Categories
Blog Creativity

Need a Reason to Have Fun? I’ve Got One For You.

July 2015 was a crazy busy month for me. I was prepping for my second week-long trip to San Francisco this year to be in the studio audience for Megan Auman’s Make a Living Selling What You Make boot camp at CreativeLive. No problem. While is was at CreativeLive, I would also be filming a “student story” video, and I needed to create a mock studio that I could pack into a suitcase so they could film me working on my jewelry. Um, ok.

 

I also had committed to writing two guest blog posts, as well as a week-long series called “Halftime Tune-Up” for my own blog. Normally, I blog once a week. At the most. IRL it’s more like once a month, but evidently I’d lost my mind and promised my readers a new blog post every day for a week to help them get back on track for the second half of the year. WTF was I thinking?

 

On top of all of that, I had signed up to participate in an “artists’ envelope swap”, coordinated by Mark Montano, because he is my crafty hero. But all of this work stuff was taking up so much time.

 

[bctt tweet=”Chronic over-scheduling is a problem for me, and I know I am not alone.” username=”redscorpiomade”]

 

My ADD was kicking in big time. There was much to do, and it was taking every bit of my willpower to stay on task, because I really wanted to take a break and just play with some crafty stuff. The envelopes needed to be finished and mailed off to Mark so that they could be distributed to all the participating artists. I lamented to Greg that I wanted to decorate the envelopes, but with all of the important stuff that was going on, I could see no reason to do it. It would be just for fun. “Fun is a reason,” he told me.

 

[bctt tweet=”Fun is a reason.” username=”redscorpio.com”]

 

 

AES - 8

 

Of course it is. I know that. I myself have told other people pretty much the same thing. Why did I need to hear it from someone else? We all look to external sources for validation. We all give our friends and loved ones inspirational advice that we never take for ourselves. Why is that??  I have no clue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But let’s do this: let’s all try to take our own advice from now on. And let’s surround ourselves with positive people who will give us loving advice when we need it, just in case we won’t listen to ourselves. We’re pretty stubborn.

 

AES - 1

 

 

I took a break and decorated the envelopes. I finally got to use some matryoshka stamps I’d been dying to play with, and they turned out super cute! The project didn’t take that long, and when I was finished, I felt refreshed and ready to get back to work.

 

AES - 7

 

So go on and have some fun. It’s a perfectly legitimate reason.
 

Categories
Blog Creativity

My #1 Tip For Crushing Creative Blocks

 

 

Tweet: My number on tip for crushing creative blocks is simple: My number one tip for crushing creative blocks is simple:

“Do Something. Anything.”

 

 

Simple, sure, but it’s not always easy.

I hit a block last week, prepping for my SF trip. If you hadn’t already heard me say a dozen or so times, I am going to be in the studio audience for Megan Auman’s CreativeLive course, How To Make a Living Selling What You Make. CreativeLive asked us to bring a few pieces to the studio, and even though I have many, many pieces already made, I wanted to make something special. Problem was, I totally hit a creative wall. Not surprising, since I had a pretty ambitious work schedule for myself the past several weeks, but I just couldn’t think of anything interesting to make.

 

When that happens, when I get hung up and kind of too in my head, the only thing that works for me is to do something different from my every day work. I decided I would start to make a beaded snake. I’d already planned to make a snake at some point this year, so I had all of the supplies and everything, and it was so wonderful and freeing to work on it. Bead weaving is meditative for me because there’s no choices to make, just follow the pattern and turn out the work. I only got about a third of the way done before I had to set it aside to finish getting ready for my trip, but the project is getting packed into my suitcase, and if I get a chance I’d love to finish it in San Francisco.

 

IMG_3183

 

Your ‘something’ doesn’t have to be as elaborate as a bead weaving project. It could be as simple as coloring a picture in a coloring book. Adult coloring books are pretty trendy right now, but I love coloring books for kids just as much. Of course I have a couple of Hello Kitty coloring books in my stash for when I need a no brainer project to bust through my block.

 

 

HK - 1

 

 

What if you don’t have anything? I bet you have at least a piece of paper and a pencil, but let’s say you don’t. Let’s say all you have is a computer. Check out PicMonkey, where you can take a photo and mess around with it til it’s completely ridiculous. If all you have is your phone, you can goof around with pics on Snapchat, make a totally dorky video on Sock Puppets, or play around with myriad other apps. I’m saying there’s no excuse.

