Friday, February 25, 2011

on being 14.

i have a big project to attend to this friday evening.
it was not one of my own design.
it was started by my nearly 14 year old daughter.
she wants to have a party.
Real BAD!
ok, you know i really wanted to be grammatically sensitive and say "really badly".
but i am channeling my little drama queen right now.
and if i am fair, she often is channeling : Legally Blond.
I know this girl, and it is safe to say, that she is best followed.
it is too hard to try to push her into your version of what she wants or needs.
believe me , i have tried.
she is nice as can be about getting stuff done her way.
still i feel her little fingerprints all over me this time.
and you must know, i am ok with it.
how often does your kid take her/his ideas for a birthday party in hand.
figure out a guest list that works!
(this time it is going to be only her ice hockey teammates;
her besties will be treated to individual days of pampering or something more
relevant to their relationships.
these are the girls from her pre-school class, merely 10 years ago.
who knew.
that class of kids is reconnecting and it is hysterical.
many have stayed in touch all along.
as always, i digress).

my abhorrence of housekeeping is in play ... however i have done some bathroom
deep cleansing.
and vacuuming some rugs(it has to be done more than once.
the non-shedding dog has siblings all around us.
as if it were a magical event, the oven broke down.
it now influences the cake mixing.
for now.
i am planning to do one of those frozen whipped cream and refrigerator cookies cakes.
seems easy, i have been responsible for their creation for many decades already.
if in doubt, freeze it.

back to the main issue. the child figured out what she wanted for her party.
1} bowling:$19.oo an hour for 6 kids or less.
including bowling shoes.
2} cake: 2 boxes, one yellow, one chocolate.
one can of cream cheese frosting.
eggs, oil, water in house.
$3.99 for all give or take.
and she wants to do it herself.
candles in house already.
i wanted to make her a real layer cake with whipped ganache icing, but she did not want that.
3} pizza: two pies. dominoes... less than $20.oo somehow.
perhaps a coupon involved.
it is in the 180 degree opposite direction.
plus i have boycotted dominoes for my own reasons
(something to do with support of anti-abortion/right to life politics...not mine).
so we negotiated to go half-way for a local less costly pizza.
and to eat it at our house.
4} they have a game at the Home Rink at 9 a.m. saturday.
voila!!! now sleeping over.
air mattresses are pulled from camping supplies.
so i will be making pancakes at 7 the next morning.
they are queenling's favorites.
i must comply . no whining either.
i promise to try.
5} goodie bags already made.
candy purchased at market for filling the chinese takeout containers i bought for other to-go events.
Candy: $8.oo
containers: free
labels for containers: printed off of momma's computer.
nearly free.

Party Total:$51.oo
at least in her mind.
she has not had a party since she was a toddler.
I owe her.
yes, we own
"Legally Blond"
so i am sure that we will be viewing it ...
if other girls can stay up that late after the social directress
has had her way with us all.
i remain amusedly, support staff.
photos perhaps to follow. one never knows.

please wish me luck. there is an ungodly amount of dog hair everywhere.
and i forgot, there is a banner .... handmade by the birthday girl.
who could ask for anything more?


Sunday, February 20, 2011

more vendor loves & QQ's

Feedback Questions...
i wonder, am i going on too long?
as i am not too short on things to yak about.
i have looked at a bunch of other crafty & lifestyle blogs recently.
do i have too much to say?
should these entries be shorter in content?
or are you ok with my
"quirky style of prose"?
and the ongoing issue with photos....
in general, i size everything in square format to fit an etsy listing.
since my friend pibbles, suggested she wants to see bigger....
and i would say the same with anyone else...
i have been trying to make it work better for any "tired" eyes to see details.
my pal
JJ aka rosie revolver... who makes kickASS silver jewels,
tried her very best to help me out.
i think, i am unsure that this is a winning prospect.
only half of what i have added as pics are enlarging when i look at the blog.

so i am trying... but not sure if i am up to a real learning curve.
the idea of trying to solder is on one of my back 3 burners.
my new goal is to be more able to work in photoshop.
seriously, it ought to be easy.
those little icons make sense to someone, it just is not me yet.
this is probably a better goal to work towards.
it doesn't matter though.
i may be able to harness my college aged daughter
for some tutoring when she comes home for spring break.
she needs to not sleep all the week spite of her fatigue.

i need to do some basic flower painting. and selling...
work on some rosary style chains that i want to make ...
as well as replace recently sold jewelry stock.
lots of dreams and goals to work towards.

onto more of the main event.
vendors i have met at cabin fever...

this is the brain child of annemade designs.
as you might assume, her name is
she goes to local beaches and gets sand to implement in her very cool and pretty jewelry.
she is an artist of resin coloring, pouring and graphic designs.
it is fascinating to see how she makes humble things come together and POP!
we met at a show.
now we are bonded for life i think.
i look forward to spending time this summer at POM.
Providence Open Market.
she and dear Pam of
Black Sheep Designs
will be the organizers of this event for Chris Masci.
He is in one of these pics... and the guy behind all of these shows i am into.
(see photo in the middle here.).

