Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving day has always been a most traditional holiday for me. The trip to Grandma's house, turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie, then falling asleep watching football after stuffing ourselves more than the turkey were all an expected part of the day. My Thanksgivings have changed quite a bit since my childhood and a lot of those early traditions have gone by the wayside due to life happenings - death, divorce, children growing up and getting married, jobs that require 24/7 commitments, etc. But in spite of all the change, one thing remains constant for me and that is that Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the things in my life I am thankful for. I am employed and make enough to live on comfortably, not rich by any means, but I don't have to live paycheck to paycheck anymore. I own my own home and I can decorate it the way I like. I have extended family who care about me. We're not terribly close but stay in touch and gather for holidays. I have a committed relationship with a wonderful man who values me as a person. We are each other's best friend. I have reasonably good health for my middle years and thanks to modern medicine my blood pressure stays under control and my arthritis pain is manageable. I have three beautiful, intelligent children who have given me three more wonderful children through their choice in mates. Two of them have also given me three cherished grandchildren that I absolutely adore. And last, but certainly not least, I live in the USA. Even with all the troubles and problems in this country, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. So, I hope others are counting their blessings today also and realize that, like me, they have many, many things to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

That was fast!

Finally got my entry completed for the December Etsy Beadweavers challenge, "Snow Queen". Since it's announcement, I've known I wanted to do beaded snowflakes in some fashion so I looked up old patterns for inspiration and came up with seven different flakes. I was watching TV Wednesday evening and finished the last snowflake. So, seven snowflakes made, now what? Necklace or bracelet? I thought of doing them in a charm bracelet style, but they tend to be a bit floppy and lay best when laying against something, not dangling. The necklace won. So then, I thought, elaborate rope, RAW, what? Well, the KISS technique won (keep it simple, stupid) and I decided to go with a single strand of beads to dangle the snowflakes from to keep the focus on the flakes. By the time my show was over, I had it finished and was quite pleased with the results. Thursday evening I set up my light box and started to photograph it, but ran out of battery and it was late enough I had to wait until Friday evening to finish it. Was going to get it listed but my children and grandchildren all were coming for an early Thanksgiving on Saturday and I had more important things to do.

Saturday morning after finishing my pre-family arrival tasks, I decided I had time to get my entry listed. After I listed it on Etsy, put it up on Flickr, etc., I was just messing around on the internet reading forum posts and stuff and went back to the Etsy front page. OMG, I had a convo! I thought, I bet it's one of the EBW members telling me they like my Snowfall necklace. No! It was a buyer wanting to know if it was okay to go ahead and purchase Snowfall even tho it was a challenge entry. After a couple more convo's clarifying things, she made the purchase and the necklace is packaged and waiting to go to the post office tomorrow for a trip to New York state.

Isn't it amazing that things can sit in your shop for weeks and months on Etsy with no sales and then magically, you happen to list just the right piece at just the right moment for just the right buyer and Bingo!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another Episode in My Craft Show Sagas

I started writing this post this morning while sitting in front of my SO's new wood burning stove. It was a cold morning and so nice to sit and watch the flames and let my thoughts drift while I sipped my Sunday morning coffee. Guess that was the problem, my thoughts were drifting and I never got around to actually writing. So now, we're back at my house and I'm on the pc in my basement with fewer distractions.

It's the day after a craft show and I'm tired and not wanting to do much in the way of physical activity. Setting up and breaking down a craft show take a lot out of me anymore. Gridwall gets heavier with age. My age, not the gridwall's. The show we did was a large one and one that has been around for 28 years. We haven't done it since their 25th and with the economy, etc. wasn't sure how it would go. The show is spread out in three buildings; a junior high school, elementary school and church basement. We were in a classroom in the elementary school at the end of a hallway, so I was also concerned about traffic. Would people come all the way to the end of the hall? The classroom set up was great though. Because it was just Steve and me assigned to the room, we could set it up as we saw fit. No 10 x 10 box to fit into. So I tried to arrange the space kind of like a gift shop and it worked very well. People were able to look in all three areas, florals, jewelry and photography without bumping into each other. Even when people stopped to visit in the middle, there was still ample room to move around them. Think we will look into this kind of arrangement again for next year. As it turned out, the show went well. We had good traffic and I exceeded my projected sales for the day. Steve sold quite a bit too and got some custom orders so I quess we'd have to rate the day a success.

It was not a day without mishaps however, but I guess that's what keeps things "interesting". With all that room you wouldn't think there would be a problem with people knocking things over, right? Wrong. Not once, but twice I had to rescue items from the floor. The first time was purely accident. A lady brushed against a shelving unit with a heavy bag and knocked over my bracelet display. She was so embarrassed, but ironically was heading to the checkout table to purchase a bracelet when the accident occurred. The second time was a bratty toddler who ran into the room and immediately made a beeline to hide behind my gridwall with my jewelry hung on it. When her mother told her to come out she started to pull a tantrum and I was afraid she was going to push the gridwall over. I rushed to hold on to the gridwall while her mother tried to pry her little fingers off it and in getting her out from behind the grid, she managed to knock down another shelving unit with earrings. I love children, but at craft shows they should not be allowed to run rampant. The mother did not even bother to apologize for the mess!

Then there were those people who you would like to give a piece of your mind but can't because, after all, the customer is always right. One woman "complimented" my work by saying that my prices were almost as good as Walmart's. And of course so many people can tell you how you could have designed something better or want you to tell them how you designed something so they can go home and do it themselves. Or they'd buy that particular item from you if only you had made it up with this color or such and such stone. But the one that really got me yesterday was a lady who was viewing my fall antler wreaths. These wreaths are very much one of a kind with deer shed antlers, pheasant or turkey feathers, silk leaves and flowers, berries, pinecones, etc. This woman informed her friend that she could make one just as well. All she had to do was go to Hobby Lobby, buy a grapevine wreath and slap some leaves on it. LOL There's always an expert in the crowd.

Another Episode in My Craft Show Saga