Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Upcycled New Year

Storage box covered in magazine.
You could use wrapping paper
to create a festive version
of this project.
We all have our New Years resolutions and if yours relates to waste less, avoiding consumerism as much as possble, crafting with the kids, or creating some fun home decorations, here are some great projects for you.  Now that the holiday season is coming to an end and we have a ton of leftover wrapping paper and cards it is time to use them a second time.  Here are some of the best ways I found to upcycle the remnants of Christmas before you throw them out.

Christmas cards

Cards upcycled into jewelry
Make thank you or other holiday cards by cutting the old cards up
Cut out images from Christmas cards and use them to make cards similar to those in this video.  There are a plethora of tutorials on how to make cards on YouTube.  Cut outs from old cards will work just as well as prepared store bought sayings and images.

Another video from YouTube

You could also...

Make some ornaments for next year or for winter.  A simple way to accomplish this task is by using the cutouts, like you would in the tutorials above.  Just cut a hole through the top and thread a string through.

Create gift tags using the same cut out pieces.

Design your own scrapbook cutouts - I did this for our wedding album.  I cut off borders and cut out images. and used them to create frames for photos and backgrounds for text.

Create a 3-d star

Wrapping Paper Upcycling ideas

Use it to wrap candles that can be purchased at a dollar store.

Create your own gift bows

Thin paper is perfect for origami.

Shred to create easter hay or packaging for gift baskets and gift bags

Recover your lampshades.

Scrapbooking paper

Colorful paper also makes great book covers (it could be turned inside out as well).

use like you would magazine (or newspaper) and create any of these projects from an earlier post in our Holiday Countdown.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Wyoming Artists

For our second to last post of the Holiday Countdown,
I wanted to share some beautiful holiday season inspired artwork created by Wyoming artists.

All of the artists below are WOW members and more of their work can be seen via the links in the sidebar.

Penguins in Hand Knitted Sweaters print by Kim Harris
Kim Harris has more winter themed artwork for sale on her ETSY store (link above), Full Frog Moon.
She has ornaments and prints featuring animals and people enjoying the winter.
They are perfect for this holiday and winter season, and we all know winter in Laramie will not be over for some time.

There is nothing better than a hot drink, a warm blanket and a movie with friends and family.
This set is the perfect accessory to be placed next to your coffee and tea.
Deborah has a large selection of practical pottery and ceramics that can be seen on her website (link to the right)

If you would like to become a member or have your work featured on this blog let us know.  You can contact us on Facebook, this blog, give us a call at 307.742.6574, or send us an email.  You can also get more information on the Works of Wyoming website

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Lets Rock!

Its about that time (Christmas time) and I wanted to share some holiday and Christmas music with you.  There is a large amount of Christmas and other holiday music everywhere I go this time of year.  I absolutely love it.  I thought it would be fun to help you find some fun music for this holiday season.

Below are a some of the songs from the album X Christmas, a compilation of various Christmas songs performed by a variety of artists.  If you like the music you can purchase the album on Amazon or listen to some of the songs on YouTube.  Most of the songs are rock, but not all.  

Most people who grew up around Taco Johns are familiar with this Spanish song.
Feliz Navidad by the David Crowder band

Do You Hear What I hear - Seventh Day Slumber

Carol of the Bells by August Burns Red.

Warning this next song is pretty emotional.  I have cried...
FM Static - Christmas Shoes

I realize that not everyone is a fan of rock music but I did want to offer something unique.  If you would like to personalize your music to your specific tastes look into Pandora.  You can select a musician or song and it will find songs that are similar.  You can then "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" a specific song to help it find music you do like.  Pandora Radio also offerers some excellent holiday stations including classical and indie rock Christmas stations.

If you are still searching for Christmas gifts and other ideas to help create the environment you desire, come look at our holiday ornaments and decorative ideas.  If you are a musician or other artist come in to talk about possible performances during openings and other ways we could potentially help you develop your art career.  We are located in the Laramie Plains Civic Center in Suite 271.  You can also find us on Facebook.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Shop Local

Found on
It has been wonderful to see the number of individuals that came into our gallery because they wanted to shop local.  One man was excited that he only needed to find gifts from two more people (and he did found them at WOW) and all his other gifts were purchased in Laramie.

To this man and the rest who have stopped in, I would like to thank you for supporting us local artists by purchasing our work rather than the standard decor found at one of those hip chain stores, or the large stores that sell everything, with work created overseas.  This is not a political post but rather a post about how you can continue to shop locally throughout out the year, if you so choose, without putting a dent in your wallet.

Necklaces made by one of our artists.  
Matching earrings also available. 
Artist Made Greeting Cards

WOW has a plethora of unique cards.  These cards consist of photographs, paintings, colored pencil works and more.  No one will receive another card just like the one you will purchase here (there are some sets, so just don't send two cards to the same person and you should still be good).  Currently the majority of the cards are competitively priced.  Some are as low as $2.50 and you can purchase a pack of 20 for $25.

Save Time and Money with WOW!

One of my favorite tips for saving time and money is purchasing several cards at once.  This way when mothers day, or Nana's birthday rolls around you are not in a rush to go to Mall Wart and buy the first, or second card, you see.  This not only saves time, but a line on your to do list when you are already swamped as well.
You get a beautiful print when you
 purchase this statement piece.

