Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowtaculer, Snowtacular!

Snowtacular! Snowtacular!
No words in the vernacular
can describe the cold event!

You'll be numb with wonderment!

Yes, we've survived the great blizzard and 7 or 8 power outages that kept interrupting our shows like V and Being Human! 

We eventually realized that Being Human was cursed, so we stopped trying to watch it and started to play Abalone (the game, not the mollusk) by candlelight.  I BEAT ROBERT! 

The minute we got the game set up and he finished explaining the rules, the power came back on.  We did our part to keep the power on by not turning on the TV or the lights.  I BEAT ROBERT! 

It was very fun sitting there playing a fun game with the candles burning.  Sweat rolling down his brow as I moved the final piece into place.  I BEAT ROBERT! 

To be fair, he was a bit distracted with the storm and the power situation at the time.  At least, that's what he kept saying after I BEAT ROBERT! 

It's just a good thing I'm not very competitive!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Weather Outside Is Frightful...

But time off, is so delightful! 

Yes, the blizzard has arrived, and with it our company gave everyone a day and half off.  THANK YOU!  It is just getting started and should intensify well into the evening.   Fortunately, I went to the grocery store and stocked up right after work, so now I just need to stay home and shovel the walk way occasionally. 

Here are a couple of latest pictures on our street.

With any luck, we'll stay with power and I might just get some time on the torch tomorrow.  I've got a new pendant idea I want to try out and see what comes out. 

I'm so glad we got the big tree in our back yard trimmed up and we don't have the huge hanging limbs that were over top of the house and our back fence like we had last year at this time.

If we don't stay with power, then we'll just have to hunker down with the dogs and keep ourselves warm.  Maybe I'll knit a bit and finish my scarf--just in time, too!

 I'll keep you posted on how it all goes, if I'm able to sometime tomorrow.

Do you have any blizzard stories?  How are  you coping?

Stay warm and safe folks!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Time for a little Co-op-eration

About a week ago, I took some of my glass pieces into my favorite yarn shop, Chix With Stix in Forest Park to see if the bead shop up the street might be interested in my work.  During the conversation, Kelly mentioned that the gallery next door was an artist co-op.  My ears picked right up.

I'd been to an artist co-op in P-Town in 2005 and would have joined that one, but didn't live in the area.  Finding one in my area was exciting and I went next door to see what they had and if they would be interested in my work.

At the American Artworks Gallery, I met Lisa (one of the owners) and Gabe (another glass artist).  The really liked my work and were excited about having my heart pendants in the shop for Valentines day.

Valentines!  I hadn't even given that a thought and I had quite a bit of hearts since I'd found another box of them in my basement.  Yikes, I have a lot of glass art sitting around!

The race was on to get retail labels designed and printed (got a new printer at Christmas, fortunately) hearts inventoried, priced, labeled and back to the shop by Wednesday.  It was a busy couple of days, but I got 20 hearts completed and packed for retail sale. YEAH!

Wednesday evening after work I officially joined the co-op and turned over my hearts. Lisa is very enthusiastic about my work and I'm thrilled to be showing in such a cool and eclectic place.

Yesterday, I stopped in to see the hearts on display.  It was wonderful.  They're shining there in the window as well as in a lovely display case.

I'm anxious to see what the response from their clients are.   If you're in Forest Park, IL sometime, be sure to stop in and say hello and check out the gallery and support some local artisans!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Sleeping Giant Stirs

Wow, it has been a long time since I've posted on here.  Sorry folks!

As you can probably tell from my previous post (back in 2009!), I was getting a bit fed up with the whole glass thing and had some definite frustration building.

A complete break was required. (I tend to be an achiever-which means I pressure myself to death!)

So what did I do with 2010?

Aside from renewing existing listings on Etsy from time to time and taking stock of my glass inventory, I explored another avenue for a bit.  Knitting. 

Knitting enabled me to continue expressing myself creatively while not being in the basement, I mean, glass studio, alone for hours at a time.  I could watch TV, chat with Robert, my partner, and interact like a normal person all the while still being creative.

So, since March of last year I have made these three sweaters:

 I'm also working on a new scarf from yarn and a pattern that I received at Christmas.  It should be completed shortly.  After that, I've got a sock class coming in the first week of February that I'm looking forward to. 

Still busy, still creative.  But this blog is about glass, right?

Yes, it is, and my desire for the torch has begun to rekindle now that I've been away from it for so long.

New design ideas for pendants and beads are starting to take shape once again and I feel like I can finally get back to glass and see where it takes me this time.

The sleeping giant is indeed waking up again, and this time I'll work more at having fun and not worry so much about the rest of it.

(That's what I keep telling myself, anyway)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Art Fair Troubles...

This has been one long Summer, and now I can relax a bit and enjoy the Fall and it's cooler weather--not that our weather has been particularly hot this year.

I spent a good part of my time getting ready for two shows that I was looking forward to doing and was working almost every weekend to make more stuff for the shows. However, fate had other plans.

About a week before my first show in August, I started to feel a slight twinge of pain in my stomach, but only when I moved in certain ways. Not really thinking much of it, I continued about my business as usual. On the Monday before my show, I went to work as normal and after work went for a bike ride through the wooded trails near our house. For two hours and rode all around the woods and enjoyed the summer evening.

After my ride, I came home and ate dinner--all the while feeling a bit uncomfortable but not really paying much attention. During that night, however, the pain increased and I had some trouble sleeping through the night.

