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INSPIRATION + SUPPORT

Where to Get Ideas and Inspiration for Your Arts and Crafts Projects

candleTypography Candle Holder from Cheltenham Rd 0n 3B Street

Getting immersed in arts and crafts projects is, for a lot of people, a great way to express their creativity as well as a source of enjoyment and relaxation. There are others, though, who recognized the money-making potential of this hobby and seized the opportunity, establishing their very own businesses. These often revolve around selling their creations in a store with a physical location or one that operates purely online.

Whether you are looking for fresh ideas with which to boost your current arts and crafts business, or you are in the first stages of establishing your own store, you will find useful information in this article. The following paragraphs provide suggestions on where you can get inspiration and ideas for your next projects.

Take Note of the Latest Trends

Many entrepreneurs, regardless of the industry they’re in, manage to earn a lot by following trends. You can achieve the same results if you do your research on which arts and crafts creations and related services are now popular to consumers and specifically, to your target market. This information can be obtained easily by doing a general online search. You can also look at the most popular products in various online marketplaces. And to supplement your findings via the Internet, you can browse through magazines and other print media to have an inkling of what’s currently hot in the market.

Aside from joining the other entrepreneurs whose offerings are now all the rage, another way to follow this tip is to do projects that have something to do with what’s popular with consumers today. Here are some suggestions:

  • Feature popular characters in the best-selling games today.

  • Appeal to a wider audience by featuring popular and well-loved TV and movie characters.

  • Create accessories for the most popular gadgets, such as tablets and smartphones.

Opt for the Classics

If you are a risk-taker, the tip above is for you. But if you are looking for ideas that are for the long-term and will provide you with more stable income, you might want to consider classic arts and crafts projects. Businesses that follow this strategy often provide products and services that either meet human needs, or are related to activities that man has been doing for a long time.

While classic or timeless arts and crafts projects are not likely to fly off the shelves, they are a good investment for your business because they are anchored on tried-and-tested, profitable concepts. Examples of these are the following:

  • Candle-making

  • Production of home décor

  • Creation of seasonal décor (Christmas decorations included)

  • Photography services

  • Tailoring services

  • Painting services (charcoal painting, portrait painting)

  • Jewelry and accessories-making

  • Woodworking

  • Embroidery

  • Crocheting

  • Costume Rentals

Consider Your Passions and Interests

Aside from trends and timeless business concepts, you can also find inspiration for your next arts and crafts projects by looking at your passions and interests. This is an especially great tip to follow if you have yet to start your business and have just begun thinking of what types of products or services you should offer. A business that allows you to do the things you love or are genuinely interested in has a higher chance of succeeding than one that is based on current consumer trends and other concepts because you’ll be more focused and passionate about it. Also, it’s likely that you excel in a field that’s in line with your passions and interests, so you don’t have to worry about mediocrity in your creations.

Before you follow this advice, though, you should remember that mere passion won’t make your business an instant success. You need to look into the feasibility of your idea before you throw yourself into making it a reality. The perfect business concept is one that is not only profitable but is also in line with your interests. Here are some ideas that usually combine these two factors:

  • Jewelry creation

  • Painting and Drawing

  • Photography

  • Pottery

Be Nature-Inspired

Nature is also a great source of ideas and inspiration for your arts and crafts business or projects. Many successful artists and crafters look to their surroundings when they are out of ideas. A quick getaway to a mountainside inn or a weekend trip to the beach often gets their creative juices flowing, resulting in creations that are both unique and inspired. If you want to create something new, steer clear of the first three suggestions and instead follow this tip.

clarynbio

Claryn Bowell – 3B Street Marketplace Blog

I’m Claryn Bowell. I’m an artist, crafter, writer and entrepreneur. I grew up in the great state of New York which is pretty awesome. I have been blogging for five years and I love writing about crafting or anything about creativity.  My blog is the product of my love in crafting and DIY.

 

What’s the Reason Behind All That You Do?

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So, you like to reach for the stars? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Why do I want to touch them?” As I explore my next moves for the great year of 2014, I find myself being bombarded with tips and advice for handling success. Premonitions? I hope so!