Gift Basket

This can be done with birthday and housewarming gifts as well.  I love to create gift baskets on a budget.  My one rule is to always have something handmade or a little bit more expensive and combine it with some items that are more cost efficient.  At WOW you can find all price ranges, but we are also an excellent resource for the handmade gift.

Personal Style

I use this same trick with my wardrobe as well.  I have several staple pieces such as nice jeans and tank tops that I pair with statement pieces such as jackets, jewelry and accessories.  WOW has accessories and jewelry that will make excellent staple pieces.

As you may have noticed... 

Another statement piece
for your Cowboy fan.
There are ways to support local artists and businesses wile still following your budget.  We are not the only small/local business located in Laramie.  Laramie Main Street is a source for great local shops.  Coal Creek Coffee has some excellent loose leaf teas for sale, that will go wonderfully with a hand thrown tea pot and tea cups.  How else can WOW help you with your gift giving?  What are your tricks to giving gifts on a budget?  Let us know below!

These are just a few of the ways that you can support local artists, craftspeople, and artisans through supporting WOW.  If you would like more information about our artists, gift shop or gallery stop by or give us a call.  We are located in suite 271 of the Laramie Plains Civic Center and our phone number is 307.742.6574.  See the links in the right side bar to contact individual artist.

Thanks again! Our artists appreciate your support!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

LINK DEC 17 Holiday Countdown: DIY Decor

It is always fun to redecorate your home and there is not a better time than during the winter.  And there is not a better place in Laramie to go for handcrafted artwork, design, a home decorations, created by local artists.  There are a couple DIY home decor examples as well as some perfect gift ideas below.

Concentric Circles from Mid Century Modern.  This could be combined with the CD wall art or cardboard tube project.  (LINKS TO POSTS)  WOW used a variation of this using picture frames.  I took some frames from our storage room and placed a mini mirror in the center.  They are located in our gift shop, which has a plethora of home decorating ideas, arts and crafts.

Here is DIY display project from Your Marketing BFF (could be used for storage ideas) similar to what we are doing at the gift shop in WOW.

Another DIY idea comes from one of our WOW member's who blogs.  Upcycled magazine boxes.

If you are interested in any of these projects set up an appointment and we can help you get started.  If you prefer to purchase decorations rather than make them WOW is the perfect place to come for your Affordable Art for the Holidays (click the link to see some of the work currently in the gallery and gift shop). We are located in the Laramie Plains Civic Center in Suite 271.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SMM Holiday Countdown: Go Viral

This image is part of an infographic fro
What does "Going Viral" Mean?
Something is said to have gone viral when it becomes extremely popular very quickly.  Some would argue that for something to have truly gone viral, it must enter into peoples real lives.  Going viral is a desire for many who produce web content.  It provides exposure for small (and large) businesses.

How Can My Campaign go Viral?
It is not as simple as we may wish.  Not every campaign can go viral.
The best advice I can offer is what not to do.
1. A video that is long, boring, or low quality (unless there is some catchy factor) will not go viral.
2. A video created by an unlucky person (I think a certain amount of luck is required) will not go viral, unless you capitalize on your unluckiness.
3. A project that only has one outlet or medium will be limited.  Not utilizing many resources will hurt your chances of going viral.

There are some more tips below from those who are experts on this specific topic.

Social Times shares seven tips for going viral in this excellent post.

Check out this beautiful infographic from Mashable featuring more tips for how to go viral.

If you would like help with some of the basic resources (number 3) such as Facebook, Twitter, blogging, website design, You Tube and more be sure stop by or call WOW.  We are located in Suite 271 of the Laramie Plains Civic Center and our phone number is 307.742.6574.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Project Websites

Are you an artist, craftsperson, or simply someone looking for some fun crafty projects, gift ideas, or projects for the little ones?  Here are some wonderful websites to search for upcycling, crafting, and creative project ideas.  Be sure to look for these pages (and similar pages) on Facebook and add them to your "art list."  Learn more about Facebook lists here.

Craft Gossip - Facebook
Crafting a Green World
Recycle This
ThreadBanger - Facebook
Etsy - Facebook
Pinterest - You can post to Facebook and/or Twitter via Pinterest

Connecting with these sites can offer some excellent networking opportunities.  What are some sites you have learned from? Post them below!  If you would like to get involved in the local emerging artist, artisan, and small art business communities here in Laramie (and greater Wyoming) be sure to stop by WOW.  We are located in the Laramie Plains Civic Center in suite 271.  Our phone number is 307.742.6574 or feel free to email us.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Countdown: His and Her Gift Ideas

Cut steel wall hangings by Dan Roberts
make and excellent gift.
It can often be a challenge to come up with gift ideas. Here are some Christmas and/or holiday gift ideas for your significant other.  Many of them would work for a  best friend, family member, or acquaintance whose name you drew for a white elephant party.

Coupon book - Coupons are simple to make even if you don't have any fancy graphics programs.  Cut an 8.5x11 piece of nice paper in to 4ths ot 5ths and print or draw your coupons.  Some coupon ideas could be free hug, free kiss, movie or game night, or homemade supper of your choice on me.

Personal Note - hidden notes are always a great surprise to wake up to.

12 Days of Christmas (or insert chosen holiday here) - decide on 12 gifts and give one to your sweety each of the 12 days leading up to the holiday of choice.  Here is website that shows the significance behind the Christian meaning of the song.

