All of my life I have had animals as parts of my family. They really make the best companions. They are always happy to see you, they don’t judge and never stay mad at you. This is why I have enjoyed drawing portraits of companion animals. I feel that it is just as important that our memories of our quadrupedal friends last forever. As a former veterinary technician, I have seen many people lose their loyal friends and it can be just as painful as losing a human friend. Although you can go out and adopt another pet, no one forgets their lost companions. They are all unique with their own personalities, just as we are.
Most portraits were made for friends and co-workers, but a few were for some lucky raffle winners.
(click on the images for slideshow and info)
Chloe in color. 11×14, colored pencil, 2010.
Jackson pop art. 8×10, acrylic paint, 2014.
Commission. 8×10, pastel, 2013.
Sunny Afternoon. 5X7, graphite, 2006.
Rio. 8×10, graphite, 2011.
Sisko. 9×12, chalk, 2010.
Same Sleepy Dog. 8×10, chalk, 2006.
Chloe in the Snow. 8×10, graphite, 2010.
Jack. 8×10, graphite, 2009.
Penny. 8×10, pastel, 2011.
Joe. 11X14, charcoal, 2010.
Australian Shepherd. 9×12, chalk, 2010.
Bruschi. 8×10, graphite, 2012.
T-Dough. 4×6, graphite, 2011. Frame painted with acrylic.
Bailey. 11×14, graphite, 2010.
I use high quality, archival drawing paper for graphite drawings, textured paper for charcoal and pastels.
Flowers, whether in a garden or a vase suggest beauty, life and fragility.
One of my favorite artists, Frida Kahlo once said, “I paint flowers so they will not die.” She was often seen wearing them in her hair, which has become synonymous with our memory of this legendary woman.
I am currently working on a new mixed media collage painting based on my own sketches of Ms. Kahlo and recycled paper products that have bright colors and flowers on them. I’ll be sure to share pics on Instagram and Twitter @tarawhitestudio when it’s finished!
Floral prints add a certain timeless charm and femininity to anything. This makes them a staple for Spring wardrobes and any romantic getaway.
My favorite online fashion shopping venue, Modcloth has created a special Romantic Roadtrip Collection. There are more than 1000 beautiful items from dresses, blouses and jackets to bags, watches and shoes.
I’m hoping to plan my own romantic road trip and would love these items to wear:
While perusing through the collection I came across four items that would make a fun, flirty and comfortable springtime road trip outfit. The floral crown in pastels is reminiscent of those worn by Frida. The faded denim blue dress is casual and comfy but could be dressed up too. The mint green bag would fit all my necessities. And the multicolored slip on sneakers would make it easy to jump in and out of the car to check out all the sights!
If you love Spring, flowers and anything pretty, definitely check out their collection and leave your comments below!
8> Tara <8
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.
But I decided to use it for something that I actually needed, which were new business cards. I have not had professional cards since I started referring to my business as Tara White Studio, apart from my free Etsy mini cards, which I ran out of.
I started from scratch and designed my own, full color, double-sided cards on a linen textured card. With the gift certificate and an online promo, I got 100 cards for just $8.10! They came in this adorable little kraft paper box with a little white Zazzle seal.
I am very impressed with how they turned out. The colors are exactly what I expected and the images and text printed perfectly. Even the reverse side, which I used to promote my pet portrait service looks amazing!
So thank you Zazzle for choosing my collection as a winner so that I can promote my business with these amazing new cards!
And now, Zazzle is running a 30 Days of Maker Giveaways campaign where each day they’ll be giving away a product from one of their Makers ! I’ll be entering for a chance to win and so should you!
I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about Pinterest and why it is one of my go-to sources of inspiration.
I’ve been an active Pinterest user for several years now – I attempted to find out exactly how long but to no avail. I have 36 boards containing almost 1200 pins. If you’re already a pinner like me, feel free to follow me and check out my boards!
