Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Give Thanks and Ponder Electronic Display

Coffee in the Denver architect series mug, the sound of J chopping pecans for the Thanksgiving pie for music. Was she using the ceramic knife? No, the "sudoku" (that's what she calls the Henckels Professional "S" 7" Granton Edge Santoku Knife). I give thanks that my child is cooking with her father and still has all her fingers.

I began preparations today for next year's show circuit. Yesterday I mentioned to Bill from Black Cat ArtWorks (getting used to Elliott Metal Works new name) that I am planning to add "Whimsically Bent", the collaborative works of Todd Briske and Brenda Griffith, to our booth for Philadelphia. He asked what I'm planning on *not* showing. I hadn't thought of that, but I keep adding and adding new work--mostly the big steel and glass collaborative work I do with him and Elaine, and I have "retired" about as much work as I want to. My booth isn't getting any bigger--I really can't afford bigger than 10 X 20 either in terms of cost or set-up/break-down time. So what to do?

This morning I scanned an email from about black Friday electronic deals and a portable digital projector caught my eye. Hmmm. Maybe instead of bringing *all* the work, I bring a projector and run a slideshow from my laptop on the white foamcore walls. It was an idea worth pursuing so I started researching options and prices. It turns out that while there are cool, new, relatively inexpensive, wireless projectors that are the size of my iPod and hook up to it, they won't stand up to the 2000 watts of halogen light that will also be filling my booth. There must be something in the mid-range price, larger size that would work, but how to know which one? Maybe I could just rent a high-end projector until I figure out what I want and the price drops more. Nope. I checked local prices and 3-4 weeks of rental would just about pay for my own high-end one.

What about some other technological solution? Instead of a projector, what about a large flat screen monitor? Oh yeah, now we're in a better price point, and no worries about the picture not showing up in the bright booth. Monitors are a couple hundred $$, but they only go up to 22"-24". Oh hey, I already have a 20" iMac that is wiped right now because it just got another new hard drive last week. What about just using it? No additional cash outlay, it has its own storage and software so I could put all the pictures and slideshows right on it--no need for cables to the laptop... But it's only a 20" screen. The images are supposed to grab people walking by the booth better or at least as well as the actual work would do. To do that, the images need to be at least the same size as the work and bigger than would be better.

Even if I could afford a 36"-44" flat screen, would I want to hassle with shipping it around and worrying about someone stealing it at the show? No. So I'm back to projectors. I like this one, but for that price I'm really going to have to make sure I have a strong, valid need for it. It's too expensive to be just another cool slightly used gadget in my electronics cabinet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

'Twas the Day Before Thanksgiving

Coffee in the Atlanta skyline mug, no music--iTunes is burning the 40th Magic Treehouse book to cd for J. I'm sure I could listen to music and burn the disc at the same time, but I'm moving slowly this morning. I need to fire today as I didn't either yesterday or Monday and I want to finish labeling and cutting foam separator sheets for the sample sets. Instead, I have two little girls upstairs--J had a friend sleep over last night--and D's at work so I'm on Mommy duty at home, not over in the studio. But all is not lost, I have a website and an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to work on. I can be the business side of a glass artist here in my comfy brown chair. I plot, I plan, I post--maybe I even get my books up to date for my accountant (did I make money or lose money last year? Pesky finances!).

Whatever I do, I'm going to avoid reading the news on the web anymore today. Too much death, destruction, and hate. Too many parents doing horrible things to their children... I'm going to go give the Sprout a hug and get on with my day. Tomorrow we are heading to a someone else's house for Thanksgiving. No cooking, no entertaining at our home this year. I'm going to miss our traditional food, but D is just too relieved at not having a big effort tomorrow to miss anything. He's still recovering from working the election and gearing up for the runoffs.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday, What Tue Due?

Coffee in the Washington DC mug (my Mom's favorite one, sniff), "Soul to Squeeze" by the Chili Peppers on iTunes. I miss my Mom. A month-long visit just isn't enough. The year-end wrap-up, preparation for 2009 continues apace. Today more paperwork, a firing for an order I got yesterday, and another Bullseye order to write up. Somehow in the last order I managed not to order *any* 1116-03 (turquoise large) frit. I needed four 5-lb jars. I don't need any sheet glass, but I could go ahead and get in enough of an order to raise my discount level one notch higher for next year. (Can I afford it? Can I afford NOT to afford it now?)

