Thursday, December 10, 2009

Work vs Play

When I tell people I’m an artist most of them seem to have this vision of me standing at an easel all day following my muse. I was thinking this morning about how most folks really don’t understand the difference between creating art for fun and creating art for a business. I love what I do, but contrary to what most people think, I don’t get to paint all the time and I don’t get to paint whatever I want to, and I can’t always do it when I’m in the mood and feeling inspired.
For instance, about two weeks ago I was scurrying about trying to ship holiday orders, and make enough stock for Pike Place Market as well as all my wholesale orders and in the midst of that mayhem realized that my 2010 catalog needed to go to print by mid December in order to have it in time for the winter wholesale shows.
Uh-oh.
So here I was in the middle of the busiest season of the year and I had to find time to paint. Not only to paint, but also to come up with new ideas. And not only did I have to do this in a rush when I was already overloaded (my own fault, of course) but I had to paint what I think will sell, not what I felt like painting. For me that kind of creating is not as much fun, not as inspiring or relaxing and not as rewarding.
It means compromise.
Such as:
Because I hadn’t planned ahead, I had to fit it in at night after working all day making the gears of my business run smoothly. This meant dragging myself back into the studio after dinner when I’d rather be reading my book, out for a drink with friends or just sitting by the fire with the cats.
And then there’s the creative compromise. For instance: I have been resisting the Angel alarm clock request for years. (I believe I wrote about it here not that long ago) Call me a scrooge, but I just can’t deal with sugary sweet cute stuff like angels and unicorns. But I finally gave in this week and decided to do it. And the bowling wall clock? Not my thing really, but I’ve had a lot of requests so I had to get over myself and do it.
Now, the Lizard and the T-Rex were more fun.
And the Dinner Dog wall clock, I loved doing this one.
The little bird magnets and the leaves were fun, too. But the bowling magnets and the skiing magnets? Not so much. Still, I did them – they were on the list and I have to listen to my customers and buyers if I want to make a living.

Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE what I do. I know this job is about as cushy as they come. I don’t have to risk my life in the coalmines, or sit in a cubicle or answer to anyone else in any way. I can take Facebook breaks and listen to podcasts while I work. I feel absolutely blessed and lucky to be making a living with my art. I say thank you every day. Really. Out loud.

But sometimes I almost forget how much I love painting and long for the days when I did it for that love. When I could drift off into my right brain and feel that meditative, spiritual sense of relaxation and expression that comes from creating from that pure place. If you’re an artist you know that feeling.

So, come January I’m going to dedicate a few days off to painting just for fun, just for me. To remind myself how and why I do what I do and feel that surge of creativity run through my veins again. It's the addiction to that drug that got me where I am today, and I'm long overdue for my next dose.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I try to keep this blog all business and not get too personal, but there are some times the lines blur.
It's been a tough couple of months. I've been going back and forth to the East Coast where my mother has been in and out of the hospital. It's been a scary ride and there were many times we almost lost her. She's doing better now (still in the hospital but improving) and I am still trying to catch up. This has been the hardest thing I've ever gone through, but at the same time I feel so blessed and grateful for the many lessons I've learned.
1. Yes I can! Being self employed I have always felt like I can't leave my business for more than a couple of days unless it's for a business trip. I've spent over 35 days out of town in the past two months and while it hasn't been easy, I learned it can be done. Friends help out and do what they can, catching up in between each trip has been overwhelming at times, but my buyers and customers have been incredibly understanding. I'm still able to pay my bills and it's all working out. And the bonus lesson: I realized I can take a vacation.
2. It's really okay to ask. I've never been very good at asking for help or support, but I sure had to learn these past 9 weeks. I realized that many people like to be asked. Friends feel helpless when you're in crisis and accepting their help is good for them, too. And when I had no choice I found that others could do things that I always thought only I could do. Apparently I'm not indispensable.
3. I have the most amazing, incredible, generous friends. There really are no words. I am beyond grateful for the cat sitters, the bill payers, the stock deliverers, the order packers, the errand runners, mail collectors and all the amazing people who did thankless jobs like empty rotting food out of my fridge and cleaning the kitty litter box while I was gone. I am also thankful to the kind folks at BMAC who accommodated my needs to set up early and get out fast when that dreadful call came, to all who listened and gave me hugs when I was falling apart, and for my kitties who remind me every day to be quiet and get centered, and guide me there with a nuzzle and a purr.
4. It really is true that you can handle more than you think you can. I never would have imagined I could manage the kind of stress, worry and workload I have this past summer and fall. I found priorities became clear, the choices became easier, family became closer and friends held me up when I was down. When you are in crisis some primal instinct steps in to help you find balance. I learned to breath, that you can only take it one step at a time and that being in the moment is the key.
5. Thank you Verizon. As much I resent my cellphone most of the time (I hate to give out my number and almost never turn the blasted thing on) I have to admit, it was my lifeline while I was away. I cannot imagine managing everything without it while spending 12-14 hours a day at the hospital, 3,000 miles from home.
6. I believe in angels. It's true our healthcare system needs some reform, and I won't go into the countless stories of how many times a day mistakes were made or it took hours to get help. (NEVER let someone you love fend for themselves in a hospital!) But the people in the trenches, the kind, hard working doctors, nurses, PCT's, and PA's at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut are my heroes. I never in my wildest dreams imagined we'd be surrounded by such wonderful, kind, caring and patient people. There are too many to list, all with wings - but Dr. David Cohan - I may have to make you a cape.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Contest

