Sunday, October 31, 2010

R.I.P. Cinder

Cinder, Black Cat, Bad Cat, BC, Woobie, Catty-man, Little Shit. A cat of many names and personalities.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Computer Woes

After a fatal error with Microsoft Outlook early this morning, I've spent the entire day today trying to recover my email address list. No luck. I've lost everything. All my contacts with friends, family, customers, students... everybody. I had to un-install and re-install, so it's like it's brand new and I don't know anybody. Can't even get the information off a backup.

And I've lost my inbox, too. So, if you're waiting for a response from me, you'll have to send it again, or remind me. Also, please send and email to so I can rebuild my list.

I really wanted to get in the studio and be creative today. It was not in the cards.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Uninspired by New Stuff

I went to a wholesale gem and jewelry show today in Asheville and about all I bought was beads and stringing stuff. I think every table had some of these really sparkly crystal beads and I had to buy some of them. (You know I'm like a crow, don't you? The shiny things always catch my eye right away.) I also got some little turquoise and red jade beads.

 And then I got some of these teeny tiny (2mm) seed pearls:

 And some silver cones... To finish the ends of a string of several strands of beads. And the little silver chips... I have no idea what I'll do with them, but they looked interesting.

I had a list with me, as I usually do, with specific things I was looking for, but none were to be found. When that happens I put myself into "creative" mode, look at all the things offered for sale and think "Can I do something cool with this?" That's what was going on in my head when I saw the silver chips above. But I was mostly disappointed. Not disappointed in the show so much, but with myself. I just couldn't seem to find anything that was terribly exciting and I was thinking about needing to buy SOMETHING so that I have material to work with when I'm snowed in this winter. That's why I bought so many beads. No stones, no findings, just beads.

I wanted to buy some silver chain, but the people that I buy from had a horrible booth set up - a 3-foot-wide entrance into a square of tables filled with more tables (very hard to move around) - and such a long line that I didn't really want to stand there. I estimate that it would have taken 30 to 45 minutes just to get the chain cut, then another 20 minutes or so in the line to pay. And the people who were standing in line to get their chain cut had half of the spools in their hands, so you couldn't even see it all. Baaaad setup!

So after wandering around and around for almost two hours and spending just a fraction of what I normally would, I just gave up and came back home. There will be another one in January and, weather permitting, I'll go again. I'll get there early and get in line for silver chain!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall Leaves Leaving

Photo by Dale Forrest, available at Hands Gallery.

I woke this morning to 25 degrees and our first heavy frost. Windshield-scraping frost. As the sun came over the mountain and hit the trees, any leaves left on them released their hold and came down like rain. Especially the walnuts and maples. It always seems a little sad to me. In the Spring I excitedly watch the lovely green spread up the hills as each day passes. They hang on tightly through rain, thunderstorms and wind all through the summer and protect my little house from the eyes of my one visible neighbor like a cocoon. They desperately hold on to their colors for a few weeks in October, then comes a morning like today. Now it's bare trees until late April and I'll need to close my blinds at night so I don't feel like I'm in a fish bowl.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ramping Up the Etsy Shop

Just a few of the things that I've added lately to my Etsy Shop so you can start your holiday shopping right now! You can click on the photos above to take you to the listing, or the widget to the right scrolls through all the items and you can click on the ones you like to take you directly to that item in the shop. Let's get this party started! Tell your friends! I'm adding new things every day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

After the Show

The Valle Country Fair was fantastic! The weather was quite cold in the pre-dawn hour when we arrived (our first morning with frost - a little late this year), but as soon as the sun came up over the mountain it began to warm up and layers of coats and sweaters came off as the morning progressed. The sky was totally clear, and the wind eased off by mid morning. There were SO many people there that it was hard to maneuver between the booths. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that there were record crowds this year. Too bad for the visitors, though, that most of the beautiful leaves had blown off the trees the day before.

Since I knew the weather was supposed to be fine, I decided not to set up my tent. That thing is a royal pain in the ass, and the wind on Friday posed a threat of blowing it away over night. The jewelry was sparkling in all that gorgeous sunshine and sales were brisk. Not just for me, but I believe that all of my friends did well, too.

Kimberly helping a customer

Brenda, behind her pottery

Debbi wrapping a purchase

Dianne talking to her customer

Over all it was a great day, but honestly, I'm glad it's over. Kimberly and I were exhausted by the time we got home. This was my last show of the season and now I can concentrate on updating my sadly neglected Etsy Shop and stocking the galleries for holiday sales. Watch this space for updates on that front.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Valle Country Fair!

