Free How to Plan Promotions Ebook

Best retailing practices state business owners and managers should start planning promotions 1-3 months in advance. That’s why Miseducated has created our ebook How To Plan Promotions.

Please enjoy the digestible advice and good industry tips downloading the first of our up-and-coming ebooks and get inspired to make improvements.

If you’re ready to discuss ways to make your branding or marketing grab more attention in the new year just email or call me for a free consultation.

I’d love to assist you in making your campaigns stand out from the rest!

Our first ebook is our How to Plan Promotions Ebook and you can download it for free by clicking here!

Lace for Your Jewelry: Resin Pendant Tutorial

Resin can be a fun hobby or business for the crafty miseducated diva in all of us. The possibilities are endless, allow your creativity to run wild and create pieces that are quite unique and fun. With some initial prepping steps, you can suspend just about any material in resin.

In this basic tutorial I will be casting jewelry pieces with resin, but you can use resin for whatever else you would like to make like paperweights, coasters, soap dishes and many other things. There are even many different types of resin that can be used, for different types of desired uses.

I myself use a two part casting resin that is pretty user friendly. I am a novice at resin, just learning as I go and getting better each time. Its fun and I thought I would share some basic tips and give crafty divas something new to try…cause like me I know with all this creativity you have inside of you, you always want to try something new. So this is something for you gals who are aching for a new creative outlet.

I chose to cast fabric for the purpose of this tutorial. I have played with sprinkles, glitter, and candy before. So I thought I would try something new, so here goes….

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Supplies

  • Easy Cast Resin
  • 2 Plastic Cups
  • 2 Stir Sticks
  • Wax Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Resin Molds
  • Fabric of choice
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Timer

Before hand I prepped my pieces of fabric by cutting them a little smaller than mold shape, and sealed them off with mod podge, or you can use an acrylic sealer if desired.

Instructions

    1. Take a plastic cup and pour in 1 oz. of resin, then pour in 1oz. of the hardener in the same cup, so you end up with 2 oz. total. (Easy Cast has a ratio of 1:1)

    2. Take one of the stir sticks and gently mix the concoction, make sure not to whip as it causes air bubbles. Scrape the sides periodically and mix well for 2 minutes. The mixture will look cloudy at first but this will clear up after resin and hardener are mixed together thoroughly.

    3. Take this mixture and gently pour into your other clean plastic cup. Stir gently again for 1 minute this time. The mixture at this point should be clearer than before.

    4. Set mixture aside for 5 minutes, so the resin can self-degas. Take this time to clean up a bit and get your mold and fabric piece(s) ready.

    5. When ready, pour a little bit of resin into each mold, about a quarter full.

    6. Then place cut fabric, right side down into resin. You can use a toothpick to position and press fabric. This will also help remove any air pockets trapped underneath the fabric that can caused some bubbles.

    7. Then this is where you will need to practice some patience…let the piece(s) rest overnight or for several hours until cured. You can check if it is cured with a toothpick, this way no fingerprints will be left behind.

What I covered in this tutorial are the basics, but you can get more creative by adding different layers. Below are photos of some layer pieces I created, I hope you find them inspiring.

After your pendants are cured, you can jazz them up by drilling holes, adding jump rings, gluing on bails, posts, brooch settings, what ever you like, let your imagination run wild, its all up to you! Your end result will be beautiful and unique pieces.

A great source of reference and inspiration of mine is a book that I turned to when first approaching resin after multiple searches on Google, a book called “The Art of Resin Jewelry” by Sherri Haab. In this book she goes over in detail all different types of techniques with resin, like the so fun and yummy candy jewelry.

Athina’s Creations

See more in my shop here.

Originally published on 12/08/2009.

Pretty Modern Design Offices & Art Studios

Don’t you love it when you type out a whole post and then it fails to ‘Save Draft’?

Same.

