Saturday, September 27, 2008

The next day

Things always look brighter the next day. Pat sent a very insightful e-mail which really spoke to what I was feeling about my neighborhood and life. I want the warm fuzzies we used to have back. I want everyone to feel safe and secure in all aspects of their life. I want change!


Friday, September 26, 2008

My neighborhood, part 2

I've written about how much I love my little neighborhood, in the heart of the city. This time it's a little different because it's a new side to my area.

Around the corner and just down the street a 16 year old boy was gunned down at 4:00 this afternoon by a drive-by shooter. I can honestly say that I never thought I'd be typing that into my blog. I was driving home and saw the commotion a few minutes later with a dozen police cars, fire and rescue all on the scene. Not knowing what exactly had happened, I waited to see what the news reports were and then called a neighbor. For all it's size, Grand Rapids can be a very small town. My neighbor recognized someone they talked to in the report and all of a sudden it didn't happen to "someone else" but instead, someones relative.

It's a very unsettling feeling to have that kind of violence happen so close. That's never been part of my world. Things are feeling shaky enough in other areas, I don't want to lose my feeling of safety and security in my little neighborhood...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Going to Texas

Next week Michael and I are going to Richardson Texas, a Dallas suburb to do the Cottonwood Art Festival. Everything I know about the festival has come from friends and it all sounds like fun so we'll see how Texas likes my jewelry!

So when I think Texas I think big so, do does that mean they like big jewelry? I don't work big! Especially now with the price of gold. I'm trying some new pieces so we'll see how it goes.

I went to Houston for a show recently and really enjoyed it but it was something like 52 hours round trip in the van and that was just too long. Dallas isn't quite as far...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Updates, floods and sleep

My studio is now dry and 1/2 of the carpet has been cleaned. It should be dry tomorrow and then I can at least move some things out of the other areas and onto that carpet. Then I need to find a carpet installer to put down new pad and reinstall the other carpet so that can be cleaned. Oh will I ever have my studio in working condition again???

So, my sleep study was really interesting. You're in a room that looks just like any nice hotel room with all the amenities. They even come around with a bedtime snack! They wire you up from head to toe and tell you to go to sleep. Luckily I was tired so I fell asleep quickly, just like normal even though I had an "ET" finger with a bright red light on it.

I was one of the lucky ones. I showed signs of "sleep disturbances" immediately so halfway through the night Sam came in to try me using the mask. That's what I was really looking forward to, the miracle machine! It went down over my nose and then PANIC! Raging claustrophobia hit and I ripped it off panting. Poor Sam hadn't run into this particular issue before I guess. I finally was able to settle down and get used to it enough to try to sleep. And sleep I did. I didn't move, no tossing and turning. Just deep restful sleep...

I wanted to take the machine home with me but unfortunately it takes 10-14 days to get the results of the test. Huh??? I thought I was the poster child for good results! I want the machine and I want it now!!! I know it works! I want a good night's sleep. But I have to wait...but not patiently. I'll call my sleep doc tomorrow and see if I can speed it up. This girl wants to sleep!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sleepy days

I'm not sleeping well these days and my best friend has become a 20 minute nap so I finally said something to my doctor. Since I've long been a fan of self diagnosis, I think I have sleep apnea. My Dad has it as well as many friends so I'm pretty familiar with it.

My consultation was today and because someone else nicely cancelled, I have my sleep study tonight! Since I'm big on immediate gratification, this was perfect for me. I'm really excited to actually find out what's going on so it can then be fixed. It is that easy isn't it???

Monday, September 22, 2008

Riverwalk Fine Art Fair

Just back from a lovely weekend at the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair in Naperville IL. I wasn't able to do the show last year because I got really sick just a couple days before so I was really looking forward to going back this year. Easy drive, pulled up right in front of my space for a really easy set-up and then got to go to the Crate & Barrel outlet store! Life is good!

The area where the show is held was under water just a week ago due to the floods from the remnants of Ike but you would have never known it. They did a beautiful clean-up job and the community was ready for an art fair. Perfect art fair weather with clear skies and not too hot but it was much warmer than we expected! The picture above shows my goofy flag and my booth on the right and down the street. It was taken just as the show was opening on Sunday morning because at most shows, there is no one but artists there at 10 am! The streets filled up quickly.

Right behind my booth is a new yogurt place called the Red Mango. Because it's a chain out of California, I highly recommend looking for it when you're traveling. They call it "authentic yogurt". Just 2 flavors, original unflavored yogurt and green tea (which I thought tasted like grass). They have fresh fruit toppings and oh my, the stuff is GREAT! And Jon, it's gluten-free!

Back to the show, lots of good friends were there which makes it much more fun and Lynn Krause was my wonderful next door neighbor. So perfect weather, spending time with girlfriends and a lovely show. That's how all art fairs should be! Oh, we need great sales as well!

I came back to a still smelly studio though...

Friday, September 19, 2008

And a little more on water...

No smell! Turns out that when everything is dry, the smell goes away. The guys just put down the antimicrobial stuff so the beginning of the week we can start reinstalling carpet. And paring down the "stuff" in the studio.

A few years ago I just felt overwhelmed by how much "stuff" I had that was related to my business. I started pulling things out and then invited friends over to take what they wanted. Display pieces, lights and on and on. Got rid of all of it. Reorganized what was left. Now it's time to do that again. I'm holding on to too much because "I might need it". I won't. Time to clear out! Thank you to Luann for reminding me how freeing that can be. I encouraged her and now she's taken the whole thing to a new level, complete with blogging about it! I'm ready to attack those shelves.

Why do these thoughts only happen when I have no free time to actually do the work???

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Saga continues...

