Monday, January 31, 2011

Week 10: Studio Tour of my favorite tools

My MacBook
I don't know how I lived without a MAC laptop. Ever since it's arrival, I have been glued to it's mesmerizing screen. Every program is extremely user friendly, and their online tutorial library is extremely helpful. When I made the decision to start vlogging, iMovie helped ease my fears of editing my endless retakes. The Numbers program helped get my PeachHoney books in order, and iPhoto kept my photos safe and organized.

My Smartphone
My Droid Incredible has everything!! I'm not always by a computer, so having Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Hootsuite, YouTube, and a camera in my pocket is very useful. I can check up on the happenings of PeachHoney throughout the day, while at work, or while running errands. This means answering emails and responding the blog comments promptly.

My paintbrush
My paintbrushes are nothing fancy, cheapy ones bought on sale at local Michaels and University Art stores. They're mine, nonetheless, and they get the job done. Angular, filbert, round, flat... they're all mine. They smooth on my favorite colors of heavy body acrylic, messily apply melted beeswax, and smoosh around watercolor pencils and walter-soluble oil pastels. My little army of misfits are always at my fingertips.

Palette Knives
My palette knives sit next to my paintbrushes on my drafting table. I bought a cheap set of palette knives for an art class, with David Lobenberg, a few years ago, and they have never let me down. I use them to mix custom colors, spread on crackle paste, and to create marks in molding paste.

My Hands
They're always with me, never tire, and I can never replace them with another set. Covered in paint and ink, they represent the artwork in progress. Nothing would be possible without them.

Friday, January 28, 2011

First Stage of a layered background...

A follow-up to Wednesday's quick video... here are two videos that go through my process of starting my first couple layers of a painting. I decided to focus on Chloe, on Gessobord, but I will working with Delores, on the Claybord, over the next couple weeks. Next month's Cravings (scheduled for February 9th) will be about these two great Ampersand bord's, so stay tuned!! This background is by no means complete, and it may look completely different by the time the painting is complete, but it's how I start. Call it a "warm-up". Sometimes I hate my first couple layers. As I add and add on to them, that first "unwanted" layer leaves a beautiful underlying texture to all the others. Don't stress, just play!

I talk a little bit about mixing your own shade of Titan buff, so here is my formula (approximations... I don't measure): 10 parts Titanium White, 1 part Burnt Umber, and a couple small drops of Indian Yellow. I use mostly fluid body acrylics, but you can use whatever type you have available.

Links from the video

If you ever have any questions about the products I use, or talk about, please don't hesitate to email me. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to view my videos (they usually are posted on the channel a couple days before the blog post is published). Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stylish Blog Award!!

My friend, Sylvia, gave me a a Stylish Blogger Award last week. By accepting this award, I need to tell you 7 things you don't know about me, and also pass the award onto some fellow stylish bloggers.

Here it goes...

1. I started dancing when I was six years old. I started with ballet, hated it, and then found my love, hip hop. I was on a dance team that toured the United States... I miss it, terribly. (That's me, in the bottom right hand corner, with braids)

2. I'm an only child, but always dreamed of having a sibling.

3. While traveling Europe in 2007, I briefly contemplated quitting my job and moving to Portugal. We visited the small town of Salema... so beautiful and serene, with a gorgeous white sand beach and crystal clear water.

4. As a child, I wanted to be a marine biologist. Today, I'm a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse, but still an animal lover, at heart.

5. Some days I just want to lay in bed... all day!!

6. I've never seen The Sound of Music... I know, it's blasphemy, but I really have no desire to watch it. Does that make me a bad person?

7. I love being a student and learning new things. When it come down to it, I'm just a dork in glasses...

Now that the embarrassing portion of this post is over, lets get to the people who also deserve this award.

Laura, of Strategic Marketing Online and Dreamy Designs Jewelry, is a web designer/supermom/superfriend/jewelry designer and I will use any excuse to give her credit and love. Her blog is full of tips and tricks that have revolutionized how I do business. She has so much to offer, so visit my interview with her over here.

