NATURE + ART workshop

Join me in this hands-on workshop to inspire and teach you basic and advanced techniques to enrich your artwork with natural objects and images, including flowers and plants, and animals and wildlife.

I’m limiting enrollment in this workshop, and molding it to the interests of the participants. We can cover topics such as improving your nature photography, using nature in mixed media art, how to find natural subjects or attract them to your garden, and much more.

Masdevallia orchid box

Masdevallia orchid box

No equipment is required, but if you have them, bring along your digital camera and/or laptop computer (including iphone or tablet).  Or bring your favorite paints, pencils, pastels, etc.

Sunday June 19, 2011, noon to 4:00 p.m., $60 plus materials. At the El Cerrito Canyon Trail Park Art Center.  Pre-registration is required. If you have questions, or to register, please email me at heidirand@gmail.com

And click here for the complete list of my upcoming classes.

Workshop: Introduction to Selling Your Artwork Online

Etsy shop

Etsy shop

Let me guess — was one of your New Year’s resolutions to open up a shop on Etsy? Have you been promising yourself that this is the year you’d finally look into how to make your paintings or photographs, jewelry or knitted goods, available for sale on the internet?  How long have you been thinking that you really want to sell online, but you just weren’t sure where to start, and you found yourself confused by all of the options?

Zazzle shop

Zazzle shop

Bay Area artists and crafters, I’ve put together a workshop just for you  — Introduction to Selling Your Artwork Online,  Saturday March 19, 2011 from noon to 3:30 at the Pinole Art Center, 2221 Pear St., Pinole.  The cost is $60.  I’ll give a thorough explanation of the many different options to market and sell artwork and crafts on the internet.  You’ll learn the pros and cons of having your own website, selling through print-on-demand websites, selling your handmade work on Etsy or Artfire, using blogs and other social marketing tools, and much more.

Facebook business page

Facebook business page

I’ll have my laptop, and there’s wifi at the Art Center, so we will get online and look at all of the sites. If you have a smartphone or laptop, bring it along, but it’s not required.  We’ll discuss what has been preventing you from beginning to sell online, what kinds of skills you need, how to keep yourself motivated, and more.

Twitter page

Twitter page

The information will save you much time in doing the research on your own, and will save you from wasting more time and money on the wrong kind of venue for your situation.  Space is limited and pre-registration for the workshop is required.  If you have any questions or want to pre-register, just email me at heidirand[at]gmail.com
If you’re not in the Bay Area, I’m writing an ebook on the subject — let me know if you want to be notified when it’s ready.

Handmade pet collars — my new online class at CraftEdu!


I just put the finishing touches on my new online class, and it’ll be available for you to preview and sign up for on Craftedu Monday March 7!  I teach you how to make dog and cat collars using re-purposed fabric from garments that you’re no longer wearing or other used material that you have around or that you find in second-hand stores.  If you know how to print on fabric (hint, hint — if not, check out my CraftEdu class on Inkjet Printing on Fabric, or my book on the same subject), you can make truly personalized and unique collars.  And of course you can always use new fabric that you buy.  These collars are great for your own pets, for gifts, to donate to shelters or animal rescue groups, or to sell.  This was my first post about the collars I was making from fabric that I designed and printed myself, and I followed that with this post specifically about the collars for dogs.

I created this class because of the steep learning curve I went through when I first started making the collars myself.  I couldn’t find good instructions anywhere, so I sat down and made this step-by-step instruction guide, with lots of close-up photos and clear directions.   I include a handout that you can print with screen-shots of the entire class.  I also give you a list of places to buy the pet collar hardware, and a guide to common collar and neck sizes for dogs and cats.

Click here to join CraftEdu’s facebook page to get the latest information on all Craftedu classes and notices about when the classes will go on sale (for some classes you can get a discount on the first day it’s offered).  It was so fun making this class — I just love the idea of using fabric that would go into landfill and turning it into a useful object instead!

Garden Delights Arts and Crafts Open Studio!

I’ve been happily scrambling to get my messy workroom presentable for my holiday Open Studio and Gift Sale.  And amazingly, it was pretty much all in place by the time the first visitor showed up!  My friend Pam always comes on my first day, and gets her pick of the calendars that I print using my images.  She took most of the calendars I had made, I’ll need to do some printing tonight.  There was a lull after she left, so I kept busy taking photographs of the spruced-up studio.

This is the view when you come in the door:

The card rack is to the right.  You can see some of my framed mandala prints hanging to the left above.  The table to the left is in the middle of the room.  This is what’s on that table:

My mixed-media doll “Wings” is in the center.  Pet collars to the left (kitty collars hanging from the Lars stuffed animal).  My fabric-covered light switch plates are displayed in front of the doll.  This is a closeup of the pet collars display:

Just to your left inside the door is a shelving rack:

The top shelf has a night light, a transparency print in a frame and one of my fabric vases.  The second shelf down has a display of ornaments, including glass balls with mandalas and other designs printed on backlight film or transparencies, along with a dusting of glitter, some mandala sachet ornaments with pearl hangers, and my stuffed animal ornaments – some with squeaky toys inside!