First of all,I apologize for my absence for the past month. I've been dealing with a family emergency and have barely been home since late July. I am home now, things are improving and will post again soon. I promise!
For now, here's the next contest. The prize is the newest wall clock - Leap Frog. And if you tell a friend about the contest and they win - you win, too! Just tell them to include your name and email in the comments section of the entry form.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Peek into Trade Show World

I thought it would be fun to show you what it's like to set up for a trade show, so I took mini-videos during different stages of my set up at the Buyer's Market of American Craft. This starts about an hour into set up, after I unloaded all the boxes from the palette, carted the palette out of the way, dragged my tables into position and hung up one curtain. That's about when I remembered that my video camera was in my purse.
This is not the best video, and some of the shots will seem repetitive, but if you look carefully you'll see things have changed. (small changes to you, but a there is lot of work done between each shot.) Setting up a 15 foot booth alone is about a 6-8 hour process. Some artist's set up is simpler and shorter, and some are incredibly elaborate, including the building of walls and other major structures and can take a couple of days.
The last sequence was taken the morning of the show just before it started. I wish could have showed you all the other beautiful booths and interviewed other artists but we are not allowed to have cameras on the show floor during the show. (this is a very good rule, which protects the artists.)
Feel free to ask questions if you have any. Enjoy.
video

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stories from the Front lines

Last week at the market a woman stood at my booth looking at the magnets for quite a while. They all look they same and fill a large display stand with a sign that says "Magnets".
After a few minutes she asked "Are these ALL magnets?"
Confused, I hesitated before answering, "Yes, they're all magnets."
"Oh," she said with a pause...and then, "What do they stick to?"
After a stunned moment I answered. "They stick to metal."
"Ohhhh" she said and thought about it for a long minute before asking "Is that all?"
When I told her yes, she left. I'm not sure what kind of magnets she usually uses, but I wish I'd asked.
I am constantly stunned at the questions people ask and the strange things they say at my booth. A few years ago a well dressed middle aged woman told me in all seriousness that she'd love to buy one of my clocks but couldn't because she lived in a different time zone.
Many years ago my friend Jane was selling jewelry at Pike Place Market and a woman spent a long time choosing a pair. When she finally narrowed it down Jane said "You know, you should really try them. Wait'll you seem them in the mirror, they look great."
The woman picked up the earrings, held them (still on the card) up in front of the mirror and said "You're right! They Do look great in the mirror!"
I just love people. It's endlessly amusing and astonishing working with the public.
Then there was the time when my boyfriend and I were selling hand panted eggs and a couple admired them, oohing and ahhing over each design. Finally the wife said "You know, I really love them.....but if you sat on them they would break."
I was speechless, but quick witted Bruce said "Well, I guess if you're shopping for something to sit on, you might want to look somewhere else."
And one my favorites was from another artist, who when asked for a business card answered "You know, I'm all out. But I tell you what - when I get home I'll throw one out for you."
(I'm sure most of you have your own stories. I'd love to hear them. Really, we should compile a book.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Fun Part

