Archive for the 'Cool Links' Category

#Robayre100Days 2017 Edition and More News

I’m doing the 100 day project again this year. Last year during the project I focused on finishing up a lot of already started stationery projects and getting them listed in my shop.  Here is a link to 2016’s 100 days. It kept me very productive and I enjoyed being part of the community of other creative and prolific makers, so naturally I’m going to participate again.

This year for the 100 days project (starting on April 4th, 2017), I am focusing on getting already existing work (especially patterns) up on POD (Print on Demand sites). Last year I closely followed and was SO INSPIRED by my friend Julie’s posts about artist’s making passive income. I’ve had a Society6 shop (where I upload images and customers can get art prints, or products with my images printed on them)for years, but it is pretty neglected. I also want to finally get some of the patterns I designed printed onto fabric using Spoonflower. I’ve had an account with Spoonflower since they first opened up and I had to be put on a waiting list and be invited to join. And then… nothing. I NEVER actually printed anything. Fast forward to present day and I am using the 100 Day Project to remedy this quandary. I have 2 kind of selfish goals 1. to get a cell phone case of my own artwork for my own phone and 2. order fabric of my own artwork to sew a bunch of things.

On the first day I posted this over on Instagram: I’m laying down some groundwork to help me stick it out. 1. My main focus will be to get my work ready and up on POD sites. I’ve had a society6 shop for years but have not kept it up at all, and I want to finally get a lot of my favorite patterns up on spoonflower, and explore other options as well. 2. If it takes longer than 100 days, so be it 3. If I want to switch up focus on things for a while, so be it. 4. If I only work on something for 15 minutes a day, so be it. 5. Most importantly I want to work on something creative and productive each day. 6. I’m gonna stick with my general #robayre100days hashtag. Here we go!

Mail themed #robayrepatterns in progress, I want to add a few more things like a stack of letters wrapped in twine and maybe more packages.

I immediately dove in and worked on this vintage mail pattern. Cleaning it up, making it a repeatable pattern, etc. Untitled

I made it with 4 different backgrounds, pink, blue, gray and white and uploaded it to Spoonflower.

Happy Friday! Yesterday I did more #spoonflower research and listed all three color ways of the fabric pattern from the other day (I couldn't decide, so they all went up). My research inspired me to work in collections, so today I made a watercolor stripeFor days 8 & 9 of #robayre100days I figured, if I have these elements together already, I might as well make into a printable stationery set. Yesterday I put it together, printed it and used it to send some #30lettersin30days (image 2), and then today I p

While I had it so close, I figured I might as well set it up as a digital (printable) pdf stationery set and painted a striped watercolor piece in the style of many of my other stationery sets, and uploaded it to etsy.

This #robayrepatterns (my favorite from 2017#patternjanuary ) was what I intended to work on during the first week of #robayre100days but I hadn't saved the right file to my jump drive. Now it's time to get to business.

Next I wanted to work on my barn quilts pattern but before I got too far I realized I should have taken the vintage mail pattern and uploaded it to Society6. That opened a whole new can of worms because it had been so long since I had really dealt with Society6, that I had some learning curves. One thing that was GREAT to discover, was that if you upload original art files that are HUGE, it will enable other products immediately. Before, I had to customize each image to fit very specific dimensions for a mug vs. a cell phone case. Now, I can just re-position things on their website.

Before proceeding with the barn quilts pattern, today I realized I should have listed the vintage stationery pattern over on #society6. So I logged into my poor neglected society6 account and started trying to get an idea for how things work now. I've had

Another thing that is pretty great is that since I first opened my society6 shop, they have gone from offering art prints, mugs and cell phone cases, to a huge variety of additional products like towels, rugs, shower curtains, zipper pouches and more. For the next several days I just worked on adjusting the existing 24 patterns I already offered and enabling more products on those, like this handspun yarn, which was the very first pattern I uploaded there and my most popular product so far. I’ve uploaded a few more patterns now and am still doing research. One thing that was shared with me, and was very insightful was a Free Skillshare class on passive income, by top Society6 seller CatCoq, (you just have to create an account and log in to watch). Incidentally, Cat was also interviewed by Julie (mentioned above) in her passive income artist’s interview series. So, that’s where I am now with my 100 Day Project. And if that wasn’t enough, I also committed to participating in the #30Letters30Days project as well.