Next up:
Nope. you are not seeing double.
i just have trouble not repeating things.
perhaps this is why my post lengths are longer than i might need for them to be.
this is Michelle and Kelly.
we met last year at
Cabin Fever.
they knit.
they crack me up.
they are darling.
they have an envious friendship.
I have oodles of splendid friends in my life.
most of my friends are not as close to me as
these two funny chicks are to one another.
i am too much of a homebody.
they leave their homes and hang out to knit.
{i used to have that friend. we would walk around Cambridge MA for exercise, talking, etc.
go to Jeanne's home after and knit while drinking Raspberry Tea.
after enough of that in the mornings, we would go eat Indian food or Mexican.
pretty much anything went if there was a spot of orange in the decor.
Jeanne is a gifted painter and lives in southern France with her significant other, Alain.
i got married and had 3 kids and a few quirky careers.}

so i see my girls at KNIT HAPPENS, and miss my youth.
they have made things come together as they had families...
and kept their friendship intact, growing and knitted all the while.
Now they have 4 kids and 2 hubbies and some pretty grandly styled knitted things.
you can just tell how warm their hearts are, cause they keep others warm too.
it just emanates from them.

(michelle said i snapped the photo when she was being "fresh". i did not know what she had said until i edited the image. guess she was,
just a little. snick. still cute...)

let me introduce
the talent behind VINTAGE FUSS.

i am bad with names.
i forgot hers nearly instantly.
I am sooo sorry...
she gave it to me willingly more than once.
my forgetfulness is generally hormonally based.
this time it was sleep deprivation driven too.
please forgive me.

i do not deserve the glee she showered upon me.
she asked Kelly if she was wendy b.
thinking that she would be able to chat.
well of course she did. she is a nice woman.
i went and admitted to her who i was.
( poor kelly. saddled with wendy-ness unwittingly.
she was wearing a wendy necklace. a birthday gift from her friends. an honest mistake you know. )
i know you may be reading this... miss vintage fuss.
please leave your real name in the comments for my sad and forgetful memory to grasp at again.

anyways, she makes things with vintage elements.

i might be jealous in no time, should she keep going like gangbusters as she has been.
we have different styles, thank heavens.
but someday in the not distant future, i will be tweaking about why i did not think of the things she made.
they are cool.
i hope she is tolerant of me then.
i am sure to be a dodderin' old bat then
(a little more than right now i mean).

so here is a hearty thank you to some of the other vendors at CF'11.


my plan is to show some of the stuff that never made it to my store.
i am overdue on playing catch up.
the show ate up my life the past few weeks.
since i have a little more free time and a few $$
i have been sleeping a lot. not helpful to you, but better for me.

as always,
xoxo. wendy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

cabin fever vendors and guests

You just have no idea when you get somewhere out of your comfort zone,
how it will work out.
totally obvious.
I apologize in advance for that.

As you may know,
this past sunday was the Cabin Fever Indie craft Show in Boston.
I have been relentlessly yakking about it anywhere anyone might let me.
thank you for not being turned off to that promotional,
self supporting,
I participated last year and again this year.
I just wanted to see if it was me or the venue that was rough.
It seems that it is just the time of year as post holiday,
digging into the snowy scenery
if i had to hazard a guess, tight pursestrings.
no one truly has that much to spare these days.
Between the icy, snowy, wet, damp, frosty, freezy winter we have had so far...
most folks have shortened tolerance for extra adventures that do not include
cerulean waters , sand underfoot, chef created foods and unstructured life.
i sure do.
as a matter of fact, i have not had an actual vacation since i was pregnant with my eldest child.
she is on her way to twenty now.
so i am not the poster child for relaxed living.

the vacation digression is now over, if only temporarily.
back to cabin fever...the show.
there were 80 artists of varying styles, mediums and cleverness scales.
art for walls.
warm clothing.
vintage clothing.
tee shirts.
E T C.

