PODs and Pixels

I have been researching different POD companies this year. Pixels is one of many I’ve tried, and it is one of three that I’ve chosen to keep up. I like many things about Pixels, including the ability to edit all items with a single design on that at once, the ability to put an interface through an ipage right onto my website storefront, the ability to create printable catalog pages…I’m still exploring all the options. The shop that you put together on their site is very attractive, easy to work with, and so is the product design setup. The are the company that does all the printing for Fine Art America, used by many galleries and artists.

One of the few things not in its favor is that It does not play with woocommerce, a popular marketing platform used with websites, particularly wordpress based websites. It interfaces beautifully with Shopify using one of the free apps available with an account–but Shopify comes with a monthly price tag over $25, and that is money I’d rather spend on art supplies. WordPress, Woocommerce and Pixels are free to use. Pixels has a store aspect for me right on their site, and I can import it to my store front. Pixels supplies code for widgets that can be placed to have small or large slideshows of designs available. Shoppers are taken to the Pixels site and can purchase and checkout there. They do not check out using my woocommerce interface, so there could be times that items are found through both platforms, and they would need to be purchased in separate transactions. That’s not so hard!

Here’s a link to the breakdown on ecommerce platforms from the Printful site.

I never could start small with a project, so I put together 24 ink on metal designs and applied them to the products here. Pixels offers Mugs, Weekender Totes, Pouches, Portable Battery Chargers, Fleece Blankets, Spiral Notebooks, Yoga Mats, Round Beach Towels, T-Shirts, Phone Cases, Tote Bags, Shower Curtains, Duvet Covers, Throw Pillows, Greeting Cards, and Prints. With each design on each product, that is already a lot of options. In the spirit of investigation, I am also using two other POD companies called Art To Where and Printful  and these both integrate with woocommerce. For them, I have built a storefront page right here. They feature and additional 16 kinds of clothing and accessories with the printed artwork.  I’m still working on applying the designs to the items, but it is coming right along!!

Read more about the POD companies I am researching and ways that I am selling  here.

I like them all quite a bit, and have several more collections of digitized photos, drawings, and shibori fabrics. Then I look forward to playing with the designs in Adobe Illustrator and coming up with even more.

 

Every Little Bit Helps

Polyclay Gallery favicon In this instance, the little bit I’m referring to is called a “favicon” and its the itty bitty picture that shows up on a browser bar or bookmark along with the URL or the title of the page.  VERY little–sixteen pixels by sixteen pixels. These little images with a .ico file extension help identify the site and serve as a visual reminder. Pages that don’t have them show a blank page with one corner turned down. At the start of this post you can see the images that show for Creative Connections and for Aunt Acid. One should be showing up in your browser bar too–bookmark this site or keep it as a favorite and it should show there! If you don’t already have one for your website, I bet you’d like one too!

You can reduce the size of  a photo  to create a favicon, or create one pixel by pixel. An easy and free site to visit called favicon.ico Generator makes it fun. You can download the finished favicon.ico file and then upload it to the root directory of your site along with your other files. I just love scale models and miniatures. And that’s something so easy to do with computer art–play with size and scale things up or down.

More Creative Connections

beaded spirit doll by Laura HumenikI’m busy busy busy getting ready for an incredibly creative summer season. We’re gearing up for our annual Dyeing Days that will be occurring from Memorial Day through the first week of June, and then I’ll be at the Lyons Outdoor Market Saturday June 5th and the following Saturdays in June! I’m making lots of new merchandise and packing things up using the new brand “Creative Connections” just like here at the blog. I like it much better than using my own personal name, which has never totally satisfied me when I looked at the cards and tags. So, I designed new ones and had them printed up at VistaPrint.com and designed bigger bag header tags and price cards and so on using InDesign and PhotoShop. Then I spent a couple of days making sure I remembered the things I learned in DreamWeaver class last semester and built some new webpages. My PolyClay Gallery site is massive–too big for its britches in some ways–and this gives me a set of pages that I can point people to just for business of all sorts. And so I introduce to you now–Creative Connections!

June 5, 12, 19, 26   2010
Saturdays 10AM-4PM
Lyons Outdoor Market 446 Main St Lyons, Colorado

Laura Humenik  LandS Glory Artisan Jewelry and Sarajane Helm  Creative Connections will be at the Lyons Colorado Outdoor Market on the Saturdays in June. Art, music, food and fun in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains! Bring your friends, and come see us there. We’ll have hand dyed clothing and accessories, ceramic, polymer clay, metal clay and glass components and finished jewelry, and more!

