Caroline Alixe Rhuys is a member of the artistic community in Reno, NV. Caroline uses beading, painting, and needle felting to create mixed-media jewelry and accessories. She creates her jewelry and accessories from materials found in local thrift stores and her extensive stash of vintage fabrics, buttons, and hankies. Some favorite materials are silk, leather, buttons, beads, wool felt,, ribbons, and found objects. Caroline enjoys meeting other makers and supporting them by sharing their work throughout her online and personal networks.
Teaching crafting classes is also an opportunity to meet new people and share my knowledge and creativity.
Sometimes a person needs more than a single source of income. Finding a way to generate multiple sources of income is often worth the effort required. I make one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories, so once I sell an item, I have to make something new.
By teaching crafting classes, I can generate income on a more continuous basis. Teaching crafting classes is also an opportunity to meet new people and share my knowledge and creativity. There are a many factors involved in deciding on the fee for a craft class. Supplies are only a small part of the expense involved in preparing for a class. A lot of advance preparation is required for a class to be successful.
10 Things to Do to Prepare for a Craft Class
Locate classroom space
Determine fee payable for classroom space
Calculate cost of supplies provided to students
Establish rate for your teaching services
Research local and online supply sources
Create materials to publicize class
Promote class on social media (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)
Make samples of project
Compose and print instructions for class handouts
Organize supplies and create kits for students
The most difficult item to quantify is the time involved in learning a new technique. This time and effort is valuable. The next class on my schedule is Basic Victorian Ribbonwork. I can make a folded ribbon rose in a few minutes, but that was not the case when I first tried it. I bought numerous books, spent many hours practicing, and bought yards of ribbon.
I learned many of the techniques I teach from “The Artful Ribbon” by Candace Kling.
“The Secrets of Fashioning Ribbon Flowers” by Helen Gibb was also helpful. Although I use the traditional methods I learned to fashion roses, lilies, tulips, and other flowers, I have developed my unique style.
In summary, teaching classes allows me to share something I love, while encouraging students to try traditional techniques that are new to them.
I started teaching some classes at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in September. One of the best things about going to classes, as a teacher or a student, is meeting new people who share common interests.
My first class was on creating beautiful jewelry from fabric. Although many types of fabric may be used, some of my favorites are silk and Ultrasuede®. I like to paint the fabric before I incorporate it into a jewelry design. One of the methods I use for silk is making rubbings using Shiva Artist’s Paintstiks®. Commercial texture plates are fine, but I also like to find everyday items and use them to create unique patterns. The above photo is a sample of a rubbing made from a silicon trivet that I found at a dollar store.
One of the students from my fabric jewelry class invited me to speak in front of her quilting group regarding embellishment techniques. I demonstrated rubbings made from polymer clay, paper crafting, and UTEE texture plates, along with textures created by plastic sink liners, silicone trivets, and other items.
One of the drawbacks to using Paintstiks is that the paint can be difficult to remove from your hands. One of the women in the quilting group had a wonderful solution. She recommended using a mixture of dish soap and sugar to remove the paint. Commercial cleaners are available, but how great it is to use materials you already have around the house!
I look forward to teaching my next class. Who knows what I might learn?
Bored with your plain old shoes? Find some new shoes you love, except for the color?
With a few simple supplies and some spare time, you can transform basic shoes into beautiful works of art. Lumiere paint by Jacquard works well on many materials, including leather, synthetic leather and fabric.
Here is a short explanation of how I decorated the pictured shoes:
First, I painted the heel and strap of a pair of plain fabric shoes, using two shades of green as a base. Next, I painted free-hand stripes on the strap in a darker shade of green. For the final embellishment, I painted small red flowers on the heel and a larger flower on the strap. I suggest application of a protective spray such as Scotchguard to keep smudges to a minimum.
If you are nervous about painting a well-loved pair of shoes, there are many thrift stores around Reno. For less than $10.00, you could find a pair of shoes for practice.
On June 23, 2012 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. I will be teaching shoe decoration techniques at ArtisTree Studio, located at 18 Stewart Street, Reno, NV. I will provide all supplies (other than shoes).
After seeing me in clothes or accessories I have embellished, sometimes people remark “I don’t have a creative bone in my body” or “I’m just not artistic.” I believe that sometimes, lack of innate creativity is not the main issue. After all, how many of us are born with the ability to read, or calculate formulas? Learning new ways to express your creativity can be fun, relaxing, and a welcome diversion from a hi-tech world.
Repurposing clothing is an eco-friendly way to show your personality through your wardrobe. Through AlixeArts I intend to help people appreciate the beauty and practicality of clothing and accessories created using a mixture of old and new materials.
For residents of the Reno, Nevada area I am teaching a variety of classes through ArtisTree Studio on ways to re-create your wardrobe by painting, sewing, beading and other decorative methods.