Monday, November 22, 2010


When I started blogging I had so many things I wanted to say. So why has there been no blog since Oct 27??? Too many shows in too many far off locations which means too much time on the road. When I get home I collapse and get ready to leave again. My last show for the year is coming up. Once that's done, I'll have lots to say again...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stupidity in Memphis

The month is almost over and my blogging really got left behind this month. Not enough time at home. I've had all kinds of things to write about but now when I actually sit down to do it, my mind is pretty blank. Unless you want to hear about shows that do stupid things. Okay, let's talk a little about that.

I went to River Arts Fest in Memphis this past weekend. Not as an exhibitor but as a "roadie". I had done the show last year and found Memphis didn't love my jewelry but just had a wonderful time in the off hours. The fun was not to be missed this year so I tagged along with friends.

The show is held on historic South Main Street in downtown Memphis, complete with trolley's adding to the ambiance. It runs with booths on both sides of the street for most of the show and then a long stretch with booths only on one side. After set-up was well underway, with many people almost completely set up, the show director decided to come tell about 10 artists that instead of setting up facing the middle of the street, they had to turn everything to the side and face their next door neighbor. Leaving the side of their booth facing the street. WHAT??? Seems the fire inspector felt this was important for safety reasons because the trolley would be running in front of the booths. Probably 15' away (I'm not good with distances).

I'll admit that this made absolutely no sense to me but having dealt with fire inspectors at other shows, I know their word is law since they are perfectly willing to shut down the show if you don't comply. I assumed that this was something that had just come up which was why the artists weren't told when they checked it. But no, not the case at all. A little later I was talking to the show director and said gently that the artists would be handling this better if they had some notice. It turns out that she knew this long before the artists were on site but that "she had too much to do" and never thought about whipping out a quick e-mail to those 10 artists!!! Unbelievable...

I'm not one of those artists who think it's us against them, artists vs show directors. That would be especially hard since I'm a show director as well as an artist. I truly believe that we're all in this together and we both need each other but geez. Give us some consideration here or we won't show up and then what are you left with??? An art fair without art???

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Titles and labels

I changed my tag-line on this blog today. At my show this past weekend, I realized that most of my show name tags say "artist" on them. Gee, that's great! Someone thinks I'm an artist! But do I consider myself an artist? Some days I'm very much the artist but some days when I'm slogging away on something, I'm on the other end of the spectrum. Labels have never been that important to me but I want more days where I'm called an artist...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little hoops

One thing I've made since the beginning of time is little 14k gold wire hoops. The shapes have changed over the years but it's the same basic idea and it's something little I've become known for. Plus it's what I tend to wear between shows since I don't have to take them out for weeks if I don't want to. Just a little hoop with some character.

These little hoops now sell for $72. With the price of gold skyrocketing upward, I thought I better do a time study and go through the pricing since it's been a while. What I discovered was shocking. I need to be charging $101 a pair for my little hoops based on today's costs! Holy crud!!!

So what do I do? During these tough times I've been selling a lot of pairs at my shows and am planning on putting them on Etsy for the holidays. But what do I charge? How much will people be willing to pay? What can I sell them for where I make a profit and yet it's still a good price for my customers? What a dilemma...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who knew I could build a website!

Today was a studio day. I was to be buried there for the entire day. No breaks. I'm behind on studio things because I've been working on unearthing months of paperwork and other equally non-important jobs. I must make jewelry!

Instead I decided to try building a new website for the Garage Sale Art Fair that Michael and I run. And I did it! And I'm quite proud of the results considering that it was done in hours not days. Plus I got our application on the site so people can start applying again.

Since it's something that I can change and update easily, there will be changes as we go along. I'll probably still have our web guy do a nice new site for us but until then, we're set.

Thank you Vista Print for making the job of doing your own website so darn easy! So tomorrow I'll bury myself in the studio...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

37 years and counting

There are some things in life that are just darn hard to wrap your brain around. This is one of them. Who would have guessed all those years ago, when we were just kids, that we'd still be together after our hair turned gray!

Our first date consisted of a trip to the beach at Saugatuck. It ended by sleeping in his MGB during a big storm, parked at the gate where we had been locked into the park. Until 6 am the next morning. Now with that kind of start, who would guess this would last. And it has, for all these years. And we've learned to read signs that say things like "park closes at 11pm" and believe them...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rethinking art fairs

I'm just home from the Longs Park Art and Craft Festival and feeling great. Shows have been so tough lately but this show reminded me of why I love doing shows and it has nothing to do with money. In fact my sales weren't what I hoped for at the show but I had a great time!

