Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Coffee in the Atlanta skyline mug, "Home" by Marc Broussard on iTunes. Trite, true and not random. Home is where the heart is and my heart being with Dave and Jessie, my home is in Atlanta. Damn glad it's not Arkansas. Neither this five year-old, nor his grandfather nor his father should be at all proud that he killed a 445 lb bear. From a blind in a tree with a rifle for no purpose other than sport--and because they had a tag... I'm from a hunting family and I'm ashamed of and for them. But this story is not going to sidetrack me from my morning or my post!

"I'll Be Home For Christmas" covered by Sarah McLachlan is now on iTunes. That's better.

Got home and (mostly) beat the ice. The load out was about an hour and a half yesterday--longer than in previous years, but it didn't stop us from making it through the beginnings of the ice and freeze in Indiana and on home. We had everything packed up and ready to go by 9:30 on Sunday, then went back to the room for a bottle of red (one less bottle to pack!) and room service sandwiches before crashing. Crashing hard but not for nearly as long as either of us would have liked. Poor Mom got a cold not too long after our arrival in Chicago but carried on like a trooper nonetheless.

So how was the show? It was Okay. I did a brief, informal survey of other artists at after the end on Friday and the unanimous response to the question, "How was your show?" was "Okay." As was the case last year there were artists--a lot more then there should have been--who didn't even make expenses. I hope the show provides them some other value than immediate income--exposure, recognition, credentials, future income... something. The ones that I saw who looked busy throughout and who had a product that I thought would do well were the ones who said "Okay". Even the gourmet food vendors said "Okay". Money is tight for everyone, and shows are just tough right now. I'm glad I got the first of the corporate-gift orders to provide me with a decent income for January as I wouldn't have it otherwise.

I had the same sales as last year just about to the penny, but my expenses were a lot higher--$1,000 in hotel, $4,300+ in booth and then there's gas, parking, and meals. Of course it's not over till way after it's over, and I still might still get a couple of big orders. But this time my response to the show is really not about the money--it was only okay because I was too tired from all the work I had to do to prepare for it (and move the studio) and missing my family too much to get into the spirit of it. I grumbled and groused my way through the week and was a general sour puss (internally, if not obviously).

It was good to see old customers and friends. It was good to get to talk about my work with people who had never seen it before, it was great to sign the book, demo a piece and watch people frantically taking down everything I said as I did... but I was (am)... tired. At the end of the show one of the staff came around to ask me if I was planning to do it again next year and I said I'd have to think about it. If I had had to make up my mind right then I'd have said no. But Dave made me promise not to make any decisions there, to wait till I'm rested and not so... broken... anymore.

So now I rest and mend. And soon I paint (the rest of the studio) while I wait for my next glass order from Bullseye to get in next week. Oh yes, and I do Christmas crafts with my daughter, and I make, buy and wrap presents. I might even post on Stranded in the South. I'll still be on Glass Incarnate for the rest of the year, I just won't BE glass incarnate for awhile.


Becky said...

Glad you got back to Atlanta - I was worried when I saw all the bad weather...

Anonymous said...

welcome home brenda! well, here's my usual optimistic outlook on the show - you maintained your total sales figure in a year where many are experiencing lower sales than previous years at shows where they have history. evaluate the differences in costs between this year and last, the pros and cons of the show and how much you really want to trek to chicago at that time of the year...

glad you had a good time at least and that the demo went well and your book is being well received - yes i'm gonna get that review written this week i promise! ;)

enjoy the warm weather you came home to! ;)

Brenda Griffith said...

Yes, Becky, it is really good to be back! D--Mom was wearing your inner path pendant at the show on Saturday and a woman that came to my booth saw it and wants to carry your work! I told her you're on wholesalecrafts.com, and I took her card for you. See you next week?

Bill said...

Nice photo of an ice storm.

That's the joy of being in Chicago, no?