Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Adapting, Family, and Change!

I follow a blog that is written by Miriam (Angel's Hair - http://theangelshair.blogspot.com/), a woman originally from France who is now living in New York. I so enjoy reading her blog entries and I noticed this week that she has family visiting from France. She writes about looking forward to showing off her new home to them.

When I moved to the US from Canada I found the adjustment quite difficult, and English is my mother tongue. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to make a move from another continent - let alone not have English as my first language. She seems to have adjusted quite well and I would recommend folks go read her blog - it's very interesting.

I've been in the US for 10 years and I've adjusted, rarely feeling like a fish out of water like I used to. That's a good thing I guess. Although I now feel like a fish out of water when I go back to Canada for a visit. Adaptation is a strange phenomenon.

Here are a couple of her illustrations!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Beauties!

I've been hard at work creating. Seems that my busy season swooped down on me and I'm not feeling as prepared as I like. Next weekend I am going to see the Dalai Lama speak and I'm so excited about that. It feels like a once in a lifetime experience.

The following 3 weeks I have 4 shows - one 2-day show in Flemington, New Jersey, a 1-day show in Bennington, VT, Easthampton, MA and Holyoke, MA. Should be an exciting time. I'm sure by the end I will feel exhausted and worried that my stock is too low. At least that's my hope.

How cool it was that a woman I don't know commented on a blog entry and said that she will be a vendor at the Easthampton show as well. I'm looking forward to meeting you Dawn.

Here are some new pieces that will be going up on my website soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Craft Show Season has begun!

Tomorrow is my first show of the season. It is in Keene, NH - a show I do twice a year, lately with mixed results. It's funny that I continue to attend given the mixed results, but I've gotten to know many of the artists situated near me, and it is familiar and comfortable. I must admit, not the best reason for going. I always come out ahead and I like feeling apart of a community.

I have mixed feelings about most craft fairs I attend, especially in the last year - many are a mixture of quality artisan crafts and (for lack of a better word) crap - buy and sell items that are usually priced so low that I can't compete when it's jewelry. There is a lot of mass produced sterling silver jewelry out there. I complain and the promoters say that they were told it was all handmade by the vendor. Hah! 50 rings in various sizes with the same gemstone is one example of pieces made elsewhere. I am sure many of you who do shows have experienced situations similar to this.

One of the things that keeps me up the night before I do a show is wondering if I remembered everything? I am not a big list maker, even though I know keeping a list would be helpful, but do I do it, nope. I guess I like the challenge better. So I thought I would try and list what I currently bring to shows. Once the season is really up and running, I leave almost all of this in my van and only need to replenish things that have been used, which makes it much easier.

I bring:




4 tables


busts for necklace, bracelets

earring stands

credit card machine


earring backs

business cards

receipt books

earring cards

business card holders


gift bags

tissue paper

bed risers

pine boxes to display things on


anti-bacterial lotion

clip board

inventory list of jewelry

price tags

sterling silver "S" clasps in different sizes

gift certificates

signs - for earrings price; that I accept visa mastercard amex discover, sterling silver, etc.



sign up sheet for mailing list

2 chairs


hand truck

paper towels

I'm probably missing some stuff - but that's most of it.

I am going with my daughter who will stay here tonight so we can leave early. I always seem to need to be early, even though I no longer need two hours to set up like I used to. I used to put lots of wondrous little things on the tables - like rocks framed in iron from Haiti, clay goddess plaques, and wooden pieces - that used to add to the funkiness of the table but I don't bring them any more. I realize that it added time to the set up and distracted from the jewelry. I now focus on the jewelry and try not to put out too much because when I do it's difficult to take it all in.

I suspect I am not alone in this constant battle to perfect the best setup. Would love to hear what others do.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One Can Never Tell How Things Will Turn Out!

Who plans a trip in early April and expects it to snow? Not I! It sure helps that I can flow with change fairly well. It was gorgeous the day we arrived in Shelburne, Ontario for a quiet week away. The day after we arrived it snowed....and snowed....and more snow. We received between 8 and 10" of snow. As you will see from the photos, it was quite wondrous.

Visiting with our friends Gail and Alan and their two huge dogs is always relaxing and fun. I did very little but veg. I did bring some work to do, was quite productive, and I made many new bracelets which I need for a show this coming weekend.

I hope you can see from the pictures that we had a wonderful time.

Just to fill in some info about the dogs - Logan, a Great Dane is about 3 years old and weighs 175 lbs. Rosie (the puppy) is an English Mastiff who just turned 1 and she weighs about 130 lbs. I'm not 100% sure about her weight, but let me tell you - having two large dogs bouncing around is quite different than my two 11 lbs. boys.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tax Time - Not My Favorite Yearly Activity

I was reading one of the blogs that I follow, http://imakearrrt.com/blog/ and I had to chuckle. Tax time is stressful for everyone I think, but those of us who throw receipts in a box and go through them at tax time have a higher level of stress because there is so much to do to get it all organized. There is a certain level of panic I feel when I realize that time is short and I need to get focused and moving.

I think I got it together early this year. Today I went to pick up my taxes from the accountant - how's that - 11 days to spare. Next year will be different as I am starting to use Quickbooks. Anyone want to place a bet on whether or not I input my expenses and income on a regular basis????

I was glad to see that Alexia also wrote about tax time, and that she also struggles to get them done on time - I don't feel so alone :)