Tuesday, March 29, 2011

...full of many kinds of abundance.

Our last show was The Outdoor Art Show in Fairhope, AL.
We made some money. Good!
We got to walk on the beach. Even Better! (CLICK HERE for pictures of us on the beach.)
We had a terrific neighbor. Fantastic!
We got to visit with our friend Daryl. Super!
And the weather was warm, hot even. The bestest of all!!!
If you read my previous post. You did, didn't you? If not then stop reading this one right now and start reading the one below.
Okay, now that you are back.
Our show in Fairhope was sweet, to say the least. We got to be surprised by castles down the street. (See? Now that you read the blog below you know all about what I'm talkin' about.) And we had the most fun with our neighbor and wood artist, Peg Martinez.

Having a delightful neighbor is a joy. And boy did we have a joyous weekend! We laughed. We joshed each other. We told each other stories. Not only is Peg a very talented wood artist she is also a marathon runner. She set a goal for herself to run a marathon in every state. She only has 9 states left to go. "Whew" I say while wiping my brow. Debbie, Peg's partner, had me engaged in the most intense story about their experiences after Hurricane Katrina. Peg & Debbie live in New Orleans (obviously). We would be sitting on our chairs outside our booths with our heads together, Debbie telling me about men with guns and animals having to be left behind. Then someone would come into one of our booths and we would have to go and take care of business. Then it was back to our chairs so I could find out what happened next. Peg must have said, "Are you still telling her that story?!" about half a dozen times throughout the day. Yes, Yes, Yes she was telling me that story. I ate it up like a bar of good chocolate. Ah what great neighbors!
CLICK HERE to see Peg's website.
These are some of the boxes that Peg makes:

And she won a prize to boot!

Peg is new to the show circuit. Way to go Peg!!! 
Other than the beach and our great neighbors we got to see our friend Daryl. We adore Daryl and it's always a treat to meet up with her at a show. Daryl is from New England, like me, and she now lives in Louisiana with her boyfriend Kevin. She is one of these artists that divides up shows with their partner/collaborator. So Kevin was off at another show in somewhere, USA. We all went out to dinner; Daryl, great neighbors, another friend of Daryl's and us. Look at my pictures on my facebook page. You can see the sunset over Mobile Bay and the picture that I took of the Super Moon. I sent a picture of all of us at the table to Kevin assuring him that we were having no fun without him. I lied.
Daryl was in another show that butted right up against the show that we were in. Together they make one HUGE show and you really couldn't tell where one started and the other began. I walked up several blocks in the sun (the glorious sun!) so that I could take some pictures of Daryl's work for you.
This is Daryl. Here's a tid-bit about Daryl....She's an amazing dancer! One of these days I'm going to stay at her house in LA and we're going to do nothing but dance to Zydeco music. She'll have to teach clumsy ole me. It'll be fun.
This is Daryl's lovely work.

Yeah, she's another clay person. We like clay people. CLICK HERE to see Daryl's facebook page.
It was a great weekend full of many kinds of abundance.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

... a very sweet surprise.

Many times when we are at shows we will happen upon something that is a totally sweet and unexpected surprise. This happened to us last weekend while we were at The Outdoor Art Show in Fairhope, AL.
Our booth was not in the best location. It was one of those shows that you don't know where your booth is until you check in. We checked in. We walked to our booth location. We walked back to the 'check in' and asked if we could move our booth to a more central spot.
They said, 'no'.
We said, 'allrighty then'.
And that was that.
We set up our booth and as we were setting up we hoped for the best. Having your booth off the beaten path of the flow of foot traffic can, a lot of times, be such a drag. In other words, if the show is set up along a main street and your booth is on a side street you just might have a terrible show. There goes the mortgage money down the drain.
It turns out that we were indeed not in the best location BUT we had a good show. There were enough people walking down our side street that liked Michael's work and we sold quite a bit.
If we had moved our booth to a new location on that first night we most likely would have never seen this....
This was way, way down at the end of our street. We could see it in the distance. I thought there was a park down there and it was a sign for the park. Then on the last day of the show we went to park down there so that our van would be close by for when we load out. It wasn't a park at all it was these two castles:

The first castle  was built by Craig Sheldon and the second castle is being built by his daughter and son-in-law, Pagan & Dean Mosher.
Dean is a very warm and engaging person. He's an historical painter. CLICK HERE to see Dean's website.
He and Pagan collect iron stone off the beaches of Mobile Bay and they use it to mosaic their house. Just like Dean's father-in-law did. Dean was so gracious and he let me walk around their property and take some pictures of their castle:
This is the bridge that leads up to their castle.
And these are some pictures of around the castle:

This is a gypsy caravan that was Dean's daughter's playhouse:

This is what a wall looks like before the iron stone is added:
CLICK HERE to see the website about the castles.
What a treat! Dean and Pagan were so very charming. I was walking around taking pictures and Pagan was out on the lawn spray painting fabric that was to be part of a dragon costume. Pagan owns a dance studio in Fairhope. CLICK HERE to see her website.
Thank you Dean and Pagan! It was truly a pleasure to meet you both and to have the opportunity to visit your lovely home!
So many times in life we happen upon the unexpected.
So many times what seems to be the wrong location can turn itself around and become just the right place to be to stumble upon a very sweet surprise.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A toast to the new kid on the block.

