Tuesday, June 17, 2014

To Share or not to Share...

Growing up I was taught to share.  To share what I had.  I may not of had much in terms of material goods growing up, but I never grew up feeling like I didn't.  I was content with what my parents were able to provide.  I always admired how hard they both worked.  My parents have been my first and perhaps my best teachers in life. 

When I worked as a tax auditor or revenue agent, whether the for the State of Texas or the IRS in Houston (almost 18 years ago!), sharing our work experience was part of our workday.  Although we worked our cases individually, we were encourage to share our experience as it would save others time.  I never hesitated to share a file full of tax research on a particular tax issue or problem with a co-worker.

As an artisan, sharing is part of my process.  I learn from many artisans on line either through  blogs, online tutorials, and on-line courses where I pay a fee for the class.  Most if not all on-line courses have rules where the artisan request you learn as much as you can but also give credit where credit is due.  Artisans request you use the skills you learn in their classes to create your own work, not copy it.  Use the skills learned to inspire you, to propel you to add your own artistic ideas to the project.

I have many board on Pinterest.  Whenever I feel a need for inspiration, I visit Pinterest.  I love to share many of my own original creations on various boards on Pinterest.

I have always done my best to be respectful of what I learn from artisans on-line.  My mix media inspired bags is a good example.  Mix media on canvas is a favorite medium of mine.  Creating She Art by Christy Tomlinson is a favorite.  However, instead of creating girls on canvas and sell them at local fairs/markets, I created girls using vintage patterns as a template and rather than paper I used fabric and other vintage fabrics:

When my bags got published, October 2013 by Haute Handbags, I gave credit to the two artisans who inspired these bags.....Christy Tomlinson and Jeanne Oliver.

In the past few years, I have been asked by friends and strangers, how did you do this or that.  I have never given it a second thought.  I told them.  I learn so much from others who share their knowledge, why not do the same when asked?

Although I do get to work on my handcrafted items from home and work at my own pace, I think I work harder than I ever have in my life.  Although it is a labor of love, at times, especially just before shows, it's real work.  I work mostly at night, sometimes till 1 a.m. then get up early to get my son off to school.  Some of those days, I work as a substitute teacher.  Now that it is summer, I still have to wake up earlier than I like.  I may get an extra hour of sleep in the summer compared to a school day.

Where is all this leading to?
I have been asking myself if sharing my original ideas is a mistake?  Even now, I do not know.

What I do know is this...
I work very hard to come up with original ideas.
Sometimes they evolve...
sometimes one idea spins off into another.
For example, if sharing how I make my vintage embroidered pin cushions is wise..

Since I sell hundreds of vintage embroidered linen pin cushions at local markets every year! I know, it surprises me even today that my little idea has done so well.  Maybe that is why I am feeling a bit overprotective over it?

Maybe I am now thinking more as a business person rather than Artisan?

I am proud to say, using vintage embroidered linens to create  pin cushions with vintage jell-O Molds is an original idea of mine. Others have used the jell-O molds to create pin cushions with fabric, crochet or quilt material, but I had not seen anyone use vintage embroidered linens.   I got the bird pattern on-line; however, rather than using fabric I came up with the idea of using Vintage embroidered linens.   

I have had success with both in the last few years at fairs and markets.

More recently, I started creating clutch handbags using vintage embroidered linens and have found them to be well received.

  The same can be said about my Altered Vintage Dress Pattern Dominoes Pendants.  I have seen a wide variety of altered dominoes pendants but none using vintage dress patterns.  Again, my new dominoes pendants have been very well received.

From time to time, I have been asked, "how do you do your pin cushions." Even last week at A Paris Street Market, I was asked and I told them.   Yes, you can call me stupid or maybe naive (that does not sound as harsh).  The ladies were grateful and appreciative I shared...from one artist to another.  Again, I learn from other artisans.  I get inspired by many pins on Pinterest; however, I do try to add my own spin or my own style to it.

I have to admit, after sharing how I made the pin cushions at A Paris Street Market I wondered if that was smart.  A year ago, I would not of even given it a second thought.

I pin much of my own original creations on Pinterest.
I love to share my work with others.
Should I however NOT  share how I make the item, especially,
if it is something I sell hundreds of?
Coming up with the pattern to get my pin cushions just right took time and many attempts until I was happy with the results.  There are also several "tricks of the trade" I have learned in the process of creating several of my original items.

 I have shared in good faith.
Good faith that the person will make a pin cushions with a vintage embroidered linen created by a grandmother or someone special for themselves or a gift.
What is to stop them from just creating a bunch and selling them?  
The reality is ... Nothing!

The question is...
Should I continue to share my ideas with others when asked?
I don't know...I do not have an answer.
I am conflicted...

Anyway, just had to get that off my chest.
I know I am not alone when it comes to sharing of ideas and trying to protect them. That last statement is a contradiction because sharing and protecting are polar opposites.
Is it possible to do both?

In today's culture, it's impossible.
 In any case I wanted to share my feeling about why I am feeling protective over my original ideas.  Especially my vintage embroidered pin cushions,
perhaps because they are my first successful original idea.
These little vintage embroidered pin cushions are dear to me, 
they are after all... MY BEST SELLERS!

You will find Isa Creations at the following locations.  Vintage embroidered  linen pincushions, birds, and clutch bags at

The Pink Attic Cat
2555 West Alamo
in downtown Littleton

or SEWN 
18 Broadway, Denver

or The Bees Knee's Antiques & Interior at the Barn in Castle Rock (Pin cushions only)

or Gemini Gardens
(Birds and pincushions only)
in Minturn near Vail

The Rose Tea Room
Broomfield, CO
(Altered Vintage Dress Pattern Dominoes Pendants only)

And in the near future, you may find them in a another shop! If and when it happens, I will post it on my blog and Facebook page.

I am happy and proud to say if you find these items at the shops listed above, they are Isa Creations!
 I have made each and every one!

 Altered Vintage Dress Pattern Dominoes Pendants

and Vintage Embroidered Linen Clutch bags:

and finally,

I want to share a drawing my son Alex made for me several years ago.  It made me smile.

Love to see my pin cushions, my boards and even my birds...
Mommy making a sale!  Sweet!!

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