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from the editor's desk

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from the editor's desk

4 contributors

crafter Q&A

quick tips

patterns, tutorials
and more...


featured artist

Craft Tutor




getting organized


serious business


creative corner

SEPT / OCT 2013 | 3

meet our contributors

Billie Heisler


Annemiek Koning


Getting Organized

Serious Business

Owner of Heisler
Creative Stitchery,
Billie has been selling
articles and patterns
to magazines since
the late 1980s. In
1995, she began
publishing her own line of patterns and that
was the start of her mail order business. Her
patterns can be purchased at Pattern Mart and
other websites.

Annemiek made
her dreams
come true when
she opened De
Handwerk Boetiek,
a specialized cross
stitch shop. Over
the past 10 years the shop has grown to a
nationally well known brick and mortar shop
in the northern part of the Netherlands.

Ilona Kabai

Kelle Arvay

Creative Corner
Ilna is a retired
U.S. Army Veteran
and the owner of
Designs By GuKa
and IK Crochet. She
enjoys designing
and creating
primitive folk art, patterns, dolls, seasonal
goods and hand knit and crocheted needfuls.
Her patterns may be purchased at Pattern
Mart. Her hand made goods may be found on
Prim Nest and Etsy.
4 | MAY/JUNE 2014

Kelle is an Artist,
doll designer
and the owner
of Pattern Mart,
Instant Printables
and IPMPro. She's
been designing doll
patterns for over 12 years. In addition to
designing doll patterns she also creates mixed
media. She enjoys sharing her business
knowledge with online marketing as well as
her creative knowledge in the art world.




Creative Times Magazine is printed bi-monthly

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Katharine Godbey

Crafter Q&A
Owner of Faux Sweet,
Katharine is a 2nd
generation craft
professional, involved
in the craft business
since the 1980's and
shares her passion
and knowledge with fellow artists. She founded
Faux Sweet in 2011 and enjoys every day working
with polymer clay to create sweet themed charms,
jewelry and more. Her designs are always evolving
and growing as she finds new inspiration and ideas
to motivate her creativity

Diana Simpson

Junk from Trunk

Diana is an interior
decorator and
specializes in taking
old yard sale finds
and transforming
them into a beautiful
home decor. She will
demonstrate how you can take any item and repurpose it into home decor.



Patty Johnson

cover :: www.craftisanweb.com

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no responsibility is accepted by this publisher
for any copyright infringement or otherwise.

MAY/JUNE 2014 | 5

Where Can I Find Creative Inspiration?


: I would like to sell my handmade crafts. I see

handmade artists selling on different websites
including their own. Which is best?
As you mentioned there are many places to
sell online. Not one is necessarily better than
another, but any can be useful if used correctly.
When you are just starting out, picking one place
like Etsy or in Facebook groups can help you get
your feet wet in the handmade market, get product
feedback and start sharing your new company
with potential customers. This way you can also
decide if this is a business you want to do long term.
If you want to take your handmade business
seriously, so it can grow into a part time or
fulltime income (not just a temporary hobby),
the best way to go is getting a website with a
store. Use places like Etsy, EBay, Facebook groups
and a blog as marketing tools to draw people to
your website. By having your own website, you
have control of your business online presence.
Imagine if you sold only on Etsy or EBay and your
account gets compromised, you would instantly
lose your business. But if you have a website,
your presence is still intact and you still have
other ways people can find you through search
engines and other ways you are marketing.
The most important steps you can take when
starting a handmade business online is make a plan.
Write down what you want your business to be
and how you are going do it. Be consistent in your
marketing. Just posting a couple products with bad
photos wont get you sales. Set time aside daily
to market your business. Be patient. It takes time
to build a business. You wont see sales overnight.
While you wait for sales, evaluate your products,
tweak product descriptions and photos. Be willing
to learn. You may have wonderful products but if
you cant take and edit a photo, no one will realize
how nice they are. Search online for helpful articles
or get some books; there are many resources to
teach you how to run a handmade business, sell
online and make your business a success!