Usually, i never get to meander.
this time, my son was kind enough to come with me.
my daughter also broke out of her dorm to visit.
they covered my wares and i tripped the light fantastic.
i walked around and chatted with some of the folks i had already met and some new ones.
it was really nice to play connect the dots with many folks that i had wanted to meet.
i missed out on some.
i was embracing my own sleep deficit.
thus making my memory a little shorter term than usual.
here are a few of my cute co-exhibitors.

the very cute sister of one of my friends, lisa of glamourpuss jewels.
sis is Amy of ABCowls.
I tried to take a pic of her table looking full,
but that was not easy, since she had sold quite a few pieces !

then i chatted a bit with another Amy.
the clever woman who made many gorgeous silver items.
she had a couple of bowls fitted with mossy ground cover.
upon these she had her silver rings set for display.
her store is AG AMBROULT
i guess the ag, stands for amy or silver.
i should have asked.

right across from my table was Olivia.
her mom was not around when i took the pics.
she likes to come along for how much fun the whole process is.
Olivia is a tee-shirt genius.
her message is LOVE.
it is in all different languages and graphics.
pretty and clever all at the same time.
While she was at our show, her brother was manning their newly created
brick and mortar store with his girlfriend.
the message here is that LoVe is a family affair.

Here are Pam and Jay.
a husband and wife team.
Pam loves Patina.
By day M-F, Pam is a librarian.
Jay tends their 3 kids while she is out at the mainline job.
Jay helps and makes the funky, vintage tin earring stands they use.
He also makes the earring wires for Pam to hang cool jewels from.
They have chemistry.
and patina to show for it.

Here is the young woman, Jeanne, that was my left hand neighbor.
(the ladies room was to my right).
I thought i would not like her, since she was so pretty.
(yes, i am a little shallow that way)
in my defense, i thought she might be attitudinal.
She was so delightful, i wanted to adopt her.
just edgy enough and snarky to speak my language.
even more to the point, she and my kids were great company.
her warm little crocheted things were funky, well made, and as hip as she is.
if you can keep a secret,
we snagged a pair of fingerless gloves from her
for my unrepresented daughter's upcoming 14th birthday.
shhhh. don't tell tessa.
she is already relentless in so many ways,constructing a party for her big day.

Finally for the purposes of this posting,
there was the uber joyous
she too makes silver jewelry.
it is quirky,
clever too.
we did a trade.
i now have a nifty locket.
so freaking gorgeous.
i adore it.
now i have the utter joy of trying to make something clever for her in return.
i sure hope i can do her proud.
she really dislikes having her photo taken,
so i will regale you with her work instead.
(and yeah, i lied she is in the middle piccie).

ok, i know, this blogging takes time away from your regular life.
this is not all the folks i took photos of.
so i am going to split them up.
there is another post coming that will include other folks representing at this show.
and yes, customers too.

xoxoxo, wendy

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

on the other side

it is always a great feeling to be on the other side of something that you are anxious about.

it is something different for everyone and it can change all the time.
guess it pays to be totally nuts.
you can revel in how many different ways you can flit from one fear to the next.
again, i seem to be speaking about my very own sensibilities.

the second annual "Cabin Fever Indie Show" is now folded into its own magical place and mothballed for another year.

No one is more grateful than I, for this.
I get totally worked up and have many dialogues in my head as i ready my tables for wares i have made.
My productivity is limited
by little else, other than fatigue and time ultimately.

as my friend Anne of Anne Made Designs said this past week,
you would think it is my first show all over again.

As for that, my first show was at my daughter's school.
My first time out as a single vendor, i made a substantial amount of money, had one of my best friends as my co-seller and enjoyed the heck out of the entire process.
it has been up and down since then.
if i am honest, i have only had a few really great shows, and they were either at the school or at my friends' store, Kreatelier on Hope St. in providence.
i Have No idea how i got to be so spoiled about my expectations.
still perhaps, it is a commonly known artistic toilette water that i may have dabbed behind my ears and other pulse points.
i call it:
"Eau de Desperation".

it is the scented waters of strong need,teeth gritted together, acceptance,desire,proof of worth?
I remain tired of being unnaturally hungry both metaphorically as well as epicuriously.
it is perhaps a metaphor for how hard things have become
It is felt by other artisans. we have needs just like accountants, doctors, lawyers
and other trained professionals.
we need to not only fill our bellies,
straighten our children's teeth,
watch a silly movie,
and pay our mortgages.
we need to attend to another burning hunger as well.

