Monday, October 29, 2007

The Last South End Open Market of the Season

The show was on Sunday, the previous Saturday was cold and rainy and I had a migraine! I thought "Good, tomorrow should go well, the timing is perfect." And it was. Sunday was sunny, but cold and OH NO! Windy!! A craft show vendor's worst fear. Wind is maddening. But my migraine was gone and it was dry out, so that was good.

We got there in nice time, no traffic on the highways at 7:30 on a Sunday morning. I had borrowed Liz's tent. D and I set it up, lashed it down and got everything out of the car. Soon after, the talented BethBrown showed up with her super nice husband and they put up a lovely display of handknit scarves, hats, wrist warmers and superwash wool socks as well as some handspun and hand-dyed yarns.

She also set up her restored antique sock-knitting machine which was really cool! She obviously has many hours of experience working the thing because as her husband said, it's not like you feed yarn in one end and out comes a sock, it's definitely more of an art than that.

Lots of vendors were dressed in costumes, Zombie was a running theme. Even the terminally adorable MuchachaK went the zombie route with her handmade Zombie Chicken outfit. Here she is hanging out with a dog dressed as a jack-o-lantern.

Here's one of our nice neighbors dressing as a Zom-Bee with his dog already in a bee suit.

I also saw dogs in various other disguises: a ladybug, a frog, a ballerina, a spider, an astronaut and a Red Sox fan (Go Sox! World Series Champions!)

My folks came to see me! I was thrilled to have them visit me at a show, mom used to do the Flea with me back in the day and she hasn't seen me at a show since I started up again. Plus, I've got her cards on prominent display, so I need the artist to represent! Word.

Candace (The Intuitive Garden) came too with her super nice husband, Matt. Who says there aren't any nice guys around? Well, there were, but we snagged 'em. Gotta move fast, people! She took this cute pic of me, thanks! (She put herself in the shot too, look in the mirror on my table!) Hee hee.

It was great to have all these friendly faces visit and also meet new Etsy peeps. I met WonderAmy (Etsy Admin!! And an amazing artist), and Reclaimed To You, a fab Boston collage artist and 1600 who makes cool tees. I also loved the letterpress stylings of Two Trick Pony and Dick and Jane Letterpress and the unique jewelry of Molly Hagan Designs , all of whom have websites but not Etsy shops.

Sales-wise, it wasn't a blockbuster, there just weren't the crowds you need to really do well. But I did make some sales, and the spectators (as Gert and Gladys used to call them at the Flea) were very nice. And well dressed! (SEOM is a great place to look at shoes, I've never seen so many nice shoes!) Here are some folks looking at my goods.

So aside from getting REALLY cold, and chasing my flowers all over the parking lot every time the wind blew, I did have a fun time. Thanks ETSY and SEOM for giving me the chance to try it out!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Seasonal Cards

I have added two new seasonal cards to the Marilyn Smith Rosenfeld card collection in my Etsy shop. The first is a gorgeous colored pencil drawing of two botanical sprigs: Winterbery and Wild Rose. Since the image is scanned from her nature journal, I've included my mom's beautiful handwriting.

The second is a watercolor illustration of a traditional decorated tree with gifts underneath. Since mom draws from life, this is a depiction an actual tree they had one year. Every December, Mom and Dad put a real tree in a metal bucket and wedge the trunk in with tiny bricks. That sucker ain't tipping over. They love the light and fragrance a decorated tree brings into the house on the darkest nights of the year. I love to help them decorate it while listening to the soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Don't forget to stop by and visit on Sunday October 28th, I'll be setting up a table at the South End Open Market (be warned, SEOM site plays music) with BethBrown. I hear there is to be a parade of dogs in costumes! Ha! I knew that would be too much to resist. See you there :)

Friday, October 19, 2007


Do you do this too? I always have more than one project going at once. Oh, I finish them all eventually, but in the mean time they all live in my unconscious like loose ends. Today I decided to pull all my knitting projects out and put them in one place, the result:

I have learned, from reading the internets, that these are called "Works In Progress", or WIPs. Let's see, there are 3 hats, 2 scarves, a throw, and something that wants to be a bag I think.