I used to have a joke with my boyfriend whenever we found ourselves in the middle of some unexpected adventure, like getting hopefully lost in a strange town, or finding ourselves at a wedding with a bad band and a sleeping drunk at our table. I'd look at him and say "I love this part!". As if we were watching a movie. For some reason it always made us both laugh.
About a month ago I had an idea for a new product: magnetic bookmarks. I was just about to leave for a show in Las Vegas, and before I left for the airport I ran into the studio and made some quick funky prototypes. I packed them along, showed them to buyers and all of them seemed to love the idea.
Now, I've mentioned before that I'm impatient. So I didn't do the easy thing and decide to introduce the new line next winter. I decided to debut them at The Buyer's Market of American Craft in Philadelphia, August 1st-3rd. Which meant I had just over four weeks to design the whole line and have them printed, packed up and shipped, and create a custom point of sale display (which I'll be selling to buyers for their stores.)
Developing a new product line is fun, but it's also exhausting and stressful. And you can always count on the fact that there will be puzzles and problems along the way. So doing it with a tight deadline looming really amps up the tension. I had to design each of the bookmarks inside and out, (that's 24 different designs, folks) research and order the correct magnets (not as simple as it sounds), find a place that could make custom sized clear envelopes, as well as a place that would design a custom resale display and have it delivered in time, then create and print new catalog pages, specials flyers, postcards, signs, webpages, etc. The number of phone calls, diagrams, faxes and samples that I dealt with every day was staggering. It was crazy, every minute seemed hectic, every decision more complicated than I expected. But I did it. At least my part is done - as of today.
1600 magnets arrived yesterday. 24,000 bookmarks and 30,000 clear sleeves are due here by early next week, as is the display prototype. Then I just have to assemble and package about 300 samples, pack them all up and ship them out to Philly by the end of the week.
But you know what? I love this part.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Staycation!

I work 6 days a week, so Sundays tend to be all about chores and errands and catching up on personal emails, phone calls, etc. The only time I ever take time off is when I go visit family or go to a trade show. And in my book, those don't really count. I have been incredibly busy this year and a little burned out. So have been craving what I think of as 'a real weekend' - two full days in a row of doing whatever I want to do. All day. No requirements, no obligations, no work of any kind. I figure if I can't go away on a vacation, I can pretend I'm on one right here at home, right? So last weekend I did something I haven't done in years. I took the entire two days off.
First, I called two dear friends and we planned a canoe trip down the Black River for Saturday. Diane and Mary arrived at my house that morning and we packed up our picnic lunch and drove to Black River Canoe Trips in Tenino where our rented canoes awaited us. Then we set out on the river, and spent the day laughing, watching heron, eagles, and hawks. It was a fabulous trip. On the way home we stopped in a perfect little small town dive bar for cold drinks, compared our sunburned arms and vowed to plan special day trips more often.
Sunday was a rare treat. I let myself have a lazy morning (no chores allowed, and I had to fight myself a few times as I reached for the windex) and then spent the entire afternoon at the V spa in Olympia where I had scheduled a day of pampering. I started off with a fantastic 90 minute massage. My masseuse was fantastic. She gave me an incredible facial massage she learned in Brazil (which is where she is from). My massage was followed by a lovely lunch of salad, fresh fruit, iced tea and frozen yogurt for dessert. I felt like a princess, sitting in a huge overstuffed chair in my terry robe, being served lunch on a tray in the beautiful little private sitting room.
When they came to get me after lunch, I could barely move. But next was the deluxe anti-aging facial and knew it would only get better. The highlight of that hour was the Self Heating Mud pack which was applied to my spine and stayed on during the facial treatments. It was the strangest sensation ever, and the sounds it made! The entire hour it was bubbling, crackling, popping and even squeaking and felt like tiny fingers and bubbles parading all over my back. I loved it!
By the time I got home I was more relaxed than I remember feeling in years. I spent the evening on the deck reading and ignored the phone and kept myself from checking email. I honestly felt like I'd escaped for the weekend without the hassle of travel.
I love working for myself. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but I have to admit that I'm the toughest boss I've ever had. I never imagined that I'd end up working pretty much every day when I started this business. As most of you know, there's always something that needs to be done and when your business is your passion, it's hard to choose time off instead. But I remembered this weekend that as important as my work is, I need to make more time for me. And I'm putting in for another weekend off soon.
I hope my boss approves it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Contest!

