visit the web site

Sunday, June 16

bitchin', rollin', laughin'

OK, first the bitchin' :  I've done a certain Christmas Gift show for many years. Last year I was wait-listed which was not a total shock because they are known to "rest" an artist every few years and I was due. They did call me in off the list, but I was short of product due to my surgery down time and then I was  happily in Michigan with my brand new Emma. I had to turn it down. This year I am healthy and, as far as I know, no grandchildren are expected in November. So I applied again.

Now, I have been spoiled this year because I was accepted to I was getting a little too relaxed about this stuff. I won't say "cocky" because, trust me, not in my drawer of possible attitudes. So, when my friends started posting that they got this show, I checked my mail. Nothing. Nada. I  checked the next day. Nope. Huh?

Now, I am not bemoaning the fact that I may have been rejected. But nothing? Irritates me. We have seasons to plan, people. Don't play with us. The deadlines for other possible shows are whooshing by while you play with us. The Summer show at this facility was awful and now this for the Winter show? I may be done with the whole lot of ya.

OK, so much for the rant.

I got out on my bike yesterday after struggling to get the rack on my car. Russell is away, attending the college graduation of his youngest. (yay Max!) and I have become way too dependent on him over the years, so I dug the contraption out and proceeded to put in on upside down until I remembered that You Tube can teach you anything and there it was. Done! But my struggles were just beginning.

My new bike, with a step through frame, does not want to sit politely on the bars of the rack. The rack is  designed for the top tube to rest on. Ain't got one of those.
(I figured if I was going to end a sentence incorrectly, might as well start the next one with ain't). I got it on there, but I have bruised forearms and a sore back. Still,  I had a lovely day by the water on my bike.

The trail at our local park winds through trees, along the Erie Basin and Niagara River, into the Canalside Boardwalk. That's Canada over there...

When I got to Canalside, I grabbed one of the ubiquitous Adirondack chairs, sat under a tree, ate lunch and finished a library book that is due Monday. 

I could have stayed all day, but I had to work that night for "Book of Mormon". Since I had a ticket for the show, I only had to work until curtain and then I could sit with the "civilians" and be entertained. And oh, I was!

Oh! And that bike rack problem? The same friend who turned me on to the step-through frame, also told me about an adapter bar you can get so the bike can rest happily on the rack just like a "real" bike!

Such a simple solution for such a vexing problem! Dashed off to the bike store before work to grab one. 

The lesson for today? I guess it is that you may start the day bitchin', but you have the power to end it laughing. Well, usually.

Depends on what the mail brings tomorrow.  ;)

Tuesday, June 4

Show #1 "in the can"

I understand that in the film industry, when a project is completed, it is said to be "in the can". Well, my first show is completed and I can say with conviction that it is "in the can". Not going to explain exactly what can that might be.

Yes, day 3 was not much better than the others. Major disappointment.

There was the traditional artist breakfast meeting Sunday morning and the topic of few customers, few sales was, naturally, addressed.  With no resolution that I could see. It certainly isn't the quality of work:

So, I will have a while to ponder the options for next year. I have a real soft spot for this show. It would be hard to pass on it. But I may have to.

Onward and upward to Allentown in a few days. Sending good vibes out into the stratosphere.

Sunday, June 2

slow start

Oh man. I don't expect a windfall from this show. ( 100 American Craftsmen at the Kenan Center in Lockport.)  It has been in the middle of the pack for me. But it is traditionally the show that starts to even the scales. Maybe I can sock a few bucks away. At this rate, I'll be lucky to sock a few socks away.

I'm not sure what the reason for the insanely low attendance was. We all have theories and we had plenty of time to spout them as we wandered amongst each other's booths and commiserated.

It was very hot. High 80's which is like death for this show. First, most of us here in the Canadian border towns don't take kindly to anything over 70-75. It starts to hit 80, we get ornery. Then, the arena where the show is held has no A/C.  The place is cavernous. It would be like dropping an ice cube in your swimming pool to cool it down.

Overheard in the Lady's Room: "they charge us 8 bucks to get in here and there isn't even A/C?"

Maybe $8 is too much. I think it used to be $6. I think it should be $5. The rationale is that this is a "high end" show, so people come here to spend big bucks and 8 bucks is chump change. I don't agree. It would be smarter to charge us all an extra 50 bucks for the booth, scale down the artist party and the artist breakfast and let the folks in for nothing or a tiny fee like 2 bucks. What drives sales is attendance. Especially at a show like this. Outdoor festivals are different. You can get hundreds of thousands of people but maybe most of them are there for sun and beer. That will be my rant for next weekend.

So, anyway, the dearth of business led to an abundance of schmoozing and I got to know some artists better. Like the leather guy next to me that set up his first ever booth at Woodstock. He has a picture of himself there with his long curly hair, selling belts from a crate. He makes beautiful bags now, that sell for hundreds of dollars. And I heard him laughing with customers all day. At least he has fun. He says he's almost 70 now and he has perspective.

I got to know the son of one of my favorite artisans and to see his amazing pencil sketches. He will be one of us soon.

A few had trouble with their Square card readers or didn't know how to program to app for sales tax or edit  products and I became the go-to tech wizard. My son would be rolling and laughing at that.

Russell and I had time to discuss re-doing the new layout for the booth. It has issues. Actually, we had time to re-do it right there, but I nixed the idea.

Even the volunteers who man the admissions table seemed depressed so I promised everyone I talked to that today would be so busy and happy that our biggest problem would be where to spend all the glorious extra cash in our pockets.  I will be chatting with my shoppers and sending out good vibes I chose this life, good and bad. I knew there was no guaranteed pay check.

The only guarantee is that you will be doing work you love and that your office will be a festival of some sort and you will be, almost always, treated with respect by the people you deal with.

Beats the old government job hands down.

It is gray and damp today, bring on the people!