6 | MAY/JUNE 2014

I want to use social media to market my craft

business but I dont want to spend hours in
front of my computer managing it. What can I do
to my marketing better without it taking so long?

As handmade artists we need to value our

time. Browsing on Facebook or pinning on
Pinterest eats away our day quickly, but that
doesnt mean we avoid using social media.
There are features and tools to make marketing
easier and less time consuming. Many artists use
Facebook. There are a large number of users
and you can have a business page. By the way,
using a personal profile page for business is
against Facebook policy. Use the insights area
to evaluate who your audience is and when they
are online. Post during those peak times. Posts
with uploaded photos and posts that invite
readers to comment and share tend to get better
results. Just sharing a product link with a short
post wont get a good response. Pinterest is
also a good choice for marketing. It has a large
audience of women and purchase items they
find pinned. When you create your Pinterest
account, create boards that are not just about
your company. Create boards and pin items that
will attract people to your boards. Spend a few
minutes at a time pinning new things in them
and intermix pins of your products (from your
website or Etsy store) to your boards as well. Over
time you will get more followers who will click
through your product pins to shop. They will repin
your pins so their followers will see them, too.
Final Tips: Social media is all about being
social, right? Engage and share with people. For
every product , post 2-3 other things: a recipe,
a decorating tip, a link to a neat craft project
you saw on a blog. Share your favorite Pinterest
pins on your Facebook page. You will get more
Pinterest followers and people love seeing and
sharing cool stuff! Budget 30 minutes a day, stick
to it. Schedule posts 10 minutes in the morning
than use 10 in the afternoon to reply to comments
or visit other pages/ groups to network.


Quick Tips
Decoupage Storage Tip: I often apply my decoupage
with a brush which requires me to pour it into some
kind of container. Often times Ive poured WAY
more than I needed for the project and need to toss
the excess away. (Never pour it back in the original
container, because if there are any bits of glitter or any
other debris, you have contaminated the whole bottle.)
Instead, I have found that the xsmall mason jars are the
perfect size to work out of. When you are finished and
have any leftover just put the lid on it, label and date
it. Now you are ready for the next project.
Prevent Throw Rugs & Mats From Sliding: Here are
ideas to try to keep small throw rugs and mats from
sliding around: Sew rubber jar seal rings on each corner
of the underside of the rug or mat; Sew or fabric glue
a rubber shelf liner strip (approximately 2 inches wide)
along each edge of your rug or mat. Be sure to allow
ample time for fabric adhesive to dry before placing
back on the floor if you use this option.
Freshen Up Wicker Baskets: Have a bunch of wicker
baskets that are old and tired looking? Lightly wash
with a dish soap and water. Allow them to dry
thoroughly. Once dried, give them a fresh new look
with a coat or two of spray paint. Be sure to clip
off any broken ends and pieces of wicker before
painting. You now have a revived basket to display
your favorite dcor.
Potted Plants & Coffee Filters: Before filling a garden or
household plant container with potting soil, first lay a
coffee filter on the bottom inside of the pot and then
add the soil on top. This will keep the soil from draining
out the pots drainage holes when you water the plant.
Revive Silk Plants: Do you have silk plants that
look like they are ready for the trash? No need to
worry. You can revive these. First, take them out of
their container. Place them on the top shelf of your
dishwasher, use your dishwasher detergent and
run the dishwasher on the short/low temp cycle.
You MUST do this on a day when you have time
to stay and watch the cycle. Once the dishwasher
has completed the wash and rinse cycle, turn the
dishwasher off. DO NOT allow them to go into the
DRY cycle. Allow the plants to drip dry then place
them on a large towel on the counter and dry them
as needed. Place them back into their container. You
now have your arrangement looking new again!


