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Friday, August 15

65 gallons of gas

You get to this point in the season and it becomes a act of courage to open the studio door. The little rushes of pride you got in the Spring when a new design came together has become exhaustion vertigo. That surprising new source of art paper now gets an exasperated sigh when they fail to spring a new design that will motivate you to make something of it. And your best sellers become an albatross because you need to make more of them because they sell but you're tired of making them over and over because they sell and yet you can't decide not to make them for the next show because, well, they sell.

Two shows left before our vacation and the stress of earning enough at them to finance the jaunt is taking its toll. Every stash I've put aside has had to be spent on an unexpected emergency. (are there any other kind?) So, I crank up production, the thumb throbs, the vertigo makes me nap when I should be creating.

People love my little collage cards. I use the leftovers from my larger products, so the cost is minimal. But they are labor intensive, the little devils. It isn't easy to take scraps of paper and tear them into little art works. The colors have to work, the sizes of the bits have to be just right. You need to have enough blank space for the quote to rest on, but not so much that it looks unfinished. I usually add a skeleton leaf for texture and the size and color and placement of that embellishment is a challenge sometimes. Sometimes I paint a bit of a design at the edges. And all of that needs to come together in a design that looks more whimsical than planned.

Last night, as I pulled card after card onto my work space and tore pieces of paper and glued and positioned them, fighting the sticky fingers that made tweaking almost impossible, my vision blurring, my back aching, I had a vision.

My cards sell for $4. Gas is at about $4. Every card I sell is a gallon of gas! Eureka!

Last night I got us to least. The thrill is back.

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