Saturday, August 25, 2007

Somewhere over the Rainbow

I'm continuing my summer of shows and working for the state.

The main thing I'm doing at the state job is "fixing" criminal histories. When an offense "disposition" is submitted by an agency in the state, if for some reason it can't match up to a specific person, it goes into a "suspense" file. I go through the suspense file and try to match it with a specific person. All I can say is, looking at some of these criminal histories is quite frightening! I happened to notice one individual who has over 140 different arrests! Geeesh! I wonder if all of those polititians who are soft on crime have any idea what really goes on out there?? The computer I'm working on is in the office where an "Amber Alert" gets broadcast, and I've been hoping I'd get to see it in action. (Not that I would wish that on any child, however!) They did issue one yesterday, but it didn't happen the way it was supposed to. However the word did get out and the child was recovered today, thank heavens! Pretty cool thing to watch in action anyway!

At one of my shows this month, up in the mountains, there was an incredible rainbow. I couldn't get the whole rainbow in one shot, it was too close! It looked cool, anyway. This particular show is at the top of the resort part of a ski resort. The farmer's market I posted about last month is at the bottom parking lot of the same ski resort. For being so close together they couldn't be more different crowds! I'm getting much more tourist traffic at the farmer's market. The people coming for the free concerts at the top of the ski resort seem to come for that reason; they're free! So, even though there are tons of people there, hardly any are buying. I'm dropping out of the last two weeks of this one. The organization seems to be a bit "off" too. They've had two major bicycle competitions that have interfered with us setting up in time (the finish line for one was exactly where my booth was supposed to be!) So... interesting lesson. It's not just the location of the show, but what kind of crowd will it bring?

At the farmer's market, wind is a problem. The parking lot it's held in is on kind of a plateau, and we get hit hard. I have 200 lbs of weight on my tent and I still have problems! I have a wooden earring display (on a turntable) and it's not that light weight, but it got blown right off my table and broke into about 3 pieces! It had been scuffed and looked a little worse for wear anyway, so after I rebuilt it, I decided to try my hand at mosaic. This pic is how the top turned out. At least all that glass should add a little more weight!

I was looking through some of my prior posts and noticed I hadn't posted pictures of my glass beads. So here are a couple of pics. I think I've now posted at least one picture of every medium I work in. I wish a plentiful summer/fall season for all who stumble upon this strange page. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Long Hot Summer

I'm just trying to keep my head above water this summer, although that is a VERY non literal comment! Apparently the west has decided that this summer will be hot and dry! If I had power over the weather (huh!) I would make sure that some of that rain ya'll are getting Texas would just fling its way up here. There have been so many fires and temeratures over 100 degrees. I'm wilting just writing about it. And on top of that... I'm supposed to sit at a 1200 degree torch and/or light up a 1500-2000 degree kiln! Yep, let me get right on that!

I sold at the Payson Scottish Festival and thought it would be fun to include these pictures for those of you who have no clue what a "caber" toss is. This is where guys with more brawn than brain (just kidding!) try to flip a telephone pole end over end! The poles at this event were 16 feet long, 85 lbs and 19'3" long and 125 lbs. Yeah, it is as tough as it looks but it's one of my favorite sporting events at the games.

I've also been selling at a farmer's market in Park City, close to the area where they had part of the 2002 Winter Olympics. It's a beautiful area and I feel like I am able to find my target market there! Can you say tourists? I've included two pictures here, one was taken my first day at the market, the next was taken a couple of weeks later. There is so much smoke in the air in the second picture from all the fires in the state! Cough, cough!

That is NOT an overcast sky, folks! In between all these "fun" events, I'm trying to work part time at my husband's office for the state, it's temporary until the end of September, but I'm hoping to keep enough of the money for a bigger kiln! My poor table top baby is so tired now! So I hope everyone's summer is passing in a style they would like; mine's not too bad considering there is no vacation for me! Ah well!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Northern Utah Scottish Festival

This last weekend I took my new stuff to a show I've done for 8 years now. I love the Northern Utah Scottish Festival, and always manage to have a good time. "Wicked Tinkers" from California usually come to the festival, and besides incredible music they always make me laugh. These pics are after a hard days work for the "Tinkers" ; Aaron and Jay are still in a good mood, but what in the world did they do to make Warren mad? For some reason, Keith decided to go for a "joy ride"... wonder if they've caught up with him yet?? (If you want a link to the "Tinkers" see the "about us" page on my web site!)