 

 

Playing around with PicMonkey
Playing around with PicMonkey

 

 

So when you hit a block, crush it with whatever you’ve got on hand. Give yourself a few minutes to do something creative and totally pointless, because that is pretty much the point. And when you do, share your block crushing endeavors with me on IG with the hashtag #creativesmash.

 

 

 

Categories
Blog Business

How Taking the “Design Your Process Challenge” Changed My Writing

I’ve been writing pretty much my whole adult life. Confession: I was a terrible student who found school to be quite boring, so I spent a lot of class time writing hilarious notes to my friends. Back in the day when i worked in an office, part of my job was to handle business correspondence. I also wrote the training and procedural manuals we used.

When I started my blog, it was mostly DIY tutorials, which worked out ok because I am pretty darn good at technical writing. But I really wanted my blog to be more than just craft tutorials. so I took April Bowles-Olin’s course, “Build a Successful Creative Blog” and learned a ton about creating engaging content. More importantly, April’s course gave me permission to write a more authentic blog, full of what makes me uniquely me.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
Good Times

But something major was still missing. Sometimes my writing would flow and I’d put out a terrific article. Mostly, I struggled with writing a decent post. I’d get an idea and just start randomly writing. Sometimes I’d make my point. Sometimes I’d miss.

 

My friend Kris is an amazing writing coach. She tried to convince me so many times that what I needed was a process for my writing. And I totally knew she was right because she is super smart and she lays it out in a way I completely understand. But even with her wise insight, I resisted because I always felt “too busy” to do the writing prep and instead continued to stumble through by just writing posts off the top of my head. Don’t judge. Everyone knows stuff they should be doing but don’t do it for one BS reason or another.

 

This week, I’ve been watching and following along with Kris’ awesome “Design Your Process” challenge. In the course, Kris explains how to improve your content and make it more engaging by using a process to make your writing more powerful and effective. So I decided to write this post by working through this process, beginning with pre-writing and then moving on to drafting, revising, editing and publishing.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

I would never dream of writing a tutorial without an outline, but when it came to blogging, I generally would jump from the idea & research step straight into drafting. My drafts were sort of like free writing, where I’d spill everything onto the paper (or screen) and then go back and edit for clarity, spelling, grammar, and such. Then I’d hit publish and cross my fingers that the post would resonate with my audience.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

Using the process Kris describes in the DYP challenge made writing this post a breeze. When I worked through the process of pre-writing, drafting, revising & editing, I was able to articulate my thoughts in a cohesive way.  [Tweet “After much resistance, I think I’ve finally seen the light. http://www.withakcourses.com/design-your-voice/”] Thank you Kris!

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

If you struggle with creating consistently engaging content, or labor over writing articles that should be easy to write, it’s likely that you need learn and apply the process to your writing. Don’t fight it, it’s good for you. You had better hurry though! “Design Your Process” is going away May 18th! Did I mention it’s free?

 

I’m participating in a Blog Link-up with Kris (With a K) from www.withakwriting.com, because she wants to hear about the role writing plays in our businesses.

Kris is giving a Writing Workshop for entrepreneurs and bloggers, starting May 25th, and she wants to give away a scholarship to one of the lovely bloggers who participate in this link up. You can participate and get a chance to win too.

Just copy and paste this piece of text into the introduction of your blog post answering the question, “How has writing been beneficial to your business, and what do you want to Craft with your Voice next?” Link back to this post, so any of your friends who are entering will be able to find it for more info.

Finally, go back to Kris’s blog on or after May 12th to add your link to the link-up party there, and you could win a scholarship to her new course: Craft Your Voice. She’ll be drawing a name on the 18th of May for a full scholarship to the 6 week writing course, so you can write and link-up your post any time before then.

Categories
Blog

Trend Alert: Coloring Books for Adults

Coloring books for grown-ups are all the rage right now. As the hand-made movement grows and evolves, more and more adults wish to express their creativity, but don’t have a ton of time. Not just the time it takes to do a project, but the time to invest in getting good at a craft. Most people, including me, are not naturally gifted at drawing. Even if you have an inborn talent, you still must spend time and energy developing that talent until you are really good. Coloring books make it easy for busy adults to get their creative play on. It’s a chance to be creative with the most basic supplies and not a lot of time commitment. It’s easy to be good at it right away, so you feel good about it.