Journal Sparks by Emily Neuburger

AND! Tomorrow (Thursday, the 20th) I am participating in a virtual book tour for Emily Neuburger‘s new book “Journal Sparks“. Check back here, and/or instagram and facebook for a peek into a project from the book and a chance to win your own copy.

Muro Jewelry

Muro Jewelry post under construction

I got a new necklace and I’m in LOVE! I’m so excited to add this original and one of a kind piece to my collection of wearable art. It just arrived and now I want to wear it every single day.

Muro Jewelry post under construction

It’s a new piece by my dear friend Rosa Murillo. If you’ve been around a while, I’m sure you are familiar with Rosa as she is the creator of Found Art Tuesday. I have to tell you guys, Rosa has really been killing it lately with Muro Jewelry, and I am so amazed and proud that I just had to share some of her pieces here.

These pieces are just so breathtaking. Not only that, they are crazy affordable, like to the point I that thought they were going to be double or triple their actual price. If you like her work you may want to snap something up before she realizes that.

She is actually an architect turned artist and metal smith (Brainy AND creative!) and a wife and a mother of 3 little ones.

She has been selling in shops, galleries and at shows a lot lately and after seeing her current work and with a little “insider information” I really do think she may explode soon.

Ahem, I do believe this piece might have originally debuted as the Robyn or Robayre necklace ;)

This mesmerizing piece makes me think of movies under water and how a light catches every single organism living in the water and makes it glow like glitter and confetti.

I remember when we were both first learning about resin. In the meantime she has taken that skill and run with it. All of her hard work is really showing.

You should most definitely follow her on instagram, and if you see anything you like I wouldn’t hesitate to message her directly because things seem to be moving fast.

Muro Jewelry on instagram

The Need for Green

I think, because this winter was sooooo harsh, our spring has been very, um, meh. Don’t blink because all of the magnolia blossoms have already fallen in a heartbeat. My forsythia had all of THREE yellow blossoms on it. Yes, three, and I’m not exaggerating. All the same, we’ve been taking lots of walks and the air everywhere just smells so AMAZING! Just because the forsythia and magnolias were a bust doesn’t mean other things haven’t been in blossom! BUT! if that winter wasn’t hard enough and we have tried to move past it, it snowed here yesterday (in Northern Illinois) for 3 hours! Yes, it is mid May, daffodils and tulips have already done their thing and it snowed.

While we are talking about that horrible winter, I think I’ve been very horrible and lax about sharing things on the blog lately, and realized I never posted about these buttons.

For those of you living elsewhere in the United States (instagramming your spring flowers and running around in sandals) The Chicagoland area is STILL suffering from the third snowiest winter in recorded history. @katielicht had the brilliant idea for us

My friend Katie (Who’s birthday it just happens to be today, happy birthday lady!) came up with this great idea to make some ribbon buttons (like I’ve made in the past as souvenirs for my gingerbread house making party) but to congratulate and honor all of us who have had to weather through (badum bum) the worst winter in the last 30 years or so. She came over one day and we made cutie pie buttons, examples as shown above.

My need for spring and green did not end there!

My friend Rosa posted a display picture of a ring she made and it made me think of my leaf rings, but instead of just using a solid green piece of paper, I should try to watercolor some paper first.  So, this (above) became this (below)

I'm working on some new leaf rings and necklaces, perfect for spring. Now if I could just fast forward past the resin stage, right @rmurillo ? #robayre

Which, became…

5.16 leaf jewelry

These! This is just a portion of the pieces, but I am starting to slowly add the finished leaf rings and necklaces to my etsy shop.

necklace with clasp

They came out beautifully! I'm trying to slowly add these new pieces (rings and necklaces) to my shop

Speaking of green, tomorrow (Sunday, May 18th) I will be at Blumen Gardens selling my items alongside friends Ann (of A Beautiful Party) , and Michaela (of Naturally Mod). Some of these rings and necklaces will be available there too!

Inspirational Link Round Up

Just some links from the internetss

I love these glasses from Bee Kingdom Glass

This post from Andrea of HulaSeventy about keeping a quick stash of confetti on you at all times. I need to add this to my bag, along with chalk.

