Help with Monetizing Your Craft

I’ve been following Jess Van Den from Create and Thrive for a couple of years and have listened to most of her podcasts. She began her career as a science teacher in Australia, started making jewellery for fun, then selling it online which then led her to eventually make Epheriell her full-time job in 2010. Jess set up an etsy shop to sell her handmade jewellery and had many people ask her questions about selling online. She began Create & Thrive to teach others how to turn their handmade hobby into a thriving business. To listen to her complete story tune into her first podcast: Episode 0 – Jess’ Story.

cup and sugar bowl on indigo dyed cotton placemat by doris lovadina-lee toronto canada
Indigo dyed handwoven cotton placemat by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Jess offers many ways to help individuals learn the business of selling handmade items online. Some of these are free like: 10 Essential keys to successfully sell handmade products online. Others such as, Set Up Shop are fee based. All of her information is very practical, down-to-earth, and realistic. One of her sayings: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”. It takes time, patience and the willingness to persevere to attain your goals. 

doris lovadina-lee hand made indigo cotton scarf nui shibori
Indigo dyed cotton voile scarf by Doris Lovadina-lee

Part of being successful is knowing what your goals are. Jess is offering a 30 day free course that I am participating in called: #MakingItPodcourse. Each day for 30 days, Jess talks about mindset, money, marketing, and business management especially for those who are makers. None of the podcourses are long, ranging in length from 10-20 minutes. She refers back to her podcast list for those who would like more in-depth focus on the topic. Each podcourse has an action item for you to consider each day and a printable one-page course summary. Although this course started the July 1st, it’s not too late to start. I encourage you to do something, don’t wait until everything is perfect before you begin. There is no perfect time or set of circumstances. Just begin, remember it’s a slow steady marathon!

Kumo shibori Indigo dyed pillow hand dyed by doris lovadina-lee
Indigo dyed pillow by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Surround yourself with a support group. They could be your family, a group of friends real or virtual who are on the same path as you. I am going to share a meal with a few real life friends this week so we can share, commiserate, celebrate and help each other in our businesses. What will you do to turn your dream into the successful business you desire?

Fibre Content 2018: the misses!

At the encouragement of a friend I submitted three pieces into the Fibre Content 2018 show being held in the Art Gallery of Burlington from September 6 to 16, 2018. One of the three was accepted! Fibre Content is an exhibit of Canadian fibre art with works in fabric, yarn, paper, and mixed media.

Pixelation I

Artist Statement 

Pixels are the smallest unit of information that makes up an image. What do the they reveal in Pixelation 1?

Pixelation I textile painting by Doris Lovadina-Lee, small bright mosaic squares fused and machine quilted in black frame
Pixelation I by Doris Lovadina-Lee
11 x 14 inches, fabric, dye, thread
Data 2.0 textile painting by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Data 2.0 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
27 x 41.5 inches, fabric, dye, thread

Data 2.0

Artist Statement

Data 2.0 explores the connection between the pixelation occurring in digital formats and the ancient technique of mosaics. One obscures while the other creates patterns.

To see the textile painting that made it along with 90 other fibre art pieces, join me at the Opening Reception at the Art Gallery of Burlington on September 9, 2018 from 1pm to 3 pm. The show will be on from Sept. 6-16, 2018. Visit the Burlington Art Gallery to see some of the best Canadian works in fibre. See you there!

Monetizing Your Craft Part 2 – Who I Listen To

Help, guidance, inspiration and motivation can be delivered to your In Box! Last week during the panel discussion at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild, three of us shared our journey into Monetizing Your Craft! The time went by so quickly that I didn’t have time to mention the resources I find helpful in crafting my business. Listed below are just some of the many resources available on the web. I have enjoyed listening to these people talking about their passion. 

parfait dyed quilting cotton brown, blue, rust hanging on laundry line

Podcasts

shibori indigo dyed cotton overdyed in purple and the other in green

Websites

parfait handdyed cotton for quilting by doris Lovadina-Lee drying on line

I encourage you to have a look at the sites above. You will find some that speak to you and others that won’t. When you find some those you enjoy, sign up for their newsletters, YouTube channels, and feeds. Support these creative entrepreneurs! Please let me know which blogs, podcasts you have found informative or just fun so I can add to my list. Enjoy!

