new hot spot - the creative connection event!...

This past May at Surtex, I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Nancy Soriano in my booth.  She has quite the accomplished past, which includes reigning over Country Living magazine as editor in chief.  As we were chatting away about what I do etc., she told me about this great event she has created with Jo Packham of Where Women Create.  Yeah, ok, right away I knew this was going to be good!

The Creative Connection Event is going to be three fantastic days full of workshops, panels, innovative ways to learn how to grow your creative business, and even a full on open to the public handmade market! Excited yet?  It gets even better.  Classes range from folk art portrait painting to turning your old books into scrapbooking marvels.  Once you've learned a fun new way to create, you can check out one of the great panels on ways to grow and market your business.  Oh, and did I mention, AMY BUTLER is going to be the keynote speaker!!!

The event is taking place in Minneapolis, MN, September 16th-18th.  Check out all the details on the website.  With a major sponsor like ETSY already signed on, I think this will for sure become the go to annual creativity/handmade/ event!


print trend - stylized florals...

EEEK!!  I'm a officially a trend setter!  My good friend Anna (who is an amazing art director over at Eddie Bauer) emailed me (well facebooked me) the other day to tell me that she had spotted me on one of the top trend reporting sights Stylesight!  Are you kidding me?!  How exciting right?  When I was working at Nordstrom back in the day, I remember obsessing over all the fab prints I would see on WGSN and Stylesight.  Omg, now I'm in the report!  A bit Surreal really, but great!  I'm the 2nd and 4th images.


from the archives...

Happy Monday friends!  If you didn't notice the mission of this here space has changed a bit.  Parapluies et Soleil is now your place for art, inspiration, style, and making your creative dreams a reality. Exciting, yes?! So while I was musing about where we are going, I started thinking about where I've been.  One of my very first pieces as a freelancer was a project I worked on for Wrangler Jeans. This is a piece I created for the Wrangler 20x brand.  The project was a collaboration between me and the oh so fab Mary Beth Freet. I'm not sure if it ever went into production... We also collaborated on one of the pieces I have in the print and pattern book (the one with the landscape and owl).  Anywho, I hope you get a kick out of one from the archives as I have!  :)  Here's to a happy week!

new sponsor - printsource...

Hey guys, the fantastic print show Printsource is now a sponsor of Parapluies et Soleil!  I have been traveling to Printsource every since my days at Nordstrom.  Back then I was going to purchase artwork.  Since going out on my own I have been heading to Printsource to go to their fantastic trend seminars.  They are always so very inspiring.  I am actually starting to plan my trip for the upcoming show the first week in August! Email me for if you are interested in sponsoring P + S!


blog break = inspiration hunt...

paris black and white photographyHappy Monday all!  I will be taking a break this week from blogging.  My baby (my computer) is heading to the spa - aka the apple genius bar for a few days.  In the mean time be sure to hang out with my good friends Jess, and Michelle. They will take good care of you!  Also check out the latest review of Confessions of a first timer from the fab Daisy Janie!  Thanks Jan!  Back soon with images from my inspiration hunt I am embarking on this week while I am unplugged!  :)


inspiration - yahgie textiles...

new obsession alert!  I quite simply love everything she does! Petergaye S. Kisielewicz designs all Yahgie textile prints, and they are all equally as fab as she seems to be.  Enjoy - I am!

these are so cool!  totally customizable - message, language, you name it!


mid-week inspiration - designerrugs.com...

[caption id="attachment_2174" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="alex perry "bibelo""][/caption]

Yesterday's inspiration post made me remember how much I LOVE this website!  OMG!  These rugs break my heart they are so fabulous (I hope you can sense the melodrama in my voice, but they are that great!)!  Have you seen this site designerrugs.com?  I mean really, you will be a fan too - promise!  The Aussies are really turning up the design heat these days!  :)

[caption id="attachment_2176" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="cloth "family tree""][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2173" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="catherine martin "cockatoo""][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2175" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="catherine martin "cockatoo""][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2172" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption=""cybele""]"cybele"[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2171" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="minnie pwerle "camp sites""][/caption]


the inspiration rolls on...