I quote Jack Canfield in saying, “You don’t want to get to the top of the ladder only to find out you had it leaning up against the wrong wall.” As I prepare to watch my business plan unfold before me, I’ve stopped to double-check that what I’m aiming for is what I really want.

This next exercise comes from an article by Martha Beck (O Magazine). To paraphrase, life coach Martha had clients coming into her office with big dreams, such as having a baby and getting a huge promotion. However, when her clients got what they had been asking for, it turned out to be a different experience than what they were expecting.

For instance, the woman who wanted the baby really wanted to be loved. She imagined the baby arriving, nuzzling her, cooing at her, and growing up to admire her forevermore. What she got was a baby who would do all that, but it wasn’t as dreamy as she had pictured it. That little person also came with colic, dirty diapers, and sleepless nights.

In the other case, the woman who wanted the huge promotion really wanted more money and recognition. Of course that came with the job, but so did long hours, less fun, and an exhausting workload.

You can look at your goals and ask, what’s the reason behind all that you do? When you examine it more closely, you come to realize that the feelings—not the actual goal—are what you’re looking for more of in your life. If you start feeding your spirit these feelings you desire, you will work toward your sense of wholeness now—and the goal won’t be too far behind.

In the exercise, Martha Beck asked that you close your eyes and imagine yourself achieving that big goal you have for the year. Then, open your eyes and describe what you felt during that visualization in three adjectives.

For example, my goal is to have great success with my blog, Marketing Creativity in 2014. When I close my eyes and imagine this coming true, I feel:

  1. Accomplished
  2. Fulfilled
  3. Connected

Now, I need to look at my current life and ask myself, how can I feed my desire for those feelings right now? Well, I feel accomplished when I fully complete my business. I mean, don’t you? For instance, how does it feel when you not only finish your orders, but then clean up your workspace too?! I feel good when I look around me, and see completion–everything as it should be. That sense of accomplishment keeps my energy positive and forward-moving.

I feel fulfilled when I’m serving others. Whether it be a nutritious dinner and mouth-watering dessert for my family or quality customer service for my shop, it feels good when I give my all in service.

And finally, I get excited when Handmade Success publishes one of my articles. I have a great relationship with Kerry, and it makes me feel connected in my industry. By feeding my spirit the feelings it’s craving, I attract my dreams closer to me.

What are your dreams? And how can you feed them?

lisawashi

Lisa Jacobs — Marketing Creativity

Lisa Jacobs writes Marketing Creativity for fellow creative spirits who aim to build a career with their own two hands. She leads group webinar programs and offers one-on-one coaching designed to help you get paid to be … you.

Let’s Make 2014 Amazing!!!

 

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Right around this time last year had just moved back to Arizona after living in Chicago for 13 years. It was during this time that I started seeing the name Leonie Dawson all over the place and reading blog posts about her Amazing Biz and Life Planners. I was so intrigued by this vivacious woman and all of the amazing testimonials from small business owners who had benefitted from these planners. But I felt overwhelmed at the time and did not order one.

Well, this Leonie kept popping up all year long. The more I read her posts and watched her videos the more I knew she could help me get where I want to go while also help me enjoy where I am right now. So, in October I took the plunge and joined the Amazing Biz and Life Academy! I have loved taking in all of the amazing information, resources, worksheets, courses, and guided meditations. I have been blown away by the content and I enjoy how I feel after reading or listening to it.

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At the beginning of this month Leonie released her 2014 Create Your Amazing Year in Life & Business Workbook. I knew that I wanted mine so I could be one of the small business owners who talks about how amazing the workbook is and how it has helped me reach my goals in both my business and my life this time next year. Once I realized that there is a part called “Celebrating and Releasing 2013” I knew that I wanted to share with workbook with you before the new year. I love the idea of focusing on the past year to help you learn from it, enjoy the moment and move forward towards your dreams.

I am all set to reflect on 2013 and start making some AMAZING things happen in my biz and life in 2014! Come join me! If you already have the workbook let me know and maybe we can help each other out. If you want to go buy yours you can go here. She has a Biz version and a Life version which are $9.95 and a combo version for $17.90. I opted for the combo version.

If you don’t know anything about these workbooks check out this link and watch the video too! If you don’t know anything about Leonie Dawson or want to know more be sure to check out her site and all of her free goodies! This includes her free Blogging and Biz Star Ebook.