Candy or other sweets especially homemade treats always make great gifts for the holiday season.
Chocolate Kisses - These could be used along with the coupon book and each candy could redeem a kiss (or a hug if you give hugs).
You can also use candy instead of packaging peanuts.

Gift baskets are fun and very personal.  You could combine one or several of these ideas with a gift basket.  Gift baskets are great for most friends and family.

Remember mixed tapes?  It wasn't long ago that this was the gift to give your date.  Now it would clearly be a Mixed CD.  You can dig though your music collection and pick songs that had significance behind them.  This is a great gift for girls or guys.

A blanket, movie, and popcorn (or hot chocolate) make a great gift for nearly anyone living through a cold winter (like those here in Larmaie, Wyoming).

One summer when I worked at a church camp, I had a ton of fun creating scavenger hunts for my coworkers (who were friends).  One wanted a car so it ended with a toy car.  A variation on this would be to create a board game and there is a space that results in the gift.

Finally for those of you who are not crafty you can always come in to visit us here at Works of Wyoming.  We are located in suite 271 of the Laramie Plains Civic Center on the corner of 7th and Garfield in Laramie, WY.  Our phone number is 307.742.6574 give us a call or send an email.

What are some of the best gifts you have given or received?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Old CDs

After this holiday season WOW is looking for more jewelry in our gift shop.  It selling like mad.  If you try this idea, be sure to bring your work on in for us to see.

Super easy necklace made from an old CD

If you have old X-Box games, CDs or scratched DVDs in storage and are looking for something to do with them, here is an excellent project idea.  Old games do not sell for much these days and once a disk is scratched they do little good.  Upcyleing may be the perfect solution to taking care of this type of clutter.

Lamp created from old CDs

Mirror from CDs - I actually did this in highschool and it worked quite well as a decorative piece.  The one in the video is a functional storage solution.  I would be careful about the lack of protection.  The one I created in high school was simply for decoration.

If you are looking for more creative ideas be sure to stop by our Affordable Art for the Holidays sale or come talk to our staff and artist.  We are located in the Laramie Plains Civic Center in suite 271.  You can also contact us via Facebook.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Framed

I was at one of my good friend's new apartment yesterday and was really excited about her picture frames.  Here are some DIY frames, so that I can be envious of yours too.  In this post I will share a variety of techniques for creating cute picture frames for yourself, friends, and family this holiday season.

Cardboard Tube Picture Frames
Whether it is paper towels, toilet paper or food packaging, we have all thrown these guys away.  Next time you have one to toss, think about this fantastic photo frame made from cardboard tubes.  For all you fine and emerging artists out there, this project could be used to creatively display photographs of your work and be given as a gift as well.  This marketing trick (subliminal imaging) can be given as a beautiful gift your friends, family, and even collectors will love.

Circuit board Frames - These upcycled frames are fun to make, cost effective, and could be sold in our next Affordable Art for the Holiday sale (if you still need some side projects).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Facebook Marketing

Pagemodo is a great way to get a custom Welcome tab for your Facebook page. It is simple too. Login, using your Facebook account, and follow the directions.  Pagemodo is free for one page per Facebook user.  (This is why the samples come from my personal art page, Felicia Follum Art + Design, rather than WOW's page.)  Social Stage is another option for those of you wanting to create websites on your Facebook business page.  I have played around with it a bit and may use it for WOW's Facebook page n the near future.

Some ways to prepare for pagemodo (if you want to come into WOW for a lesson, this is what you will need to have )
1. Have photographs of your work, or you and your work. The images should be jpg, png, or gif files. You will want both portrait and landscape (mostly landscape) images, but you will have a chance to crop them to fit in the template as well.  Screen shots work perfectly.
2. Prepare a paragraph of text. If you have a website or blog you can use the same text. See why in a post about online marketing consistency.
3. Know that you can only have one free page for profile. Example Anthony has one Facebook personal page and three business or organization pages that he updates. He must pick just one for pagemodo’s free version.

One concern that arises with FB Welcome pages is whether you want to require a like before someone can see page content.  It will probably increase likes to require liking the page.  If the goal is quality likes, it does not seem beneficial.  One of my Top 5 Reasons for Artists to have a FB Page that is lost when requiring likes is that the page is no longer public to those who do not use Facebook.

Now instead of having a page that opens to your wall you can have a facebook Welcome page that looks like this….

A Facebook bonus: Here is a webinar addressing some of the recent Facebook changes.  If you have questions or would like more info about some of the most significant changes stop by WOW located in Suite 271 of the Laramie Plains Civic Center and ask for more info or send us an email.  

Post links to your Facebook pages with welcome tabs below or share a link on our Facebook wall (There is a good chance your page will either be added as an example to this post or featured in another post).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MORE Holiday Countdown: Personalized Gifts

Create this mini album and fill it with photographs.  This technique could also make for some excellent art books. (Check out these other art book techniques that could be used for mini albums).

If you enjoy this process and art be sure to enter some hand made artist books in one of our juried shows.

If you are not much of a crafter or artist, come in to visit and support local emerging artists.  We are located in the Laramie Plains Civic Center in suite 721.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Advent

Here is an Advent calendar from CHOW.  It features 25 recipes that will be ready just in time for Christmas.  You can't see them until that day actually gets here.  Sorry, it does not allow cheating.  Another great advent calendar idea that comes from Craft Gossip is made up of 25 gifts.  This could also be made into 12 days (or another significant number for the holiday of choice) of gifts.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Countdown: For Him

Guys! This post is for you.  I know that many of the previously posted projects lean toward the feminine half of the population, so here is a project for those of you who like to work with you hands but don't want to make clothing and lip gloss.  Ladies, these projects will also make great gifts for the men in your life.  I think I might be making the backpacking light for my husband (and I).