Dee's coming for the day and bringing Sombra. Maybe I'll get her to do another frit inventory...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Threesomes, Foursomes, Fivesomes

Kendall Jackson sauvignon blanc in a Riedel stemless wineglass, "By the Way" by the Chili Peppers on iTunes. BTW, I'm finally posting today. Today's news: "Siyeh Studio presents Whimsically Bent in Atlanta, the collaborative works of Todd Briske and Brenda Griffith". Come and see us at the Taylor Kinzel 5th Annual Glass Show December 6th and 7th.

I took Todd 20 lbs 12 oz of glass in the form of 132 3" squares to turn into hanging ornaments (Christmas, window, ficus, creativity knows no bounds), and an additional 23 lbs of fire-polished shard scrap to turn into plant and garden stakes, wall hangings--whatever takes his fancy. The partnership is new, fresh, and exciting. I look forward to each meeting like it was a third date. You know what that's like, it's the honeymoon stage. And like any guy with any girl in the first flush of a new relationship, he's a bit overwhelmed with the way I'm all over him planning our future. But I'm already expanding us two into us three--not my normal third date behavior. Now I am envisioning what we can do with steel, glass and aluminum--solid strength, colorful depth, and shiny sinuousness/sinuoucity (the spellchecker barfs equally at both).

Todd has a delightfully twisted, laid-back outlook on life that is either going to lighten me up a bit or drive me stark staring mad. Fortunately our relationship is business casual so I won't have to worry about either me killing him or him boring me to tears after we've been together for a few weeks--unlike the real third dates I've been on. Instead, I continue to come home every day to Dave and I still have Bill and Elaine on the side for my other metal needs. Does life get any better? Pictures soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Software

Mocha in a Kavarna cup, the soundtrack from "Juno" just morphed into some crusty 60's-feeling acid rock. I miss the "Juno" stuff. Too much chocolate and cream cheese in my tummy... ugh, I am uncomfortably full. Yesterday I renewed my commitments to both the Dallas and the Atlanta January shows and to collaborating with Todd. Today I am ready to tackle schedule and project plans for both the website and the ERP system for the next month and a half. I have already diddled my way through two weeks of my anticipated dev time so it's time to get off the pot and create. First step in any good plan--get software to manage it!

Now, to work, to work (crack!).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Coffee in the New Orleans skyline mug, "Feeling Gravity's Pull" by R.E.M on iTunes--not a random selection. Yesterday I spent the day fighting the cold (weather), maybe fighting a cold, and questioning all my expansionist plans. I was Doubting Brenda.

I had more than half convinced myself not to do the Atlanta's Mart show but Grace (the Mart rep) called, soothed my fears, and held my hand through the paperwork and booth options. I am in and will commit formally by getting my paperwork in today. I did get my paperwork off to Steve in Dallas for the FINDS show there, committed again. The little voice in the back of my head that wanted to stay under the covers yesterday is snidely muttering that I *should* be committed and that I am going to fall on my behind and accrue HUGE debt for these shows. Voice, I ignore you.

I also fretted about my collaboration ideas for work with Todd as I puttered around the FREEZING studio, and I managed not to get any ornaments done for him to wrap today. But I'll take a couple of large pieces down for our meeting this morning to see what he comes up with on them. I say "down" as his studio is south of mine down past the airport. The same airport I am taking my mother to at 9:00 so she can fly home to Montana. *sigh* I prepare to be blue. I wish we didn't live so far away from each other. A month or two a year just isn't enough time together.

I hold tight to the plan for a Kavarna Day tomorrow. Something to look forward to and a positive step to getting the website and ERP system completed this year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday is FREEZING

Coffee in the Alaska skyline mug (the dregs of cup #2), Sam calling "baby bird, baby bird" and chirping away on my Mom's shoulder for music. It's only about 32 degrees outside right now which means it's only about 32 degrees in the studio (I left the heat off as I haven't been in much). I am not looking to heading over there later. My list of things to do today is long and tedious--another reason I am still in the comfy chair with a blanket on my lap making lists and chatting on the phone. A quick post and then to work (forms, forms, forms, forms).

