Saturday, September 1, 2012

settling in...

After an extremely busy summer (where DID the time go?) I am settling in. The college boys have gone back, their rooms neat, tidy and fumigated (and quiet). I am settling in to the usual quiet of just my husband and me; easy laundry stacks and easy dinners. I am also settling in to my retail homes. Getting the hang of what they want at NOFO; and I've been in there restocking some items. I love this store; they have a real cute selection of handmade local goods and foods, as well as the unusal, fun and cool! There is some settling in at the Carolina Artists Colony in Sanford. If you haven't been, you need to go. Nine rooms loaded with handcrafted goodness. You need a few trips through to see everything, and then a few more. My booth at the Colony has moved to a new room, and has been restyled a bit. That along with a few new items :) I always love the beginning of a new school year, more like a new year to me than January One. Time to settle in to a hopefully cooler climate, and having some artful adventures coming up with the CMMAG. Having a routine is very settling to me; something the summer has always lacked. Love this time of year!

Monday, June 25, 2012

retail opportunites

After Spring Daze, I contemplated some retail opportunities that came my way. I have been in galleries in the past, and was looking for a new outlet. My bookmarks made out of hardcover book spines are now found in All Booked Up, a fantastic used book store on Salem Street in downtown Apex. Stop in for a cool and bookish experience. They have a fantastic selection. Heading in to Raleigh, I have a small selection of goods available at NOFO at the Pig. This is located at Five Points on Fairview Ave. The downstairs cafe door is right next to Lilly's pizza (pretty good gluten free crust there!)This is a pretty eclectic collection of handmade, and unusual manufactured goods; much of it made in NC! I haven't eaten in the cafe, but my allergies.... The third but not least "outlet" for Studio 119 is the Carolina Artists Colony, in Sanford NC; just a short drive down US 1. This is an amazing collection of handcrafted art! Rooms and rooms full! Now that my June has simmered down to a dull roar, I need to get down there and fully check out the offering there :) Looking forward to replenishing my inventory and pondering the fall coming up; and looking for a few new shows. Back to work!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On the move

I'm working my way toward the end of the spring shows I've signed up for. The first was a favorite; the Designer's Downtown Market in Raleigh. It has a really different vibe than most craft shows; no rush to get there and hurry through the booths to move on to the next Saturday activity. Shoppers wander, stop and visit, go through the booths again...a slower and steady pace. It was so nice to get out to an outdoor show after the quiet winter months of hibernation! Last weekend was the Cary Spring Daze, which I've been doing for several years. Love this venue. The shade trees. The extra room behind my booth. The organizers do a great job, and I really feel valued as a vendor. The hospitality tent, the offer of boothsitters, etc. Always a huge show for me, and it made me happy when I had so many repeat customers in my booth. This coming weekend is Apex PeakFest. I have been doing this show since there was a show in the Fall as well. I love the downtown in Apex; there are so many great places to shop, eat and browse. I will most likely see a lot of familiar faces. When I sign up for shows, I love the fact I can have a different experience at each one. Certainly not run of the mill 9-5 :) Now for a few months of air conditioned creating in the house. I'll be looking to find the right retail fit for some of my creations in the very near future!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Creating for the Sheer Joy of it!

As an crafter/artist, I sometimes find myself in a production mode for shows and festivals. And I do enjoy what I produce. There would be little to choose from on my vendor table if I didn't have a healthy inventory.

But lately I've been working on some projects that aren't meant for selling! How enjoyable and freeing it is to just see where a project takes me. Using new media, or old favorites in a new, untried way is so satisfying. Maybe a painted background will eventually find it's way into something I plan to offer for sale; but no pressure during the creating part!

It sometimes ends up with me coming up with a new product offering, which is great; because I really need to keep things fresh. No one wants to come into my booth and see the same things I've been making since 2004! Other times I create some new piece that will never be repeated haha!