DIY Backpacking Light

Another great backpacking gift is a couple backpacking meals.  Although this gift may work better for an event in the spring or summer, such as a graduation, or birthday, there is no reason not the make them in the winter and store these dehydrated recipes for your first camping trip.

Personally, I love to make gift baskets.  For my husbands graduation I gave him the ingredients to make smores, wrapped in a camping towel with a waterproof camping bag and a bear bell (My husband has given this to his older brother as well).  If you are not fans of camping you could always give an inferno stove along with the chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers.  Guys this is a great gift for a special friend, and could score you major points if you go on a date to roast the smores in a park somewhere.  Create some great dried fruit (apple slices dipped in lemon juice, honey, and water (1/3 of each) and cinnamon (to taste) is my favorite recipe.

Here is a wonderful screen printing tutorial from ThreadBanger.

I will finish this "gift ideas and projects for men" post off with a block printing tutorial, also from ThreadBanger.

Guys, what are some of your favorite projects to work on?  Ladies, any advice for what to give the men in our lives this holiday season?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Online Sales Venues

Featured Work on ETSY.  More about the piece.
14 days left until the holidays!

As you may know will are posting 25 days of holiday gifts for the holiday season, DIY ideas, decorations, and creative projects for you, your family, and friends. The projects will include upcyled, craft, art, and other projects from our artists, clients and some other excellent online resources.

I will start this series with an introduction to some great social media sites dedicated to selling your work. These four sites should be considered as a part of your online marketing plan. In fact many of the projects in the series of posts could be made in your free time and sold on these sites.

ETSY is a wonderful site to sell handmade work and vintage items.  Artwork, crafts and craft supplies are all featured on the site.  Several Wyoming artists have work on ETSY.  It only cost 20 cents per item listed for three months on ETSY.

ArtFire is another online resource for selling and purchasing work.  There is a $12 monthly fee for the pro account as well as a free option and a 30 day pro account free trial when you sign up.

FineArtAmerica is another great venue for selling art.  There are many forums, contests, and groups you can join.  Fine Art America is free.   Fine Art America seems like a great way to meet other artists through their groups and forums.

WholesaleCrafts offers opportunities for our wholesale artist.  This site accepts members based on their applications.  They also offer opportunities to show in two wholesale craft fairs in the US.

All four of these sites work well for artists and crafters alike.  My advice would be to see which fits your budget and time as well as your work.  If you would like someone to sit down and research these and other options with you, don't hesitate to contact Works of Wyoming via email or call 307.742.6574.

What are some other online sales sites that you use? Post them below!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Wish List

Are you still working on your wish list for this Christmas season? Are you still trying to find out what to purchase for the artists or creatives in your family? Here are a couple possible solutions to your dilemma.

1. A WOW membership includes marketing tips and advice, a free 2 hour business consultation, free social media marketing advice, waived application fee for all of WOW’s exhibitions 10% off in the gift shop and gallery and more.
One of our many painting by WOW member Jeanie Schlump.
2. I saw the  Intous 4 Tablet and was amazed. This would be perfect for any artist or techie who enjoys working on the computer.
3. Alyson B Stanfield’s book I'd Rather be in the Studio makes an excellent gift for any artist who is looking to make it in the art field (of course WOW’s member ship will also help). This book addresses the business and marketing aspects of being an artist. Be sure to follow WOW’s blog for more art business and marketing tips.

And of course, if you are still searching, you should certainly come into the gallery and gift shop here at WOW. We have a plethora of excellent ideas for family and friends this Christmas/Holiday season. We are located in Suite 271 of the Laramie Plains Civic Center.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Stay Warm

Wyoming winters can get cold, do in addition to the beauty tips posted yesterday, I would like to share some DIY projects that will help to keep you warn this holiday season.  These projects include homemade hot chocolate, a scoody, mittens, poncho, hat, and hand warmers made from a couple old sweatshirts, and a shrug.

Here is a hot chocolate recipe I made for friends and family last year.

Make youself your very own scoodie (scoodie = scarf + hoodie) and arm warmers from an old sweatshirt.
This TreadBanger video will show you more.

Hat, Mittens, and Poncho from ThreadBanger

Another vide from ThreadBanger on how to create a shrug and skirt.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Holiday Marketing Tips

My personal list of DOs and DON'Ts

Painting by Heather Storey, currently in our Affordable
Art for the Holidays sale.
DO post relevant information on your social media sites
DO donate a percent of the profit
DO create a Christmas or holiday logo
DO feature a special holiday line or work
DO take notes on what works and does not work for next year
DO stay organized

DON'T spam and push the sales of your product
DON'T ignore your regular routine
DON'T focus on quantity over quality
DON'T let clutter get the best of you

Remember these tips can carry throughout your entire marketing plan.  You can post on your blog and then post a link to your blog and Facebook business page.  If you have a Facebook business page (and here are several reasons why you should have a Facebook business page in addition to your personal page) feel free to share posts with your personal page.  You don't even need to try and sell, people will enjoy it more if you don't pester them.

