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Monday, June 29, 2009

5 Days of PIGGY

Written and illustrated by Shannon Ivins. A book about life on an animal rescue from the animals point of view. The book follows a group of rescued pot bellied pigs around the animal rescue allowing you to read about their lives and see what they think. The book is written for all ages young and old. A couple people who have read it suggested that it be classified as an educational book as it teaches you about pigs as you read. The book is 54 pages long, 20 bright full colored drawings. SOFTCOVER.

Our good friend Shannon has received a publishing contract for this book. So in celebration she is giving 5 autographed copies to our listeners. One a day, Monday through Friday. The copy you will receive is one from the books that she had self published. So there are pre 1st edition and will be a collectors item. We know she will have great success.

It's easy to win, just keep those players open and when you hear it's time to call in. Shannon will be personally autographing your book to you.

Check out the listing here.......just in case you don't win.

Only 2 days left for the Artisan Directory!

Wow time is flying! July 1st will be here in just 2 days! That means the Artisan Directory will be closing spots! Good news it will be available for August 1st!! In time for the Holiday Shopping to begin!

Have you gotten your spot? You get a 1/4 page ad spot for $7.50 !

A 1/2 page for $15

A full page for $30

Also the back cover is still available! We welcome groups or marketplaces to this too!

Are you a supplier to the Arts and Craft world? you are welcome to join in too!

But Hurry as Spots end July 1st!

As of today we are on page 48 !

The Artisan Directory will be online and also available as a hard copy. Alot of Marketing to consumers will be done!

We tried very hard to keep the cost as low as possible to Artisans! We hope you will join in and be apart of the Artisan Directory and exposing your shop, websites, marketplaces to the world!

Come get your Spot you only have 2 days! Come get them at the Artfire shop You do not need a Artfire account to purchase :) Click here to visit the Blockheadradio Artfire Shop and reserve your spot before they are gone!

This Week on BHR

This week we are featuring Smadar's Treasure as the artisan of the week. Ruthie a.k.a. roseworksjewelry is back and writing the feature for us. On the music side Telling on Trixie is the featured musicians and Prettiest Transmitter of All by Dare Dukes is the featured CD.

5 Days of Piggy

Our good friend Pigatopia has received a publishing deal on her book "Pigatopia, A Book About Life on an Animal Rescue from an Animals Point of View" So, when the contract goes into effect she can no longer sell her self published books. She is having a great sale on this collectable and all week long you will have a chance to win an autographed copy. Just gotta listen to win.

Check out all the great shows this week by taking a look at our calendar on the front page of the website. A lot of great shows will be coming your way. We got all the podcasts on demand up. Each show has their available pods linked on their pages.

For those in the Artisan Directory. Ad proofs will be going out during the first week of July. Please proof and send back to Huck at a.s.a.p. We have the domain purchased and will be getting that out to the masses when we get the pages up. If you haven't gotten your ad spot yet, you can get one by visiting our Studio on Artfire.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Melissa Ale In the Garden

This week In the Garden I shared my process for brewing Melissa Ale, which if you tuned in, you’ll know is Lemon Balm Ale. Now, to keep things simple, I focused on making a small, 1-gallon batch of Melissa ale. I felt that a small batch might be less daunting for newcomers to try, and that experienced brewers can easily adapt it to larger batches! One gallon makes about 10-12 12-ounce bottles. A respectable start!

Now I’m not going to share the walk-through that I did on air in this post (you can listen to the Podcast on Demand for that), but I am reviewing the list of materials, and some resources to help you get brewing. You can check out at our In the Garden Flickr Group for more info too!

First, if you are new to ale brewing and thinking of getting a kit, most commercial ale starter kits prepare you for 5-gallon brewing and should cost about $100. If you want to brew lagers, that’s a different story, and one I can’t help you with because I’m an old school ale brewer. No muss, no fuss – that’s my approach to brewing and to life! So, on with the show …

For one gallon of Melissa (Lemon Balm) Ale, you will need:

  • 8 ounces of fresh Melissa officinalis, AKA lemon balm (or 2-3 ounces dried herb)
  • 1 tablespoon of earl grey tea (loose organic and fair trade)
  • 1 pound (2+ cups) of brown sugar
  • Juice of one lime
  • Ale yeast
  • 12 teaspoons of corn sugar (or any sugar of your choice)
  • Stainless steel pot
  • 1-gallon wide-mouth glass jar
  • Funnel
  • Spoon – stainless or plastic or dedicated wood
  • Strainer or cheese cloth
  • 1-gallon jug, AKA a carboy
  • Racking cane
  • Food grade hose
  • Bottling wand
  • Bung (to fit your carboy/jug)
  • Airlock
  • 10-12 12-ounce bottles
  • 10-12 bottle caps
  • Bottlebrush
  • Bottle capper
  • Love and patience

For a 1-gallon ale starter set, if you recycle/reuse/reclaim and have some basic quality kitchen utensils (IE: stainless steel pot, strainer, spoon), the most expensive piece of equipment will be your bottle capper, which runs in the $20 range. Of course, you can use Grolsch style bottles to eliminate that expense and you can find these bottles at thrift shops and yard sales. Anyway, based on these assumptions, I estimate that it will cost about $50 to get a basic 1-gallon fermentation station started. Double that if you want a basic 5-gallon start up.