 

I have been a big fan for many years. I have some books that are over 15 years old. As well as “adult” coloring books, I love to play with kid coloring books too. They have been my favorite way to play literally as long as I can remember. I have a very vivid childhood memory of coloring in my Gumby & Pokey coloring book when I was probably four years old.

 

Coloring was my favorite activity to do with my kids when they were little. We used to make some pretty cool masterpieces. Of course, I took it to the next level with some pro tips I’ll share with you right here.

 

1) Trace around the edges before coloring in. This isn’t super pro because I’m sure you know about it, but share it with your kids and they’ll think you are Michelangelo. Also, tracing in one color then coloring another color is awesome.

 

2) Color in heavily and then buff with a wad of tissue. It rubs off some of the wax and leaves the pigment behind. Rad effect.

 

3) Color heavily and scratch away some of the wax with a toothpick.

 

4) Go over your coloring with watercolor. Coloring pages are usually rough and absorbent, so take care not to sog them out.

 

A great resource for coloring books for grown-ups is Dover Publications. They have tons of fun creative stuff for adults (and kids). I myself have a stack of Dover books, including coloring books, temporary tattoos and paper dolls. If you sign up for their newsletter, they will send you free samples in your email, and some instant downloads to get you started right away. So print out some fun pages, bust out the crayons and chill out with a nice and easy creative outlet.

 

Categories
Blog Goals

What To Do When it All Falls Apart

First of all, let’s take a step back and acknowledge that it rarely ever all falls apart. It feels that way sometimes, but usually it’s just a tiny part that falls apart.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
super secret project

 

 

I have been working on an amazing secret project that involves a lot of stuff I am not super pro at, so major fails are a daily occurrence. Confession: I fail at stuff I am really good at all the time. So, you know, failing at stuff I have less experience with is actually a little easier to take.

 

filming some stuff
more secrets

 

 

But the sheer volume of setbacks is bogging me down. My enthusiasm has not diminished, thank goodness. Even though every night I collapse into bed quite spent, sometimes with very little to show for my entire day’s work, by the morning I am anxious to get into the studio and start back at it. The time I have wasted is annoying the hell out of me though. I have already missed one self-imposed and ridiculously ambitious deadline.

A little hint: it involves video. I know nothing about making videos. It’s harder than you might think.

 

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
mostly successful!

 

For example, here is a short video of glass cutting that I shot, only I had accidentally hit “time-lapse” instead of “video”. I was pretty irritated when I realized that. I was so nailing the glass cutting! Grrr. I did eventually get over it. Kind of. Thinking about it right now is pissing me off all over again, but it is what it is. It is not at all what I wanted, but it’s actually kind of cool.

 

 

 

[Tweet “When it all falls apart, try to remember that it is mostly together and press on.”] Usually, just a slight adjustment will get everything back on track.

 

 

 

Categories
Blog Custom Jewelry Week in Review

Time Flies Whether You Are Having Fun or Not.

 

How is it Friday already? And another thing, how is it the end of November?? Next week is Thanksgiving. What? I could swear we just celebrated that not very long ago.

Last week was super fun and it flew by. This week was just regular, and it still sailed right past me. Here are the highlights…

 

 

Sunday, we busted out all of our maps and books and stuff, because in one week (!!!) we are heading to Yosemite for 8 days of camping. We’ve been waiting for almost a year for this to happen and are both pretty stoked. I am not sure I will be able to get Greg to leave when our vacation is over.

 

Love making plans...
Love making plans…

 

 

Monday, I still was not rested up from my whirlwind week in San Francisco, so I slept late. (Confession: I slept late every day this week. And I am pretty sure I will sleep late over the weekend too.) Working on some custom orders made me feel better.

 

Soon to be some luck lady's beautiful bracelet.
Soon to be some luck lady’s beautiful bracelet.

 

Tuesday, I discovered one of the tiles had a huge bubble and I would need to re-make it. I was in a bad mood after that, but seeing the sunset’s glow on my little palm tree cheered me up.

 

Palm tree at Sunset
Palm tree at Sunset

 

Wednesday, our truck decided to break down. When it rains, it pours, or so they say. Luckily we have an awesome mechanic. Later that evening, Greg & I watched the first half of “Gone With the Wind”. I watched it once when I was a kid, but this was Greg’s first time. I thought it was actually a really good movie, even though I am Yankee to the core. The costumes were amAZing. As someone who basically lives in pajamas, I was blown away by how dressed up these ladies would get just to hang around the house.

