I blog about my life as an artist, what I'm creating and thinking about creating, what I'm writing, crafting, sewing, weaving...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Etsy and ArtFire going LIVE this week!!!

So, I'm excited!!! I intend for my Etsy (that's a link) and ArtFire (also a link) shops to go LIVE this week!!! This has definitely been some time in the making.  I wanted to have everything up and running last summer, but working a full-time internship (paid, thank my lucky stars) in the museum's textile and object conservation department, and working part-time immediately afterward- I was exhausted, to say the least. That does not include my duties as a mother of two young boys AND my preparations for my undergraduate thesis on Caravaggio (still working on it- graduate this year, so time's a'wasting). Yikes! 

This summer, I'm only working part-time evening/weekend hours and I'll have the boys with me during the day whilst running Studio Aly- whew! It's definitely doable. I know that my work will fair well, because during the semester, I focus on custom designs. I'll have to hustle this summer because I'm working towards earning money for my tuition!!! So, know that, aside from the items specifically dedicated to charities, all proceeds will go towards the Aly-Finally-Gets-Her-Degree-After-Taking-Breaks-For-Two-Children Fund!!! A worthy cause indeed. My children come first, so it took me a little (ok, a LOT) longer to complete my bachelor of art.  Here's a preview of my packaging for my jewelry and smaller items, I'm so excited. Please let me know what you think about my boxes and cards!!! 

I contacted my Graphic Designer, Christina Peña (click on her name to view her website), so that we can send my business cards and business identity package (business cards, letterhead, envelopes, tags, etc.) to the printer! Once they get here, I'll tag my textile items and post them as well!!! So, look out for scarves, handbags and small art quilts in the near future!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Those of you who know me personally, know I always speak of quality in both design and the execution of the crafts(wo)manship in a finished piece be it fashion, jewelry, fine art etc. So, I'm designing a quilt for my niece in Virginia (images of the chosen fabrics can be found here in my blog post from the other day). I pride myself on the quality that goes into every step of my work and as I was perusing the web, I stumbled upon this article on Quilt Quality on the Amish Country Quilts website. The article provides a simple explanation of how to discern a well-designed quilt from one that is poorly designed. It also gives a few guides on what to look for: evenly placed stitching, balance/proportion in design, and how the fabrics interact with one another and the result on the eye of the viewer (a matter of taste). I have nothing more to add to this, actually, as I agree wholeheartedly. Making a quilt is an hours-long process that begins with the fabric selection and design, NOT the sewing. Happy reading!

Time to make the soda!!!

This looks fantastic!!! I haven't tried it yet, but I'm definitely going to make my own soda with my boys- I'm sure it'll be a BLAST!!! Maybe we'll do it on tie dye Sunday? I got the link from Craft, they have tons of cool stuff on there posted by the CraftZine staff and other crafters, too! If you make your own soda, let me know how it turns out.
<3 Aly

Since when do Doozers knit?

I saw this video on Twitter via @craftycrafty in London and I absolutely had to share it! Fraggle Rock is one of my all-time favorite shows EVER!!! Knitting, either by hand or machine, is also tops on my list of favorite things to do! Knitting can go from kitschy to glam in no time- and it's all done with some needles and yarn! Knitting is definitely an artform like no other. When you add in the various methods of not just casting on/off, but the traditions that developed in countries all over... Well, let's just say that one can never fully know everything about knitting. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Want to contact me?

Here's the contact for Studio Aly!!!

Studio Aly
P.O. Box 93
Runnemede NJ 08078

Phone: 8323-STUDIO
Toll Free: 1 (888) 789-4831

Within the next two weeks, I'll officially launch my Etsy and ArtFire stores so stay tuned!!!
Here are the URL's, but they are also linked to the right under "Fantastic Websites"
Hope to hear from you soooooooooon!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Missing Artwork?!?!?!

You may ask why my art blog is lacking more images of finished work... Well, that's because it has to be photographed-which takes a LOT of time. They're coming though!!!