Here are five more tips from Retail Online Integration and 60 tips for Halloween through Christmas from

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Newspapers

19 days left until the holidays.

If you are looking for a fun and creative way to upcycle some of your old newspapers, here are some great crafty project ideas.
Handbags from
From my research about upcylcing old newspapers I have found three main ways to turn them into projects.  The three ways I have found are rolling them into tubes, taking the tubes and making coils, and creating yarn.  If you are less crafty and more practical, you could also consider creating planters.

Some projects you can make from newspaper coils include trash cans, bags, bowls and doormats.

In this tutorial you can see how to make newspaper yarn as well.

If you would like to lead or participate in a crafty workshop at WOW, please let us know what you are interested in and we will try our best to help you set something up.   Feel free to email or Facebook us.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Countdown: DIY Beauty

Living in Laramie, Wyoming, it is always a challenge to keep your skin, hair and lips taken care of in the dry winters.  I thought I could help by posting some DIY solutions, that I am sure will help you stay beautiful and keep healthy this winter.  Some of these projects could be placed in re-sealable containers and given as gifts or sold in the annual Affordable Art for the Holidays sale (if you want to start planning your booth for next year).  However I will start with one of the most important beauty tips out there.  It is also significant in your artwork.

Confidence and Art Marketing
I know that this is not a traditional beauty tip but it will help people gravitate toward you and your artwork.  If you are confident in yourself, others will notice.  The same is true for your artwork.  If you are confident in your work, others will be as well.  Take care of yourself because your love yourself and take care in creating your work because you care about it.  Confidence will help you and your art career in a variety of areas.  From marketing, where you need to put yourself out there in the big world, to pricing work, where you need to keep prices that will support your business and stand confidently behind those prices.  This winter season, be sure to make you and your art a priority.  In addition to confidence taking care of your body is one way to radiate confidence and here are three more projects that can help.

Lip Gloss

This site has a variety of lip gloss recipes. Flavors include chocolate, candy and cranberry.

Here is a great video tutorial for some great lip balms…These would probably go over well at the next Affordable Arts show.

Here is a ThreadBanger tutorial on YouTube

Video with another three recipies

Scar Removal
DIY Facial from the Secret Life of a Bio Nerd.  Did you know that you can use lemon, cucumber juice and tea tree oil and mix it with non-scented lotion to help with breakouts?  It also helps remove scars.  Find out more in the video below.

Below is a great tutorial for hair and skin moisturizers for those of us with dry, thick, or coarse hair and dry skin.  Some other great tricks for keeping your hair healthy in the winter includes wearing a head scarf or protective styles.  You can find a ton of videos about taking care of dry, coarse or curly hair on YouTube by searching terms such as "natural hair" and "protective hairstyles for winter."

What are your favorite beauty secrets for the winter?  How has confidence played a role in your art business?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Snow Dyeing

Who here (in Wyoming) loves snow? For those of you who do, this project will be perfect and for those of you who are not big fans of the fluffy white stuff (known as the s-word in my house as a child), this project will show you the true beauty that snow can help you produce.

Bloom Bake and Create features this process on her blog.  To learn more check out her two post series.
Snow Dyeing Part 1
Snow Dyeing Part 2

This is one project I have not a chance to try yet.  Let me know how it works and post images of your projects.  Any tips or tricks you learned?  What is your favorite method to dye fabrics? And what do you do with the fabric once it has been dyed?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Countdown: On the 4th Day of Christmas

On the 4th day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Four caling birds...

Sadly, I will not be posting four calling birds, but rather three images of bird artwork and a hilarious video featuring birds and some fun bohemian artsy types.  This artwork is currently in the store and was created by local Wyoming artists.

Put a Bird on It and A Free Craft Fair.
The video is from the Portlandia series on YouTube.  This specific episode comments of the current bohemian fashion statement of placing birds on almost everything.  I had the opportunity to attend Last Thursday in Portland, Oregon last summer, and was shown these videos to prepare me for what I would see.  (see my experience from last summer). Even if you have never traveled to Portland, you are sure to get a kick our of this series.  If you are looking for an excellent event for artisan and craft venders and happen to be in Oregon on the last thursday of any month, be sure to look for Alberta street.  It is free to set up and free to walk around.

Laramie's AAH Show and More Birds
If you don't get a chance to visit Oregon for Last Thursday this holiday season, be sure to check out the Affordable Arts for the Holidays sale here at WOW...It's arguably the next best thing.  You get to support local artists, be around other artists, and if you are lucky take home some of this beautiful artwork with a bird on it.

Open Hours and Contact
We are open Mondays from 1 - 5 pm, Tuesdays - Fridays from 1 - 6 pm, and Saturdays in Decemeber from 1 - 4 pm
We are located on the second floor of the Laramie Plains Civic Center in Suite 271.

Feel free to contact us via email or Facebook or call 307.742.6574.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Countdowns: Plarn

Plarn, or plastic yarn, is a wonderful alternative to traditional yarn. It is simple to make, all you need to do is cut plastic bags into strips and connect them together. There are some wonderful tutorials on YouTube.

One of many plarn making tutorials.

You can use plarn for most knitting patterns.  The main challenge is that the material does not stretch the same as yarn (or even T-shirt yarn).  If you stretch the plarn while creating your project, it will probably rip.  Here are some wonderful plarn project ideas.
Plarn Purse
Plarn water bottle carrier
Plarn shopping bag
Plarn bracelet

Like always, if you have questions be sure to contact WOW.  We would love to chat more about this and other projects.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Scarves

24 Days left....

Nothing beats the perfect scarf during Wyoming winters so I thought I would share some tutorials on how to make and tie scarfs for the second day of the Holiday Countdown.

This DIY T-shirt scarf tutorial is my favorite (and I have seen many and even created one myself).  Some others I have made.

A scoody would be perfect for this holiday season.  If you want to make me one, I will be at WOW.

A circle scarf...

Now that you have several scarves, lets look at some ways to jazz them up a bit.  Here are 25 ways to tie a scarf in 5 minutes

Now that you know how to tie and make scarves, be sure to stop the gallery to buy and/or to sell some beautiful scarves.  We currently have several t-shirt scarves as well as some knitted beauties.  If you would like to attend an upcycled scarf making workshop, be sure to contact the gallery.  Email us, find us on Facebook or call at 307.742.6574.

We are open from 1 - 5 Monday - Friday and 1 - 4 on Saturdays.  Satuday December 3, we will open at 10 am.  Be sure to stop by Suite 271 in the Laramie Plains Civic Center.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Countdown: Our Tree

For the holiday season we will be posting 25 days of holiday gifts, DIY ideas, decorations, and creative projects for you, your family, and friends. The projects will include upcyled, craft, art, and other projects from our artists, clients and some other excellent online resources.

I figured I would get you started with a project that WOW has been working on for the past couple days. Gayle and our intern, along with our intern's family had a great time decorating the tree for the 18th Annual Festival of Trees and Silent Auction here in Laramie.  The auction and lighting ceremony will be held tonight from 6 - 8 pm at the UW Art Museum.  All proceeds will benefit the museum.

The tree titled Plains to Mountains was decorated using handmade holiday ornaments.  The two recipes were cinnamon dough ornaments from borax ornaments using pipe cleaners and sagebrush from

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Affordable Art for the Holidays

WOW's annual Affordable Art show is a wonderful family shopping day activity. The open house will be the same time as the Civic Center Bazaar, Saturday, December 3 from 10am - 4pm. The show is a blast and there is a huge variety of work. This years show includes ceramics and glass work, upcycled projects, paintings, personalized drawings, scarves, jewelry, hats and dyed silk.

The artists are all from Wyoming, so it is an excellent opportunity to support local artists.
Artists in the show...
Jeanie Schlump 
Diana Kopalos 
Dan Roberts Metal Art 
Dona Fleming 
Bianca Allemani 
Cat Martin 
Cathy Carr-Lundfelt 
Kimberly Harris 
Rosemary Bratton 
Yekaterina Minaicheva 
Pat Butera 
Janice Bray 
Robert Martinez
Crystal Lawrence

Bren Lieske 
Ginny Madsen 
Jon Madsen 
Sandra Guzzo
Bill and Marsha Abbott
Marilee Manalo
Carlos Mellizo
Heather Storey
Joy Keown

Barry O'Riley
Jerry Glass
Felicia Follum
Alberto Alcantara
Lisa Edwards

As you can see there is a plethora of work and all of it is $100 or under.  Links to our member's sites can be found in the sidebar.  Be sure to stop by.  We are open Monday - Friday from 1 - 5 and Saturdays in December from 1 - 4.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Affordable Art for the Holidays

Once again Works of Wyoming will be having their annual Affordable Art for the Holidays event.  This event focuses on artwork that makes great Christmas gifts and is all priced under $100.  Get much of your holiday shopping done in one stop.  The gallery will be open during the Civic Center Holiday Bazaar on Saturday December 3 and there will be an open house with discounts on select work on December 16.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Final Call Black Friday Sale at WOW

Works of Wyoming is open!! 

We are currently offering handcrafted gifts.  All work will be at least 20% off and all gallery art will be on sale up to 60% off.  The work in the gallery will be up for one day only and will feature some artists new to WOW, so come and see who else is creating work.

We are open until 5pm today.

Monday, November 21, 2011

WOW Ranked #2 on Laramie Live

Works of Wyoming ranked number 2 in  Kari's Top 5 Best Black Friday Sales in Laramie!!! Go WOW!!!
Be sure to come in between 9 and 5 to score some amazing deals on local artwork and spread the word to all of your friends.  

We are located in the Laramie Plains Civic Center in Suite 271.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Black Friday at WOW

Works of Wyoming will be open this Black Friday!! 

We will be offering handmade gifts, artwork, jewelry, soaps, and more with excellent sales.  All work will be at least 20% off and select gallery artists will have work up to 60% off.  The work will be up for one day only, so be sure to stop by to see what local artists are creating.
Finish your Christmas shopping this Black Friday at WOW. 

We will be open from 9am until 5pm.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Create Lists on FB

When using your personal page, it is likely that there is more going on than what you can actually follow. To organize who you follow, you can create what is called a list.  If you look at the image, Art under Favorites is my art list.  I have all of the art pages I follow and friends who are working artists in my art list.

The number across from
Art tells me that I have one new
art announcement since
I last checked the list.***
Here's How
1. If you go to the bottom of the left toolbar, there should be a section that says lists.  Click this link to your lists (the words "Lists" and "More" should both get you to a listing of your lists).

