DIY Weaving – 10 Beautiful Weaving Kits for Beginners!

It’s no secret that weaving, macrame, and fiber art have taken off in popularity in recent years. For those interested in getting started with weaving, here are 10 beautiful weaving kits for beginners!

Weaving Kit from Sunday Weaves

This beginner’s tapestry weaving kit from Sunday Weaves comes with a special Learn to Weave instruction booklet, a handmade, Tasmanian ash sustainable loom (40cm x 30cm), sustainable recycled wool, and all of the tools necessary to make your first wall tapestry!

Weaving Kit from Mego Workshop

This weaving loom kit for beginners from Mego Workshop includes PDF instructions and vegan friendly yarn in stunning earthy colors. Weaving area on the loom is 30x30cm.

Weaving Kit in Summer Colors from Wild Woven

This weaving kit for beginners from Wild Woven come in beautiful boho summer colors. The kit comes with an instruction booklet, a rustic weaving loom, hand spun fair trade yarns, a hand carved weaving needle, and a hessian scrap and driftwood to add some found elements to your piece!

Coaster Weaving Kit from Fiber Huis

This coaster weaving kit from Fiber Huis comes with four different coaster weaving projects that each teach a different weaving lesson. At the end you’ll have some fun DIY gifts to give away or keep for your coffee table!

Cream Weaving Kit from Sky Carter Colour

Looking for a kit that comes with some neutral colored yarn? This cream and camel weaving kit from Sky Carter Colour comes with all the supplies you’ll need to craft your neutral wall hanging! The kit also comes with an instruction booklet and Youtube tutorial!

Weaving Kit from Handiwork Your Love

This beginner’s weaving kit from Handiwork Your Love can be ordered in four different colors (walnut, red wood, black, and natural), and is small enough to be easily portable for trips!

Circular Weaving Kit from Wool Couture Company

This circular weaving kit from Wool Couture Company can be purchased at three different levels – basic kit, starter kit, or quintessential kit. Wool Couture Company also provides quality how to videos on weaving that you’ll love!

Weaving Kit from The Creativity Patch

This beautiful weaving kit from The Creativity Patch comes with ocean colored yarns, which include some fluffy vintage mohair yarns along with the traditional wool.

Macrame Weaving Kit from Home Vibes Macrame

This beautiful macrame DIY kit from Home Vibes Macrame comes with easy to follow instructions, a Tasmanian oak dowel, and cotton rope in the color of your choice!

Large Weaving Kit from Sheweave Craft

Looking for something a big bigger? This large weaving kit from Sheweave Craft comes with a 54cm X 60cm beechwood loom, and is height adjustable! All of the weaving tools come with this kit except for the yarn – you’ll have to purchase the yarn separately.

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Learn how to weave on Skillshare! Click the link below to get your first two months free!

Top Tips for Promoting Your Art with Tailwind’s New Instagram Hashtag Feature!

Disclaimer: I receive a a small commission at no extra charge to you when you purchase anything from certain links in this post.

Back in August I wrote a post on How to Promote Your Art on Pinterest, where I covered my favorite aspects of Tailwind and how it’s helped me increase my art business and blog traffic. Within one week of using rich pins and scheduling my pins in Tailwind, and using Tailwind Tribes, my Pinterest average monthly viewers increased by 16,000, and by the end of August, 2018 it skyrocketed another 22,000, with a total of 38,000 average monthly viewer increase! My average daily viewers and people engaged with my pins increased dramatically and I made some sales on Etsy. Today, in May of 2019, my monthly viewers are sitting pretty at over 80,000!! That’s HUGE!

Since then, Tailwind has launched some new Instagram related features that have been highly requested. They now both support video auto posting for business accounts and they have a brand new Instagram hashtag feature! This tool essentially lets you add your Instagram hashtags to your first comment right within Tailwind.

First of all, here’s how it works:


💮 Go to your Instagram Tailwind account (make sure that it’s connected to your Facebook and the phone Tailwind app for all special posting features) and upload your image into the Publisher, write your caption and then type the # symbol to get predictive hashtag suggestions.

💮 Click to choose or add frequently used hashtags from your list (or create lists as you go).

💮 Check the box to move those comments from your caption to your 1st comment.

💮Click “Add To Queue” to automatically schedule your post for the best time or post at a custom time.

This feature allows you to:

💮 Add hashtags in your first comment with the click of a button

💮 Hide hashtags in your caption 

💮 Separate hashtags if you’d like to keep a few in your caption and add the rest to your first comment

I tried this out to show you guys how it went. I ended up using this opportunity to announce my newest Etsy shop additions, digital downloads! You can check out my post here.

My favorite thing about this tool is that it gives you hashtag suggestions based on your descriptions, which change as you write, and if you hover over them Tailwind will tell you how many posts are out there using that hashtag and whether it’s niche, good, best, or competitive:

You can add up to 30 hashtags, and save your hashtags in lists so you can easily use them for future posts!

You can also choose a location or tag other accounts in your scheduled post, as well as check the box to “Post hashtags in the first comment” to declutter things a bit!