Monetizing your craft aka selling your stuff!

The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild asked me to participate in a panel discussion with Bobbie of Geeky Bobbin and Claudia of Fabric Please! The three of us are all fairly new to having an online business. Bobbie has been at this the longest at about one year and a half. Claudia has been running Fabric Please! for just under 2 months! She talks about her jump into selling online in this blog post. It was a lively discussion and I hope members came away with an appreciation of the time that is needed to having an online presence.

Doris Lovadina-Lee behind table with hand dyed fabric and snow dyed scarves at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild meeting June 2018
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

We were encouraged to bring samples of our craft to show the members and to sell to them too! I brought a selection of my snow dyed scarves and hand dyed quilting cottons. I was so caught up in preparing for the panel discussion and setting up my table that I totally forgot to take any photos. Thank you so much Laura Henneberry for taking great photos and allowing me to share them here. 

Indigo fat quarter kumo shibori handdyed by Doris Lovadina-Lee toronto arist
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

One of the most repeated lines from the members was that the hand dyed fabric was beautiful but they didn’t know how to use it in a design. So, I thought I would show a couple of examples. The piece above is a fat quarter dyed in indigo. The circles were created by wrapping the fabric around a small object and holding it with a rubber band. When the bands were removed the white circular design appeared. In the quilt below, the dark strip inserted on the right hand side was cut and pieced from a fabric similar to the fat quarter above.

Atmosphere by doris lovadina-lee hand dyed kumo shibori indigo fabric made into an art quilt
Atmoshpere by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Atmosphere was created from a large piece of indigo dyed cotton. I loved the pattern that was created and I didn’t want to cut into it. This minimal modern design evolved from this.

snow dyed mandala by doris lovadina-lee
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

Over the winter, I dyed a few pieces of cotton with snow creating mandala shapes! Again, I didn’t want to cut them up into smaller pieces. Cosmos was created with one of these mandala dyed cottons. The quilt top was simply spiral quilted to reinforce the circular design. Above is a detail of a brightly dyed mandala that reminds me of a bright tropical fruit.

Cosmos quilt made by doris lovadina-lee using snow dyed mandala quilting cotton
Cosmos by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Don’t be afraid to use these unique pieces of hand dyed cottons in your design. They can be combined with commercial cottons and can enhance any project. I will be adding some of my hand dyed fabrics to my online shop shortly. 

Doris Lovadina-Lee standing behind table covered with hand dyed scarves and fabric at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild meeting
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

Check back often. If you see a fabric in the photo above or on my Instagram feed that you are interested in, contact me and I will be happy to send it to you. Are you inspired to use an original piece of hand dyed fabric in your next project?

 

On the Design Wall: Summer

I became a SAQA member!

I recently attended my first meeting of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). This large organization is divided into smaller regions and my local is SAQA Central Canada – Ontario and Quebec Artists. Because locals are large and cover so much ground geographically, smaller groups or pods are formed. The pod I attended was in Fergus, Ontario. A very enthusiastic and focused group of artists were in attendance.

small quilt blocks pinned to design wall in Doris Lovadina-Lee's studio

Quilt challenge!

One of the outcomes of our meeting was to work on a challenge. The parameters:

  • size – 12 inches
  • theme – summer
  • due – 2 months

quilt blocks pinned to design board for SAQA theme spring by doris lovadina-lee in progress

I began with some hand dyed fabric and imagined a tall glass of water and ice. How would that look abstracted and constructed using small pieces? The two images are the evolution of my work in progress. I may move a few more pieces around before I begin to stitch. What does summer look like for you?

Indigo studio!

