I have several older retired Close To My Heart stamps, inkpads, art supplies that I will be putting up on my Website here under Craft Supplies and Products. Looking forward to connecting with the craft community online here. Please do not forget to follow me if you want the latest and greatest news from me… Also private message me firstname.lastname@example.org if you are looking for a particular stamp or theme I can show you what I have or order it for you.
I have decided to build a true website with a shop feature and also to include news, art, cards, cardmaking and scrapbooking packages and workshops. Things will change so bear with me as I am totally new at this website building. Join me in building the site with suggestions for new items, things that work and do not. Shipping at this time will be limited to Canada and the US.
I am also on ETSY for my Cargren and HandmadeCardsbyCA and in the Artisans Shop in the ByWard Market Square Building, Ottawa. So if you find yourself in Ottawa stop in there will always be an artist on hand to show you around to pick up that special gift or cards for any occasion.
Let me know what interests you…and I will see what I can do.
Thank you for following, invite others if you think it would be for them…
I am still here plugging away. Those who follow me know I have my fingers in many pots…I am a glass fusion artist, card maker and use other multimedia as my muse and inspiration. I am also very much a direct seller with three companies. I like the convenience of working from home and it allows me to work on my artistic adventures.
Close to My Heart – helps to bring the cost of paper art supplies down, I love teaching people about how to preserve their memories or create that just right card for any occasion and at the same time supporting an organization that helps children through Operation Smile.
Color By Amber as an activist for women. CBA is helping women artisans around the world by providing them with a living wage and supporting initiatives that helps the communities they live in through the Full Circle Programs. As a environmentalist, CBA prides itself in being a Zero landfill company and uses 40% recycled water bottles in the production of the eco resin that encapsulates the interlayers created by the women artisans. They also have a sustainable line that recycles coffee bags, denim etc. CBA as a company marries both my passions very well.
And last but not least
Younique again if you are going to wear make up make sure it is clean, natural and ethically produced, my joining was to support programs for sexually abused women and if my granddaughter is going to wear makeup I want to know where it comes from…
I am not getting rich on any one of these ventures but I do survive…So if interested in any of these initiatives feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Always looking for customers, hostesses and/or ways to support your goals.
Changes happened in the last six months that are for the better. I am still creating glass pieces except they are selling as fast as I am making them. Here is a sample of the pieces that have sold in the Artisans Shop at 55 ByWard Market Building. It has been a blessing and a curse coming up with new ideas on the fly…not a bad problem to have really. I work in the shop a day and a half a week and gets me out of the house so I can plan better for scheduling the artist time…
New is that I am planning to hold workshops and sell items off my page just need to figure out how to do that without costing me an arm and a leg in the process.
I also bought a new electronic toy a Huion H610 Pro Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet with Glove and Storage Bag. I have to admit it is still in the box…next project is to learn how to use it and test software that is supported by it…apparently there are 5 or 6 of them…steep learning curve for me so a little apprehensive to start in case it is an epic fail…however that never stopped me…..
So what else is on the horizon…son and family will be relocating to the US for work. In preparation for that all the grandkids have tablets and can contact me anytime. I also now have a brand new 10 year passport. Sad but I will get to visit.
Leaving 2016 behind is OK as I slide slowly into 2017 there are amazing opportunities both for me and the businesses that I am involved in…because of them I have met some amazing people and clients and I see 2017 as a good opportunity to expand, learn and develop – more time with family, friends and community.
At the beginning of the year I was pretty conscious of my needs and wrote them down. I am happy to say that I have moved forward with the help of my support groups and others who have come into my life over the past few months. I joined an organization last fall called WOW for short.
To provide a useful and comfortable social network and referral base to all WOW members. To share information and ideas to strengthen and/or develop members’ business activities. To provide an environment which cultivates and encourages friendships and enriches the personal and professional lives of our members. We will create this environment through support, mentorship and companionship opportunities. To contribute to the communities we live in through charitable donations and fundraising initiatives. To support and encourage women in all aspects of their careers.
