Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Weather watch

You can tell that my art fair season is starting up again because I've started becoming fixated on the weather reports. I start listening intently to the local weather and checking the national forecasts to see what might be coming. Is it going to warm up again before next weekend? What about rain? At this particular show we had snow one year, so what about snow? Wind is a huge problem. How does that look? I act as if by knowing everything I can about what might be coming, I can somehow change it. Hasn't worked yet!

Now to be honest I should be much more concerned about actually having jewelry to sell at the show than what the weather might be doing in 8 days. But if I didn't worry about it, how would I be able to keep my nickname of "doppler Bonnie"? That came from friends that I've kept updated on the weather at their shows when I'm at home.

Okay, it's total overkill but once you've lost your entire booth in a bad storm or driven into a tornado and totalled your van on the way home from a show (a story for another time), you get to be very weather aware. It was a very happy day when I discovered that you can get the local radar on your cell phone! Birmingham Fine Art Fair May 10 & 11

Monday, April 28, 2008

Paperwork, computers and Monday

I recently decided that Mondays would be "office" days. It's the day I spend at my desk, catching up on the piles and piles of papers that I generate daily, much off the computer. So I'm making phone calls, paying bills, writing notes, and making lists. Which generate more paper since I tend to print everything. Like I don't trust the computer.

Computers were supposed to save time. I don't know how they work in your life but in mine, they are a huge part of my day. My life sadly, revolves around my computer. Everything is on it, business and personal including a huge number of my friends. As close as an e-mail, day or night. I'll admit, I love that part...

Little did I know how much my life would change when Dick brought home the first computer. He was working as a CPA and through his office, he could buy the same computer for home that he used at work. It was the early 80's and this was the brand new Compact portable computer. The first portable computer (as I remember it). It was this huge beige suitcase like thing that weighed a ton but it had a handle on one end so it was portable. The screen was probably 6" and the display was amber.

Software wasn't available so Dick wrote programs in DBase for everything I needed. Accounting, word processing and I think my mailing list. And that noisy dot matrix printer. I sure don't miss that thing. They finally came out with a sound deadener you could put over it which meant you could actually hear the phone ring next to you while it was printing.

It's hard to believe that it's been well over 25 years since that first computer. So if I've had a computer for all those years and I haven't lost anything yet, why do I still feel the need to print off anything of importance? Maybe enough Mondays stuck in the office will cure me of that need!

work avoidance

I made a short list last night of things I absolutely needed to get done today. Instead, I've spent the last hour playing with the header up above. That's been much more fun. It needs work but I have no clue what I'm doing so it will stay for now. It's the new texture of my gold...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Working again

On Wednesday I said that the next day I was going to bury myself in the studio and make stuff! I didn't. I spent the entire day dealing with the NAIA and beating myself up for not making it to the studio.

I did make it to the studio today and spent the entire day there. Very satisfying but very tiring. I like the work I'm making. Boy, this is boring! I'll make a rule that I won't blog when I really have nothing to say.

So instead, I'll give you a picture of Tink in her tub, taken just a few minutes ago. I've never seen her lay like this before so I grabbed the camera which she did NOT appreciate. As you can tell by the warm look on her face. The camera caused the strange eyes...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What I do for a living...

When I started thinking about writing a blog, my plan was to write about how I make a living. The oddities and wonderfulness of doing art fairs for a living. I would add pictures and try to explain what it's like to be on the road, sleeping in strange hotels, setting up and tearing down your booth and constantly looking for a Starbucks. I think I got off on the wrong track. Or did I?

I've been talking about life issues. These are all things that mean something to me in the "off" season (which is any time I'm not currently on the road doing shows). But now the time is coming to start doing shows again. Panic is beginning to set in. I realized today that I have nothing to sell!!!

Life has been very busy. Very. But none of it has really involved making jewelry for retail art fairs. I've been filling wholesale orders and trying to get all my receipts into the computer so Dick can do my taxes (yes, an extension was filed on time). But the bulk of my time and mental space has been given to the NAIA which I dearly love but it's eating me up. So starting tomorrow, I'm hitting the studio and going back to what I love doing. I'm going to MAKE STUFF!
Okay Pat, I can upload a picture. Not the one you asked for but it was available. Besides, it's the "stuff" I'm going to make tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


There are times you just appreciate your friends more than ever. This is one of those times. How do you get through life without your friends?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Update and more

Well, I got an immediate response from my local Red Cross about babysitting classes! Turns out they do occasionally offer the kind of class I want. The woman said to call her which I did and we had a great chat. She's sending me a book to read and she'll try to get a class going before Kathy's baby comes. Yeah Red Cross!

