Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Craft...Move...Cry...What to do?

There is just not enough of me to go around these days. I need to craft for Art in the Park, McQueen and other shows. There are several large items I would like to get done for them. There is more dollar crap to be stuffed, dollies need britches, and more. Not to mention that the trailer is a disaster and really needs to be gutted and re-organized. I need to finish cleaning up and touching up so I can start moving things to the new house. There are things that need to come out of the cupboards so my stuff can go into them....and on...and on. Today, I just sat down and cried. I think everyone needs one of them once in a while. Guess I need to clone myself so each one of me can concentrate on an assigned task...that would be good.

Anyway, on a better note. My best bud, Rochelle went to the Candy Dance over the weekend. She kicked butt and had a great show. I knew she would, her stuff is awesome. She thought she had an aweful spot but turned out to be fabulous. She came home with very little stuff for Art in the Park this weekend. There will be little rest for her this week. I'm so excited for her.

I was supposed to go but declined. Last year I drove home on my 25th anniversay so that was my major decision for not going. I just didn't have enought product to go and justify the expense. I'm finally able to admit that this has not been my year to concentrate on my business as I'd like to. Nothing about this year has been normal for me. So I am already looking forward to next will be MY year!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm in ME's Home Companion!

I love Mary Englebreit and her magazine. Besides an actual crafting magazine, it's my favorite. I actually took out an ad in the current issue. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time but there is a story behind it so let me tell you.

This year I was again accepted and invited to attend and show my work at the Candy Dance in Genoa NV. It's a huge show and I have traveled the 8 hours to attend it for the last 2 years. It's a cute little town at the base of the mountain filled with gorgeous Victorian homes, quaint little shops, and more. Shoppers come from all over to come shop including the Lake Tahoe area, Reno, Carson City, and more. Cars are literally lined up for miles to come into Genoa. Last year, I went to sell my wares and I did really well. It was awesome. The horrible thing was that I drove home on my 25th wedding anniversary. I cried over it about half the way home. Now Timm isn't normally a real sensative or romantic guy but this was a straw that about broke the camel's back...and I must say I can't blame him. So even though the whole event ends before my anniversary, I decided not to particpate this year. It was a difficult decision to make but I am trying to be a better wife and person when it comes to these kind of things.

So...anyway, instead of spending the money for the booth space at the Candy Dance, I spent it on an ad in Mary Englebreit's Home Companion magazine. Here is my ad, I put it together myself and I like how it turned out. Hopefully it will pay off. Look for it in the Artist's Gallery on page 127. Please consider my website when doing your holiday shopping this year, I'd like to continue to advertise in a few national formats this next year. ;)

Well, we did it. At the guild meeting last night Rochelle and I made the announcement that we would not be running for President and Vice President next year. It was a difficult decision to make and we both talked about not doing it this year...but did anyway. The guild has more members and lots of talent to pull from now so hopefully there will be others who are willing to share in the work. This year has been hard on both of us with several board members not fulfilling their duties and us picking up the pieces.
I think the final piece of straw was the craft show last weekend. Everyone was basically out of there by 5pm and I hadn't even had a chance to begin tearing down my booth yet. So there we were, Rochelle and Crystal...again. I swear, we can be the first one's in and we will be the last one's out. Thanks you to Dianne and her family for helping with my booth tear down. My son, Chris has been a huge help for me this year by coming in to help set up and tear down. I owe you guys!
By now means do I want the guild to flounder (is that the right word?) but we both need a break. Besides, a group should have new people at the helm every couple of years, giving new ideas and leadership. I have to concentrate on my business and that needs to be my priority. I have several irons in the fire and want to pursue some new opportunities (No, I'm not letting the cat out of the bag yet)

Lights and Fan

Here are the lights in the living room. I love them! Timm really wanted this fan bad. He had it up when I got home Sunday night. It has bears and moose around the top. It doesn't sit as close to the ceiling as I had hoped but the table will be under it anyway.

