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Fabric Covered Notebooks

  

For years, I have kept a stack of fabric covered notebooks nearby. I always keep one to sketch in, and love having them to give as gifts, too. I recently made a set of 40 in a single afternoon to give in the  welcome packets of the Immersion Retreat. They are incredibly easy to make and customize!

I used Art Gallery Fabrics new ‘woodland bundle’ for the set above and love how they turned out.  To make your sewing projects easier, AGF has created these fabric bundles to help you easily coordinate fabrics. With bundles, there’s no need to think about what fabric goes with what and if the colors are right, because the work is done for you. I’m honored to have several prints included in the Woodland Bundle and have found that they’re perfect for a multitude of projects. Grab your favorite bundle and sew with a theme you love!!

Here’s what you need:

1) A piece of fusible big enough to cover the size of your notebook, front and back. My favorite is Lite Steam A Seam 2.
2) A set of notebooks
3) A pair of sharp fabric scissors
5) An iron
6) Fabric big enough to wrap around your notebook.

Steps:

1) Iron a piece of fusible large enough to wrap around your notebook. 
2) Remove the paper liner and place the fusible to the wrong side of your fabric. Iron into place. 
3) Next, you need to apply the fabric to to the notebook one of two ways:

a) Measure your notebook and cut the fusible fabric to size. Peel off remaining paper liner (leaving the web on the fabric) and stick to your notebook, making sure to line it up perfectly!

-OR-

b) Iron the fusible fabric onto the notebook (both sides) and trim the excess away afterwards. I find this way to be easiest, because the notebook works as a guide and there’s no risk of wonky edges. 

4) Press for 10-15 seconds with your iron on medium heat (be sure not use steam so that the paper doesn’t curl).

*Every fusible is different, so if you use a different brand make sure to follow the package directions.

Making a set of coordinating notebooks makes a great gift set for friends. I still have a set that I covered with fabric from about 7 years ago, and though they fray slightly with time, I love them even as they age. 

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Hello, November! We’re several frosts in and feeling like it’s officially fall over here. I love the cool crisp air and the changing leaves! Tomorrow I’m headed to Texas for Quilt Market, then hosting a special retreat for Immersion students. The next week will be filled with meeting people (in person!) who I’ve gotten to know online – which is always such a treat! What does this month hold for you?

The print used in this month’s calendar collection is called ‘Aerial Blush’ from my new fabric collection, Gathered for Art Gallery Fabrics

November 2018 Calendar Collection:

↠ Click to download the digital desktop background 

↠ Click to download the digital smartphone background

↠ Click to download the printable PDF Desk Version

↠ Click to download all of the above as a .ZIP file

Here’s a little glimpse at our month. If you’d like to follow along with all the fun, I would love to meet you over on Instagram!

Please note: all images, patterns and designs are © Bonnie Christine. You may not reproduce, re-create or sell in any way, but please feel free to download for your own personal use. If you share on your own blog (I’d be delighted!) please direct your readers to this post to download the file. Thank you!  

 
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You are an artist. One of the first things you need to do before you’re successful is to own this statement.

Proclaim it and make it feel genuine. Say it out loud: I AM AN ARTIST! Trust me, I know this can be both liberating and terrifying.

I’m a B I G  believer in not running my business from a place of fear, but rather from a place of positivity and abundance. And in a flourishing art practice, there’s no room for fear or doubt. 

Let’s look at the difference between a ‘starving artist’s mindset’ and a ‘flourishing artist’s mindset’, because a vital part of your success will be due to this concept, alone.

Starving Artist vs. Flourishing Artist: A starving artist believes that doing what they love will mean struggling financially. A flourishing artist believes in abundance and is excited by all the possibilities their art brings them.

A starving artist mindset:

  • Fear that my artwork isn’t good enough.
  • Fear that my artwork will get stolen.
  • Fear that I won’t make any money from it.
  • I’m not a business person.
  • I’m not tech savvy.
  • I’m too old / too young.
  • I didn’t go to art school so I don’t know what I’m doing.
  • I’m just an imposter.
  • Suffering will make me a better artist.