2. Once all of your lists pop up there will be a link at the top right of the page that says "Create a List."  Click this button.  A box asking you to name your list will pop up.  I named my list “Art.”

3. On the top right there will be a “Manage list” tab. Select it and go down to “Add/Remove Friends.” From here you can select friends. There is another tab on the top left of this box. This tab will allow you to select pages as well.

Congratulations your have finished you Art list on Facebook.

To use this list, you can go back to the bottom of the left toolbar. Click on lists, click the pencil image to the left of your list and select “add to favorites.” Your list will now appear just below your profile image, events, and pages (since you already have an art page as discussed in 5 Reasons Artist Should Have a Facebook Page) on your home page (where your personal feed is displayed).

Come set up your social media marketing consultation today! Members, you get two hours or free (or two lessons which could be a bit longer if you are not familiar with Facebook).

***This is my personal page and I don't add people I don't know.  If you want to like my art page (Felicia Follum art and Design), go for it.  You can also contact me via WOW's Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Who Should You Be Following on FB?

Pages on my art list.
We all know that there a lot of people and pages out there on Facebook.  This post will address who to follow more closely and which pages to like (one a page is liked you are following them). In a future post we will discuss how to organize those that you are following, so it is simple to find what you care about and weed out the informaiton that is less relevant to your life and/or arts career.

Of course you should follow and like these WOW artists with FB pages.

Barry O’Riley
Bethels Beadwork
Denise’s Wyoming Artists
Felicia Follum Art + Design
Western Landscape
and WOW.

But who else should you be following on Facebook?  You can search FB for artists you like as well as museums, galleries, or government organizations.  You can also follow pages that inspire your work.  If you like art history, you could find an art historian to follow.  Of course if there are some friends that you have who are really inspiring or tend to offer wisdom filled inspiration via their FB pages, by all means follow them.  Keep in mind you can create lists (I will show you how to create a list next week) for your BFFs and fun people as well, they do not all need to be on your art list.  I think I have around 5 friends and have around 100 pages on my art list.

Here are some of the pages I follow.

TED - TED Talks provide wonderful inspiration for me while I am creating artwork.
Graphic Competitions
An Art Historian - Afro Art Nerd actually went to the University of Wyoming.
Works of Wyoming (You can contact us here, if you have any questions, comments or concerns)

As mentioned above, in our next post I will show you how to organize all of these pages you are now following.   This will keep them from getting lost in conversations about what your brother’s ex-girlfriend had for breakfast or what your best friend from elementary school said to her cousin yesterday.  There is a simple way to log on and check your important pages in less than 10 minuets and avoid all of the unimportant drivel.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Three tips for Facebook Efficiency

Now that we have discussed some good reasons to have a Facebook page for your artwork, let's also look at some ways to make your new Facebook page more effective.  Facebook pages are unique in that even though they can function as a website, they are more likely to be viewed from a fans news stream.  This means that once someone has liked your page, they may seldom return,  but rather view your page from their own Facebook home page.  Knowing this will allow us to alter the way that we manage our own Facebook pages.
Win Ratz
Fired enamel on copper

Frequency > Quantity
Frequency is one of the best ways that we can utilize our Facebook pages.  The more often we post, the more people will see our wall content from their news feeds.  One way to post more often is to post less. If you have 10 images for an album, you upload one or two a day.  This gives you content for 5 - 10 posts rather than one.  Keep in mind that you don't want to post garbage, you want to post information that your fans care about not spam.  Spam will only get you unliked.

Something that Facebook offers, which a standard website does not is the ability to interact.  A post about your new work may get a like or two, but a post asking viewers to tell you which of your new images is their favorite may get people to actually look at your work.  You can also create polls and invite your personal friends to participate.  Are there others ways to create a call to action on Facebook?

Variety is the Spice of Life
Everyone viewing your Facebook page is unique and will respond differently to different types of posts.  Some people may be interested in following your blog, videos, quotes, or a new photo album.  I like videos a lot, but my mother-in-law seems to like quotes.  Knowing this should encourage us to post a variety on our page walls to encourage more people to interact.

There are many more tips and practices that can be implemented in your administration of Facebook pages.  What are some tricks that have worked or not worked for you?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Write About Your Work

It is important to always be writing about our work.  It will help us, as artists, to communicate about our work as well as exercise our creativity.  For many creatives journaling is a common practice.  For others it is something we force ourselves to practice.  Either way it never hurts to have some ideas to write about.  Here are a couple prompts for when you do not know what to write about your work.

If you need something to write in, here are some handmade
journals, crafted by our artists.  Come pick one up!
1. Make a list of words. Some ideas for lists include tools you use and why, media you like to work with, work that inspires you, media/techniques you would like to try, colors, emotions, or reasons you create work.  These lists can be thought out or completely random.

2. Free Write.  Write for 5 minutes. It does not need to be perfect. Don't think. Just write. You could select any word from the list above and expand on it. Some other free write topics could include why you create work, your process, your inspiration, or your future goals.

3. Write about someone else's work.  This is a task that was assigned in professional development class I attended a while back.  Writing about other work helps us to relax and not be so hard on our selves.  It also tends to help us work through and develop our artistic vocabulary.  If you are looking for art to write about we would love to have you write about a work in the gallery or gift shop.  You could even be a guest blogger for us and write about one of our artists.

