Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Little Things That Really Count

Hi Everyone,

Well, here I am, apologizing for being MIA . . . again! This seems to be a recurring theme in our lifestyle of late. Hmmm, put that on the list to work on as well in the near future.

It really has been nice to be home, in my work area, creating and plotting a I call it, and not being gone at least 3 or more days every single week that we experienced every single week from spring to winter last year. Please don't misunderstand, we love doing our shows but the road is very tough sometimes. The upside is we have missed our regular customers and booth neighbors as well. The off time also has given us time to attend to some pressing personal matters at hand.

The 'Mother Unit' as we have been referring to her as of late, Fran, has had yet another surgery and this time was better than most of them have been lately but still very taxing and tiring on all of us. She had been so helpful all season with keeping us supplied with our handmade shopping bags for our customers, that this seemed like divine inspiration, we didn't need as many bags with fewer shows for a couple of months and she needed recuperation time. Funny how things work out like that. She is improving every day and will be back to her ornery self in no time, I am sure of it.

But since I have spent countless hours in waiting rooms lately, I have had time to finalize all the changes we will be bring to our lines for this year's season. It also gave us plenty of time to discuss were we will actual be showing this season as well.

A lot of what I have been reading about on different artist websites and blogs is about how many fewer venues there seems to be to choose from. I should correct that that and say how many fewer really good venues there are. It seems right the opposite for us right now, thank heavens. We were so incredibly blessed to have been chosen by so many great promoters to do shows this year. In fact, we have a HUGE debate going on about a certain weekend in June, where we must choose one show from five possibles. It is quite emotional to decide against a promoter, really tough. Little bit by little bit we are trying to set the schedule. In today;s mail arrived an invitation to do a show for September, jeez Louise, I can't even figure out March yet!

A couple of weekends ago, we went south to Gifford, IL, population 975 salute, don't worry we didn't know where it was at first either. But it ended up being a good weekend. It was a beautiful venue, Gordyville, that deals mainly in horse shows,

and once a month they host a flea market / antique show. Mostly flea. We had never done a venue where so many customers stopped at our booth to acknowledge that we were new blood and how appreciative they were that we did the show. It was a very unique feeling to say the least.

We traveled to the show with our friend Rick who does primitive, rustic and industrial antiques and set up back to back with our booths. (We are used to being side to side) So this is what we started out looking like at this show,

He had placed that red kiddie car on top of one of his cabinets but every 3 year old in the place tried to climb my display to get to it. After it sold, we went back to being a bit more shabby looking. All the farmers were so disappointed when they found out that our burlap bags were only coffee bean bags and not corn and soybean bags, something I explained at least three dozen times.

In the next couple of weekends, we will be doing the last St. Charles show at the Dupage Expo Center on February 4th and 5th and then back to Grayslake IL to the Lake County Fairgrounds for the Antique and Collectibles Show. I can not say enough about much we love showing here. The building is wonderful and large and the show is so well run by our beloved Zurko crew. We have developed a nice following, thank you very much and have the coolest booth neighbors that are enjoyable to be around. We have learned so much about the industry, new venues and the art of doing road shows, we will be eternally grateful for all the kindnesses they have shown us. We laugh, we eat, we commiserate, it truly is about the little moments in our everyday life that matters most.

A little bit of creating is starting to appear as well. The new displays I designed for the January shows for our brown paper packages line made a huge impact and I am in the process of adding more new 'Elements' to the board. I have added about 12 so far and the very latest are these wonderful little goodies, 1 1/4" metal rimmed tags covered with beautiful shabby chic cotton prints, just a fun little tie on accent for any package or brown paper bag.

Aren't they adorable? They will be available this weekend, 3 pieces to a package, assorted patterns so that you will have variety in your trims.

There will also be be new paper hearts, new slip-covered journals, (the last ones sold out so fast, it was scary! ), and if I could only figure out how to hang a wreath without a tent wall, I could show my new burlap wreath designs. Always a new challenge it seems.

In the meantime, I need to get back to creating and being appreciative for all the wonderful moments this crazy adventure has taken us on so far. As soon as we make the travel decisions, we will post a schedule here on the site as well as the new schedule for the Spring Brown Paper Packages classes coming up. So much to do and so little time to get it all finished . . . 

Til then,

the muze
All My Musings