I then chose a Pinterest board to post to as well, and scheduled my auto-post Instagram post for the next best suggested time slot by clicking “Add to Queue.”


Of course, with any of these tools you have to keep in mind that posting often and at the right times, using good hashtags, and interacting in Instagram comments and your story are going to be key to increasing your traffic, followers, and sales. Can’t wait to get started on scheduling my next week or two of Instagram posts!

You can learn more about Tailwind’s newest Instagram posting features in theirlaunch blog post.

*If you’re new to Tailwind, you’ll get a free month of Tailwind Plus!

Interview with Printmaker Lily Livingston

I’m pleased to introduce everyone to printmaker Lily Livingston from Winchester, UK! You can find Lily’s work in her Etsy shop, make sure to stop by and show her some love!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art? How did you get into printmaking? 

I studied illustration as a degree at uni, and halfway into my first year I found myself pushed into the print room to try and experiment with new techniques. Linocut seemed to be a simple, entry-level starter point. My first linocuts were truly awful!! But I quickly realized that lino didn’t have to be simple, I could do my usual illustration style, and somehow carving became truly therapeutic for me as I became immersed in the small details of fur. I spent the last two years of my degree happily ensconced in the print room, making large-scale linocuts and printing them on the Albion press.

Since then I’ve become a qualified gardener, and I do all my carving and printing from home at my little desk. I still do only lino, usually black and white, as that’s where my real passion is – and of course always depicting some sort of wildlife.

Where do you draw your inspiration from, and how do you decide on the compositions of your prints?

All the inspiration for my prints comes from nature and animals. I had a very outdoorsy childhood and spent lots of time in the woodland behind our house – I love animal folklore stories, and learning about the mythical tales, especially those from my homeland as I feel really connected to the landscape and wildlife here. I also love plants, and as I’m studying horticulture I feel this blends really well with my art – I enjoy illustrating the flora and fauna and mixing them together.

Composition wise I do a few thumbnail sketches, search for a few reference photos of whatever I’m drawing, and once I think a thumbnail works in terms of composition I’ll do a larger rough sketch. As soon as I feel like I’ve got something good I’ll sketch onto the lino, as I’ve found often I have the perfect sketch on paper, but can’t translate it to lino! I love sketching on the lino and it feels very organic this way. Then I can sort out any composition problems easily, and be ready to carve. I think I can instinctively feel when the balance is off – a lot of erasing goes on until it clicks! 

Do you have any fun projects in the works or in the back of your mind for the new year?

I’m currently working on another sleeping animal – so far I’ve done husky, fawn, fox and hare – so that’s kind of a continuous theme. I’m also working on a little project of native UK ponies, I’d like to raise some awareness for these beautiful horses. A friend has also asked me to illustrate a very large moose to hang on his wall, I haven’t started work on that yet, but it should be a fun project, and different to my usual stuff!

How has selling on Etsy been going since you started your shop? 

It’s been going well! I opened up my shop years ago back in uni, and didn’t really start to pay attention to it until around a year ago – I was travelling for a year so had quite a long break from printmaking before then. 2018 was a great Etsy year for me, my best yet, and it’s so gratifying and amazing to think that people want to own my work. Fingers crossed this year will be just as good!

What are some of your favorite printmaking art products to use (paper/ink/tools etc)? 

I have a very basic roller, but plan to invest in a professional one this year. Saying that, it does the job! I love my Jackson’s water-based inks, and couldn’t be without my Powergrip tools! I own two Pfeils which I have been very impressed with, and hope to invest in a few more this year. I swear by the traditional, hessian-backed lino – it’s very firm so allows for all those intricate details. I really like Khadi and Somerset paper, Khadi is a great cotton rag which is very tactile.

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Interview with Amanda Bosveld from Dear Musketeer

It’s my pleasure to feature Amanda Bosveld from Dear Musketeer on the blog. Make sure to check out her Etsy shop and leave her some love in the comments!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your creative journey? 

I’m Amanda, from the beautiful island of Tasmania in Australia. I’ve always been madly in love with creating, art and design. I’m a qualified graphic designer by trade, but when I got seriously sick with (what I now know to be) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome five years ago I resigned from my corporate job and have totally changed direction.

This illness has an extreme amount of challenges but it’s also given me time and space to grow the little business that is Dear Musketeer. I find so much happiness in the sweet distraction of creating – even on my many bed bound days I can still design or make. (It’s amazing how much you can still do whilst lying down, propped up on a sea of pillows). It’s wonderfully fulfilling to put my limited energy into something I love so much. I really do miss my old life as a graphic designer, copywriter and marketer. But I have always been drawn to the really artistic side of whatever I did more, so it’s been a beautiful, natural progression of my skills into this space.

My advice is to work with what works for you – don’t be pressured to do what you think is expected of you as an artist. You don’t have to create how others create or run a business in a similar way.

So many of us have unique challenges or limitations and there is no one way that is ‘the right way’ to be creative or to run a small business. My intention for myself this year is to focus on my 2019 goal of a ‘slow and joyous flow’ in my work. I know that I can’t push myself or be always on the go so I’m sticking with what works for me.

