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Welcome to the Website of Fantasy Artist, Writer, & Intuitive Julia Finucane. Explore Fantasy & Fairy tale art, Crafts, DIY Tutorials. Learn about folklore, magick, spirituality, & Tarot. See Julia's products in person: 464 Gallery, Love Light & Magick, or Impact Gallery in Buffalo, NY

October 28, 2009

DIY Screen Printing at Home




I have always wanted to learn how to screen print, but the process seemed so hard to do. I was shown the process back in school, but it was so complicated and a lot of space was needed to print. We had a very large printing classroom and I have no space in my apartment so I thought that I was out of luck with screen printing. I was wrong!

I searched for DIY (Do it Yourself) screen printing and found some great resources on how to screen print easily with materials you can get from the craft store. Also I can print things in my tiny apartment. =)

I found many tutorials and blogs explaining the process and all seemed to be very similar. I took all those instructions into consideration.

Materials....
embroidery hoops - 1 for each design
Image to use printed out in B&W - you can draw one or create one on the computer.
Sheer curtain fabric - go to a local fabric store such as JoAnne's in the home decor section.
Mod Podge - this is a water soluble glue
Old paint brush
Speedball Fabric ink
piece of plastic to squeegee with - try an old plastic card
Oh and a t-shirt or something to print on.

Directions....
1. Create a design to Screen print. You can draw one or use your computer to make one. Make it simple and B&W so it is easier to Screen print it. 
2. Take embroidery hoop and place the sheer curtain tight into it. 
3. Turn the hoop upside down and trace the image onto the bottom of the fabric with pencil.
4. Turn the hoop over and with the paint brush put the Mod Podge all over the negative area. Make sure all the parts that you don't want printed are covered.
5. Let dry completely.
6. Once dry, you can practice printing on a scrap sheet of paper to make sure it comes out to your liking. 
7. When ready, take the hoop, place it on the t-shirt, put some ink at the top of the design, and use the plastic card to squeegee it down. 
8. That's it and your DIY home Screen printing is done.

October 27, 2009

Halloween is Coming!




Halloween is so close and I still need to find a costume. I was going to be a rag doll and bought some pink polka dot ribbon, but I didn't buy enough to make the size bow I wanted. 
I am supposed to go to a party this year, so I want my costume to be good. I also want my husband and I to have a couples costume and he won't be a doll with me. =)

So I have been thinking hard about costumes. I always make my own because they come out just so much better and more creative. My next adventure in researching is masquerade costumes. I have masks from New Orleans that we could wear. My husband has this bright blue suit that he bought down south when he was in the army years ago and he loves to wear it for Halloween. He insisted on wearing it so I need to come up with something that goes with this suit that is not a pimp or gangster costume (he's down those to many times).

Well off to thinking! 

October 21, 2009

Pink kitten rag doll and 13 nights of Halloween




Last night was the second night on ABC family's "13 nights of Halloween." If you do not know what this is, every night for the 13 nights before Halloween, ABC Family shows a different spooky movie. These movies are creepy and ooky, but are for the whole family to watch. 

They aired The Goonies and tonight is Beetlejuice. I missed Monday night but they played America's funniest Halloween videos. 

Well, while watching the movie, I worked and finished 2 more Droopy Heart Dolls. I just listed my second doll on Etsy and I absolutely love it. She is pink with little kitten ears, polka dot bows, and a cute little bell. 

I named her Rachel Sara after my sister and she is $19.95.

October 20, 2009

Yummy and easy Halloween cupcakes



So besides art and taking care of my animals, I have another passion (cooking). I love to try different recipes and experiment with many things. 

One of my favorite thing to cook, besides pasta dishes, is desserts. Now I am no chef, just someone who loves cooking for my husband, and myself of course. I cook semi homemade dishes, like Sandra Lee and I think every thing comes out yummy and saves lots of time.

I am going to a Halloween party and was thinking of goodies to bring and I stumbled upon this great little recipe and picture off the pillsbury website. It is for Halloween cupcakes that are so easy to make and look very yummy. 

All you need to start is...

Ingredients for cupcake:
1 container of vanilla frosting
orange food coloring
1 box cupcake mix

To make gravestone:
black decorating gel - 1 tube
oval filled peanut butter cookie sandwich - 1 for each cupcake
1/4 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
candy pumpkins - 1 for each cupcake

Directions:
Bake cupcakes according to package.
Put frosting in a bowl and put some drops of the orange coloring into bowl. Mix well.
Frost cupcake when cooled off.
Write RIP or something creative on each cookie with black decorating gel.
Place cookie into cupcake.
Sprinkle crumbs all around the top of cupcake.
Place a candy pumpkin on top next to gravestone cookie.

Enjoy and eat! 

October 15, 2009

Ways to promote your art and online shop.



As an artist I am always looking for different ways to promote my artwork and now my online Etsy shop. I have been doing a lot of research on the internet and reading books on how to promote and market artwork. I plan on doing more research and checking some books out of the library so hopefully I get more information to shear with you, but for now this, is what I have.

Always bring business cards, wherever you go. You can pass them out easily and almost everywhere. Place your card in with a tip at a restaurant or at a bar. 

Post the business cards up at local businesses such as boutiques, galleries, art stores, or any other venue that allows you too. You can ask your hair stylist, a friend with a business, etc. 

At these places that you post business cards, also post a flyer to go along with it. Make sure to put on the flyers your store, website, and blog links. Also include your contact information and some images of your artwork. I also make those little pull tabs at the bottom of the flyer with information on them so people can pull them off and take it with them. Make sure to cut each tab. 