Renovation Update-Flooring

WOOHOO! The floors are finally in. What a nightmare getting to this point though. The flooring installers are real primadonnas! They didn't arrive until 10:30 on Friday, and were leaving by 11:30....yeah! They said the floors were not level enough to lay the flooring. Now is it just me or isn't that their job. They knew how old the house is, shouldn't they have made that decision and informed us when they came out to measure it?! Oh, and the only one that spoke English said he didn't have the tools to take care of it. So frustrating! Timm was home by 1:00 with a power planer on his hands and knees for hours trying shave off high spots. Finally had to fill in large spaces with a concrete leveler to make it level enough for the guys to come back on Saturday. Timm worked his butt off until 10:00 pm or so. Scott came over to help out after I called him crying. Timm is just at a breaking point right now. He works 8-10 hours at his job then comes home to spend another 4-6 hours on the house. I can't do much of what needs to be done so he is doing most of the work himself.
Chris helped all of Sunday installing the casing and base. When I got home from my craft show on Sunday night (big thanks to Chris for coming to help me tear down) the house looked awesome! They put up the new fan and the casing and base we had gotten painted.
Flooring guys came back on Monday to finish the floors, it took almost all day. Thank you God for it getting done. It really is starting to come together.
Monday after work, we got the space over the fireplace put together. Eventually we will put 'chinking' between the boards so it gives more of a log home impression. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I painted the rest of the casework and base boards so it looks like Chris and Timm will be installing them tonight and tomorrow night. It's my job to go back in and fill the holes and touch up the paint behind them. I started that part today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Craft Show Dissapointment

This is how I feel after the craft show this weekend...sad. I really hate to buy into the whole economy thing, but sales were way down. The customers that were there spent decent money. There were lots of events happening in town last weekend, I think the one that effected the show the most was Baloon-a-palooza. A couple of my friends were selling there and apparently they were kicking butt....30,000 people there on Saturday.
Another reason I'm feeling down about the craft show is the lack of help from all the other guild member vendors. It is supposed to be a group effort but apparently 95% of them don't think so. Rochelle and I worked really hard on the event, Mary Beth and Kathy busted there butts on promotion, Diane and Autumn helped at the register each day, Diane's son helped Rochelle's brother pull signs on Sunday, Rochelle's parents were there helping, my mom spent the day on Saturday helping. All those mentioned.....BIG THANK YOU'S, HUGS AND KISSES TO YOU!Everyone else....not so much, just there for themselves. I spent almost 5 hours processing credit cards (on my merchant account) and Rochelle and I spent 6 hours finalizing tags, sales, and writing checks for everyone after the show. Needless to say, I'm dissapointed with the majority of the guild membership. I know there were some talking trash about us and the show, its easy to gripe and complain but takes effort to make things happen...which they were not willing to do. Why do I feel like a mother who's child has just really disappointed her with their actions?

Well, enough of the pity party. It's on to bigger and better things. Art in the Park is in a week and a half and it will be awesome! Be sure to go out there early and shop 'til you drop!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dollar Crap Queen

Yup, that is what I have deemed myself after working on this 'crap' for 2 days now. Well, it's not really 'crap''s stucking stuffers, secret santa, thinking of you, gag type stuff I've been doing for years. There was a time...many years ago...I thought to myself I would never drop to this level. Then I realized I needed to have some thank you gifts for Cub Scouts...yes it was that long ago. Other leaders from other packs and troops wanted these small gift items so....the story begins. I figured if scout leaders wanted them others might also, and I was right. I'm sure I have sold thousands of these assorted things over the years for all seasons and reasons. In fact, they have pulled up my sales to reach goals and more. Now stop right there...I know what you're thinking. These little things are quick and easy but let me tell you I have countless hours into researching, coming up with just the right sayings, designing them, stuffing them with hundreds of dollars in candy treats, going through tons of paper and ink, etc. They are heavy to pack to shows, can't be left in the trailer, ripped apart or tossed out after the holidays (you don't want stale candy), etc. I'm sure many folks who have purchased them try to copy them, but some of the sources are difficult to find and if you just want to make a couple it's definitely not worth it. Some folks have even stolen them, others will take only the topper, others will even tell me they are going to copy them...unbelievable! Sooooo, please give the proper respect due, buy the first one at least, change the design and wording, etc. (Okay, I need to get off my soap box now) Anyway, I do enjoy making them, and really enjoy the giggle and grins that shoppers get when they read them. There are quite a few new ones this year so when you are in my booth be sure to look in every nook and cranny...I'll be watching for the grins. ;)