Sunday

Since the snow is gone (yeah!), I began indigo dyeing. It was finally warm enough during the May long weekend to set up an indigo vat. I happily spent much of the weekend dipping: two tablecloths, a dozen or more napkins, cotton/rayon scarves, linen handkerchiefs, and quilting cotton. Not ready to throw out the indigo vat, I stored it under our deck. 

trestles with board holding indigo vat and equipment for hand dyeing fabrics

A couple of weeks went by before I could get back to dyeing. I pulled out the indigo vat on Sunday to see if it was still viable. I tested a piece of pfd cotton and was surprised to find the indigo vat still had some life left! So I set up a makeshift indigo studio in the laneway.

indigo vat with fabrics floating on top in toronto ontario canada

I experimented with some small pieces of wool suiting, pfd cotton, linen/rayon crinkle scarves, cotton voile and double gauze cotton. The last two are new scarves that I am excited to be adding to my shop.
white cotton prepared for dyeing fabric dipped in indigo on fence
This pfd cotton has been dipped a few times and the colour is deeper than I was expecting.

wool suiting dipped in indigo oxidizing on tree toronto canada
One of the wool suitings scrunched and dipped. I didn’t expect the indigo vat to be viable so I didn’t have my drying rack set up. Instead, I used the bushes in our laneway.indigo dyed wool rolled up and tied with string by doris lovadina-lee toronto dyer
Another wool suiting rolled and tied.

yellow wool suiting dip dyed in indigo hanging from clothes hanger on fence post toronto ontario canada
This pale yellow piece of wool has a few moth holes, but I love the yellow and blue together.

metal stand with two pieces of indigo dyed cloth hanging toronto ontario
My neighbour showed up with this rack that she was going to throw out. It is perfect to use for hanging up the indigo dyed pieces. It just needs a little duct tape and will be a good addition to my dyeing supplies.

white cotton indigo dyed fabric and yellow wool fabric dyed in indigo hanging from metal stand

Here are a few of the pieces I’ve dyed during the second round of indigo dyeing drying on my new rack!

Monday

On Sunday, I left a piece of pfd cotton and a nui shibori scarf in the indigo vat overnight. On Monday, I pulled out the scrunched up pfd cotton and was happy to see a rich blue colour. 

cotton fabric dyed with indigo draped on bush

I recently read about an experiment where the dyer left pieces of fabric in an indigo vat overnight and compared those pieces to fabric that had been repeatedly dipped in the indigo. There was no difference in the depth of colour between the two, suggesting that repeated dips in indigo are not needed to dye a fabric, just a longer time in the vat. I haven’t washed these out yet, so I know that the colour will be lighter. I am happy to have had more time experimenting with this fascinating process.

 

Indigo scarves at Artfest on the Esplanade.

I have been waiting very impatiently for warm weather so I could indigo dye. Finally, I was able to spend part of this long weekend indigo dyeing scarves, napkins and some baby onesies too. I will be bringing these hand dyed items along with my snow dyed scarves to Pickering, Ontario for their annual art festival: Artfest being held in Esplanade Park.

arashi shibori cotton rayon scarf draped on green fence by doris lovadina-lee

Generously sized cotton/rayon Arashi Shibori scarf dyed in indigo.

itajime shibori indigo dyed sarong draped on green picket fence toronto ontario canada

Itajime Shibori indigo dyed pareo.

nui shibori indigo scarf draped on green picket fence doris lovadina

Nui shibori cotton/rayon indigo dyed scarf.

indigo dyed baby onsies on hangers

Ombre dyed baby onesies dipped in indigo.

poster for Artfest 2018

The Weather Network is calling for a sunny Saturday with a few clouds and a high of 25. Perfect outdoor weather to explore Artfest On The Esplanade. Hope to see you there!

Shop KOKITO for snow dyed shibori scarves!

I spent a lovely day in Prince Edward County meeting Shelley of KOKITO. This is a charming shop on Main Street in the town of Bloomfield, Ontario where the owners, Shelley Durnin and Jennifer Hadenne curate a beautiful selection of Canadian made and designed items. 