Set-up was miserably hot and humid as most shows have been this summer, followed by a hot opening day. Which was then followed by three of the most perfect art show days ever. Cool, sunny and good crowds.

It costs $10 to get into this show but it's what they do with the money they make that's so great. It funds free Sunday night concerts for 13 weeks during the summer. And they
get some big names there! What a wonderful thing for the Lancaster community! I sat with a Board member at the Saturday night dinner and learned all about it and the pride they have in bringing this to their community. Who wouldn't be happy with how they're using the money they make from the show!

My sister Karen came up to the show to help me for a couple of days which really upped the fun factor. In my very early days of art fairs, she did a bunch of shows with me and we had great sister time. Now she lives too far away and I just don't see her enough so it's great that she was able to join me. She walks in the booth and it's like she never left... Good times!

On Saturday while she was there we had this fun flurry that was just like the old days. Both of us were busy, we were laughing and just having fun while trying to make sure that everything got to the right person! Boy did that feel great!

The chairperson for the show this year was Diane Moore and she was GREAT! It was her first year but you'd never know she hadn't been running art fairs forever since she was on top of everything and always smiling. She was always around, very visible and very approachable. Just the type of person you would want in charge. Plus her husband Dave helped me roll up my sides one morning!

Have to say that I had great neighbors at this show as well. We were at the end of a "leg" so we didn't get quite everyone walking to the end but we still had a great time. Good neighbors make all the difference, espe
cially at a long show since there will always be slow times and sharing a good laugh makes the time go faster! Michael Schwegmann was there helping in Patty Lindbloom's booth (wonderful jewelry), and he hunkered down my booth for me in preparation for big winds. Felt nice and safe after that! Carolyn Shattuck was my immediate next door neighbor with her wonderful husband Ted. We were meant to meet and be neighbors last weekend.

So why title this post "rethinking art fairs"? Because just when it seemed like shows were just too much work and too darn hard to not enough return, I had a warm, fuzzy show which reminded me of why I do this. We all need to be reminded of this once in a while!

Friday, September 3, 2010

New old booth

Today was the road test of my new/old booth. Built from the pieces of a booth used long ago, it is now seeing a new life and so far, I'm liking it! There are things I need to change and some things I'm going to permanently screw together but all in all, I think this is going to work!

Next up, new drapes and new banners and then I'll be set! Here's the first snapshot of it in use.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thoughts on the year

It’s a very quiet day on the lake today. Hardly a ripple in the water. It always amazes me the changes in that huge body of water from day to day and how the water seems to set the mood for the day.

With that in mind, it’s been a very contemplative morning. Our time here is almost over for another year. But I’m leaving here well rested, relaxed, well fed in many ways and nicely centered.

This has been a year of changes, most of them just small but significant. For the first time in 15 years I chose not to do a wholesale show. This was huge since it meant I would have very little wholesale unless I chased it down myself – which I knew I wouldn’t. I needed a break to recharge my creativity. There’s a certain comfort in making items for an order. It doesn’t take a lot of thought since they’re pieces for which you’ve already worked out all the kinks. It’s just making the pieces to the best of your ability and making sure it’s a nice, cohesive grouping when you’re done. But I needed time to stretch, try new things, try new shows.

So I did. I tried lots of new retail art fair across the country. I started a couple new lines with price point in mind, more sterling and less 22k gold. This was tough for me since I so love the 22k gold!

Did it work? Who knows. This year has been very strange at the retail art fairs. Crowds are way down and temperatures have been way up. When the crowds were good, they just walked by, not looking left or right, just walking through. Guess it calls for more thinking. For now, I'll just enjoy the lake...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

44 hours left

I'm sitting in a local coffee shop sipping a lovely concoction and checking my e-mail. Very peaceful, very relaxed. I've picked up the local papers and next is the grocery store. There is no way I'm ready to go back to the real world yet but it's coming quickly. In 44 hours to be exact. Then I have 3 days before I head to Lancaster for the Long's Park Art Fair. Much left to do before leaving. But nothing has to be done right now so I'll go back to sipping my coffee and enjoying myself. Putting off the real world a little longer...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm a maker of things

Since the very beginning, I've loved making things. Growing up with a Mom who was an artist and a Dad whose joy was woodworking, I was destined to make things. And I have.