So I’m back from the 3 week trip the beautiful Uganda. My husband was teaching a course about understanding the culture through the arts. The people and the country were gorgeous. I was so homesick while there at first and now I miss it. We had a layover in Brussels on the way as well, beautiful! I hadn’t been there before. More on the trip later.

I’m really into decor as always but specifically offices — perhaps because I’ve been taking on new work lately and am still midway through organizing my own office/creative lab. So inspiring. These are gorgeous.


Murphy’s Law

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Ruby Press Office via Kristen Loken

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Jamie Lauren Photography

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Deluxe Modern

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Design Improvised

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Zoe Feldman Design

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Expand Your Brand with Miseducated

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You might have noticed in the last several months I’ve been seamlessly combining my portfolio and marketing work with my blog here at Miseducated. This is due to the fact I needed to expand my business hosting account so I decided to combine my efforts and enhance my brand. In a part I can now equally focus on expanding the agency for work as well as continue blogging passion. Below you’ll find a press release of sorts with advice for those looking to expand their brand, build an online presence, and acquire new client attraction.

Miseducated is not just a blog but is also a boutique marketing agency that creates attractive business promotions, attractive brands, and premium web sites. With over 15 years of web design and social media marketing expertise; I understand effective design.

Miseducated offers you innovative and attractive design, captivating imagery and gold-woven copy combined with compelling offers and strategic promotional methods to bring you new client attraction and more attention from loyal clients. If you provide a product or service, I will teach you how to be the next big thing and provide you with a competitive advantage in your marketplace.

Many companies mistakenly implement a fundamental brand and website to save on operating and marketing costs. These website design efforts range from adequate to amateur (from drag and drop to friends and family help) ultimately sacrificing the polished online presence necessary to stand out in a crowd. As you know the field of design is a competitive business with many amateurs claiming they know design and marketing strategies, but when it comes down to it most are not able to deliver.

Business owners upon hiring an unqualified agency or designer soon realize novice web design efforts result in amateur results. They discover the site is not providing a competitive advantage, not attracting new clients, and that their site is similar to thousands of others – a total red flag in all business.

How can you avoid this problem? When hiring a brand designer or marketing agency you should be served with an initial consultation as well as a roadmap that outlines the specific actions you and your company will take to out-maneuver peers for needed resources and client retention. There should be measurable goals within the plan so you can be sure your new design and marketing strategy are serving your company as planned and moving your organization forward. A professional can translate the essence of your unique business into a savvy, engaging website and online brand.

In short, The right website will show off your business and allows you to reach out to new customers and stay in touch with current ones. So, ask yourself today, if your website is a true reflection of your business then what is your website reflecting about your brand?

Look in my design portfolio here for some examples of marketing design.

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DIY: Neons vs Pastels » Craftspiration

Because I can never decide which one is better so all of my pastel-coated paintings always have a little hot pink strewn through-out and same for my collages. Why choose one when you can have both? Have a hot pink Easter.

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Easy Neon Hanging Planters Tutorial by Brit + Co

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Candy Necklace Inspiration by Love the Day

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Chocolate Surprise Egg DIY for Easter

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Dip Dye Placemats by Design Love Fest

and lastly a breathtakingly beautiful home office and craft studio to inspire you to design your work space to fit your inspiration ala I Love Crafty:

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Finding Inspiration to Climb Higher

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I sometimes hear I should find something to do when I’m sitting around puzzling over what’s inspiring me in that moment and which way I should move with it (which appears from the outside to be some sort of boredom or stagnation) but is actually me almost in a living/meditating state. I’m taking everything in around me, iI’m imagining and I’m stalling. I don’t usually move fast with new ideas; In fact I usually move so slow that I tire of them before I even get them finished. I also currently favor the idea that in your worst times (most depressed, most angry, most passionate) you make your greatest discoveries about yourself which in turn shells out some pretty brutally honest and amazing work. (ahem, Eminem)

Why is inspiration such a process? And how do you get inspiration? Sometimes.. I’ll admit.. I actually pull the inspiration and motivation to move ahead with ideas from dreams. I dreamt I finally went to Japan to study which let me to finally decide I would study in Japan while in college. I had to do all of the work to get there; my college didn’t really have any programs in Japan in place at the time. It happened! I couldn’t believe everything went as smoothly as it did (this seems to happen sometimes when you follow your heart — things go smooth and easy). They told me to pick several programs and apply because I might not get the one I want, I chose the one I wanted and didn’t even apply anywhere else. I got accepted.