In the photo above you can see what’s past the center table along the back wall — a hanging display with several of my purses, t-shirts, scarves, and baby onesies.  To the left, a rack with a fabric vase, my bowties, mixed-media handmade books, my Kaleidoscopes book, some coffee mugs I ordered from my Zazzle store, and a tile box.

Above is a closeup of that rack.  The piece at the bottom is an accordian of watercolor paper, with four of my abstract collages printed on lutradur and mounted.  I strung pearls across the top and bottom.  The bowties are jauntily hung just above that piece, on a jewelry bust.

The table above is to the right just past the card rack.  From left to right: purses, wooden postcards, fabric bowl, buttons, fabric vases, fabric postcards, and some night lights.  I love to use vintage pieces as displays.  On this table I’m using two old silverware boxes, sturdy wooden boxes lined with velvet.

To the back wall again, above is a display of the different kinds of boxes that I make.  First, the blue – I printed my mandala of a blue girl rose onto fabric,  quilted it and placed it into the recessed top of a wooden box.  The box to the left of that is one of my favorite tiles.  It’s a kaleidoscope design in rich deep browns, very craftsman style.  I make most of my own work, but some things I do have printed professionally.  This is one of the tiles that I have Tony at Changeyourart make to use as the tops of wooden boxes that I get at Aftosa.  The two small tiles in front of the blue girl rose box are ones that I made myself using lazertran on tumbled marble tile.  It’s a hard technique to master, and I often end up scrapping my creations, but I love how these mandalas turned out.  To the left of those tiles are some glass slide pins I made using my photos printed on velvet fine art paper or canvas, and encased in microscope slides that I outlined with copper tape.  Behind the brown tile box are two more boxes I made using lazertran.  The front one is a kaleidoscoped photo of a calla lily, and behind that is my kaleidoscope design of a fern arching.  For that box, I encased the top edges with copper metal.  To the left  is another tile box of my Lisianthus Flower design. Finally, the box at the far left is one of my favorite pieces.  I used the double exposure photograph that I took of myself and adhered it to the box using a heat transfer.  I embossed some copper and used the strips at the top and bottom edges.  I also made a dangle from pearls and glass beads, and with metal brads on mesh spelled out “treasure”.  Inside the box, I printed the same double exposure image onto silk and used batting to make it a soft pad on the inside top.

Past the boxes is more jewelry.  I have some hanging displays for earrings and bracelets.  Before I began my photo arts work, I used to make jewelry from pearls and beads, and I still love to do that.  The vintage jewelry box at the front right holds my lutradur butterfly earrings.  I take the photos of butterflies that my husband and I raise and release, and print my designs from the photos onto lutradur that I’ve coated with Digital Grounds.

Next a view of the other side of the middle table.  At left, a pile of my tote bags, which I make by printing my images onto fabric and sewing them onto the totes.  I used to make them with iron-ons, but I much prefer the fabric.  Most of them I back with batting and then do some free-motion quilting.  To the right is another vintage jewelry box that I’ve piled with my original design fabric jewelry.  There are fabric bracelets with snaps and buttons, sachet-lets, and my sculptural braided fabric bracelets.

Turn around to see a plush pile of my pillows:

Next, a view of my barely disguised supply shelves.  I don’t really try to turn it into a display, I usually just put some of my work in front of the supplies:

And finally, I covered our washing machine with a delightful vintage fabric, and used it to show off a variety of things:

The soaps that my husband George makes are displayed in front and in the basket at the top left.  He makes the most wonderful soap from natural ingredients using an assortment of molds.  His most popular is the mold of a curled-up sleeping kitty, and close favorites are a butterfly and hummingbird.   He makes a variety of soaps, both cold process and melted.  To the right is a basket of sachets that I make from my fabric, which I fill with heavenly lavender flower buds (and some with rose buds).  The backs of the sachets are gauze, so you can see the flowers.  Behind the sachets is a  basket with catnip bags.  I use the strongest catnip I’ve found, Cosmic brand, and put various fun animals photos printed onto fabric on the front.  When I do Open Studio the cats are forbidden from coming down here, because they’d make a beeline for the catnip bag display and wreck the merchandise (yes, I know this from experience).

Tomorrow if I get a lull I’ll take you on a tour of the art that’s hanging on the walls … Come on by to see it yourself if you’re in the Bay Area!

Big dogs little dogs!

I’m a cat person.  Hey, guess what my astrological sign is?  Yep, I’m a Leo.  And from the first kitten I begged my parents to get (who I named Button, for the spot on the top of her white head), I’ve rarely lived without a cat (or two, or three…).   Don’t get me wrong, I really like dogs.  But when my husband George and I see a really cute dog, we call it a “kitty pup” …   Anyway, you know from my previous blog post that I just started making pet collars from the fabric that I design.  The cat collars came first, of course.  I made this soft sculpture to display the collars from a photograph of our cat Lars.  I lengthened his neck a little so more collars would fit on … a bit of artistic liberty thanks to Photoshop.

