My Busy, Busy Life by Luann Udell This post is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews. Luann also writes a column (“Craft Matters”) for The Crafts Report magazine, a monthly business resource for the crafts professional, where she explores the funnier side of her life in craft. She’s a double-juried member of the … Continue reading “MY BUSY, BUSY LIFE”

WAITING FOR THE COOL: That Copying Thing Again

CONCRETE ADVICE FOR HOW TO SUPPORT ARTISTS…. Sometimes–no wait, always–it’s a good idea to cool down before you speak your mind. A few weeks ago, not one, but TWO small drama played out in my studio. At the very same time I was dealing with someone using my identity to post disparaging and rude remarks … Continue reading “WAITING FOR THE COOL: That Copying Thing Again”

At The Balsams

I’m halfway through my week-long artist-in-residency at The Balsams. It’s an absolutely beautiful place, one of the last of the “grand hotels” so popular in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is the second year I’ve been invited to stay and teach little workshops for the guests. It’s always a big sea change for me. … Continue reading “At The Balsams”


I write for several venues now. Fortunately, my humorous column at The Crafts Report rarely draws complaints. (Or maybe it does and Jones Publishing is just shielding me from them….??) There’s another blog I write for every two weeks, usually about getting your art out there. And it seems like every time I write, someone … Continue reading “TIME TO SIT ON MY HANDS AGAIN”


I had the same bumper sticker on my car for years, right next to my “BRAKE FOR MOOSE, IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!” sticker from the NH Fish and Game Department. (I love the looks I get from it when I drive around in Philadelphia….) It says: Those who abandon their dreams will discourage yours. … Continue reading “MY FAVORITE BUMPER STICKER”


I’m going to be very lazy today, and share a post I made recently on a crafts forum. A craftsperson posted that they were thinking about doing some shows. She was at a loss on where to begin designing a booth. Was there such a thing as a “booth designer” she could hire? Someone responded … Continue reading “NEW TO SHOWS, WHERE DO I START??”


Last summer, we came back from our first Caribbean vacation with a rescue dog. A puppy, in fact, from the Turks and Caicos Islands. Most people bring back a t-shirt or some shells, we came home with our first dog. Watching him grow and adapt to our household has been a treat. I don’t think … Continue reading “TRIBES #1: RUNNING WITH THE PACK”

CUSTOMER CARE: Feel the Love

Never forget the love you have for what you do. Remember the blessing of being able to make what you make. Here’s something to consider the next time you feel a sharp retort rising to your lips when someone in your booth asks a “stupid question”. (Which, in case you don’t already know, isn’t so … Continue reading “CUSTOMER CARE: Feel the Love”

CUSTOMER CARE: Repair the Goods, Repair the Relationship

What you do for customer care AFTER the sale is important, too! A question came up in an online forum the other day. People shared their business policy for repairs. Nobody likes to hear their work didn’t hold up. My heart always sinks when I get a request from a store or customer to repair … Continue reading “CUSTOMER CARE: Repair the Goods, Repair the Relationship”

CUSTOMER CARE: It’s Not Just WHAT You Do, It’s HOW.

Expecting customers to already know how to do business with you, is not good customer care. I had an interesting–no, make that incredibly frustrating–exchange with the post office awhile ago. It got me thinking about customer care. We may have different ideas of what giving good customer care is, but we all recognize when we’re … Continue reading “CUSTOMER CARE: It’s Not Just WHAT You Do, It’s HOW.”

NEW JOURNEY: The First Step

Letting go of one stage of life in art, moving on to the next. WARNING: The following is my personal experience and thoughts on this particular juncture in my life. I do not cast judgment or aspersions on anyone else’s decisions and goals. It is simply one person’s thoughts (mine) on what I’m going to … Continue reading “NEW JOURNEY: The First Step”


I just read a piece on writer Jodi Picoult in the latest issue of Oprah magazine, words that made me drop it and run out here to my ‘puter to write. You can read the complete introduction here. In essence, she says book, a work of fiction, does not stand on its own, nor does … Continue reading “STORIES”


I’m struggling to finish my last custom order from my big big retail show in August. On the surface, it wasn’t a difficult order. The customer, new to my work, fell in love with my aesthetic. She asked me to create a necklace featuring a treasured natural artifact. We discussed colors, style and price range. … Continue reading “THE QUAGMIRE OF CUSTOM ORDERS”


Before we even start discussing ways to develop/grow/refine the wholesale side of your business at a level acceptable to Y*O*U*, let’s stop and take inventory. What do you want? And of course, what do you need? We know that “needs” and “wants” are two very different things, but it’s amazing how often we confuse the … Continue reading “HOW TO HALF WHOLESALE #1: What Do You Want?”


How do you determine if you’ve had a good show? Is it just about the money? Years ago, when I started doing shows, the director of a big show said to me thoughtfully, “You are someone who measures your success in many ways besides just money.” She’s right. Now, don’t get me wrong. Money is … Continue reading “WAS IT A GOOD SHOW?”


Awhile back I read Bill O’Hanlon’s book Do One Thing Different. I tried the technique a few times and wrote about it here. It’s a nice technique, and an easy way to shake up your world in a tiny way that can get you surprisingly big results. But sometimes I do too much of a … Continue reading “DO JUST ONE THING DIFFERENT AT A TIME”


It’s an achingly beautiful autumn day. The fall colors are at their peak, and the sunshine is brilliant and clean. Last night was our little community’s world famous Pumpkin Festival. My husband Jon made a delightful little movie about it in 2005 that still captures the essence of this incredible event, which you can view … Continue reading “BEAUTIFUL DAY, BEAUTIFUL GIFTS”


Bruce Baker has made it smart to be nice. What do I mean by that? Well, if you’ve ever hung out with a group of craftspeople who do shows, or participated in an on-line forum discussion about shows, you’ll recognize an all-to-common topic: The stupid things our customers say. It’s always a hot topic, and … Continue reading “THE STUPID QUESTION”


When I first started out in with my little art biz, consignment was the name of the game. For those of you new to selling your work, consignment is when a store carries your work, but you are not paid until after it sells. Sometimes that means the end of the month after the month … Continue reading “CONSIGNMENT REVISITED”