New business direction ideas from the show: Open studio and summer camp for 7th-12th graders. I had several people ask me (parents of the 7th graders and others who knew what I had done with them) if I opened my studio the same way to other people or groups--kind of like pottery places do where you can come in and paint pieces and have them fired for you to pick up later. It might be fun to offer making suncatchers, wind chimes, Christmas ornaments, etc. during very limited open studio time. I can add info and sign up area (including a calendar) on the web site (as I revamp it). Small groups only.

Several of the 7th graders (and their parents) asked me if I might offer summer camp sessions and I thought how fun it would be to do some mask-making sessions. I could do some research and offer a bit of education on the use of masks in various cultures. Then we could make some examples of simple bent rectangular and oval masks. The camp would culminate in the participants casting their own faces and making pate de verre style multi-fired masks that could then be decorated with wire, feathers, crystals, shells, beads, etc.

Now I just need a way of fitting these ambitions in with an increased production schedule from the new shows I'm adding next year--an assistant will help with that. Good thing I have a lot of applicants for that position right now (and for apprentices--and I don't have to pay them!). Oh yes, the high school asked me if I would do a fieldtrip/workshop for their students too... Better get to work!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Madness and Collaboration

Coffee in the Austin skyline mug, "Snow (Hey Oh)" by the Chili Peppers (the Red Hot Fest continues) on iTunes. As promised yesterday, I write the saga of the new collaboration.

I love Wikipedia: "Collaboration is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together toward an intersection of common goals — for example, an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. Collaboration does not require leadership and can sometimes bring better results through decentralization and egalitarianism. In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition for finite resources."

Working with Elliott Metal Works has definitely been an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature and I strongly believe that we have both obtained greater resources, recognition and reward at our shows as a result of our joint work. I have been inspired to create new styles and colorways and my sales have increased dramatically with the addition of the new work--moving both my art and my business to new levels. The partnership has been so stimulating and lucrative that I am all fired up about forming a new one. There are still more directions I would like to take my work that are closed to me when working with steel--e.g., it's very challenging to overcome the rust issue when designing pieces for outdoors, and the steel work is predominantly two-dimensional.

Todd Briske is a local wire artist whom I have known for a number of years. He recently spent a couple of days in my studio helping out with the 7th grade fieldtrip. He was like a kid in a candy shop with all the broken discarded pieces I have lying around and during downtime, he'd grab up some of my junk, wrap it in aluminum wire and hang it on the back studio fence. I was completely enamored of the results and thought what a great potential collaboration I could have with him. Evidently my subconscious came to the same decision as after a couple of weeks of percolating, ideas for combined aluminum wire and fused glass work came pouring out of my head. Though the pieces we plan to do don't look anything like the work on the fence, they were a good jumping off point for my back brain.

When I met with Todd last week to propose working together to him, he was just as giddy about the potential as I was. To start us out and test the waters, I am making up 100 ornaments like we did with the 7th graders and he's going to wrap them in large gauge aluminum wire for added decorative interest and hangability. He's also going to time the process so we have a starting point for figuring out how many we can sell. Won't do any good get an order from, say, Neiman Marcus for 1500 of them if he can't produce that many without having a mental breakdown or losing control of his hands... and the same goes for me. I haven't tried to whip out 100 small ornaments at a time either. I haven't been much of one for small work at all, but helping Jessie with her jewelry over the past couple of weeks was fun. And wow is it easy to pack and carry!

On a more practical note, I will also gain the benefit of having a big strapping male to help set-up and break-down at shows. Delicate little me is just going to LOVE having an extra set of hands... (I'm getting too old for the physical rigor of the show circuit). Todd was initially interested in replacing Becky as my assistant, but I think collaborating on work is much more appropriate and a better fit.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Opportunity Has Come A Knocking

No coffee yet (surprised the Spouse by rolling out of bed at 7:30 on a Sunday--before he had time to wrangle the beans), dogs breakfasting for music (ah, kibble). So why am I up so early on a Sunday--especially a Sunday after a festival? I am up because it is a very cold morning (I am not heating the upstairs yet this fall and with our bedroom door closed our room hits refrigerator temps) and Dave already got up--taking half of the warmth with him. He did cover me with a down comforter from the closet before he went downstairs, but by then the sun streaming in the bathroom window and my whirring mind had prodded me fully awake