 

 

Thursday marked one week until Thanksgiving. That’s how I tell time, by the next event I have to get ready for. And it actually did rain. I was not expecting that. I’ve lately only been checking the weather for Yosemite.  And it was a great week for jewelry orders! Yay! I love making stuff!! That night we watched the second half of “GWTW”. I was dying to know how it turned out 😉

 

Order before it is too late and you are sad
Order before it is too late and you are sad

 

Now it’s Friday, which means lunch with Grandpa, and then took him to visit my cousin and check out his annual yard sale where I scored this super rad platter and this lovely table-cloth.

 

Score!
Score!

 

I am still exhausted, and very much looking forward to eight days of nature, peace and beautiful scenery. Only one more one week!!!! Woot!

 

 

How was your week? What’s going on this weekend? Please share in the comments below.

 

Categories
Blog

The Countdown Begins – One Week til CreativeLive

Busy prepping for my upcoming trip to my favorite city, which if you have been following my blog, you know is San Francisco. You do follow my blog, right?

I left my heart here
I left my heart here

 

I am very grateful to be participating in another course at CreativeLive and I am super pumped about this one:

“Create Digital Products That Sell in Your Sleep”

This will be my second course with April Bowles-Olin as the instructor, and a bunch of my Super Friends are going to be there in the studio and in the chat room. It is going to be quite a party. I don’t think CreativeLive realizes the amount of awesomeness that is about to hit them. Of course, I will be Tweeting, FBing and IGing as much as possible.

 

creativelive with Tara swiger marketing for crafters class july 2014
here is a Tweets from before!

I am also going to announce a contest on Friday, so tune in then! Or better yet, sign up to be sent a link to my newest blog posts.

 

All of this prep work put me in the mood to do a fun and easy project, so I made some shrink plastic earrings. You can read my tutorial here.

 

blog 11030141blog 11030143

 

Who’s going to be watching April’s course? Let me know in the comments and I will try to give a shout out while the course is live!

Categories
Blog

Crafty Football League Blog Hop – Shrink Plastic Charms

This is my first year playing Fantasy Football and it has been pretty fun so far. I’ve been itching to try it, so when Diane of CraftyPod.com sent out an invitation to join the Crafty Football League I immediately jumped on board. And, evidently, each year they have a Crafty FFL Blog Hop. Bonus!

My crafty NFL project is shrink plastic charms. They are super easy and look really awesome. They are very versatile so you can turn them into Christmas ornaments, pendants, key fobs, earrings, magnets, probably a bunch more stuff. Best of all, if you have any #6 plastic take out containers, they are just about free.

 

Trace your image...
Trace your image…

More & more restaurants are switching to #1 and #2 plastic for take out boxes, and that is wonderful because #1 & #2 can be easily recycled, in fact those are the only 2 kinds my recycle bin accepts. If you do happen upon some #6, save it to make shrinkies. You will be helping the planet by not tossing more plastic into the trash and you get to enjoy a super fun and easy craft. Win-win. If you can’t get your hands on #6 plastic, shrink plastic is readily available at craft stores and in the craft department of Target, Wal-Mart, etc.

 

You will need:

  • #6 take out container or store-bought shrink plastic
  • Sharpies
  • Colored Pencils
  • Sandpaper or steel wool
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Craft heat gun or dedicated toaster oven
  • Fork
  • Flat bottom glass
  • Jump rings, wire, cording, or something of your choosing from which to hang your charm.

 

My team is the Raiders. Yes, I know. It was easy enough to get the Raider logo as well as the Charger Bolt (for my nephew) from the internet. Your original image should be no bigger than 4″ x 4″ and probably no smaller than 2″ x 2″.

 

Make sure your container is very clean. Cut out an appropriately sized piece, making sure there is nothing stamped on it (like a big ol’ #6) and wash it off. If you are using store-bought plastic you can skip this step.

CFFL 1014145
#6 Plastic

You should lightly sand it with fine grit sandpaper if you are using colored pencils or if you want a more opaque look but if you use Sharpies, sanding is not necessary. Tape the plastic to the image you’re tracing. This is a very important step, trust me. Start with the outline and the big obvious shapes, then add in the details. If you are using a Sharpie you will notice that it “marks” areas that you have already colored. Don’t worry about that, you will not be able to tell once you’ve shrunk it down.

