It's a monumental task as I track every gram of chemicals, every bead, every mile logged and the pounds of clay that crosses the threshold of my studio.
After printing out the month by month results they are studied closely. Is there more black ink than red ink? Usually it's so tight I just close my eyes, hold my breath and hit the big button; ANNUAL TOTALS..... this results in me belting down a stiff shot of something to ease the pain and it really helps to wash the eraser down I chewed off the nub of a pencil trying to get column "A" to match column "ZZ". Stacks of receipts from Bailey Ceramic Supply to Starbuck's clutter the floor and desk. Everything in tidy little piles and bundled together with Post-it Notes stuck to everything ..........
It occurs to me after reviewing receipts, ledgers, 365 daily calendar and blog entries, there is upward career movement but alas, still treading the financial waters of murkiness and yet still below the poverty level of Zanzibar. My eyes roll back in my head and I want to know if I qualify to be a third world country? In fact I may write my congressman and ask if Paine Falls might be below third world status. Can we please have a bomber Mr. Brown or perhaps a rocket launcher to let people know we are still here in Ohio! That said I have NO complaints and life really is pretty good.
After all I was standing in the farmers markets most of last summer and I managed to eek out a months wages gardening.
Once again I vow to work smarter and not harder........ I give myself the yearly, buck up suck it up and tighten that belt a little tighter ......... yup, stay tuned for that one! By July I'll be buying that $1 a pound porcelain and mixing zinc glazes like I have no budget ...... and there will be holes in my underwear and the Brita water will be cloudy.
This year I have all but emptied my pitiful little savings account and entered the "big" shows. And after having two of the "big" shows under my belt I realize it's truly a crap shoot. They can love you in Philly and leave you high and dry in Seattle. So the lessons I am taking away from this journey....... never get cocky and watch you pennies, every single one! I have taken a solomon oath to do be a better business woman. Out of town shows are expensive so pack a lunch!
On that note I would like to pass on a tip for anyone doing shows in Boston. There several hotels recommended by the super Craft Boston team but all were a bit out of my budget. I got out my Lonely Planet Boston guide and found a write up on little place called the Inn at Crystal Cove. I googled and found the website and several reviews. It was $68 a night compared to the $225 at the hotel recommended. I needed to stay 5 nights........hmmmm 7.5 miles away and a winter rate of $68 OR across the street from the World Trade Center and $225 ........ or $1125 to $340. After booking my room I found out it was across from Logan Airport and other tales of .... "Sandy, OMG, lock your doors and use the bolt in your room." I packed earplugs and had Abby, nuff said!
Here is the link:
GREAT PLACE! The people who run the Inn are lovely. AND we were in a gated area.
I imagine the place gets rocking in the summer. We were on the water and the bus stops in front of the Inn so one really does not need to drive into Boston thus alleviating $12 a day parking. We never heard a plane and they have a community kitchen which cut down our meal budget to $81.00 for the entire time we were gone! (and I had Abby who swears a rotisserie chicken is a snack!)
Here are pictures of our stay..........
The community kitchen
Viking appliances, better than home!
The community room
the other side of the community room
view from the front porch
and chairs to watch the sailboats sail into the harbor .......
so peaceful and rested...........