Sunday, April 26, 2009

What to make

This weekend has been spent in the studio working toward my next show which is the Cottonwood Art Festival and I'm having trouble deciding what to make. When this happens, I look back at last year to see what sold to give me some help. What were people were the most interested in.

The "All Cracked Up" series with the 22k highly textured, both shiny and matte?

The colored pieces with 22k gold?

Or the chopped gold, like my chopstick earrings?

Or my newest and what I love to make, my 22k gold and blackened sterling with a bamboo leaf pattern? Guess I've answered my own question. I'm making what makes me happiest today (that may change tomorrow) because my love for the pieces shows in the end result.

Friday, April 24, 2009


One of the forums I read asked why people blog which got me thinking. When I started blogging it was to share what it was like to make a living by doing art fairs. I was going to talk about what it was really like behind the scenes of doing art fairs since people seem to think we travel a circuit in "big packs" and sleep in our vans! FYI, we don't...

What I discovered is that making your living this way means that absolutely everything that goes on in your life, ends up being part of the story. Which means it ends up here. Because it's all a part of what I do and how I do it.

I'm not a writer and I can't even pretend to be. I don't go back over what I've written and fine tune it since I can't try to be something I'm not and I really have no interest in that kind of blogging. For me I want to type what I'm thinking once and be done. I'll try to correct spelling errors but no guarantees of that either.

Hopefully in the next few months real life will calm down and my blogs will be about all the wonderful work I'm making, all the great shows I'm doing and all the wonderful people I've met along the way. Here's to being able to make a living doing what I love!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Still cold...

I've spent hours online reading everything I can on furnaces. Most of them just repeat the same information and they all have their opinions on the best brands but then the next person says it's the worst. How can I be expected to make a decision with so little solid information? Especially since it's a huge (in my world) amount of money to spend, especially during tough times. Ugg.

The decision will come today and then I'll move on to making all kinds of wonderful new things for my Cottonwood show in Richardson Texas next week. It will be warm down there...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A new appreciation for heat...

It's cold in my house. It's 37 outside and 50 something inside and I'm totally bundled up. Four months ago my furnace passed it's annual check-up with flying colors. Last Wednesday the furnace man shut it down due to two dangerous cracks in the heat exchanger. The "salesman" came on Wednesday to talk about a new furnace but I had to leave for a show on Thursday so nothing happened over the weekend.

I was shocked at what it was going to cost to replace my furnace. The good news is that there is currently a 30% tax credit for replacing furnaces with high-efficiency models.

Right now, all I care about is that I'm cold, all the way through. But the weather forecast is for 80 degrees on Friday. I'll probably be complaining about sweating on Friday but right now, I don't think so...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How to use your artwork...

You just never know where your artwork will end up or how it will be used. This is an unglazed Michael Kifer reject from the Garage Sale Art Fair many years ago. It's been outside year round and hasn't had it's spring scrubbing yet.

But Jet doesn't care. He's the newest addition to our "outdoor crew". He wandered into the yard where he quickly discovered that not only were there cute little girl cats (fixed, semi-feral) that would follow him around but also food and water. He's quite a talker and loves being petted so obviously he was someones beloved pet at some point. Now, he's a "streeter" who's a really sweetie. And he loves Michael's pot...

Great Lakes Art Fair - third day

Beautiful show at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi! The first image is what you see when you walk into the facility. Beautiful walkway. The first booth you see is Jerry Berta with his clay and neon. What a fun way to start a show.

Had to add a picture of Connie Mettler and Blair Bowman (he owns the facility and has been GREAT to work with). They are a winning combination and will make this into a great show.

There will be another show in October where we won't be competing with the highway being closed and the first beautiful weekend of spring! Here's to a new beautiful art fair in Michigan!

As the year goes on, please remember the importance of art in your daily life. Please support those artists who are out there making their living bringing you affordable art to feed your soul. We need each other right now! Please shop at your local art fairs!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Great Lakes Art Fair

This is my booth at the Great Lakes Art Fair with my new black bottoms. It makes the booth kind of dark but I'm asking all my friends for their opinions. This isn't a good picture. So Pat, what do you think, since this was your idea???

It's so much fun doing an indoor show and this one has all kinds of other things going on as well. Massages are available which at the moment, sound like heaven! There's a martini bar and frozen vodka. Might make doing a show a bit tough but both sound like fun!

The people running the show are wonderful and I'm really happy to be here. Day one is almost done and then the party with music by George Benson. Can't possibly be the real one can it?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Woodlands Waterway Art Festival

What a beautiful location for an art fair. My booth backed up to the water canals where they were doing water taxi rides for $1. Really wanted to take the ride but needed to work instead!

Even better than that was I was in a row with Jon and Patricia Hecker and Michael. Jon and Pat thought it would be a good thing if they were the booth between Michael and I since we were in the same van for the 25 hour ride. I'm sure they were right!

One thing about doing art fairs outdoors that always worries me is wind. I've lost one canopy to a microburst in Charlotte NC and tore up another in Detroit so I know what can happen even when you do everything right. This was a VERY windy show! But as great as Jon and Pat are as next door neighbors, I appreciated Jon's ratchet strap skills and being physically attached to their booth almost as much. I didn't worry at all about the wind because my booth was not going to move! I can't say the same for my cases...

Pat was sitting in my booth so I could run to the restroom and she said something like "what happens if a case goes over?". I kind of laughed and told her to stuff the jewelry in her pockets and then I took off. Right after I left, my biggest case went over in the wind. This has never happened before but luckily Pat was right there to rescue my work. Also lucky was that it fell into the booth where I have a rubber floor so the jewelry wasn't ruined! I came back to this...
the case hit my drawers and knocked them over as well. What a mess. But I learned a very valuable lesson. If Pat asks a question like "what do I do if this happens", pay attention!!!

This was a lovely show to do, wonderful people, beautiful location and perfect weather (other than a little too much wind). Best neighbors ever of course! Loved the show but it's a very, very long way from Michigan and having to be gone for a full week is tough. Not sure I can justify it but I would love try it again sometime.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

On the road again!

Finally after a long winter, my first art fair of the year and it's in Texas! We crammed two booths into Michael's extra long van and hit the road. The minute we headed south, I started looking for the source of the best cherry limeades ever, a Sonic Drive-In. Finally in southern Illinois, we found one and I was in heaven!

At some point along the road in Texas, we ran into this next one. A peacock hanging out at the local convenience store. Always something interesting on the road!

More stories coming!