[caption id="attachment_2164" align="aligncenter" width="429" caption="www.designerrugs.com.au"][/caption]

I'm getting excited about diving into a few new collections!  Here's more inspiration for this Tuesday!


inspiration for your monday...

Happy Monday all!  I have to tell you.  I just had a wonderful weekend of doing...NOTHING!  It was amazing!  I did not allow myself to feel guilty about it either (ok it slipped in for a sec, but then I quickly shooed it away).  Now I am feeling recharged and ready to go on some new art.  First I am on an inspiration hunt.  Thought I would share some images  of what is inspiring me now.  I get a lot of color inspiration from home.  I think in my next life I may have to be an interior decorator!  :)


summer lovin' week - kind inner dialog + gratitude...

summer lovin week - build your business from the beachHappy Friday all!  I like to reflect on all the amazing things I accomplished during the week on Fridays - both big and small.  This week two of those thing were a positive inner dialog and practicing gratitude.  Without these two things I don't know where I would be.  We are all our own worst critics, it's true.  However, I am recommitted to being aware of the the dialog I have with myself.  I should be equally as kind and nurturing to myself as I am to those around me!  Inspiration truly begins from within.

I also want to be sure to stop and appreciate all the gifts and opportunities I have been given.  All of us are truly lucky to have passion, drive, and the will to do what we love. I feet it is really important to stop, recognize this and say thank you.


summer lovin' week - use your senses...

summer lovin week - build your business from the beach I love my vision board!  I know I have talked about this method of goal setting and visualization before, but I thought it would be a nice thing to do while relaxing and dreaming by the pool.
I love my vision board!  I know I have talked about this method of goal setting and visualization before, but I thought it would be a nice thing to do while relaxing and dreaming by the pool.  If you have never heard of the practice, making a vision board is a way to help you to actually "see" your goals and dreams.  There is no right or wrong way to do it, and it really can reveal things about yourself you didn't even know!  I just grab all the magazines that are around (usually a ton). I clip items that are inspiring and that visually trigger the scope of my goals.  It's great fun and helps you to think big!  The best part is actually seeing the goals/dreams fulfilled.  I just got to take two things off of my board because they were accomplished!  So now I am due for a refresh.


summer lovin' week - finding balance...

summer lovin week - build your business from the beach

Is it just me, or have you been working double, triple overtime? Being so busy is fantastic, and I wouldn't change a thing.  Well except maybe one thing.  Would I give myself a break already?!  I (and I'm sure like you) am my worst critic! Of course drive, commitment, and determination are all fantastic things.  We would not be artists and/or business owners if we lacked these things.  However, I am realizing that I've lost a bit of the balance in my life that actually helps to keep me on my toes.  My perfect day would be to start working at about 9am, have a yoga/lunch break at about 1230, and then call it good at around 6.  When I work this way, I work more efficiently and with more focus. So why have a strayed?  It's so very easy to get caught up in a sea of deadlines (both actual and self-imposed), that sometimes we lose ourselves.

So while we are recommiting ourselves to our businesses this summer, how about we stop and recommit ourselves to ourselves too.

My commitment is to stop and have my mid-day yoga/lunch break.  What's yours?

summer lovin' week - make your list!

summer lovin week - build your business from the beachThe lovin' for your business is continuing today!  Today I am making a list of goals I want to accomplish by the end of the summer.  I already tackled something that has been a bit daunting for me.  I met with and have hired an attorney - yay!  Whew! That is a big one in the books!  She's great b/c she is a specializes in working with creatives AND she's a yogi!  Match made in heaven!

So here is my list.  I'm just keeping it simple and starting with five items.  Link back and share your lists and let's help each other get inspired!  :)

1. Lawyer

2. Business plan for remainder of 2010 and 2011

3. Make super secret plans for the end of this year (bwaahh!)

4. Work on my branding strategy

5. Refine art tracking system.


summer lovin' week - build your business from the beach!...

summer lovin week - build your business from the beachOn the heels of Surtex I have been really thinking about what is next for me.  Planning for Surtex was truly as intense as planning my wedding!  Now that it is over, and outcome has been so great, I've started really thinking about my business and where I want to go from here.  I am soooo tempted to coast through the summer!  I deserve it right?  Well I am planning a few breaks on the beach for sure. However I am not going to take my foot off the gas now!  I am going to use the next couple of months to dig into the foundation of my business.  I am going to develop a killer business plan to keep the momentum going!