Brandi, of Catie's Blue, is another friend of mine. She is an amazing jewelry designer/marketing guru, and her daily dose of blog inspiration is better than my morning coffee. She has lots of tips shares to blow your mind, and a refreshing blog. I interviewed her last year, so please check it out.

Dina, is an amazing scrapbook artist/art journal genius, and she entered my life a couple years ago when I took her art journal classes. She opened my eyes to the creativity behind my insecurities and fear, and taught me how to let go. She does amazing things with her pages, so please visit her colorful blog here.

Thank you, Sylvia, for this thoughtful award!! Hope to see you soon!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Week 9... 2nd stage of a painting.

In this post I talked about the first stage of starting a new piece. Due to the fact that I fell out of love with my watercolor pencils, only to rediscover them in this class, I wanted to try out this new technique on a real piece. This meant I had to ditch my birch plywood and wood burning (briefly, just briefly), and try out Ampersand's bord's (yes... bord's, not board's... I don't know why). Today I'm trying the Clayboard and Gessobord with little Miss Chloe and Delores, my first of many paintings in the coming year.

Time to take off the training wheel of the sketchbook and put on my big girl britches. Hope you enjoy the video!

Links from the video

If you ever have any questions about the products I use, or talk about, please don't hesitate to email me. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to view my videos (they usually are posted on the channel a couple days before the blog post is published). Thanks for watching!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Finishing my logo painting...

1. Finish PeachHoney logo painting... Completed January 10, 2011.

One of my favorite things to do is search on YouTube for for speed painting videos. I love to see how other artists start their paintings, and how they work through a piece to get their desired end result. I've had my logo painting sitting on my drafting table for awhile, staring at me as I work on other things. It was something I wanted to get done on my two weeks off work, so I decided it was time to clear my schedule and focus. Although I was almost finished with the painting, and you can't get a clear picture of my start-to-finish process, I wanted to give you a little taste. Hope you love it!!

PS... I'm starting my "Chloe" piece tomorrow and will be taping the entire process... start to finish. No talking, just painting. Maybe some music... hmmmmm. It will post on Monday!!!

Links from this video
Golden Heavy Body Acrylics in burnt umber, cad yellow, carbon black, and white
paper flowers
Golden Fluid acrylics in white and iridescent bright gold (fine)
Distress ink pad in Walnut stain
Wood burning tool with shading tip

Music by Roisin Murphy

If you ever have any questions about the products I use, or talk about, please don't hesitate to email me. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to view my videos (they usually are posted on the channel a couple days before the blog post is published). Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

101 Things to do in 1001 days...

Since my blog hop post on my Creative Goals for 2011, I've been really thinking about the future, and what I hope to achieve. My problem has always been my to do list is long and detailed, with a short deadline. This leaves me feeling like a failure and very anxious because I'm never able to finish my tasks. I came across a fellow blog hopper (I'm so sorry, but I forgot who it was), who was participating in 101 things in 1001 days, aka The Zero Project. This challenge was started by Michael Green, a blogger out of New Zealand, who came up with the genius idea that if we give our selves a more realistic deadline, 1001 days (275 years), we are more apt to fulfill our goals, and thus be rockstars!!