I've gone through all the phases. Sewing my own clothes to needlepoint from my own patterns. I had a rug phase, a knitting phase as well as the candle phase. In high school I bought a length of silver wire which I turned into a twisted bracelet in my Dad's wood shop. I wore that bracelet every day for years. Never realizing it was the beginning of my life's passion for metal.

When I started making jewelry, Dick saw it as just another project he was going to have to step around on the living room floor. Something I would eventually lose interest in before moving on to something else. I kept insisting that this was different. This was me.

It's now 34 years later and making jewelry still brings me joy. I'm on vacation now, spending my time thinking about what I want to make next when I'm back in the studio. Please let it always bring me joy and feed my soul since I'm forever a maker of things...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


First day of vacation I napped to the sound of crashing waves that were supposedly 7' - 12'.

Second day of vacation I figured out what to do with my display that just isn't working for me right now. And that was before breakfast! Amazing what you can accomplish when you free up your mind. No phone, no internet. Everything else falls away. I'll get a lot figured out during my time here...

Morning Glory Art Fair

I love shows put on by artists organizations as this show is. The location is lovely, bathrooms are close, clean and air conditioned. The last of which was really appreciated this past weekend when it was once again, overly toasty out for my taste.

Breakfast was served both mornings with fresh fruit, spinach quiche and more. Even Lox on Sunday!

Lot's of nice work I haven't seen before. Seemed to be quite a few locals with day jobs mixed among us as well.

It's a hard set-up because you have to schlep everything in from a distance but it is over cement which helps. Thank you to Jon and Pat for a very easy take down, getting me to the ferry in plenty of time.

So why didn't it work for many there? The heat and humidity? The PGA Golf Tournament nearby? Maybe for my media it was the 29 jewelers out of 140 booths??? At a time when jewelers are fighting out of sight material costs (gold over $1200 @ ounce), why do shows insist on overloading with jewelers???

Whatever the reason, the show didn't work for me this year, even though I enjoyed it. Try something new next year I guess...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Catching up with pictures

So much to catch up on!

Fulton Street Artisan's Market in Grand Rapids was like a throw back to 1976 when I started. Great fun!

Then Reeds Lake Art Fair in Grand Rapids, a show that I ran back in the early 80's.

Then "Camp Extended Stay" for Boston Mills ArtFest. Amazing how all these people who are used to staying alone in a hotel are now discovering the fun that happens when you share a room to cut expenses. This was the most fun yet, even though I wasn't at my best. What a wonderful, wacky time. Most of which should not be discussed outside of camp...

And finally, does this look like $1900 worth of damage??? My cute little van got hit in a parking lot...

Now the push is on to make new, wonderful jewelry for the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair coming up starting July 21. This is the perfect show to debut brand new pieces, unlike what I've been doing but with the same "feeling". Can't wait to show them!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Susie's not gone yet!!!

A friend just let me know that in my Susie Sunshine post I sounded really depressed. Yikes! I'm not! That's why my sister is known as the writer in my family and I'm not...

I'm just afraid of losing my "Susie Sunshine" attitude so I'm doing things to make sure that doesn't happen. The "10 good things that happened" is just the first step. I'm looking for step number two!
It may be going to the Farmer's Market where I'm headed right now!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Losing Susie Sunshine

I'm losing her, I'll admit it. The current conditions in the world and in my own little world are getting to me. I'm losing my Pollyanna attitude. I'm no longer going to be called a Susie Sunshine unless I can find a way to change. So that's my goal and I found a blog that gave me the way to achieve it.

The blog is from a woman who lists 10 good things that happened that day. Unfortunately, I can't find the blog to give her credit but I will.

So here's my list from Saturday at the Kalamazoo Art Fair.

1. Dick went with me which made it so much easier and much more fun.
2. Got to see and catch up with lots of friends
3. The rain held off until I got everything but the canopy into the van.
4. Met a wonderful woman who also had braces and hopefully made her feel better about possible surgery.
5. Found the perfect person for a favorite pair of my earrings. Wish they all looked that great!
6. Saw a great customer I haven't seen in a while and learned what she's been going through and that things are much better now.
7. Had a great smoothie of strawberries, raspberries and lemon. Yum!
8. Scott got to meet "the" Dick.
9. I finally remembered to ask BJ Jordan if she wanted to be called BJ or Becky.
10. After getting up at 4:30 am, decided that 9 pm was NOT too early to go to bed after the show.