I'm not a sophisticated knitter, and I don't follow patterns. I mostly make things up as I go with a few basic guidelines. I knit for fun, I can't possibly afford to sell my work, although if I finish a lot of these pieces at once I'll be forced to! We don't have the storage. I don't use fancy yarns either, even though my studio is right below the Classic Elite Yarn outlet. I haven't had the courage to go there yet. Or maybe I'm showing courage by not going! Yes, that's it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Few Hours a Week

I will be working at Lush Beads in downtown Lowell on Tuesdays, helping the "Other Liz" and making a little $$ to keep things moving along. I know, it is dangerous to work in a bead shop, but I can handle it! I'm not addicted, I swear. A few beads never hurt anyone. Just this one time. I really need these. Shiny! Sigh.

Mom and I went to Russo's farm stand in Waltham last week. It's been expanded and it's pretty amazing. Although the parking is still miserable (our trick is to park in the way back) and the little old ladies still want to mow you down with their tiny shopping carts if you dawdle. Unfortunately, everything in there looks like a still life and it's hard for artists to move through quickly! I have many bruises.

Here are some shots I grabbed quickly:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Items!

Since I don't have another show until October 28th (SEOM), I've been concentrating on listing in my Etsy shop. I'm really enjoying making the new eggs, I want to try every color combination! I bought expensive organic eggs at Trader Joe's because the shapes were lovely. Here are three fresh items:

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Quick Note

First Saturday Open Studios was quiet: holiday weekend and the weather was perfect. But I had a wonderful time anyway, I get a lot done when I'm in the studio. I'm working on some new egg ornaments, I varnished them and they are ready for ribbons, I'll post pics soon...

Friends dropped by; Candace of The Intuitive Garden stopped in with her husband, they are always great company. Of course I saw Amanda of Brick Mill Studio since she has a studio around the corner from mine, and D brought me a lovely iced coffee from Brewd Awakening.

I made a new felty bracelet as a special order, but if she doesn't buy it, I'll put it for sale in my shop:

D and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on Friday; roses, dinner, a martini at Caffe Paradiso, perfect!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Carolyn's Iris

This was one of the first images I scanned from my mom's watercolors to make cards. I am slowly getting all 70 designs we have in my computer formatted into the cards we sell. Every time I add a new one to the card rack at shows, people snap it up! Sometimes they don't even send the cards, they frame them. At some near point we will be offering actual matted prints.

By the way, I have First Saturdays Open Studios tomorrow, October 6th from 12-5, come by and say hello! (See "Appearing Live" to the right for directions).

Monday, October 1, 2007

Open Studios!

Saturday and Sunday I participated in the city-wide Open Studios in Lowell, MA. It was a big deal and everyone at Western Avenue Studios had been working toward it for weeks and months.

I set up a little welcome station with a fruit plate and water along with a beautiful flowering mum my friend Mirja gave me as a birthday/studio warming gift.

I paid to be listed in the LOS literature and on the website. It seems like we had a good turnout though I don't know exact numbers.

We in the A mill were at a bit of a disadvantage being a new section and a bit off the beaten path from the main building. But Greg of Mill City Photography, Donna Berger and others helped make signage to direct people our way. I contributed a handpainted sign that I hope got people's attention.

I had plenty of items to fill my displays so I didn't have to scramble to make things. I did offer needle-felting demonstrations both days and that is always good because I actually make more flowers while showing people how I do it! In fact I ended up completing three pins over the weekend. My polymer clay eggs were a big hit along with the felty flower pins and mom's cards. But I got positive comments on all my items, which is really encouraging and very satisfying. Especially from other artists in the building! I find the other artists at WAS to be supremely friendly and helpful and I'm very much enjoying the camaraderie. Other artists also bought from me which is a huge compliment! Amber who spins and creates knitting patterns and knit sculpture bought a string of my handmade beads in the morning...

...and came back in the afternoon wearing a necklace she designed with her studio-mate who makes jewelry!

D came and kept me company for several hours and that was wonderful since I was missing spending the weekend with him which we really enjoy, even when we have to do things like buy groceries. Other friends and neighbors stopped in, I always love seeing a friendly face as well as meeting new folks. Overall it was very enjoyable and I wish it happened more than once a year! Luckily, I have first Saturdays to look forward to every month. Hopefully, as we are nearing the holidays, the attendance for those will increase.

Update on other shows: I did not get into Bazaar Bizarre, not bizarre enough I'm guessing. But that's OK! I have an application in to participate in stART on the street's holiday show at the Worcester DCU (the Centrum!) on December 9th. I really hope I get into that. I feel like the Worcester crowd likes my stuff and I would be sharing with Liz of Lush Beads again, we make a good team :) And don't forget I will be at the South End Open Market for their last show of the season on October 28th!