The flood repair guys finally came late this afternoon and told me I had already done their job. All they wanted to do was spray some microbial stuff on the floor and the carpet and reinstall everything. After I take everything out of the room. Huh? What about cleaning the floor before putting the carpet back down? Plus it STINKS! I'm not reinstalling stinky carpet!!! I work there!
Okay, we're not on the same page so I think we'll do it my way.

Creativity is hard when your studio not only smells but you can't move around because there's stuff EVERYWHERE! I think what will actually happen will be a major purging session. I see much less "stuff" when the studio gets resettled.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Again I'm lucky...

Okay, my studio is a mess since it's totally torn up due to unexpected water coming in and soaking the carpet and anything else sitting on the floor. Unfortunately getting water in the studio means everything has to be moved so I can take the carpet up. I know that no one should have carpet in their studio but it was there when I bought it and it's really plush and lovely so I've kept it. The "dirty side" of the studio is uncarpeted. Of course that side is dry.

Tomorrow the "guys" come from the place that deals with floods and fires (see why I'm feeling lucky) and I'll find out if the carpet can be salvaged and if it can, will my studio ever smell sweet again. Because it really stinks right now! The sewer backed up once in my old studio and I had 12" of standing sewage filling my entire studio. So once again, I'm feeling lucky that this is at least somewhat clean water.

This event should teach me that procrastination never works. I left the making and/or the finishing of most of my major pieces for my show this weekend, Riverwalk Fine Art Fair in Naperville IL, until this week. For no particular reason other than lots of other jobs seemed more important and some were (Dad's books for example). But now, I'm in trouble since it's really hard to work when you can't get to some parts of your studio!

But I just got an e-mail from a friend who got bit by a dog a week ago and got 60 stitches plus staples and more in her head. Again, feeling pretty lucky that all I have is water...

Not feeling quite so lucky...

since all that rain mentioned in my last blog helped to flood my studio. It's now the middle of the night and we are taking turns with the wet vac trying to get the water out of the carpet. The very wet, squishy carpet...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm lucky...

I'm feeling very lucky right now. We finally had some well needed rain here this weekend. Helped by the remnants of Ike, some areas had as much as 9" of rain in the last 48 hours which was definite overkill. But that's not exactly why I'm feeling lucky. It's because I missed the application deadline for a show I wanted to do this weekend here in Michigan. I've been mad at myself ever since. But the show was this weekend, in the massive rain. I'm feeling very lucky to not be one of the artists at that show...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quacker, Day 0 and 1

For some unknown reason, I really like "rubber duckies". No, my house is not filled with them and in fact I only have a few. I'll never be a collector of anything since I hate to dust.

This is Quacker. Dumb name but so be it. He grows in water and was given to me by a dear friend. I think it takes 10 days so it had to be planned carefully so I'd be here for the whole time. Unfortunately, I can't count so I'll be gone for part of his growth period. I may have to take him with me to the show.

So, here he is before he goes into the water. Cute little thing isn't he?
Then after a day in the water. He's already grown quite a bit!
I'm going to track his growth here...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just a thought...

Life in itself is an empty canvas, it becomes whatsoever you paint on it. You can paint misery, you can paint bliss. This freedom is your glory.

Osho, 1931-1990
Indian Spiritual Teacher

I put out my flag today...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where do the days go?

Today is Wednesday and I'm trying to figure out exactly what I've accomplished so far this week. All I know for sure is that it's not enough. I haven't even blogged! The rest of the week is devoted to finishing my Dad's finances for 2007 so the accountant can do his tax return. He's been a good sport about having to wait so long for his daughter to get things done. I want them done even more than he does...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My neighborhood

The street where I live is only one block long and is just one leg of an "E" in the middle of the city. It's a quiet, diverse little street with friendly neighbors. Tonight was our Block party. By the time it was over we had already planned a fish fry for the end of the month, carolling at Christmas and the first block party next spring.

To see my neighborhood, it certainly doesn't look very special. The houses are smaller, the people aren't wealthy. I have loved it since the day I moved in 16 years ago. Lots of people have come and gone but the feeling continues. This block party just reminded me of why I love this neighborhood. It's the people.

We all need more warm fuzzies these days. For me, this block party with my neighbors was a huge warm fuzzy. Try it yourself!

Penrod Arts Fair

Yesterday was the Penrod Arts Fair. If I had remembered my camera, which I left sitting at home on my desk, there would be a picture here. A picture of the perfect art fair day. Sunny and comfortable temperatures. People happy to be out in the nice weather (that area had been in the 90's right before). And a whole lot of happy Penrod boys driving golf carts and enjoying adult beverages.

The added bonus of the show this year was that the Hecker's did the show as well! So I got my much needed Hecker fix! It made the show a whole lot more fun and I'm hoping that it will turn out so well that they need to do it every year! This is my commercial since I know Pat will read this...

One thing I've never seen at an art fair before are the Budweiser Clydesdales. They paraded right by my booth and I have to say, they are both big and beautiful. One of those fun little things that didn't detract from the art, just added a grin to everyone's face.

Another thing I've never seen so much of was Obama...everything! People wearing buttons and tee shirts plus Obama art work in the booths! One potter by me was selling handmade Obama mugs. A customer said it looked like all the artists were supporting Obama. Yeah! One surprise was, no Obama work yet in Pat's booth...

It was a lovely day, especially since Dick went with me as my roadie and made the day so much easier. It also meant that we could drive home after take-down even though it's a 5 hour trip. It's great to sleep in my own bed! Now I have to find a quick and easy recipe to make for our block party tonight...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

One of my favorite things...

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.


Real Simple magazine is one of my all time favorites and on Real you can sign up for daily thoughts by e-mail. It's amazing how many hit home with me. It's a nice little positive in my e-mail every day!