 

Lars soft sculpture with collars galore

Lars soft sculpture with collars galore

 

But guess what? There are a whole lot of dog people out there who want collars for their pups!  And boy, are they different from cat collars.  First, the breakaway clasp that I use for the cat collars (so they can release if they get stuck on something while they’re being bad cats) don’t work for dog collars.   You need the dog’s clasp to hold so when the collar is attached to a leash it won’t release.   And another thing that’s different between cats and dogs — cats vary in size a bit, but oh my … you’ve got your mini-sized dogs and you’ve got your jumbo-sized dogs!  So yesterday I made one collar for a mini-dog (an adult dachshund whose neck is 11.5 inches) and one for a jumbo-dog (a Lab puppy whose neck is already 18.5 inches).

Monarch peacock fabric dog collar

This is the large collar.  The fabric is one of my new designs. I took my photos of a monarch butterfly wing and a peacock feather and blended them, then kaleidoscoped the blended image.  I had the fabric printed by spoonflower.  The collar is easily adjustable for when the puppy grows.  The person who wanted the collar taught me something else — some dogs chew up their dog tags (I don’t think even bad cats do that).  Hence, the invention of slider tags.  The tag slides right onto the collar – before it’s sewed up, of course.  You can’t add the slider if you buy this kind of collar ready-made (another reason to make a custom order, hint, hint).  I ordered the slider pre-printed.  Here’s a photo of what the slider looks like (the printing’s nice, I blurred it here):

 

Dog collar  with slider

Dog collar with slider

 

Here’s the small collar.  Because the dog is full grown, I didn’t leave much extra length, but it is adjustable to add about an inch.

 

Small pup collar

Small pup collar

 

And here … a stack of dog collars!

 

Dog collars

Dog collars

 

And for fun, this is the tag I designed for my dog collars.  The model is Scout, who lives with my brother and his family.

I’d love to make a collar for your pet out of any of my fabric designs.  If you’re interested, just email me at HeidiRand@gmail.com  Click here to see some of my fabric designs.  I can also make a custom collar using your photographs or images.

Click here to see the cat collars listed in my Artfire shop and click here to see the dog collars.

CraftEdu goes live!

Finally – after months of working on classes, taking photographs, writing scripts, narrating, annotating, editing, polishing …  CraftEdu goes live in beta today! I’m so honored to be part of this wonderful group of talented teachers, artists and crafters.  We’re a diverse group, with something for everyone: lots of jewelry artists of all stripes (Donna Kato, the polymer queen, is our fearless leader), but you can also find classes on digital art, fiber and textiles, encaustic, rubber stamping, mixed media, and much more!   Click here to visit CraftEdu.

I have two free classes up: Inkjet Inks, What You Need to Know for Your Arts & Crafts; and Introduction to Lutradur.   I also have two on demand classes up so far: Inkjet Printing on Fabric and Inkjet Printing on Lutradur. I’m busy working on more.  Join my group to ask questions, share ideas, or get information!

CraftEdu

Online art classes at CraftEdu — coming soon!

I’m always amazed to find that even as I reach out over the internet to people all over the world in places I’ll never be lucky enough to visit .. that it really all comes down to personal relationships.  Grace Taormina, a talented mixed media, collage and fiber artist, and author of  The Complete Guide to Rubber Stamping and The Complete Guide to Decorative Stamping is a wonderful friend I made through our local arts group, the Pinole Artisans.

Now follow me here — Grace is friends with Donna Kato, an amazing polymer clay artist, author, teacher, and product developer.  They met in the craft industry, and would catch up when they were both doing appearances on Carol Duvall’s TV shows.  When Donna began dreaming of teaching online, rather than travelling the world and spending so much time in airports, one of the first people she contacted to take part was her friend “Gracie”.  And I’m very honored that Grace recommended me to Donna.

So, what’s it all about?  Donna describes her dream, CraftEdu, as a creative powerhouse of talent covering many art and craft media.  She selected the faculty based on expertise and ability to instruct and inspire their students, and boasts of a team of the best and the brightest the art and craft world have to offer.

After much searching, Donna found the perfect platform to offer online classes.  Created and designed by Faculte, it provides a unique alternative to conventional pdf based class presentations and creates a near in person teaching environment.   CraftEdu will launch in beta in March 2010 and anticipates an official launch in April 2010.

I’ll be teaching inkjet printing on fabric, using lutradur in your art and printing on lutradur, inkjet transfer techniques, and much more! My CraftEdu gallery is a short introduction to my artwork and the kinds of classes I will be offering.

Sign up for updates for classes with CraftEdu.com

Follow the CraftEdu blog and learn more about faculty members and events at the CraftEdu facebook page!