Here is his theory and guidelines...
The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).
Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as New Year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.
I have thought a lot about what I want to achieve, and spent an entire week coming up with my list. Within this list I have goals for PHL, for my family, and for my own soul. At the end of these 1001 days I hope to be a better business woman, with better relationships with family and friends, and with a stronger sense of self.
I have started my challenge on January 1, 2011 and it will end September 27, 2013. Over the next couple years I will blog my accomplishments, which you can track on my left sidebar. Want to create your own list, and fulfill your dreams. Here's the link on how in install a progress bar. Good luck guys!!
  1. Finish PeachHoney logo painting
  2. Design blog header
  3. Design PeachHoney website, with the help of Laura
  4. Design PeachHoneyLove button
  5. Sign up to sponsor 5 of my blogging idols
  6. Create wedding album
  7. Carve a pumpkin
  8. Participate in a blog challenge (other than 52 weeks)
  9. Join Flickr groups
  10. Take Golden's free class
  11. Finish first painting collection
  12. Decorate formal living room
  13. Design PeachHoneyPreemie button
  14. Monica Zuniga's January Intentions Art Challenge
  15. Decorate family room
  16. Start a family
  17. Buy Macro lens for camera
  18. Read and complete exercises for The Idiot's Guide to Drawing People
  19. Decorate baby room
  20. Buy postal scale and develop packaging area in art studio
  21. 365 photo challenge
  22. Create watermark for pictures and YouTube videos
  23. Decorate bathrooms
  24. Finish landscaping backyard
  25. Organize art studio
  26. Create two painting using tinted molding and crackle paste
  27. Beautify YouTube channel
  28. Upload 50 YouTube videos
  29. 5000 views of YouTube channel
  30. Buy new set of retainers
  31. Finish Jessica Sprague's digital scrapbooking classes
  32. Have a picnic in the park with my husband
  33. 50 subscribers to YouTube channel
  34. 150 Twitter followers
  35. Open PeachHoneyLove Etsy shop
  36. Open PeachHoneyPreemie Etsy shop
  37. Finish watching video's from Mixed Media Faces
  38. Fix painting from Home Goods store
  39. Add some color to beige paiting from Home Goods store
  40. Produce 5 PeachHoneyPreemie clothing prototypes
  41. Finish PeachHoneyPreemie clothing
  42. Order PHP and PHL Business cards and Postcards
  43. Spend an entire day in bed, watching TV with my husband
  44. Design and order PeachHoneyPreemie clothing labels
  45. Finish reading Cesar Milan's book
  46. Finish 52 weeks of blogging
  47. Finish 52 more weeks of blogging
  48. Take Blogging Your Way
  49. Learn how to use a ruling pen
  50. Attend blogging retreat
  51. Finish placemats
  52. Make a list of 101 things that make me happy
  53. Rescue a dog
  54. Buy new Epson printer
  55. Buy new Epson scanner
  56. Sell guestroom furniture
  57. Turn guestroom into workout room
  58. 100 followers on Facebook blog network
  59. 100 PeachHoneyLove followers on blogger
  60. 100 PeachHoneyPreemie followers on blogger
  61. Create Facebook Fan Page landing page
  62. Take encaustic painting class
  63. Read "Brave New World" again
  64. Start PeachHoneyLove newsletter
  65. Attend art retreat
  66. Sell first painting on Etsy
  67. Sell first piece of PHP clothing on Etsy
  68. Participate in an ATC swap
  69. Go for a 15 mile bikeride with my husband
  70. Coordinate blog hop
  71. First magazine proposal
  72. Take a spin class
  73. Make an apple pie from scratch
  74. Use airbrush paints
  75. Finish Italy scrapbook
  76. Bake Abuela's famous bread without setting off the smoke detector
  77. Create cookbook of Abuela's favorite recipes
  78. Sew a complete baby outfit, without help
  79. Sew dress for myself, without help
  80. Make Gingerbread house with husband
  81. Try Perfect Pearls
  82. Take a sewing class
  83. Show my artwork at art show/expo/fair
  84. Go hiking with my husband
  85. Make portfolio
  86. Finish reading Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During and After Pregnancy
  87. Exercise at least 3 times a week, for 4 consecutive months
  88. Take a writing class
  89. Throw a big party at my house
  90. Make 10 PeachHoneyPreemie sheet/blanket sets
  91. Fill 2 entire sketchbooks
  92. Take a cooking class with my husband
  93. Spend a day in the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco with my husband
  94. Watch every episode of Xena: The Warrior Princess :)
  95. Get published!
  96. Plant espalier fruit tree
  97. Create pattern for NICU mattress fitted sheets (3 total)
  98. Get a new driver's license with my married name
  99. Make a print on dried fiber paste using digital ground
  100. Floss every day for one month
  101. Make a new list of 101 things
Thanks for following my journey!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 8... Something Seasonal

Photo Credit

I'm dreaming of Spring...