Has it really been three weeks since I've posted here? I've been so busy since the show in Las Vegas, it's been crazy.
So instead of a long post on any particular topic I thought I'd share my excitement about my brand new Contests page. I've wanted to add a contest to my site for a long time. I love giving things away! I will not be collecting email addresses, you will not be added to any lists when you enter. But if you want to be notified of future contests you can sign up for the newsletter.
For my first contest I'm offering a supercool combo-prize. One wall clock, one alarm clock, one set of magnets, and one dozen cards. Your choice of design. (That's $90 worth of goodies.) Enter now and please tell your friends!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Off to See the Wizard

I'm getting ready to take off for Las Vegas tomorrow. I'm not really a Las Vegas kind of gal, I'm going to the American Craft Retailers Expo. It's a beautiful show (If I do say so myself - I'm on the jury) and it's well run by a Wholesalecrafts.com. In it's third year, the show is still growing and it's been really exciting to be part of it from the beginning. I'm looking forward to meeting new buyers, writing lots of orders and seeing my west coast artist friends like Amy Peters, Heather Kraty, Mercedes Brugh, and Kay Young. As I've mentioned before I get to see these friends only a few times a year and I love the camaraderie and community at wholesale shows. 
Anyway, I just popped in to leave a note - it's been too long. And I wanted to be sure and let you all know about a really cool and affordable series of classes. It's The IndieBizChicks Summer Business Sessions. These classes meet online every Tuesday night to discuss business topics of all kinds, Each class is led by an expert in the field and the guest list is impressive. Here are just a few:
 Each class is an hour, and the entire series costs only $14.95. How can you say no? 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A quick note

As my friend JR says "I love the Internets!" 
You know how you start in one place on the web and it leads you from one great resource to another? Recently I posted a question about blogging to the American Craft Forum. Now, this is a great resource - a fantastic discussion board for working artists. Well known professionals from all over the country share their knowledge on this board, and I highly recommend it. 
Anyway - I saw that a wonderful jewelry designer named Nicolette Tallmadge replied with some terrific advice. Although I don't know Nicolette personally, I know of her and I love her jewelry. So I decided to check out her blog and  lo and behold, discovered that she's teaching a live teleseminar in just a few days on Twitter. What do you know? I've been looking for a Twitter mentor!
We all know that Twitter can be a great way to expand your audience, your customer base and your image. And this class is a great deal, which is why I immediately signed up and decided to send a special edition of the Hot Tips Newsletter about it. But in case you don't subscribe to the newsletter here's the scoop:
TELESEMINAR:
How to Use Twitter to Get More Traffic, More Subscribers, and More Customers
DATE: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
TIME: 8:00 PM Eastern Time
(if you can't make it you'll get a link to the recording)
With the class you get a downloadable guide for twitter newbies, the full written transcripts to the call, a full Twitter tools and services resource list, and instructional videos on how to use some of these tools and services. And if you're one of the first 100 to sign up, you'll get a free CD of the class. 
For just $17.95 this is a steal! 
I love the way the web makes things so easy, so affordable and so immediate. I posted a question, I got answers. I looked a little further and found a class I can take from my own comfortable chair in my own studio which addresses something I've been wanting to learn, taught by someone in my own field. Pretty cool, huh? I'm really looking forward to the class. Maybe I'll see you there! 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Two Heads Are Better Than One

So, as I said, I constantly dream of being able to create things that I simply do not have the skills, knowledge or expertise to make. And gauging from the comments and email from my last post ("Embracing Uncomfortable") 
many of you do this, too. It makes sense that our creative minds are always seeking ways to play. Over the years I've been able to satisfy some of those creative whims by collaborating with friends.
For instance, after thinking about it for years, I fulfilled my fantasy of creating a giant wooden clock with my friend Rob. I drew it, he cut it out, sanded and primed it, and I painted it. Dubbed 'Mister Kitty' by my dear friend Amy, he travels with me to trade shows often and sits in front of my booth. (My friend and mentor Julie Ueland calls this 'booth bait' because it gets people's attention from afar.) Last year Mr. Kitty was joined by Dancing Dog. I love them!
I design jewelry in my head all the time. I dream it, I draw it. But let's face it, it takes years to become a good metalsmith and I've got a more than full time job already. So a few years ago at ACRE I approached a wonderful jewelry designer named Joanna Craft and asked if she'd be interested in collaborating. To my delight she agreed and created a gorgeous line of jewelry using my artwork as the images. I can't tell you how thrilling it was for me to see what someone else's expert hands and creative mind did with my artwork. 
If you've been reading this blog since the beginning, you know about Spoonflower.com, a fantastic website that allowed me to make another one of my dreams come true. Fabric design has been at the top of my dream list for as long as I can remember. So when I discovered Spoonflower I went wild. But a few weeks ago, my friend Colleen MacDonald helped me take my dream one step further when she agreed to use my fabrics to make some of her wonderful wallets for me. 
I love all of Colleen's BCharmer Creations and it was so much fun to work with her. She helped me choose additional fabrics and colored snaps from her incredible collection and voila! 
Combining two visions and different mediums can be really exciting and rewarding, whether just for your private collection or to provide additional income for both of you. So I suggest that next time you find yourself wishing you make or create something which you don't have the skills for, find someone who does and start playing. And when you do, please send me the stories and pictures so I can share them here!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