I wouldn’t say I have one preferred medium or style. My work includes digital art, painting, drawing and my latest love, fibre art (or ‘fiber’ for all you Americans). But my art for my Dear Musketeer shop is always based around it being wall art as I love interiors and offering pieces to make people’s spaces beautiful.

When did Dear Musketeer get started? How has your art business experience been on Etsy? 

I started Dear Musketeer on Etsy in 2011 but only for a short while since my work as a full time graphic design job kept me more than busy. So I feel I really started just a year and a half ago with my current art range and style.

Etsy has been the most amazing platform. Many other small creative businesses I have talked to say they stay away from it since they think the fees etc are too pricey. But personally, I don’t know of any other selling platform that would give me the same exposure to new customers and therefore more sales.

It is also very user friendly and you don’t need to be some web genius to use Etsy to its full potential. For example, I still have times I can barely get out of bed, so when I feel like this, I change my shipping profiles with a few quick clicks to increase my processing time. Then I simply change it back once I know I’m feeling a little better again. 
All in all, I can’t recommend it enough.

What does your artistic process like? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My work develops as I’m taken ‘where the wind blows me’. Sometimes I’m super inspired by the colours I see around me and ideas just spring into my mind. On my recent summer family holiday to Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula (please Google it and possibly put it on your travel bucket list), I was totally inspired by the white beaches, blue water and huge granite blocks that are coloured orange by lichen. This led to my latest collection of watercolour leaves art. Other times I feel compelled to work with my hands and just experiment and get super stuck into tactile forms of art.
I find inspiration all around me and always carry a little notebook to jot down ideas for later. I also find Pinterest a great platform for compiling (and finding) ideas and inspiration.

For other artists selling prints, do you have any solid printer recommendations?

 My biggest tip would be to do your homework. Email a number of printers and ask all the questions you need to to find out it the company to work with is right for you. If possible find someone local or in your country that will deliver to you in your time frames and with your quality requirements.
I recently changed printers since I wanted to upgrade my printing quality and paper stocks. I would say I was possibly annoying with the amount of questions I asked different printers. I’m fussy and with good reason – I want to give my customers the best! I knew the right people to work with would understand my desire for amazing quality and consistency, plus be able to work with my time frames. I therefore found a printer who I now have the best and easiest working relationship with. The quality and consistency of their prints are amazing, so in turn I’m then so happy and confident to sell to my customers. Win win!!

Are there any projects in the works for the coming year?

Ah there sure is – my work is always evolving. I’m currently in the process of creating prototypes for some unique style wall hangings. I’m also going to expand my print range plus offer gallery pack options and canvas prints with hangers too. Where else my art goes, I don’t know. We’ll just see where my ever inspired mind and whim takes me.

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Top Tips for Launching Your Skillshare Art Class

Skillshare is a wonderful place where you can learn how to build skills without paying the high price of taking an in-person workshop or class elsewhere online. It’s also a great place for artists to launch courses teaching others how to hone artistic skills.

This article features 5 art instructors who share their top tips for launching your Skillshare art class!

If you’re interested in learning more about Skillshare, or want to sign up for a Premium account to get 3 months for $0.99, follow my referral link here.

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Tom Froese

Artist and Illustrator Tom Froese, who most recently launched his “Odd Bodies; Illustrating Expressive, Stylized People” course on Skillshare (take the class here), shares his top tips for launching your Skillshare art class.

1. What should you teach? Find something that you are good at and that others would want to know how to do. It should be something that balances useful and fun. 

2. How should you structure the class? In my experience, classes that are centered around a clearly defined, shareable project are the most successful. The more accessible (easy to do for everybody at all levels) the better, but going more niche or pro is also good. Use the project to demonstrate the skills you are teaching. Avoid teaching skills that cannot be used in the project. Keep things as concrete and practical as possible. Provide clear, actionable steps, and easy to follow examples.

3. How should you engage your students? Be positive, encouraging and authentic in your videos. Look at the camera, sit upright, and use your face muscles (this is hard for me, since I have a bad case of RBF). Follow the Skillshare Class Guidelines and Class Publishing Checklist. Once you publish your class, respond ASAP to each and every class project. Encourage and praise all efforts. Don’t offer too much critique unless asked. I find most students want to share and celebrate, and often feel quite vulnerable. Share their work on your social media feeds if possible. Keep the overall class length to 30-60 minutes if possible.

4. How should you produce your class? While quality matters, and the better your A/V equipment the better the quality of your class, the absolute most important thing is the quality of your content/topic, the structure of your class, and the clarity in which you deliver that. Tabitha Park teaches this helpful class on using basic equipment to record and edit your class. You can also peruse the Skillshare Class Production AMA discussion I held in July 2018 for some tips.

5. How long will it take to produce a class? As long as it takes. Personally, I spend 100-300 hours each class, from early brainstorming, to writing, to recording, editing, and creating all the demo assets. As with most things, it takes a long time to craft something of high quality. Hopefully you can work faster than me, but be prepared to put in the time and do it right. You only get one chance to hit Publish on your class and make that first impression. 