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All of the links here will take you to more detailed descriptions and awesome testimonials. They are also affiliate links. Now that I have been in the Academy for 2 months I feel confident with how amazing everything Leonie offers and am comfortable sharing it here. Let me know if you are in the Academy too!

I can’t wait to dive into the beautiful pages of this planner to start creating an amazing 2014! Let me know if you will be joining me!

I Am Thankful

thankfulgarlandAutumn Thanksgiving Bunting from Tina Magee Sews

Last year I was working with a fab life coach (Tiffany Han), and I was in a state of absolute frenzy. I was writing an e-program at the time and chasing the same questions over and over in my mind: Would it succeed? Would it fail? If it were rejected by the general public, could I recover after an already professionally trying year?

Tiffany heard my frenzy out, and then she asked me one of her big questions:

“Reflect back on your life so far. Has anything not worked out?”

That question! My goodness, it produced an instant eruption of gratitude so powerful that it seized my entire body. I took a moment to weep, right there in the middle of our call.

Just look at how this Life has worked out for me. Take a moment to consider all of the wondrous ways it’s worked out for you.

I’m grateful that people like you make heartfelt creations every single day. Because you’ve tapped into your passion and purpose, you improve the energy of everything that you touch. Thank you.

Sending you and your family love, wishes, gratitude, and prayers. Happy Thanksgiving!

lisawashi

Lisa Jacobs — Marketing Creativity

Lisa Jacobs writes Marketing Creativity for fellow creative spirits who aim to build a career with their own two hands. She leads group webinar programs and offers one-on-one coaching designed to help you get paid to be … you.

Step Two to Unsticking Your Creativity

“There aren’t creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use it and people who don’t.”

—Brené Brown

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Drawing.

What comes to mind when you see that word?

For many, it conjures an image of Picasso or Renoir. The eccentric girl sitting at the coffee shop huddled over her drawing pad furiously sketching all day.

For people who don’t, drawing = artist.

Drawing isn’t a magical skill that is bestowed on only a select few. Drawing is human. It’s an act that is part of our identity as homo sapiens.

Do you ever write? Letters are just symbols that represent sound. Writing is drawing symbols (see where I’m going with this?). Any kind of mark-making is a form of drawing. Drawing itself isn’t “art.”

Drawing is simply expression.

We all do it.

Recently I went to a lunch lecture (with Kerry!) and I learned some interesting things about drawing:

  • done regularly it benefits every other task you do.

  • it improves your memory.

  • drawing rewires your brain.

What is drawing?

It’s mark making.

Nothing more, nothing less.

How do I do it?

You start.

Chatting on the phone with a friend? Pick up a writing instrument and doodle.

Sitting in a meeting? Doodle in the margins of your notes. It will help you remember what was discussed.

And as an added bonus, the more you do it, the better you will be at it.

Just make marks. It doesn’t have to be anything.

Why should I do it?

The act of drawing is a form of meditation. Doing it opens your brain up to new thoughts and ideas.

The more you draw, the more you can draw.

Did you read that part about rewiring your brain? Creating widens your brains super-highway and improves your problem-solving skills.

You just need to follow a couple simple rules

  • don’t judge. These marks are not representative of you or your worth.

  • remember that it’s not art. There’s no right or wrong, good or bad. It’s expression.

To help you get started, I’ve created a doodle sheet for you to download, print, and get to doodling. These doodles are an exercise to get your brain flowing. Keep it handy and start making marks. It’s ready to be colored too!

This is just for you, but if you’d like to share, be sure to post them with the hashtag #gettingunstuck. You can find me on Instagram here http://instagram.com/deannamullican#.

Happy doodling!

deannawashi

Deanna Mullican – Spark Retreat

Deanna Mullican is an artist and designer and is co-founder of Spark Retreat (and if you register before Nov. 15 you’ll reserve your free spot in our May 2014 online group coaching program!), which is for creative women who are looking to reignite their soul’s fire. This year at Spark, she’ll be leading a workshop called “Free Your Creativity Through Visual Journaling,” which will expand on some of the techniques in this series — helping you find your personal brand of creativity by Living More Orange. You can find Deanna at applesandorange.com.