In the morning, I got up, packed up my lunch and breakfast, got ready for work and just before leaving, told my partner that I was having some minor pain in my stomach. He suggested calling the doctor and I agreed. I promised to call the doctor and set up an appointment when I got to work.

Once at work, I started getting an upset stomach and couldn't bring my self to eat my breakfast. Then I knew I was sick. I was turning down food.

I called the doctor and left the symptoms with the nurse and she promised to call me back within the hour. Ten minutes later I was called back and told to go to the emergency room.

I figured they just couldn't fit me into their schedule, so I still wasn't thinking anything big was going on. I told my boss about the issue and headed back home so I could change into comfortable clothes and pick up my partner before going to the hospital. Still figuring I would be back at work the next day.

In the ER, they were having some trouble diagnosing my issue since it wasn't on the right side and I wasn't having nearly enough trouble for a normal appendicitis. However, the CAT scan revealed that it was indeed my appendix and it had to be removed--immediately.

"Will I be able to do the art fair this weekend?", I asked.

"I wouldn't recommend it," was their prompt reply.

So, after paying $500 for my booth at the show, I could not attend. Not only did I lose the money, but I'd spent a long time working on items that I just couldn't take to any show.

To say I was depressed would be an understatement, but I focused on getting better and was soon back on the torch to get ready for the next show.

Another month of torching, and I was ready to display a wide range of heart and leaf pendants along with some of my older items too.

The show ran three days over Labor Day weekend and it was my first time there. While first couple days started off slow, sales were steady until the last day.

I began to panic a bit, but I needn't have. As the afternoon wore on, I ended up having my best day of the show and doubling the sales for the weekend.

It turned out alright, but I'm still upset that I missed one of my shows and lost all of that money. Hopefully, next year's shows will work out better and I can avoid emergency surgery.

So, what's your art fair horror story?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Race Is On

Summer festival season is ramping up now and so is my production schedule. I'm currently rushing to complete as many items for the two shows I've been accepted into this summer (yeah!) and awaiting word on a third show where I will be able to showcase my "Naughty" pendants as well as my regular work.

In order to ensure maximum sales, I'm attempting to create 300 new pendants before August 1st (the first show date) which translates to roughly 15 pendants a week (at least).

So far, fortunately, I'm right on schedule and very excited about the prospects of getting my work out to the public and seeing what they think of it.

In my rush to continue torching, I've been neglecting my blogs, shops and other on-line venues in order to have enough time to get everything done, photographed and packaged up for the shows. Is this normal for us artists?

Working full-time, trying to find time to excercise (which I haven't been lately, and it shows!), keep up with the Internet chores and maintain a personal life all seem to be in conflict and never ending battle.

Sorry if you're feeling neglected; it's not you it's me! (how many times have you heard that one?)

Are you felling the summer pressure already? Tell me about it, won't you?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Does it seem like stupidity is taking over the planet to you?

Everywhere I turn, there's someone doing something really dumb--and usually getting away with it which makes it all the more infuriating.

While I'm generally a pretty laid back guy, some things really bug me (in case you haven't noticed from other posts).

For example, about a year ago, a post office in my area changed the flow of traffic in its parking lot by designating one entrance and one exit instead of the free-for-all that it had been.

Now there are HUGE signs that read "EXIT ONLY" on the way into the exit so that cars won't try to come in that way. It's been a year, but people still refuse to read the signs and try to come in against the flow of traffic.

Everyone is then expected to get the hell out of their way so they can steal the parking spot you were waiting for, by the way.

If you try to warn them with a polite toot (which only makes them more stubborn) or gently point out (with your middle finger) the huge signs they're not reading or just flat out refuse to be complicit in their stupidity by moving over and letting them terrorize the rest of the motorists, they look at you like YOU are doing something wrong.

Worse, my partner told me, "Move over so she can get in".

"ABSOLUTELY NOT" I then explained to him that I was not on her side, she was going the wrong way. Both cars sat their facing each other for a few minutes (nobody was behind me, thank goodness) while we waited for a lightbulb to go on. Whether she got it or not, eventually, the other motorist did have to back out and go in the correct way.

Score 1 for society and following the rules! Hopefully she learned the correct way to enter the parking lot from then on.

Then there are those who do something stupid and then want to blame everyone else for it. You've met these people, I'm sure. They're practically entitled to do anything they want and never suffer any consequences (or at least don't think that they should have any consequences).

Just yesterday, a couple friends and I went over to Woodfield Mall at lunch time for a quick stroll through the shops. I parked quickly and we were off toward the mall.

On the other side of the car that I'd parked next to was a woman complaining about the same car.

"I should let all of the air out of his tires" I heard her exclaim as we walked up. "I cannot get my door open to get into the car. They parked too close!"

Notice she said "THEY" parked too close. In actuality, SHE had parked her car right on the line, had rather large doors that needed a lot of room to open and an even larger ass that needed more room yet.

The car, presumably, came in after she'd left her car and parked normally in its parking space. However, now that her poor parking job was inconveniencing her, she felt it was within her rights to flatten their tires and rant about it to strangers walking by.

I quickly looked at the situation and determined she was a victim of her own stupidity. My friends, however, were more easily suckered into helping.

After a few minutes, they'd managed rearrange the seats in her car and wedge her (all of her) into the back seat of the car so she could hopefully maneuver the state of Ohio into the front seat and drive off.

I'm sure she was swearing about that "other driver" the entire time and never realized she was the one in the wrong.

Oh well, I guess you can't win them all.

Have you made a stand against stupidity lately? Tell me about it.