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Articulation~Nov 17, 2005~Getting Into the Handmade Holiday Spirit!
November 17, 2005
Hi ~

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Thinking Outside the Crocheted Kleenex Box:
Giving Holiday Craft Fairs a Whirl

Back in September, we featured an Articulation article which included 31 Ways to Earn a Living with Your Art that encouraged thinking waaaaaay outside the gallery to make money from art. The 31 ways were broken down into four categories: Design It, Make It, Teach It, and Express It.

This time of year is perfect for the "Make It" realm of earning a living with art, because people are shopping for holiday gifts! If you make ANY kind of art or craft that can be a holiday decoration or a gift, there could still be time to…

  • get into a consignment store
  • plan a home party
  • utilizeThe Shoppes of Artella to sell your work, just in time for our holiday events! Get information about selling with us in The Shoppes at
  • Sign up for a local craft fair or bazaar (which is our topic today)
Now…I know what you might be thinking. "Me, craft fairs? But I don't make crocheted Kleenex box covers with pom-pom strings."

Well, here are 5 reasons to consider selling your creative products at craft fairs, especially if you've never considered it before:


  1. You might be surprised! During the holiday season, craft fair attendees are very diverse. Don't think you can't sell at a craft fair because your work isn't "crafty".

  2. It's a great place to start. If you want to get your products out in the world, local craft fairs are a great place to start. The investment is usually minimal. $40 is typical for a school- or church-sponsored craft fair.

  3. You can try out new items and price points. During the holiday season, you can reach a lot of people in a single day. It's a great chance to try out new items and find out which items get attention and sales. You can also experiment with price points, even within the course of the day.

  4. It's great for networking/developing a mailing list. Fairs are also great networking opportunities. You can spend face-to-face time with your potential customers to develop a mailing list and tell them about custom ordering opportunities and the like.

  5. You can connect with other artists. You get to connect with other artists and crafters and get information about their experiences with marketing their work in the area, at craft fairs, stores, consignment stores, and the like. If you're friendly, most people are happy to share information.
Many fairs will have filled up a long time ago, but cancellations are frequent, so it's worth it to be persistent in your research. And by all means, even if you aren't going to give selling a go this year, you should definitely visit some craft fairs this season. You'll be researching for next year while getting some great ideas for your own handmade art, and remember, it's always good to get out there and support other artists and artisans!

Like anything, local craft fairs are an experiment. There's no way to predict results, but they are a great opportunity to get feedback, gain confidence, and get your work out there in a brand new way! The holidays are the perfect time to do it!

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you're interested in some tips for your first craft fair, you might want to take a look at our eBook, Make Stuff, Make Money: How to Start an Indie Crafts Business. And for endless inspiration for the handmade gifts that you make, visit our Art Supply General Store! And be sure to read about all our Brand New Holiday Card Kits, below!


Since we hit our 100th Art-Splash last month, we're taking an "evaporation" (aka a break) from the Art-Splashes for the rest of the year. But just wait 'til you see what we have up our sleeve to keep you Articu-titilated in 2006! :-)


If you ever have something on display, such as a product in a craft fair, having a focal point is crucial. Even if your art or handcrafted item is just for fun, whenever you're working in layers -- whether it be in multi-media paintings, altered books, on scrapbook pages, in layered polymer clay, or within a collage -- a focal point will bring unity to your piece.

One way to draw attention to an area of your composition is to outline it. There are numerous tools for outlining: marker, gold leaf pen, deco tape, ribbon, German paper scrap, decorative paper, glitter, beads, fancy stitching, paper flowers, dry-embossed outlining, or frames made from any variety of materials, in any thickness. The list is only limited by your imagination!


Just as a display or piece of art must have a focal point, so must a piece of writing. You can think of your writing in layers, if you will, analogous to the layers of a display. Each layer should have a focal point; moreover, the piece as a whole needs a focal point.