I'm not quite sure how the new stuff was received. I did sell a few of my new Celtic knot glass pendants and a couple of the ceramic pots (pictured in a previous post), but I know for sure I need to get my sterling silver rings into production fast! I had a lot of people ask for them, and I could tell I needed them by the ending dollar total! I did sell enough of my own stuff to not feel like a total reject! Here are a couple of new things I've been working on: glass windchimes! I didn't sell any of these, but am getting some nice comments on them!
One of the nice parts of the festival are the opening and closing ceremonies they have. All the pipe bands that are there to perform or compete march together onto the field (known as the massed bands) and usually play "Scotland the Brave". Always gives me goosebumps to see them all together like that. My hubby looks pretty good in a kilt, and they took our picture in our booth to use for promotional pictures for next year's brochure. That could be interesting! This festival is two days worth of good music, good food, good family history info (by way of the clan booths and also the LDS Genealogical services), lots of hard work, good people and fun! It's usually my best show, and something I look forward to every year.
I'm working on a new sign for the business, a mosaic of cut glass and ceramic of the business name. I'll post a pic when I get it finished. I'm just hoping it comes out as good as it looks in my mind right now! :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Show Season

Summer is usually when I do most of my shows. I spent the last two weekends at a local Renaissance Faire, in it's second year of existance. I was pleasantly surprised last year when I did this show... I didn't expect much, but actually had an average show, sales wise.

This year, the sales numbers were lower, in all probability due to the vastly increased number of vendors! But I keep telling myself that I'm helping this team build up what in a few years could be an awesome event. They managed to secure a jousting team this year, which I think was the hit of the show. Captain Jack Sparrow (with his lady) and the Greenman happened by for a visit this year, too.

I like doing these types of shows more than the typical "jewelry" shows. The other vendors are usually so nice, and you can find yourself laughing quite a bit, even if the show happens to be slow, like this one was. I can handle not making as much money as I'd like if I'm having a really good time! There was a young man selling at his first event just across from me. He was selling armor and chain maille type things, and was making "boffers" (a "fake" sword) and teaching the kids who came by how to use them and fight with them. I took my 3 1/2 year old grandson DJ with me last Friday, and he finally got brave enough to fight with "William". When he was instructed to "stab" William in the stomach, William clutched the boffer and fell to the ground, at which point DJ ran giggling back to me.

Of course, I had to buy him a sword after that (to go with the Dragon hat I already bought him), and he's been talking about it for three days! Even though he fell asleep that night on the way home, he woke up enough to run downstairs and say, "Daddy, daddy! I dead William!" Grandkids are just so much more fun than kids!

Friday, April 13, 2007

People I Hang Around With on Weekends (Sometimes)

When my store was open it didn't take long for someone from the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms) to show up. The word Celt seems to attract a certain crowd of people. Never heard of them? Neither had I. Turns out they are a Medieval reinactment group, and they have a lot of fun.

A lady by the SCA name of Dubessa drug me to my first event to merchant, and since then, they just keep asking me to show up. I don't necessarily make a lot of money at these events, but I seem to laugh a lot, and I figure, that should help keep me young, right? I managed to snag this picture at an event last fall of some of the gentles playing "spear the beer". I'm not a photographer, but I have to say I am immensely pleased by that shot!

At an event last month, the shire of Arrow's Flight held an event that also included a "worst garb" contest. Not much was seen of this manner of garb until a youth who goes by the name "Rat" decided to put the competition into high gear.
You could then hear a few mutterings of "I'm not about to be shown up by a teenager!" and others went off to don their hideous garb (bad imitations of Braveheart and a Flower Child Scot among them). However, many ladies in the populace kept adding to our Rat Boy's garb in order for him to outshine the others. (The progression of such is noted in these pictures.) His mother was out being a Marshall for some rapier events, and pretended not to know what her youth was up to.

I have to say I really admired the daring of Rat Boy. He willingly posed for pictures that will certainly make their way to his mother, will be shown to any girl who shows up to an event with him (by EACH of those who were taking pictures) and of course, get posted to the world wide web. (I DID get his mother's permission!) It is the general silliness of these events that keep me coming back. (Have you ever seen a man turned into a human shrimp pinata with 30 or so kids running after him with "boffers? Hah! I thought not. Unfortuneatly, I didn't get a picture of that one!) These pictures were all just too good to keep to myself, so here they are for all to enjoy!