Shelby's looking great!

It was the day we were all looking forward to. Shelby went back to the vet, got her stitches out and is looking great. The vet was really pleased with the way she is healing. And what we are all excited about is the removal of the cone around her head. I have no doubt she is excited and pleased to be out of that dang thing. That dog didn't even try to figure out how to get around something, she just plowed right on through everything...and into everything. I have lots of paint touch up to do around door frames I noticed. But most important of all she has her whole ear and is doing well. It could have been so much worse.

The Las Vegas Crafters Guild will be holding their 2nd annual Harvest Boutique at the YMCA located at 4141 Meadows Lane (accross from the Meadows Mall) on Saturday, Sept. 20 10am to 6pm and Sunday, Sept 21 noon to 4pm. Be sure to come by and see us and start your holiday shopping. Some of the best crafters in the valley will be there. Oh, and me too...hehehe :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Painted Kitchen

We spent all day Saturday painting the kitchen...Whew! I am glad that's done. We even got light ups up over the island, the power source over the sink for that bank of lights. Timm is working on the rest of the kitchen lights tonight and tomorrow night. I was hoping to connect them rails together, but I don't think that is going to work. Right now there are not cupboards over this sink counter. We kept the doors from the old cupboards and will bitll new ones for that side...but not right now. I like the warm mustard color, it brings out the colors from some of the stones in the counters. Got a killer deal on the lights, they were on clearance at Lowes from $98 down to $19. Even if I can't connect them I fugure I can add a light or 2 to each rail and use on in the bredroom or something.
This is the transition from the living room to the dining room. The yellows do compliment each other. I do plan to do some sort of treatment on the living room yellow. It's still a little bright!
We got the lights in the living room, all 4 of them. That's a lot of light in there but the walls are fairly dark. There will be cream crown moulding, chair rail, and base also. It doesn't show up really well in the photo but these lights look like a twig and the lights have leaves coming down onto them. Now we need to clean up the floors so the flooring can be installed on Friday (hopefully). :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Still Painting...

Yup, there is still painting going on in the house. Advance Pro is here for a second round of painting, they painted the dining/kitchen ceiling, Timm's room, sanded the inside of the frint door, painted it and the closet door. We've also been painting, and we will be painting again tomorrow. We will all be glad when it's done. The whole inside of the house except the bathroom will have been painted at that point.

I wish I could tell you I'm painting my crafts but I can't. I did however cut some wood today, the first time in months and months. Got inspired and went to my parent's house, braved the heat in the shop (110 degrees), it was a beautiful, cooler day here in Las Vegas by the way, and cut some Halloween pieces I drew up last night. I think they will be cute...ah, spooky, well definitely quirky. Too hot to sand over there though, I'll do that in the morning. Hope to get them done this weekend also.

Was going to go quad riding Saturday afternoon and evening with the ATV club but there is just too much to get done around here right now. So sorry Nelson for not making it. We owe you.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ketchikan, Alaska

Oh my gosh, I didn't finish telling you about our Alaskan cruise. Things have just been so hectic with the house renovation and getting ready for craft shows. Anyway, our last stop on the cruise was Ketchikan. This is a really neat place and wish I had more time to explore there. Next time I will not plan so many shore excursions (as great as they are) so we can do more exploring around town and taking in the architecture, shops, etc. Notice the photo of Timm pointing up...he is pointing to the Ace Hardware sign. He and his nephew, Guy have quite an infatuation with them. He quote to Guy was, "They're everywhere!" The Duck boat is an amphibius vehicle that tours through town on and off the water. I think that would have been neat to do also. We didn't get to explore Creek Street either, that's the old red light district. The houses are built on stilts and the houses sit half way over the creek (to serve both sides, the streets and those on boats). We did most of our shopping here for souveniers, mostly for the kids.

