Sunday, July 29, 2007

Get your craft together

This week's theme for the Etsy Bloggers Carnival is "Preparing for a Craft Show." Click here for the full carnival.

I thought I would show off various photos of my booth as it has appeared at shows over the last few years, and a few of the things that help me get ready for shows.

The above photo is from Friday night's Trashion Trunk Show at the Etsy Labs. The first time my work has ever been for sale in New York! (Many thanks to Sweetyprize for an awesome job coordinating the show, and to the wonderful Joan for selling as my proxy. You guys rock!)

The photo below is of my full booth, as seen at Portland Saturday Market, circa 2005. That's my daughter Tangereen sitting amidst the psychedelia.So...tip #1: Pack according to the show. For a weekly market where you basically have your own little "store," or a special event like an annual juried art walk, I usually have to bring much more stuff, such as light fixtures and higher-end art pieces, than for shorter, half-day or two-hour trunk shows where you only get one small table instead of a 10 x 10 or 8 x 8 booth, and where accessories and gifts under $20 are more likely to sell than $60 clocks or large abstract paintings. So I am always having to readjust my stuff depending on what the show calls for. One way I've found to make this easier is to have one more large bin than I really need. For me that means I have three big bins. When packing for a show, I go through all my stuff, select what I need, fill one bin with product, one bin with display items and sales stuff, and put everything I don't need to take into bin #3. This keeps my studio tidy, as my extra stuff isn't just left floating around.

Tip #2 - Good packing begins with good unpacking. Since I do shows pretty frequently, I feel like I am pretty much always in the process of preparing for a show. I try to save my sanity by making it a rule to always spend some time unpacking and rearranging when I first come home from a show, instead of piling it all down in the basement and forgetting about it until it's time to pack for the next show. Go through your stuff, check over what you have, clean out the rubbish, and make a note of what items you need to stock up on before the next event - then get started on restocking right away! Don't wait till the last minute! If you start right away but space the work out over several days or weeks, you can get a little bit done every day and be ready to go in time for the next show without having to stress out about it the night before.
Tip #3 - Be prepared to buy something, but NOT lunch. Okay, if you can afford to buy lunch, go right ahead, but if you are like me and really can't afford it, then pack a lunch! I always take a little cooler with me containing at least two water bottles and something to eat for lunch so I won't feel tempted to blow my hard earned money on all the yummy smelling stuff that you often find at craft fairs. Even for a short show, I always bring water and a snack like a banana or a granola bar. But even though I don't believe in buying lunch, I definitely DO believe in buying from my fellow artisans. I have had several experiences where I got a sale almost immediately after I bought something from someone else. It may sound weird, but I think there is something in that. You have to get the money flowing somehow. Support the other artists, and you will be supported in return. It really works! Trading is fun, too.

That's all I can think of right now. Read all the posts in the carnival to get more great tips and ideas to help get ready for shows!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Take a tour of my studio

The Etsy Bloggers street team is having a "Carnival." This is some sort of limited edition collection or "magazine" of blog articles that are all about a specific topic. The first theme is supposed to be "a tour of your studio" and since I LOVE my studio, I am eager to share it.

The above nook (featuring Johnny Teacup with glowing eyes) is really just a part of the huge master bedroom that is hiding in our little house. The entire room was recently the subject of a segment called "Psychedelic in Portland" on HGTV's "Look What I Did" - it aired on June 25 and will air again on September 19 - tune in!

So that's where I do most of my creating. Here's a "before" picture from when we first moved into our house about ten years ago (and I had black hair!):And here' s the same view after I went all crazy on it:
Okay, enjoy the carnival!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Recycled Arts Festival was a Blast!

I had a SMASHING time at the Clark County Recycled Arts Festival this last weekend! Several of my fellow Trillium Artisans were there, so I had to take pictures of them.

Here is Megan from Ta-Dah with her cool Garden Balls.

Here is Tim from The Reclamation Project - I love his "Heads on a Stick":

Anitra is a new Trillium member, she makes China Blossoms and Coffee Pot People, and here she is with her new Tea Pot People!

And here's Daniel from Harmony in Full Bloom. He makes lovely Asian-inspired art on reclaimed wood.

Carolyn Quinn
was there too, but she wouldn't let me take her picture!

Here's what my booth looked like:

It was great to see so many familiar faces at the show. Recycling rules!

Speaking of which, my next event will be the Etsy Trashion trunk show at the Etsy Labs in New York - I will be shipping my items this week, since I can't be there in person. I am really proud to be a member of the Trashion team, which is comprised of recycled-materials artists from all over the world. Visit this flickr group to see some of the items that will be offered at the trunk show.

There's also a post about it at Nest - your guide to green and stylish living, featuring my Roman Record Cuffs!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The orange post!

Good day. I have joined a new street team of Etsy Bloggers, and our first assignment was to post something orange. Since that is one of my favorite colors, I have many orange items. Enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Look What I Missed

The Hollywood crew that spent 12 hours at my house in September 2005

I just got back from a week of camping in a Yurt at the Oregon Coast. Checking my emails, I found a message from my old friends Miss Trish and Miss Katy in Springfield, Missouri. They were so glad to have caught my segment on Look What I Did!

I am so bummed! I have been waiting two years for this, and I totally missed it. I have been checking the HGTV website (that's the Home & Garden Network) regularly to search for my episode, and never found anything. I just checked a couple of weeks ago! Well, it is listed NOW - check this link - and my segment, "Psychedelic in Portland" aired on Monday night, June 25! This episode is about my master bedroom/studio/home office and how I turned it into a mandala-filled wonderland of psychedelic undulations.

The show apparently will air again on September 19. I am thrilled that it's been grouped with a "Rock and Roll Kitchen" and an "Edgar Allen Poe Wine Cellar." Sounds like a great show. I can't believe I missed it!

Please tune in to HGTV on September 19, at 6:00 PM ET/PT, to catch the second airing of this show. And don't forget, there is yet another upcoming episode of Look What I Did! featuring my kitchen (this one is not listed on the website yet) AND an episode of That's Clever! which will air some time this holiday season (I'll be demonstrating my Snowman Record Bowl). As soon as I know the airdates, I will post them here!

So how was my vacation? Most excellent, thank you. In between swimming, picnicking, beach-combing, and hiking into the deep, dark forest, I had some major attacks of creativity. I drew four new mandalas on vinyl records, experimented with making my first batch of ACEO's, and I started painting my car!
I still have a way to go. It's kind of funny, when I think about how I was painting our old Galaxie 500 back when I was pregnant with Tangereen 13 years ago - I don't think I've really changed much. Here's the Galaxie, circa 1994: