Saturday, June 30, 2012

More tin projects and show schedule for July

Savage Tin in the background, painted brass stamping in front, sewn together with copper wire.

Brass in the back, the girl faces are cut out of savage tin and I added fiber.. for hair ribbons
We had a fantastic day at Downtown Des Moines Farmer's Market, and I'm sad to say it's my last one til August 18th.   But next weekend I'll be At Grinnell art show , July 14th Jazz in July during the Clive Festival and I'm super excited to be in Sycamore Craft Market July 21st In Iowa City.

Then we take a well deserved break til Mid-August. 

Once I get all my chores done, I'm gonna go play in the studio... Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Steampunk-y keys.  I've hammered the keys, they are Vintaj

Part of my "Dark Rainbow" series in chainmaile

Sock Monkeys!! what more can I say?

these are large, but very light and elegant. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just a quickie.........

 I'm sorry the pics are kind of blurry on this one.. since I sold it last week ( within 3 days of making it!) I can't retake them.  I love how the back looks !!   I love playing around with brass filigree stampings.   That's part of the reason this entry is soooo short.. I just got a lovely heavy box from Trinity Brass Co and I want to play... but it's Wednesday and it's chore day so chores first.  And tomorrow I pack for the journey to Wayzata MN for the Wayzata Art Experience so not much play time tomorrow either... I will bring some of it with me for the show!
back  Wrapped with sterling plated brass from Trinity company

Monday, June 18, 2012

Random Thoughts

Despite the shoplifting, last weekend was our best farmer's Market ever for sales.  woot!

My show schedule is updated through August now... you can see it here and me in person this coming Weekend at Wayzata Art Experience

I still think "Zombie fitness" whenever I see "Zumba fitness" on the TV.  I still think it would be more eentertaining to watch.  Just think, how much exercise you would rack up being chased by Zombies!!  (OK, maybe too entertaining to actually do, but to watch?? )

I'm still getting used to the new blogger interface.  I only figured out how to add labels last week.  Before you just typed them in ( it was Sensibly at the bottom of your blog entry, how it's a menu window at the side that I managed to ignore for 3 months, wondering where the labels when and maybe you couldn't do it anymore at all. In plain sight.  I missed it.  3 months.   ugh)  I still prefer the old way.  I'll probably still prefer the old way when this new way changes again in a year or two.  And at some point I should go back and add labels to the last 3 months of blogs.  double ugh.

My asthma is getting worse.  Drat.

I do not honestly understand why people are against gay marriage.  I just don't get it.  It's not in me to understand the objections.  And I can't stand when people are like " oh gays are fine, but they can't get married" If gays are OK, then they should have all the rights everyone else has.  So if you are against gay marriage, at least some part of you cannot tolerate homosexuality.  And if you think you can be against marriage equality but gays are OK, you are lieing to yourself as well as everyone else.

Course what do I know, I"m just a walking womb. (OK, don't get me started on this one, or this random thoughts will become a very directed rant )


My studio chair needs to be replaced asap.  crap.  I hate spending money on a new chair (I'm checking out craigslist for a good used one) but a good chair that hold my body at the proper height and angle are essential to making jewelry.  I have a neck injury from a auto accident several years ago.  If my back isn't supported properly I get the worst headaches. 

I'm 43 years old and still learning to accept myself as I am, not as I wish ( or other folks wish) I was.  I hate being reality based.

I have the most beautiful daughter ever, and I can get away with saying this because she never reads my blog.  heheheheh

------------------- This random thoughts blog was brought to you by the Free Association of Free Associators. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I really hate shoplifting.  I know it's apart of doing retail , and normally I can be pretty business like about it and not take it personally.  But I only made these earrings on Thursday.  I use some of the vintage  parts my hubby helped fish out of old watches.  So I had something extra of me and mine invested in these.  It just kills me!

So if you see someone walking around with these earrings with red crystals... walk up to them, smile and ask them how much they paid for them.

And then watch them lie.

Cross my heart, next blog entry will be more upbeat.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I adore the mail-person!