Last weekend we were in Frisco, TX. We've been 'hot to trot' to try a show in Texas since our move to Paducah, KY. We hear good things about shows in that huge state and now we can actually drive there in a day.
So, I booked a show.
Art On The Square.
I can't tell you how many shows there are that are called that.
Mostly we wanted to get our butts there so that we could network. I had called a friend of ours who had done the show last year and she told me emphatically to, "Stay away!". So I went into the show thinking that it was going to be (what I call) a 'throw-away' show. Mostly those are shows that we think that we aren't going to do well at but we usually have another agenda (other than mortgage money) for being there. Like visiting someone, or wanting to be there so we can network. This was our 'networking' show. I was determined to meet as many of the artists that live in Texas that I could and pick their brains about good shows in their fine state that aren't heavily advertised in our trade magazines. These are small shows that people usually do well at and the booth fees don't usually cost you an arm and leg. We like those shows.
It turns out that not only did I get to network myself silly but we had a decent show. What a welcome surprise. We walked away thinking that we'd like to do that show again. Go Frisco!
At the show we met Sally. Sally is so adorable!

And she makes these:

Can you guess what they are?

Duh. Yes it is a chicken. (And, oh my, I love these chickens!)
They are footstools.
Unless you are like this little girl and you're convinced that this is a ride....

These are the most playful and whimisical footstools I have ever seen. They are hand-felted wool with brass feet. If you touch their heads they will slightly bobble up and down for you. I LOVE THESE CHICKENS! They have been Victoria tested and approved.
Check out Sally's website at The City Girl Farm. Click Here to go to her blog.
Sally also won first place in the 3D Mixed Media category.
It is so refreshing to see new and young faces at our art shows.
A big warm welcome Sally!
We wish her great fun and good fortune in all her endeavors. And we are excited to see what she will come up with next.
A toast to the new kid on the block!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ya think?

Sometimes drives are more, let's say, challenging than others. In our line of work (doing art shows for living) people drive a lot and to a lot of different places. We always say to people, "Have an uneventful drive home" at the end of the show after our vans are all packed and we're saying our 'goodbyes'.
We had an eventful drive home from our wholesale show "The Buyers Market of American Craft". The show was over at 3:00 in the afternoon and we broke down the booth, loaded up the car, went into the Asian District for Vietnamese food and then got on the road. We were headed to Johnstown PA to stay the night with our dear, dear friends and fellow artists, Terry & Mark Smith of Wild Ravens. Check out their website. . On the way we drove right into a snow storm. Finally when we were down to about 10 ft. of visibility in front of the car and we knew that we had nothing but PA mountains in front of us I got onto the smart phone and looked for the closest hotel. There was one hotel ahead of us right off the next exit about two miles ahead and it had good reviews. Thank you google maps. I called and they had one room left. We took it.
Sometimes you luck out. We got to stay in this totally sweet place (The Kenmar Motel, somewhere about two hours outside of Philly heading West off the turnpike in the mountains). The hotel is owned by an elder couple who live right there. The outside is flooded with pink lighting and it looked quite charming in the snow.

Thankfully I had borrowed Xan's snow boots before we left Paducah.

This is Michael in the morning scraping of Molly (our van).

To make the whole stay worthwhile (especially to miss out on seeing Terry & Mark) the owner made us blueberry waffles for breakfast. This was eventful.
Forget the snow, the lack of visibility, the self pity of not seeing dear extended family. We got pampered by a nice woman who looked us in the eyes and asked if we would like a blueberry waffle before getting on the road. Ya think?

We always look forward to Philly.

I'm sitting in the car catching up on the posts for our new blog. This is it folks. The much romanticized and dreamed about life of a working artist family. We get to do things like hook up our computers to the cigarette lighter in our 15 passenger van and hope for some sort of free wifi in the shopping plaza in somewhere TX where we are at a show. But I get ahead of myself. Let's go back a couple of weeks to Philadelphia.
We really like Philadelphia.
We are there at least once a year for The Buyers Market of American Craft. It's a wholesale show (the only one that we do) and we in the biz call it 'The Rosen Show' because Wendy Rosen is the promoter. We look forward to this show. We've been doing it for 5 or so years now and we've got fellow friend artists that we get to see, good restaurants (the PA Convention Center is right next to the Asian District) to eat at, and really nice gallery and gift shop owners that we get to meet (and sell to *grin*).
For the past two years we have set up right next to our good buds from 'Mudpuppy Pottery'. Doing this show is particularly fun because the show is laid out by medium. That means that everyone in our aisle does clay. It's quite cool to be surrounded by your peers and we all have a good time. If there is anything I've learned in the past twelve years is that clay people are more often then not FRIENDLY FOLK and they love to talk about glazes. But I regress. This is Adam who works at Mudpuppy. He makes us laugh all day long:

And this is Peter Lippincott who is 'Mudpuppy'.

We were in the car going to a an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner. We love these guys dearly and we always have a lot of fun being their neighbors.
Here's Michael being goofy.

This is all of us at dinner together at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant.

While we were in Philly I went to a place called The Magic Gardens of Philadelphia. It is mosaic work done by Isaiah Zagar. Click here to see the photo album that is on my facebook page.
We always look forward to Philly.

ButterusFX trailer

This is our daughter, Artie, and her best friend, Brittany, doing special effects out in LA. They've just started their own youtube channel.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

...a great event.

The Empty Bowls Project of Paducah was a HUGE success! By 4:00 in the afternoon we were out of the 900 bowls that we brought for the day. We are looking forward to next year and already Michael is making plans. Michael gave the Community Kitchen a check for $12,500 dollars. You read that right. That is how much was raised. How exciting is that? Click here to go the Empty Bowls facebook page and you can see the picture of Michael handing over that glorious check to the Community Kitchen. You will need to scroll down through a couple of posts and there it will be. Oh and while you're there become a fan or 'like' it. Whatever it is your supposed to do on that page. Then you can click here to go see the pictures that I took that are on my facebook page. Thanks to everyone who helped from restaurants to glazers. And a special big thank-you to our own beloved Michael for putting together a great event.