I’m having a Black Friday sale today in my Etsy shop – 20% off all artwork including prints. To receive the 20% discount enter coupon code blackfriday at checkout. Offer good through midnight tonight.
I will also be announcing holiday sales on Facebook throughout the next couple of weeks so make sure you are following me over there too! I’m so grateful for all of the love and support you have given me and my art these past few years. You have no idea how happy that makes me so thank you for supporting my small creative business!
As a reminder for holiday shipping – delivery in the U.S. should be mailed no later than the second week of December and International Mail should be mailed as soon as possible. If you have any questions, want something in a different size or color or are curious if I can make something special for you, just email me or send me an Etsy convo. Happy shopping and happy holidays!
2013 Black Friday COUPON CODE – To use, enter code blackfriday in the coupon code box at checkout (you will see the savings reflected upon checkout and when paying via PayPal).
Put a little bit more thought into your hostess gifts this holiday season and try this super simple diy! Homemade gifts are a great way to thank your hosts for the invite, and if you make them in bulk, you won’t have to stop and pick up a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers.
what you’ll need:
• 3/4″ round wood beads
• leather cord
how to make it:
Begin by taping off the portion of the bead you would like to paint. Apply a thin layer of paint using a paint brush and let dry. String beads onto leather cord and tie ends to make a simple knot. Pull as tight as possible and double knot. Loop at top is optional for hanging. You can also add a third row of beads and use as a trivet for hot dishes.
photo credit kate zitzer | more diy projects here
Participating in art shows can be exhilarating, terrifying and exhausting all at the same time. They take a lot of time and money and effort but I really think it’s worth it to take advantage of the opportunity to get out there and show your art. Not only do you get the chance to sell your work, art shows provide great exposure, an opportunity to network with others and are an awesome way to meet and interact with customers. It’s about time to start applying for summer and fall festivals so here’s my advice if you’re considering doing an art fair -
- Research the fairs! Go out and visit as many different fairs as possible. Doing your homework ahead of time will help you choose the best shows for your art. Start with small local ones and work your way up into the better shows.
- Be diligent about application deadlines. Most art shows make applications available (via web or mail) six to eight months in advance. Others may make applications available two to three months in advance. It just depends so take note. I apply to several shows each year, some I get in to and some I don’t.
- Filling out applications can be time consuming especially if you’ve never done it before. Be prepared with all of the necessary photos and info, and don’t wait until the last day.
- Give yourself a lot of time to prepare. I start getting ready for summer shows in January and dedicate all of April and May to planning, prepping and painting.
- Build your dream booth. Your display is part of your product. Try designing one that is inviting to shoppers, represents your brand well and shows off your art in the best way possible. Typical items you’ll need – a commercial tent or canopy and weights, mesh sides/walls, hooks for hanging art, bins for small prints, a rack for large prints, a table and chairs. Rent of borrow these items from another artist if you can’t buy your own. Take photos of your display, many shows require this as part of the application process.
- Figure out how long it takes to set up. Typically they ask you to set up the morning of the fair so try to get there early and plan accordingly. Don’t wait until the day of the event to see what your booth really looks like. Bring a dolly to make it easy to load in and out. Setting up and taking down is hard work so ask some friends or family to help if you can.
- Try to have your items organized so they can fit in the car. I am not the most organized person so I leave it up to Marc and somehow he makes it work.
- Inventory. Have enough to hang on the walls and some extra in the back. Artwork should look cohesive and similar in style. Have art available in different price points, colors and sizes. You never know what someone may be looking for.
- I spend a small fortune at my print shop. I also stock up on frames and packaging materials. Getting involved in art fairs can be expensive!
- Accept credit cards. Sign up for Square, it’s easy to use with your smart phone. Have plenty of small and big bills for customers who want to pay with cash.
- Bring plenty of business cards. Think you have enough? Double it.