MAY/JUNE 2014 | 7


Full Alphabet
Pattern provided by

Cath Walker of
Cathron Country Design

8 MAY/JUNE 2014



Secrets to Pattern Profits!
Maximize Your Pattern Designing
Income up to 20%


Want to increase your revenue for your pattern

designing business? Perhaps you are thinking of
starting a pattern business?
Kelle Arvay, owner of Pattern Mart and a pattern
designer for many years shares with you her
techniques and secrets in this 21 page indepth eBook on ways to increase your profits!
Let's make your pattern business even more
profitable in 2013!

Get a FREE Gift!

Just spend a few moments completing a Pattern Mart survey and you will
have immediate access to a FREE gift. It's that simple!
Click here to visit our survey > www.patternmart.com/survey.php


MAY/JUNE 2014 | 9


The Smokin Woodshop"

Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Chattanooga, TN and grew up in
Hixson, Tenn.
Tell us about your family:
Ive been married for 27 years, and raised two
children. We have lived on our farm 26 years in
the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ga side.
Describe your business and web site:
Im a published author and Pyrographer.
Pyrography is burning images into wood. My
husband and I have a small business that started
out as a simple hobby just to have something
fun to do in our spare time. Within a few short
months we couldnt keep any of our art. Now, we
run about three to four weeks out for orders. My
husband prepares the wood and I do the burning.
We specialize in wildlife, but we try to add a piece
or two of other animals.
We werent expecting this to take the turn that it
has. We have people from New York, Wyoming,
Idaho, Texas, Georgia and Florida to name a few
that come in to buy our pieces. We have sold in
quantities of 12 pieces, 9 pieces, and 5 pieces at
one time to either decorate their homes or give
for gifts. We ship, and do many custom pieces. Its
certainly been a happy time for us. At this time
we dont have a web-site.Im afraid if we did,
theres no way we could keep up!
How did you get started in your business?
Christmas of 2013 my husband got me
something special. Just prior to Christmas I had
brought up the idea of carving again. I love to
carve wood, but got away because of raising our
two kids. He decided that I needed something
different to do beside write, so Santa got me
a wood burner for Christmas. I was so happy
that I started right then. I made him go outside
and find me a piece of wood I could play with.
Afterwards he seen it and suggested that it
might sell at the local flea market. He couldnt
have been more right. We started on the outside
10 MAY/JUNE 2014

by Patty Johnson
tables and now we are inside with a nice spot.
How did you decide on a business name?
We call our business The Smokin Woodshop,
mainly because the wood smokes when I burn it.
It works well for us.
Do you have future plans for your business?
Our future are trying to line up our grown kids to
open a new shop to sell our work.
What craft mediums do you work with and which
are your favorites?
I did scrapbooking for a while, Ive made jewelry,
and I design. But, my wood is by far my favorite.
What or who inspires you?
Animals inspire me. I worked many years in
Animal Protection for the County and State. I
love animals and I surround my art by wildlife.
At times the hubby has a hand or two in there.
I dont know what Id do without him, hes my
rock and I always know he is honest with me if a
design doesnt look right or I need to tweak it a
bit he tells me.
Do you have a work room or studio?
I have a studio in my home that my husband
built for me. Its nice to have the extra room, the
bark flakes and the burning has an odor. Having
the studio keeps all that from the main part of
the house.
Where do you sell your work or designs?
We have a small shop inside the local Flea
Market. We usually see around 350-500 people
on Saturday and sometimes more on Sunday. We
are only open to the public on the weekends. But
I do custom pieces anytime.
Do you participate in any shows or special
We have started doing the festivals this year, and
plan to travel to out-of-state festivals as well.