I took a couple of workshops with WOW lead by Carol-Chantal Sequin founder of WOW and eventually decided that I was concentrating on the wrong things in my life…I needed to get back to my art and my creative side…I know that my glass is beautiful and has the ability to bring happiness and joy to others whether they are wearing a piece of my jewelry or having a beautiful bowl, goddess or spoon rest in their home. But how do I transfer that knowledge into my vision for my business that was the question. Start by believing in yourself as an artist not a hobbyist goes a long way to developing self confidence. I went back through my repertoire and discovered how much art I have created and how much is now in other homes. With doing that exercise I realized yes people value my work enough to buy when it is out there to view. So I embarked on a plan:
Change my Linkedin profile to reflect my artist life and my activism,
To put as many pieces into my Etsy shop,
To create opportunities to talk about my artwork,
Explore groups on Etsy and Facebook that promote artwork and support artists,
Reconnect with some past groups that I have neglected,
Create an Instagram account @cagrenier and get followers,
and there are others but these are the main.
As I was populating and exploring Etsy opportunities I entered in to a conversation with a young woman who really liked my glass and thought that her mother would like it too. So I made arrangements to take some of my glass to her moms retail shop in the ByWard Market Building. Lynne was so excited that I was interested in having my glass in the shop and was ooooing and awing my glass as she is placing the pieces while we were discussing terms and conditions of this venture and when she had placed all of the glass I brought, placed price tags on everything and said “OK so you want to come in with us”. Of course, I said yes…That was in the middle of May. Turns out that the shop is not Lynne’s however she coordinates for the group. It is actually a collective of artists a silk painter Lynne Kiel or @silkylynne , Acrylic artist Mary Loo’s Originals or @amillionsuns, a Knitter Carol Schagerl, glass blowers and we have some younger up and coming artists. Each of us work in the shop and sell everyone’s artwork. It is a wonderful group and so happy I joined. So many of my pieces have sold that I am fusing glass again and enjoying the fascination of glass all over again…
I have a commitment to work in the store two days a week Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the rest of the time is left to create…I have bowls, stars, plates, earrings, cards etc. So if you are in town come down to the ByWard Market Building, 55 ByWard Market Square and look for the store with all the color Thank you to Caitlin.
Here are some photos of the shop:
Thank you to all the people who have encouraged me and bought my work over the years. I truly feel supported in my journey…
This week has been a difficult week for me – a number of things have contributed to my writing down of my thoughts. I have lost two important people in my life in the last month, one person announced that her cancer has metastasized, people in my circle of friends are loosing family members through death or the onset of dementia/Alzheimer – just so much grief all around me. The biggest problem for me has always been knowing how to support family, friends and neighbors, it is so hard to gauge their needs because they may not know either . You do not want to be overly intrusive but at the same time not wanting to be on the outside looking in. Knowing when to give space to those who are grieving and not smother them along the way. It has always been hard for me to balance the private with the semi public show of support because of my passion to be a helper.
This brings me to another issue that has been plaguing my thoughts and it is as an artist and my helper nature how do I give back to community without being taken advantage of? I thought on this quite a bit in the last couple of days. I am always being approached to donate a piece of Fused glass for a silent auction or a fundraiser with no offer of a donation receipt and I hear all the time it is publicity – no it is not I don’t hear about the donation ever again after it leaves my studio. I have a couple of non profit have worked with and I have asked for at least a 60/40 split. One is Operation Come Home a program for youth at risk, I have both cards and glass in their storefront/online shopping site called Repurpose.
Now for my real quandary, for example – there is a real crisis going on in an aboriginal community called Cross Lake six suicide deaths since Dec. 12 of teens. In light of the crisis a number of individuals have created opportunities to provide support through fundraisers, dinners, collecting art supplies, sports equipment, or sending cards with messages etc. I created a card and would like to show my support through allowing organizers to sell the cards however it costs me about $1.00 to make the each card with supplies and time (I am donating as well as my art concept). Is it wrong for me to ask for or charge 20.00 for a package of 60 handmade cards just to recover the cost of some of the supplies? I sell my hand-made cards for $5.00 each. So the organizers could sell them for that price and make $4.00 on each card.
The week before, I created for swag bags at a fundraiser 100 gift cards and was allowed to put my business card inside the gift card and donated 4 pendants for VIPs. I paid for the privilege to be part of that as it is a business opportunity which is totally different in my opinion. In the business world it is called being a good corporate citizen what is it called in the art community?
