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#149 is my celestial bowl!  Honored to be included in Flow Magazine’s 7th annual Gallery of Women in Glass.  Winter 2011 issue.

Stop American Censorship

January 17, 2012

Thousands of sites will be dark, including mine, on Jan 18 from 8am until 8pm, protesting SOPA & PIPA, two US bills racing through Congress that threaten prosperity, online security, and freedom of expression.  It only takes a moment to click the link and tell your lawmakers what you think.  I did, I hope you will too.  And if you’ll share this message with others, maybe congress will actually hear us for a change!

A Facebook business page is a great marketing tool & I think every artist benefits from having one.  Last week my friends asked me to lead them through the steps of setting up their Facebook Business page, a blog and an online shop.  We had a (mostly) fun day and you can help their pages grow via their links at the end of this post.

Technically challenged, I had a long learning curve when I began my on-line adventure.  A couple good friends (you know who you are Kathleen Krucoff and Toni Johnsonheld my hand and helped me better understand some of the technicalities and I want to pay that forward by helping you.  Starting with a Facebook business page.

If you haven’t already, go to Steider Studios on Facebook and click the ‘like’ button.  Yes, that was just my way of getting a ‘plug’ in, hehehe.   Seriously, from my page (or any business page) at the top right, click on ‘Create a Page’.

Then, click on Artist, Band or Public Figure … unless you prefer any of the other choices.

That box will open and you’ll choose a category (artist) then type in your business name.  I’ve been told this name cannot be changed…you can always cancel the page & start another one, but you’ll lose your ‘community of followers’.  Yet, lately I notice people are changing their business names…I’d still title my page with care.  You want your ‘brand’ on your web page, blog, FB, Linked In, Twitter and everywhere else you network to be the same.  Don’t forget to check the “I agree to Facebook Pages Terms” if you’ve read & agree.

The next screen that opens is your new business page.  You may want to bookmark it so you don’t lose it.  You’ll see your title/business name at the top, a ‘like’ button for all your followers to click on and a set of directions.

This next part is easy, just follow the prompts.

Upload a picture.  Click ‘upload an image’.  Click choose file.  Select a jpg image from your computer.  If you haven’t done this before, simply place a small jpg image on your computer desktop and you can easily upload it without having to search your files for the one you want. This first photo is your ‘avatar’ or profile photo.  It’ll remain static on your page like a logo in the top left corner until you decide to edit or change it.  It can be you or your work, a graphic image or anything you want.

Click on “Suggest to friends”.  A box will pop up with all your friends (assuming you already have a personal FB page).  Click on those folks that you’d like to send an invitation to, or select just a couple friends to see how it works.  Then click “send Recommendations”  You can come back to this step later to send more invitations & you can click cancel if you don’t want to do this right now.

If you’d like you can ‘Tell your friends” by importing contacts from your mailing lists or e-mail list.  Click the link to see what it looks like & either follow the prompts or click cancel.  You can always go back and import later.

Post status updates:  just like your personal FB page upload a photo, share a link or video, or just say what you’re working on today.  I always try to add a photo or link when I ‘post my status’ because a visual image will draw people in more than text.  Don’t forget to click  ‘post’ when you’re satisfied with your message or photo.

Set up your mobile phone:  I haven’t done this, so can’t be of help with this one.

…………….

Now go up to the top under your title and click ‘edit info’.  Following the prompts, type in any of the info that you want to share publicly.  If you don’t want your address public, don’t type it in.

Chances are you already have a bio and general info about yourself, so you can simply copy & paste it into the boxes.  Don’t worry about filling everything in, do what you can for now & go back later to fine tune.  Make sure you add your website & blog if you have one; on-line shop or any other links you want a visitor to easily find.

Click “Save changes” before you leave the page.  You’ll see a yellow bar across the top that says “information updated”.  On the top right click on “view page”.

Now you’ll see your page again.  You can click on “get started” to go back to steps 1 – 4.

Click on “info” to see your bio, websites, etc.

If you click “Wall”, you’ll see your wall with all your posts.

Above your status bar you’ll see 5 empty boxes.  One has a plus sign with a photo symbol.  Click this to add photos of your work.  Follow the prompt, “select photos”.  Another box appears “Create your album while you wait”.  Again, follow the prompts.  Name the album, fill in the location if you’d like, then click “create album”.

The next prompt allows you to enter captions (description of the work & your name), and choose the album cover.  You can also “publish now” without captioning, but it’s a good idea to at least include your name on each of your photos.  I try to remember to include info that a potential customer might want to know about each piece.

