GIVEAWAY// Win a Back to School Book Pocket Mommy by Aila Malik

We start back to school this week, and making that transition is often a difficult one for my son. Since he is home with me most of the time, it is challenging for him to be away from his mama and from his home for long periods of time without feeling anxious. He got some practice of being away from home this summer when he attended a 4 week day camp  (he was gone every day from 8:00 am-4:00 pm Monday-Friday for a month!). How I wish I had had Aila Malik's book  Pocket Mommy earlier in the summer to help him through that transition, but I am so grateful to have received a copy recently to help us with our next transition of back to school.

In the book Pocket Mommy Zayan is preparing for his first day of kindergarten. He is anxious about the new experience and not sure what to expect. Most of all he feels sad that he is going to be away from his mom. Zayan is a lucky boy because his mom is one smart lady. She crafts a small paper doll of herself and gives it to Zayan to tuck into his pocket and take to school with him. Zayan is able to pull out his pocket mommy whenever he needs encouragements, to ease his anxiety, or to feel a little connection to his mom when he is feeling homesick.

My son loved the story. We are working on our own little pocket mommy for him to take with him on his first day of school. And, you know what dear readers? Aila Malik sent me a copy to give away to one of you! All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

To enter just use the entry form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway will run through August 29 2014 and is open to GoatNotes readers and Fans of CutOut Studio worldwide.  The winner will be randomly chosen and announced here shortly after. 

Thanks again to Aila and Zayan for giving GoatNotes readers the chance to win this amazing book!  Good luck!

You can purchase your own copy of Aila's book from Amazon. Just follow the link below. Please note I am an Amazon affiliate and will make a small commission off of your purchase.

My 4 Favorite Art Business Podcasts

Yeah, that's me (yes I am taking a selfie) with no make-up rock'n my headphones as I get podcast smart

I am not going to lie. I listen to a lot of podcasts. This is mostly because I do a lot of work on the computer and I work from home, so I get lonely. Is it weird that I kind of feel like I know some of these people? I like to pretend that they are my friends. Okay, I know they are not my friends but it would be really cool if they were!

In the last year I have been scouring the internet and iTunes for some of the best podcasts about art and business. This was no easy task. There are plenty of podcasts about being an entrepreneur or how to make a million bucks (Eventual Millionaire is pretty awesome even if she doesn't focus on art businesses).

For some reason there is this belief that artists and business don't go together. Artists are "too flighty" to carry out a solid and well run business, at least this is what I hear often, and often from the mouths of artists! I am here to say that this is not- and does not- have to be true.  Here are my favorite podcasts that debunk the whole "starving artist" mentality.

Here are my 4 Favorite Art Business Podcasts:

1. Creative Insurgence- Cory Huff and Melissa Dinwiddi provide stellar interviews with successful artists and tackle that age old conundrum "starving artist" head on.

2. Jess Lively Show- Jess interviews some amazing entrepreneurs with a bent towards artful businesses. I especially loved the Whitney English episode. It is authentic and vulnerable and provides some true gems of wisdom.

3. The Fresh Rag Show- Dave is a straight talker and gets the dirt on what it means to be a working artist. His interviews are insightful and thought provoking.

4. After the Jump- Grace Bonney the creator of Design*Sponge hosts this well put-together podcast. Through insightful interviews with designers and artists Grace is able to pull out information and guidance for all those of us artists just getting started with ease.

Do you have a favorite art business podcast? Or business related podcast you just can't get enough of? Let me know in the comments. I will generate a whole list to share on the blog.



Inspiration Fridays

Oprah must be God

Once a week I keep an eye out for little gems of wisdom to keep my heart full and my head happy. I will share the ones that lingered with me longer and made me catch my breath for a second. You know when this happens to you. It's like Karma, or spirit, or the universe, or God, or whomever you choose- touching your shoulder and giving you a polite nudge to stay focused on the present. Get out of your head for a moment. and live.