And the Winner is.....

Time to announce the winner of the free alarm clock. Doing a drawing was fun! I wrote each of your names on post it notes, put them in my favorite little bowl, mixed 'em up and picked...
And the winner is.....
Congratulations Claire O'Connor! You'll hear from me soon with details. And thanks to all of you for entering the contest and for following my blog. 
I know I've been remiss about posting, there's been an awful lot going on (a very long story). I'm leaving this morning for the East Coast and when I get back I'll post again. Thanks again to all of you!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Embracing Uncomfortable

I don't know about you, but often when I see art that inspires me I want to try it. I see a gorgeous handmade purse and I want to create my own, I walk by a booth of amazing lampwork beads and I dream of making them, I open a magazine and there's an image of an amazing batik and I go the art store and price dyes and wax. My list is long: I want to etch glass, design fabric and gift wrap, make jewelry, learn bookbinding and make journals, oh, then there are the birdhouses, garden gates, baskets, kids clothes, scarves, hats and other creations swarming in my over zealous mind. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. But here's the thing. I am going to admit this out loud for the first time: I don't enjoy doing things I'm not good at. And to make matters worse, I'm impatient with the learning process and don't generally enjoy classes. Not good, huh? Obviously, this kind of stops me from moving forward, and before you say anything, I'm well aware that I'm missing out. 
I have always said if I have another business I will name it "The Impatient Artist" because I want to do it right now, skip the learning curve and create something beautiful the first time. I want immediate results or I get frustrated and give up. 
I ought to know better by now. Not just because I'm a grown up, but also because the few times I have allowed myself to do this have always been a great experience. (See? I'm learning)
A few years ago I finally decided I just HAD to try making beads and found a local lampworking class. I took two 8-week sessions and worked hard at it. My beads? Well...they were terrible. Week after week I watched the other students progress to make perfect round beads, with the holes dead center. Mine were lumpy and uneven. No matter how I tried they always looked wonky and crooked and amateur. But I loved my little rejects  - they made me happy. I keep them all in a little bowl and I think they are perfect just as they are. 
I've always accepted my limitations with what I imagined to be grace. When I saw portraits, paintings and drawings of people that took my breath away I'd dream of doing my own but I'd think "I can't draw people, realism is not my strength. But that's okay, I have my own fun style." Bullpucky. Truth be told, I yearned to try but didn't want to be the one in the back of the life drawing class watching other people create masterpieces while I struggled. So I just kept doing what I did well and sat in my safe little comfort zone. Yep. I was a big fat chicken.
But then something happened.  A friend showed me a huge book of vintage black and white portraits - photographs from the 1800's. My fascination with vintage photographs is worth saving for another post, but I just have to tell you that these images sparked my creative fire like nothing had in a long time. Something came over me. It was like the first time I saw a box of crayons. 
I just HAD to. 
I heard them whispering to me, but I shook off the "I can'ts" and grabbed my sketchbook. If you're an artist I don't need to explain where time went. There was none, I was just off in that zone, lost, wrapped up in the process and not thinking about good or bad or how to. Pencil hit paper and took me away. A new passion was born and I spent that summer sitting on the deck sketching. And frankly, I love them all. Enough to even show you a few.
So did I learn my lesson and shake off my fears? 
Did I get over myself and take a life drawing class? 
Um. No. 
But today's a new day. I made a vow to myself to Cut That Out Right Now Young Lady. Dance with discomfort, enjoy the first messy versions and and relax a little. Get over myself. And I've recorded it here so it's official, with you all as my witnesses. 
Don't let me off the hook. 
 