Our tour at this stop was the Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feast. We took a bus out of town (along with a short narrative tour) to the George Inlet Lodge. From there we boarded a small pontoon boat and headed up the inlet to a small cove where they set crab pots daily for dungeoness crab. Timm got to pull up the pots. We had several crabs and a sunflower starfish in the pot. They prey on crabs so once one in the pots no more crabs will go in the pots. We passed the old Libby Cannery to and from the cove. It's the buildings on all the pylons (is that the right word?). It apparently shut down just before Alaska became a state. Back at the lodge we dined on dungeoness crab. Let me just say it is delicious! I think Timm ate 3 whole crabs, I had one. Dessert was homemade cheesecake with fresh picked blueberries...YUMMY!

Ketchikan gets 14 feet, yes, I said 14 feet of rain each year. Although we had a lovely day full of sunshine (as with almost all of our trip). What a difference from Las Vegas with a whopping 4 1/2 inches (and we haven't even come close to that this year). That would explain why moss grows on the rooftops of homes and businesses there, especially on the flat roofs we could see from the ship and home with asphalt shingles. One house had a lawn that seriously needed mowing, must have been a foot tall.
Ketchikan sits on one of the largest islands in North America yet there are only 36 miles of road. They have police and state troopers for those 36 miles, I think that is hilarious. Where are you going to go if you were to steal a car, really. The forest is sooooo dense you aren't getting off the roads.

Oh, and Timm 'mooned' some obnoxious local teenagers as we left town. I couldn't believe he did that...then again...
We were heading south back towards Vancouver after Ketchikan. A whole day at sea, saw some whales and dolphins, relaxed, and didn't want to come back to reality. I really wanted to take 'June', our cabin steward home with us. What a wonderful young man. He took his duties to heart, was very personable and kind...and made the cutest little towel critters.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Day Away to Treasure Hunt

Tuesday I ventured up to Utah to do some treasure hunting at my favorite antique and craft mall in Cedar City. I love it up there, I often wish I lived up there. They have seasons!
Here are some of the treasures I purchased. Everything I buy I turn into or use to make something else to resell. The coal shovels will have snowmen painted on them, the rusty metal hooks of several kinds will be used on my crafts for coat racks, etc. The spools I think I will use as make-do's with snowmen on them. I don't normally buy bottles, glassware and the sorts but these vintage mini bottles just called out to me at 50 cents a piece. The old roasting pan will have something cool painted on it as well. Had time to stop by Deseret Industries in both Cedar and St. Goerge. Got a few things but not too much this time. Sometimes you find a tone of stuff other times not. I did find an old picnic basket that had fabric on the side I think will look kinda cool in Timm's new office. Didn't get to stop by a couple of places but I will save them for next time.

I got the wood for these cute spiders at Roberts. They weren't on sale so I only bought 3, I'm sure they'll be on sale next week or something. You know I hate to pay full price for anything. Got them painted last night and I love how they turned out. You can purchase one on my website at if you love them too. He is 3D eyes and it doesn't show up very well but his feet and belly are hilighted in purple. Makes me wish I had bought all of them.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My booth at Harvest Festival

Figured pictures are better than words for this one...after all I want to see pictures on a blog. Her is my booth at the Harvest Festival. I think it turned out pretty well, don't you.