For me, Pinterest has become a more reliable search engine than Google. Mainly because I am a completely visual person and need to see things rather than read text. I also know that many things that are pinned have been tried by others and probably pinned because they were amazing. So I find it unbelievable that there are still people out there who don’t use it. I have also heard from many people who have no idea what its purpose is. I think a good way to describe it is like when you used to read a book or magazine and would dog-ear the pages that you wanted to back to. Or when you were 12 in the 90’s and cut things out of magazines and taped them to your wall. Did anyone else do that? I had an entire wall devoted to teen heart throbs!! It’s a place where you can store your favorite things from the internet in an organized fashion. It’s also very visually appealing. Some of my boards are designated for recipes and I definitely refer back to them all the time when I want to remake something I loved. Others are for ideas for things in the future like home decorating ideas. Then there are my inspiration boards. These are for things that are really cool and from which I can draw inspiration for my own creations. My newest one is inspiration for some Valentine’s and Spring crafts.
For more inspiration, I turned to Wanelo to find some pretty new items to help fuel my creative engine. For inspiration, a framed quote. For the office, a wintry glitter desk lamp, pretty vintage-style floral bird pillow, glitter wall clock, floral binder, botanical clipboard, fun washi tape, vintage wire desk sorter, turquoise desk and leather secretary desktop organizer. For comfort while creating, a pretty yoga tunic. And to look professional but still inspire creativity when representing my crafts, a floral blazer.
Can you tell what my favorite colors and themes are? If you like my collection you should totally enter Zazzle’s New Year, New You Challenge!
Zazzle is looking for you to create a fabulously fantastic collection on Wanelo titled “New Year, New You” where you include products that represent your New Year’s resolutions.
If you enter, you have a chance to win one of the following amazing prizes:
ONE GOLD PRIZE : $75 Zazzle Gift Certificate and feature of 9 products from your collection on Zazzle blog
ONE SILVER PRIZE: $50 Zazzle Gift Certificate
ONE BRONZE PRIZE: $25 Zazzle Gift Certificate
How to enter:
1. Follow the Zazzle store on Wanelo
2. Create a collection on Wanelo.com titled “New Year, New You”
3. Tag every product in your collection #zazzlenewyou
4. Add at least 4 Zazzle products, and include at least 9 products total in your collection
5. Fill out this form to submit your collection
For a full description of the challenge please visit Wanelo Collections Challenge .
While others were partying and ringing in the new year, I spent a quiet evening on the couch with my dog, Jackson. We reflected on the past year and realized that Tara White Studio, as a craft business, needed some reorganization and realignment. The first step in addressing these would be to draft a business plan.
This is something I have never actually done before, so I was a bit nervous to get started. After a quick Google search I came across a post from Etsy’s blog (of course, why didn’t I think to check there?). The post, How to Write a Creative Business Plan In Under an Hour, was exactly what I was looking for. In her post, the author included an example business plan for her fantasy business. This was not the text-heavy word document that I had initially envisioned. It was very visual and fun but included all of the pertinent information for a successful business plan.
Since this was my first attempt at this document, I decided to base mine off of her example, but added my own flair. In an effort in keeping it all on one page it may be a bit busy, but since it is a plan for myself, I am happy with it.
The most difficult parts for me were coming up with a value proposition, assessing the market need and proposing the solution to that need that my business fulfills. These parts are definitely going to be works in progress and one of my goals for the year is to reevaluate them and make them a bit more specific.
The fun parts were adding up my expenses, revenue and calculating my profit. Since 2014 was not as successful as 2013, I set my revenue goal for 2015 in between the two other values. However I also plan to spend less on expenses. One of my goals for this aspect of the plan is to start utilizing my expense planner again or look into a Quickbooks account.
Back in 2013, I made an active effort to post on social media and this blog. At the time I did not think it was impacting my business, however after looking back at the past two years I’ve realized that this was the biggest difference between 2013 and 2014. This year, I plan to boost my social media presence through increased Instagram posts and more personal stories here. I will also be taking more advantage of some of the useful tools provided through Facebook Page Insights. Here I was able to find a graph summarizing all the people who have liked my page, including gender and age. Interestingly, the percentage of women versus men is comparable to that of my Etsy customers. I hope to use this information to reach out to and provide better products to my potential customers.
Last but not least, were my milestones. I admit these are modest but every small thing means something and can provide inspiration and drive for moving forward. In the past year my notable moments were surpassing 200 likes on the Tara White Studio FB page, 2 sales resulting from custom requests through FB and of course, completing my business plan!
I am very excited for the year to come and all the work I plan to do. I wish you success in your own ventures.