For your brew, assuming you grow your own Melissa, the cost for a gallon will be about $7 … can you see the economy here? Not only that, but the chances of finding a Melissa Ale on the market anywhere at any price is highly unlikely.

So, get brewing!

Here’s a few resources to help you get started:

Brewing Books:

Home Brewing Supplies:

Also, check out my “What I Made Today” blog for my “Ale” and "Homebrew" tags for more inspiration.

Lastly, post your homebrewing questions here because I will be using them for next Thursday’s show “Melissa Ale follow-upIn the Garden at 11:30 AM, ET only Blockhead Radio! See you then, if not sooner and …

Get Brewing!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Last week to secure your spot in the BHR Holiday Artisan Directory

We are now at the last week for accpeting ads in the BHR Directory! As of June 23 we are on page 43 Page 42 was an article page. We have spots left, 1/4 page ads, a few 1/2 page ads, and a couple Full page ads. The back cover is available too! This is a Online Magazine and also available as a HARD COPY magazine! Launch Date is August 1st and marketed to consumers, it will also have its own Website. Find more information on any of the listings at This is the First debut of the magazine and it will be a Bi yearly, so next issue will be available Feb/March. We are calling this one the Holiday edition and will be great for using as promotional tool for the upcoming Holiday Season. You can secure your spot by purchasing your ad space for as little as $7.50 for a 1/4 ad page!

On July 1st the ads spots will be closed and no longer available.

Spots are available in Blockheadradio Artfire shop. Please fee free to ask questions.

We would love to have you along with all the wonderful artist that will be involved in this Holiday edition Of the Blockhead Radio Artisan Directory!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Artisan Showcase you can be apart of it too!

Blockhead Radio has created an Awesome Artisan Showcase !

Artisan can send in a bio and then a page is dedicated to where you sell at!

Visitors find the Artisan Showcase right on the front page where artisans links scroll, visitors click to the Showcase and can navigate each page with the alphabetical link bar.

This is Great advertising for shops, because BHR caterers to listeners that are potential buyers of the artisans.

The Artisan Showcase will be plugged on the radio throughout the week, and also there is promotional banners that will be used to advertise with there is also a page being made for the showcase in the Artisan Directory.

Spots are very limited because of the Amount of pages, but when you sign up to get your spot get this its $10 for life!! that means you pay a one time page set up fee of $10 and your Showcase page stays for life, or however ling YOU want it up. No monthly fees just the $10 page set up fee!

You can visit the Showcase pages here Visit Artisan Showcase

BHR welcomes all artisans any style to join into the Showcase. BHR Grows weekly with unique visits and Banner advertisers have been averaging 8,000 impressions a day!

Come grab your spot click here to visit Artisan Showcase Navigate through the Black Text bar on top and see the You could be here click on that to learn more!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Making Impressions of Nature In the Garden

Today In the Garden we played in the earth - in a manner of speaking - with a bit of clay, as I shared my process for creating my "Impressions of Nature." Of course, before we got to that I kept last week's promise ... to share with you my "recipe" for Green Manure Tea, a tea to feed your rooted friends!

I have small black buckets (nursery discards) that I make my “Green Manure Tea” in, but you use whatever you have on hand. In these buckets I place trimmings from my nutritional-rich symphytum uplandicum - COMFREY plants (which I have an abundance of), but you can use ANY nutri-rich plant matter, fresh or dried, for this purpose (listen to the “Infuse your Life” Podcast On Demand to learn about those nutri-rich plants!) Then, I fill the buckets with water, leave them to steep and ferment for a few days. Trust me, you’ll know when it’s ready because it will look and SMELL ripe and ready! Then ... I water my baby plants with the tea. It’s THAT simple!

Now ... let's review making those "Impressions of Nature." Let's start with the materials. I start by gathering these items:
  • air-drying clay (I use Creative Paperclay)
  • small bowl of water and/or mist bottle
  • rag
  • work surface (I use an old cafateria-style tray)
  • Nature (a leaf or blossom)
  • paints (I use acrylic)
  • a finish to seal your work
  • pin finding
  • glue
  • a little love is always a bonus!

I start by wandering my environment in search for a small willing leaf or blossom that has distinct form, definition and texture to it - one that will make a “good” impression. I gather my bits of Nature in a sacred manner, but you do whatever you're guided to do!

Once I have my leaf or blossom, I return to my workstation, you know - that tray with all the gathered materials and I pinch off a small piece of clay and shape it to complement the leaf/blossom that has volunteered. I shape and smooth the clay with dampened fingers - until it feels ready to receive the bit the Nature and when it is ready, I place the leaf/blossom highly-defined/textured side DOWN into the clay and gently press it in.