More from The Smokin Woodshop"


MAY/JUNE 2014 | 11

Thinking Outside the Box
In the past couple of years I began looking at all of
the different types of surfaces we have available right
under our nose that can be brought back to life and
take on a new and fabulous look. For instance, how
many clay pots do you have sitting in and around
your house? Clay pots are very inexpensive but can
become one of your primary focal points for any
room in your house. Most homes have plants in
some room or in all rooms. They are just one of those
items that accent any decor. I recently took inventory
and discovered that every room has some type of
greenery in it.
A lot of my plants have a stylish pot they are placed
in but I still had my usual clay pot. That is when my
brain went into overdrive and decided I was going
to create something simple but would emphasize
the colors in the room that they sat. So here is an
example of one of the clay pots I decorated.
A size of your choice clay pot.
Choice of decorative paper. (you can also use fabric,
newspaper and wrapping paper)
Collage Image (there are many free on the webGoogle free collage images".
DecoArt Americana Paint Graphite DA161-3 DA
DecoArt - DecouPage DS101-72
2 in. sponge roller (or a sponge brush)
Sand paper (I use fine)

12 | MAY/JUNE 2014

With a damp cloth, wipe your pot inside and out to
get rid of any dust or dirt.
Paint rim and under rim with the Graphite acrylic
paint. Allow to dry.
Cut background paper into strips. Apply decoupage
to the back of the paper and also on the clay pot.
Apply paper, gently smoothing edges. Allow to dry.
(Do not collage the bottom of the pot if you are
going to use a live plant for watering purposes.)
Cut out your Collage Image and decoupage the
image onto the front of the clay pot. Allow to dry.
Use your sand paper and gently rub the painted rim
to give it an aged look.
Take a slightly damp rag and wipe the entire pot.
Apply decoupage medium to entire pot to seal. And
now you have a beautiful recycled item to show off
in your house (or on your porch)!
With all the mixed media art out there you can really
add a lot of flare to your clay pot. Let your creative
juices flow!



by billie heisler

Get Organized Before Your Computer Stops

If you own a computer you need to
be prepared in case it stops working
right. Whether its due to a virus, hard
drive failing, or something else, getting
information about your computer organized
will make it easier if you need to have
it repaired. For these tips Im assuming
that you will be taking to someone else to
fix it. The idea for this article came after
experiencing a lot of problems with my old
desk top computer. I thought Id share tips I
wish I had at the time.
If your computer starts acting wrong,
immediately shut it down. Check your
owners manual if you need help doing this.
Before you forget write down everything
that happened. This information can help
diagnose the problem. Make a copy for the
computer tech. Include when you bought
the computer and the operating system.
Get a folder to hold all the info youll
be collecting during it being fixed. I also
add info on when and where I bought my
computer and the price. You should add
where youre taking it to be fixed and whos
working on it in case you have to take it
back for any reason.


Be prepared before this happens by

taking the time to backup your important
information. If you dont have time to save
to cds, use an external hard drive or even
flash drives. I have a few email addresses
so I can forward copies of important emails
from the ones I get using Outlook. I upload
photos to a favorite site to have them printed
but I also upload those I dont plan on
having printed to save them.
A second computer will come in handy
if your computer has to go to a shop for
repairs and you cant be without one.
Family members and friends may not want
to let you use their computer. Before I got
a second one I used computers at my local
library. When using a public computer make
sure your browser history is deleted and if
you sign-in to any sites make sure to sign
out. You may want to write down all the
sites you need to go to and any log-in info
just in case you forget when you get to the
computer you will be using.
One last tip I learned the hard way. Always
scan external hard drives and flash drives
for viruses. We had computer techs say our
computer was too old to be fixed but they
offered to move all our files to an external
hard drive until we decided on what to do.
We took it some place else and got it fixed
but I started having trouble with viruses
again. After I brought it home I decided
to run the virus scan software and just by
chance I had the external harddrive plugged
in. It had 5 viruses on it! No mater where
you take your computer to be fixed you
should always be careful.

MAY/JUNE 2014 | 13


by Annemiek

Have you been clubbing lately?