This week I am sharing and suggesting ways that I (and you!) can really push things forward this summer.  The best part is you can do it from the pool!

So...let's give it a go!  No time like the present right?

1.  First things firt:  A plan...yeah that sounds like a good thing to have right?

So I am coming up on my two year anniversary of officially being a business (I count from the moment I became an llc).  Up to this point, as for the accountants, tax guys, marketers, and pr agents...well you're looking at her. Clearly, I've done my homework on all the ground work to get going. I've devoured (and continue to) any info online as well as the gracious advice from many generous established artists.  I have great systems in place (my fav. is Daylite)  I have gone to my fair share of group seminars on copyright and attended countless brainstorming and networking events.  Honestly, a part of me really likes it that way.  I love doing art, but I also love running my business.

I'm really lucky and thankful.  I created a catalog of work, and it has been really well received.  Things are happening, and it's great!  The flip side:  things are happening - fast! I am getting everything I've asked for, prayed for and more!  So now, I have to make sure I don't outgrow my own stilettos.  What I mean is, I have to start really laying a new infrastructure for the new capacity of work flowing into my business!  So here is my big step forward for today.  I have a meeting with a lawyer who specializes in working with creatives.  I am so excited about it!  I am so excited to have an expert look over the significant (grateful) number of contracts that found their way to my inbox all on one day.  I'm pumped about it (am I the only one who says that anymore)!  I am excited to work with her to build a plan for all the icky legal stuff that is so very important!

What piece in your plan can you start right now, today?  I invite you to share it here.

I like to say things aloud or to leave little trails of documentation.  It keeps me accountable!  :)  Let the summer lovin' begin!


friday reflections...

[caption id="attachment_2092" align="aligncenter" width="314" caption="copyright khristian a. howell"][/caption]

Hi Everyone!  I am feeling particularly grateful today.  This is first moment I have slowed down a bit since Surtex, and I am realizing how fortunate I am.  I am thankful for wonderful friends like the fab Jess Swift and Mary Beth Freet.  I am so thankful for trusted colleagues like Tara Reed and Tara Gentile who constantly support my business goals.  Most importantly I am thankful for my wonderful hubby who rides the roller coaster with me everyday.  What are you thankful for this week.  Sometimes it's nice just to say it aloud!  Happy weekend all!


copyrighting - just do it already!...

Yesterday was yet another sad day for yet another wonderful artist.  The fabulously talented Rachael Taylor was the victim of another lazy copycat.  You can see her full post on the situation on her blog.  Rachael is based out of the UK, so I am not sure how it works there.  However speaking for the US crowd, you MUST copyright your work!  By copyright I don't mean mail yourself the art or however that tale goes.  I mean officially register your work with the US copyright office!  This is absolutely mandatory if you truly want to protect yourself and your art.  It really is not nearly as daunting as it may seem...keep scrolling!

[caption id="attachment_2058" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Rachael's print on her own cushions"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2059" align="aligncenter" width="314" caption="Rachael's print on lamps for seascape.com"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2057" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Rachael's print copied w/o permission on shutterstock.com"][/caption]

For only $35 you could copyright your entire catalog at one time! Last time I checked rates for lawyers are just a tad bit higher...just sayin'  :)   The best part is you can do it all online.  Bet you didn't know  it was going to be that easy!  See there is really no good excuse for you NOT to be doing this.  You will get immediate confirmation from the copyright office. Then a few weeks later, you get this very official document.  Pretty cool right.  The whole process will take you less than an hour once you get the hang of their online uploading system.  Run to copyright.gov today and make it official!  You will sleep easier tonight - promise!

Anyone outside of the US have any tips on how things work in your neck of the woods?  Let's hear it!