The flourishing artist mindset:

  • I can learn anything that I set my mind to.
  • There’s room for me in the market, and I have something unique to share.
  • Promoting myself and learning how to market my work allows me to do what I love.
  • I love sharing my process and my work with the world.
  • My skillset allows me to explore so many different opportunities.

Being a flourishing artist means learning how to promote yourself, how to market your work and how to run a business. It requires a lot of work but can give you one of the most fulfilling careers possible.

Inside Flourish, I pull back the curtain on my business as a surface pattern designer and how you all the working gears on how I’ve built my business. If you have dreamed of crafting a career that you love, I would love to have you join me inside the Flourish Membership. 

Are you ready to flourish? Learn More & Register HERE.
 
Enrollment for the Flourish Membership closes tonight, Tuesday October 29th at 11:59pm EST. It won’t be opening again for 6 months. I hope you’ll join us!
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One of the biggest question marks when entering a new industry (especially when there are no standards!) is this: what’s the real earning potential? The truth is, it’s hard to discuss because the industry is all over the board. There are so many different ways to work and it seems that no one only does just one thing any more. All of these designers are running complex multi-faceted businesses. Plus, let’s be honest, it feels weird and vulnerable to talk about how much money you make, amiright?

It’s very rare that anyone just does one thing anymore – it seems like we’re all running businesses with many moving parts. For me, my income is pretty evenly distributed with roughly 1/3 coming from licensing, 1/3 coming from my website and membership and the last 1/3 coming from teaching. 

The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines estimates that a surface pattern designer makes between $25,000 -$ 78,000 +/- with an average salary of around $46,000. I would agree that this is a solid average and estimate, for licensing work alone. Start adding to it though, and the ball rolls a little faster!

The first year I put my business into motion, it made around $15,000. We had been living close to the poverty line for 3 years and those dollars were HUGE for our small family. In 2016, the business hit six figures and has been able to double that income from the year prior, every year since

All this to show you two things:

1) Building a multi-passionate + multifaceted business can serve you well.

2) This takes time, but eventually the ball does begin to roll!

 

I also have exciting news! The presentation I did at Skillshare’s Headquartes in New York last month is now available to view online!

During this quick (under 20 minutes!) talk, I cover:

  • My secret to making progress on my biggest goals.
  • The essential steps to finding your signature style.
  • The one question I ask myself before I publish anything.
  • How teaching has impacted my business and career as a surface designer.
  • The key mind shift changes you need to become a flourishing artist.
  • How I’ve implemented multiple streams of residual income in my business, and what exactly those looks like.
  • What my early years were like, how we struggled and how much money my business has made each year since 2013.
  • Plus, find out what makes me cry on video at the end!

Jump right in >> WATCH THE TALK HERE.  

BONUS! Download my FREE “Guide To Overcoming Overwhelm” and the slides from the presentation by texting the word DREAM to the number 345-345. Then, sit back and watch the magic happen!

 

 

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There are many different ways to make a living as an artist, and many paths you can to take in order to create your career. Included are things like selling original artwork and prints, licensing and illustration. What feels most like you? Following your intuition will be the best way to jump right in.

It’s most common today to see artists creating careers with many different moving parts. Creating a diversified income means you have multiple income streams so if one ebbs the other one can flow. If there’s ever a slow season for something, you can ramp up another part of your business to make up for it. This is absolutely what I have done through multiple streams of residual income (more on that in a moment) and it has allowed me to grow my business steadily and joyfully.

Don’t forget, this process should be slow. Take on one income stream and slowly add to it as you feel comfortable and inspired to do so, in order to avoid overwhelm.

Some examples of traditional (not residual) income streams to consider:

  • Selling original fine art prints.
  • Selling art prints (copies of your originals).
  • Taking commissions for fine art.
  • Illustrating for clients. Creating artwork for things like logos, websites, invitations, etc.
  • Commissioned illustrations. For example, working at a large company producing designs they need on demand.
  • One off book or editorial illustration.
  • One off product illustration.

By definition, residual income is when you continue to get paid after the work is done. I like to think about it as ‘selling with no ceiling‘. Meaning, if I create something once, can I sell it over and over? If the answer is YES, I will most likely consider it.