She brings me such nice things!!  Since shows have started I feel free in buying at least a few small inventory items, mostly from Etsy.  I bought another mixed lot of brass super cheap, and it has some wonderful pieces in it! I've got a bunch of butterflies, little tiny charms perfect for earrings ( anyone want earrings with seed packets on it? I've got seed packet brass charms now...) even a few larger filigree pieces.  Well worth the money! The find of the lot ( at least so far... I only gave myself 15-20 minutes to look) are little Egyptian charms.  I love love love all things Egyptian and these are definitely older stock!
2 lbs of raw brass.  oh joy!

my favorite brassy-bits.. there are at least 3 in the lot, 2 go into my private stash... to someday become my next favorite pair of earrings!

 Another recent purchase old watches.  Now on Etsy you can buy all kinds of old watches, but what drew me to this lot is one of the watches she dug up!! KEWL!   The archaeologist in me couldn't resist a watch that was buried in the earth for who knows how long!  I do actually use the bits in my jewelry, the last pics shows jewelry I made last week with watch parts incorporated.  Best thing about buying things like this, Jerry really enjoys helping me pull them apart!  I love when I can get Jerry to actually enjoy something about me making jewelry!
I bought this lot of watches and parts off Etsy
Jerry is enjoying helping for once.. he's helping with taking apart watches

Working on the old watch that was buried.  I love how this looks!
A couple of the watch bits really drew my artist inner eye... I want to run upstairs and make something... however Wednesday is catch up on the house/bills/Internet stuff day.  I've got the kitchen in progress, and I'm going to start in the downstairs toilet just as soon as I'm done with this blog ( ugh) (despite my Laissez-faire attitudes towards housework in general, I cannot stand to let the toilets get icky)  

Maybe If I'm really good and get going I can make it up there by 930pm.  Hum....... Got to go!

These pieces have watch parts incorporated in the design

Monday, June 11, 2012


These are the pieces I got done this past week
 Seems like lately I've been on 2 kicks with my jewelry, chainmail and steampunk.  Those 2 just happen to be what's selling the best right now, but I have to ask the chicken and egg question.  Am I selling these more because I'm enjoying making them so much and people can tell I'm excited about these pieces, or I am making them more and getting jazzed because they are doing so well?   Either way I'm going to ride the wave and enjoy myself for as long as it lasts.  Hopefully a long long time because I really do enjoy making these.  My goal this week is to learn another chainmail pattern that is fast enough to be sell-able.  What I mean by that is I need to be able to make them fast enough to afford to sell them for what I'm selling them for.  I don't have time to get into pricing issues, ( should blog on that one of these days) but I like to price things fairly and yet still turn profit.  That dilemma is almost as old and the chicken and the egg question!
this is my crazy quilt piece.. each section is a different color combo.  there is no repeats with color/shape.  Have I mention how much I love color ?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What I bought last weekend......

I named him Peter

 I occasionally buy (or trade) at art shows from my fellow artists, but after 10 + years of doing them, it's getting rarer and rarer.  But I absolutely fell in love with this guy!! This mug is made by Fairbanks pottery and Nancy Fairbanks had her booth set up at the Countryside Art Fair last weekend.  While her pottery is dishwasher and microwave safe, I bought him to be one of my desk companions in the studio for inspiration.  ( I still have my Jack mug of course! )

the tail is soooo cute!
I love the color on this, it makes me think of the most comfy old jeans you own.  I love the expression on him, like he's thinking of doing something wrong and just waiting for me to look away long enough to pull off his mischief!

So there you have it, the item that has tempted me this year.  It feels good to yield to temptation once in a while.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

the new car....

I never ever thought I would own a white car.  At least it's black on the inside... and has all the bells and whistles and the whole tuba section!  Jerry brought in one of the shelf units because if that didn't fit there is no point to the car.  This is a Town & Country 2012, so it has the exact same body as the Grand Caravan, so of course everything will fit the same way... as in  barely enough room for us, after the tent, tubs, etc etc etc.
Look! Kat took the picture from the extreme corner so it looks ever bigger than it really is!!