Pricing Artwork Lecture from SNAG Conference

Here is a video to a fantastic lecture on pricing artwork presented at a SNAG Conference. Oftentimes, artists, designers, artisans and craftspeople price their undervalue their work and the amount of time it takes to produce. Now, there are huge factors called QUALITY, EXPERIENCE & the amount of TIME put into a piece that should be accounted for. Most people say, "Oh, I can do THAT!" or "Anyone can do THAT, why does it cost so much?" And, to some extent, I agree. Anyone CAN do what they set their mind to, BUT are they GOOD at it? What is the QUALITY of the work they're putting out? This is not nearly all-inclusive, but here are a few questions one might ask:For sewn items: how is the stitching- is the length appropriate for the design? Are the finishing techniques appropriate for the fabrics used? Is it properly lined? Was it constructed properly?For beaded jewelry: are all of the loops even? Is the clasp appropriate for the materials used? Is the piece made for durability?A few more questions: Where did the artist receive their training? Self-taught? Design school? Workshops? Apprenticeship? Are their items well-designed or lacking in areas? Does the finished product look as if it were professionally constructed? Would you purchase the item if it were in a local shoppe or does it look "home made" as opposed to HANDmade?These are important considerations when purchasing items from people marketing themselves as artists or artisans. I am in no way trying to come across as an art school elitist, but at the same time, I have spent a great deal of time in the studio honing my fine art skills (not to mention a great deal on tuition). I've learned things in art school that could never be taught in a book, and I take pride in what I do. Even though I transfered schools and curricula from my fine art and design to art history (Moore College of Art & Design to Temple University) I value my education on both sides of the coin and each facilitates the other.Ok, enough of my ramblings and on to the lecture!!!

Professional Development Seminar NOT JUST ANOTHER PRICING LECTURE

New Phone for the Studio & Other News!!!

What should I do with all of this "stuff"? The quilting fabrics are for a quilt I'm designing for my niece- just didn't design the block yet... The beads? Who knows!

EXCITING NEWS!!! New number for the Studio! I really didn't like having clients (and potential clients) calling my cell phone directly. Firstly, because it is my personal line and I like to play with different songs for the music and things such as that. Secondly, because if I relocate, the number will change and I'll have to have all of my business identity materials re-printed with the new info (I refuse to scribble out the old number and re-write in black Sharpie- looks unprofessional). So, I got a Google Voice number for my Studio. I selected a SUPER cool number 8323 Studio. Yes, that is my number!!! So easy, right? (832) 378-8346 even if you don't remember 8323Studio, the numerical equivalent is pretty easy, in my opinion.

In other news... I have so many ideas that I would like to bring to life, I'm not sure where to begin! Sewing handbags? Jewelry (beaded)? Knitting (hand or machine)? Paper crafting? Textile print design? Weaving? Ceramics? Oil painting? Fashion design? 

The jewelry design is currently limited to beaded designs because my studio is not set up for custom fabrication at the moment. I'm thinking of enrolling in a class to gain access to a studio- same thing for ceramics. Lately, all I've wanted to do was sit at the wheel and throw whatever comes out of my soul. Gosh, I love ceramics! I love everything I do, hence my dilemma. Am I an Artist or a Designer? I do both and I am inspired to create in both realms. Interestingly, as an art history major, I see the fine art in design... The difficult task of an Artist/Designer! I therefore choose to introduce myself as an artist because, no matter what medium I select to express myself, I am an artist first.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pen My Blog

Sooooo I found an app for my iPhone called Pen My Blog (which is how I'm creating this post) I'll log in from my laptop and see how it looks!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Changed my Twitter account name...

Well, it certainly has been a long time since my last blog post... I'll have to look for an iPhone app that lets me update my Blogger account from my phone (I know other blog sites have apps...). I changed my Twitter account from @CraftyPhoenix to @StudioAlyArt for consistency, that should prove to be helpful.

Now that the semester is over, I actually have time to blog and to produce my artwork- AMAZING!!! I'm not sure what I'll actually end up making this summer, but I do intend to get my Etsy, Ravelry and Artfire stores up and running FINALLY. The accounts are set up, but I need to finish the designs for my store banners, decide what items are going in which store, etc. I'm not quite sure what part of my Art & Design business identity I want associated with each store. The major idea being having each store represent a different part of my business identity and artistic interests: Crafty, Fine Art, Design, other.

I'll work on photographing my most recent work to post pictures here and we'll see how it goes. I'm also thinking about signing up for a domain name again, but I'm not sure it would be necessary since by the end of the summer my stores will be up and running... Between the stores, this blog, and word-of-mouth I should be fine. Who knows!

Aly Signing O.U.T. (for now)