Just as you can draw attention to an area of a painting or a collage by outlining it -- putting a frame of some sort around it -- so, too, can you create a focal point in your writing by putting a "frame" around it. A written frame can be composed of "arrows" -- references to the focal point, both before and after it occurs in the piece. It can also be composed of "spirals" -- ideas and incidents that lead up to and then away from the focal point. Other things can frame the focal point of a piece -- appropriate quotes, vivid descriptions, and time references, to name a few. As with a display, the list is only limited by your imagination!


Now it's easier than ever to get Artella news several times a week in the Artella News Blog. And what's more…with almost every post, there's a BlogJog "sneaky" Special hidden in the post, which is a sale or freebie that's listed exclusively in the blog, and only for a few days. So check the Artella blog for full, hot-off-the-creative-presses Artella News!

Quick Links to our current hot items:

  • Introducing our Brand New HOLIDAY CARD KITS! Following in the footsteps of our inspiring Catalyst Collection™ collage kits come our brand new Holiday Card Kits, featuring 10 beautifully-themed collections, each offering superior materials and amazing design flexibility, allowing you to make your own gorgeous holiday card creations! And, just like we introduced our Catalyst collage kits, we're introducing the Holiday Card Kits with a Buy-1, Get-1-Free Sale! And, as with everything on our site, all shipping is free through December 31. This sale expires December 7. Kits are in limited supply, so pick your favorite soon so you can start making your cards. Also, be sure to look at Deb's gorgeous new Shrine Kits in our Art Suppy General Store, too!

  • YOU * U's Brand New Self-Study Program! Create Your Own YOUniversity (aka YOU * U), Artella's groundbreaking, comprehensive program that offers everything you need to know to develop, write, facilitate, and market your own teleworkshops, e-courses, and eBooks, is now available as a Self-Study Program! At this point, YOU * U will not be offered as a 16-week e-course in 2006, but two versions of the new YOU * U Self-Study Program promise to be the perfect solution for totally customizing the material to your own needs and the pace of your own life. To get more information and find out how you may be able to save $100 on the Program, go to and enter the password: oneof30

  • Have you signed up for the Mystery Muse Project? Sign-ups for the 4th Annual Mystery Muse Project close on November 21, so if you haven't signed up yet, be sure to sign up for this amazing creativity exchange! Sign up to send one anonymous creative offering to someone else in the Artella community, and you'll receive a gift from your very own Mystery Muse, as well! But be sure to sign up before the 21st!

  • Artella introduces Artist eCard Hosting! It's Artella's newest adventure, as we join hands with artists to help them reach greater audiences! If you've ever wanted to have eCards of your own art, or are interested in some out-of-the-box ways to get more exposure or draw more traffic to your own Web site, you might be interested to know that Artella is now hosting eCards! Get all the nformation at! Come partner with us in our newest waltz of words and art!

  • Would you take our survey? If you saw the most recent print issue of Artella, "The Dreamworld", and you'd be willing to offer a few minutes of your time to take a survey that is helping us shape the upcoming issue of Artella, we'll send you a free copy of our brand new eBooklet, "Scribbles: mistakes creative people make and how to make 'em look pretty". To take the survey, go to this link: instructions for claiming your thank you e-Booklet will be given when you take the survey. Thank you! Artella is YOUR magazine and we value your opinions!

    NOTE: if you are a subscriber who already took the survey and did not receive this booklet, just write Zura at and she'll send it to you within a week.


In the spirit of next week's Thanksgiving Holiday, here are a couple of links related to gratitude and compassion...

1. The Gratitude Project is an invitation from The Center for Nonviolent Communication to articulate and express the emotions of gratitude. This is a great Web page to visit with kids!

2. is a world-wide group of volunteersdedicated to providing hand-crafted items to those people suffering a loss,tragedy, or going through a rough time that need to be reminded of the simplefact that people care.

3. is a free online gratitude journal for your everyday use.

4. Artella's own e-course, The Gratitude Garland: An Art Journal Classfor Cultivating Creative Gratitude, is featured in the Nov/Dec issue of Somerset Studio magazine! Look for us in the issue!

~with blessings stacked like building blocks,

Marney Artella Founder/Editor

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