I've now done with my blog what I thought would never happen. I've let it go for days with nothing new. Part of the problem is that I have too many projects going on right now and none of them have my full attention. The other part of the problem is that spring has come to Michigan. Blessed sunshine after a long, gray winter with warm temps. Tough to stay inside!

So with that warm, sunny weather comes yard chores. Chores are not my favorite. I love to poke around in the garden and do what I want to do which isn't necessarily what really needs doing. I was talking to my Dad on the phone late this afternoon and heard a funny noise outside. The sound of Dick pruning a tree. Told Dad that I needed to get out there quickly. Those trees are like my babies! I picked each and every one out at the nursery and have watched them grow! No indiscriminate hacking allowed! Especially on my Weeping Japanese Crab although she really needed a major haircut.

Which brings up that Dick doesn't like doing chores with me. He would rather do them alone, but I would rather help. Turns out that we do really well at pruning trees together! My tree looks so much better and we actually got it done. As is normal, I left him to do all the cleanup of the branches we took out. Which may be why he'd rather work alone!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Babysitting dilemma

Where do you go to update your babysitting skills? The last time I babysat was probably close to 40 years ago and I'm pretty sure that every single thing I knew back then is wrong now. I've never even used a non-cloth diaper! All I know is that, according to the commercials, they seem to have Velcro tabs or something, they don't leak and they're a whole lot cuter. And if you use cloth, you don't pin it because they now have covers of some sort. And they aren't the rubber pants of the old days! I am so out of date!

So I've volunteered to babysit Ruby (name is subject to change) and my wonderful friend has accepted. Of course she hasn't been born yet and Kathy may change her mind once she realizes that she's leaving her precious little girl in the hands of someone whose skills need work. Lot's of work. Now they've even changed the rules for CPR again! I can't remember how many breaths vs. compressions and I think I've heard that you no long have to do the breathing part. HELP!

Enter the American Red Cross and their babysitting classes. I've heard about them over the years and thought what a great idea. If I were a parent I would require all my sitters to have passed this course. So I checked online to see when they were available in my area. Unfortunately, they seem to feel that babysitters only come in the young variety and you have to be 11-15 for the classes!

I'm hoping the people at the Red Cross get their big laugh out of the way before they realize that my suggestion to them makes a lot of sense. They need a "grandparents refresher course"! Okay, I'm not a grandparent but I could be if I had thought ahead and had kids! Think how much better all those new parents would feel if they knew their own parents were up on all the latest safety advances before they played babysitter! What if they had to rush the child to (fill in the blank). Do they even know how to use the car seat properly? Just one more thing I don't know how to do.

So I really hope that the Red Cross takes my suggestion seriously. As I told them, I only have about 2 months before I have to be up to speed and I need a lot of help!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The good and bad of spring...

I love spring! Love watching my flowers finally breaking ground. All the birds coming back. All the trees in bloom. Okay, there isn't actually a single bloom on my trees yet but I do have great memories of years past. Plus a friend put a picture of her Red Bud on her blog which reminded me of how much I love mine. Anyways, the freshness of the air and all the blue skies after a long gray winter. Oh so welcome.

The down side of spring. Everything in my house seems to need work. I've had the new paint for my bedroom for months and a long list of reasons why I haven't painted it yet. I have big blocks of "trial" paint colors in the living room, none of them right. I love freshly painted rooms but I can no longer make a decision on paint color. Where's Mom when I need her?

Another downside to spring is no money. All my money is going to supplies to make great new "stuff" for my upcoming shows. So that's when things decide to quit working. Like the light fixture in my office which, since I have a healthy respect for electricity, means an electrician. He'll look at me funny and wonder why I didn't just do it myself instead of paying him an exorbitant amount for a 10 minute job. I'll wonder the same thing as I write the check.

The inside of my house just doesn't seem to understand that I have no interest being indoors once spring comes! Once it gets really hot and humid, I'll gladly come back in, turn on the air and veg out in what Dick calls the ice box. Until then, I want to poke around outside. I want to do my version of clearing out the gardens which is pull out all the stuff that has accumulated in the gardens and dump it in the yard for Dick to pick up. I'll never complete the job if I have to bag it. But I need to know where I have empty holes in the gardens that I can fill up. Lot's of silent groans when Dick gets home and sees that instead of slaving away in the studio, I've been at the local nurseries and brought home more things that need planting. I just can't wait!!!

So that means I have to get to the studio and get some work done so I can start painting and getting the inside jobs done so I can start on the outside. Preferably by tomorrow since it's going to be sunny and maybe our first 70 degree day! Yes, I dream big...