Any suggestions or comments on the issue of artists wanting to give back to the communities would be appreciated or send me an email …
I am sitting here on Sunday morning thinking back on what last week has brought me and what I have to be thankful about. I have a wonderful family, food in my cupboards and a roof over my head. I am relatively healthy and am able to keep myself busy most days. I have battled with depression off and on most of my life two very bad episodes that put me off work for many months. Just could not cope with anything in my life. Frustrated, angry, the feeling of being alone, no one to count on, not able to cope with normal everyday things that life throws at you. It is debilitating.
The first time the depression manifested itself in my back. The pain was excruciating and I cried every time I moved. My doctor forced me to take a bus to see him and to sit for an hour and talk to him. My doctor was a GP but also a psychologist a rare thing in this day and age having a doctor who cared enough to spend more than the billable 15 minutes and one ailment appointment. Prozac was the popular drug of choice at the time but I found myself sitting in front of the TV hours on end nothing accomplished in the day so I did it without drugs except ones to deal with the pain in my back. I learned the coping mechanisms and the warning signs of the beginning to slide down that slippery slope into the depths of depression. It worked for a very long time. I knew some of my triggers and faced them head on or at least I thought I did.
When my mom passed away it was not for a year that I realized that I was functionally depressed. I was still working but I was not my self. Snapping at people, emotionally vacant or to much there, no balance – yes a little manic. I finally went to the doctor and was prescribed medication same issues as before no focus, no idea or cared about anything…Talking to the doctor he realized the dose was too high and gave me something else. Three prescriptions later we finally found the right balance I was on the lowest dosage that would just take the edge off that took 5 months. 5 months of feeling like a zombie. I was lucky I had coworkers who got it and I did not feel guilty at having to take time off. They just wanted me healthy.
Remember it is important to breathe and look around you outside yourself. You are part of the universe and it is OK to admit you need support/assistance whatever that means to you. Talk about depression even if it is in general terms and you will find you are not alone. Try to follow through but if you can’t don’t let it consume you with guilt…life is too short.
I am an artist and have a emotional side. I cry at commercials. I am passionate about what I do. I love it when people like/love my work and need to have it in their collections. I love color and believe everyone needs more color in their lives it is just something that makes me happy.
On the eve of another snow storm, I began to think of where I am and where I am going a bit of a long post but here goes…
Trying to build a business that was really a hobby was going ok but not profitable at all. As an artist it is about the piece not the accumulation of inventory. It is about the quality not the quantity. Some artists say you have to struggle, be starving well I know several artists who are making a very good living at being an artist. I was never wanting to be a bohemian not my style and any one who knows me will attest to that fact…
I have sold my pieces in Canada but many of them are living around the world, South Africa, Australia, Europe and the US. Bowls that were wedding presents, pendants bought as gifts for loved ones to go to sisters in the Ukraine to celebrate International Women Day as Christmas, birthday, coming out gifts everyone has a story and most of them remembered fondly. Nothing gives me more joy than to see a family fawn over my work and say “it is so hard to choose they are all so beautiful and unique”. I tell them to separate the ones that are drawn to the most and set them aside usually it is 5 or 6 then they go through the elimination process till they have the one. That is where my happiness is that it is the one. Sometime they come back again and ask to switch and I will accommodate their wishes. I want them to be happy and remember that ladies work and her patience not necessarily her name…
That being said as much as I love the personal touch, standing behind a table for 8 hours where there are 70 to 80 other vendors and you have paid for the right to rent the table is so very hard when you just cover the costs of the table because people are overwhelmed or they have already bought something, or they want a bargain or the proverbial I think I can make that…I am tired of being their entertainment on a Saturday or Sunday… I am moving on.
I have some of my work in a store front called re:Purpose at 150 Gloucester street, Ottawa both cards and pendants are sold there in turn they get a portion of the sales and the program helps youth at risk. So a very worth cause. Please support…they also have a website that features many artisans in the community at http://www.repurposestorefront.ca/collections/necklaces-pendants
This week I am working on 100 gift card holders to put my business card into loot bags for a fundraiser for Harmony House here in Ottawa.