My host family was the most rad family in the whole program because they also just started so they weren’t sure what to expect either and they had a daughter that was just a bit older than me. So that means lots of shopping, events, festivals, sake and karaoke with friends. They are so wonderful and amazing, I’m glad we’re still in touch. Eri, the daughter, and I practically became real sisters (and our bond is exactly the same after all of these years). That little push I needed to live in Japan as the Japanese do was not just a dream anymore, it was a reality.

Some well-known self-esteem experts, such as Jack Canfield, claim that a way of proving you’re on the right path in life: everything, no matter how hard it at first seems (change is often scary), seems to almost come easily and moves along smoothly. Now I’m not saying you’re likely to avoid obstacles if you follow your dreams. Because, in my experience, often times the harder something is to get, the more worth or value it carries. So whether obstacles get in the way or not, always be prepared for them. I’m only saying it feels right.. you just know it’s the way you’re supposed to go. There will likely be obstacles but not impossible ones, rather they are empowering ones.

I also dreamt (No, I do not live in a Dream Castle.) I started a store downtown (dream come true) and a magazine with friends and found happiness and fulfillment in that. I’m an artist and designer first and foremost. When I finally dropped News/Editorial from my major I felt a little remorse, but sadly not enough. Somehow writing was not something I was after anymore, it didn’t feel right anymore. So what did I do anyway? I took heed from my dream and started this mega blogazine that you’re staring at right now. I opened a connected shop and sold pendants, original artwork, prints and the most random handmade gifts. I (sort of) started working towards making that dream a reality.

If fact sometimes dreams you once had come floating back as if reminding you to keep on your journey but to perhaps try another route. Sometimes to become who you want to be you have to re-harness some of your past, favorable qualities that you let fall to the wayside. For instance recently I was obsessing over these more recent prints and images I was creating (never released) and now I’m considering listing them at the store here. They were pre-falling-down-the-rabbit-hole-again stage but became a pretty big series in my life for awhile and I actually enjoyed creating them a lot. I found again that I work well with dolls as models and I decided to mix typography in more like my web-based designs thus furthering my interest in print making once more. Finally.

teenmag

Some other ways I get inspiration are as follows:
Japanese fashion and interior magazines, vintage woman’s magazines, 20s records, having a cup of black coffee or almond tea to get re-energized, taking a bubble bath with or without a book or candles and champagne, looking through my photo albums, looking through my record collection, hanging out with family & friends, taking a walk, swinging, carrying my camera, listening to electro, writing in my journal or any nearby notebook, getting out a pencil and a blank canvas and, most importantly, love and kisses from my husband and daughter. Every time I have genuine bonding time with my daughter I get an instant dose of inspiration.. I guess that’s why I tend to stay up quite late after her bedtime to work.

So want to pump up the process of getting inspiration by reading a few tips about gaining inspiration from other artists? That’s exactly what I had in mind. Also remember I always ask our featured artists to explain where they get inspiration from.

Need Inspiration?

Four Steps To Finding Inspiration, From An Idea DJ – I especially like the idea of video art, collaging video clips with music and/or audio.
50 Ways to Find Inspiration – I’ve done a lot of these and found some of them that I’d actually like to try. There are tons of great ideas here. I really liked: 31. Ask someone you love what they consider to be the most important thing they’ve ever learned., 34. Ask your parents to tell you what you were like as a child, and remember what mattered to you then. and 40. Spend time with children and see the world through their eyes.. Very positive and inspirational.
16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re In a Slump

Creations, Cares & Shop Wares

Usagi by Amber Renee

So I’ve been sketching so much more since I began living with the man of my dreams and realizing life can be comforting in transition, fear, sadness, happiness, ecstasy, extreme business, security, and overwhelming tasks lists. Sometimes those sketches are finally turned into illustrations by yours truly and other times they are filed, colored by the kiddies or lost and tossed. This one made it through to the other side. I was feeling very dark when I sketched this but also very excited about the future, thus she is split into two. Even more curious I died my hair half and half following this drawing. The dark vs cute seems to be a constant theme in my brain.

