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Archive for October, 2009

Checking in with the list

Well, not much more got crossed off the list since the show. I did add some more things (in green) though: But a lot of stuff has been simmering,

blog about it! Be that as it may, the show starts tomorrow, so how did I do in the prep for Art for Heaven’s Sake?

Item Date Due % Done
Dye lots of scarves & fabric 10/15/09 100%
New, simple portfolio printed 10/15/09 100%
Label everything for sale in booth 10/15/09 100%
3 Cool Messengers 10/15/09 100%
Oct RAA Newsletter 10/13/09 100%
Going Green Baby Onesies 10/15/09 100%
Matching leggings for onesies 10/15/09 100%
Going Green Totes 10/15/09 100%
Small quArt: Natural Silhouettes 10/15/09 100%
More Going Green Scribblers 10/15/09 100%
Make DVD of Free Motion Quilting to show in booth 10/15/09 100%
List Branch & Bird Series in Shop 10/30/09 100%
List Botanical Sketches Series in Shop 10/30/09 25%
Custom 2T freshly picked baby outfit 11/5/09 5%
Custom Big/little sis freshly picked tees 11/5/09 5%
2-3 Cool Large Totes not gonna happen 10/15/09 0%
Simple Totes not gonna happen 10/15/09 0%
Laptop bag for Mary 10/30/09 0%
3-d Birdhouses 10/30/09 0%
3-d Row Houses 10/30/09 0%
Photograph Scarves for website ?? 70%
Website?? ?? ?
Baby Quilts 10/30/09 0%
Large Messenger for ME! 10/30/09 0%

But a lot of stuff has been simmering, and I’ve got some big things coming up!

  • Fingers & toes crossed, the website may actually be happening soon, and I’m planning a doozy of a giveaway to get it started!
  • I’ve got another show mid-November, I’m on the operating board for this one, and it’s been a lot of work. Hopefully our work pays off and we have wonderful weather and LOTS of customers.
  • Hubby has a conference in San Diego just before Thanksgiving, so the 4 of us are gonna have a couple of days down there (R&R for me and the boys, work for Daddy).

I’m in need of new focusing, and lo & behold, it’s time for another goal check in – just what I needed!

Item Date Due % Done
List Botanical Sketches Series in Shop 10/30/09 25%
Custom 2T freshly picked baby outfit 11/5/09 5%
Custom Big/little sis freshly picked tees 11/5/09 5%
2-3 Cool Large Totes 11/15/09 0%
Simple Totes 11/15/09 0%
10-15 Little Wallets 11/15/09 0%
10 Going Green Totes 11/15/09 50%
6 Freshly picked Outfits 11/15/09 50%
Order refill journals 11/5/09 0%
Photograph Scarves for website ?? 70%
Website?? This could happen!   ?
Baby Quilts 11/30/09 0%
Large Messenger for ME! 11/15/09 0%
Laptop bag for Mary 11/30/09 0%
3-d Birdhouses 11/30/09 0%
3-d Row Houses 11/30/09 0%

And because no post is complete without a picture, here’s one I was tweaking just yesterday:

 

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Getting in the Spirit!

Hooray – Halloween is on a Saturday…we’ve got all of tomorrow for pumpkin carving, costume making…no Halloween decorating for me though, I’m just not that into it. In fact, I’m not much into decorating for any specific holiday, except Christmas. I love making my house look good, and I like changing it…but now for a holiday. One big reason: storage! Where does all the stuff go when it’s not out and around the house? Another reason: time. Big surprise, I like to do things myself, and I usually run out of time.

Case in point – my kids Halloween costumes. I abhore store bought costumes, always have, I used to make some pretty crazy contraptions in my youth. (I remember making myself into a Hershey’s kiss with oaktag, a stapler, masking tap and tinfoil. Where are the old pictures when you need them???) Any old who, I’ve made costumes for my boys since Liam was an 8 month old Piglet. As they’ve grown older, I’ve tried to include them more and more in process. But I do encourage them to re-wear the better ones from year to year.  SO I had a fun digging out photos from my hard drive, so here’s a look at the Glendening family through their digital years. If you need to see more, I’ve but a whole load here, but for most of you, I’m sure these will suffice!