If that is not enough I just took two one day workshops first on creating a vision board and the second was how to write a one page proposal workshop put on by Wow ‘s founder CAROL-CHANTAL SÉGUIN both amazing workshops that helped me to understand I am doing everything and not focusing on the art. So what my priority is getting my name as a glass artist out there and my story and the rest will follow… Stay tuned…
It has been awhile, my familiar cry every end of the year. I am not a blogger and the world of blogging has me stumped but I am going to say again I am going to make an effort to blog much more often. I am scheduling it into my day planner and will try to make the committed dates. We will try for once a month, if it is more bonus.
Ok so out of nowhere my voice came back and no ill effects after all the ct scans, test etc. nothing remarkable was usually the result. This is great but still no understanding of why it happened and how to avoid it in the future.
Family is great oldest granddaughter is now thirteen and youngest grandchild is going on 6. the two in the middle are 9 and 7 unbelievable. I turned 60 still can not believe that either. Still retired but have now taken on the businesses.
IDBCA Canada is my own company name – It has evolved into my umbrella for all things art that I make, glass fusion is still my passion and cardmaking but I have expanded into wire working, handmade bookmarks, journal cards etc… I also am exploring teaching glass fusion at a new studio that is opening up in Ottawa if you are in the area let me know if you are interested and I will organize a class as soon as the plans are finalized.
Following on my Cardmaking interest I am now an independent consultant for Close to my Heart a scrapbooking and stamping company. Sales have been alright but hope to do better in the new year. To keep up with that endeavor I have a blog at http://cagrenier.blogspot.ca/ I want to challenge myself to do more creative cards and postings to familiarize everyone about the products. Oh and teach both cardmaking and scrapbooking in the new year so if in the Ottawa area let me know.
And last but not least GelMoment this is a brand new company and I was introduced to it from a group I was participating in I bought one gel nail polish and a led light and the rest is history to check it out at cagrenier.gelmoment.com .
the other important milestone this past year was my Buddy passed away he was 17. I could not commit to another permanent pet so instead I am a foster mom for pets who need temporary care. I love it it is like being a grandma because you can spoil them and then send them home eventually. The longest I have had a pet was two and a half month but there were extenuating circumstances.
Buddy’s Spring Haircut
I will be posting some photos of new work later in the month.
Happy New Year all…May 2016 be your best year yet.
Today I went to have a CT scan of my Throat area. However they have a new protocol now “those that are allergic to Seafood” before they can use the Contrast Media injection (fancy words for iodine based dye) have to go though a regime of Predistone and Benadryl over the previous 13 hours prior to the appointment. So 13 hours before take a predistone pill and again 7 hours and again 1 hour with the benadryl. I maybe allergic but the effects will be much less and manageable. They can’t write a prescription it has to be the referring doctor and you have to get them to write out the prescription and have it faxed to a pharmacy so you can pick it up and of course pay for it. Just checked and this has been done and received by the pharmacy.
Too bad that could not have been mentioned before I had my neighbor get up and drive me for 8 AM. I knew it was too good to be true The hospital called me on Monday for an appointment today. The Queensway was clear no traffic got there a 1/2 hour early. So my neighbor instead of waiting went to pick up a few groceries. When I called him he was just finishing up so it was like the universe was working for us on this one…
Whoopee I get to do this again on the 30th at 1 PM.
I made a suggestion that the booking person ask if there is a seafood allergy when making the appointment if so – the radiologist calls back and get more info and starts the process before getting to the hospital…If I was from out of town I would have been really P.O.ed.
I did go for a ride with my friend Marim on Monday to go for Tea in Dunrobin…the Heart and Soul Cafe but it closed at 2 pm a half hour before we got there..lol So I managed to mail out my Deconstructed Journal Pages to the 4 in our group and we ended having tea at a fellow glass artists place on the Ottawa river…it was a perfect afternoon. We drove back to Ottawa and rushed home to our respective places not realizing we both were starving and if either of us had opened our mouths we could have stopped somewhere to eat… the Misadventures of CA…
Noreen Crone-Findlay talks about the crafts she loves with her friend, Tottie Tomato. They'll be sharing tutorials, how to's and step by steps for spool knitting, crochet, doll making, small loom weaving, wood working, paper crafts and all manner of other fun crafts. This is a family friendly blog.