- Have clear signage displayed – prices, social media hashtags, a banner or sign with your logo, etc. Offer photo opportunities and encourage customers to tag your business online.
- Snacks and drinks are essential to get you through the day. Get some good sleep. The days are very long, and it really takes a lot of physical and mental energy to take part in a fair.
- Have fun! Stay positive and be friendly. Meet your booth neighbors and get to know your customers.
So those are my tips! If you have any advice about exhibiting at art shows, I’d love to hear it, and if you have any questions or are thinking about doing an art fair, let me know. Good luck!
photo credit kate zitzer
Marc and I have lived in Chicago for five years now and have really loved it here. Lately we’ve realized that no matter how big (or small) a place may seem or how well you think you know it, there is always more to see and do and learn. So we’ve been spending a lot of time lately seeking out the new and soaking up our old favorites.
We had coffee from Big Shoulders and breakfast sandwiches from Windy City Cafe. We spent an afternoon walking around the Chicago History Museum and had drinks at Matchbox. We tried checking out the new exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center but it was closed so we went and saw Laura Berger’s mural instead. We went shopping on State Street and heard stories told at Powell’s North Bookstore. We had pies from Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder, tacos at Big Star and BBQ sandwiches from Smoke Daddy – everything lived up to the hype. We strolled around Wicker Park and Bucktown and stopped in some of my favorite shops – Brooklyn Industries and Stitch. There really are so many cool parts of this city, and I recommend checking out some of these places if you’re ever in Chicago.
photo credit kate zitzer
Who doesn’t love pizza night? Especially when you’re making one for yourself with all of your favorite toppings! Making homemade pizzas has become one of our favorite meals. Over the last couple of years we’ve experimented with a bunch of different combinations and really mastered our pizza making technique and tonight we’re hosting a fun make your own pizza party for a small group of friends.
Here are some tips for hosting your own pizza party -
- Plan as much as you can in advance. This morning I set out all the bowls, plates, glassware, flatware and napkins. At our house pizza nights can be messy so I covered the table with a long sheet of kraft paper for easy clean up. I doodled some recipes on the paper but I also think it will be fun to jot down the ingredients to everyone’s pies. No need for a centerpiece, the spread of meats, cheeses and veggies in pretty little bowls will do the trick.
- Cut and prep all the pizza toppings before your guests arrive. Have everything chopped, measured or mixed together if necessary. Tonight we have roasted tomatoes, green peppers, pepperoni, fresh thyme, onions, italian sausage, diced chicken, basil, olive oil and fresh mozzarella. One of the best things about a pizza party is that the possibilities are endless!
- Lay everything out in separate bowls on a large table and mark each ingredient. It’s nice to let everyone know what’s available so they can build their own favorite combos.
- Plan for a few different flavors. Marc will be making a barbecue chicken pizza and I’ll be trying one with hot italian sausage and fresh thyme. If you want to do something crazy like pineapple pesto that you’re not sure everyone will like, I suggest sending it our first and then following up with a classic margherita or something simple.
- Cooking one pie (or two small ones) at a time is hard when you’re feeding a crowd so I recommend using a quick cooking recipe. We plan on making 6-8 personal sized pizzas (at least one per person) and popping them in the oven as soon as they are prepped. I bought the crust pre made but if you want to get fancy you can make your own dough. Small pizzas cook for 7-10 minutes. So by the time we get one pizza sliced and served the next one will almost be ready. Keep in mind that even a few extra minutes in the oven can make a big difference between soft crust and crunchy crust.
- Have something for guests to munch on while the pizzas bake. Toss together a simple salad or set out a cheese plate and some olives.
- Have a rimless sheet pan ready. We cook our pizzas right on the rack so the rimless cookie sheet makes it easy to slide the pizzas in and out of the oven. Serve pizzas on oversized wooden cutting boards right on the table so guests can dig in.
Have any other good tips for a make your own pizza party?photo credit kate zitzer