I give my friends and family business cards and flyer also to post and give out to people.

Join facebook and create a fan page so people can become fans of you. Put this on your blog and any other social networking site to gain more traffic. Add updates and keep the fan page fresh.

Join twitter. It's free and easy to use. You can follow as many people as you would like and most people follow you back. You can read their updates and they can read yours. I always add my art and my dolls to twitter as I post them for sale.

I advertise on craigslist because it is free and a lot of people look at it. I advertise in multiple of cities. I don't advertise my shop or just one piece of work, but my artwork as a whole. And don't forget to upload your products into Google Merchant so they will be visible on google shopping.

These are just some ways to market your art and online shop. There are many more ways and not everything works for everybody. I am still trying to drive traffic to my shop and it is an ever growing process. Always keep researching new ideas and most important never give up.

Hope this helps!

October 13, 2009

Droopy Heart Doll Collection - Rag dolls




I recently learned how to sew (thanks to my husband for teaching me) and decided to start a collection of cute little, big eyed, rag dolls. 
 
The rag dolls are called the "Droopy Heart Doll Collection" and each has their own name and personality. 

I sew the dolls with cotton fabric and wool felt. Each features an upside down "Droopy Heart" and has a hand painted acrylic face. The dolls measure about 15 inches in height.

I listed my first "Droopy Heart Doll" on Etsy and I am so happy with it.

Her name is Clara Ann, and is playing dress up. She wears little black bunny ears and tied on cute polka dot bows around her. She is $20.95 and is so cute. ChecK her out!

October 7, 2009

How to Matte a Piece of Art - Tutorial



How to Matte a Piece of Art - Tutorial


As an artist I am always looking for tutorials on how others in this field do things such as take photographs, frame their artwork, prepare canvas, and so forth. It is always interesting to me how there are so many different ways to do the same thing. 


In this blog post I will show you a tutorial on how to matte a piece of artwork. I was actually taught my freshman year of high school by my photography teacher, who is still there today and has my little sister (we are 10 years apart). Please remember that there are different ways you can matte art, but this is how I was taught and how I matte my artwork.


So first you will need your materials....

1. Matte board - This comes in all different colors such as blue, red, yellow, black, white, etc. I usually use a neutral color like black, white, or grey for more formal artwork and fun colors for less formal types of artwork. 

2. Pencil and sharpener


3. X-ACTO knife or some type of utility knife.

4. Rubber surface protector for cutting on.

5. Ruler - I use a ruler with a cork bottom because it doesn’t move and shift as you use it. 

6. Artist tape - Use one that is acid free so it doesn’t discolor your art down the line.



Once you have all your material you can start.

1. Measure the length and width of the image part of your artwork that you are matting, such as 8” x 10”.

2. Now if you have an 8” x 10” piece you will probably use an 11” x 14” frame. 

3. With the ruler and pencil, first draw out the frame (11” x 14”) measurements on the back side of the matte board forming a rectangle. Do this twice so you have 2 rectangles.

4. Next, take ONLY one rectangle and draw inside the artwork measurements ( 8” x 10”) making sure you leaving and equal amount of space on each side and top. The bottom can will have more inches in between the 2 rectangles. 

5. Take the matte board and place it face down on the rubber cutter. With the ruler and X-ACTO knife cut out the 2 outside rectangles. 

6. Now take the one rectangle with the inside measurements and cut out the inside rectangle. This is so you will be able to see the artwork.

7. You will now have one full (11” x 14”) rectangle and one (11” x 14”) rectangle with an (8” x 10”) inch cut in the middle.


Once you have all you matte cut you can start assembling.

1. Place the full matte board on your work surface face up.

2. Above that place the cut matte board so the two are touching.

3. Take your tape and tape the two together along the edges that are touching. 

4. Use the X-ACTO knife to cut the tape on each side. 

5. Take your artwork and place it on the bottom board. Arrange it so you can see it through the top cut board window. 

6. Tape down the artwork in the desired position with three small pieces of artists tape. 

7. Fold down the upper cut board.


And your done!


I hope this helps someone out there like so many tutorials helped me. 

October 2, 2009

Home Based Business Help and Answers.



I have been doing a lot of research on starting a home based business. I have recently re-opened my Etsy shop, but with a different approach. I am no longer looking at it as just a place to sell my artwork. I am looking at my shop as my business.



My mother in law gave me this book (picture shown above) about starting a home based business. It is called "The women's home-based business book of answers" written by Maria T. Bailey. It is not a new book, published in 2001, but it did talk about many great things dealing with starting a home business. 

The book talked about marketing and promoting as well as tax information and keeping records. It is also geared only towards women, so it focuses on being a mother and juggling a business. You can find it on amazon used for like $2.00 which is great price.

I highlighted some nice points that were mentioned and will shear some with you.

1. Your marketing strategy should be built on extensive research of your current and potential customers' buying behaviors, perception of value, and spending patterns.
2. The most powerful means of marketing is word of mouth.
3. Concentrate on the presentation of your deliveries. 
4. Some important things to get... matching business cards, letterheads, envelopes, and mailing labels.
5. No task is too big to overcome.
6. You must go through fire to get to steel.
7. Write your goals down because a person is more likely to reach her goals if she has them written down. 
8. Contact websites and blogs that market to working women
9. Do NOT quit.

This is just one book of many books that talk about starting a home based business. I plan on reading another book, but one that focuses on arts and crafts. This book focused on all businesses.


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