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Nic Squirrel

Artist and Illustrator Nic Squirrel, who most recently launched her “iPad Art: Create Robots – An Introduction to Affinity Designer” on Skillshare (take the class here) shares her top tips for launching your Skillshare art class.

Think about something you do in your art practice that people may find helpful or interesting.  Maybe you do things a certain way, have developed techniques, shortcuts and systems, or use a particular program, app or art material.  Maybe you have specialist knowledge in a certain field.  Teach what you know and what you do.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the technical side.  I had never even filmed a video on my phone before, but if you join in with Skillshare’s 30 Day Challenge for new teachers and look at the Teacher Handbook you will be armed with all the information and encouragement you need.  You can get started without a huge outlay using minimal equipment.

Once you launch your class, be sure to market it on social media to let people know about it.  Again, there is plenty of information about this in the Teacher Handbook.  Consider making a short taster video about your class to share on social media, and mention that people can get a free trial of Skillshare Premium using your link.  The sooner you market your class, the sooner you will get enough students to appear in the Trending section, which then means you will get even more students enrolling.”

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Camilla d’Errico

Comic artist and illustrator Camilla d’Errico, who has done work for clients such as Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Random House, Tokyopop, Hasbro, Disney, Sanrio, Neil Gaiman, and more, recently launched a course called “Imaginative Drawing: Developing Concept Art Characters” on Skillshare (take the class here). Camilla shares a brief comment on starting a Skillshare course:

“Starting up with Skillshare is a fantastic way to share what you know and connect with a knowledge-driven community. My pro-tip is to be prepared! Set out all your materials neatly in advance, and plan your lessons and steps ahead of filming. Then get ready to share share share your new lesson links on your social media! Promoting your new releases and where to find them is a huge part of being an independent artist!

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Cat Coquillette

Illustration, design artist, and world traveler Cat Coquillette recently launched her course “A Step-By-Step Guide to Art Licensing” on Skillshare (take the course here) and shares her top tips for launching a course on Skillshare:

My vocation goes beyond painting – I’m also passionate about using my experience and success to help other creatives reach their full potential. I believe in community over competition, and devote a large part of my brand to creating resources that allow fellow artists to thrive. I’ve published a series of video courses on Skillshare that educate fellow creative entrepreneurs in building their businesses. My classes cover a wide variety of topics, including finding your artistic niche, marketing through social media, selling artwork online, working with clients, and making a name for yourself in the online art world.

Your class doesn’t have to be 100% perfect to hit publish. You’ll learn as you go and get better as you become more familiar with the process. The first time I filmed an intro video, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought filming in a jungle cafe would be exotic and interesting, but I was dead wrong– the humidity blurred my camera lens and my voice was overshadowed by the background noise of chirping geckos. I can chalk that up to inexperience and learn from my mistakes. 

Now, with several classes under my belt, I’m more familiar with the production process, including what works and what doesn’t. Teaching online is a constant learning curve; every time you publish a new class, it’ll be more polished than the one before.

 Don’t forget to get involved with class discussions– this is a great opportunity for you to check in with your students and make sure they’re getting the most from your class. I’ll often answer questions in the discussion thread that give me bonus material for new class content as well. 

Lastly, have fun with it! I choose my curriculum based on the things I wish I would have known when I was first getting started. I try to infuse my sense of humor into the content, especially in my more technical classes where it’s probably needed most. My classes are a mixture of art/technical content and business advice.

By creating a series of video classes on Skillshare, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to become an educator and directly help thousands of fellow creatives– whether it’s helping my students learn new tricks in Photoshop or provide tips about running your own business successfully. I’ve found it empowering to be able to use my personal experience to help other creatives reach their full potential.

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Denise Soden

Watercolor artist Denise Soden, who teaches the Skillshare course “Watercolor Mixing Based on Pigment Properties” (take the class here), encourages artists who are thinking about teaching on Skillshare to embrace their passions:

After many years as a zoo educator, I was faced with needing to switch careers due to health complications, and so my journey as a self employed artist began. My relationship with art had ebbed and flowed through my life, but it was around this time when I first found watercolors. I immediately latched on and refused to let go. Taking hold of my background in education, I began creating content for YouTube which later expanded into Patreon tutorials, but I was missing a sense of the depth and professionalism that I used to experience in the classroom.

In addition to my love for animals and watercolor, I also found myself completely fascinated with the actual pigments that are used to make various paint colors. In watercolor, these characteristics are especially intriguing due to the transparent nature of the medium. Expanding on a few different series I had previously created on YouTube, I turned to Skillshare to make my first in depth online course exploring watercolor mixing based on pigment properties in order to provide others with information I myself was so excited to learn. I believe that is a key component to creating engaging content on this platform: embracing your own passions.

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How To Promote Your Art on Pinterest | Rich Pins, Tailwind, Group Boards & More

 

Disclaimer: I receive a a small commission at no extra charge to you when you purchase anything from certain links in this post.