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Passions and Possibilities Project

Just a reminder that I'll be the guest on Sue Oliver's Blog Talk Radio Program, The Passions and Possibilities Project which airs Wednesday April 15th at 3:00-4:00 pm PST. 
I hope you'll join us live, when the show starts, by either dialing into the show’s conference line (347) 205-9038 or linking into the streamlining live video at the website link above. We welcome your questions and comments during the show. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My assistant

Working with two cats who wander in and out of the studio all day is both a joy and a challenge. Ramona stops in to ask for attention and snacks, making sure I can't miss her as she walks across the keyboard, shedding all over the desk. 
Sadie comes in out all day, constantly talking - loud and insistent. She always seems a bit frantic, like Lassie trying to alert me that someone has fallen in the well. Eventually, and without fail, she tries to squeeze onto my lap - pushing herself between me a the desk, which leaves her squished up against me and makes typing impossible. But as soon as I give in and decide to give up on work and spend quality time with her she hears or sees something, and flies off my lap to investigate. 
The other day I was about to pack up an order and turned to grab the packing list and Sadie seized the moment to make herself at home. All I could so was give in and grab the camera. 

Friday, April 3, 2009

More Hot Tips!

It was April Fools Day when I got an email from an editor at AOL Home, saying they were going to feature my Barack Around the Clock in an upcoming story on "Obama Home Decor". So I waited all day from someone to confess to the joke. Turns out it's the real deal. I'll be posting here when the feature goes live late this month! 
In the meanwhile, here's a sneak peak of some of this month's Hot Tips for Artists Newletter. If these interest you be sure to go to psrock.com and scroll to the bottom of any page to subscribe. 
Alison Lee's CRAFTCAST™ takes advantage of the podcast format to deliver weekly content, covering the latest information in the crafting industry. Listeners get personal stories and advice from a wide variety of artists and crafters. Alison also offers live online Masterclasses covering all sorts of topics and techniques for artists in all mediums. CRAFTCAST™ mission is to inspire and nurture the creative spark within each listener. And don't forget to look for my live online class on Selling Your Crafts on April 8th!
Have you always dreamt of seeing your jewelry on a celebrity or having your product in a gift bag at an award show? The best resource for celebrity contact information is Jordan McAuley's ContactAnyCelebrity.com. For $27 a month you get the agent, manager, publicist, production company, and charitable cause with phone, fax, and email addresses for over 57,000 celebrities and public figures. Jordan also shares updates on Twitter about how to get publicity using celebrities @JordanMcAuley.
I'm not giving away the whole Hot Tips Newsletter here - but just one more:
CraftShowNews.com is a great new resource for any working artist. Larry Hornung, founder of Crafts Business magazine, really knows the business, and created the site as a home for craft artists, collectors, gallery owners, show promoters and anyone else interested in the crafts industry. The basis of CSN is a free exchange of ideas, information and opinion. It's a practical site offering resources, news and advice for craft professionals and those on their way. 
The next Hot Tips for Artists Newsletter will come out next week with these tips and more. To subscribe you simple send an empty email to info@businessofcrafts.com and use "Hot Tips, please!" as your subject heading or go to any page at psrock.com

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I love my work, a fan letter to Pike Place Market

Yesterday was just one of those great days at my booth at Pike Place Market in Seattle. Sure, it was crummy, cold, wet weather, but that's par for the course in Seattle this time of year. It was one of those days none of that mattered and I looked around and thought "How lucky am I to do this for a living?"
The day started with a customer who came with a list of eight clocks he needed for gifts and continued to be busy and bring great sales. My neighbors and I all got hot delicious, steaming hot chicken adobo from the Filipino lunch counter. And we had a surprise birthday celebration for a dear friend we almost lost last fall - which at the market means a huge group singing a quick "Happy Birthday" out of tune, home made cupcakes and cake for everyone. You can't beat hanging out with other artists, meeting people from all over the world, and laughing with friends all day. These are the days I really just can't believe this is my job.
The highlight - an adorable 5 year old boy who fell in love with the UFO clock. He was practically dancing with glee "Daddy! A space clock! It will go in my room because my room is a space room! Daddy! I have to have it!!". And then he held it up and squealed "Look Dad! Look! It has golden tickers!!!"