Okay, that's my first try at getting back my Susie Sunshine. It will take work but I WILL win!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Packing for Kalamazoo

Tomorrow is the Kalamazoo Art Fair in Bronson Park, my favorite one day show. Drive down in the morning, set up, have a great day then take down and drive home. Easy day. Normally delightful, quite often a rainy take down or at least the threat of rain.

After swapping out my normal booth and all the crud involved for my one day show booth, I had to take pictures. These pictures may tell the story of why I so like an easy one day show:

The first picture is the van packed for Boston Mills ArtFest, a 4 day show in July. The second is for Kalamazoo, a one day show. What a huge difference in the amount of "stuff" I have to take. Yeah, I have 4 one day shows coming up this month. Hooray!!!

The forecast is for rain which is common for this show but hopefully people will grab their umbrella's and come shopping. I want to keep it a favorite!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Summer weekends

Came across this picture the other day and it was the perfect reminder of how summer weekends have changed for me. From that...

To this...

A big sigh can now be heard... Thankfully I love what I do!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

One person studio

I'm currently a one person studio, doing everything myself. Actually, that doesn't count all that Dick does for me but I mean I don't have any paid help right now. I'm not handling it as well as I would have hoped.

It's been about 2 years since I've had anyone working in the studio (the dirty part) with me and that's been just fine. I've found I like being alone when I'm creating. Plus it's easier not having to make sure that I have jobs ready for someone to help with. I think my work has improved even though there isn't as much of it since no one is getting things ready for me to make things. The other down side is that I can't turn around and say, what do you think of this?

The hardest part right now is to not have Julia. She was with me one day a week for many years and kept me on track beautifully. I knew that every Tuesday, lots would get done. Not in the making of jewelry but in the "clean side" of the studio or in the office. Errands would be run, mailings would go out, orders would be shipped, mailing list updates would happen and everything would get picked up, vacuumed and put back in order. And I had another week until I had made it into total chaos once again.

This over 70 year old woman has the energy of someone much younger than me and a wonderfully old fashioned work ethic. Something not found much today. She was always busy, could always find something that needed doing. Probably not hard since she was always picking up after me.

Every time I see her I tell her how much I miss her but this last time I told her how horrified she would be to see what I haven't kept up with. I NEED JULIA!!! Hopefully I can have her for at least an occasional day soon. Before I'm so behind that I never get caught back up!

The picture is Julia and her daughter Jean, helping me at the Garage Sale Art Fair.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hot in Mississippi

I'm sitting in my hotel room in Mississippi on Sunday afternoon when I'm supposed to be in my booth at the wonderful Renaissance Art Fair in Ridgeland. It's too hot for me... According to the weather, it's currently 96.4 in Ridgeland and very humid. My booth is in the middle of a sunny parking lot on black asphalt. It's too hot for me. My booth is there, all nicely opened up but if you get up close, you discover there is no jewelry in the cases.

This is a hard decision made very easy by the weather conditions and my wanting to not jeopardize my health. I got to my booth this morning feeling shaky and wobbly and it was only 10 in the morning. I started putting out my jewelry and realized I just couldn't do it. Fat slightly old women from Michigan shouldn't be in the Mississippi heat and humidity! The heat even took out my shoes! They fell apart on me when I was walking. Thought I might end up doing the show barefoot!

Lovely, lovely show where they do everything right. If they could only turn down the temperature!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rediscovery at Birmingham

I rediscovered something wonderful this past weekend. The absolute joy of having someone walk up to your booth wearing something you made! Plus seeing all those wonderfully familiar faces of long time customers who have collections, both large and small, of my work. I've been doing all kinds of new shows lately, in areas I've never been in before so this was such a welcome change. It was a little scary though when one person said she's had the earrings she was wearing for 30 years!

The other wonderful thing that happened this weekend was that I had help in my booth from my long-time friend, Nancy Martin. Since she has an extremely busy "real life", she hasn't been at many shows in the last few years other than Ann Arbor so this was a real treat for me.