The bit of nature is removed and the clay allowed to dry. The drying time depends on the humidity, temperature and the clay you have chosen, as well as the thickness of the piece that's been created. I usually let mine dry several days before painting. So go take a walk in Nature, among gardens and celebrate your natural environment as your clay gets ready to be painted.

When it’s fully dried and hardened, get out your paints. I start with wash of paint to cover the whole piece and let that dry well. Then I paint the leaf or blossom and let that dry. Remember, be creative here, go a little crazy with color, sparkle and shine if you want! Then, when this is dry, seal it with a finish of your choice. This is optional, but it does help make a lasting piece!

When that finish is dry, grab your finding and glue to the back, let that dry and cure and then ...

Enjoy your pin!

And wear it to next week's show, when I'll be sharing another garden-inspired, creative process ... one that has been requested more than once ... one of special interest to those who imbibe in the spirited libations ... one where I will share with you how I make a basic Melissa Ale! So be sure to tune into Blockhead Radio next Thursday at 11:30 AM, ET for Making Melissa Ale In the Garden!



Who Loves Cake?

The founder and owner of She Loves Cake and Glutenada is on Chocolate Covered Bacon-The Best in Independent Food Finds, this Thursday at 6 PM EST on Blockhead Radio.  Cherie has been in business for several years now catering to the needs of those with a Gluten Free diet.  Cherie may take the gluten out, but she never sacrifices on the flavor. So whether you want to bake your own baked goods with Glutenada's mixes, or get some already baked for you, you will love what she has to offer.

Chocolate Covered Bacon-The Best independent Food Finds comes on Thursdays at 6 PM EST on Blockhead Radio.  We focus on a new independent food producer each week.  So be sure to stop in and see what we have to satisfy your cravings.  Go to Blockhead Radio, pop a player, and join us in chat for a load of fun each week.

James~The ClosetCreature -- your host

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Outside the Frame, June 17 show recap

On Wednesday’s Outside the Frame show we discussed the timely topic of Selling Art on the Fair and Festival Circuit. There are several types of fairs and festivals that take place each year – on the local, regional, national and international level. Local and regional shows are usually managed by an art group or through the city’s Chamber of Commerce most national and international shows are managed by an exhibition management company. The type of show you attend will impact the type of equipment you will need as well as determine the type of buyer, therefore, pay close attention to the prospectus and if possible, attend the show as a patron at least once before exhibiting.

Application procedures vary from show to show and are spelled out in a prospectus. Contact the show’s organizers to receive your prospectus. You will likely need to submit with your application three to five images of your most recent works and one or more image of your proposed booth setup. You may also be required to submit a signed Exhibitor License Agreement and proof of liability insurance coverage. Follow all application procedures to ensure exhibition eligibility.

If you plan to do only one or two shows, it may be more economical to rent or borrow your booth materials rather than to buy or build your own. Your booth space will determine your booth size – most spaces are 10’x10’, 10’x8’, 8’x8’, and 8’x6’. If you do a lot of shows, you may need to buy one or more booth structures to accommodate the various booth sizes. However, the most economical approach would be to build an adjustable booth designed on a 10’x10’ frame using removable two-foot sections, this will cost about $385. I have a tool, materials list and building instructions in a .pdf file on my website. You can purchase the very popular and easy to manageEX-UP Express II 10’x10’ canopy system (shelter) for $360 -- this special “Value Pack” includes the sidewalls and roller bag. Make sure that your canopy, sidewalls and any vertical display fabrics in your booth are flame-retardant.

Booth banner – you can purchase one to match your business cards and other stationery at VistaPrint. Display tables – depending upon booth size, I use one or two 5 ft. display tables. You can get an “Iceberg” 5ft. Resin Fold-in-Half table with carrying handle at Staples for $120. Table skirts and clips – you should purchase a floor length table skirt as this provides a great place to store extra product and packaging out of sight; you can get table skirting from Table Skirts and Clips for $23. For artists, one of the key elements for your booth will be Art Display Panels. You can purchase aluminum mesh display panels at Graphic Display Systems. The standard panel costs $75. It will take three standard panels to line one side of a 10’x10’ booth – total cost for one side is $225, for two sides $450, and for three sides $675. Using simple 2by2 construction and pegboard panels, you can build your own art panels with some basic tools – I have tools, materials list and building instructions in a .pdf file on my website. If you are planning to do many shows, invest in a good dolly – your back will thank you!

NEVER leave home or the venue without checking everything off against an inventory sheet that lists all the merchandise, booth, display and sales supplies you have brought. I also use a predesigned packing plan to ensure that the car gets packed properly each time. Use packing boxes for transportation that can be nested together when storing. When packing your vehicle, be sure to fill the load so that it won’t shift from front to back or side to side and make sure that you put the booth and display materials in last so that they can be removed first. Do not forget to take your exhibitor’s map with you so that you can set up your booth so that the entrance is in the correct location!! If it is not apparent on the map, ask the show organizer or show staff in order to get the correct orientation.