All through the day yesterday people asked me how the show was going, was I doing well. It's an indication of my mindset that every time I was asked, I didn't know what to say and stumbled out a meaningless "good" or a more honest (and puzzling to the questioner) "interesting". Why such difficulty with such an innocuous question? The question means is the show living up to your expectations, are you getting what you wanted to out of it--in short (usually) are you making a lot of money. For both professional and hobbyist artisans the main reason to do a show is to sell the work, i.e., make money. We're usually not just out there to have a good time. I don't know about the rest of you (except Ren, I think this is true for her too), but I have a good time by sleeping in, not by doing shows.

This morning as I lay pondering and puzzling (and shivering) in bed, I realized the reason I had such difficulty with the how's-it-going question was because I never thought of the Waldorf holiday fair/artist market as a show-as-usual and so I hadn't actually set goals. I hoped for good sales, but I didn't expect them. What I ended up getting from the show was ultimately more valuable and more exciting to me than one-time sales would have been (though sales were okay too), and because I hadn't planned or even thought about getting it (what I got), the way it played out really was "interesting", intriguing, and inspirational enough to motivate me out of bed and onto laptop this morning.

So what did I get?!? (you ask in exasperation--stop dancing around and spill it!) I got ideas for 2-3 for new business directions. Add this to the new collaboration I formed on Thursday and 2009 is shaping up to be a very motivational, expansive year! Tomorrow I'll detail the collaboration, and Tuesday I'll write about the business ventures after I've had a bit of time to flesh them out further. Now the day is over and it's time to Race For the Galaxy against my spouse while J plays Monopoly with Gramma.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday NOT Same Old Same Old

No coffee, no music. I am done obsessing about the holiday artist market I am doing this weekend. I don't know why I started in the first place. Between left knee twinges, I restlessly dreamed all night of not being taken seriously as a *linguist* (and wasn't that many lifetimes ago!) and my "friends" telling me I could go out with them that evening because for once I looked nice (apparently I was usually dirty, smelled bad, had ratty hair and wore filthy grungy clothes...). Oy. Talk about adequacy issues! So today I shake it off, go with the flow and have fun with it. And I post about the wonder that is the J on Stranded in the South.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Artist Market Cometh

Some chardonnay (Dave says it's the "king of wines") in the Reidel stemless white wine glass, Dave playing the Donnas' "New Kid In School" on Rock Band 2 for my music. I have my feet up and am posting after the opening two hours of the Waldorf School Holiday Fair Artist Market. I had a realization this morning as I was gearing up for the day. With my uber organized, detail-oriented personality, I am incapable of matching effort to event. It doesn't matter if I'm doing the Buyer's Market of American Craft or a tiny school craft show in a basement room with burned out florescent lights, I put 100% thought, planning and angst into it.

I also can't sell old work. Apparently I am not just bored by making it. I sold one piece tonight and it was a platter in one of the newest colorways (Tropical) cut-down from a large panel and slumped. What to do, what to do. I think I'll follow Becky's suggestion and take a bunch of new work in tomorrow too.

Jessie did very well tonight. She only sold two necklaces, but she traded three necklaces a pin and a ring for a really cool crystal, feather, leather and copper piece from another artist. That's my girl--already figured out the best part of shows is the trading. Pics are of her just after set-up and getting the first check for her work. Yeah she smiles now, wait till it bounces... (just kidding). Now it's 11:30 and I need to get to be to get some sleep before tomorrow when we get to do it all again.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One Day and Counting...

Coffee in the Chicago skyline mug, "Snow" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (hence referred to as the Chili Peppers--we're that chummy now). It's not cold enough here to snow yet, but I am still on my Chili Peppers kick. Today the post is all about the glass--or at least the glass from a business perspective (ostensibly the reason for this blog).

Yesterday I got the latest issue of Profitable Glass Quarterly. Loy Allen's orchids are on the cover and I feel smug as I suggested they do the studio profile on her. She is a North Dakota boro artist from whom I bought a praying mantis for Dave at the last February Buyer's Market--gorgeous work. The issue also contains an article I wrote on pricing work for the artist. Today I get to wrestle with and eventually reconcile all of the factors involved with pricing as I prepare for the Waldorf Artist Market this weekend. These factors include my expectation that this won't be a high dollar show and my desire to move one-of-a-kind, limited edition, and retired series work.