Oh and I almost forgot, I also reorganized my small and humble work space. Enjoy some pictures below!
My latest go-to gift item has been bags – I find a fun and unique pattern, or come up with my own, and then put a bunch of awesome stuff inside! For a few bridal showers I made bags and then purchased small items from the registry to put in it. Saves on wrapping, looks really pretty and makes a great keepsake gift!
Here are some of the bags I’ve made recently…
And here are some of the many, many bags that I have accumulated over the years…
Uh oh, I think I might be hoarding bags, maybe I should donate a few of these, hehe. Thankfully, for my wallet’s sake, most were gifts!
That being said, I definitely enjoy finding unique and interesting bags when I shop. Modcloth actually has an amazing collection of super cute bags. Here are some of my faves…
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
ModCloth may be your go-to for cute dresses and clothing, but did you know they have a flourishing decor department? Think fun and unique adornments for your home, kitchen, bedroom, office space, and more. If that’s not incentive enough to check it out, they just so happen to be having a 20% Off Decor Sale that’ll give your place a pop of personality. No code needed, so just shop ’till your heart is content and there really will be no place like your home! Hurry while it lasts!
If you like bags as much as I do, I hope you found something you like here! See you next post!
Here’s a peek at some of the things I’ve made this Spring…
I wanted a beachy but rustic welcome sign for our front door so I painted the word on a piece of old driftwood, attached it to an old, weathered basket and embellished it with scallop shells and vintage mother-of-pearl buttons.
For Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted to make gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law. I had acquired a huge bag of vintage fabrics, including tablecloths, dish towels and doilies, many, many doilies! So, when a doily bag post from Sew Mama Sew came up in my blog feed, I was beyond excited. I came up with this bag for my mom. I altered the pattern a little by using the trimmed outer edge of my green doily as an accent for the top edge of the bag.
I was able to use a combination of some fun fat quarters that I had in this adorable little tote, pattern courtesy Oliver + S blog. I gave this to my husband’s Mom along with the Family wall hanging inside.
I decided to make something for my Mom to hang as well. She now works from home, using my sister’s old bedroom as an office, so I thought an office sign would be neat. I attempted to make it look old-fashioned, and even painted a vintage rotary telephone on it.
The wall hangings / signs were relatively easy and fun to make, so you may see some in my Etsy shop in the near future!
The gloves were made from a pair of old pants, the ankles of which had awesome zippers on them.
The two animal bags were inspired by a pattern for a fish bag from Make it Love it blog. I had made that bag for my friend’s daughter’s 2nd birthday and it was so adorable, sadly I forgot to take a photo of it : (
Having designed my own patterns, I was very excited to hear that I could actually sell my patterns on Craftsy! Keep reading for more information!
How to Add & Sell a Pattern on Craftsy
(This post contains affiliate links which means I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links.)
In addition to wonderful online courses and craft supplies, Craftsy also has an independent online pattern store that lets anyone upload and sell downloadable e-patterns with no fee!
How do you add a pattern to Craftsy and start your pattern store? It’s easy!
1. Make sure you have a Paypal account. All pattern transactions happen through Paypal, and Craftsy requires that you have a Student, Premier, or Business account in order to sell patterns. 2. Put your pattern in .pdf format. You can’t upload any patterns to the online pattern store unless they’re a .pdf file format, so if they’re currently saved as a Word doc, .jpg, or other file format, you must convert it to a .pdf before you upload it to Craftsy. 3. Include a photo. All patterns must have at least one photo to accompany them, but you can add up to five photos. Colorful, interesting photos tend to work the best for catching our members’ eyes! 4. Fill out the pattern description. We will ask you some basic questions around your pattern making it easier for Craftsy folk to find your pattern and know what your pattern is for. Make sure you have info about your pattern handy for this step.
Before I started on Etsy, I participated in a holiday fair at my work where I sold my handmade clay ornaments. I had a great time and made many sales. Sadly, the organizers got busy, people lost interest and the fair did not happen for the next few years. I then took it upon myself to start it back up again. In 2012, I organized the first official Employee Holiday Craft Fair at my work. I reached out to my coworkers who were also crafters and artists as well as their friends and family. We had a variety of items ranging from jewelry to crocheted octopi! This past year was the second annual Holiday Fair, where we had about 10 different vendors, half employees and half friends and family. Everyone did very well considering there was no cost to us and we held it for only 3 hours.