2001

Liam is 4.5, Logan is 6 months. After 3 years a “Blue” from Blue’s Clues (no digital pix, but you’ll see the costume in a couple of years!) Liam really wanted to be a red Kangaroo, so of course Logan had to be a Joey! We went trick or treating at the Columbus Zoo and the boys got Lots of smiles!

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Dear God, is he the cutest baby ever, or what?

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2002

Instant replay! WooHoo, THAT was an easy year!

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Sigh…look at the awesome hardwood floors in our old house in Ohio…moving on

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October 090

2003

Here’s Liam’s Blues Clues Costume, back on Logan! Liam was a mad scientist – easy peasy, borrowed a lab coat and geeky looking science plastic stuff & driy ice from my work. Phew! They were both happy!

Boo 004 Boo 005 Boo 007

2004

Our 1st year in CA, Liam was a werewolf, Logan wanted to be Blue AGAIN, and I’d left the costume behind in OH, so had to make ANOTHER one! Oh and…it’s  still hot in CA on Oct 31!

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Halloween 2004 027 Halloween 2004 026

2005

Gotta love a good thing! Logan was Blue AGAIN! Liam wanted to be a vampire…so I made a nice cape in hopes it would be used for dress up as well as Halloween. They haven’t used it for dress up (they were never that into that) but it’ll be seen again!

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Liam didn’t like the plastic fangs…

2006

No more Blue from Blue’s Clues! But LOOK, the kangaroo costume is back, and it’s year # 2 for the vampire – this year Liam allowed more makeup and wore the fangs. And if you look closely, you’ll see that Logan’s beloved corduroy has his OWN little kangaroo costume! Can I hear a big AAAWWW!

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2007

As the boys get older, their ideas get more elaborate! This year needed a LOT of help from Daddy as they made the “Spooky Express”. I was not very present for this year, having just finished doing my 2nd ever show, the big one I just finished 2 weeks ago. And, I totally caved on the no buying things this year. I bought the hats for both boys as well as the watch on a chain for Logan. We were very lucky to have the navy suit jacket as a hand me down in the closet.

Halloween 07 007Halloween 07 010

Halloween 07 004

2008

This was the year of way too much stress. My hubby was playing a concerto the very next night, I’d just finished Art for Heaven’s Sake, the costumes really got the short shrift this year. All I got was one picture, with only Logan in his costume, a “caveman” costume that was just a piece of fleece, cut and pinned to stay on. Liam was a vampire again, but had a “gig”, playing with his jazz band in the middle of the center of town trick or treat extravaganza.

Halloween 08 (4) Halloween 08 (5)

Let’s hope I get more pictures this year! If I do, you know you’ll see them here!

P.S. I just re-read the entry I referred to just the paragraph above, and it seems that a year ago, I didn’t feel like putting too much family stuff on the blog, and I didn’t want to blog if I weren’t blogging about making things. 1 year later I say HAH! to that! I’m now delighted when I have time to share some of the things & people I find are inspirational, and now am limited by time, not intent. What has changed in that year? I think that last year my blog felt like a diary, and now it feels like a conversation. I LOVE THIS CHANGE and am so HAPPY that it’s happened. Don’t look now, folks, Candy just had a big  “a-Hah!” moment!

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Shop Update

Well, I’ve finally got my Branch & Bird series up in my Etsy shop. I went back and forth on how to sell them, I’m trying this for now. Hopefully it makes sense, & hopefully they fly off to new homes! image

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Hello all! I spent a large part of the weekend taking & editing photographs. I’m doing less shows this Fall, and hope to make up the difference with sales from my etsy shop – fingers crossed! Actually, as we all know, fingers crossed for etsy sales doesn’t work…we have to get out there and promote. Of course, the 1st step in promotion is getting the stuff in the shop, so I’m working on that 1st!