 

Check to make sure you dont miss a spot
Check to make sure you dont miss a spot

If you make a mistake you can erase it with a Q-tip barely moistened with rubbing alcohol. Once you are satisfied with your design, trim the plastic down to a neat shape and punch your hole. Or holes, depending on how you want it to hang. A regular office-type hole punch is perfect. The holes will seem huge but shrink down to just the right size.

 

Now to color it in…

 

Place your plastic on a heat proof surface (mine is a metal cake pan covered with foil) and shrink it with your crafty heat gun. You could use a toaster oven, if you have a spare, but I wouldn’t shrink plastic in something I cook food in, and the heat gun works pretty well.

Please do this in a well ventilated area! It is very stinky and not good to breathe!

Before you shrink have a flat-bottomed glass handy (with no lettering on the bottom!) so you can press your piece flat if you need to, and try not to blast the plastic off the table with the forced air of the heat gun. I use a fork to hold it in place, and also I try to heat it from above but sometimes I forget. It is going to curl up so don’t freak out. It should straighten itself out, and if not, you can tweak it into submission while it’s still hot. And it will be very hot, so be careful.

 

 

Here is the result! Store bought shrink plastic may give a soother finish (although I wouldn’t know, I’ve never bought the stuff) but I like this imperfect “wabi-sabi” finish. If you’re feeling extra creative, colored pencils work great as well and are permanent once you shrink them.

You might also want to check out this super cool shrink plastic project

 

Yay!
Yay!

 

 

Go Raiders!!

 

Check out what my fellow Crafty Fantasy Footballers made –


Categories
Blog

A Trip Down Memory Lane…

So much going on over here I somehow missed posting yesterday. Sorry guys! Here is a little recap of the past 10 days…

 

We went camping last weekend. Our first time at Silver Strand State Beach. It was very nice, and far less crowded than I expected. My brother and his family joined us for some boogie boarding. Try not to be jealous.

WiR 0930148

 

 

Last week I had a ton of work to do. As well as custom orders, I am developing a line of simple stranded necklaces. Not everyone loves beads as much as I do, so I am working on giving customers more choices.

 

WiR 0930144

 

 

That mess magically transforms into this…

WiR 0930143

 

 

 

I stitched up some new planners, but had to wait for the weekend to start using them, of course.

Three brands, three planners.
So many possibilities!

 

Worked on some new tile designs and pitched them to a retail shop…

WiR3 0930145

 

 

…and with the leftover resin, made some really cute sparkly butterfly rings.

 

WiR3 0930144

 

 

Made it a daily routine to unwind for a few minutes each evening when my husband comes home from work. We usually hang out in the backyard with the chickens and Frank.

 

WiR 0930145

 

 

 

Then on Saturday, we headed up to the mountains to decompress in nature. It was a lovely Fall day, nice and chilly.

 

WiR3 0930141

 

 

Today, I am working on getting some new business cards made for my latest venture, Richellemarie Jewelry. And I am experimenting with my new necklaces so they will be perfect and I can get them in my shop this week.

 

 

What are you all working on this week? Share in the comments, please!

 

Categories
Blog Blog

TGIF! Week in Review…

Why do I care if it’s Friday? I work from home, but I don’t work seven days for crying out loud. I take weekends off. At least Sunday.

New Postcards
New Postcards

Another wonderful week here at Red Scorpio Handmade. On Monday I got sa email from Etsy, turning down my application for wholesale status. That bummed me out for a minute, but I got over it. Tuesday i was notified that I had been chosen to be the Featured Designer at Flourish & Thrive Academy‘s blog for this week, so that was pretty special. Etsy will be sorry they didn’t get me when they had the chance 😉

That's me, Designer of the Week!
That’s me, Designer of the Week!

 

I am also working on a collaboration with my friend, artist Jane Dolan. Jane’s lovely art on my beautiful necklace. That is super cool.

A peek at my work...
A peek at my work…

I joined a Fantasy Football League! That’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a wile, so when the chance popped up to join a Craft FFL, I went for it. No idea how to play. I will worry about the details as they come up.

 

I went to see an incredible show by Imelda May. If you don’t know who she is, please click here. If you want to see a video I took at the show, please click here!

Imelda May
Imelda May

 

Next week I will be prepping for my first ever solo trip. I am headed to San Francisco to sit in the front row at CreativeLive for Tara Gentile’s course, “Market Launch & Sell Your Next Big Thing”That is going to be amazing.

Happy Friday, everyone!