As I told you last week, I pivoted my business a few years back to focus nearly 100% of it on residual income and it’s be the best thing I ever I did for my business.

Let me break them down for you:

– Teaching. While my courses take a ton of effort, they require close to the same amount of effort regardless of how many students I have. Teaching on Skillshare, CreativeLive and on my own site allows me to create content, and sell it to as many people who want to learn it.

– Licensing. Most of the surface pattern design industry runs off a percentage base, so after you license a pattern, you’ll get a percentage of the wholesale revenue. Of course, income is entirely based on how well the product does in the market, but if a product explodes in the market you could theoretically make millions! And because you can usually license the same pattern for several different industries (wallpaper, fabric, stationery, wrapping paper, etc) at the same time, each pattern has a lifespan of it’s own and can continue to generate income for years to come.

– My Membership (that’s us!): Again, whether I have 500 members or 5000 members, my work load generally stays the same, give or take some extra support needed.

– Digital Goods in my Etsy Shop: While not a big money maker (for me, at least) I love creating digital goods because after I make them once, I can sell them over and over again. The entire process is automated- I don’t have to ship anything or even re-list them!

If you’re looking to diversify your income, consider adding a few things that will allow you to sell with no ceiling to your success. It’s fun and rewarding!

 

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Hello my tribe! I just returned home from spending a few days workshopping with some incredibly creative women in New Orleans. I’m feeling refreshed, inspired and ready to tackle our topic this month: adding residual income streams to your business.

Many of you know my story and humble beginnings. I largely got started in 2009 by selling handmade goods in a small Etsy shop. I had made enough money to quit my day job, but I was still trading money for hours, and I was exhausted

A few years ago, I pivoted my business to focus nearly 100% of it on residual income and it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done.

There are many different ways to make a living as an artist, and many paths you can to take in order to create your career. Included are things like selling original artwork, selling art prints and taking commissions for artwork.

But it’s most common today to see artists crafting careers with many different moving parts. There are so many of us that are multi-passionate and it can lead to a a highly multifaceted business.

Creating a diversified income means you have multiple income streams, so if one ebbs the other one can flow. If there’s ever a slow season for something, you can ramp up another part of your business to make up for it.

Lets pause for a moment to define the two terms we’ll be focusing on this month:

  • Residual income is when you continue to get paid after the work is done.
  • Recurring revenue is highly likely to continue in the future. Recurring revenue is predictable, stable and can be counted on in the future with a high degree of certainty.

We’re focusing on cash flow received on a regular basis, requiring minimal to no effort by the recipient to maintain it after the initial work has been done. I like to think about it as ‘selling with no ceiling‘. Meaning, if once something is created, can it be sold over and over? If the answer is YES, it’s worth some consideration.

Let’s look at it more closely. Selling a physical good that you make yourself, generally means you’re selling with a ceiling. Meaning, you can probably calculate the absolute maximum amount of money you can make in a given day, month or year. Just multiply how many products you can possibly make by how much they cost and subtract your expenses and you’ll get your maximum profit.

>> For example, I used to make and sell handmade aprons. If I could make (and sell) 12 in one day and profit $15 on each of them I could make $180 a day, or $46,800 a year if I did this 5 days a week and sold out each time. Of course, you could start hiring help or outsourcing your products to effect these numbers, but I’d say most of us are operating a one-woman show, amiright?

So my advice is to add to your income by adding at least one stream of revenue that has no ceiling. Think about things that can “make you money while you sleep” or generate an income based on percentages. 

Questions to ponder this month:

  • What are you an expert it? What have you mastered?
  • What problem do others face that you can help solve?
  • What can you make once and sell over and over and over and over again?

If you’re still stuck, consider polling your audience. Send a simple email that asks them, what do you want to learn from me?

This month we’ll be diving deeper into this topic and I’m excited to see how it can help build your businesses and create a stable income for you as a creative!

