Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lots of supplies lately

I always have fun when it comes to shopping for supplies. Last week I had some new clay cutters, clay, and nice brass wires come in. Then I bought some rhinestones at a craft store that I used on my latest Cosmic Octopus.

Today I had beads, gold and silver wire, clip-on earring findings, lobster clasps, more hair sticks, and a grab bag of gemstone cabochons.

So my plans for all these goodies?

The clip-on earrings I got because I've had requests for them, I'm going to offer to switch out the hook earring wires I usually use for clip-ons for whoever wants them.

The precious metal wire is for my specimen jar necklaces. I thought mixing it up with a little gold as well as silver would be nice. The brass wire is for those larger bubble shaped bottles I got a few weeks ago. Their going to be in the tradition of my Perma-Pets and Specimen Jars but a little different.

I can't wait to show all the fun new things I'm making.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Norway Sidewalk Art Show Recap

Another week another art show. This is my last one for the near future so I can go back to focusing on making new jewelry and sculpture for a while. This show was a lot of fun here's how it went:
Scroll to the bottom or go here if you just want photos.

Friday night: I was maybe less than smart about this but the James Randi Educational Foundation was streaming the Amazing Meeting live and I had to watch it. I was up until about 2am watching George Hrab perform his Occasional Songs for the Periodic Elements live which was incredibly good. The streaming video had a chat along with it which made it all the more fun to talk with all these other skeptics. The down side of course was that I had to get up at 5:30 in the morning. That's right I did the show on 3 1/2 hours of sleep.

Saturday 5:30 AM: I am up and getting ready for the show. I already had all the boxes packed so it was just a matter of dressing, eating breakfast, and getting everything loaded in the truck.

7:30 AM: Arrive at the show, sign in and drop off my Natural History Cuttlefish Necklace for judging. Setting up the tent went fast but getting the display ready took me until 9 AM.

9:00 AM: The show starts. From here to 4 PM I didn't keep much track of time but this is more or less in chronological order. These are the highlights that stuck out to me. I wish I'd gotten some pictures of a few things but I was so busy the thought just never crossed my mind.

First sale of the day came early, maybe 20-30 minutes in by an adorable little girl of maybe 5 years old. She really wanted a necklace but Daddy said no because $30 is a little too much for something she's likely to break. I do have the tentacle charms that are a dollar and she went for that idea because she got to pay me with her own money. She was so proud of herself, and she paid me with a dollar coin which was cool first of the new presidential ones I've received (William Henry Harrison on it), Daddy pitched in the extra nickel to cover tax.

Around 10 AM or so Danyelle and James came to help me out for the rest of the day. They live in Norway so a nice short drive for them. They were a huge help, the show would be so much harder and longer without them.

Noon was when the winners of judging were announced, I didn't win anything. Too bad but my jewelry is pretty unusual so I can't say I'm surprised. The winner was a beautiful gemstone and wire-wrapped necklace and totally deserved a prize. All the other jewelry was great too and it had to be a really tough job for the judges.

Shortly after lunch (yummy sandwiches made by Danyelle) a family with their kids came by. Little girl really wanted a squid necklace. Mom said "You don't need a squid necklace", little girl relied "Yes I do!" in a totally serious voice. No sale but a good laugh.

Some entertainment was provided by a procession of pro-marijuana protesters. Now I fully support their position and think marijuana should be legal and treated the same as alcohol (but this is about the art show not drug policy). I still had to find the phrase "I smoke pot but I'm not a criminal" incredibly funny and ironic.

I learned it was a very good idea that I brought findings and tools with me just in case. A girl wanted some of my earrings but the price was more than Grandma wanted to pay so I put a couple matching tentacle charms on earrings and charged her $5 for it.

The only sale of one of my big necklaces (sold a lot of tentacle charms and $5 pieces) was to a girl in her late teens who loves squid. The whole day would have been worth it for just this sale because she was so excited about it and took quite a while to pick out the one she wanted to buy. Finally she settled on the gilded steampunk cuttlefish but took some cards so she could get another one later.