It is the need to express ourselves through our art.
it takes passion. not something spoken of in a trivial manner.
the passion of a long distance runner.
the passion of a scientist.
the passion to trust in one's self.
the passion of a
n honest person.
the passion of a romantic.
the passion to override all other things and carve time for one's self.
just plain old passion.
and drive to let passion work for you.
I do not feel that i have EVER been so stubborn.
It takes everything in a state of delicate balance to perform my obligated tasks such as housework. cooking.laundry. toilet scrubbing. chauffeuring people to and fro.
all this is done so that my creamy inner center can be nurtured and tenderly teased into construction of another creative quest.
it has no guarantee. it is simply a release of an idea to see if it will come together.
somewhere between amassing some materials one has love for and what you can make, fabricate,create, connect, experiment with, design, dream about ...
you know, items in an artist's tool belt.
it is an act of faith,
akin perhaps to walking on air.
sometimes you itch, sometimes you scratch.
it just needs to be acknowledged.
and then... you must act upon it.
that little idea.
that thing inside of you.
if you are really lucky, you have not squashed it down so far, that it doesn't rise up and direct you.
you can act upon it.
it can be something physical in front of you. musical. artistic. crafted. created. appreciated by one's own self and perhaps ultimately others.
it becomes.

now, i don't want anyone to think that i am grumpy and miserable at shows.
i generally am pretty happy.
i am shocked at how much is needed to stay tickled about setting up a store for one day.
the challenge alone is worth the entire enervated pre-show prep.
and the end of show tally.
firstly, did i make money?
did i meet anyone wonderful?
have i made a connection in that human way to another person?
did i feel validated somehow?
what was the total of my experiences?
will i do this all over again?
what could i change?
how much fun did i have?

laugh out loud,
shake fist at the sky,
make someone's day,
question the process,
apply chapstick.....
rinse and repeat.

i did have a blast.
i was numb and tired enough not to experience all the nuances.
might have been what needed.

i traded a locket by Lauren Blaise
for one of my monstrously convolutedly overgrown, enamel floral necklaces.
I am dead on sure that i am getting the better deal out of this. she is unbelievably talented, generous, sweet, smart and oh yeah, double dose of talented. modest beyond her years too.
i girl fanned her. not everything makes me swoon.
her work did.
a round brooch of silver about 2" across. its layering of a silver back and a top layer of tiny open cut squares sandwiched an unexpected layer of fur. the little fluffy bits poked out through the squares all neatly and precisely hand cut. the mix of rabbit fur and silver.

then there were the nearly Adolf Loos(one of my heroes... wrote a book called " Crime and Adornment")
... an elevated level of precisely curlicued frames with their centers filled unexpectedly with snake skin.
but what made my heart flutter, was the hand built locket she wore. it was simply clean, delicately flowered, a nod of the head to a more Victorian lifestyle...
and its twin has been made mine.
like i said. ..... .
talent. beauty. grace. now mine.

our other neighbor, jeanne. she crochets.
sweet little wraps for cups of hot coffee.
thermal concepts.
loved them.
and hats.
and fingerless gloves.
great colors.
great attention to detail.
and just the right amount of sneering and smiling
can be made perfect under or in one of her nicely crafted warmers.
i knit.
so we talked.
mostly she and lauren bonded with graham. my charming and helpful (to the max) 17 year old son.

eventually when my daughter, halley surfaced from her bostonian college digs,
she too was embraced in our nodule of camaraderie.

graham shone.
he helped all the girls with their floral earrings.
he learned how to take credit cards in about 5 minutes.
this is something that took me a year of investigating.
halley shone too.
halley helped the quiet and quirky customers.
she connected with them.
the kids have different personalities.
they both stepped up.
they both shone.
for different reasons.
i truly was tickled that i could leave and walk around without a worry about anything.
i knew my best products would be handling my bejeweled other products perfectly well.
in likelihood, perhaps better than i might.
there was my extraordinary sleep deficit to be taken into account.

so this was another show. one that i was utterly crazed getting ready for.
one that is like all others. a big fat question mark. one with a lot of different choices.
and ultimately expressive of me and my creamy inner center.

so selfishly spoken about here,
but i figure, if you are reading this, you may identify with something i've said.
there is a need for connection in the frailty of humankind.
and if so, i am grateful.
thank you for hanging in.
there is more to be said.
photos say a lot too.
lots and lots.
so that will be another posting.
right now, i think a nap is in order.
maybe two.

thank you oodles,
xoxo. w.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

preparation for a show...

i am exhausted.
so much to do still and so little feels done.
it surely will all come together at some point.
(i truly hope that is sooner than later).
i have a show
next weekend in Boston.
the south end to be exact.

it is the brainchild of Chris Masci.
he is also responsible for the
SOWA open markets held in Boston's South End.
They happen almost every sunday between may and october.
(i plan to participate again, more vigorously this year.)