When you’re ready to go back to your page, click on your business name & you’ll be taken back to your wall.

On the top right you can now use your personal page or your business page via the little gear next to the lock and your name, to comment or like other pages.  You can purchase an ad if you’d like.  You can view insights (stats on those interacting with your business page) or invite friends.

Go back to  ‘edit page’ again & on the left you’ll see a menu of options.  Settings, permissions, etc.  Check the boxes that apply to how you want your business page to work.  I want others to be able to comment and post photos & interact with me, so those are all checked; if you don’t want anyone else to post on your wall don’t check them.  You can always go back and edit if you change your mind.  You’ll notice you can also change your profile picture from this menu.  There’s more, but this is a simple introduction to get you started.

It took me 2 hours to set up a new page including a simple bio with 6 photos, plus taking notes for these directions…you can spend as much or as little time as you like.  The advantage to having a FB business page is letting the world know what you as an artist are doing.  Viral marketing.  If we each like one another’s pages we’ll all have xxx new community members.  If you haven’t already, go ahead and like my page now: Steider Studios on Facebook (yep, another shameless plug).  You are welcome to post a link to your page on my wall so I can reciprocate; and some of my followers will see your post and like you too!

You should know that when you like another page from your business page, your ‘like’ doesn’t count.  If another business page likes yours it won’t count.  You can only help grow a page by liking it from your personal page.  There are advantages in doing that, but I’ll tell you about it another time.

When I began, I humbly asked a few of my friends if they would like my page.  Then I asked them if they would mind “sharing” my page with their friends to help me grow.  Today when I post a new photo on my business page wall I have several friends who automatically share my new photos with their friends because they have taken ownership in helping me grow my business.  I love it when people share something I’ve posted!  In addition to that, as each of your friends like your page, their friends will see that they’ve liked it & may like it too.

After you have 25 “likes” or a community of followers (formerly called fans), you can eliminate the long string of numbers after your business name.  I’ll tell you how to do that in the near future.  In the meantime, I hope you’ll get a Facebook business page set up, get your photos posted along with any other relevant information and get comfortable with it….then come to my page share your link (paste the url into a post on my wall) so that we can like your page!

You might be wondering what to post.  If you’re shy, keep it simple until you have a feel for it.  Post a photo of your work & tell us about your process.  Post a photo of work in progress and tell us your successes or failures (yes, failures are good to post because most of us like to respond with helpful ideas).  Tell us about your sunset tonight, or an exciting adventure that inspired you to create something, or…well, you get the idea.  Of course, if you’re the gregarious sort, you’ll have no trouble thinking of interesting conversation starters!

My neighborhood is the Columbia River Gorge located in the Pacific Northwest

I try to post something of interest once a day but if I’m busy in the studio, at least a couple times per week.  I like to engage those who follow my page by asking questions and promoting their business pages.  I like to share photos of  my neighborhood because it’s so darn beautiful.  I promote Arts in Education, Youth Arts, Schools, and other art-related causes I believe in without being spammy.  Nobody wants to know what you eat for breakfast every morning unless you’re listing recipes or eating something really unusual – or your page happens to be about food..  They absolutely want to know about your projects, past & current; when & where your gallery openings are; when & where your next shows/sales are; and your process.  They want to see & share in your joy, your successes, and even your failures.  I hope this helps you & I’m happy to answer any questions that I can.  I always reciprocate, so if you like my page:  Steider Studios on Facebook, I promise to like you back!

That is, if you let me know where your page is.  Post a link to it when you say hello on my page.  Be sure you have it listed on your personal page under ‘about’ – contact – web address.  You can list at least five or six.

Don’t forget, let me know when your page is ready & I’ll be one of the first to like it AND share it with my friends!  I look forward to helping you grow your business and I hope you’ll like my friends’ pages too!

Kathy-Watne-Enamels        Morning-Sun-Studio     

Carolyn-Crystal-Glass-Beadmaker        Terri-Johanson-Art-Glass

Edit:    If your friends like your business page, you don’t want to spam them with duplicate content.  Unless it’s cartwheel-turning exciting, I post on my personal page OR my business page, but not both.  People who follow my blogs via networked blogs will see duplicate posts, but I try to curtail everything else.

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Chasing Eagles

January 12, 2012

When people ask “what inspires you?” I want to show them photos I’ve taken near my home in the Columbia River Gorge.    The Pacific Northwest is full of spectacular landscapes and abundant wildlife, but this area defines rugged awe-inspiring beauty.

