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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…

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!

My studio does NOT always look like this! Here it is, (minus the diet coke cans, they had to go, they were multiplying without me) right now:

I’ve got this evening, 2 full days, and 2 more evenings until it’s time for my largest show of the year! YIKES!

 

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Welcome to my entry in the blogger’s quilt festival! Those of us who can’t get to Houston can blog about a favorite quilt instead! Then we all go visit each other’s quilts – too much fun – click on the badge abouve for more info!

One of the focuses of this festival is the story behind the quilt, so I thought I’d show you folks the last pair of bed sized quilts I made – 5 years ago! We had just moved across the country, from Newark, OH to Redlands, CA. In fact, I created a little diary about our journey to share with friends and family, and posted it here, feel free to take a look!

The boys new bedroom was the 1st room I decorated – I wanted them to feel excitement about the new home, so we talked about how to decorate it while driving cross country. The idea we hit on was to make it feel like the southwest, since we had a short but fun visit at the Grand Canyon during our cross country trek. Each boy bought a poster of the Grand Canyon and a dream catcher to hang while we were there, and I painted the walls, and made some stencils with Kokopelli and other primitive Native American type figures:

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Although I had sworn off making large quilts, because the free motion quilting I do on them takes so long and is hard to manipulate with my Bernina (lovely though she is), I really wanted to make the perfect quilts for those beds! It was quilte a struggle to design, as I’ve never worked with these types of motifs, but I got it designed, with a row for each boys name. I was lucky enough to have a couple of yards of PFD fabric with little Kokopelli’s on it, which I dyed, along with some other earthy Southwest colors…and here’s the result:

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The boys have used them every night for 5 years and they’re still going strong!Thanks for stopping by!

My biggest show of the year, Art for Heaven’s Sake, starts one week from tonight. It’s a show I’m proud to take part in as 20% of all that I sell goes to the church, for local as well as farther afield use in doing good (hurricane relief, etc…). Any old who, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to leave a few things done on my to do list, but I’m happy that I’ve got some new art to show, as well as those freshly picked onesies I showed you the other day, which, on the recommendation of a couple of Moms in the know, are going to become outfits, the leggings for me to dye came in the mail today! (Both of these got a shout out from the lovely Linda of aLaMode Stuff, thanks so much! SHE’s the genius that suggested I hang them above a bed!)

I finished some Going Green Totes earlier this week, and I know if I didn’t grab some quick shots now, some of them would be sold before I got a picture of them:

On tap for this weekend – dyeing 50 more scarves and matching leggings for the freshly picked rompers, finishing up 3 messenger bags, then making some more going green scribblers. THIS I think I can do…wish me luck!

Freshly Picked

One of the new things I’ve been working on for a big show that’s coming far too quickly is something for the wee ones of the world. I found some lovely soft, snuggly snap crotch rompers (onesies if they’ve been made by Gerber) made from Organic cotton – woohoo! I dyed up a couple of batches, embellished them with a patch that I free motion quilt a like natural motif and Voila! Cute, and freshly picked! I’ve got some wee socks I’ve dyed as well, and I’ll sell each romper with a pair of socks that matches the patch…but I was too excited to show you them to get the socks attached cutely, so here they are:

If you need to see even MORE, I’ve put them all up on Flickr:

Are these way too cute, or am I just hallucinating?

I took a video of my studio yesterday. Big surprise, I had a lot to say, so the video is split in 2:

Here’s a link to a tutorial on how to recover an office chair like mine.

Here’s a link to a tutorial on how we built mydouble sewing machine table.

For those who don’t have the time to watch the video, I also have a pictorial tour of my studio from right after we put new flooring in at Christmas time CLICK HERE to get the text and more images..

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Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by!

Well, I’ve really had fun with this little series, and I hope it shows! I’ve had some great comments from y’all this week, so if you’d like to buy one or more of these little gems, make sure to read through to the end of the post, where there are details on how my blog readers get 1st dibs! (Look away then if a commercial offends you!)

I truly am a quilter at heart – I LOVE taking smaller units and composing them into larger pieces, over & over again. I also enjoy figuring out ways to mount my little art quilts to make them easy to display…what I did with these was quilt the details through the top, a layer of batting, and then a layer of peltex, something they use to stiffen baseball cap brims. The peltex adds a a bit more definition to the quilting, and makes the quilts stiff enough to stand propped up everywhere, and hang nice and flat. After the quilting is done, a layer of fabric on the back covers it up, then stitch on a hanging loop and fuse on a label:

I then had fun playing with them, coming up with all sorts of fun combinations…it was very hard to STOP!

All over the internet, people have little clotheslines with small bits of inspiration pinned to them. This is how I’ve been envisioning my little birds…and my friends, the vision in my head matches what I see!

 

While I was trying in vain to come up with an idea of how to show them off in a room setting, lovely Linda of a La Mode Stuff commented on how nice the would look over a headboard! Shazaam, perfect idea – thanks Linda!

So, if you need to see more birdies, I’ve had some fun putting together a gallery with Adobe Bridge. 

OK, commercial time, feel free to look away. A couple of folk have asked if they are going up in my Etsy shop. I’ve got a couple of big shows coming up, so no, they won’t be in my Etsy shop for awhile, BUT if you need to have one, or more…email me with your choices: Candy(at)CandiedFabrics(dot)com and we’ll arrange payment and shipping.

They’re $20 each, with 10% off the total purchase when you buy 3 or more. Shipping will be $4.75, and if you’d like I can throw in some hemp cord & mini clothespins for a couple of bucks too. I’d love for my faithful blog readers to have 1st pick!

Bird & Branch Gallery

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Finally – here are the navy! I’ve been having great fun with photographing all the birds in all sorts of configurations…tune in tomorrow to see them!

Guest Post on Hue

Hello again! I’m a guest poster over on Hue, the color-centric design blog of Rachel Perls. She’s on vacation in Tuscany, lucky gal, while all I’ve got is this shirt:

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Actually, my post is all about trying to match hues on silk, rayon and cotton…go take a look!

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