I participated twice early last autumn.
the vibe is very pleasant and
dogs on leashes are welcomed by regularly filled water dishes
clever craftspeople
talented artisans of all kinds
and some groovy foods from the fleet of ever-changing
"catering" trucks.

i have a big personal goal this year.
i want to get less unnerved by my insane process of getting ready for these things.
this could be a very very tall order.

anyways, here are some pics from last year at the first ever
Cabin Fever Show !

this is what my table looked like

there was a really nice window behind my table that allowed a lot of light in.
this was great since the lights kept going out.
it seems that the electrical service was not quite up to our needs.

this was my sweet friend kelly.
she and i met in real time at this show.
she is totally adorable and with her equally adorable partner,
michelle, they sold knit goodies from their space.
they also sell on etsy under the clever name
"knit happens".
i can't wait to see them again this weekend.
oh yeah, she snagged this groovy green bracelet for her birthday too.

a little different view of my table ...

this is a random customer that tried on a necklace.
ultimately the aforementioned adorable michelle and assorted friends
snagged this exact necklace with the frozen charlotte, for their sweet friend kelly for a celebratory gift .

I love seeing what my necklaces look like on other ladies.

it gives me a broader perspective.
also a swelling appreciation for what i love doing.


some of my
SOWA appearances last september.

i snagged this bracelet rack at a flea market earlier in the summer for a whopping $4.00.
it was ugly and a random wooden color, so i spray painted it white.
(I imagine that All of my neighbors think i am fully crazed.
I spend a lot of time spray painting things out in front of my house all summer long.
It is very gratifying and quick for a change of color or freshening update).
anyways, i figured the display should blend in
or serve as a neutral foil in the sea of white crafters' tents,
for the myriad of colorful flowers i planned to hang on its rungs.
its use is part of my "fly by the seat of my pants"
show set-up.

this is my dressmaker's dummy.
i found her while on a mission seeking a form for some of my larger necklaces.
she keeps me company in my studio space... and reminds me of my maternal grandmother.
the woman could sew like nobody's business.

the glove form is useful for holding some bracelets.
i have always regretted not buying a fleet of hands
when i used to frequent the flea market in Norton, Ma.
that was when i was in architecture school and had nothing in the way of spare money.
the treasures i passed up out of waiting too long,
being uneducated, and not having any real disposable income.
not to mention a much narrower vision due to youth.
my earring stands are tomato cages inverted and cleaned up a little.
i thought that they were not as good a display as i had hoped for.
it is good though to keep striving for a good solution and flex those design muscles.

I plan to be a participant in the Providence Open Markets this year too.
they will be held on Saturdays in Lippitt Park.
for you local Providence denizens,
this means at the park created where
Hope St. intersects with "the Boulevard".
just next to the farmers' market.

so i am going back to my preparations now,
and leave you with this shot of sunshiny earrings in progress.

perhaps tomorrow, they will be all kinds of sparkly and hung on earring wires.
this will free me up to make some more for filling a treasure chest or two.
i have a display idea in motion
and will hopefully find it a good solution for my set-up and break-d0wn.
i need to make things easier on myself so my family can still live here
while i am losing my mind.
did i mention i am not very nice when stressing out about shows?
i admit i am horrible.
random and miserably cranky.

if i do enough shows, perhaps i will become a more relaxed citizen of the show world.
i have plenty to look forward to this time.
i now have some friends at the shows that i look forward to seeing.
perhaps you know them already?

let me just start name dropping for a bit here:

1}my friend, confidant, coffee appreciating, partner in jewelry crimes...
pam of "black sheep designs"
2} the adorable girls kelly and michelle of "knit happens"
3}then there is trish.. who makes gorgeous jewels from
treasures that ali baba would be envious of...
stones, pearls,vintage buttons etc. ... "IDazz Design"
4} my friend Lisa who will be at another show, representing her "Glamourpuss Designs"
will be missed at cabin fever, but will be busy at the "rock and roll yard sale" in
Providence that same day.
5}Luckily, her sister Amy will be selling her own felted warm gloves, mittens, scarves etc.
from her store, "ABCowls".
6} if you love local beaches, don't miss my pal Anne of "Anne Made Designs".
she integrates beach sand into her graphically popping, resin filled hand made jewelry pieces.

there are other artisans that i have my sights set upon to meet.
perhaps i will babble about those fine folks in the hindsight of this show.
i feel that this is going to be fun. fun. fun.
until my daddy takes my T-bird away.
or the show ends.

so that is all for now.
i am grindingly tired.
so tired that i surely will walk into a wall tonight as a drunkard might.
i hear sleep deprivation is much like having a high blood alcohol level.
not gonna disagree.

see you soon hopefully.
i love that you may have chosen to read this far.
thank you for that commitment.

night night... xow.