Use a separate sales table and be sure to bring sales supplies such as receipt books, tax charts, calculator, price list, inventory list, pens, business cards and other promotional materials, and a guest book/mailing list for visitors to sign. For handling money, I use a small locking cashbox that fits inside my purse so that I can take it with me whenever I leave the booth. If you do not have a cashbox, you can use a fanny pack. You should have a money belt on your person to transfer money in secret from your cashbox or fanny pack – always leave only enough in the cash box or fanny pack necessary for making change. Separate your checks and credit card slips from your cash so that if your cash is stolen, you can still process your checks and credit card sales. Cash should be divided up and stashed in several places on your person – bra, socks, underwear, shoes, etc. Take your sales-related valuables out of your booth with you at night. I use a small toolbox to store these materials.

Keep your booth neat, clean and tidy. You want your booth to be warm, inviting and welcoming to patrons – make sure that this is the vibe you are giving off. Think about presentation on every level from your booth, displays, product, personal clothing, attitude, and service. If you demonstrate art techniques be mindful to allow plenty of over-the-shoulder viewing access for customers and don’t obstruct pathways. Do not demonstrate any works that require you to have toxic supplies or hazardous materials in ready access to your patrons – remember, children are curious and parents attention is directed elsewhere.

Pay attention to what is going on inside and outside your booth. Criminals look for easy targets so look aware and attentive. Theft-proof your booth – make sure that someone cannot reach in and grab a piece of your work. Be aware of distractions and mindful that theft often occurs after we’ve inadvertently tipped a thief off to where we keep our valuables – they will often purchase something from you just for that purpose. Don’t make yourself a target. Avoid carrying moneybags, bank bags or items that shout “I’m carrying something valuable, rob me!” disguise it in an old gym bag or laundry bag – the smellier the better. Keep a low profile in the hotel/motel and if you leave valuables in your room, also leave a small offering for a potential thief such as a spare wallet with a bit of money left out in the open, or a small amount of cash left on the top of the dresser or desk. Being careful and aware is your best defense against theft. Knowing when to give up your valuables is important – always give up material possessions before putting yourself in danger. Upon returning home, unpack immediately in order to complete inventory and sales resolution, as well as, to update your mailing list.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Win you some LaDeDa

Win you some LaDeDa

How would you like some LaDeDa this week? Well we got a chance for you to win some. LaDeDa Creations is going to offer a $15.00 Gift Certificate to one of our lucky listenes.

Check out some of these great items from her shop that could be yours.

It's easy to win. Just have that player open this Friday, June 19th, and listen for your chance to call in to win.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Looking For Independent Food?

Do you love finding the best that independent food producers have to offer?  Are you looking for some new and wonderful food producers for your favorite foods?  Well we have a great guest for you, Foodzie the venue that brings you the best independent food producers.  Emily will be on air with use this week and will tell us what Foodzie is and what it has to offer you!

Don't froget to tune in each and every Thursday at 6 PM EST on Blockhead Radio for Chocolate Covered Bacon-The Best In Independent Food Finds.  Where e bring you the best in new and exciting companies bringing you new flavors and new products in a variety of ways.  Pop a player at Blockhead Radio and join us in chat!

--James~The ClosetCreature, your host

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Outside the Frame, June 10 show recap

On Wednesday’s Outside the Frame show in Part Two of Pricing Strategies: Factors and Formulas, we discussed “Competitive-based Pricing” and “Cost-based Pricing”. Any pricing strategy must pay attention to the Price – Value Relationship. Consumers expect gourmet food to cost more than fast food and for a luxury car to come with a higher sticker price than an economy car.

Competitive-based Pricing is a method of pricing your work based on the price your competitors are charging for similar products. It’s important when seeking comparables among competitors that you compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges. Base pricing on how much other artist charge that live in your geographic region, work in similar mediums, sell through similar venues, and create similar art – also take into account their career accomplishments, experience, and the quality of their work.

Cost-based Pricing is a method of pricing your work based on pricing factors such as materials and labor costs associated with producing the product. There are primarily five factors you need to take into consideration when utilizing cost-based pricing and they are:

Manufacturing Costs: The cost of materials used to produce an item. When factoring these costs make sure to take into account shipping & handling charges, delivery charges, and/or the gas required to pick up supplies.

Labor Costs: Determine how much time it takes you to produce an item. If an assistant is needed to keep up with the production, be sure to factor this in. Labor costs are usually calculated using an hourly formula. You should at the very least make minimum wage; the Federal minimum wage in the U. S. is currently $6.55 and will rise to $7.25 on July 24, 2009.

Overhead Costs: Overhead costs or fixed costs are the costs of products and services required to run your business such as studio rent, electric, phone, etc. These costs will remain the same month-to-month whether you manufacture under 10 items or over a hundred.

Selling and Marketing Costs: Costs that pertain directly to the selling of your product -- listed in the “Expenses” section of your monthly balance sheet -- such as advertising, show fees, samples, as well as, sales labor (such as the amount of time you are away from production) travel, meals, etc.

Profit Margin: Most people think of profit as all the money that is left over after expenses and make the mistake of confusing profit with “bonus” or “salary”. Profit is neither. Profit is not optional and is a necessary part of your operating expenses.