I’ve also updated my SHOP a bit and fallen in love with some old and new friends also using storenvy.

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I’ve also got my digital life getting back on track with the welcome of a new computer to the office, my new lovely laptop (little MacBook Pro) which was a gift from Mistereducated. It is so happy to both work with me and snuggle in my still-in-the-plastic Lamb case that was gifted to me years ago. Such a princess of a laptop. She runs runs runs and keeps my eyes happy with a screen that is so decadent and color rich like a Japanese candy store. AH! I was so behind.

Also many more blog goodies are coming along.. I was forced by slight-OCD to organize my Gmail via Imap in Mac’s Mail app (if you need any help with this I have ultimate tips as I ripped quite a few hairs out in frustration). I had (no joke) a bit over 100,000 mails that needed to be organized into folders so I could have an empty inbox and get on track. I was living like a computer file hoarder. Mister even got me an external hard drive because like a hoarder I put off organizing my files and deleting un-needed files for so long and now every file I’ve ever cherished (except for that time in the 90s when my old PC crashed and lost all my files) is organized and neat on the hard drive. Such a relief! Everything is smooth sailing on candy seas. So alas, I have not forgotten about or misplaced your emails! After my crazy roller coaster ride and life restart I am still getting important items in order but I am now pretty much on top of a cotton candy cloud ready to welcome you for chats, cats and tea. I never forgot about you, I was only lost in the forest for awhile.

Also — I got a pink 3ds for a bit of fun in the meantime and mainly for Animal Crossing because it has always been my favorite game next to Maniac Mansion. If you’d like to be friends just leave your friend code. Mine is: 0662 4261 5265

See you in digital wonderland! XX

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Mood Board: Lock my Heart and Never Part

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Mew for Today because I really was going through a painfully overwhelming period in my life that I am slowly navigating out of. I am happier and healthier than I have ever been before and I owe it to my one true love, spirituality and sobriety. Thankfully as more time goes on I have started feeling very much inspired and overwhelmed with ideas again and I would love to share some eye candy that is oh-so-Miseducated and catching my attention on tumblr tonight…

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His & Hers: Our Reads of the Moment

his and hers

Once upon a time I met my match. A rock star artist, attractive man, best friend, beautiful person, wonderful father. I found that he brought an abundance of light into my life just by being a friend and mentor to me as a young adult. 9 years later the friendship grew into something unbelievable and now we are a completely inseparable and happy family.

We usually means us, as in this website and our community, but in the case of these new features it actually means Mister and Miss. Educated. This article is about the books we have nearby for reading and the blogs we catch up on often.

Her Books

Good Energy Book

I got this book for free during a promotion at the perfect timing because I was changing my life and my world. After reading it I became really addicted and got rid of the negative energy in my home and life. I knew most of the techniques from my past but this book explains everything in a very attractive way and is a great read even when you’re just feeling negative and hopeless. I highly recommend it if you’re into energy healing.

Blog Inc.

Mom Inc.

Renegade Writer

Achieve Anything In Just One Year

His Books

Surviving the Economic Collapse

I got this book as I was hoping for the best but studying and preparing for the worst. I have a lot to lose and I feel it is my job as a man to be sure everyone will be taken care of. The book is self-published so it’s a little brash and of course there are errors but I couldn’t put it down. It’s the actual account of a man who survived economic collapse in Argentina so it’s not a hypothetic response. It was very informative and I recommend it to anyone who wants to be prepared when the shit hits the fan.