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I'm drowning in magazines that haven't been read. I promised myself last week that anything not read by this week's recycle day was going out unread, no excuses. But this week has been way too busy to do any just plain "fun" reading so I decided to start going through them quickly tonight and bag them for recycling.

Real Simple magazine, one of my favorites. Can't get rid of those since each and every one is chocked full of helpful tidbits! I might miss out on the perfect answer to simplifying my life!!! Plus I'm just sure I'm going to make some of the recipes I always find in there. Okay, those will go back into a pile to read.

Okay, if I haven't read the O Magazines they definitely can go out since my subscription ran out some time last year! Make a note not to resubscribe no matter how good the deal is...

I read every metalsmithing, jewelry, the business of craft and commercial jewelry magazine. Or rather, I look at the pictures, turn down corners and pile them up to read the articles later. You can see where this is going by now.

I have great intentions. Truly I do. I plan on reading each and every magazine which is why I subscribe when they offer me some remarkable deal. At the holidays they offer $5 subscriptions to all kinds of interesting magazines! And you know that winters in Michigan can be long! It just sounds so good to curl up on a snowy Sunday with something to read. Which I occasionally do but it's not a magazine I'm reading but a library book that is close to overdue.

So I've escaped the piles of magazines, waiting for me to go through them and left the room. Recycle day will come again in 2 weeks and maybe by then I'll have actually gone through and read all the magazines... or not.

What about honesty?

I'll admit that I have a "thing" about honesty. I try to live as honestly as I can considering I'm a normal, flawed person. But I have a really hard time understanding when people lie to make themselves look innocent of something they did or didn't do. If you've made a mistake, admit it and let's move on. We all make mistakes. I've made some real doozies!

What bothers me the most in this current instance (which is why I'm writing about the subject) is that the person lied deliberately to make someone else look bad. Since I'm the one looking bad, I'm taking it personally! I have proof that she lied, that's not the problem. It's that I then feel I have to protest and prove my innocence when I did nothing wrong! Are people thinking "there must be some truth to it or she wouldn't have said it" or do they know me well enough to know I wouldn't lie about this? That I would admit if I did something wrong. But there were people that believed her. Why didn't they come to me and ask if it was true? They chose to believe her and then were surprised to find out that there were two sides to the "story".

I've learned from this one. I tried to keep peace in the group and not confront the person about what she was doing. That was my mistake. The lies just got bigger and hurt other people I care about. So now if this type of situation happens again, I'll confront it immediately, for better or worse. But I will sleep well because I know karma can be a bitch...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Remembering to blog

I check my friend's blogs daily and am always thrilled to find a new blog. But when I go and there's nothing new, I'm really disappointed. How can they not blog more often? Don't they know that people go there to read what they have to say? Don't they care???

Now they all probably have a lot more to say to the world than I do but now I understand. Some days, even with good intentions, you just don't feel like you have anything worthwhile to say. Which is not to say that it's all quiet around my house since I'm rarely totally silent, but the world doesn't need to know that.

Happy Birthday Jon!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Feeling naked

So, my friend Patricia was helping me make the NAIA logo "clickable" (since I want all art show artists to become members and support the NAIA) and of course, she wanted to see my blog. Now, she's my very good friend and one of the people who has been encouraging me to blog. I went to send her the link and suddenly - I'm feeling quite naked! It's not like I posted some big revealing secret or accidentally posted an embarrassing picture! But there it is. That naked feeling.

It's the same feeling you get when you make a new piece of work that's radically different than your normal body of work. You may really like it but will anyone else? What if people look at it and wonder if you're nuts or just have no taste? It's putting yourself on the line for something you've created. Some times it's easy, some times you just stand there feeling naked.

So, she looked. She didn't immediately write back and say politely that I might better take it down since once it had been edited, there would be nothing left. Nope, she's my friend and told me I did good. I'm feeling clothed again. Thanks Pat!

My first blog

For years friends have been telling me I should blog. I keep saying, but I can't write. My sister is the writer in the family, not me. I do tend to have opinions on just about everything though and am not shy about voicing them. Maybe my friends and family would be happier if I could get it out of my system by blogging them instead of making them listen to me!

You'll find I love exclamation points! It's my favorite punctuation mark and I tend to overuse it. Just ignore it if you want. I tend to feel passionately about things, thus the use of the exclamation point!

If you ever come back to read more, you'll discover other things I'm passionate about. One is reading. Not fine literature, not serious nonfiction, just well written books (preferably fun) that catch and hold my interest until the end. I just finished Jonathan Tropper's "How to Talk to a Widower" and really enjoyed it. Laughed and cried my way through it. Very enjoyable.

Thanks to my friends that encouraged this. We'll see if I write anything interesting!