The most difficult part about selling art online or otherwise is that there are so many strategies out there that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. I’ve found that learning how to promote my art on Pinterest specifically is one of those strategies that shouldn’t be ignored.

The reason I’m so excited about Pinterest is because I know it’s a gold mine – over the past few years, nearly all of my art sales have been the result of viral pins on Pinterest. I’ve found that sticking to the following rules and using Tailwind have improved my Pinterest views, engagement, and sales with my artwork on Etsy and my artist website.

Set Up a Business Account

Setting up a Pinterest for Business account is going to be key to tracking your analytics.

Here are some pros of having a Business account:

  • If you already have a Pinterest account, you can convert it to a business account.

  • When you confirm your art website with Pinterest, it allows you to see what people pin from your website, and adds your logo to any pins made from your site.

Rich Pins

Once you have your Pinterest for Business account, you can start posting “Rich Pins“. Rich Pins are pins that contain important information, such as price, where to buy, and more. To learn more about how to set up Rich Pins for your business, click here.

Group Boards

Group boards have been integral to my success on Pinterest! When you post to a group board, your pin will be seen by a much wider audience, and possibly re-pinned more readily by others.

To find group boards, you can search Pinterest boards for a topic you’re interested in, with the word “group” as part of the search. To join, most group boards will have instructions for you to follow.  You can also create your own group boards by inviting others to pin to a group you create.

Here are a few helpful art group boards that I’m a part of:

Artwork

Contemporary Art

Framed Art & Framed Prints

Art & Decor

 

Tailwind

Tailwind is a magical app that lets you schedule your pins on a virtual calendar, and these pins are posted automatically and on schedule. So, why is Tailwind so great?

  • Tailwind is easy to use, as you can download a button to your browser and easily schedule pins directly from your blog posts, website, shop, and Pinterest itself.

  • You can create lists of boards for certain types of pins. For instance, I have a list called “Artwork” that contains 14 boards, and one called “Artwork and Etsy” which contains 28 boards, for those pins that fall in both categories. If I choose one of those lists and schedule my pins, that’s 28 pins scheduled to be pinned over about a week or two of time! This helps you schedule way in advance and not seem spammy.

  • Joining Tribes means that you’ll be part of Tailwind communities of people who will potentially re-pin your pins, and you theirs. Here is an overview of the stats from one of the tribes I’m in for creatives:

    • You can also create Tribes. I ended up creating one for Small Business Artists!

    • Tailwind now has a new feature for scheduling on Instagram and Instagram Stories! I haven’t tried this one yet, but looking forward to it.

  • Tailwind also has a hashtag finder!

 

When I first started with Tailwind, my average monthly viewers were hovering around 42,000 – my profile had been around for awhile, and it hadn’t gone up or down for months.

Within one week of using rich pins and scheduling my pins in Tailwind, and using Tailwind Tribes, my Pinterest average monthly viewers increased by 16,000, and by the end of August it skyrocketed another 22,000, with a total of 38,000 average monthly viewer increase! My average daily viewers and people engaged with my pins increased dramatically and I made some sales on Etsy. By the end of 2018 I had gained an extra 100,000 average monthly viewers and a daily increase of around 5,000 viewers and impressions. My stats also spiked as I became more involved in Tailwind tribes after taking a couple months hiatus due to morning sickness. 

 

Beginning of August, 2018

End of August, 2018

End of 2018

 

Take Jules Tillman’s Skillshare Course to Learn More! 

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Interview with Fiber Artist Mandi Smethells | Maker of Imaginative Fiber Wall Hangings

I’m so excited to introduce everyone to fiber artist Mandi Smethells! Her imaginative fiber wall hangings are just the thing to brighten a room. You can find Mandi’s work in her Etsy shop, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook. Mandi’s work was also recently featured in the Mollie Makes magazine!

Fiber Art Wall Hangings by Mandi Smethells Speak to the Beauty of Nature | Minnesota Based Fiber Artist | "Being a mom, and observing daily the wonder and imagination of my children is my biggest inspiration." #fiberart #wallhanging #sculpturalwallhanging #fiberartist #homedecor #interiordesign #interiordesigninspo #wallhangingideas #cozybedroomideas #livingroomdecor

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with sculptural fiber arts?

I am a full time fiber artist living in St Paul MN. This “job” is a dream come true and something I have been working towards since the moment I decided as a child I wanted to be an artist. I only discovered fiber art a little over four years ago, and I have been obsessed ever since. I spent several years working in weaving techniques, and felt driven to discover new ways of working with the fibers and colors I loved so much. Eventually the sculptural elements I was adding to my weavings started to stand alone and are now the wall hangings I create.

Fiber Art Wall Hangings by Mandi Smethells Speak to the Beauty of Nature | Minnesota Based Fiber Artist | "Being a mom, and observing daily the wonder and imagination of my children is my biggest inspiration." #fiberart #wallhanging #sculpturalwallhanging #fiberartist #homedecor #interiordesign #interiordesigninspo #wallhangingideas #cozybedroomideas #livingroomdecor

What is like as an artist/creator in Saint Paul?