It's winter here in Northern California. The barren branches are haunting, yet beautifully stretched. Contractors are busily building the newest Tim Lewis community, effectively blocking my view of the snow capped Sierra Nevada Mountains. My veggie beds are empty. All that is left is the decrepit carcass of a once beautiful tomato plant, and the brown remains of my extravagant asparagus fern. My grass is slowly yellowing, and my plant's growth spurt has come to a screaming halt. Although, we experience very mild winters here in Sacramento, I'm looking forward to Spring. Clear blue skies, 75 degree weather... heaven.

I have had two weeks off work, and I'm taking advantage of it. I'm dedicating myself to spending at least 6 hours each day to knock some important tasks off my To Do list. Joseph is worried I've been working too hard, and suggested I have at least one day to veg on the couch. Today was that day. I sat on the couch, with my cup of tea, and stared longingly out the window. I glared at the gloomy overcast sky, willing the sun to shine through the grey blanket of clouds. It didn't work. I had to snap myself out of my funk, so instead of wallowing in the weather, I went searching for signs of spring in my own home.

The orchid plant, my husband got me for my birthday this year, has remarkably started to grow a new stem and baby buds are breaking free....

I got out my 2011 Johnny Seed catalog and started planning my garden...

My sweet potatoes are thriving in the upstairs bedroom...

How is your winter going? Are you longing for Spring, or enjoying the the cold weather of your Winter Wonderland?

Friday, January 14, 2011

How to stain with Golden Fluid Acrylics

Today I'm demonstrating how to stain your painting surfaces with Golden's Fluid Acrylic paint. I have to apologize in advance for the unwanted editing... I had to comply with the YouTube 10min time limit. I walk you through staining canvas, molding and crackle paste prepped with water and matte gel medium. Want to see the difference?

Links from this video

If you ever have any questions about the products I use, or talk about, please don't hesitate to email me. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to view my videos (they usually are posted on the channel a couple days before the blog post is published). Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cravings... Golden Fluid Acrylics

We have come to our second installment of my Cravings, and today we're talking about Golden Fluid Acrylics, with a little clarification on this video. Golden has so many great products and we are just scratching the surface of what they have to offer. Come back Friday for a tutorial on this great product.

Links from video

If you ever have any questions about the products I use, or talk about, please don't hesitate to email me. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to view my videos (they usually are posted on the channel a couple days before the blog post is published). Thanks for watching!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week 7... Falling out of love...

Suzi Blu taught me the beauty of watercolor pencils.... she taught me how to shade a face using a heavy hand and the perfect variety of pinks and yellows. Ahhhh... the perfect skin tone. I liked the technique, but didn't love it. Like I mentioned in this post, I sketch and paint on a un-primed/un-gessoed piece of birch plywood. However, it doesn't offer a great surface for a smooth application for watercolor pencil. Not to mention, the wood soaks up every drop of water, so blending proves to be a very difficult task. The colors bleed, but don't blend out like I want them to. I ended up spending more time, than I would have liked, trying to blend with multiple layers of acrylic paint. So... I stopped using the watercolor pencils, and they sat, sadly, at the bottom of a basket for a very long time.

That is, until I started Monica Zuniga's Mixed Media Faces class and discovered this wonderful product once again. She used the watercolor pencils with ease and they seamed to glide on the paper, and blended easily with a little water. I realized it wasn't the pencils that were the problem, it was my painting surface, the birch plywood. I tried Monica's technique on watercolor paper, and was instantly in love. The pencils went on smoothly, even with a light hand, and gave me a sooth, yet mixed-media feel to my skin tones. My faces had great smooth shading, but the little bits of yellow peaking through gave me the whimsical look I was going for. The greatest part was that by sketching with a light yellow pencil, Icould make mistakes that were easily blended out when the water and a light coat acrylic paint. I could make adjustments to the shape of the face and features as I used the darker pencils. It made the face look messy in the process, but the end result was just what I was looking for.