I listed all the baby outfits that didn’t sell last weekend (20 in all), then had a little fun making this collage of all the motifs:

Freshly-Picked-Collage Yes Virginia, Candy IS a quilter!

I then listed my new journals in the shop as well, I love these in situ shots:

 

 

I’m trying to get “back in the saddle”, but it’s been a difficult transition week back to balancing the day job, the kids, etc… With that, I’m off, I’ve got an exam to grade!

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New series of posts: Joy

This week has been a crazy amount of catch-up as I scramble to get homework graded and my classes back on track after the big 3 day show I just did. I asked for, and received, advice on my booth display. This is one reason why I LOVE the internet – I find like-minded folk who care enough about my process that they follow along, and offer me well thought out advice when I’m asked. These comments fill me with joy, because they represent the thoughtfulness of complete strangers (well they WERE, they’re not NOW!)

As I struggle to get back in the creative saddle, I look to things I wanted to blog about when I was too busy. One of the features I’ve been thinking about adding to my blog is to try to explain about things that make me feel joyful, in the hopes that blogging about it will help me clarify WHY a particular thing makes me feel this way. And this somehow translates into my art.

During my frantic preparations the last couple of weeks, I hung the rompers on my pegboard, to keep them out of the way and not wrinkled while I figured out which size pants needed to get dyed what color (easier said than done, BTW, at least to my sleep deprived brain). Seeing them hung like that filled me with joy!

I had a few minutes the day before the show, and I attempted to recreate the shot minus the clutter:

This is close, but I think I prefer the rompers alone, without the pants, but since I had already basted the outfits, I wasn’t about to un-baste them.

So, what about these images fills me with joy?I think it is simple as the colors themselves, in a simple, repetitive pattern. The top set of clothes are made in the 1st color palette I pulled together 2 and a half years ago. I’m amazed that this set of colors still does it for me. It also makes me realize that choosing to limit color choices for a particular series of work was the right thing for me to do. The bottom set are dyed in my third, new palette, pulled around that delicious plum it took me a few tries to dye properly. I love these colors, and can’t wait to do more. So today, I leave this open, continuing discussion with distilled as:

Joy: Color & Repetition

As always, thanks so much for joining me here!

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Hello There! I’ve missed you all and I’ve got plenty of blogs to catch up on! I thought I’d review how my show went, both FYI as well as FMM (for my memory!). The show opens with a 7-10 PM reception on Friday night, then 10-5 on Saturday and 11:30-5 on Sunday. They do a wonderful job of providing 2 electrical outlets to each of the 60 booth spaces, so I was able to use all 8 of my cheap-o clip-on lights, 4 of which are the trumpet top bulbs I talk about here. My 10x 10 had plenty of light, and lots of artists came by to ask about the lights, they were so bright and the colors so true!

My problem (as always) with the setup is that I always have too much stuff I want to show. This was especially true at this show as I had neighbors just to each side of me, and the walkway wasn’t very wide, so I couldn’t ooze into any space outside the tent. Here’s how it looked Friday night:

I had a huge panic attach because I sold less than half of what I had done the year before that 1st night. There were lots of crowds walking by, but not many buyers, and I wasn’t sure whether it was the economy or my booth setup. Considering some of the folks I talked to had done pretty well, I was convinced it was me, so we changed the setup the next morning so there was more room for folk to enter the booth. Hands down the most awesome thing was this scarf stand built by hubby. Each arm has little indentations for 5 scarves to drop across the top. I’ve divided my colors into 4 season, so each arm held all the same weight (5mm habotai or 19 mm charmeuse) of a particular season. I have a stack of plastic bins with extras of all the colors (because I dyed 200 in the past 6 weeks!)…this made it so easy to show all the options.