What started out as a church bazaar 32 years ago has grown into one of the best festivals in this part of the state. It's always the third Saturday in October - the time of year when the fall colors are always at their peak.  The Church of the Holy Cross in tiny Valle Crucis, North Carolina sponsors the event and is responsible for distributing the proceeds to local charities. There are 135 fine art and craft booths and one of them will be mine. There's always good music and lots of fresh apple butter and cider and other good food.

Held in a field surrounded by mountains showing off the glorious colors, it's a draw to the "leaf peepers" and there's always a huge crowd.

I look forward to this show, and I think that even afer I quit doing all other shows (a direction that I'm definitely moving toward), I think that I might still like to do this one. The weather is supposed to be perfect this year, which is a real blessing. I've been there some years when it snowed on us and it was so cold that I thought my nose would snap off. Last year was a mud fest after weeks and weeks of rainy weather. (And, if you've been reading this blog that long, you'll remember that I had an infection from a botched root canal that day, too.) In any kind of weather it's always a good show.

This year I'll have all of my amazing new work and I'm also going to do something different. I recently went through all of my inventory and found some things that are really.... well... old. There's nothing wrong with them, and in my opinion they're beautiful and I don't understand why I haven't sold them yet. I feel like I need to clear out these old pieces because they wear me down. I want to concentrate on finding new directions. So, I've polished them all up and marked them down and I'll have them in a basket for customers to go through. Hopefully, people will look at this as treasure hunting for a great deal.

My good friend Kimberly will be coming from Charlotte on Friday to help me and we always have a great time visiting. After last year I think she's a glutton for punishment, but she volunteered to do it again, so I'll take her up on it. I usually see a lot of familiar faces and several of my fellow co-op members will have booths there, also. The organizers always put us close to each other so it can turn into quite a party! To top off a fun but exhausting day, the Valle Crucis Elementary School does a fund raising dinner on Saturday night. Fried chicken, slaw, green beans, mashed potatoes, biscuits home made dessert and sweet tea. The ultimate comfort food before going home and collapsing.

So if you happen to be in the area, come see me. This event will not disappoint.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just Call Me "Billy"

You know how in the Family Circus cartoons the Mom sends Billy out on an errand and he detours all over the neighborhood before he gets to his destination? That's what's going on here today. Most days I'm focused and straightforward, knowing what needs to be done and finishing each thing before starting the next (for the most part). Today I'm more like Billy, or a crow being distracted by shiny objects. At the end of the day I'll see if I actually accomplished anything. Right now I think I'll...... ooooo..... shiny!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't mess with me today!

Photo borrowed with gratitude from

I had a bad night last night, leading to maximum grouchiness today. I couldn't fall asleep because a friend told me her step-dog got locked in a car during the heat wave last summer and died. I knew that dog. I couldn't get that horrible image out of my head. At midnight I decided that I should set the alarm clock because I had to get up on time this morning and go to work at the gallery. I woke up at 6:00 (about an hour and a half too early) and was wide awake. Now, I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open. Not much business here in the gallery to keep me occupied and I forgot to re-stock my traveling work bag so I'm missing the parts I need to make some knotted necklaces. I have a book to read but it's so difficult to concentrate on it with my eyes slamming shut all the time. When I made my lunch this morning I discovered that the bread was stale and the cheese was moldy. The turkey was OK, so it was just turkey on stale bread for lunch. I was out of mayonnaise. Akkk.

I found out yesterday that my sister and I have to move my Dad from one apartment in his retirement center to another one at the end of this month. He's lived there independently for three years and his Doctor has said he needs more help. He can get that without having to leave his friends by moving to the second floor, where they'll keep a better eye on him by checking on him a couple of times a day and helping him do things that are difficult for him. He got rid of a lot of things when he sold his house so there won't be a whole lot of culling to do this time, and he'll be hiring someone to do the heavy lifting. We just have to pack the fragile things and supervise the move. It's hard watching a parent go down hill, but, thankfully he really likes living there and will be able to stay there for at least a while longer.

And, speaking of going down hill... my 18-year-old cat has become very frail. There have been several times in the last few weeks that I thought he was a goner, but he rallied. It's hard to leave him for a day at the gallery, much less for a trip out of town. I don't think it will be too much longer before I find him passed away, or I have to make the dreadful decision of ending his suffering. I hate this.

So, a lot on my mind today and none of it too pleasant. Let's hope tomorrow's better.