Lots of great things about the new Birmingham art fair, now renamed Art Birmingham. Having the show on the street really opened it up and made it so much easier for artists and customers alike. It was easy to get around, there was plenty of parking and lot's of good coffee! Plus with the Guild now running it, it was well organized and easy to do. Just a weekend with a lot of warm fuzzies!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On the way to Artisphere

Although I've really been excited about going to Artisphere, the morning I was leaving, I didn't want to go. Not sure why that was but I would have happily stayed home. I left although it was a little later than I had planned. And I took my Lilies of the Valley with me.

The day before Dick brought me a little bouquet that he picked because he knows I love Lilies of the Valley. So they rode in my cup holder, next to my coffee. They went into the restaurants with me since it was too hot to leave them in the car. The waitresses all had to smell them and hear the story of why I had them with me. They perfumed my hotel room last night and they are doing the same tonight.

This is just proof again that it's the little things that mean the most. I didn't want to leave. I hurt from my shingles. But Dick gave me a little bit of home and love to take with me. It makes everything okay...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fiesta Arts Fair

This is my favorite glass guy, Earl James and the big award he won at the San Antonio Fiesta Arts Fair. Well deserved!
I was told that this show normally has lines snaking into the street before the show opens on the first day. This was what it looked like on our first day! Rainy weather didn't help anything today!
Yes, I can finally say that I've seen the Alamo. Alright, I was in the car, pulled over to the curb but at least I've finally seen it! Now I want to see inside.
Not the best shot but this was the inside of a restaurant, Mexican of course where we ate. During Fiesta, it's a wild time. Great fun.

Sales were slow today but we're thinking that this year it will be a one day show and that day will be Sunday since the weather will be much better tomorrow. It's such a fun show that I really want it to work! I want to come back!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival

The show is over but it sure was fun! The pictures won't do it justice but here's set-up day plus the Art Dash party. Don Ament and Jon Hecker plus Don's wild socks.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Home again - with pictures!

It's always great getting back home and working my way back into the "home" routine. Last Friday I was just thinking that it was kind of a boring day when someone pulled up in front of my house, blocking my driveway. As I watched, the woman jumped out and started walking up my driveway taking pictures. Being the curious person I am, I opened the front door and asked what she was doing. Being the lovely person she was, she proceeded to tell me what I could do with my question and mouth off to me. As she was getting back in the car she finally mentioned what she was taking pictures of... a huge fireball behind my house. I still don't understand why she didn't ring the doorbell and warn us!

My first concern was getting my van out of the garage but once that was done, I needed to rescue some of my display stuff since it's all stored in that garage addition. Luckily a couple of neighbors were able to help since Dick was getting the hose (which was still in winter storage) set up and hosing down the garage. His doing that kept the damage down on my garage (see the "melted" picture). Unfortunately, my one neighbor wasn't so lucky as the fire completely destroyed his garage as you can see in the picture.

The good news? No one was hurt! And I'm now looking forward to those boring days once again!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Still no pictures

My favorite blogs have lots of pictures. I just can't seem to remember to take pictures when things are happening that I might blog about later! Like my show this past weekend in Bonita Springs. I planned on blogging about each day but no pictures. So no blog...

But it's now a little later and I have some pictures! One is the view from my hotel room at Bonita Springs and the other is my friend Michele in her great new hat! I'm trying...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Set up day!

I had planned on pictures of set up day but the weather took care of that. Heavy rains and big winds changed all our plans. So we started the day with coffee on the porch overlooking the lake with rain pouring down around us. Then instead of setting up in the middle of the day, we ate a lovely lunch overlooking another body of water. Grouper tacos and chowder at the Fish House in Bonita Springs.

Finally started set up at about 4:30 and got the bulk of it done, under dry but threatening skies. Will go back at 6 in the morning and finish up. Then back to the hotel to shower and have breakfast. This is the advantage to staying right next to the show. Very much worth the money spent!

Really looking forward to the show tomorrow. Love the way it's run and the people are all just so nice. It may be because they're all former mid-westerner's!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Second day on the road

Well, after 16 hours on the road yesterday, it was only about 8 1/2 today. But today I hit heavy, heavy rain in Florida. Standing water on the highway, foggy, heavy rain and dippy drivers without their lights on. Luckily Dick was at home watching the radar for me so he was able to reassure me that I really would drive out of it. Couldn't be soon enough for me!

Sat around our lovely hotel lobby with a glass of wine and friends Michele, Travis and David discussing shows and what's going on with everyone. This is the important part of doing shows for me. All the great friendships I've made with all these wonderful people. To be able to just sit around for a little while and catch up. Love it!

