Friday, November 11, 2011

Dyeing to Stitch: Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!

It is with great pleasure that today I get the honor of kicking off Candy Glendening's Dyeing to Stitch DVD blog tour!

I first met Candy last year when we were both in Ohio filming segments for Quilting Arts TV. Having Candy there as part of the experience was like having the sun, (with a spectacular rainbow above) right there with you; as she was that warm, that friendly, that full of energy, and that spectacularly colorful!

It was the first time for both of us, but watching Candy in front of the camera... well, you would never have known that she was a TV virgin, as she took to it like a duck to water. When her taping was over, everyone of us watching from the green room burst into applause, as we were so impressed! No wonder then that Candy was invited to come back and film her very own DVD for the Quilting Arts Workshop series.

Last week I got a chance to preview Candy's new DVD, and it was like watching an old friend... partially because it was so nice to see her in action again, but also because that is simply how Candy makes you feel... like she is an old friend... and a fun and talented one, too!

In her Dyeing to Stitch DVD, Candy walks us through the steps of her dyeing techniques. Breaking down the steps in a very user friendly way, she shows us exactly how to measure, mix and dye fabrics using the same low water immersion method that she uses to dye all of her fabrics, and provides 6 recipes to create her jewel toned color pallet.

Now, you should note that along with being a textile artist, Candy is also a scientist. Really. She teaches biology at the University of Redlands... how cool is that?! This might explain why her DVD is so absorbable. Candy knows how to present information, how to make it interesting and informative.

Watching Candy talk about color theory was great!

I was fully engaged and totally enthralled as she showed her amazing hand-dyed “Candiotic Table of Elemental Color”, pictured above. Is that not AMAZING!?!

And along with all of that great info, Candy also demonstrates, (in a very delightful way) how to combine various colors onto one cloth to achieve really cool effects. She swoops and scrunches wet cloth in almost a magical way, dribbles and pours her dyes here and there, and voilĂ ! pulls a dyed rabbit out of her hat! (No, not really a rabbit! A super-duper piece of dyed fabric... that combines the thrill of random surprise elements with the comforting knowledge of knowing where you are going.)

And last but not least, Candy demonstrates her wonderful “free motion machine sketching” and the fun ways she uses her fabric!

Okay, and here is the best yet... Candy is offering one of my lucky blog readers a chance to win their own copy of Candy's Dyeing to Stitch DVD! Just leave a comment, and make sure I have a way to contact you should you win. I will keep the contest open for one week, and announce the winner in my next post thereafter.

Update: 11/18/11 - Giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! I will be announcing a winner later this week. For more chances to win a copy of Candy's DVD, follow the tour and visit the other blogs listed below!

- Friday, 11/11 – Victoria Gertenbach of The Silly BooDilly (that's me!)
- Monday, 11/14 – Susan Brubaker Knapp of Blue Moon River
- Wednesday, 11/16 – Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio
- Friday, 11/18 – Melody Johnson of Fibermania
- Monday, 11/21 – Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side
- Wednesday, 11/23 – Diane Doran of Ooh! Pretty Colors
- Friday, 11/25 – Vicki Welsh of Field Trips in Fiber
- Monday, 11/28/11 – Brenda Gael Smith of Serendipity and the Art of the Quilt
- Wednesday, 11/30 – Amy Webb of Amy Lou Who Sews
- Friday, 12/2 – Robin Ferrier of Simply Robin
- Tuesday, 12/6 – Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
- Thursday, 12/8 – Beth and the gang from Sew Mama Sew

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Next Step: Expanding Vision, Narrowing Focus

After my last post, where I laid claim to and named my own personal style, (and by the way, many heartfelt thanks to each of you... your support and enthusiasm greatly touched me) I started seriously thinking more about what comes next... expanding my vision of what I would like to do, and where I might like to go with the idea of 'Rural Retro'.

(Note: Nothing has to come next... my restless nature simply wants to go explore!)

After thinking of areas in which I could expand, I began to hone in on the specifics of each of those areas... narrowing my focus, breaking down the various steps.

I have a lot of ideas on expansion, but if any are to become reality, then I must go step by step and follow a path that makes sense to me.

One area of expansion would be building a line of products, (of which I am in the very early stages of creating and developing) and finding a venue to market them.

Now, seeing as I am already on Etsy and fairly comfortable there, the logical first step for me would be to open another Etsy shop, this one geared specifically to selling handmade items, (and possible some vintage items as well) all keeping with my vision of Rural Retro esthetics. (I am still keeping my Silly BooDilly shop, and will continue to sell artwork there, as not everything I do would fit into this new and more tightly focused venue... for as much as I like a tight focus, I also like room to roam when the mood strikes!)

You know, when I opened Silly BooDilly, I really just closed my eyes and jumped. It's always been a happy pool for me to swim around in and explore and I want it to stay that way.

But I have a clear focus and a specific aim in opening this other shop. I feel the need to have it separate. So with eyes wide open, I am now engaging in thought out actions, which include...

~ Conceptualizing various collections and defining what the look of each collection will be, and how they will fit into the overall theme of Rural Retro.

~ Gathering the raw materials.

~ Construction.

~ Photography.

~ Marketing and branding, which includes building the new Etsy shop, (everything from naming the shop, creating a banner, designating sections, writing shop announcements, profile and policy pages, and listing items for sale) along with creating business cards, logo, by-lines, packaging, etc. As well as deciding if I want a separate blog/website, (me thinks I would choose a blog for ease of use and simply have it function more as a website then a typical blog) and various ways to promote.

Whew. Of course, most all of these steps are a continually ongoing process, and in all truth I have second thoughts each day about if I really want to take this on... and upon reflection the answer keeps coming up, "yes" because it's really just one more act of conceptualizing and creating, and that's what keeps me excited!

Please bear with me over the next few weeks, as my posting may be on the extra sparse side while I focus on getting the new Etsy shop up and running. (I will of course let you know when it opens!) However, please make sure to stop back on Nov. 11th as I will be participating in a fun blog tour and offering a great giveaway!

And last but not least... if you are feeling a bit stuck and not exactly sure how to go from the beginning stage of learning the ins and outs of sewing/quilting, (or whatever medium you choose to express yourself in) towards moving forward into discovering your own creative voice, I happened to write a post on this very subject over at Whip Up, where I had the pleasure of being a guest blogger last week. You can find a few tips and self exploring questions to ask yourself... your answers will hopefully help to point you in the direction your heart may truly wish to go. xo