... messy but colorful...

...beautifully shaded with a touch of yellow originality..

But what am I going to paint on? It seems as though my days of painting faces on cheap plywood are long gone. Don't worry, I have discovered Ampersand has a variety of boards, including their Claybord, which I believe will be perfect for my work. Dick Blick sells their 3/4 inch 12x12 Claybord's for $13... not too shabby... crisis averted. I will be practicing on these claybord's in the coming weeks, and will let you know what I think. Ampersand also has a variety of boards, so you know what that means... lot of tutorials in the future!! Yay!!!

I'm so glad I gave my lost love a second chance. Has this ever happened to you? What did you do?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Setting my stage with an Art Journal Page

My husband bought me a FlipVideo for Christmas (after I hinted that the future of PHL depended on it's purchase)... a little dramatic, but it got the job done. After an afternoon with my best friend and sister-in-law, and a pitcher of margaritas, we went on a shopping spree in Downtown Sacramento. In addition to a rockin outfit for New Years, I bought a tripod for my Flip Video. Score!!!

It's been a while since I showed you an art journal page, so I decided to show you my process, instead of just showing the end result. I set my stage, I taped the video, and downloaded the clips to my computer. When I sat down to edit them I discovered, somewhere between taping and editing, my clips were cut off. I can't explain how fuming I was, and of course I deleted the video clips before I realized my work had been inadvertently clipped... AHHHHH!! I spent the next day searching the internet, trying to find the answer. I downloaded a couple video converters, that promised to convert my files to MAC compatible ones. Alas, my video remained clipped. My drafting table was a complete disaster after completing the page. I couldn't bring myself to tape another video after what happened, so I'll just show you the finished product, and hopefully the next time will be a little more successful. If anyone has answers for me, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP!! Better luck next time, I hope :(

Here's the finished product. The journaling reads... Good friends are hard to find, but worth the wait. Thanks for being a friend

Supplies used...
texture tools

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Interview with Laura Otero

Laura Otero is a Marketing guru and fab jewelry designer. We met during Kelly Rae Robert's e-course, and instantly bonded. She is so extremely generous and has really helped
turn my drab Twitter/Facebook/Blog page into something to be proud of.... and our work is not done. Please help me welcome her!!

You have started blogging five days a week... How do you come up with new posts so frequently?

I made the decision to start blogging 5 days a week when I was feeling a little “stuck”. Oftentimes human tendency is to slow down or give up if we don’t see our goals being realized in the way or timeframe we’d envisioned. I have found the best way to counter feeling stagnant is to do just the opposite…in other words, to crank UP the work and output. When I was feeling the most discouraged, I wrote this post about determination and breakthroughs. I wanted to document these feelings, so I wouldn’t forget later. Just a few days after writing the post, reached my breakthrough! I’ve since begun the transition to working part-time, which has allowed me more time to pursue my creative interests.

Posting 5 days a week was scary at first. I was used to posting once or twice a week. Creating a theme for each of the 5 days instantly gave me structure and a starting point for each day. In fact, I recommend creating themes for each day to other bloggers who would like to increase the number of days they post each week. I unleashed lots of creative goodness by brainstorming the themes.

What drives you?

What drives me today is very different from what drove me for the past decade. As a marketing director, I worked hard to “prove” myself to myself, to management, and to the corporate office. Looking back on this, it’s no wonder I was left feeling empty and superficial. As soon as I decided to pursue freelance design (web/print) and jewelry-making, I felt more at peace with myself.

Listening to my heart and pursing the interests that are true to me has been naturally motivating. My father’s work ethic is also something I model myself after. I also believe that the work schedule I created for myself in the corporate world has benefitted me today.

How do you balance being a mother/freelance web designer/jewelry designer/wonder woman?