Tomorrow is set-up day and it's supposed to rain all day. BUT...the weather is supposed to be beautiful all weekend! Tomorrow I'll post some set-up pictures. Off to sleep now...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


So this is the unglamorous part of doing art fairs. I had to get up at 4 am to be on the road by 4:30 am to be able to quit driving shortly after dark. So after being on the road for 16 hours, we're finally safely holed up in a "lovely" hotel in Macon Georgia. In fact in the very same room we've stayed in before. How strange is that?

This has been a day of non-exciting events. I've discovered RainX window washing fluid. Lovely stuff. Saw a beautiful rainbow somewhere in Tennessee. Saw an act of togetherness that I'm taking as a warm fuzzy. A tandem FedEx truck had tipped over and just beyond it were 5 other tandem FedEx trucks sitting by the side of the road with their flashers on. It didn't look serious other than the truck on it's side so I'm not being flip. I just took it as a great show of support!

Love the coleslaw at Chick-fil-a which we don't have up north so that's where we had dinner. Surprisingly good dinner! I may never sleep again with all the coffee I drank today to make sure I was awake and perky but I need to find out since morning will come quickly and it's another long day on the road tomorrow. To be continued...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On the road again

This weekend is the Bonita Springs National Art Festival and I'll be there. And I'll have some totally new work...if I get it done in time! I figure I have about 6 hours left in the studio and yes, that's what I should be doing now.

It's both fun and traumatic taking totally new work to a show and putting it out for the world to inspect and say yeah or nay. You hope people like it. You hope someone actually buys it since that's the true test. I'm doing some pieces that are more sterling than the 22k gold, just for the cost factor and even though it's fun to have a change, I do miss the richness and softness of the 22k. I'll post pictures once something is done.

The big drive is ahead of me. Looks like rain the entire way down which will make it even longer but once there, Michele and I will have some fun! We're both doing the show so it's work as well as play but it'll be great to have some time together.

On the road again....

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Garage Sale Art Fair

It's over. We work all year to put on the best art fair for our fellow artists that we can and then in a flash, it's over for the year. So what do we do next? Start planning next year's event before we're even done with this years cleanup.

The list of things to change, review and add to the show is already long. I'm asking friends for their opinions and ideas and that's where a lot of the really good ones come from. Sometimes it's the things that seem so obvious like needing a street address of where the show is located on the postcard. Huh? How did we miss this???

It feels like this huge responsibility that we have to get buyers into the show for our artists. Every year we try new advertising venues while keeping things like the television ads that seem to work really well for us. Who knows what's the best right now so we'll keep trying new things.

Next year is our 15th anniversary event so we want to come up with some extra fun things to do. Not sure what they'll be yet but I do know that we'll do everything we can to make it a success for everyone!

Friday, February 19, 2010

ArtFest Fort Myers update

I learned a good lesson at ArtFest Fort Myers recently. Waiting on the morning of the show to see if there are cancellations that they will fill with a wait-listed artist is NOT for me. There were a bunch of us all hanging around, waiting until they had checked the entire show so we could find out if they had a spot for us. It had kind of a desperate feel to it that I just didn't like. I am happy to report that I didn't get into the show.

Why so happy? I had a fantastic weekend at the show! I walked around and saw all the beautiful work, chatted with my friends, made new friends and booth sat for new and old friends. It was so much fun! The true "bus man's holiday". The weather was beautiful but windy but since I wasn't set up, I didn't have to worry about the wind blowing things over. I was FREE!!!

Sales seemed up and down with no one saying it was a great show. Didn't see a lot of packages walking around either. People should have been shopping that show hard because there was beautiful work there waiting to be purchased! It's hard to see a show with such nice quality not have great sales...

I am wait-listed for another show next month. I hope to NOT be standing there the first morning looking desperate...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Being on a waiting list

As an "art fair artist" there are times you just don't get into all the shows you apply to. Okay, I never get into everything I apply for but overall my track record is pretty good. This winter I'm wait listed for 2 shows and I really want to get in!

ArtFest Fort Myers is this weekend and I've made the commitment to be there, even if I don't get in off the wait list. So what I'm hoping is that a bunch of jewelers had fantastic shows last weekend and don't have enough work left to do the show so they have to cancel! I may be dreaming but I'm hoping to get lucky and actually get in.