 

lamps, hoodies, bags handmade in canada available in Kokito a shop in southern ontario

Bloomfield is a small town located in the centre of the County. The Main Street is lined with small shops, restaurants and galleries. Everything is within walking distance and the shore of Lake Ontario is close by.

scarves, blankets, pillows and cards on display in back of Kokito store, locally made artisan shopThe shop stocks a great selection and variety of products all made by local artisans. Shelley and Jennifer source all the wares they sell in the shop personally, so every member of the family can find something they love. Kokito’s motto is: “Canadian Design and Lakeside Living” and this certainly describes the aesthetic of the shop.  

Shelves with hand made canadian items in KOKITO shop, Bloomfield Ontario

KOKITO store in Bloomfield ontario gift shop

I am happy to share that Kokito will be carrying my snow dyed shibori scarves as well as indigo napkins and table runners. The stack of hand dyed pieces below will already be out on display in the shop. 

shibori scarves, hand dyed placemats, indigo table runner available at Kokito in Bloomfield ontario shop

Prince Edward County is an area of southern Ontario that I had not visited. It has been described by friends as a beautiful, peaceful, yet vibrant place. I can see why! I hope you have the opportunity to travel to Bloomfield and meander around this pretty little town. When you do, visit Kokito and shop the beautiful locally made artisanal products for yourself or to give as gifts. You won’t be disappointed! 

Snow dyed scarves at the Textile Museum of Canada Gift Shop

I am very pleased to have my Canadian Snow dyed scarves available for purchase at the Textile Museum of Canada’s gift shop. The museum is located at 55 Centre Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.

Entrance to Textile Museum of Canada Gift Shop with shibori scarves

I began using snow to hand dye this past year and love the results of this process. Snow is piled on top of the scarves that have been folded, twisted and tied using traditional shibori techniques. Up to three dye colours are used to create beautiful watercolour effects.

Quilt stand with snow dyed shibori scarves by toronto artist Doris Lovadina-Lee

lndigo scarves are also created using shibori folding techniques. Although not created with snow, they are still Canadian made. All of the scarves are made out of natural fibres like cotton, silk, linen, rayon and wool giving them intense rich colours. They are one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces.

Canadian artist doris lovadina-lee snow dyed shibori scarves on display

The museum has two exhibits currently on display: Artistry in Silk celebrates the work of Itchiku Kubota (1917–2003). The other exhibit is Jane Kidd: Curious  a display of hand-woven tapestries. Both artists use rich saturated colours to represent their environment. The exquisite silk kimonos made by Itchiku Kubota represent the four seasons, the changing landscape, light and feature Mount Fuji.  I love the use of colour in the tapestries by Canadian artist Jane Kidd! Her pieces are hand-woven with bold colours, but upon close inspection, you can see the varied and subtle colour shifts that give her work so much depth.

indigo and snow dyed shibori scarves by doris lovadina-lee doorway to gift shop of Textile Museum of Canada

 

I hope you have an opportunity to visit the Textile Museum. While there, please visit the gift shop to view all the beautiful offerings by local artists. You could take home a piece of Canadian winter!

Artfest on the Esplanade 2018

Join me Saturday May 26, 2018 at the Artfest on the Esplanade from 11-5. This annual event takes place at The Esplanade Park in the City of Pickering. I will have a booth displaying my hand dyed shibori scarves. 
poster for Artfest 2018
I have kept busy this winter creating a line of unique and beautiful snow dyed scarves.

snow dyed crinkle linen rayon scarf hand dyed doris lovadina lee

The Canadian snow collection of hand dyed scarves need to be seen in person to appreciate the subtle changes of colour and pattern. No two scarves are the same and no scarf is identical from one end to the other!

canadian snow dyed crinkle scarf by toronto artisan doris lovadina-lee

The Artfest on the Esplanade has partnered with the Lishman family to provide inspirational art, film and sculptures form the late Bill Lishman.

The photographs above showing images of a couple of scarves is in reality the photograph of one scarf!. The entire scarf can be seen below.

crinkle hand dyed shibori scarf by doris lovadina lee toronto

Hope to see you at this fun event. Come by my booth to say hello! Looking forward to spending some time outdoors after a long winter.

 

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