Before the 2013 holiday fair, I participated in several public craft fairs in my area. These were my first experiences at more professional, open-to-the-public, vendor shows, although many were the first ever. I learned a lot and would like to share what I leaned from each experience.
Destash Bash (first one)
How I found it: Etsy team
What it was all about: selling crafts and “destashing” excess materials and supplies
Duration: 6 hours
Cost: $25 for 10 x 10 space
The good and the bad: For my first public fair, this was pretty successful. I sold a lot of my jewelry but not much of my supplies. I found it helpful to have someone there for part of it so that I could take breaks, use the bathroom, etc. This fair was indoors and possibly not as advertised as it could have been so there were a lot of lulls where there were no shoppers.
My personal seller rating: B+
Todd Farm Flea Market (has been around for many, many years)
How I found it: Been going for years!
What it was all about: mostly antiques, some handmade
Duration: ~8 hours (first come first serve for spaces, so have to get there early)
Cost: $35 for 20 x 30 space
The goodand the bad: I took a chance trying to sell my small, handmade items at a place known for its furniture and antique decor. I brought my Dad along who was selling some of his antiques and other items, so we split the cost and shared the space. The hardest part was getting there as early as we had to just to barely get a spot. The market is outside, so you’re exposed to all the elements and it was a hot day! In the end, my Dad sold more items than I did and I even put many things out for free near the end to get rid of stuff. I still love Todd Farm, but will probably just go as a shopper from now on!
My personal seller rating: D
Essex Shop and Stroll Event (first one)
How I found it: Invited through Etsy
What it was all about: Bringing together Artisans and shop owners in Essex, MA
Duration: 6 hours
The good and the bad: This event was spread along the main street in downtown Essex, MA. Each participating shop was paired with two local artisans who were set up along the road out front. Myself and a local sculptor were paired with an antique shop very far from any other vendors. We were near the end of the route, so shoppers who were walking had to go quite a distance to find us. My Dad and Grandmother came down and almost didn’t find me! Since we were so spread out our potential customers came very sporadically throughout this long day. I would love to participate in this event again and hope that it will be planned a bit differently so that we can get more visitors.
My personal seller rating: C
Fall Fest 2013 (first one)
How I found it: Friend
What it was all about: Local vendors from Cape Ann area ~ food, drinks, music, fun for the family
Duration: 7 hours
The good and the bad: This was one of the longer events I did, but it did not feel that way because of all the festivities happening around me. I also did very well, selling many of my items and making more than any other fair. I met a lot of great people too! I guess I don’t have anything bad to report here! Thanks to The Bridge for having me! If there is another next year, I hope to be part of it and encourage you to come!
My personal seller rating: A
Holiday Craft Market (4th annual)
How I found it: Last year’s advertisement
What it was all about: Craft fair at local elementary school
Duration: 6 hours
Cost: $60 for 8 ft space, plus donation item for raffle (all proceeds went to the school)
The good and the bad: This was the most expensive fair that I was part of, but the money went to the school that I went to as a child, so the cost was easily rationalized and I didn’t mind donating a raffle item because I had an overflow of merchandise. While the fair was only 5 hours, with setup and breakdown it was more like 6 or 7 hours for the vendors. The organizers were definitely not noobs though, and had the whole process under control, everything from unloading and parking vehicles, getting vendors to their spaces, having adorable kids bring around lunch orders and surveys. I was impressed. But, the turnout was not as impressive. I didn’t even make back what I had paid, which was very disappointing. I did have a chance to walk around and there were so many amazing vendors there. This was the largest fair I had been part of, so that may have been why I didn’t make as much, too much competition! I would probably not sell there again, but would definitely like to do my Holiday shopping there!
My personal seller rating: B+
After the last one, I did a fair at our sister company in Ipswich, MA. This one was free as well, I sold several items and met some more awesome people. There was another vendor who we had at the fair that I organized and I was proud to say that both of us did better at my show! All of these experiences have taught me a lot about what people like, how to display my items, how to network and so much more. If you have any questions about other aspects of selling at craft fairs, I am certainly not a pro, but I’d love to share more of my perspective with you!