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August 14, 2019
Reinventing Everyday from Professional Quilter

reinventingeveryday-3Rs

Are you practicing the 3 R’s?  

What are the 3 R’s, you ask?

Recycle, reuse, repurpose – all part of reinventing your business everyday.

How much of what you create just needs to be spiffed up or re-slanted to make it new?

We see it all the time in other markets.

Disney is a prime example. They put movies in a seven-year “vault” and then re-released some of them each year. They recreate the excitement, find additional audiences, and make more sales.

How can you do this as a creative arts professional? Here are some ideas:

Update your designs ...

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July 10, 2019
Can You Find Your Art Supplies? from Professional Quilter

declutter

I have been in a “cleaning out” mode lately.

We have talked about downsizing in the next year or so. I always joke that I am on a five-year plan for decluttering, and the time just keeps getting shorter.

Looking around at my studio, I realized that it could use a healthy cleaning. So I started sorting through books, fabrics, and art supplies.

Gosh, we quilters, sewists and artists certainly do accumulate a lot. I know I will appreciate the open space in which to create.

Here are some tips if you are facing that increasing pile, or piles, of ...

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May 22, 2019
Are You Whelmed? from Professional Quilter

Are you overwhelmed?

This time of year tends to be overwhelming for many. Graduations. Graduation parties. Weddings. Work deadlines. Trade shows. Yard work. Weeding.

Just like you, I do feel overwhelmed at times. It can happen when I’m trying to meet deadlines or getting ready for the next Quilt Market or our Creative Arts Business Summit. Or even when life throws too much my way.

When that happens, I stop and remember the “whelmed” model that one of my husband’s clients created.

Whelmed. It’s that space between overwhelmed and underwhelmed. It’s that “just right” space, if ...

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April 10, 2019
8 creative biz lessons I learned from basketball from Professional Quilter

As I watched the Final Four Tournament on Saturday, I was thinking about what basketball and the professional creative arts have something in common. Is it any surprise my mind would go to art when I’m watching sports?

Passion

This is the obvious. These kids love basketball, and for them it is their art. What you pay attention to grows.

Just as the college athletes pay attention to basketball and their skills and love of the game increase, your skill level in your art increases with increased attention. Your knowledge and love of the art grows as you look ...

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March 20, 2019
Time blocking leads to better productivity from Professional Quilter

Have you looked at the calendar and wondered how you can possibly do all you have scheduled? I used to feel that way until I made a simple discovery.

Time blocking!

Time blocking is a method of allocating or pre-assigning time for specific activities throughout your day. It helps me keep my day and life more balanced. I accomplish more because I have structure to my day, I can focus on a specific task with a high value, and I am able to manage interruptions. I am the one in charge of my day. Here’s how to do this ...

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February 6, 2019
Biz lessons from the dentist from Professional Quilter

I had a dental visit last week. I have one every six months, like many people. I don’t actually mind these because  — knock on wood — I’ve been blessed with healthy teeth.

I was thinking about what I could learn and share about business as Julie, the hygienist, was cleaning my teeth. After all, you can’t exactly carry on your end of a conversation while this is going on.

Create relationships

Julie has been a dental hygienist in this small practice for nearly 40 years, and I’ve been going for at least half that time.

While she ...

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January 11, 2019
Planning 2019 and finishing Charlotte's quilt from Quilting & Learning

In a few hours, 2019 will be upon us....and I sure hope it's a good one :-) Thank you so much Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl for hosting this annual party!

#2019 Planning Party

I've been thinking a lot about what I want for 2019 and it's a lot like my planning for 2018. My goal is to keep learning and creating, and to minimize the stress. Easier said than done, but last year was better than 2017 and with any luck, other than January, I will be able to keep this in mind.


After posting my ...

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December 27, 2018
planning party from Charm About You

charm about you, lucy brennan, quilt making


I like writing lists. I write them a lot, about all sorts of things! It's become essential for me, lists give me focus and direction. I'm joining Quilting Jetgirl for the #2019planningparty and in this post I am outlining a list of plans for 2019. I'm trying to stay realistic with a hint of optimism, bringing back some much loved projects and joyful sewing. This is what I want to do...

| Read more |

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December 21, 2018
Quilt Show Planner Printables from Flying Parrot Quilts

With the new year almost upon us, it’s time to start thinking about which quilt shows to enter in 2019! I did a post some time ago on planning for quilt shows, and I thought I’d share some printable stickers so you can get in on the fun.

If you’re reading this and thinking “I don’t enter shows!” then let me encourage you to think about doing so. There’s nothing quite as fun as seeing your quilt hanging in a show, and lurking near it to watch show visitors ooh and aah over it.

The ...

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December 12, 2018
Reframe, Reflect + Reap the Rewards from Professional Quilter

rrr-planning2

December is often the month to look back at your year and plan ahead for the next one. In a recent blog, I discussed starting to plan by taking a look back at the good, the bad, and what you learned during the year.

This is the perfect time to evaluate what you learned and look for ways to reframe the challenges that you faced.