So, the next time you are driving by a park, and see people dressed sort of funny, hitting each other with sticks or rapiers, maybe with a picnic basket on the side, stop by and say hi. You never know what kind of silliness and mayhem you may be in for!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Why am I always late?

I'm trying to finish making 40+ beads for a ceramic bead exchange. Well, the deadline was Saturday. I had all sorts of grandiose thoughts of making these fun little pots, and after I made 10, said, yeah, not this go around! So I took the easy way out and have been making a combination of butterfly/dragonfly beads. The first ones are just out of the kiln, and so if I manage to squeeze out two firings today and two tomorrow, I might actually be able to send these out on Wednesday, so I won't be too late! (I also got a wonderful surprise of a small order of two ceramic runes to be shipped to Australia! Cool!)

We are still doing small clean up things from the flood a couple of weeks ago. The bonus is, I woke up at 2 a.m. the following morning with the stomach flu! Man, the only thing that would have made that day worse, was to have woken up THAT day with the flu instead of the next day.

I had also planned to go to a Highland Games in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks, but there is just no way I'm going to be ready. I really hate to skip that one, but I guess it's better to keep plugging away and just try to be ready for the Ren Faire I'm doing in May.

My daughter and her hubby are currently building a new house. I've told them I will make their house numbers out of ceramic for them to be bricked right in with their brick. They need it very soon, and with taxes also due? Well, you see where this theme is.

I've heard that people who are always late have a huge disregard for other people. Sorry, I can't buy that! The theory I DO like, is that people like me just have unrealistic time perspective and try to fit too much into too little time. Now that sounds more like me! I'm always working on a deadline. As soon as one passes, well, here's the other one! So, I'll keep plugging away and maybe I'll just get better at squeezing stuff into where I squeeze it! I do hope everyone had a happy Easter, Passover, or at least, just a great Sunday!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

As Good a Day as Any

I've been meaning to start a blog for some time now, and today's events seemed to scream at me to publish them... perhaps to gain some sympathy and/or cheers?

First of all, I am an artist. I work in metal, glass, ceramic and metal clay mainly, but other media find their way into my wares from time to time. I do mostly jewelry, and my interest is mostly Celtic, but again, other things pop up, because I just had to do them!

A couple of weeks ago, I was demonstrating how to make glass beads at the local gem and mineral club's annual show. I think I've done this for the past 4 years, and the school kids love me, at least! I made a couple of contacts at the show, one being an antique/emporium store owner who was interested in carrying some of my goods. We've had to reschedule a couple of times, and I was supposed to show up today. I was trying to stay out of the house most of the day because the city turned off all the water in the neighborhood due to some major road construction in the area. I got up, read some email, and just as I was about to go start getting ready for the day, the water got turned back on, and broke the pressure valve on the toilet upstairs! Water was spraying everywhere! I tried to turn off the water valve to the toilet and it wouldn't budge. I tried calling my husband to find out where the main water turn off valve was. He is in a training class and has his phone turned off! So I call the landlord and he gets the handy man on the way, but with the construction, I know that isn't going to be quick. I go out to a shed to look for my wrench. (Yep, it's mine... I need it for my oxygen tank for my glass torch!) I open the door to the wash room to go outside, and it's like it's raining inside; water is leaking through the floor! Grab the wrench and back upstairs. I finally get the valve turned off, but I am soaking wet, from my hair to my pajama bottoms! Hubby calls, gets released from class early, starts to head home (40 min away). Handy guy comes and fixes toilet. Hubby gets home and then the carpet guy comes to clean, disinfect and dry the carpets. I take this opportunity and leave as fast as I can, LOL!

I make my meeting with the emporium owner. Of course, HE'S not there... he had to leave to take his son to the dentist. So I walk through a couple of other shops, treat myself to lunch, then go back to his store and try again. He finally shows. The good news is, he bought about 5 glass cabs out right to use in jewelry to be made there, and he is carrying about 45 other pieces in the store on consignment. He did give me the opportunity to just sell them to him, but this way will get me more money in the long run, so I decided to be patient. Ha! Maybe I'm learning that elusive skill after all!

So, I'm posting a couple of pictures here for a bit, and I'll showcase new stuff here first. Thanks for reading the first post, and I hope you visit often... Thanks!

Design by Duane Miles, beaded by Kerry