Let's not beat about the Bush (unless we're really lucky and we have a big stick and the secret service is conspicuously absent), the economy is tight. I anticipate that the majority of the shoppers will be parents who already pay private school tuition in the aforementioned tight economy and won't be up for big ticket glass art. Add that to the fact that it's the school/church variety holiday craft show--not a well-advertised established art show run by either professional promoters or a strong neighborhood volunteer network--and I do not think I'll break a $1,000 this show. I might not break $500. Heck, I might not break $250.

On the other hand, I am pretty prolific and have a lot of work hanging around the studio that I can't market to galleries because the shows I do are order shows--not cash and carry. That means I would have to take these pieces as samples and I either can't or don't want to do them again. I just want to get them out of the studio so I can free up room for current work. I would like to recoup a bit of the cost, but I'm not picky as long as they just Go Away.

Add together my expectations and my situation with an abundance of work to move and the temptation is great to offer everything at wholesale or even below. Is this a good idea? Probably not. In Art (Craft, whatever...) perception is everything. This will be the first time most of these people have seen my work. Do I wish to set in their minds a perceived value of it based on the price I am asking for these pieces? There is nothing wrong with them technically or artistically, I am just bored with them. We artists have tiny attention spans. We get bored, we move on, we don't need old work around to remind us of what we used to do.

Yes, I can put out signage telling people what a great steal of a deal they're getting and not to expect these prices Ever Again, but do people really read? Will they remember? Even if they acknowledge their bargain intellectually, viscerally are they going to think that's what my work is worth? I really, really, really want to sell these pieces--and I wouldn't mind a quick fix of Christmas cash. I don't have room for both the old work and the new (I am sharing three six foot by three foot tables with Jessie and another jeweler--Dee and Todd aren't able to do the show so there'll just be the three of us and I expect to fill almost two tables on my own). Am I shooting myself in the foot? Mox nix, I'm going to go for it and just weather any pricing fallout.

Jessie will probably be the big hit of the show. Her work is perfectly priced and gorgeous--and it has the advantage of having been designed and created by a seven year-old (with a bit of expert advice from Mom and Dee on glass and jewelry making). How could you resist rings for $4 and a pair of dichro earrings for $8? I'm setting her up to take care of me in my old age. Note to self: Do Not Become a Stage Mom.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday What's This Handbasket Day

Coffee in the Los Angeles skyline mug, "Otherside" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers on iTunes. Some days the glass is half full. Some days the glass is half empty. Some days you can't find the glass. Welcome to Wednesday. The Waldorf Holiday Fair/Artist Market is this Friday and Saturday. Guess I better root through the studio to figure out what I'm going to take.

Dee is coming down today and bringing her new family addition Sombra (a Bouvier de Flandres) to romp with Baxter and Seraph. I'll get her to help me root (and dust). One of the really big pieces I had to refire Monday because it had schmutz in it *still* had schmutz in it when I opened the kiln yesterday. After two firings there are a lot of air bubbles too close to the surface to fire it again (they rise a bit every time the glass goes liquid) so I can't fire it again it. Looks like it'll be a display piece for the new January shows (20" round panel for a stand) and I'll have to remake the piece for the gallery today. It and the sample sets are all I have left on the schedule. (And new work for the Taylor Kinzel Glass Show the first weekend in December and for the Atlanta and Dallas shows...)

Got another show solicitation yesterday, this one from the One of a Kind Wholesale Show in NYC a the end of January. I was tempted for a nanosecond--and then I remembered I am already doing *two* new big shows in January. No need to be nuts (nutser).