-I’ve been on a StoryCorps binge, listening to the featured snippets on their website. I think everyone in this world (individuals as well as humanity as a whole) would benefit from listening to the featured Storycorps stories.

-It’s common knowledge that Robayre customers are the Bomb Diggity! I am regularly wowed by the glowing feedback and personal messages I get from satisfied customers, and occasional heartwarming stories that accompany them. Today I saw that Etsy wants to hear from you! Etsy is asking customers to share their memorable experience while shopping on Etsy. Read this article to find out more!

-I love this video, featured on Uppercase, about 29 Ways to Stay Creative.

What would you save if your house was burning down?

Swapdom, a website to organize clothing swaps. I think this could be really great if it catches on and the clothes being offered gets really fleshed out.

Shutterbean’s weekly Friday lists

-aaaand TheDaintySquid’s Friday Favorites


It’s Business Time

4.1 29 Favorite Foods

Recently I met with a CPA for the very first time. He was willing to meet with me for free to help me decide the route I want to go with my business. I know, awesome, right? Despite doing plenty of research online over the years and taking a small business/entrepenuer seminar I have always felt very confused and in over my head about running a business. After the meeting I realized I had been getting so much conflicting information from different sources. It was a relief to find out that I am on the right path.  I had so many questions answered and so much self imposed pressure relieved. I still have work to do, but things are much clearer and I’m super excited for the future. For a long time I’ve had this dream of growing my business with my precious designs, handmade items and original artwork but this guilt and confusion has held me back. For once I actually feel like I am giving myself the internal permission to grow.  And boom like that I have a handful of projects and prospects that I am very excited about, wholesale projects and even a possible licensing opportunity that I am crossing my fingers about.

I’ve been finding such great inspiration from other artists that I really admire and figured I should share them here as well. I am so thankful that each of these artist are so open and willing to share their experiences.

I highly recommend listening to this After the Jump with artist Zoe Pawlak. I’ve actually listened to it a few times.

A video interview with artist Michelle Armas

An interview with Jihan Zencirli of Geronimo Balloons

An article by Ashley Goldberg about licensing artwork

This video of artist Katie Lombardo (Katie Daisy/ The Wheatfield) was featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. I don’t have cable so my mom TiVod it for me and we watched the whole episode. While I wanted to watch it for the part on Katie Daisy, the video above is the entire part about Katie, the rest of the episode was primarily an interview with Steven Pressfield about unlocking the creative genius within. It really reminded me of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, The Law of Attraction and Flow If you have an opportunity to see it, I highly recommend it.

Edit: I just had to stop back and add one more link. I just happened upon this video this morning and Tiffany Shlain (founder of the webby awards) gives some sound advice about pursuing your big dreams.


Handwritten Texting

This is the BEST thing I’ve seen on the internet in a while.

Cristina Vanko got an awesome calligraphy pen from her dad and decided that for one week she would respond to all texts, old school, writing them all out with pen and paper.

Cristina also shared a list of things she learned that week, a few of my favorites are…
-My personality shined through so well that one friend texted back “it’s like you’re here with us!”…but then she followed up a few messages later that “it’s almost like you’re deaf and passing notes around in the room.”
-My messages sent were more thoughtful in the “I used complete thoughts” type of way.
-It was indicated multiple times that people feel more “special” when they received handwritten messages.
I wish I had thought of this. I don’t have a smart phone (yet), but I have an ipod touch and more and more my texting is via the messages app. It’s actually taken me a while for my mind to get adjusted to the fact that I can easily attach pictures or video and send them in the text so easily. Just a couple extra clicks and boom, here is a picture I took specifically to text, as opposed to on my old clunker, dumb-phone, where I have to risk losing the entire composed text message while I maneuver through the screens and then I get a message that I don’t have enough space left to send the picture message anyway.

This totally appeals to my love of mail. Not only do I want to be friends with Cristina, I want to start responding to texts with handwritten messages myself!

Renegade Haul 2013

9.7.13 Renegade Loot

It’s that time again! Time for the annual Renegade Craft Loot Haul. This year I decided to combine my sister and my purchases together.

Items are clockwise-ish from top left.