These five factors impact your pricing in this manner: labor & manufacturing costs together should equal 1/3 of your wholesale price; overhead & selling/marketing costs together should equal 1/3 of your wholesale price; profit alone should equal 1/3 of your wholesale price. Each third being in proper proportion is necessary to ensure a healthy business.

Hourly Rate Formula:
Productive Hours Per Week (PHW) x Weeks Per Year (WPY) = Productive Hours Per Year (PHY) --- Determine your Annual Income Target (AIT) based on your pricing factors. Divide your AIT by your PHY to arrive at your Hourly Rate (HR).

Your PHW is 75% of a 40 hour workweek or 40 x 75% = 30. There are 52 weeks in a year and you want to take 4 weeks vacation and 2 weeks for illness or 52-4-2=46. Lets say you need to make $50,000.00 (AIT) to cover your pricing factors. PHW (30 hours) x WPY (46) = WPY (1,380). AIT ($50,000.00) divided by WPY (1,380) = $36.23 (HR).

Bear in mind the more productive hours you tally per week and the more weeks per year you work generates more productive hours per year and thereby increases your annual income target or reduces the hourly rate you need to charge.

Square Inch Rate Formula:
Total Square Inches (TSI) x Cost Per Inch (CPI) = Square Inch Rate (SIR) x 3 = Wholesale Price (WP). You multiply by 3 to cover the other 2/3rds of the equation: 1/3 overhead & selling/marketing costs and the 1/3 profit margin.

For demonstration purposes, lets use an 8 by 10 graphite drawing. To determine TSI multiply the height x width or 8 x 10 = 80 TSI. A $5 pad of 8 x 10 inch paper has 20 sheets and a $2 graphite pencil will last for 50 drawings. To determine CPI divide $5 by 20 ($0.25) and $2 by 50 ($0.04) then add them together ($0.29). Multiply TSI (80) x CPI ($0.29) = SIR ($23.20) x 3 = WP ($69.60).

If it takes you 2 hours to create the 8 x 10 inch graphite drawing in our example, how many will you need to produce in a year to earn your Annual Income Target? Let’s say you can produce 3 drawings per day and work 5 days per week; you will have worked 30 (PHW) but will have only earned $1,044 (WP x 15) and at this rate, you would have an AIT of $48,024 (52 – 4 – 2 = 46 WPY). Additionally, you will need to produce and sell 690 – 8 by 10 inch graphite drawings per year.

To make your pricing fall in line with your positioning in the art community and your experience level; you will need to alter the variables to move your wholesale price into line with what is competitive in your particular market and stage of your career. This is where your balance sheet is extremely important as it enables you to account for all your monthly operating costs and expenses.

Be sure to tune in to Outside the Frame next week where we will discuss tips and techniques for selling art on the Fair and Festival Circuit. Don’t forget to about the Outside the Frame Listener Appreciation Drawing see My Blog for full details.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Win a Morning BrewHaHa Candle

That's right the Morning BrewHaHa has it's own smell now thanks to Skyline Candle Company.

Blockhead Radio’s Morning Brew HaHa candle is hazelnut crème with a fun and exciting story! This candle is named after the morning show on As a Co-host and supporter of BHR I wanted to add a new coffee candle to my candle line and give it a fun name! So come on over to BHR at 9am week days and enjoy the show! I promise you’ll have a great time! This candle is 2 shades of mocha and the top is white!

All of our candles are made with 100% all natural soy wax and in small batches to ensure the finest hand-poured candle.

Join us Friday June 9th for your chance to win one of these great candles. Easy to do......just pop a player and listen for the your chance to call in to win.

Don't wanna wait. Get yours now from Skyline Candle Company.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

World of Widgets Round 1


How about a game? World of Widgets.

Here at BHR we are all about fun and giveaways. So every month we are going to be doing a new round of World of Widgets. For every place that you post a BHR widget you get one entry. We have a lot of different ones to choose from from BHR widgets to Stalker Widgets. All of the widgets that on our promote page are usable. Just go there and copy and paste the code of the widget you want. Place it in your AF studio, blog, site, etc and come back here and put the link in the comments. You get one entry for every place that has the widget up. We will be out checking through out the month. At the end of the month we will use to pick the winner. Rounds run till the end of the month and the winner is announced on the 5th of the following month. Every month starts a new round. So, if you don't win this month just put the link in the comments on the next round and be entered again.

Want a bonus entry..........repost this post on your blog and put the link in the comments section.

So what is up for grabs?

A RockerChic package. Pendent, Bracelet, and Earrings your choice from her Artfire shop.


So get those widgets up and let us know in the comments.........we will be looking, and thanks to all of our listeners for their continued support of BHR as we expose indie artist to the world.

Colonial Kitchen Plants on "In the Garden"

Thanks for joining us In the Garden today for Colonial American (& Elizabethan) Kitchen Plants! If you missed today's show, no worries, I'll catch you up a little in this post and you can always listen to the show when it is posted next week on Podcasts on Demand.