What do you write or journal about in regard to your art?  Do you practice writing regularly? If not, why? If you do, how has it improved your overall art practice.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Marketing Tip: Alternative Art Venues

Barry O'Riley "Gaia"  
One important factor about being a successful artist is finding ways to get our work out into the community.  Of course there are high scale art galleries that a select few can get into, but there are many other opportunities outside of a traditional gallery or museum.  One term for places such as these is an alternative art venue.  Some alternative art venues include but are not limited to restaurants, hair salons, coffee shops, vacant business windows and other small businesses.  

1. Coffee Shops - Coal Creek Coffee Company and The Grounds in Laramie both display local artists work.
2. Farmers Markets - Farmers markets often have specific requirements and fees but some do enjoy having artists and crafts people.
3. The street - This is not for everyone, but some artists enjoy going to a downtown area in a large city to create and sell work.  Last Thursday in Portland is a perfect example.  I went this past summer, made a couple sales, and still have people contacting me who met someone who saw me there.
4. Laramie Main street - Organizations such as Laramie Main Street will often times hang photographs in empty store front windows.
5. Arts guilds or clubs - Artist organizations have relationships with businesses that lease, sell or hang work.  Laramie Art Guild blog
6. Restaurants - There are a variety of restaurants that want changing artwork created by locals.  Sweet Melissa's is one example in Laramie.
7. Apartments or rooms - Motel rooms can be rented for one night shows.  A loft could also be rented by a group of artists for a month long show.  University of Wyoming students have been known to have successful one night house shows.
8. WOW - Your very own WOW gallery can even be considered an alternative venue.  Although Works of Wyoming is a not-for-profit gallery space, WOW's atmosphere is a little different than that of a more traditional gallery space.  During an interview with WOW member Barry O'Riley, he was asked how Works of Wyoming had helped him and his response included that "WOW has provided an open and liberal, alternative gallery space for his work."

What are some other alternative spaces that you can share?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photographing your work

A good photograph of Incarceration
by Felicia Follum.
Most artist have had to, or wanted to, photograph their work at some point in their career.  Photographing your work is essential for any form of social media marketing, grant proposals, or submissions to a show.  For those of us who have not chosen photography as our desired field, presenting photos of our work may pose some difficulties.  Below are some simple steps to improving the photographs that will represent you and your artwork.  Following these simple steps can help you avoid immediate rejection from a show, exhibition or grant funding.

Here is what you can do to avoid rejection based on bad images...
1. Do photograph two-Dimensional work against a solid black background.  A neutral gray or white background can also work, but a black sheet is often a good choice.
2. Do photograph three-Dimensional work in a light box or on a curved wall (designed for photographing work).  You can also use boxes on a table covered in black sheets.  Make sure the background is also covered.
3. Do color correct your images. If there is white on the piece, there should be white in the submitted photo.
4. When, allowed do submit detail images of your work.  This will allow the judges to see how much time you put into your work.
5. Do use a tripod or something to stabilize the camera.
6. Do follow all specific directions on the submission form.

A bad photograph of Incarceration
Here are some mistakes you don't want to make
1. Don’t photograph your work with a busy background.
2. Don’t photograph work on your sofa, or in your home.
3. Don’t submit blurry images.
4. Don’t submit images with inaccurate color.
5. Don’t ignore directions regarding file size and file type, number of images per work, or total number of images allowed.

Tips for digital work
1. Use screen shots when applicable. The default for screen shots is often a png file making them perfect for posting images on your artist Facebook page and some websites.
2. Pay special attention to file size, dpi, and other settings that are specified in directions.

ETSY also has some great tips.
Time saving tips from ETSY

**Installations, time or space specific artwork, some conceptual works, and performance art may be exceptions.  If you make an exception, there should be a reason.  Even with a strong reason it could be a risk to do some of the don'ts.  Come into WOW or ask other artists what they think.

If all else fails, set up a time to visit with a WOW staff about photographing your work.  In all reality you don't have to wait until you have a problem, just come on in.  You can contact us directly though our Facebook page or email.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Write White Write and Write Some More

Variety of art journals in our gift shop and gallery.
This podcast is an interview with Alyson B. Stanfield, A.K.A. The Art Biz Coach.  She discusses some extremely important steps to becoming a professional artist.  Her four tips are devote yourself completely to a studio practice, create an online emailing list, connect with other artists, and start writing about your work and never stop.

This last post is a response to "writing about your work." As artists, we probably think about artist statements when we think about writing. Though artist statements are a significant aspect of the writing that an artist is expected to produce, we can practice writing about our work in other mediums as well.  In addition to journaling, a blog or various social media platforms including,,,,,,, and even personal websites provide perfect opportunities to write about your work.

Some of WOW's artist social media links
Bethel's Beadwork on Facebook
Deise Patton on LinkedIn
Felicia Follum Design on Facebook
Hannah McNamee's  Website (We have more member websites in the right hand sidebar)
Laramie Art Guild Blog - This site has work from several of our members

If you only plan to use one of these, go with Facebook see why in Top 5 Reasons Artists Should Have a Facebook Page. A blog and website are other top options as well (some would argue for these over Facebook).

The addresses the four topics a bit more.

See the other parts of our Professional Artist Podcast Series using the links below
Part 1 Devotion to you Work
Part 2 Email Lists
Part 3 Networking

Post links to your writing below.  If you would like your work and writing about your work to be featured on WOW's blog or Facebook page, be sure to comment below or let us know on Facebook.