Not exactly green man weather around here but it gives me hope for Spring.
Variegated green laces-
I have moved from doing Indie Craft Shows to Fine Craft Shows. There are lots of differences including the price of doing the show, the price of the items at the show, and the type of people who decide to walk through the door. The Fine Craft Shows need a different kind of booth than the Indie Shows: more of a gallery look is the aim. I don’t do very many shows per year so it might be a while before I get it perfected.
Doing CraftBoston was a good way to test since it is local and if I had a real disaster, I was close to home for emergency supplies. Since I knew that I’m doing 2 more shows that are not close to home in 2018, the December show was my trial run. I wanted a booth that I could conceivably set up myself (I hope I don’t have to!) and could be set up relatively quickly. I bought a booth set-up from ProPanels. That includes walls and lights. Most everything else in the booth is from Ikea.
Here are my 2 helpers, helping me set up. It took about 2 1/2 hours to get from unloading (I have one of these carts and it was invaluable) the car to this-
This is my Ikea table top with removable legs. I will be replacing it though because it is very heavy and got damaged during the last haul around. My little tiered stands are nesting boxes from Ikea.
My extra inventory is kept in 2 open fabric bins-
And 3 zip-closed bins that store under the table. They are easy to pull out if a customer wants to see what else is available. The fish are in an Ikea basket.
By the last day, the zip-bags were mostly empty and I was rearranging the open storage- mixing things up a bit.
The dolls that are hanging on the panels are displayed on pieces of white art paper, pinned to the panels. If you have any questions, ask! I got a lot of help from friends to design this so I feel like I can pass the help along.
As an aside, I will be raising the prices of all my work as I list new pieces into my shop. Added expenses and increased demand are making that necessary. Tomorrow I start posting new dolls for 2018!
I’ve been putting this off all week but I need to do it. It is really helpful for me to have my yearly reflections written down here so let’s look back.
Wow, I’m not going to lie, it has been a really tough year. Politics will be mentioned. The situation in our country and the world has been terrifying. I did some artwork in the first few months of the year to help me deal with my feelings of despair.
I posted about the above and below here.
Later, I spent a month working on this-
I had a very busy trip to LA in April which I posted about here and here. The trip was awesome and I love LA. It was hard to really relax though and I felt that many people I was around were also feeling the weight of the world’s troubles. And then my Mom died.
Unfortunately, as the year went on, I just found myself wanting to retreat more and more. Nothing seemed to help- social media has been/is overwhelming with the constant outrage, my energy and creativity felt sapped when I engaged. During the first 6 months of the year I felt like I couldn’t find the joy in my work or even get to that wonderful focus where the world recedes and I’m in the work zone. Having some shows and deadlines helped. Also, audio books and podcasts. I’ve been continuing to post photos and work pics but somehow the words are gone. I don’t feel chatty about my work on my blog or on any of the other sites where I hang out. I have retreated not only online but also in real life. I know it is not good for me so I guess that is what I have to work on this year.
There were good things too, thank goodness. My garden was amazing this year. If you follow me on Instagram, there were lots of flower pics. the daylilies and the dahlias!
In August I was feeling so uninspired that I knew I needed to mix things up a bit. I spent 2 weeks working on a quilt idea. I played with colors. shapes, designs. I didn’t finish anything but I’ll get back to it at some point. I felt totally recharged after that- It was like a brain vacation. Obviously, something I should do more often!
That got me back into work mode for the fall and right up to Christmas. I had a great show at CraftBoston 2017 and I plan on a post about my booth, hopefully tomorrow.
Lastly, I was part of this beautiful book, Beards Rock. A real honor.
And now, 2018. I hope with all my heart that this year will bring a more stable and peaceful world although this first week does not make that seem likely. On my personal horizon, I have lots to look forward to.
I will be going back to LA at the end of February to teach at French General again. This time we will be doing Swaddled Babies. There are still a few spaces available if you’d like to join in the fun. Check out all the info here. I am also planning to visit QuiltCon.
In April, I will be in Washington DC for the Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum.
Then, in August I will head west again, to San Francisco, for the ACC show at Fort Mason.
I think that having all these things to look forward to will keep my head in a good place. I’m already back in the studio getting a little work done, doing some cleaning and organizing, and thinking about all the projects ahead. Happy New Year everyone!
I went through all the photos today. I already knew the total- 134 dolls, but it is a whole different thing to see them all together.
By the time I finished making dolls for the year, I’d made-
21 foxes and 7 pugs-
11 Owls and 13 Kitties-
7 Lumberjacks, 6 Mermen, and 32 Tattooed Men-
7 Babies and 8 Tattooed Ladies-
And 22 Fresh Fish pillows-
In addition, I made 20 Tiny World Pincushions.
I was surprised to see how close I was to last year with only a slightly different mix. Onward into the new year!
I finished this fellow on Wednesday night before the show, took his photos on Thursday morning, we took the subway down to the show together, and he found a new home on Friday morning!
CraftBoston was excellent- my best show ever! I will post some booth pics in a few days. I still have a lot of things available and I am working hard today to get them into my etsy shop. If I ship by Wednesday, package should certainly arrive (in US) by Christmas.