In the time allowed, we touched on only a handful of common plants that the Gentlewoman of the 17th-century might have used for food, medicine, dye and for crafting her tools to tend to home, hearth and gardens.

We started with the charming Houseleek, also called Hens-n-chicks (Sempervivum tectorum), a succulent little low-growing plant that might have been found growing on the rooftops of England, thus the name! Its cooling, soothing juices were used for treating burns, scaldings, shingles, ringworm as well as for making an eyewash. Not to mention that it was believed to ward of lightening strikes! Why did you think the English would have it planted on their roofs?

We explored lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and gill-over-the-ground (Glechoma hederacea), both used in ale brewing, among other things. We spoke of bedstraw (Galium verum), also called curdwort, for its use as ointment, in baths and broths, as well as in cheese-making. The virtues of beautiful sage (Salvia officinalis) were praised for their use in strengthening the brain and quickening the memory. It was even used to whiten the teeth and freshen the breath by rubbing the leaf on tooth and gum! We couldn't forget Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris), an important medicinal to women then ... and now. Did I mention Egyptian onion (Allium cepa aggregatum)? I know I closed the show with the native american bee balm (Monarda didyma), also called Oswego tea, which the colonists made a fragrant tea they called "Liberty Tea" as a substitute for the expensive, highly taxed British imports of the day. And there was jump-up-and-kiss-me (Viola tricolor), also called heartease and by other charming names - pictured above - that's been used (at least) since Medieval days to influence all manner of heart distress, including amorous intentions. I mean - just look at it!

If this intrigues you at all, you can start to earn so much more with just these few books:

The Herbal, or General History of Plants by John Gerard, as Revised and Enlarged by Thomas Johnson, 1633 - ISBN 0-486-23147-X

Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper - ISBN 0-916638-38-3 (hardbound) and 0-916638-20-3 (softbound)

Simples & Worts, Herbs of the American Puritans by Elaine Dow - ISBN 0-9615107-2-2

And another that I did not mention, since it only fits the far fringe of this topic, but one that is fine reading for grasping the ever-shifting history of (plant) medicine is: Herbal Diplomats, The Contribution of Early American Nurses (1830-1860) to Nineteenth-Century Health Care Reform and the Botanical Medical Movement by Martha M. Libster, Ph.D, R.N. - ISBN 0-9755018-0-1

Happy reading and I hope you'll join us next Thursday at 11:30 AM, easter on Blockhead Radio when we will shift gears a bit by looking at the creative side of life with Crafting from Garden! So pop a player, join us in chat and we'll see you ... In the Garden!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Outside the Frame, June 3 show recap

On Wednesday’s Outside the Frame show in Part One of Pricing Strategies, we discussed what motivates a collector to purchase original art, how artist confidence (or lack thereof) influences sales, and ways to immediately add value to your art by doing some very simple things.

Original art in marketing terms, is defined as a luxury item. The term “luxury” refers to merchandise that is purchased because it gratifies or satisfies not in terms of need, but in terms of desire. Spending on art is almost entirely discretionary, and the more expensive it gets, the more it takes on the characteristics of a luxury item. With discretionary items, consumers purchase luxury goods for the emotional gratification they anticipate that it will provide.

Primarily three triggers motivate collectors to buy original art; they are:
#1. A purchase of art is triggered as the result of a personal connection, either real or imagined, between the art/artist and the collector.

#2. A purchase of art is triggered by status or the belief, either real or imagined, that possessing original art sets the collector apart from those who do not own original art.

#3. A purchase of art is triggered by the desire to make a return on the collector’s initial financial investment with the hope that the original work will retain or increase in significance and value over time.

Each of the three types of collectors is attracted to art for different reasons therefore each looks for different requirements in order to make their art purchases. All will be attracted to the art for its point of view or impact, its style, and its quality of craftsmanship.

The first collector focuses on his or her ability to make a connection to the thoughts of the artist and/or share the artist’s perspective. It is this ability to understand and appreciate the art that attracts this collector and induces purchase. Whether this is achieved through actual conversations with the artist or vie the artist’s statement/bio, the collector bonds in some way with the art and artist, even if only in the collector’s mind.
To appeal to this buyer, all you need do is make your art accessible by sharing your process and influence behind the work with collectors. You can do this through discussions at exhibitions, festivals, and the like or via you artist’s statement.

The second collector focuses not only on their connection to the work but also with what owning this work says about them. This collector thinks about how the work will affect their social standing either through tangible or perceived benefits or detriments. For this particular collector, their self-esteem is tied to the work especially if the work is to be prominently displayed in their home or office. To appeal to this buyer, try to create works that are timeless and will survive fashion or style trends. The more overt your message in regards to political statements, philosophies, religious beliefs or values embodied in the art, the riskier it becomes to the collector to securely purchase your work as it may run counter to the beliefs held by members of their social circle.

The third collector focuses on art that he or she believes will rise in value and significance. These collectors are seeking artists that they feel are on the rise to stardom. Original art that is purchased for investment purposes is usually done so on the advice of counsel from an art consultant, art dealer, or some other influential art professional. To appeal to this buyer, you need to build a reputation and make yourself known to the people who are influential in the art world.