I was supposed to have a floor on some sort, carpet, vinyl, etc. but I've forgotten 2 days in a row not so no flooring this year. That was pointed out to my by the show staff. I thought I was going to have a fight on my hands. One of the gals in charge at the show saw my putting out some of my 'dollar crap' know, thinks like snowman soup, ghost poop, etc. and told me I wasn't approved for food. I told her I didn't consider it food, these items are gifts, stocking stuffers, secret santas, etc. I know I put these items on my contract. She never did give me a definite answer YES or NO but I put them out on Firday morning anyway. They simply add up to quickly not to put them out. No one has questioned them since then so I guess I'm okay.
What a great crowd we've had today. Friday morning was good but the crowd today was great. Most everyone carrying purchases around so that's a good sign. I earned just a little more than yesterday and if Sunday is the same I will be pleased. My mom has spent both days with me so it's been nice to spend time with her. My mom and dad were traveling most of the summer so I didn't get to see or talk with them much. I think both will be down there tomorrow after church.
I have seen so many of my old students, friends, and dedicated shoppers. It's been nice to catch up with them a little. The big questions...'When are you going to start teaching painting classes again?' and 'You should really open a shop/studio' Okay, I know the second isn't a question. May in a year or two...or earlier on part of it. Anyway, wish me luck for tomorrow.

Doggy Drama on Set Up Day

Well I went to set up my booth for the Harvest Festival on Thursday. You know, if I have 4 hours to set up it will take me 4 hours, on Thursday I had 12 hours soooo, yeah...almost 12 hours to set up. Now stop right my defence I had some distractions and drama that occupied some time. My little girl, Cassy (my yellow lab) wasn't feeling well. She was eating grass, yakking it back up (YUCK) and kept wanting out during the night. So hey, I figured I would drop my trailer off back at home instead of parking it in the back parking lot and check on her at the same time. I get home and no one comes to the gate to greet me...wierd. I pull thru the gate, close it and pull into the yard and there is my little girl holding down Freckles. Now she will do that when the Freckles and Shelby are playing tug of war, Cassy will get in the middle of things and hold Freckles down...why I don't know. But no one is playing around. Anyway, when I get into the house I notice there are drops of blood on the floor....what the heck?! Cassy is okay, but Shelby (my son's dog) is bleeding. Her ear is ripped wide open and slashed. Apparently she and Rosco (he's our bloodhound) got into it right before I got home. So I end up running her to the vet, he's not sure he can save her whole ear...OMG...and will need to have surgery. Anyway, here she is $800+ dollars later, her ear is stitched up. Vet is pretty sure she can keep her whole ear, didn't look like the blood flow was comprimised too much but won't know for sure for a week or so.
Poor thing, she came home half sedated and drooly 'cuz my son didn't want to leave her there. She has a compression bandage around her head and ear, and needs to wear her cone for 2 weeks. My son cut the edge of her cone, he didn't think she could get to her food and water bowls.
So, back to the show. After leaving the dog at the vet, I went to pick up some fixtures for my booth, spend too much on them and make it back to the show to finish setting up. Now, my cell phone won't ring for days it seems but that day I must of had a dozen or more calls between my son and hubby. Mostly about the dog, when I will be home and how long it is taking me to set up. GEEEZ! Now I've done craft shows for 25 years now but this one I was feeling very intimidated about....don't know why but I was. I felt like a small fish in a big sea, I'm not normally like that. I'm sure I'll feel better about once it's started.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oh My Gosh! Tomorrow morning is the set up for my 1st show of the season...and one of the biggest...the most expensive anyway. This show always has a great following and last year it was shoulder-to-shoulder on Saturday. I pray it is that way again this year. Please come and shop with me, I seriously need to turn some money this season. Today I ran a few errands, like getting change for the show, picking up a few last minute things I needed, etc. This show requires a costume, I know what I'm wearing but I do need to accessorize still. I just know this will be an awesome show! Come and enjoy the shopping and fun atmosphere.

Show hours are Friday and Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 10-5. Here is a sneek preview on what I'll be selling. Hurry, the buckets went quickly last year!


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