Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Panic re-decorating.......

Nothing says Merry Christmas like fresh latex paint!  
All the pots are shipped, shows balanced out, every state has been paid their sales tax and the trailer has been unloaded into the studio.  Done for the year!  Happy Dance!  
Friday night the calendar date loomed large, the kids were coming home; counting bedrooms and beds we were now counting the inflatable mattresses.  Nuts, the inflatables had leaks.  Off to the Home Depot at 8 p.m. on Friday night to pick out paint.
Rachael had painted her room midnight in 9th grade; midnight blue walls and Ralph Lauren ballroom gold ceiling and woodwork.  Rachael is now 27 ....... our answer to decorating;  close the door so we don’t have to look at it.  

We should have liquored up before picking out paint but decided to go for it with all our senses intact.  What were we thinking?  Paint chips lined two walls.  Laura Ashely, no.  Martha Stewart, no.  Tommy Hilfiger, no.  Eddy Bauer, no.   and so it went.  Where was my old friend Sherwin Williams and the little Dutchboy?  I finally hit the Home Depot brand.  I picked out Woodrow Wilson Maize (who knew Woodrow was a color enthusiast) and ceiling paint called Honesty.  (should have been Honestly?)  I would love my next job to be naming paint colors.  Compost Brown has nice ring to it and I know what that looks like.  Explaining our golden midnight distress to the home depot paint goddess she responded the store would be closing in 5 minutes please make your final choices.  We bought the primer, the brilliant white semi gloss trim, 2 gallons of Woodrow Wilson Maize and 1 gallon of Honesty.  A few rollers and a new Purdy trim brush.  Off to the checkout before we were locked in Home Depot for the night.  I always felt paint was the cheapest thing you could do to a house to increase value and update the look.......... $213 is not cheap and wasn’t even high end paint.  
We emptied out the room of Peace Corp stuff, old chairs, boxes of trophies and stopped counting the navel rings I stepped in bare feet and kept going.  Peeling the poster off the back of the door I realized Abby had sprayed a can of super adhesive to the entire door,  nothing takes off spray adhesive so back to the Depot to buy a door.   By midnight the room was empty.  We lugged up the ladder, drop cloths and wine, had a glass of wine, high fived and decided to start painting in the morning.  

Saturday morning we jumped out of bed and decided to make the truck stop breakfast; eggs, bagels, bacon, coffee and juice.  Fueled we knew we could keep going until dinner.  I pulled out the joint compound and started patching holes.  Butch apparently had other plans and was seriously ticked that I wanted to patch holes, remove switch plates and ceiling fixtures.  I refused to budge on this topic so he left the room and decided to patch the floor in the bathroom.  Before leaving he tossed a rag onto the old dresser tipping over the big bottle of Goo Gone.  It oozed down the dresser and onto the carpet.  I grabbed the Windex and started cleaning up while he exited the room. I spackled in peace.  Spackling done, it was time to paint.  Wiping down the walls, ceiling and woodwork we could begin priming ceiling, walls and woodwork.  We went through a gallon and needed another.  By this time I was ready to buy a disco ball mount it on the ceiling and call it a day but luckily we had a gallon in the basement from another project.  

By 8:30 p.m. the ceiling was painted with Honesty, the woodwork was brilliant semi gloss white and I could start cutting in the walls with Woodrow Wilson Maize. 

Halfway down the wall I stepped back and thought;  Duckies and Bunnies!  Oh NO!!  I am painting a nursery!  How this room started out 27 years ago.  I called Butch over, why?  I don’t know.........   What do you think?  I think it’s a mistake.  Nuts!  I grabbed the car keys and raced back to the Depot in snow storm, hitting the door at 8:45 p.m. 
Hanging on the paint counter I did my best Marlon Brando impersonation, screaming STELLA!!!!!!!!  Only to find out the paint goddess was on break.  Honestly?  The store closes in 15 minutes and I need paint!!  I am not leaving until I have paint!  The manager paged her repeatedly.   This time I opted for Oatbran, but alas the paint goddess was cranky and when I got home the top of the paint can read........ Woodrow Wilson Putty.  I laid on the floor and cried.  Picking myself up I pried the top off the can and thought no matter what I am putting this on the wall!   I painted a wall and it looked pretty good so I kept going until 2 a.m.   I’d continue patching and putting on the second coat of paint in the morning. 

Sunday morning, no big breakfast and back to the room of doom.   Painting clothes on and on the ladder by 9 a.m.  Painting to Donna Summer’s, She Works Hard for the Money I finished up by 7:30 p.m. 
Butch got home around 7 p.m. as he had to do an emergency tree hoisting and trimming for his Mom.   We had time to wrestle the new mattress up the flight of stairs and fling it onto the stand.  We also wrestled the box springs and a twin mattress set for Abby’s room.  8:45 p.m........... do we have time to run out and buy bedding?  YES!  as it’s Christmas the the store are open 24 hours!!!   We needed curtain rods, sheets, comforter, pillows, mattress pad and so it goes.  We started at Target, ran to Kohl’s, Bed  Bath and Beyond, onto TJ Maxx and finally Marshall’s.  We got it all.  I charged up the battery on the drill  and jumped into hanging curtain rods, and a mirror.  Wrangled the sheets on the bed only to have the main support on the bed fall off.  Strip off the mattress and box spring and put the frame back together.  Grab the hot sheets out of the dryer, put the third patch of spackle on the hole in the wall and call it day by 2 a.m. ..... again!  