Finding balance is always a work in progress. I am fortunate to have a supportive family and husband. Our children are also at wonderful ages (9 and 10 years old), where they can play independently or together without needing constant supervision at home. I try to balance my work time with family activities. I do remember when they were toddlers, I didn’t have as much time to devote to my other interests. In those days, I remember finding my peaceful place when we’d take a daily walk (kids in the stroller) together. Changing our environment and going on daily adventures kept us all creatively stimulated and less fussy. Kids naptime (when they were younger) and getting them to bed at an established time each day also free up small windows of work time.

Where did you learn your internet saviness?

In 2004, I was asked if I would consider a transition from a traditional marketing position into an online marketing position (at the same company). Looking back, what a gift this was! It’s hard to imagine how different things were back then. The majority of people on Facebook were college kids, and the big thing at the time was MySpace! Being an “early adopter” of new technology and online tools was something that has proved to be quite an asset (both then and now).

Many of my “Tutuorial Thursday” blog posts begin when I find myself stumped. If I don’t know how to do something online, I figure it out (a combination of trial and error and Google) and write a step-by-step tutorial post. I figure if I didn’t know how to do something online, there must be others who are asking the same questions. I graduated with a Professional Communications degree, which helped with marketing/pr/design. Since then, I’ve taken advanced html courses and learned most of the design and web programs I use from The tutorials are helpful and very affordable!

What do you think the 5 most important parts of creating a unique and cohesive brand? And what can we do to achieve them?

What a great question! Even after 7 years in marketing/advertising, I don’t have all the answers. Here are a few tips about creating a unique and cohesive brand online. Many of these things I’ve learned from experience. If you dove into various online spaces and are not following each of these tips, look at them as something to work towards. I’m still working towards these goals as well.

1. Carefully name your company/biz and develop a professional logo that you love. Your business name and logo will help brand you online. Brainstorm, discuss with friends/family, and work hard on these two things!
2. Develop a creative statement and bio. Your creative statement (think of it as your slogan) should identifies what you do / what your work is about (“Mixed Media ~ Jewelry ~ Graphic Design”, for example. Something more descriptive is also great; just keep it short and sweet since it will most likely be included below your logo on places like your blog header). Write a bio about yourself/your work. Include it where possible. This may feel silly in the beginning stages, but will come in real handy soon.
3. Select a photograph of yourself that people will come to know you by. This will be used for your profile pictures. It’s ok to move away from a singular photo as you continue to build your brand online, but having one strong photo that showcases you is very helpful in the beginning. Use this photo on Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Wordpress, Youtube, etc.
4. Be consistent in your online identity/name and design. For example, try your best to make your blog address, twitter profile, facebook shortened URL, identical when it comes to your portion of the URL. If you are “BestySmithArt” on twitter, your Facebook Business page should also be Likewise, your blog header, website, facebook biz page profile, and various other online spaces should look like they belong together and were designed by the same person. It is an extension of your brand. Everything from the color choices, fonts, and photos are all important. This is something I am working on, personally, too.
5. Keep biz cards and samples handy. Get a professional set of business cards printed. There are a few online sites that are quite affordable. Consider customizing the back of the cards with photos of your work. Beyond this, consider printing a “rack card” with a few photos of your work and even more information about your business. Be prepared to give small samples of your work (if applicable) by having a stash of giveaways/extras in your car. You never know when you’ll meet just the right person. Beyond giving them a biz card, it’s extra special if you have a pair of earrings or small piece of work created and on-hand to include with your card. I have been known to keep 5 pairs of earrings in my car, wrapped in a gauzy pouch, tied with my biz card. If this doesn’t make sense for your business, brainstorm something else that is tangible and fun to include with your biz card that will represent your work well.
6. Bonus tip: Don’t give up! Social media and marketing take time to work. A combination of heart + hard work will pay off.

I loved your post about creating a Networking Emergency Kit. What kind of events are they and where can we find these events in our area?

Balancing family and volunteer time with networking is tricky but can be possible! I try to attend the following meetings (below) monthly or quarterly, depending on how often meetings are held. I try to include a good balance of marketing/social media organizations with artistic and more casual get-togethers. This helps make networking fun!