Art and Fear

Rich Dad Poor Dad

The Way of the Superior Man

Think and Grow Rich

Blogs

And while books are rad, blogs are like the newest imagery-stuffed zines, you can visit millions of them over every delicious topic you can imagine. You can even find some not-so-delicious topics if that’s your fancy and with that we’d also love to leave some of our current favorite blogs~

Her Blogs

1. puglypixel
2. Design*Sponge
3. Independent Fashion Bloggers
4. Thompson Family Life
5. A Beautiful Mess

His Blogs

1. Lines and Colors
2. Art21 Blog
3. Design For Mankind
4. The Jealous Curator
5. Co.Design

Make sure you’ve added your blog in the comments if you aren’t listed in the link directory! We’re beginning to get very serious about blogging and active within the community again, now that life has been settling down, and we’d love to see your blog and get to know you, too!

Step into StoopidGerl’s Delicious World of Wonder

Bang Bang

Kim (aka StoopidGerl) is one of my closest online friends. We are both colorful artists that had adorable baby girls very close in time to each other, her Chloe Pearl was born several months before Colette Fawn and we learned a lot from each other along the way. Our pasts share many similarities as well so it’s no wonder that we hit it off immediately once upon a time. I’ve been planning a feature on Kim and her amazing creations and splendid aesthetic for WAY TOO LONG and here it is!

So as you’ve probably noticed I’ve been featuring a lot of my favorite artists and handmade mavens. I feel Kim (stoopidgerl) fits with the Miseducated way of life as much as anyone I know, her work reminds me what earth would look like if many of our rainbow-obsessed, candy-coated brains puked all over the place. Her style is no ones but her own and if you look into her world you’ll never want to leave. Please visit her gorgeously kitschy shop to purchase any of her works of art.

How long have you been crafting your world (your intoxicating-eye-candy photos and dazzlingly-saturated-with-color pieces of jewelry)?
I got started a few years ago. Working from home has been a dream come true!

When did you decide to turn that hobby into a business?
After I graduated from school I somehow ended up working a super crappy job at a Sears Portrait Studio. Going to work there made me want to kill myself! It was HELL on earth. I got pretty fed up with it and ended up quitting one day. I needed something to do and I needed money. I had been selling on Etsy for awhile and then I decided to take the plunge and try to do it for a living. I don’t know how it happened but it was magical! My shop took off quite quickly. I really love what I do and I think that is the key to my success!

All of us reach creativity blocks at some time.. where do you find inspiration when you reach a block?
The nearest candy shop~!

A lot of my inspiration comes from the past… movies I’ve seen, people I used to hang with, places I visited, my childhood…

Sometimes I find that browsing Flickr is inspirational. I love to just get lost in Flickr. I could spend hours browsing photos and adding them to my faves! There is some phenomenal shit out there!

Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry that you have made?
Oh my goodness it is hard to pick just one but if I had to choose my absolute favorite I would go with this~
Rainbow Bright Heart
It is impossible to be in a crappy mood when you surround yourself with so much color. This necklace is a sure pick-me-up when you need one!

Do you have any exciting stories about the purchase of one of your pieces?
I shit myself with glee when Courtney Love purchased a necklace from my shop several years ago.

Miss World - HOLE resin necklace

What inspires you when decorating your space?
…the pursuit of happiness! I love all things that are sweet, rainbowy, clownlike, kitschy, and cool.

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What sort of things are must haves on display in your home?
I have been a collector of cameras ever since I went to school. I took a short break from collecting for awhile and recently got back into it. I have a neat little collection of minty green vintage cameras that sits on a shelf in our living room.

all here

I also have to have clowns… lots of clowns.

Do you have any tips for readers trying to design their world?
Don’t worry about sticking with any sort of theme… just go with the flow and hoard all the things you love!

Eat Cake

You can purchase Kim/StoopidGerl’s amazing creations at her rad Etsy Store.