I feel so fortunate to be a fiber artist in this vibrant community. Neighboring Minneapolis has a wonderful Center for Textiles (I teach a few classes there), and there are so many incredible artists working in the area. The seasons of Minnesota impact my work as I “feel” different colors and shapes associated with the weather. It’s inspiring!

Fiber Art Wall Hangings by Mandi Smethells Speak to the Beauty of Nature | Minnesota Based Fiber Artist | "Being a mom, and observing daily the wonder and imagination of my children is my biggest inspiration." #fiberart #wallhanging #sculpturalwallhanging #fiberartist #homedecor #interiordesign #interiordesigninspo #wallhangingideas #cozybedroomideas #livingroomdecor

Where do you draw your inspiration?

I definitely have developed a collaborative relationship with my older daughter who is nearly seven. We have brainstorm sessions to discuss colors and shapes, and she will even sketch ideas to work off of! She will tell everyone she meets that she suggested I make a sun. Being a mom, and observing daily the wonder and imagination of my children, is my biggest inspiration.

Fiber Art Wall Hangings by Mandi Smethells Speak to the Beauty of Nature | Minnesota Based Fiber Artist | "Being a mom, and observing daily the wonder and imagination of my children is my biggest inspiration." #fiberart #wallhanging #sculpturalwallhanging #fiberartist #homedecor #interiordesign #interiordesigninspo #wallhangingideas #cozybedroomideas #livingroomdecor

 

Fiber Art Wall Hangings by Mandi Smethells Speak to the Beauty of Nature | Minnesota Based Fiber Artist | "Being a mom, and observing daily the wonder and imagination of my children is my biggest inspiration." #fiberart #wallhanging #sculpturalwallhanging #fiberartist #homedecor #interiordesign #interiordesigninspo #wallhangingideas #cozybedroomideas #livingroomdecor

Do you ever receive custom requests?

I frequently have the opportunity to create pieces based on beautiful spaces, often nurseries or children’s rooms. I truly enjoy imagining the families spending time in these spaces with my work, and it brings me joy.

Fiber Art Wall Hangings by Mandi Smethells Speak to the Beauty of Nature | Minnesota Based Fiber Artist | "Being a mom, and observing daily the wonder and imagination of my children is my biggest inspiration." #fiberart #wallhanging #sculpturalwallhanging #fiberartist #homedecor #interiordesign #interiordesigninspo #wallhangingideas #cozybedroomideas #livingroomdecor

Fiber Art Wall Hangings by Mandi Smethells Speak to the Beauty of Nature | Minnesota Based Fiber Artist | "Being a mom, and observing daily the wonder and imagination of my children is my biggest inspiration." #fiberart #wallhanging #sculpturalwallhanging #fiberartist #homedecor #interiordesign #interiordesigninspo #wallhangingideas #cozybedroomideas #livingroomdecor

What has business been like on Etsy?

I am so very busy with orders and all the other facets that are a part of being a “one woman show,” and Etsy has made it so simple for me to manage listings, shipping, sales data and marketing. I value anything that makes my life easier, and I do find a lot of new customers through the Etsy marketplace.

Fiber Art Wall Hangings by Mandi Smethells Speak to the Beauty of Nature | Minnesota Based Fiber Artist | "Being a mom, and observing daily the wonder and imagination of my children is my biggest inspiration." #fiberart #wallhanging #sculpturalwallhanging #fiberartist #homedecor #interiordesign #interiordesigninspo #wallhangingideas #cozybedroomideas #livingroomdecor

SHOP MANDI’S WORK


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Fiber Art Wall Hangings by Mandi Smethells Speak to the Beauty of Nature | Minnesota Based Fiber Artist | "Being a mom, and observing daily the wonder and imagination of my children is my biggest inspiration." #fiberart #wallhanging #sculpturalwallhanging #fiberartist #homedecor #interiordesign #interiordesigninspo #wallhangingideas #cozybedroomideas #livingroomdecor

 

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10 DIY Hand Lettering & Calligraphy Kits!

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

*This post contains affiliate links – if you purchase any of these beautiful kits, The Art Spectrum receives a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I’m so excited to share these 10 beautiful DIY hand lettering and calligraphy kits with you! These kits will have you hand lettering like a pro in no time!

Brush Lettering Kit from Wildflower Art Studio 

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This Brush Lettering Kit from Wildflower Art Studio on Etsy is the perfect kit for beginners. The kit includes the following:

 Step-by-Step Instructions

Brush Lettering Guide with Illustrations

2 Fine-tip Brush Pens (black ink)

2 Wide-tip Brush Pens (black ink)

1 Gold + 1 Silver Brush Pen

4 Practice Alphabets

Sketchbook with 16 pages of tracing paper

Project Guide (including ideas for creating your own brush-lettered Greeting Card & Coffee Mug)

1 Blank Greeting Card and Envelope

3 Blank Tags

1 Sheet of Blank Cardstock

Click here to get this kit

Modern Calligraphy Kit from Amber Wilson Designs

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This modern calligraphy kit was designed to take the anxiety out of learning modern calligraphy. This kit can be purchased three different ways – as an e-book, an e-book with pens, a physical book, or the physical book with the pens – you choose! The full kit contains:

 90-page spiral bound workbook *including THREE fonts*

9 different lettering tools:

2 Tombow Dual Brush Pens

1 Tombow Fudenosuke

1 Artline Stix Ombre Brush Pen (color varies)

1 Pilot G2 Pen

1 Tombow MonoTwin

1 PaperMate Flair Pen

1 Pencil

1 Eraser

LIFETIME ACCESS to extra copies of the worksheets.