Today I was awake, dressed and in town before sunrise, sitting in a parking lot along the Columbia River waiting for friends.   I was graced with pink skies as the sun woke up, framing Mt. Hood with a splendor that took my breath away.

What were we doing so early,  you ask?  Heading to the Klickitat River where eagles can be counted in the dozens on some days, we were hoping for a lively show this morning.

Last week I counted 16 in the same spot and watched in amazement as they soared overhead, singing to one another.  This morning there were only six, but we were thrilled to spot them in surrounding trees.

Did I mention it was 20 degrees?  We were cold, so stayed less than an hour before our fingers were too numb to push our shutter buttons.

Back in our semi-warm car, we drove to the head of the Klickitat River where it flows into the Columbia.

We counted five young eagles, but no white headed birds.  Four were sitting on a slag and the fifth was soaring over the sandbar.

Our next stop was Doug’s Beach, where I’ve seen eagles perched on tree tops next to the Columbia River.

We saw three bald eagles flying against the canyons, but my camera would not reach that far, so I shot photos of us instead.

We crossed the Columbia and traveled west to Meyer Park, another great eagle watching spot, but there were none to be seen on the Oregon side of the river this morning.

If you look close, you can see ice surrounding the inlet.

Our last stop of the day was the Hood River Marina where a flock of geese congregated on the expanse of lawn between the museum and DMV.  No eagles, but big birds nonetheless.

My friends tell me I need to upgrade my point & shoot to a DSLR.  They’re right, but if I don’t get back to the studio I won’t have anything to trade for the $$$ I need for that upgrade!

Take flight.  Get inspired.  Be creative.  Chase eagles.

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Bringing in a New Year with a new Gallery Show, I thought some of you might be interested in just how a gallery show goes up.  Columbia Arts is a community, non profit gallery, run by volunteer committees.  The Show Committee sets a show, selects a curator and sometimes works with the curator to choose participating artists.  The January show, Trash 2 Art was installed today.  Before the doors can open to the public for an artist’s reception there’s a huge renovation:

…starting with moving portable walls into place.  Volunteers have already applied fresh paint.  Curator Kathy Watne and her crew of volunteers set the stage for how our work will be displayed, taking into consideration the huge storefront windows.

After the walls are moved into place, the pedestals are brought out.

Since the walls are on wheels, they must be stabilized before any work can be hung.  The work is placed in an order that flows, usually by artist, by color or theme.  Sometimes it’s as simple as first to arrive selects their spot.

The work gets unpacked and tentatively set up as artists arrive.  Dave Sherburne’s work always catches my eye.

Sarah Burr Arnold creates gorgeous jewelry.  Here it awaits installment into the show.

Also waiting to be installed is one of Kathy Watne’s fabulous enamels.

My glass bowl looks too flat just sitting on this pedestal.  Tomorrow I’ll deliver a stand for it so you can see color and light filtering through.

Back to the installation….Sarah and Kathy attach tags while Caroline, the gallery director checks inventory sheets and prepares show labels in the background.  Artists submit written information about their work in advance to avoid dealing with these details at the last minute.

I can’t help myself, my eyes are constantly distracted by the wonderful artwork being delivered.  More coming in each hour.  This wonderful piece was created by Tracy Klas.

Mixed media panels by Kris Joy, known for her blown glass.  I LOVE her new work!

The artwork goes up, packaging taken away and within just a few hours the show is almost ready.  Tomorrow I’ll return with that stand; other artists may also return for additional tweaking.  Once the work is installed, it’s easier to see what might need adjusting.   Kathy will be there attaching show tags, aiming lights and fine tuning those devilish details.

One last photo, a piece by Kerry Lucia to whet your appetite for this fun and playful show, generously sponsored by Hood River Garbage!  Trash 2 Art features work made from objects otherwise destined for the trash or recycling.

Many friends are planning to join us at the opening, I hope you will too!  Friday January 6th from 6 to 8pm.  Columbia Arts at 215 Cascade in Hood River OR.  If you can’t make the opening reception, Trash 2 Art runs through January 29th.

Participating artists:  Sarah Burr Arnold • Marbe Cook • Peggy Dills Kelter • Tracy Klas • Dawn Elle • J. Neils Harvey • Terri Johanson • Kris Joy • Suzanne Keolker • Kerry Lucia • Kelly Phipps • David Sherburne • Linda Steider • Kathy Watne • MaCrae Wylde

Show curators: Kathy Watne, Sarah Burr Arnold

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