Inspiration - Today's Public Service Announcement

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With the pressures of the holiday season approaching, today's "public service announcement" is BE KIND TO YOURSELF

-Halfway to work you realize you left all the house lights on. Yesterday you forgot to make your kids lunch, you didn't even remember lunch money! Traffic is horrible and you're late to your meeting (again!)

Are you in a constant state of "rushing"? Do you feel inadequate and/or frustrated because you are unable to complete all of the items on your "To Do" list?

Instead of focusing on what you were not able to do, take a deep breath, slow down and celebrate all the things you were able to complete!

These victories, especially the tiny wins often go unnoticed and unacknowledged. Stop being relentlessly hard on yourself.

-You made it to the gym this week - not once but twice! You ate a healthy breakfast and managed to grab a fruit snack instead of the office pastry/doughnut. You made time for a friend who is going thru a tough period.

Take a moment to remind yourself that it's OK - you're doing a great job!

News - December Screen Saver Collection

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Pretty amazing, we’re already at the end of the year! December’s pattern was the result of several design studies which I undertook after reading parts of Eric Berg’s wonderful book about Islamic Geometric patterns. Of course, I saw plenty of tile inspiration from Morocco first hand and those of course also influenced the general direction of this concept. The basic tile pattern was also used as the jumping off point for the Makers Tableau logo mark.

Follow the links below for your FREE screen saver collection which will include a desktop calendar as well as a smart phone background. 

Click HERE to download the desktop calendar

Click HERE to download the smart phone background

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News - Reasons to fall in love with #SHOPSMALL

Mark your calendars #SHOPSMALL 2018 is Saturday November 24th! There are many reasons to fall in love with this new family tradition.

On Thanksgiving Day enjoy time with family and friends - eat until you're stuffed and watch a few college football games or attend your local high school game. On Friday get outside and go for a hike to burn off those calories. On Saturday, head to "Main Street" to spend your money in local, independent stores and cafés. 

Reasons to #SHOPLOCAL

* It's fun. My family used to shop on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). We'd get up early, head for sales, then meet for breakfast. No more. It's just too painful: no real bargains, crazy crowds, unpleasant employees. Now, we've made Small Business Saturday our tradition. We sleep in, meet for breakfast at a local, independent café, then go shopping in small stores. Nice!

* You support your community - schools, police and fire departments. When you shop small, the bulk of the money you spend and most of your taxes stay local — helping schools, paving streets, keeping you safe.

* You'll raise your property values. Lively, vibrant neighborhood shopping streets are considered an advantage when selling a home. They make your property more valuable.

* You'll strengthen your community. Local businesses are owned by people who live in your town, go to your church or synagogue, donate to local animal shelters, coach Little League teams. When you spend money in their stores and cafes, you support your neighbors.

* You'll create jobs. Local businesses create local jobs. Often, these are jobs that pay better than those at chain stores.

* You'll find unique, one of a kind, handmade goods and how cool is that!

At Makers Tableau, we wholeheartedly support the local makers, artists and small business owners who help make our community a strong a vibrant place to live and work

Discover - "I can't draw"

"I can't draw” - Perhaps this was you at some point during your youth. As we transition from an adolescent to teenager something happens that makes most of us, shy away from drawing, worried our skills will not measure up. We begin to judge our drawings from the culturally limiting framework that drawing is "Art" and art is "reserved" for artistic and creative types.

Mistaking drawing for art is embedded in our way of thinking thus as a society we seem to be missing the point. Drawing is a way of observing the world around us.

Drawing makes us slow down, be patient and pay attention. The author DB Dowd argues "We have misfiled the significance of drawing because we see it as a professional skill instead of a personal capacity."

The truth is, anyone can draw - drawing is nothing more than mark making (i.e. doodling) Drawing is our way of documenting what we see, it does not need to fit any specific style, after all you are just putting pencil to paper.

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News - #100dayproject

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Every year I like to challenge myself to one project which intentionally pushes the boundary of my skills. This year I embarked on a #100dayproject where I committed to drawing in a sketchbook for 100 days and agreed to share "the good and the bad" on Instagram.

I do not consider myself someone who is "good at drawing" I am intimidated by the proverbial "blank page" especially in a sketchbook where your marks are permanent (of course you can rip out pages...lol) and the prospect of sharing my work which is "less than perfect" left me feeling hugely vulnerable. However setting fear aside, I took the leap and for the most part I enjoyed the test.

I discovered 100 days is a tad to long for my attention span, I actually completed 95 days (and not necessarily consecutive days, although never had more than a 2 day gap) Yup only 5 days shy of finishing and I totally lost interest, what can I say...(big shoulder shrug)

I started this project back in March and (mostly) finished up in early July. I thought you might enjoy learning a bit about my final experience. Above are a few of my favorites

News - November Screen Saver Collection

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Fall leaves starting to turn, and will soon be dropping to the ground, a sure sign that the holiday season is just around the corner.

This leaf pattern was inspired by the lush courtyard where we stayed while traveling in Marrakech. Although the leaves are tropical in nature, I’ve recolored the design to reflect a more “New England” color scheme and to make it more appropriate for our fall weather.

Follow the links below for your FREE screen saver collection which will include a desktop calendar as well as a smart phone background. 

Click HERE to download the desktop calendar

Click HERE to download the smart phone background

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News - In Pursuit of a Hobby

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What is your hobby? Do you make a practice of regularly scheduling time to pursue it?

I read an interesting article recently about the pursuit of hobbies. There are many health benefits to having a hobby including making friends, building confidence and developing creativity. Hobbies bring us joy in ways not possible with our work. In the article, the author makes an argument for having a hobby which is different and separate from your job.

This can be especially difficult for a creative person as the two activities often blend into each other. Making it more challenging is the expectation that everything you "do/make/create" should be monetized. This attitude is perpetuated by today's entrepreneurial culture where anyone can work from home and can profit from their own unique "thing". By monetizing our hobby we change our relationship with it, it is no longer pursued for the simple joy of it thus distorting our reason for doing it in the first place.

I spend my days creating items/art almost always with the intention to sell some form of it. I might sketch a new series of floral elements, place those into a pattern which I then hope to license. OR I carve a new block (from one of the elements mentioned earlier) the resulting design is printed on fabric which I cut/sew into products I sell. And so on....

As a full-time artist, my biggest challenge would be to find the time to actually separate play from what is now my job and being able to make the distinction between the two.

News - Show Calendar Update

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Makers Tableau has been super busy attending several late summer and fall markets. It's been a ton of work but we had a blast! We made new friends with other fellow artists, gained new customers as well as a few possible wholesale accounts - Yay!

We have two holiday markets on the schedule, you'll want to keep those in mind for your seasonal shopping. This year we are pulling together "Gift Bag" ideas to make your shopping experience that much easier. We will have a few product groupings selected around a particular theme - "For the Hostess" will include a napkin set, a set of wine charms and a set of coasters. More on this as it develops, "Gift Bags" will only be available at the two holiday shows.