I moved my stand that holds all the misc. packaging and hanging stuff to the back, and this seemed to make it easier for folks to come in, but it still was a tight fit with more than 4 people.

One thing I’m happy with, I now have some video of me doing the free motion quilting, I was able to show folks who asked exactly how I do what I do, most often impressing them with the fact that i do my stitching without any pre-drawn lines. I’ve got this little freebie DVD player I was able to plug in and leave running throughout the show.

Sales picked up on Saturday & Sunday: I ended up selling 55 scarves, 8 each of the baby outfits and going green totes, a couple of Scribblers, a messenger bag and a medium tote. I may also get a couple of commissions for bags in weeks to come…

So why do I feel so dejected?

  1. I sold less than last year.
  2. 3 people asked if my Branch & Bird series were coasters.

I see-saw back and forth between making things that are practical/beautiful and things that are made just for the joy of it. Many MANY people commented on how I’d come up with new things, and how clever I was. I take it as a compliment, because to me, each thing I make allows me to hone my artistic vision and improve my craft. BUT, I don’t want to fall into the trap of becoming a “Jack of all trades, master of none”.

Both the Branch & Bird series and the Botanical Sketches series were made for 2 purposes:

  1. I had this need to make them and see them hung up in groups on a little clothesline and
  2. These could be affordable art – something small that someone who got my art could purchase without a huge investment. 

I only connected with 2 people who felt the latter during the 3 days of the show.

My earliest venture into the world of art selling was with my quArt, which also involved multiple pieces that people could combine at re-shuffle on a whim. Although I’ve sold a decent amount of the quArt mounted pieces (20-30 I’d guess), over half of them were single pieces. My husband feels that I should be making larger combinations, mounting them in some way and selling them as larger, complete installations, which of course defeats the goal of the small, affordable art.

If you’re still reading this, I’d love your point of view. Obviously this is going to continue to be a struggle for me…

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Mid October Check in

I’ve been really working away, making a lot of stuff, and I’m so sad I don’t get to properly blog about it all…to me, something doesn’t feel DONE now unless I blog about it! Be that as it may, the show starts tomorrow, so how did I do in the prep for Art for Heaven’s Sake?

Item Date Due % Done
Dye lots of scarves & fabric 10/15/09 100%
New, simple portfolio printed 10/15/09 0%
Label everything for sale in booth 10/15/09 75%
3 Cool Messengers 10/15/09 100%
Oct RAA Newsletter 10/13/09 100%
Going Green Baby Onesies 10/15/09 100%
Matching leggings for onesies 10/15/09 95%
Going Green Totes 10/15/09 100%
Small quArt: Natural Silhouettes 10/15/09 100%
More Going Green Scribblers 10/15/09 100%
Make DVD of Free Motion Quilting to show in booth 10/15/09 100%
2-3 Cool Large Totes not gonna happen 10/15/09 0%
Simple Totes not gonna happen 10/15/09 0%
Laptop bag for Mary 10/30/09 0%
3-d Birdhouses 10/30/09 0%
3-d Row Houses 10/30/09 0%
Photograph Scarves for website ?? 70%
Website?? ?? ?
Baby Quilts 10/30/09 0%
Large Messenger for ME! 10/30/09 0%

I got a lot made, bailed on a couple of things, and I’ll see what kind of portfolio I can cobble together tonight. Thanks goodness my Mom is here, she spent the whole day ironing scarves and tagging things!

I DID get some pix taken, not as many as I wanted, and I can’t process them all, but I can show you an overview of what I’ve been doing the past week:

1) Tried to make some complete outfits of the freshly picked rompers…

2) Made 3 messenger bags:

3) Made covers for all the Ecojotters I had on hand:

4) Made 18 6” x 8” wee quilts, the same construction method as my Branch & Birds. I’m calling this series “Botanical Sketches”.

Okay, I feel a teeny bit complete I’m off to work on that portfolio! Wish me luck – it’s going to be a LONG weekend!

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