Monday morning, fresh paint over the hole, vacuum, dresser cloth and table cloth dug out.  Napalm the bathroom, get my morning walk in with Maggie (4.5 miles)  grab my key and head out the door to pick up Abby at Kent by 2:30 p.m and Rachael at the Akron Canton Airport by 3:38 p.m.   Home to a crock pot dinner by 6:30 p.m.  
Running through the door I yelled go look at my new guest room.  Response;   It’s nice. 
Nice?  IT’S FABULOUS!!    Rachael leaves in 9 days and for the first time in 28 years I have a guest room!!!  The dog is gonna love it! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shows are over........

for now..........   HAPPY DANCE!

Craft Boston was a whirlwind; sales were excellent, the collectors were out and there never seemed to be a lull in the crowd.  The hours are long and I have become very aware, this is a business.  Slowly, one foot in front of the other and there has been movement forward.  While I was in my booth Butch was out exploring Boston.  The weather Gods had smiled on us as the sun was out everyday except the day we unloaded (it poured).  He walked the beaches and much of downtown Boston, he ate seafood and drank copious amounts of fresh brewed coffee.  I worked the show.  Honestly, it was great to see him exploring Boston; map under his arm and good pair of shoes, he was off. 

Setting up in the cyclorama I had my head down unpacking, the wrapping was flying.  Friday morning I walked into my booth and looked up!  The grid above my head was almost identical to the weaving grid on displayed pots.  

The booth finally came together and the doors opened on Thursday night at 6 p.m. and we were off for four days of a wonderful show.  

It was so great to see artists I had run into throughout the year and catch up.  I had not seen Francesca since the ACE show in Evanston, where we were both "emerging artists".  Now she is waiting for Penny for to emerge and WOW is her life going to change, babies just do that.  Friends to eat breakfast with, share war stories and meet new artists who are out in the trenches.  It's a tribe and we wander the countryside ......... a lot!  Where are you going next?  OH GREAT!! I'LL SEE YOU THERE!   Many artists, especially women, work alone.  They unloaded, unpacked, displayed and showed up to the opening looking fantastic!  The women's restroom 30 minutes before the preview party looks like you are backstage at a Broadway Theater event.  Amazing!!    I still have so much to learn! 


It was nice to drive out of Boston headed west into the sun. 
 We drove home in the light of a full moon too.  
No snow this year, it could have been a very different trip!   
May we all find the sun on our face ........

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Craft Boston ......last day from the floor

It has been a show to remember. We opened to a great crowd on Thursday night, looked like a Paris runway show, amazing! Yes, I washed the clay off my shoes and jeans and put on my best frock. Wrapping and packing pottery in frock is nuts. Back to the hotel on Thursday night and flatlined until the next morning.

This has been my best show to date. I am still getting advice to raise my prices but I just did and am comfortable with where I am at the moment. I still retain the thought; my best work is yet to come and when I get there I will price accordingly. My other feeling on this subject; if my boxes are full I tend to get lazy and not go to the studio. Seriously, if your well is full all the time it gets stagnate and I prefer to let the well empty and fill fresh. That works with creativity too whether potting, gardening, cooking etc.

All the artists are chattering about being so happy it's the last show of the season, me too. I find the most difficult part of doing shows is talking for days on end but one must talk if one is to sell work. The solitude of the truck at 2 in the morning will be a blessing.

We are off to hook up the trailer, put in one more day, drive 11 hours home, and start the Solstice/Christmas festivities! Ready to light that fire this year :)

The last three months have been a blurr and I am looking forward to the drive home as I have things to percolate on......

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

oh and where am I going.......

Mind of a sieve.........



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I will be tweeting from the floor, stay tuned craft lovers :)

Almost there........

Packing for the last show of the year and hoping by next Monday I will be doing the happy dance of vacation.  I have not done this many shows in a row in quite some years and it is taking a toll on mental stability and physical capability!  While doling out meds to the dog this morning I thought ....... maybe I should take one.  One for you and one for me, it works for him with cookies.  

I walked around the house and studio and well, here is the ugly truth about packing for shows...........

All the pots did not get woven for the really big show........ 

The work tables in the studio are full of waiting pots.

The slab roller ...... most useful piece of equipment in my studio, I could never do this with a pugmill! 

The island of misfit pots, some will go most will stay.

The sentry of teapots.........

one more view of the work table........
pots abandoned on the floor.......

pots on my desk along with the foltsam and jetsam that just collects.... 

new woven pots...... love these as they fit in the palm of your hand.
thinking this might be the way to go for future shows, so easy to pack!

New design work.

A friendly email from the woman who designed the poster in Richmond, VA for the Craft + Design show a few weeks ago.  So many timse I wonder how things happen, happily I got to meet Cindy Martin, the woman responsible for the design. Now I know!   
She really did a wonderful job designing flyers, preview party invitations and every in print that went with the show.  She designed "the look".   Check out her website! 

Now onto the last minute crazies........ feed the birds, drop a car to Abby, pick up food for the dog, give explicit instruction to kids about caring for elderly dog, run to pick up food for kids and dog, go to church and pray for dog, pick up carrots and Starbucks VIA for the trip (can be consumed like pixie stix if needed) load Christmas carols on iPod for caroling in the truck at the top of my lunges....... and so it goes.