Here are the bells and whistles ( hey look Cathie & Sue! GPS built in!!)
Best of all, it has the 5 year/100,000 miles bumper to bumper warranty and it's still cheaper then the old van by $75.00

Oh, leather seats.  I've never had leather seats before.  (it smells sooooo goood --- new car with leather seat smell!)

This will make the summer trip that much more special!

Monday, June 4, 2012

More about Omaha, more about shows in general

Omaha went very well, but then Countryside normally goes very well.  It's a strip mall in a upper income area in Omaha ( close to one of my favorite Omaha restaurant, Wheatfields) and it's always well attended.  We have done this show for 4 years now.  We have had all kinds of weather... hot, cold, rainy, dreary, and sometimes all of those during one weekend.  ( The hazards of living in the Midwest.. the weather is very variable )   Despite whatever the weather, people come and see the art ( and the art is very nice, a good mix of painters, photographers, mix media, pottery, and jewelry.  This year one of the neatest was a gentleman that did all kinds of treatments to copper sheet.... heat patina, paints, various mix media substances, etc to make lovely abstract art.  I wish I could have taken a picture for you, but I couldn't get close enough to ask the artist permission, and you should never ever take pictures of an artist's work without checking with them first.

I even bought a piece of art, I'll try to get pics next blog.  It's a mug, but once you see the picture you will understand why I had to have it.  It's going to grace my work table and hold pens/markers etc. 

I've had a question about how you set up for a show in the past, so I'm going to take the opportunity now to walk you through it.

I've talked before about the jury process in getting into the shows, but once you are in and on site....

Depending how how big the show is ( and I've done shows with 20 artists, and shows with 350) the first consideration is getting your car as close as possible to where you set up your tent, dump your stuff and then get the car moved as quickly as possible.  You want to be as kind to your neighbor artists and not block access for them, anymore than you want to get blocked in .

We own a grand caravan, and it barely fits everything we need for a show and ourselves.

To do shows I have 2 cases of jewelry.  These are light and easy to carry.

To sell these 2 cases of jewelry, I have to have the following :

10x10 tent

3-4 tables

2 shelf units

5 large tubs full of  table cloths, display busts, bracelet holders, spinning racks, mirrors, jewelry pedestals, etc etc etc

small tub with show supplies: clips, spikes, bags, credit cards, business cards, tape, pens, cleaning supplies,  shims, etc etc etc

mats for cushioning on hard cement

2 chairs

my tool bag

2-3 heavy bags full of jewelry components, beads, wire etc, so I can make adjustments to my jewelry on the spot for our customers.  For local shows I take 2, and for long distance shows I take extra mix of stuff just in case someone wants something custom.  I can't take everything though, so I've taken commissions at shows and then mailed the person the finished piece after the fact.

small bag of extra boxes /bags etc just in case we run low

If it's an indoor show we skip the tent and take an extra tub with lights in it.

We also have "light bars" that also serve to block wind on windy days.

So we drive to our spot, unload the car, Jerry and I set up the tent quickly, then he goes parks the car while I finish setting up the tent.

He comes back and we both set up tables and shelves and the light bars if needed.  He makes sure the tent is weighted or staked, sets up sides as needed, etc.

While he's doing this, I work on getting the tables draped and digging out all the displays.  I arrange the displays and run a quick cloth where needed for clean up.

then I get out the 2 bags and Jerry and I set out the jewelry.

then we hide or stash the empty tubs out of the way.  I get out the cash box, receipt books, cards, brochure, pens, and credit card reader ( and check to make sure it's working)

Working together, we can get the booth set up and running in under 2 hours if conditions are optimal. 

Conditions vary... ie, other cars are blocking our way, early customers, something wrong with our space ( say, a tree smack in the middle of our space..) bad weather, etc. 

does that sound like alot of work?

tent, tables, shelves, and displays are up, working on getting the jewelry set out
Yep, it's just like it sounds.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Great show, no time....

OK, I know I whine about not having time to scratch my... ahem.

It's true but I'll try to not whine as much.  Instead, I'll do it in code, so when you get an extra short blog entry with 1 picture, that's now my shorthand for whining about having not enough time to ... you know.

Here is your token pic:

Chainmaile in progress.  I even worked on it during the almost non existent slow times at the show.