A. Reversible bag with biplane and typewriter patterned fabrics, by bymindy

B. Hazzah greeting card by MyLittleBelleville

C. Pocket knife necklace by SnashJewelry

D. Illustration postcards by dkngstudios

E. Needle in a Haystack shirt by FourthisKing

F. Mistaken Lyrics Coasters by MakeATX

G. Necklaces by HeronandLamb

H. Fluff print by YardsalePress

I. Francis Coaster Set by OverdueIndustries

J. Smile at People Shower Art by ShowerArt

K. Felt brooches by MigrationGoods

L. Cat card by MissAmyJo

M. Twinkler Sparkler pair by GiantDwarf

N. Turtle Ship card by AdrienneVita

O. Roundy Colored Rays print by LauraBerger

The pieces in bold are the ones that I purchased, aside from the heronandlamb jewelry and migrationgoods (which my sister bought one and I bought one)

I just love attending Renegade every year. It’s like my favorite online stores put together a ginormous mall once a year and I can browse and hold tangible things in my hands and shop until my heart is content.
Renegade 2013

And then of course, I did the Renegade photobooth and was very pleased with the results. It’s hard to keep it fresh when they have the exact same props every year. Also, I really am thinking I need to retire this summer wardrobe. I think people are going to start wondering if I actually own any other clothes.


Gold Circle Garlands by Robayre in Action

Brooke Fitz Brookelynphotography 2
Picture by Brooke Fitts (Brookelyn Photography)

A couple of weeks ago I sold one of my gold circle garlands to photographer Brooke Fitts from Brooklyn, NY. She was very patient after I dropped the ball on putting it in the mail immediately and then the post office took their time to get it to her. For a while I was panicking that it was lost entirely. Fortunately, it arrived just in time and she used it (paired with these great, giant gold polka dots) as a photo background for portraits at a wedding. I was thrilled when she sent me the picture above showing my garland in action. Talk about warm fuzzies.

It is such a huge compliment to me when customers send me customer appreciation pictures, let me know their intentions with my products or in the case last week when artist Mim Golub Scalin sent me her mailartbook!

Brooke Fitz Brookelynphotography
Picture courtesy of Brooke Fitts

Check out Brooke’s beautiful website and blog. She is such an amazing photographer, I could really learn a thing or two, or three (you get the picture) from her.


A Pretty Collection: Black and White and Mustard

Black and white balloons


Clockwise from Top left: Our Dream Lives, Oriental Trading Company, likeitneedit, Robayre, laureneshaw,brittamanger

Other Pretty Collections


Package from Rosa

Last week a special package arrived on my front step. My friend Rosa sent me a box filled with goodies. I got teary when I opened it. She is too good of a friend to me, I don’t really deserve all of this.

5.20.13 Package from Rosa
I may have kissed an item or two (or three) when opening everything up. She sent the package because I sent her one a while ago where we swapped ring blanks that we both use for our jewelry. My package to her was not nearly as awesome. Rosa’s daughter has learned to crochet and made some bath scrubbies and I wanted to buy one. When I opened up the package everything smelled so heavenly. It actually started giving me a complex, wondering what my packages smell like when I send them out. Then I realized her package smelled so great because of the bath scrubby. Now I want bath scrubbies to go in every package I send out so they can all smell so amazing. Her daughter then wrote thank you notes and heaven knows I love me some kid writing. I hold it right up there alongside kid’s drawings. Perfect.

In this package, Rosa included several items that she had made and shared on instagram. Pretty much everything Rosa makes is magic so you should follow her on instagram.

5.20.13 Ring by Rosa Murillo
Top picture by Rosa, bottom picture on my finger

The biggest prize had to be this house ring. I think Rosa could make fortunes from these new rings. Not only is Rosa an amazing artist, she is also a skilled architect! When she combines her loves for art with her passion for buildings something magical happens and these rings are a perfect example. Another example is

5.20.13 House by Rosa Murillo
This little house. I don’t know if she’s thought of it before, but this would be an amazing artomat piece.

Thank you so much for the wonderful package. I’ve listened to the mix CD many times now, and can’t wait to play with the rest of the treats.

Check out Rosa online

Rosa Murillo’s blog

Rosa’s flickr

Rosa’s Instagram

Rosa’s etsy – art

Rosa’s etsy – jewelry