Support from the artist

Click here to get this kit

Modern Calligraphy Starter Kit from Angelique Ink 

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This classy modern calligraphy kit from Angelique Ink is perfect for those interested in getting into modern pointed pen calligraphy! The kit contains:

1 Personalized Name Card

1 Oblique Pen Staff (or straight pen staff for left-handed)

2 Pointed Nibs

1 Bottle of Sumi Ink with Dropper

1 Hand-crafted Wooden Inkwell with Standard Dinky Dip Vial

1 Notepad of Calligraphy Practice Paper with Traceable Alphabet

Sheets and Guidelines

1 Beautiful Screen Printed Tote Bag to Hold Your Supplies

1 Beginner Booklet to Guide You Through the Practice, With Full

Alphabet Exemplars, Warm Up Exercises, Tips and Tricks, and

Guidance for Developing Style and Finding Supplies

Click here to get this kit

Brush Lettering Starter Kit from Aria Paperie

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This starter kit from Aria Paperie is perfect for beginners! The kit contains:

22 pg Intro to Brush Lettering Terms, Basic Strokes, the Alphabet, and More

1 Tombow Dual Brush Pen

1 Pentel Sign Brush Pen

Click here to get this kit

DIY Water Brush Lettering Kit from Winterbird

 

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This beautifully curated kit from Winterbird is perfect for those interested in hand lettering in watercolor! This kit contains:

4 Royal Talens Ecoline Watercolor Jars (various colors)

1 Pentel Aquash Water Brush (Small)

1 Pentel Aquash Water Brush (Medium)

1 Tombow Fudenosuke Twin Brush Pen

1 Sakura Pigma Micron 03

1 Blending Tray with 10 Wells

2 2ml Droppers

1 Canson XL Watercolor Paper Pad

Blank Paper Sample of the Artist’s Favorite Paper for Water Brush Lettering

40 pg Booklet with Instructions, Practice and Some of the Artist’s Best Water Brush Lettering Tips

Click here to get this kit

Calligraphy Starter Kit from Rachel Carl

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This beautiful calligraphy starter kit from Rachel Carl comes in a gift box and a short instruction page – this kit may be easier for those who have already tried their hand at calligraphy. The kit includes:

1 Oblique Pen Holder

4 of Rachel Carl’s Favorite Nibs

Small or Large, Black or White Ink Bottles

4 Ink Holders

1 Wooden Ink Well Holder

1 Calligraphy Journal for Practicing (you can customize this with a name)

2 Exemplar Alphabets of Rachel Carl’s Signature Modern Calligraphy Font as well as a an additional Calligraphy Style Alphabet

A short instruction page to get started

1 Nice White Storage Gift Box with label

Click here to get this kit

Modern Brush Calligraphy Kit from Dashing Letters

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This stylish modern brush calligraphy kit from Dashing Letters would make a beautiful gift or starter kit for yourself! The kit contains:

60+ Page Modern Brush Calligraphy Workbook + Guide

12 Digital PDF Files of Brush Guides

1 Tombow Dual Brush of Your Choice, Hot Pink 743, Dark Teal 346, or Black N15

 1 Tombow Fude, Soft Tip

Tracing Paper Pad

Click here to get this kit




Kids Brush Lettering Calligraphy Kit from Kirsten Burke Designs

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

Looking for a kit good for the kids? This brush lettering calligraphy kit from Kirsten Burke Designs is perfect! This kit contains:

Special Calligraphy Carry Case

2 Brush Pens

1 Watercolor Paint Pallette

1 Small Fine Brush for Lettering

1 Large Brush for Mixing

Variety Pack of Folded Cards & Envelopes, Metallic Cards for Lettering, Blank Luggage/Gift Tags

Worksheets Designed for children ages 9+

Click here to get this kit

Hand Lettering Starter Kit from Cellar Designs

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This clean and simple hand lettering starter kit from Cellar Designs includes the following items:

1 Resource Sheet with the Artist’s Favorite Products

1 Info Sheet with Calligraphy Terms

Worksheets Teaching Basic Strokes, Upper & Lowercase Letters, Traditional & Modern Calligraphy Styles, Etc.

