Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Becoming a former board member

In 30 minutes I'll be officially done with a volunteer job that has occupied a huge amount of my time and energy for the last 4 years and 4 months. My tenure as a Board member and Treasurer of the National Association of Independent Artists is coming to an end. Whew!

I love this organization and believe strongly that it is necessary and of great value. I'll continue to volunteer but the day to day, and the pressure of constantly staying on top of everything will be over. It's been a long 4 plus years and I'm ready to pour some time and energy that has been lacking into my own business once again! It certainly can use the attention!

If you're an art fair artist, please consider joining the NAIA. Working together we can get things done!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

And the water comes again

Michigan has had weird weather recently. It's been bitterly cold and by Friday, the snow piles were taller than I am. Then on Saturday, it up to 60 and the snow disappeared quickly. A nice reprieve, until Dick thought to check the studio.

Thanks to quick thinking by Dick, he is saving my studio from flooding - with a turkey baster! Water is coming in from the hole that the electrician drilled through the floor for the electrical ground. Dick has been crouched on the floor, in a tiny room, sucking the water out of the hole for 12 hours now. Up all night saving my studio... I think at last count he was up to 20 gallons, taken out one "baster full" at a time.

Meanwhile I've taken my cold and gotten a good nights sleep, totally unaware of what he was doing for both me and my studio. Our hope is that hydraulic cement will plug the hole and stop the water. It's coming via my Dad who's also bringing the wet vac that I gave him because I had no use for it! The temperature is back below freezing so maybe the water will quit rising soon. Although the flood warnings for the area say it won't go down for a week...

Thank you Dick...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

new jewelry trauma

Just as this is an unsettled time in our country, it's been an unsettled time in the jewelry I make. My work was starting to get "fussy". More little pieces and parts to each end piece. Just fussier than what I wanted. Time for a change.

I found I wanted more of a zen feel. Simpler pieces, not necessarily to make but simpler in the overall look and feel. So I started designing new work. I made components and started putting them together in different ways. The 22k gold is textured with bamboo leaf shapes, simple but with character. And I love it! Luckily, my customers have embraced my new work and pushed me to go further with it.

Now the scary part. I have to apply to art fairs with new images of my new work since I don't want to have to keep making my old! What if no one likes it? What if the jurors think it's simple looking so I must just be a beginner, instead of the reality that it takes a lot of years to make it look simple!

So, I had new images taken by my photographer, Larry Sanders, and sent them off to a show I had never applied to before and crossed my fingers. Would anyone like them???

Thankfully, they did! I got my acceptance to the show yesterday. Even though that doesn't mean that I'll ever get into another show, this one trauma was over. Someone else likes the zen feeling work that I want to make in these unsettled times. Whew!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Spirit

The holiday season is just not the same this year. In a normal year I'd be helping other people get just the right piece of jewelry for someone they love. All kinds of sneaky things happening to make sure it's a big surprise. Making sure it doesn't show up on the credit card before it's given as a gift because "she might see it". It's so much fun to be part of other people's gift giving and really puts you into the holiday mood.

Baa hum bug. No holiday spirit here this year. I don't have any great gift ideas for my family which always makes it tough. I'm not working right now so there's none of the normal last minute push to get all the pieces done and shipped on time.

Plenty to be grateful for, just running a little short of the holiday spirit. Luckily, I still have some time to find it before everyone comes to celebrate!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Adam comes home

Many years ago, a Mom cat brought her kittens into my fenced in back yard when they were very little. We immediately turned the recycle bin into a shelter for them. They stayed for a while, I don't really remember how long and that was the last we saw of them.

Fast forward a few more years and into my yard comes another cat and 5 kittens! But this time, the Mom looks very distinctive and very much like one of the kittens from the earlier litter that we had sheltered.

Since in my world food=love, we immediately put out food and water. Dick was saying, just don't name them! I left for an art fair and by the time I got home, they all had names, fully based on what they looked like and we were sunk.

3 gray girls, Smoke, Bibby and Boots. 2 males, Toby and black and white Adam made up the family. It took a lot of work but we were able to capture each of the 3 girls to have them fixed.

This is Smoke in front and Miss Bibb, as we now call her, behind her sister.

Since that time we've added a "cat port" so they have covering when they eat, 2 insulated feral cat houses that get stuffed with straw, a heated water bowl in the winter and a good diet of Science Diet dry and some canned food every morning.

Do I like the fact that they live outside? Not at all. It was our only option. Because they are considered feral, we were told they could not be adopted out at the Humane Society. You can guess what that means and it was not an option for us. So we make sure they have the best life they can under the circumstances.

I'm pretty sure that Toby "found a family" and we haven't seen him since. He was such a love and very much missed. The gray girls stick pretty close to home and come inside every morning for some petting and purring before getting their canned food.

Adam is our wanderer. He would take off for days and show up again looking like a "streeter". Finally one day we realized that we hadn't seen him for quite a while and knew that we probably wouldn't be seeing him again. That was 6 months ago.

Then, the day after my surgery, Adam came home! Not looking like a streeter but clean and well fed. Marched right up like he hadn't been gone a day. When his sisters came in, he allowed all the sniffing they did, excited to see their brother again. So Adam joined them for breakfast, sharing some canned food with them, just like the old days. A happy boy. Then he left.

It's now a week and a half later, we haven't seen him again. But you won't be able to convince me that he didn't know to come that particular day. A very bright spot in a rough week...

Thank you Adam...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Catching up with pictures

I finally downloaded my pictures and discovered how much updating I need to do here! This was my booth at the By Hand Cleveland show with Patricia and Jon Hecker of Tattoo Dreams next door, at their very first show with this work. Great neighbors of course but also a beautiful booth stocked full of beautiful pieces!

And this is one of my favorite pictures of Pat and Jon, in their Tattoo Dreams booth!

The pictures below are of my corner "display" in my booth at the show. It won an award! I was so proud!!! It was given to me by my next door neighbor...

This show, By Hand Cleveland, was really a fun event. If you're in the Cleveland area, be sure and look for it next year!

Friday, December 5, 2008

When you can't work

So, I can't make things right now. I should be reading trashy novels, getting hooked on soaps or something really decadent. What am I actually doing? Catching up on my business reading. Better your booth! Get into better shows! Whoa - where's the trashy novel??? This is my chance to NOT be thinking about work for a little while!

This is what happens when you choose to make your living this way. It becomes your life! It permeates into every aspect. You live it and breathe it. You can't get away from it and here's proof that, I guess I don't want to...

Monday, December 1, 2008

I have breast cancer

Wow, what a headline! I have my first and hopefully last surgery tomorrow. Then comes radiation and who knows what after that. But if I need chemo, they say my hair might grow back CURLY! I'm going to demand that part!

I'm calm and I'm ready. I'm planning on falling apart after this is all over, when I'm cancer free and can afford to take the time to do a real good job of falling apart!

This is not going to become a "breast cancer blog". If I feel the need to write about it (which I may), it will go on a different blog. But I needed to explain that I have a really good excuse if I don't blog as much as I have been.

So, Tuesday Dec 2 at 2:30est, I need positive thoughts sent my way please...