Both sides now…

Snow Mask

Snow Mask

Do you remember being a kid (or a college student) and learning in school about how January is named after the two-faced god Janus who looks forward and backward in time? It seems very fitting to me that while working towards the future, I’m also having a wonderful wintertime reunion right now with my own past. (I think Einstein was right, about time!)

With the use of a new  scanner that is equipped to convert film negatives and slides, I am going through boxes and boxes of prints and slides and getting reacquainted both with my own childhood and my early work.  Seen here is a polymer clay mask representing “Winter”. I’ve got a new web page up on how to make snowflakes, click the link to visit and see more! This mask and the snowflakes shown below by Dawn Naylor were both first seen in the book “Celebrations With Polymer Clay”.

My husband and collaborator Bryan has been doing the same review and reformat thing in an auditory way with his pod-cast series “My Life In Sound” which archives the first quarter century of his musical output. He’s been playing guitar, keyboards, drums and synthesizers  in musical loops all the while that I’ve been working on polymer clay projects. And we all use the computer in turns,  including the children that we somehow managed to beget and raise at the same time everything else was getting done. They are creative too…just imagine!

I’m finishing up or reformatting projects that were started a long time ago too, working in the warmest room of the house and having fun.  I’ve gotten family slide shows put together, and added some new pages to the Polyclay Gallery website.  I’m also updating existing pages  there at the site and getting ready to start school at my local community college to learn more about the programs and tools that will important  in web page design and all my upcoming publishing and Internet projects.

Snowflakes by Dawn Naylor

Snowflakes by Dawn Naylor

Like polymer clay, using my other PC requires me to pay attention to what’s been done in the past as well as keep a close eye on the new. New clay formulations, new ways of manipulating the clay, new software and hardware, and ways to improve on using it all are the challenges for the upcoming year. Along with survival and all that too!

snowmask1

Snow Mask digitally altered

And along the way, I’m enjoying the ways I can use one with the other, polymer clay and personal computer, old work and new work. Sometimes I just let myself play with them, rather than having a fixed idea that I try to achieve.

Here’s an image of the same polymer clay mask, when I play a bit with the file in Adobe Photoshop. Using the filters and experimenting gives me a little experience with what the tools can do. I’m looking forward to my classes in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator because being self-taught  means that there are many areas of the programs I haven’t had anything to do with…yet.  Stay tuned to see what sort of effect it all has when I learn more! Learning is always important–no matter where you are on the time line, no matter what the season.

AuntieEstablishmentarianism

Aunt Acid's tie dyed banner
I’ve been “phased out” at my day job in town and though it may sound strange to some, I see it as a kind  of liberation and a sharp nudge in the direction of spending more efforts on my own business. In addition to returning to my websites and putting items up for sale again, I’m busily working on projects that have been languishing due to my spending my time elsewhere. Back to books! Back to magazine articles and web content and photographs and more.

Aunt Acid--Ask Questions!Particularly dear to my heart is a long-term project that has been years in the making and will definitely take many more months of effort—but I think she’s worth it! I’m referring to “Aunt Acid” who is the star of her own reality,  an upcoming Internet variety show, and more.  When I got the word that my services were no longer required elsewhere, I came home, got my head together and stuck it in the oven……and felt great about it! Of course it was really Aunt Acid’s head, and she’s made using polymer clay.

Take a look at her blog to find out more on her origins and beginnings. 

In addition to creating the puppets, props, costumes, and stage sets (and stage!) we’re writing, direction, filming, and making the music. We have loads of talent and ideas tons of work to do, and no funding as yet–so we are also creating merchandise that will help support the cause. But Aunt Acid has a soft heart to go with her sharp tongue, and 20% of all profits from any merchandise marketed with the Aunt Acid “brand” will be donated to her favorite charity, “Feed The Children”.

Who is she? Aunt Acid is a tie-dyed tempest with a teapot and a wicked sense of observational humor whose satirically sharp wit goes along with a soft heart and a hard head.  She’s a puppet with purpose and a comic sensibility, and she speaks her mind on every subject. And although she’s not finished, Aunt Acid is the sort that gets going anyway. Her website is started but is also a work in progress. The Aunt Acid Show will be airing later this summer, and I’ll be sure to tell you more as it happens.

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