to fill those spots, or even just become successful at photography on a local level are going to need to have immense creativity and business acumen like no other.  First of all becoming a working professional photographer has to do with one main element; Becoming recognized in the field. People don’t only buy your art; they also buy your credentials. In a sense, their buying what you represent. Often those things you represent will be of intrinsic value to your customers. Such as with whom you’ve worked in the past, where you’ve been published, how long have you been a photographer, where have you traveled to do work and so on?  Secondly you will also want to get as much education under your belt as possible. Throughout your education as a photographer you should also be taking as many photographs as possible to help build your portfolio. You will need to ensure your photography portfolio stands above the rest by paying extra special attending to detail. Look at the book itself, the paper it’s printed on, the font of descriptions, your borders, your themes, picture sizes, colors, and layout and so on. Do not simply fill a scrap book or photo album with photographs. Once finished, you should be able to walk away from your portfolio and be impressed with your own work, which is not easy task for many photographers, as most of them are their own worst critics.  Further you should also start looking around for assistant or internship work. Often this work doesn’t pay well but still it will help you learn more about the industry and art. You should try and work under the most respected photographers you can find. By doing this you are adding to your credentials without knowing it. You only want to surround yourself with the best and present your best side all the times.  Moreover you will also need to have a strong sense of business acumen. If you are planning on being like the 50% of other photographers who are self employed, you’ll need to make sure you have a good sense of networking skills, pricing, public relations knowledge and on top of that have a strong sense of creativity and imagination. Being an artist and a business person will be no small feat. It will have you on your toes at all times.

Lastly, you’ll want to narrow your professional interest to one or two main fields. For example you may want to work with press and other media, or you may be interested in photojournalism. Others may be interested in scientific or sports photography. Whatever your interest is, make sure you find the best people in that particular industry and study them. Model your success after theirs.

Clever and Inexpensive Craft Storage Ideas

As a crafter, you surely have plenty of bits and bobs all over the place. Of course there are very nice craft storage units available that can be bought, but most of them are quite expensive, especially if you have a lot to store. Here are a few clever and inexpensive ideas:

Shoe Bags
The type that is about the size of a large men’s shirt, and hangs in your wardrobe on a hanger. If you can find a clear plastic one that would be ideal – if not, be sure to label each pocket with the contents it holds. You could even make your own if you sew, or you could get the right sized polybags and stick them onto a piece of wood.

Coffee Cans and/or Biscuit Tins
Don’t discard them once you’ve finished what was inside! Wash them out and label them with the contents they’re going to hold. You can even get quite creative – instead of storing them in a cupboard or shelf unit (which would probably be more difficult to get to) keep them on top of a spare desk or dresser, but dress them up first! You can wrap them with pretty leftover pieces of fabric, even rope, or spray paint them to the color/s you prefer.

Plant Pots
As for the above idea with tins/cans, you could decorate small plant pots that you no longer use, or you you could buy the cheap plastic ones at a nursery.

Glass Bottles
Think of the few that are in your fridge or grocery cupboard at the moment (pickles, mayonnaise, etc). You could have quite an array of different sizes to fit many different craft goodies, big and small. When you shop for groceries, consider spending a little more on a bottled item, knowing that you’ll maximize it’s usage.

Drawer Filing Units
The type of little unit that would sit on a desk and usually has four to six drawers big enough to hold a little over A4 size paper, but not too deep. Look around at stationery stores – you will see the expensive plastic ones, but often you’ll also find cheaper ones made of board (which can also be decorated if you like).

Gift Boxes
If you ever receive a gift in one of those pretty gift boxes, keep the box for your bits and bobs, they’re usually the ideal size for something.

Good Luck, and have fun doing it!

Christmas Craft Ideas

Christmas is a fun time of year, a busy time of year, and a bumper craft sales season! You can never start planning too early, and each year you’ll find you improve your results from the previous year as you get more experience.

Christmas Craft Ideas – Where To Sell Your Crafts

There are so many opportunities out there for holiday season sales, here are a few Christmas craft sales ideas:

Christmas Fairs & Markets – Do an internet search using your local search engine, and stock up on your local print media to check what’s being advertised in your area. Book early! If you’re too late to book for this year, put your name on the list for next year.

Retailers – Find out about the promotions at your local mall, and ask your local convenience store if you can rent a small space to display your crafts.

Charities and Fundraising Events – These are usually well supported by the community, find out what’s taking place near you.

Home Party Sales – Christmas is also a good sales period for this type of selling, so arrange your own parties or ask someone you know who does home party selling to take your crafts along.

Door to Door – Offer the kids in your neighborhood a commission for any of your crafts they can sell for extra pocket money.

Christmas Craft Ideas – Best Selling Crafts

Seasonal events like Christmas present great opportunities for fun craft items and new product ideas!

Decorations and ornaments are an obvious idea, and a good one, especially if you can come up with something really unique and creative.

Gift hampers with different themes are great, especially if you can create a clever package for men because they can be quite difficult to buy gifts for.

Offer discounts on some of your items that sell well throughout the year to boost your Christmas sales, or sell it for the same or a little more but with an extra item packaged with it.

Craft Barter Exchange Benefits & Ideas

A craft barter exchange can be used in some creative ways to the benefit of all parties involved, but is often overlooked – here are some ideas for you, and ways in which you, your customers and your suppliers can benefit from these trades.

Craft Barter Exchange To Pay For Services Or Products

When I started my business I didn’t have a big budget for advertising, but it was obviously necessary, so I would seek out other small businesses where I could make contact directly with the owner to discuss the option of paying for advertising not in cash or on credit, but with products of mine to the value of the service.

For example, we have a local A5 booklet dropped in our mail boxes once monthly which is purely advertising – the first half is devoted to home improvement services, and the second half to other local products and services, which I noticed also included advertising for craft and handmade items. I picked up the phone and contacted the company who prints and distributes the booklet, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was all run by one woman, so we started chatting… I ended up with a full color half page ad which was very successful, and which ended up costing me less than half the full price!

You see, the beauty of barter exchanging your products for services is that you’re trading them at their retail value, but that’s not what they’re costing you to make them!

Craft barter exchanges can be used to pay for many different services which can either help boost your business, such as advertising, or services/products which are just necessary, such as getting business cards printed.

Whether you have the budget for these things or not, always try to negotiate a barter exchange wherever you possibly can – you will save a lot in the long run, which can then be put towards more advertising or promotional activities.

Craft Barter Exchange To Boost Sales

Upselling is a term you should be familiar with (if not, go research it now!) and is usually limited to your own products, but let’s do some thinking outside the box…

If you find someone who sells products that are complimentary to yours, they can work well as good incentives for upsells – here’s an example:

You have a booth at a craft fair or market, and a customer is admiring your handmade jewelry. She’d really love to go home with your beautiful (most expensive) jeweled necklace, which she knows is going to match her evening gown just perfectly, but she’s hesitating because of the price.

You, however, have barter traded with a crafter who makes handmade purses – for just this reason! You approach your prospective customer and suggest that if she’d like to purchase that necklace, you’ll also let her have this lovely evening purse which matches the colors of the necklace fabulously… sold!

There are many other examples – offering free fancy gift packaging or handmade greeting cards if the item is being bought as a gift; a free dining table candle if someone is buying handmade napkin rings, or vice versa; even seasonal promotions such as free Christmas tree decorations with something purchased at that time of year.

Use your imagination to find items that are complimentary to yours, and when you introduce the idea of doing a barter exchange with another crafter s/he will probably thank you for sharing the idea too!