American Marketing Association
National Association of Women Owned Business
Chamber of Commerce meetings (attended in the past through my employer)
Charleston Craft Bee
Social Media Club Charleston
BarCamp (a technology conference)
Social Media workshops/seminars
Tweetups (on social media, marketing, jewelry, design, or anything in between)

My friend Kelly Thiel recently joined a local Art Guild, which is another awesome group if you have one in your city

Can you talk about Hootsuite and how you use it to manage your business?

If I had to pick my favorite Hootsuite feature, it would be scheduling (read my post about it here). I also really love that it allows you to send updates to more than one of your social network accounts from one centralized location. I discovered it first for Twitter, but have since added my personal and business facebook accounts (one for my online marketing biz AND another for my jewelry biz!) to my hootsuite dashboard. I wrote about getting started with Hootsuite here. After you get comfortable, I have instructions on adding your personal and biz pages to Hoosuite here.

Let’s talk about your web design business. What type of services do you provide? How long is the process and how do you manage working with long distance clients?

I’ve been designing websites since 2004. It’s something that I love to do! I also have experience in print design and enjoy designing brochures, logos, business cards & rack cards. In the social media space, I can quickly design professional looking blog headers, facebook business pages, twitter backgrounds…you name it! Some of my favorite recent projects have been turning sketches/art into digital illustrations and creating blog buttons with corresponding code for artists.

Email marketing is another longtime passion of mine. I’ve managed email programs for companies sending to 30,000+ subscribers with the click of a mouse.

Regarding working with long-distance clients, I’ve been fortunate to work with people from all over the US and as far as Puerto Rico. With the power of the web, it’s a pretty seamless process to collaborate and launch a website, facebook business page, blog, logo, or just about anything else for a client no matter how far we may be apart geographically. I limit the number of projects that I manage to minimize turnaround time and keep costs affordable.

I have posted photos of some of my recent work over on my facebook business page and hope you can stop by!

Is there anything else you would like to talk to my readers about/promote?

I’d like to thank you so very much for this special interview opportunity. It has been wonderful to connect with a Kelly Rae “flyer” through the power of the web. I am so excited about 2011 and know it will be a year of great opportunity and growth for your business. Please let your readers know I am always happy to answer their social media/ online marketing questions!

They can find me:
Strategic Online Marketing on Facebook
Strategic Online Marketing Blog (updated 5x/week!)
My Personal Twitter
Dreamy Design Works Jewelry on Facebook
Dreamy Design Works Jewelry Blog
Dreamy Design Works on Twitter

Thanks Laura!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Week 6... How I fell in love with art

I never knew I was artistic. School was always my main focus, thanks to the never ending push from my mother. My schedule did not permit any extracurricular activities. I didn't sleep, I ate on the go, and I spent at least 8 hours a day studying. It was draining, and left me feeling empty. After I graduated from nursing school in 2006, the heavens opened and revealed a life full of possibilities and light.

I was introduced to scrapbooking by my best friend, Tricea, and while visiting Ali Edward's blog, I came across Tim Holtz and Kelly Rae Robert's links. I spent the next 3 hours drooling over their creativity, and vowed to give it a try. I went to YouTube searching for painting technique videos and came across Suzi Blu. My mixed media obsession was born... it was as though the lid from Pandora's box had swung open and I was a prisoner of it's power. I joined her ning network and started building my network of talented women, who gave me the support I needed to explore my creativity.

Photo & Painting by Suzi Blu

I must give Suzi Blu some serious credit. She is the mother of Mixed Media, as far as I'm concerned. She taught me the correct proportions of, and how to shade a face, how to word burn, how to add vintage texture to a background, and so much more. Anytime I have a question, I shoot her an email and by the end of the day I have a detailed answer, plus a little love from her dogs, Gigi and Finn. I can always count on her to have a funny video of her dogs on her blog, if I need a little pick-me-up, and some inspiration if I'm lacking. She is a kind and generous soul, one that's so important to beginning artists.

These great artists have paved the way for my success, and I'm eternally grateful.


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