This week, as I was sitting in a very cramped child's picnic table at the park, and somewhat lamenting that I wasn't getting to do what I wanted to do, I adjusted my coffee cup sleeve and Oprah gave me a big ol' slap of reality. Yeah, thanks Oprah. You are totally right. I stopped lamenting and started playing with my daughter- and really did begin to enjoy my wood chip cookies.

Happy Weekend everyone!



How to Prepare for Your First Art Festival Like a Rock Star Lesson 1

The getting the making on

 It's Tuesday. I have less than 4 days to get all of my art Sh#@!t in order before this weekend. This weekend I am participating in my first ever Art Festival. If you live in the Bay Area, come check out Art in the Park in Downtown Martinez. It is sure to be some great home grown art. That sounds awful. Scratch that. It is sure to be a fabulous way to spend a weekend. Plus I hear they will have food trucks... but I digress.

Some Art Making is Happening

So, you want to know how to prepare for your first art festival. Oh, boy. Have I got a TON to share with you, and I have not even made it to the festival yet. Hence, the "Lesson" as part of the title of this post.

Lesson #1. Don't FREAK OUT.

Seriously. That is my first lesson. If you freak out then you won't even do the work it takes to find an art fesitval to participate in, and then print out the vendor application, then print out pictures to send in to the jury, and, and, and....oh...I did say I have a lot to tell you right?

Again, don't freak out.

Me trying not to panic so I make pretty pictures instead

The first thing to do is to breathe. Take a look around. Do you have some art or crafts you make that you think you might like to sell? Have you sold any to anybody before? If the answer is no then I suggest you don't jump head first in to selling at any type of festival. Do a little market research first. Share some of your artwork with your friends on Facebook, pin some pics of your work on Pinterest. Ask some of your family members if they would like to buy some art from you.

The more pieces you sell on your own the more confident you will be when it comes time to locating the best festival to start with.

Okay, so you have sold some pieces of art to your family and friends. Great! And you are ready to find the "perfect" festival to sell your work. Before you begin your hunt take out a piece of  paper and a pen. Number down the side of the paper 1-8. Now, fill in 8 pieces of criteria your first festival needs to have. Here is what mine looked like:

1. Located near or in my own hometown
2. Affordable (aka less than $100 to sign up to sell as a vendor)
3. At least 3 months away from the time I decide I am ready to sell
4. The festival has been around for at least one year
5. The festival provides either it's own media or the materials artists need to promote the event (both is even better!)
6. The festival is on a weekend
7. The festival is jurried (more on that later) .
8. The festival is open to having new and emerging artists participate.

Once I had these guidelines to work from it was easy to choose which festival I would start with. It made it clear that I am not ready for the Renegade Craft Fair, but I am beyond selling my wares out of my garage.

I am beyond excited to be part of my first art festival. It has been a long time coming. The next lesson in this series will be about Jurried art/craft festivals vs. non Jurried. Please share your experiences with selling at festivals in the comments. Your support and wisdom will be the light me and many others need!


Easy Iced Coffee Recipe Using a Keurig

I love my Keurig. I use it every morning to make me a hot cup of (decaf) jo. Lately though, I have been wanting another cup in the afternoon. The problem is the weather has been so darn hot! And even though I live around the corner from Starbucks, seriously, I can walk there, it is nice to know I can get something similar to an iced coffee at home. And it takes no time at all. Perfect.

Now, before I go any further I want you all to know this is NOT a sponsored post. I am NOT an affiliate for Keurig (I wish I was- think of the samples!) and I am NOT an affiliate for Starbucks (although, I probably should be). Okay. That is settled. Moving on.

  To make your sweet afternoon pick me up all you need is to grab an empty coffee cup add 2 tsp of sugar, or more if you like more into the cup. Now, add a handful of ice cubes. As much as you can fit into your cup. Place the coffee cup onto your Keurig.

 Select your favorite K-cup coffee (regular or decaf) and place it into your Keurig. Select the smallest brewing cup option on the Keurig, this will make  your coffee will have a stronger flavor.

Allow to brew.

Pour milk on top of the brewed coffee and ice and stir. You will need to add more ice before enjoying as the first batch will melt.

Grab your favorite type of pastry and enjoy.



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