And that's it for glass. What I was really thinking when I started the post was that I still don't have the loom warped and I am only 1/3 of the way through knitting the first scarf for the Artist Market. Looks like my textile offerings are going to be a bit sparse. I need about five more hours a day--or I need to sleep less. But I like sleep. I need sleep. I am crabby if I don't get sleep. So I'm back to petitioning for five more hours in a day. Anyone else care to sign?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Week is Rushing Past Already

No coffee yet, the sound of it brewing for music. I'm up early this morning. Yesterday was a glassilicious, weaving and knitting-filled day--well nigh perfect in other words. I reviewed the layout for my upcoming sidelight article in Glass Patterns Quarterly and it's gorgeous. I committed to the Dallas Finds show and picked my spot (a 10 X 20 in the Atrium--prime, prime, prime). Unfortunately I didn't get the scheduled shipments out as a couple of the pieces were not perfect and I had to refire them. I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to ship all but one order today--and it can go out tomorrow along with all the sample sets.

When I have nothing left to make and ship for the year, what will I do with myself? I spent part of yesterday afternoon at Kavarna with the spouse and I just couldn't pick up the threads of the ERP system to date. Note to self: Do not start a software development project and then let it languish unimagined and untouched for a couple of months. I reviewed the requirements I wrote up on paper again and hope to be able to actually analyze the current database structure by next week. Development to follow?

Have you ever noticed how the minute it looks like you have some spare time something breaks to fill it? The hard drive on the home desktop decided to commit suicide over the weekend and now I look forward to the joys of taking it in, getting it replaced and having the data pulled from it... I roll on the floor laughing so hard my sides hurt. Scratch the having the data pulled part: It's always way too expensive to try to get data off a failed disk. Glad I backed everything up recently before upgrading the OS. Probably lost the complete collated iTunes, but the music is all safe on one of the laptops or the backup drive. Grr. What a time-wasting annoyance, and nothing to do with glass, weaving OR knitting! And speaking of knitting, I fringed the scarf I knit for J last night. Cute, cute cute and just little girl sized.

Many words are coming to me in threes this morning, wonder if it's a portent of the day. Now it's 7:15 and time to roust the Sprout for school. I'll think about the postcard I need to do before the winter shows later...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Abby Normal Monday

Coffee in the Atlanta skyline mug, "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers on iTunes. I always thought thatb that song was called the City of Angels or somesuch. Found out the truth last night when I went to sing it on Guitar Hero 2.

I bounced out of bed with a smile on my face, ready to take on the world today--not a normal Monday. But yesterday I finished J's knitted scarf but for the fringe, and I wound a warp for seven chenille scarves on the warping mill. Later today I'll warp the loom for the first time in over six years (oh it's good to have the basement finished!). The scarves are to sell at the holiday fair this coming weekend. The warp (the length of the scarves) is in charcoal chenille and each weft (width) will be in a different contrasting color from hot pink to fern green. I will weave them in 12 basic tabby and twill patterns that all have the same threading and treadle tie-up. But glass first...

Shipping, shipping, shipping today (and one fuse load) and tomorrow and then all the orders for the year will be out. I also have the last batch of ornaments to clean up and deliver to the 7th graders for them to put ribbons on before the holiday fair. I should go through all the older work in the studio too to decide which pieces I am going to sell at the fair. I'll get Mom to help me with that task.

In celebration of the end of the election project for Dave and the final orders shipping for me, I am having a Kavarna afternoon with my spouse and working on either the studio books, the ERP system or the website. Whew there's a lot to do on all of them before the beginning of the show season in January This show season will kick off here in Atlanta with the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and then trot on immediately to Dallas for the Dallas Finds show. Then I'll have a few weeks to rest before trekking to Philadelphia for the Buyer's Market of American Craft. More about THAT ambitious plan later. Now off to ship!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday My Favorite

No beverage, "Soldiers Chorus (from The Decembrists)" by The Soviet Army Chorus and Band on iTunes. I am serene. I didn't post first thing this morning even though it was a Kavarna day as I was out of juice on the laptop and so was Dave so I generously (quite generously) let him have the power cord first. I worked on my order from Ed Hoy's (nothing better than starting your day by flipping through a big, beautiful catalog). The order is in now--Jessie is adding glass buttons to her offerings for the Holiday Fair next weekend--and should be here mid-week next week (just in time to glue up the buttons!).

While at Kavarna I had a chat with the sales rep in charge of the handmade section of the Atlanta Gift Mart in January and I have decided to do the show. Then I will pack everything up and head to the Dallas Finds show... Big money, big goals for a big year.