No, I am not referring to what you did last weekend,
but to a simple concept that could bring in a steady
flow of cash into your business. Setting up monthly or
quarterly clubs is a good way to improve your sales.
And the concept is quite simple to set up.
In the cross stitch business, designers sometimes make
it easy for us and they will release a design each month
that together form a larger design. In the quilt world,
the Block of the Month (BOM) is a famous word.
The principle is the same. Customers sign up for an
X amount of time and receive a package with goodies
every month, every other month or every quarter.
First of all, you have to find a project that is suitable
for this concept. Customers love the surprise factor,
so if it is something that is a mystery, it usually is
even better. It used to amaze me that customers
were willing to pay for something of which they
didnt know how it would turn out, but they do. See
how many parts there are to the project. We have
done 12-month clubs, every other month clubs and
9-month clubs. If you ship out every month, you
might want to take into account that the price should
be in such a range that customers are comfortable
spending it. For a quarterly club you can do more
expensive kits.
Think creatively, if you paint, you could do a set
of coasters and placemats and mail one of each
monthly. If you make dolls, you could send the doll
the first time and then an assortment of clothes and
accessories in the months to follow.
Also, decide on how you want payments to take place.
In the US a credit card is customary, over here in
Europe, not a lot of smaller businesses accept credit
cards. I bill my customers the first month of every
quarter for 3 months in advance. Saves me a lot of
time writing invoices and checking on payments.
Once you have decided on the project, start
advertising it to your customers. Tease them with a
partial picture, get them to share the pic on facebook/
twitter. Have a give-away for those who sign up. If
it is in your budget, you can also advertise. Build
14 | MAY/JUNE 2014

excitement. If it is a project where customers

create something themselves, you can also set up a
facebook page where they can share their pictures
and progress.
Then once you start, include a little extra for your
customers. After all, they are the ones who have
committed themselves to buying from you every
month. They provide a steady number of sales and
allow you to know how much you have to buy in
order to fill the orders. Last year I included a little
flyer with tips about how to stitch this project. This
year they are getting a file folder in which they
can keep all the whole project. It should not be
expensive, but just a little thank you gift. Maybe you
have painted postcards you can include? A nice piece
of felt for their needles? Or a needle? Also, a flyer
with information about how to get the most out of a
project is usually much appreciated and doesnt cost
you more than the price of a copy.



by ilna kabai

Chalkboard Contact Paper

Chalkboard Contact paper is removable and
repositionable. Use an entire roll for a childs drawing
wall or cut it into shapes. Dont need an entire roll?
Chalkboard Contact paper is also available in sheets of
different sizes. Most popular include 24 x 36 poster,
and 8.5 x 11 letter size. Other sizes and shapes can also
be found in sheets of what look like large stickers or
You may also be interested in some wet chalk
markers available at amazon.com for around $8.
Simply mark up your Chalkboard Contact
paper with chalk, and then wipe off
with an eraser or damp cloth to clear.
Michaels sells pad s of (24 sheets 8.5x11) Chalkboard
Contact paper has come a long way since its creation
in the 1950s. I remember covering a metal orange
juice can and soup cans with contact paper in 1st or
2nd grade to make a set of pencil holders for my Dad
for Fathers Day. (OK, dont laugh! I am that old!)
Back then, Contact paper was commonly used to line
or cover kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers,
counter tops, bookshelves, closet shelving, and pantry
areas and just about anything else you can think of.
So far there are no brands of Contact paper made
from organic or recycled materials. Therefore the
product is not considered "green" by the U.S. Green
Building Council's LEED program.
Recently, I saw some cute and practical glass pantry
canisters with chalkboard labels. They were pretty
pricey, too! Then I thought I could make my own
labels with Chalkboard Contact paper. You can find
Chalkboard Contact paper reasonably priced at
amazon.com and most Michaels stores.
(Amazon has rolls of Chalkboard Contact paper for
around $8.)
Chalkboard Contact paper is Easy Peasy to use. It has
a sticky back that sticks to any smooth, flat surface. If
you are fortunate enough to own a Cri-Cut or Punch
tool, you can make labels or shapes using Chalkboard
Contact paper in a snap! If not, Fiskars makes some
great label templates that are reasonably priced.
(Around $5.)

MAY/JUNE 2014 | 15


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