Friday, November 28, 2008

One last Thanksgiving thought

The downside to going out to eat for Thanksgiving? No leftovers!!! I spent today craving stuffing, mashed potatoes and homemade gravy. Oh, and turkey of course. Thankfully Dick made his pumpkin pies so at least we had leftover pie.

Going out for Thanksgiving dinner was the right thing for this year but it is NOT our new tradition. I need the old-fashioned Thanksgiving of my childhood. That's what makes it my favorite holiday of the whole year...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today I discovered the best thing about going out to eat your Thanksgiving dinner... NO DISHES!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the entire year. It's all about the warm fuzzy of my favorite meal of the year. Don't mess with my Thanksgiving dinner. I want everything the same, year after year. Boring? Never! Just full of memories of my Mom complaining that we wouldn't let her try new recipes or change anything. She was only allowed to mess with the vegetables since we felt they were not the highlight of the meal so it was safe. For someone who was an unbelievably good cook and delighted in never repeating recipes, this was tough for Mom.

Last year was the first time that I tackled the entire Thanksgiving meal on my own (other than the pies which is Dick's area). For the first time in my life, everything was done at the same time and it was an unbelievably beautiful meal. It was the kind of meal that would go down in my family history for it's glory. And it will but not for the right reasons. My Dad ended in the emergency room just as the bird was coming out of the oven so there I sat, with our guest, just wanting him to eat fast so I could get to the ER and check on Dad. I took a picture of the damn bird just so I would get credit for how beautiful he was since no one was there to see him.

This year for the first time ever, we're going out to eat on Thanksgiving...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Never have I seen so much merchandise on sale. And I mean serious sales, starting at 40% off and even more. For someone who likes "stuff" as much as I do, this is hard. Everything is actually on big markdowns and I can't buy anything!!!

I don't need any more stuff plus I have no money. No shopping the sales for me this year!

Need gifts? Buy handmade American Craft!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Clearing out...

I've been taking a break from working in the studio recently. The need to clear things out has been growing and finally I just had to stop what I was doing and start organizing.

I'm a very organized person...most of the time. My downfall is that I tend to keep things that are business/jewelry related when they really should be pitched or recycled. But I might need that (fill in the blank) again! It would be perfect for (again, fill in the blank). But when I purge, I get brutal. And this is the time! Or is it??? When parts of your life are in upheaval, is that the time to start throwing everything out?

So, instead of purging with abandon, I'm putting things into plastic bins so they are at least contained. This winter, on those long cold days, I'm going to attack each bin, one at a time, until it's done and I have nothing but a bunch of empty bins. Until then, my office has it's floor back, my surfaces are clear and I can see my next job. Feels very good!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still here

I have not dropped off the earth. I am still around! Life has just gotten into the way and I've had no time to write my blog.

Tune in this weekend when I do a big update!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lessons Learned at Craft Shows

The last two days I've spent some time doing my favorite "bus-man's holiday", I've been going to craft fairs. These are not art fairs and not the type of show that I do but another facet of this whole art/craft business.

I wanted to see what people are doing now. What's new. What catches my eye. What holds my interest and what makes me think I've seen it all before. What are people doing right and where are they making mistakes. In my opinion of course.

There were people who I'm sure sell on Etsy since it was fresh and young (that's a compliment). That's what really captured me. New ways of looking at things. Lot's of recycled items and materials. Clean, uncluttered displays with prices showing.

I've seen more low end beaded jewelry than I thought was possible. I love beads but please, do something different with them! Anyone can string different colors together and make a necklace but put some of yourself into the pieces. Something to make it different than the 12 other people selling the same thing at the show. End of rant.

In some booths I wanted to whack the people on the head and say pay attention! One booth with interesting work, you couldn't enter because the artist was talking to friends and completely blocking access. I didn't bother going back. One booth was so tight that I didn't want to go in for fear of knocking something over. One handmade soap booth had beautiful displays but I finally had to ask about prices since nothing was visible. Turned out that they were priced on the ingredient labels. Which meant if it was a gift you had to remove the list of ingredients to remove the price. Duh!

My very favorite booth had both cards and little baskets full of fun little stocking stuffer types of paper items. I hit this booth hard because the little things just made me smile. As I'm paying I told them how much I was enjoying their work. One of the two women said, oh at this time of year it's just a job. I asked for a business card. They didn't have a card. I asked if they had a list of where else they would be and no, they didn't have a list.

This booth was packed FULL of people jockeying for position. These women had an absolute gold mine there AND THEY WERE IGNORING IT! Oh how I would love to get my hands on them but it's their problem. Maybe by my asking for a card (one of them did say that it was pretty bad to not have cards since they made cards for a living), that will help point out that they need to at a minimum, have business cards.

Personally, I learned good lessons right before my last show of the year. Yes, I'm tired. Yes, there are times that this is just a job (thankfully not often). Yes, times are tough. But celebrate the fact that we are all at an art fair looking at beautiful work made by people who love what they're doing.

I needed to be reminded of how lucky I am to be able to make my living doing what I love. That I have the flexibility to change. It's in my hands, no one else's. And I was reminded that I love beautiful packaging...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We Did It!

I have hope again. Hope that we can turn things around and get them moving in a positive direction. Let this just be the beginning...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I've voted in tons of elections of different types and due to my age, plenty of presidential elections. Never has it felt as important as this one did today.

Where I vote they do optical scanning so you color in the little ovals by the names. I blackened the oval, then went over it another time to be sure. When I was done I went back and checked it again, needing there to be no doubt who I was voting for.

In the car on the way home it actually felt like my vote counted, that maybe I made a difference. I've never felt that way after voting before.

I'm staying up as late as I have to for the results, even if it means all night...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Art fairs

This weekend there was an art fair that I was wait-listed for but didn't get into. It was 12 hours away but friends that had done the brand new show last year had come back raving about it. For anyone to rave about a show these days is rare so of course I wanted to be there! Turns out that I'm glad I wasn't.

The show added 40 booths this year. Added a stage with extremely loud music. Charged for corners that weren't really corners. Gave awards where the reward was money off your booth fee for next year. Huh??? Had something like 35 jewelers. What??? 35 jewelers??? No one is going to make any money with numbers like that!

Luckily some of my friends doing the show made some money. No one got rich but at least they didn't go in the hole. Others sold nothing. Such are the times right now.

What is going to happen to all my friends who make their living selling their artwork at art fairs? What is going to happen to me? These are scary times and it's looking like a very long winter...