Everything that we consumers buy – especially luxury items – reflect aspects of ourselves. The clothes we wear, the car we drive, and how we furnish our homes is a declaration of personal style. Art is no different – the art people buy says as much about the buyer as it says about the artists who create it.

As artists, our confidence in our work – whether we are over-confident or under-confident – can be a huge factor in whether or not we sell our work. Arrogance is not accessible and desperation is not desirable. The terms you use to refer to your art can increase or decrease its value. For instance, a “master work” or “series of works” will have greater value than “student works” or “practice pieces”.

You add immediate value to artwork by informing, enhancing, and deepening the experiences people have when they see your art – which ultimately increases the price that collectors will pay to own it. Here are eight basic procedures you can put into action right now to enhance the value of your work.

*Sign Your Works
*Title Your Works
*Date Your Works
*Number Your Works
*Explain Your Works
*Provide Context to Your Works
*Document Your Works
*List Materials Used to Create Your Works

We’ve covered the first step toward developing a price structure on this episode. The next step, actually establishing a price for your work, is a little more involved. In order to establish a price for your work you need to understand the various pricing factors and how they relate to producing your product for your market(s) weighed against the costs you incur doing business. Do you know how many Productive Hours you work each week? When is the last time you took a vacation? Was it a paid vacation? Did you know that you could price your work in such a way as to pay yourself a salary that includes a paid vacation and sick days? Tune in to Outside the Frame next Wednesday at 1PM to learn how in Part Two of Pricing Strategies.

You can download the podcast on demand of the June 3rd show here: Part One of Pricing Strategies Special thanks to Shane Cox for providing the Outside the Frame theme “A Melody for Rachel”.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Will you be found this Holiday season?

Can you believe its June 1st!! WOW. Before you know it the Holiday Season will be upon us. People will be looking for gift ideas and gearing for Christmas.

This year in time for the Holiday season BHR is putting together an Artisan Directory. Which will be available online for Free and marketed to buyers! There will also be a Print Version available. BHR also plans on sending a few Hard Copy Magazine to some key marketing people.

Buyers will be able to browse the Directory and find Artisans to purchase from. Its a great way to get your shop out there. You can also offer coupons in the back of the directory to feed traffic to your shops.

There is:
1/4 page ad for $7.50
1/2 page ads for $15.00
Full page ads for $30.00

The full and half page ads are very limited. BHR wanted to make this Directory assessable to all artisans, a way to get noticed with buyers looking to find handmade goods and original items from Artisans across the world!

As to date we are on page 22 of the directory. There are also many articles, written throughout the directory. Telling about the Artisan worlds, and featuring many types of Artisan Styles.

You can reserve your spot by purchasing today they are on a first come first serve basis, and once spots are taken we will not be able to add more. Information must be received by July 1st!

What else is great? BHR Makes your Ads for FREE yes Free! so for as little as $7.50 you can get your shop out to the World for the Holiday Season The first issue is out August 1st!!

Come get your spot today don't miss out what many have already reserved Purchase your spots here at the BHR Artfire Shop you do not have to be registered on Artfire to buy off Artfire!

The Artisan Directory is for any Artisan crafters no matter where you sell at:
1000 Markets
Fine Art America
Anyone that creates is welcome to join!

BHR wants you all to have a place in the Holiday edition of the Artisan Directory!

Get your spot today before they are gone The Directory is filling up faster than we thought!! Which means it will be a GREAT magazine for the 1st edition for the Holidays!!

House of Six Cats Fine Art Photography Artisan of the Week

House of Six Cats

My name is Bill, and I have been a photographer since I got my first SLR camera for my 16th birthday, way back in 1983. Yes, that makes me 42. I fell in love with the art from the first roll of film I shot! Long story short; Worked too long in the custom photo lab business, and hated everything about photography. Didn't pick up a camera for over ten years, until our daughter, Cyan, was born in April of 2007. When I saw the images of Cyan, that our friends took of her, with their DSLR, and knew I had to get one! I picked up a Canon Rebel XT, started shooting our beautiful little girl, and my passion was re-ignited! Since Cyan was my inspiration, she has been my avatar since I opened my Etsy shop in June of '07.

Since then, I have since developed a decent online presence. I signed up with RedBubble, Trunkt, 1000Markets, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. I have made a great deal of friends on Etsy and have also started collaboating with a few of them. I also run the POE (Photographers of Etsy) Street Team.

My family and I moved from NY to Portland, Oregon in October of '08. I love it here, it a real mecca for the indie artist!! The community and support here is fantastic! I have started doing local craft shows, doing tons of networking, and I am going to be on permanent display in a new retail gallery called Love Art!

I am proud to be co-leader of POE, the photographers of Etsy, and proud member of the Interior Design - Home Decor team!! Search "POE Team" and "interiordesignteam", to find more great items for your walls and home!

Bill offers his photography in many mediums.

Sepia Dewdrops Triptych - Sepia Fine Art Photograph - 10 X 20

Early morning dewdrops sepia series, all three images in one print.

