Friday, September 24, 2010

What To Do On A Perfect Day?

The sky is blue, the air is crisp and what I am I going to be doing on such a beautiful day?  Cleaning my studio!  Not really what I'd choose to be doing, but it has to be done and apparently the studio fairies are off enjoying the glorious day so its up to me.

I'd take some "before" pictures so that I could then brag about all my hard work later, but all you would see are:
  • stacks of plastic tubs;
  •  messy litter boxes, although I do clean these at least once a day, my kitties just love to throw litter everywhere;
  • garbage bags filled with fabric, so I can move the cupboard that it is normally stored in; and
  • a big mess on my paint table. 
So instead of a messy studio, here are a couple more pretty pictures from Autumn in the Country:

Have a lovely day dear friends.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumn in the Country

The weather was marvelous, simply marvelous, darlings!  There were lots of really nice people stopping by and saying even nicer things about my booth.  So went the Autumn in the Country event I attended this past Sunday.  The event, held at one of my favorite shops in a nearby village, was small but quaint and really reflected the Autumn in the Country theme. 

Okay, so sales could have been better...but remember this is mid-Michigan where the economy isn't exactly thriving yet.  And the show is in its first year, so word of mouth hasn't had time to spread.  After the show, Bev,  the shop's owner and show organizer asked me what I thought and whether I would come back next year.  I answered as honestly as I could and told her that I had a really good time and MAYBE I would do it again. 

She seemed okay with that answer, after all, she's a business woman and knows that until you look at the numbers you really don't know where you stand.  So I spent all day Monday and Tuesday unloading, reorganizing and crunching numbers.   Oh alright, not ALL day Monday... I was exhausted!  What can I say, I'm getting older and I just don't spring back into action that quickly anymore.

Anyway, the bottom line is I just about broke even, especially when you factor in the handmade soap and dried botanicals I bought from other vendors, yummy smelling things.  It's true, there are things I could change, like the mix of goods I offer, that could positively impact my sales.  But there are things that I can't change that may have just as much impact on the shows potential; things like the size and location of the venue.  So, I'm not sure yet whether I would do it again.

This huge pumpkin was carved while still attached to the vine in the field,
and left to heal-over and form scar tissue that turns a pretty buff color.
There were more for sale in the booth next to mine.

The one with the pie recipe is my favorite.

She also sold dried botanicals, old canning jars filled with feathers,
and a few collectibles.  I couldn't resist the Bittersweet and Sweet Annie.

The vendor on the other side of me had mittens for sale...
cozy, soft, colorful mittens made from recycled sweaters. 
They almost made you wish it was cold enough to need them.

There was one other vendor selling antiques and collectibles.
Don't you love the sign in the photo below?
I think it was originally part of a shipping crate.

And here's some of the things I brought to sell...
We made memo boards from vintage feed sacks.  I absolutely LOVE them.
The Little Pete Northern Bean sack is one of my faves.
I don't know if you can make it out, but he's dressed like a
little cowboy complete with gun and holster.
My mom contributed the Halloween art, including some cute shakers.

You can see a few more of the memo boards in this picture...
Betty Zane Popcorn, Sunshine Biscuits and Alfalfa Seed.

I'm currently in love with silhouettes and brown transfer ware.
It just about killed me to sell this pitcher, but I did.

I'll share a few more photos soon.
Until then, dear friends...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Halloween & Autumn in the Country

Are you one of those people who thinks you can do things twice as fast as it actually takes you to "Get'r Done"?  Well, I am and it's a chronic condition with me.  Earlier this summer I made a commitment to send Halloween art to FolkWorks Gallery in Evanston, IL.  This will be my sixth year; my how time flies! 

I also made a commitment to participate in a new event called Autumn in the Country

My booth will feature antiques and collectibles, and I'll sprinkle in some folkart and crafts (mostly made by my mom since it took me so long to finish my pieces for the gallery.)  This past few weeks I've been busier than a bee in a clover patch.

Artwork has finally been shipped to the gallery for the opening of the Halloween show and so now it's time to get organized for the Autumn in the Country show on Sunday.  Thank goodness it's new and therefore relatively small.  I'll be sure to take lots of pics to share with you.  But in the meantime, here are a few pieces that will be at FolkWorks this year.

I used several types of papier mache and paper to create these
Halloween characters.  And incorporated old springs & hardware,
vintage tins and my current favorite -- antique boxes.  

 This guy is one one of my favorites.
Would you go to see his ghost show on all hallows eve

His hat is embellished with an antique bone button.

One of the performers is giving you a preview through
the ring of an old skeleton key.
The banner is made from reproducing and resizing an old poster.
I backed it with paper fabric and cut some fringe
from a piece of vintage crepe paper.

Such a jolly little guy on Halloween!
He is "tricked" out in vintage crepe paper and pipe cleaners.

I was trying to decide what colors to outfit this little guy in,
when I realized I actually had antique crepe paper and pipe cleaners
in the exact same shade of old gold.  How lucky is that?  So black and gold it is!
The letters to spell out "EEK" are from an old anagram game.  It's my last "K", oh no!

Finally, a trio of "rocking" crows.  I almost couldn't part with the little
one on the onion seed tin.

I hope you've enjoyed meeting my Halloween crew.  I'll be back on Monday with
photos of the Autumn in the Country show.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not Much to Report

Just hanging out in the studio mixing up a new batch of Halloween.
I'll post some pictures of some of my finished pieces in a day or so.
Until then, if you have great fall weather like we do...ENJOY!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hats Off to Julia!

Hey everybody, have you seen the October issue of Romantic Homes magazine?  I just picked up my copy and who should I see... none other than our sweet and very talented friend Julia of Vintage with Laces.  Her blog is featured in we love/site seeing, pg. 13, and I'm pretty sure that one of the photos is a close-up of the embellishment she made for the black velvet purse she created for Jodie over at Everything Vintage.

Congratulations Julia!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A New Season and A New Start

I've never been a sun worshipper.  Which is odd since I was born in August, making me a Leo ruled by the sun and fire.  If you follow astrology you'd think that I would be basking in the heat of the dog days of summer.  But no, I start counting the days until the first frost along about the end of June. 

Autumn is my favorite time of year.  I love just about everything about it... the cool air carrying the smell of burning leaves; smoke rising from chimnies; wet ground covered in red, yellow and orange leaves; hay rolls and grain corn left in the fields to dry; pumpkins on doorsteps and in pies in my oven; acorns falling from old oak trees and squirrels scurring to stash them away. 

Autumn ushers in a sense of nostalgia with its celebrations of Halloween and Thanksgiving; then we're quickly onto Christmas.  Its the season for long walks in frosty air, comfort food shared with family and friends, and remembering holidays gone bye as we pull on sweaters and thick socks.

So thanks, but "No Thanks."  You can keep the long, hot and humid days of summer with its scortching white-hot sun.  I'll take the crisp, cool days of autumn and a bright orange harvest moon.