Later in the afternoon I see a couple come by with the guy equipped with a baby sling. Only there was no baby human in it but two adorable kittens. They are fostering the kitten for Responsible Pet Care in Norway a no-kill cat shelter until they are of adoptable age (old enough to be spayed or neutered). I really wish I had thought to get a pictures because it was really cute.

4:00 PM: Show finishes. With Danyelle, James, and my dad it didn't take too long to get everything down and packed in the truck. We listened to the Dr Horrible soundtrack on my laptop while working on it. Done and left by 5 PM.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Big Milestone and Saturday's Art Show

Yes, I do think I'm crazy in doing 2 art shows in 2 weeks. The second show is this Saturday, July 11. It's the Sidewalk Art Show in Norway, Maine, check out this page I put together for info and directions on how to get there.

I just reached a major milestone for my Etsy shop, I've topped 100 sales. This is pretty big for me, I only opened the shop about 9 months ago, it's amazing to see how much it's grown.

Now how to celebrate? I'm thinking with chocolate.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Bethel Art Fair Recap

So Saturday was my first art show of the year. Here's how it went.
(scroll down to the bottom if you just want to see the photos)


7:00 PM-9:30 PM: Janet threw a party for the Shy, Novice, and Closeted Art Show. I was the graduate this year so they sponsored my booth for the show on the Common.

The party was a lot of fun. There was wonderful food provided by some of the artists in the show and Janet's house looked gorgeous with all the art displayed. The party didn't go totally smooth, shortly after it started a big thunderstorm hit, so we lit candles around the house just in case the power went out.

10:00 PM: I get home and with my dad get the truck packed up to go. I don't get to bed until 12:00 AM.

5:30 AM: I get up to get ready for the show. I got maybe 4-4.5 hours of sleep. This was not a good idea. We also had to repack the truck to make sure none of the boxes got wet because it was raining a bit.

7:00 AM: Arrive at the show, check in, start setting up the booth. It was still raining but lightly.

9:00 AM: Show starts. There was a good crowd starting off pretty early and the first half of the day went great. This is when I made the most sales and got a lot of compliments on my work. I sold one of my octopus necklaces to a lady who wanted to give it to her daughter who's a veterinarian and octopus lover which was just great.

Why do so many people break the rules? The show stated very plainly that dogs were not welcome but there were so many there. I have no problem with well trained dogs (and most were wonderful and friendly) but why bring a puppy that isn't even leash trained yet? Luckily I had no mishaps with dogs knocking things over but it was close.

12:00 PM: Friends Danyelle and James come to help me out the rest of the day.

12:30 PM: 10 minute downpour. Unfortunately this is when the show started dwindling in visitors, the rain drove off a lot of them and they didn't return. Still had a good crowd but not as good as in the morning.

There were a ton of kids at the show, a lot more than I've seen at other shows I've done. Most of the kids were great and a lot of fun. There was one boy in particular who was probably about 9 or 10 who loved my squid necklaces. He came and looked at them then ran off and brought his mom back, she said no. About 5 minutes later he was back with his dad who also said no. I'm surprised I didn't see him back with a grandparent. I felt kind of bad for him but I don't blame his parents, the necklace is $30 and while my necklaces are fairly tough I don't think they could survive an active 9 year old boy for too long.

4:00 PM: Show wrapped up and with Danyelle and James' help I got everything packed up pretty quickly except the canopy. It had started to rain again just after 4 so we waited under the canopy until my dad arrived with the truck.

  • There was a great crowd with a lot of enthusiastic people.
  • The organizers and other artists there were all incredibly friendly and helpful.
  • Sales met my goal, obviously selling more would always be great but the show is about getting my name out more than making a lot of cash.
  • The weather.
  • Visitors did skew to older folks and couples with young kids which are not my best audience.
  • I didn't set up my booth in the best way I think. Too much high priced sculpture, next show I'm not bringing so much. Also I should have arrange the tables in an outward face U that people could walk around rather that face in because not enough people could fit inside the area.