Canson Marker Paper

1 Tombow Fudenoske Hard Tip Brush Pen

1 Tombow Dual Brush Pen

1 Tombow Mono Eraser

1 Free 5×7 Cellar Designs Hand Lettering Print

Click here to get this kit

Beautiful Modern Calligraphy Kit from By Moon and Tide

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This stunning modern calligraphy set from By Moon and Tide comes with a personalized journal and classy elements, and you can choose between a kit for right handers and one for left handers. The kit includes:

A4 presentation box

Personalized Journal

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy Book (32 Pages)

1 Jar of Black Calligraphy Ink

Black Oblique Pen Holder

High quality calligraphy nib

10 Blank Gift Tags

Brush Lettering Pen

Starter Pack of Paper with Printed Gridlines

Click here to get this kit


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10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies


If you’re the type of person to learn more easily from video tutorials, check out these awesome hand lettering classes on Skillshare! The Art Spectrum has partnered with Skillshare to give readers 2 free months of Skillshare Premium

Classes: 

Hand Lettering: 4 Easy Steps to Modern Calligraphy

Hand Lettering Essentials for Beginners

Hand Lettering for Chalk Murals

What’s in your Lettering Toolbox? Know Your Hand Lettering Tools Like a Pro!

Learn on Skillshare

Interview with Artist Sam Pletcher

It’s my pleasure to introduce everyone to artist Sam Pletcher! You can check out Sam’s Etsy shop and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and check out her website!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art?

Art is something that I’ve always done, even before I knew what I was doing was considered art. It sort of just pours of my ears, even when I’m not really paying attention, I’ll find myself sketching or creating some random rearrangement of the things around me. I tell people a lot of my practice comes from not being able to sit still, and that is one hundred percent a true fact. My embroidery work began out of a desire to make my mark onto clothing but to also give my hands something to do while relaxing, (which sounds a little backwards) like watching a movie or talking on speakerphone to my mom. And before embroidery, it was doodling, and before doodling it was friendship bracelets and before that, it was making lanyards at camp. (It is no shock that I have given many homemade gifts over the years.) So armed with all of this energy and love for making, I entered college where I studied art, and was taught the importance of segregating art and craft, which just generally confused me. A lot of what I create in my art is based in my knowledge of crafting, as I think is pretty common for most artists, particularly female artists. Craft is an accessible form of art, in my opinion, so it seems pointless to exclude it from the conversation.

What is life like in Portland, Oregon? Any favorite spots that get you inspired?

Portland is an awesome place to live for artists. The rainy times can make for some great introspective creative moments, especially in the winter because the rainy gray season does provide kind of a natural “hibernation” almost, where you can kind of hunker down and get really focused on your art. That may not sound super exciting but the best part about rain is that it literally makes Oregon so green. The trees, the grass, the flowers (the roses in particular) everything grows like crazy thanks to the rain. And once the winter is over, you can really see how beautiful this place is. Being born and raised in the Midwest, the most magical thing about living in Portland is that I can drive to the ocean in less than two hours. It’s magical, it’s healing and it’s very cold.

As far as in town, it’s so hard to pick a favorite place to get inspired because I find new exciting spots all of the time. The City of Portland has an amazing public art program, so there are murals and sculptures and interactive pieces of art all throughout the city, some of which are gigantic and hard to miss and others that are only three inches tall and only available to the most observant. Downtown Portland houses America’s seventh oldest art museum, the Portland Art Museum, which is filled with wonderful works and is always worth spending the afternoon in. I could keep going on about Portland, but I’ll stop myself there. It’s obviously an amazing place to live and I’m glad I’ve found it.


Can you tell me a little bit about your first solo show? What was the venue? How did it go?

My first solo show was super fun and definitely nontraditional as far as most art exhibitions. The venue was at an awesome vintage candy store here in Portland (Candy Babel on NE Alberta St), that features lots of different bright colors of candy in glass jars among cool unique vintage furniture pieces. And somewhat unsurprisingly my artwork fit in really well with the décor, since both are quirky and colorful. There was great feedback from friends and strangers on my art during the opening reception and throughout the entire month my show remained up. I can’t wait for more exhibitions, I definitely have plenty of ideas.

What are some of your go-to art products?

My favorite paint to use on fabric is Jacquard Fabric Paints, specifically:

Textile Color, a nice semi-opaque fabric paint

Lumiere, a pretty metallic sheened fabric paint that covers dark backgrounds

Neopaque, a fabric paint like the Textile Color, but goes on dark backgrounds

What is your like process for creating your hand-painted t-shirts?

Each shirt is totally unique, since I hand paint every one. Currently, I’m choosing to paint a one of a kind set of images on each shirt, which is time intensive but very rewarding. The way I approach creating the designs is very similar to doodling out a train of thought. I’ll pick out maybe four or five colors of paint and then I stand over the shirt and think. Starting the piece is always difficult, since you need to come up with that first image to paint. I don’t like to begin with a specific idea or theme or train of thought in my head, because it doesn’t feel as organic as when I let my brain roam freely in my associations of different objects, just thinking about and picking one at a time. It is such a small difference, I know, but I really enjoy stepping back once I finish a shirt and finding the common thread or small narrative I created through my painted doodles. I think someday I may paint shirts that are not all one of a kind, and maybe focus on one image on many shirts, but for now I am enjoying my slow process!

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