As the co-director of an art fair myself, the Garage Sale Art Fair, I'm getting calls and e-mails from our artists on the waiting list wanting to know if there have been any cancellations. It's hard on both sides of this. It's hard to tell people that really want to do the show that there isn't a space yet. But darn it - it's much harder to be the one waiting!!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

What a kick!

I just discovered my jewelry was featured on a January 26 blog! Secret Life of Jewelry is a blog about jewelry by Carmela DiLeva and Shelby Matero. Their statement from their blog reads:

"This blog showcases fabulous handcrafted jewelry made by independent artists with incredibly amazing talent. This blog promotes awareness of those artists and designers who seek to imbue their work with meaning. It is our hope that this awareness spreads through ever-widening circles of people who share the desire to acquire items of beauty and durability with an awareness of social responsibility."

I'll now remember the grin that this gave me when I'm writing about other people's work and try to give them a grin as well. We all need it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bonita Springs National Art Festival

Amazingly I survived my first art fair of the year plus had a wonderful time! The Bonita Springs National Art Festival was the perfect show to start my year. The director, Barry Witt runs a tight show with a smile on his face plus enforces the rules which I dearly love. It helps everything run smoothly and the show looks so clean and professionally run. Beautiful location, wonderful neighbors. I was proud to be there and can't wait to go back in March.

Michael and I stopped and spent the night with the Hecker's on the way down which started the whole trip with a warm fuzzy. Great people, great food, glorious hot tub outdoors and three of the most wonderful furry kids. The only downside was leaving but we had to continue on.

In checking my records I discovered that the last time I did a winter Florida show was in 1996. In that 14 years, I think they moved Florida further away from Michigan. I truly didn't remember it being so far but finally we got to the Florida Welcome Center and I got my long anticipated, free glass of orange juice. That meant I was really in Florida. Sunshine and warm weather. Very welcome for a Michigander in January!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Beginning of the art fair year

The first art fair of the year is always exciting as I've written about before. But having your first show be just 3 very short weeks after the holidays, I'm finding that tough!

At this time of year I'm normally slowly getting things done. I'm catching up on sleep, playing with Dick, playing with the cats, seeing my Dad and thinking about what I'm going to do when I finally make it back to the studio. All done without the adrenaline of "show time".

It's time when I get to catch up with in town friends and see the inside of my local coffee shop instead of every Starbucks on the road. I return long overdue phone calls and the e-mails fly! Soup becomes homemade again as I fill the freezer. Dick and I actually cook together and I relish in the home cooked meals.

So life just is. And I love it.

The bad news is that this year, I'm doing the same things as normal AND I HAVE A SHOW IN A FEW DAYS! So I have to pump up the adrenaline, load up on coffee and get to the studio before I'm totally out of time!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starting up shows again

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. My first show of the new year is a week and a half away and even though I'm not close to being ready, I'm so excited!

The show is the Bonita Springs National Art Festival in Bonita Springs Florida, January 16 and 17 and it's my first time there. I haven't done any winter Florida shows for years due to my wholesale show in February but with each year comes changes. Boy am I looking forward to some warmth and sunshine in Florida instead of the cold of the Philadelphia show!

After I finish my shows for the calendar year and hopefully get a small break, I start on the list of jobs that I need to do before I start up shows again. Usually I have until April so it's not a big deal to get them all done, but this year the list is long and my time is short.

So what's on my list? It goes from washing and cleaning EVERYTHING to restocking and reorganizing to coming up with better ways to do things. I love forms so I have forms and lists for everything from what jewelry to make to what I need to take to each show and those constantly need updating. I really need a new banner showing images of my work for my booth.

Even using a GPS, I still need to print maps since I don't want to be in the middle of nowhere and have my GPS get a hiccup. I spend hours researching hotels since I now want cheap but still clean and safe with a good bed and shower. And it really helps if there's good coffee close by...

Since I never got my summer clothing put away because I was in warm weather areas until mid November, at least that part should be easier. I repainted my chair in the fall so hopefully that still looks good. Whew, so much to think about. I need to start some new lists!

And yes, I'll even be making some great new jewelry! Can't wait to get back into the studio and try out some new designs and even make some old favorites. Look here for new designs coming soon! And look for this booth at shows this year. It will contain some wonderful new work looking for the right person to own it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Sister's Blog

I'm proudly advertising my sister Karen's new blog. When I first starting blogging myself I said my sister was the writer in the family and she's proving it with her blog. Please check it out!