You will be purchasing an original 10x20 borderless digital photograph.

This image will be printed on Kodak Professional Endura Paper, with a lustre surface. Also available on metallic Archival photo paper, just state metallic in the notes to seller at checkout.All items are carefully shipped in cardboard via the US Postal Service.

Kelly Richey Featured Musician of the Week

Kelly Richey/Kelly Richey Band

"Stevie Ray Vaughn trapped in a woman´s body with Janis Joplin screaming to get out." This is how one critic describes Kelly Richey, a blues-based rock virtuoso. Buoyed by critical praise and fiercely loyal fans, The Kelly Richey Band tours extensively bringing their electric live experience to venues throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. The attention centers around this Kentucky native´s guitar playing; Richey´s proficiency has earned her comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan while gaining her a place on stage with blues legends, Albert King and Lonnie Mack. Richey has opened for artists such as James Brown, Johnny and Edgar Winter, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. As one journalist put it, "Imagine a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Ruth Brown and you?ve only begun to get the picture."

Built on unforgettable and explosive live performances, the Kelly Richey Band has developed an almost cult-like following, with fans picking up thousands of the band´s previous releases, most notably, Eyes Of a Woman, Sending Me Angels, and the electrifying DVD, Kelly Richey Live. Since establishing her own label, Sweet Lucy Records, Richey has released ten CDs, as both a solo artist and with her band. The label has secured national and international distribution through traditional channels and embraced internet digital distribution since the beginning of it?s availability to independent artists.

A national and international touring band, the Kelly Richey Band is backed by Shane Frye on drums and Jimmy Valdez on bass, each accomplished musicians in their own right. In her adopted hometown of Cincinnati, OH, Richey and her band have won multiple awards including Best Blues/RB Band, Best Rock Band, Best Musician and Best Band.

Given their timeless sound and considerable talents, the Kelly Richey Band will continue to awe, mesmerize, and rock audiences worldwide.

About Kelly Richey

Kelly Richey has been described as "Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman´s body with Janis Joplin screaming to get out." That?s an apt appraisal of the Lexington, Kentucky native who´s been based in Cincinnati for many years. Richey has often been compared to such greats as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan because of her ability to capture and entertain an audience with ripping guitar leads that both sing and astonish.

As a teenager, Richey practiced guitar 12 hours a day. "I never set it down," she remembers. "I took it to school, I took it to the kitchen table and if I took a walk it was strapped on." Now, when she picks up her guitar, anyone within earshot is compelled to listen. A working musician since her teens, she began her professional career as a member of the Arista Records group Stealin Horses; in 1990 she formed The Kelly Richey Band, with whom she has become both a national and international touring artist.

One of Kellys most cherished moments as a guitarist came in 1988 when she found herself on stage with the legendary Albert King at his sold-out show in Nashville. Invited to join him for one song, King told Richey, "That guitar is like a gun: if you pick it up, you better mean to use it." And use it she did, playing the remainder of the set with the late blues legend. In 1993 she was playing a benefit in Louisville where another of her idols, Lonnie Mack, saw her perform. Impressed with her strong performance, he invited Richey to join him on stage, and together they brought the house down with their dueling guitar leads.

Since establishing her own label, Sweet Lucy Records, Richey has released 10 albums and a live DVD, as both a solo artist and as The Kelly Richey Band. As an extension of Sweet Lucy Records, she built a studio where she records her own music and works with other artists. In her adopted hometown of Cincinnati, Richey and her band have won multiple local awards, including Best Blues/R&B Band, Best Rock Band, Best Musician and Best Band.

Richey?s involvement with music goes way beyond recording and performing. A longtime private guitar instructor, in 2003 Richey began developing a Guitar Workshop and a Blues History program to take into the schools. In 2004, she became an ´Artist on Tour´ with the Cincinnati Arts Association, and in 2005, was added to the Kentucky Center´s artist roster. That same year, Richey began delivering an adult education program that included a six-week Guitar Instruction class. The following year, Richey created Music for Change, a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to music education in today´s public schools; a variety of programs offering live performances, lectures, and interactive participation serve to facilitate learning opportunities for students while keeping the history of American music alive and prospering. Through standards-based instruction and academic enrichment, Music for Change programs support and strengthen existing school curricula. Recognizing that music is a universal language and the gift of music can be used to build learning skills and to strengthen each student´s imagination, Richey´s entire life is dedicated to enhancing the musical experiences of students and audiences alike.

KELLY RICHEY: Carry The Light
Carry The Light

1 Leave The Blues Behind
2 I Want You
3 What In The World
4 Carry The Light
5 Angela's Song
6 Jericho Road
7 Run Like Hell
8 When All Is Said And Done
9 No More Lies
10 Lookin' For A Fight
11 Time For A Change

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KELLY RICHEY: Speechless

1 One Day We'll Feel the Sun
2 Is There Any Reason
3 Only the Bird Knows
4 Climb the Highest Mountain
5 Stand Alone
6 And I Sing
7 The Longest Road
8 Without a Trace
9 If I Could Fly

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