When I sit down at my studio table with no goal in mind, it feels as good as when I was in grade school and sitting down in Art class wearing one of my Dad's old shirts for a paint smock. No idea what I was going to make, but I knew it was gonna be a lot of fun :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reflections on A Year; the ups and downs

I am sitting snug in front of the beautifully lit tree, and enjoying my family; the kids home from college. After a busy holiday show season, I'm ready to hibernate (craftwise) for the next two weeks.
2011 was an eventful year for me and my family. One family member suffered a devastating illness, and is still recovering. Another is continuing cancer treatment. My parents sold their house and moved into an apartment. It's been busy and stressful and sad and scary and I'm thankful to shut down this year. I am looking toward better days.
On a positive note, I have enjoyed and am thankful for the time we have together. Since my nest is pretty empty, it was a good yea to have some work done around the house. We had some much needed bath tile repaired, and I painted and updated 2 bathrooms and a laundry room. Our house sure needs a perk me up every decade!
I have had a great year creatively, and highlight the Inspired. Art Event with my best girls, and learned some pretty great techniques and projects. Going on an Art Retreat is such a joy and makes me happy and excited to create!
The Art/craft shows I particpated in this year were pretty successful; I think the economy is picking up a little, and I keep making adjustments to display and application photos.
By joining the CMMAG a few years ago, I have been blessed to meet some great, fun, smart, creative and sharing women; and gain motivation at every 'meeting of the minds'
So as I prepare for my Winter Solstice vacation, I can reflect on the past year, and honestly say the good was pretty great, and as bad as the bad was, it was less bad because of the family and very supportive friends I am so very lucky to have. You know who you are ;) After Christmas Day and all the flurry of busy-ness is over, I will sit down and write up a list for myself to outline some goals for 2012 I've been thinking about. I don't want to call it a New Years resolution list, because I never keep those, so I'll just go with 2012 business goals!
I wish everyone a most Happy Christmas and wonderful, creative, Happy New Year!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spring is in the (F)Air

So now we sit and wait; and hopefully it will be in the craft room!
Most applications are in; need to get 2 more by the weekend.

This is always such a hard time for me; after the applications go out in the mail, I sit back, wait, and obsess. "Will I get in", "why didn't I get in?", "Oh, goody, I'm in!" It's like this every year; and I should be over any lingering insecurity; but when the envelope comes in the mail, it's like waiting for a college acceptance. Is it the thin letter of rejection, or the fat packet of success!?!

But meanwhile, I have plenty to do to boost my inventory. I am loving creating my journals; and a recent trip to the Reader's Corner has supplied me with 2 grocery bags full of supply and inspiration. If no one knows this place, it's on the corner of Hillsborough and Rosemary. The books outside are 10 or 25 cents! Perfect for the mixed media artist. I love these guys, and shopping at an independant makes me happy:) This latest trip was on Sunday; after going to the NC Fairgrounds to the Wake Library sale. After navigating the crowded lots, I got to the building and found a long line of would-be readers stretched around the building! I think I ended up with the better deal; no lines no waiting!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Inspiration Rejuvenation

As I sit typing this, I have ideas whirling around in my head!
I have a clean slate craft table in the studio. Haven't started a thing since the holidays.But a short step back from things provided me with a creative spark I desperately needed.
A 'whirlwind' trip overnight with likeminded art f(r)iends to Sanford NC was just the shot in the arm I needed to get started in 2011! Not one, but TWO very fun classes, a shopping trip to the Fiberfest, and a silly night of laughing was refreshing to my soul! Thanks, Girls :)
So now I am back home with the most beautiful pile of sari ribbon sitting on my table; impatiently waiting to be snipped up be my scissors! I have plans to incorporate these gorgeous threads into my Journals.
Jane Powell has also got me thinking about collage in a new way; I have some new ideas to experiment with. I'm looking forward to beating the winter doldrums by getting down to business with my new supplies and rejuvenated Art*Spark.
Bring it on, 2011. Now I'm ready!