This afternoon my new apprentice Kevin comes to the studio for a couple of hours. He is going to clean pieces, fill frit and then maybe pull a bit of stringer from the vitrigraph. Or I might let him make some ornaments, or some other piece. We'll see. Now off to pack up ornaments, unload kilns and get ready to pick up J and Kevin from school (Kevin is in 8th grade...).

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday Already

Coffee in the Denver architect series mug (with pumpkin spice coffee mate--yum!), "Shiny Happy People" by R.E.M on iTunes. It's a good day to be an American. I noticed as I started to post this morning that I have 666 posts in this blog. Is it a sign?! No post yesterday as I was off to the 7th graders at l'aube of dawn and had all the Jessie-out-the-door things to do too (Dave was still at CNN making the servers run on time for the election). But he was home last night and we all had a non-burned home-cooked meal of chipotle chicken, rice, beans, fried plantains with sour cream, and tortillas. Ah comfort starch.

I am fueled for a big glass day--too bad there isn't big glass to do. I still have yesterday's loads to fire--life interrupted glass as it has so often lately--but I should have them in by noon. I realized this morning that I have an appointment scheduled with my accountant tomorrow to go over my books for the year to date. I am going to have to reschedule as I haven't entered anything into Quickbooks since January and there's no way I can get it all in this afternoon--life interruptions again. I finally broke down and bought Quickbooks for the Mac. I got it just after a new version was released and so far it hasn't been too heinous (of course all I've done is migrate my old data and attempt [and fail] to establish connectivity with my bank accounts).

It's good to have the election done. It's been Dave's project for the past three years and now that the climax is over he'll have a lot of Kavarna days between now and the end of the year. Kavarna days (days when we work from the Kavarna coffee shop in Oakhurst) are good for me as they focus me on the ERP system and my website. It's hard to go to the studio when there's nothing to fire. It's a wonderful, welcoming space, but so is my house, and it's too easy to putter at home if I don't have something that must be done in the studio. Some days (like many recent ones) even something to do in the studio hasn't been enough to get me out of home mode.

Today I will be in the studio at 9:00. That's my goal and I'm stickin' to it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tuesday--Get Out and VOTE!

Nothing to drink, elevator music from my mom's little cd player for music (I think it's the Percy Faith Orchestra). Happy Birthday Jessie! Dave didn't have to go in to work till 11:00 as he's supposed to be there until about that time tomorrow so he made a birthday breakfast of eggs and (unburned) orange rolls. J opened a few presents and hied off to school with the cupcakes her father baked and frosted last night for her classmates (chocolate with blue icing). I headed off prepared to wait in line for several hours to vote and was in and out in under an hour. Whoo hoo!

The load of Jessie's Jewels for bracelets came out this morning and looks great--my child really has an eye for color and design (and she can tell one side of the dichro from the other easily which I can't). Today I'll slump the fuse load from yesterday and try out applying kiln wash to the new shelf for a fuse with a cheap chemical sprayer from Home Depot (that Dave picked up for me while out on errands this morning--where does he get all the energy?!?). Little putterings in the studio. When the election is over Dave will have lots of Kavarna time and I'll work on the ERP system and my website. Right now I just want to get through J's birthday, the election, the Waldorf lantern walk, the last round of ornament making with the 7th grade, and J's Girl Scout Investiture ceremony--all before the weekend. Oh yes, and some orders to make and ship...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Late and Lazy Monday

Coffee in the Austin skyline mug, "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley on iTunes to be followed by "Eden is Burning" by John Mellencamp and "Burning Down the House" by the Talking Heads in honor of the crispy dark bagel I had for breakfast--evidence that things really do come in threes (thing 1 and thing 2).

Another order came in over the weekend so there will be firing today. Jessie's Jewels are turning out beautifully--J and Gramma glued up batches of rings, pins pendants and a bracelet yesterday and they'll fuse up another bracelet batch today. Neither of them are thrilled with the smell of the glue--even with the front door of the studio open and the fan on--but it sure works well (Triolyse, provided by Dee).

Tomorrow is the election (yea, I get my spouse back!) and J's birthday. After a Saturday trip to the American Girl store I have presents, I might make cupcakes for school (got to find out what the birthday-celebration-at-school requirements are), and I'm ready for a quiet evening with cake, champagne, family, friends and CNN on the big tv.

Okay, best get my lazy self off to the studio!