Coming up this month:

October 5th: How my business changed when I began “selling with no ceiling”
October 12th: My favorite ways to create residual income
October 19th: Real numbers you can work with
October 26th: Noteworthy Resources + Live Q&A

 

 

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Hello, October! Fall is always a welcome season in our home – the new schedule, new weather and all the beautiful foods and colors make us feel so alive! September was a busy month, things were a bit quiet on the home front but I was busy behind the scenes working on designing a new fabric collection and presenting at Skillshare in New York. This month I’ll be preparing for a retreat for Immersion students in Round Top, Texas (so fun!) and reconfiguring my membership, the Roost Tribe. Stay tuned for more details – I’m so excited about both of them! 

What does this month hold for you?

The print used in this month’s calendar collection is called ‘Sweet Harvest Olive’ from my new fabric collection, Gathered for Art Gallery Fabrics

October 2018 Calendar Collection:

↠ Click to download the digital desktop background 

↠ Click to download the digital smartphone background

↠ Click to download the printable PDF Desk Version

↠ Click to download all of the above as a .ZIP file

Here’s a little glimpse at our month. If you’d like to follow along with all the fun, I would love to meet you over on Instagram!

  

Please note: all images, patterns and designs are © Bonnie Christine. You may not reproduce, re-create or sell in any way, but please feel free to download for your own personal use. If you share on your own blog (I’d be delighted!) please direct your readers to this post to download the file. Thank you!  

 
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Hello friends! I’m writing to you from New York, in the sweetest cafe called The Studio. It’s filled with greenery, beautiful textiles and amazing art. I wish you were all here with me!

As many of you know, I had the pleasure of presenting at Skillshare’s Headquarters last night and it has been one of the greatest experiences in my career to date. I figured since we’re discussing all things teaching this month, I would share with you about my experience. 

NOTE >> next week, I’ll be hosting a Live Chat in our FB Group, where we can discuss content creation and any questions you have about teaching. Stay tuned for details!

About a month ago, Skillshare reached out with an invitation of a lifetime – to come present at their office in New York. I immediately felt my nerves want to say no, but I pushed them aside, said YES, and did whatever I had to do to make it work in my schedule. 

From day one, working with Skillshare has been a dream. They are constantly striving to reach more students, create better content and reward their teachers. It’s been amazing to work with such an innovative company!

Their headquarters is humble yet beautiful. Simple white walls, strung lights and generous windows that allow sunlight to pour into the space. There are two sides, one large open room with two meeting rooms, and another large room filled with community workspace. Long tables where they work side by side. It has a super chill vibe. 

I went by yesterday early in the day to meet with Mary, who I had been working with on the project, and to see the space. I knew that later that evening the CEO would be attending and that several people from notable press would be coming to hear my story. (Are you nervous for me? Ha!) Seeing the space immediately calmed my nerves, though. They are such a supportive family!

We had a ‘networking’ hour before the event yesterday and I loved sitting down and chatting with several people (most of them here, in the Roost Tribe!). During this hour, something unexpected happened to me -and  I was overwhelmed with the stories from the room. The drive, the determination, the go-getters that had come. They were HUSTLERS and it inspired me to the point of tears. 

By the time I was ready to speak, the audience had turned into friends and my nerves shifted to excitement to share what I knew and interact with everyone. It was so amazing to see so many familiar faces in the crowd. Most had taken a class from me before, and several were either members of the Roost Tribe or had take the Immersion course. 

We laughed, we cried and we were I N S P I R E D. 

I spoke on moving from dreaming to doing, how to accomplish our big goals and live our life’s biggest creative dream. I shared my store and we talked about strategies for growth, creating a signature style and an irresistible package. I shared my thoughts on teaching, becoming a flourishing artist and how to create income stability as an artist. Most of all, we talked about overcoming overwhelm so that we can actually make progress on our goals.

**The entire presentation was recorded and will be posted as a ‘class’ on my Skillshare profile soon, so if you weren’t able to attend you can watch the entire event! I’ll be sure to make an announcement when it’s available. 

We wrapped up the night with a great Q&A session, followed by tons of hugs and photos. :) I’m headed back to Skillshare today for their monthly lunch meeting, then off to the NY Gift Show to meet with a new company I’m working with that I’m super excited about (more on that soon!). 

I can’t say thank you enough for all your support and encouragement! I’m so glad to have this community. More soon! xo

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