Reframing

What exactly is reframing? It’s a technique to help you look at a belief,  situation, person, or even a relationship to change its meaning in your mind. This shift in perspective can make ...

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December 5, 2018
Looking Back and Moving Forward from Professional Quilter

The end of the year is often filled with planning activities. For many creative people. though, the thought of planning is beyond boring.

It can be black and white — after all it does involve looking at numbers. When you get right down to it, though, getting your big dreams and goals down on paper and figuring out how to accomplish them is creative. Especially when you get out those colored markers and pencils!

For more than ten years, I hosted an annual Planning Day, and we always start with looking back. Instead of jumping into what next year looks like ...

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November 25, 2018
Book Journey {an update} from Factotum of Arts

Back in December, I started letting you all know about the my goals and timelines for my book. Well, let me tell you I am really impressed by those that can get a book together in 6-12 months. Let me say with full-time job commitments, family life, other quilt project deadlines and teaching events, giving the book the priority it needs has not been easy.

As I am writing this, I am telling myself constantly that it is ok. As my lovely editor says “Your book will be ready in August”. August when, who knows. Obviously not 2018. I hope ...

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November 7, 2018
The Fortune Is In the Follow-up from Professional Quilter

follow-up

 

How good are you at follow-up? You know, that is where the money is.

I was talking with a few of my clients who were heading back from Quilt Market with lots of follow-up items. Some were clearly immediate, such as filling orders, and those get processed right away.

The problem for my clients was that they came back with all these notes that weren’t really money related or where they couldn’t see the clear money connection or where they couldn’t remember the conversation. Plus they felt overwhelmed getting back in gear. And, the follow-up is in ...

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August 8, 2018
Moving Past Stuckedness from Professional Quilter

stuckedness

Have you ever had so much on your plate that you’re stuck with where to start? I know I have. Last week I started thinking about all the ideas I have to grow ICAP. There is the weekly blog/ezine, the monthly coaching and interview calls, and some content that is already planned to write. Then there is book in progress, the podcast in the works, and the work I want to have happen in our Facebook groups. Wait, I forgot about the webinar I am creating. I know I can look at the my projects and figure out ...

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June 20, 2018
Are you leaving money on the table? from Professional Quilter

 

We’re into the last six months of the year. Just where did the first six months go?!

Our ICAP Members’ Studio peeps regularly look at their numbers. How about you?

Have you look at your numbers for the first six months? What did you discover? Were you on track or were your results not quite what you were expecting?

I talked with one of my private clients recently about this, and she said she needed a cash infusion. I think finding that cash infusion comes down to two items: ideas you didn’t take action on and things you ...

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June 13, 2018
Train Tracks and Getting Things Done from Professional Quilter

 

One day recently I was stopped at a railroad bridge and started thinking about what we learned as kids about crossing the train tracks. Stop, look, and listen. Do you remember that?

The next morning I looked at the mountain of work on my desk – as well as those bright, shiny objects across the room – and wondered where I should start. I picked up the task on the top and started to work.

Shortly I became distracted and found myself on the way to the kitchen for another cup of tea.

Back to my desk. What was I working on ...

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May 30, 2018
Kick-up Your Summer Revenue from Professional Quilter

summer-cash

This is the unofficial first week of the summer. For many people, this is the time to kick back and take it easy. You know the lazy, crazy days of summer! And, sure people do take vacations, but not all of them are gone every day all summer. So, you shouldn’t be either.

If you are trying to grow your business, taking it easy really isn’t an option. And, if you take advantage of the time many people do take it easy, your business will be ahead of the game.

Here are some ideas to kick-up your revenues ...

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May 23, 2018
Surviving business storms from Professional Quilter

Last week was such a storm-filled one that I found myself searching for rainbows each time the rain stopped. And, I found a real beauty. I started thinking about the fact that rainbows are dependent on the storm and started comparing that to our business life.

My first thought was that we all have storms in our business, whether that is feeling overwhelmed by our work or not being able to get done what’s on our list because a “crisis” or storm brews. You have times that you are not in control. You also have financial storms, weeks or ...

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May 9, 2018
Create Powerful Intentions for Events from Professional Quilter

 

 

Many readers of this post are preparing for International Quilt Market, the annual trade show of the quilting and soft craft industries. You may be preparing for a retail show, an outdoor fair,  a conference, or other trade show. You may be preparing to host, present at, or attend an event.

I have talked with several of my clients preparing for the shows about their challenges, and the topic came up on on a recent monthly ICAP Members’ Studio group coaching call. It seems a lot of people are in a frenzy about what needs to get done.

I believe ...

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May 2, 2018
7 Steps for Success After a Workshop from Professional Quilter

 

This week a fabulous group of creative professionals from across North America joined me for our annual Creative Arts Business Summit. They spent three days working on, rather than in, their businesses. They learned new social media strategies, ideas for improving SEO, how to build and nourish customer relationships, plus lots more. By the end of the three days, they all left with a tremendous support network and a revenue plan for the year as well as a 90-day plan to move forward.

When was the last time you attended a workshop, returned excited only to get stuck with what ...

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  • planning
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