I spent some time with my daughter and her family tonight watching videos from the past few years.
One of my favorites was from the 2008 Christmas program at the kids' day care.. Little Baz in his shepherd costume sat so still keeping watch over "God's sheep" (Or should I say... the audience , of which he was a little leary , that is?) and instead of delivering a message to the shepherds...big sister, Tara, as an angel, looked more like she needed to betold...fear not!
This simple re-enactment by the little ones was a sweet reminder of the reason for the season. Please remember to keep Christ in your Christmas this year!
My last craft show for the year is over...well, almost over. There's still the clean up and the paperwork. Oh, the paperwork!!! You see...this is not only a show in which I just am an exhibitor...but also one I co-host with some friends. I'll post more about that later, but here are a few pics. Wish I had more, but the battery died in my camera. I should have been a girl scout and been prepared with a spare one.
This is the community center's auditorium before the crafters arrived to start setting up their booths.
Look at the shine on that floor. See the reflections of the columns?
This is a shot of the parking lot minutes after we opened. You can't see it very well, but the cars are parked 4 rows deep.
These are some of the booths.
Yes, even MEN came by the droves!
Okay...the real reason the men were there...FOOD of course. My sisters were serving up some fine homemade taco soup and chicken salad croisant plates complete with fruit salad, a pickle, dessert and a drink. All the lunch proceeds went to The American Cancer Society!Thanks to all the support of the community for this worthy cause, they more than met their goal. This is the lunch line.
Before you know it, it will be time to start planning for the 2010 show! First, we have to get over all our aches and pains!!! Twenty-two years of doing this, is taking its toll!
Someone was over heard saying, "It wouldn't be Broadmoor if it didn't rain!". And rain it did. Some unlucky vendors had several inches of water standing in their booths while others had mud! Fortunately, we were nice and dry inside the gym.
We debuted our new sleeker look at this show. We decided to go black and white with a little burgundy for some color. A fresh paint job on the displays and new touches of zebra print fabric made our booth a little more appealing and the rug I painted helped camouflage the gray tarp they used to cover the floor.
Like they said about the Field of Dreams...If you build it, they will come. At times it got quite crowded in that 10X 20 space and this claustrophobic lady fogot to leave herself a back door.
Here are some other photos of our booth.
It's was fun while it lasted, but now it's back to the painting. So many Santas to paint and so little time. We've got another show in less than two weeks!
I hadn't painted any of these bowling pin Santas this year until a customer saw one that was already sold on my website, http://www.wood-n-stitches.com/, and emailed me to see if I could paint one for her. I never like to paint just one of anything because sitting and watching paint dry is BORING!!! If I do several, the paint on the first one is dry by the time I do the same step on the others. Can you tell I'm not a patient person?
Recently, I got one of those "Maybe I'm Not Burger King After All" orders. (AKA: "special orders DO upset us" mentioned in a previous post.) Acutally, it didn't upset me..it just made me get the old creative juices flowing again. The older I get, the harder it is to think outside the box. Creative customers' requests give me that nudge necessary to make me come up with something new. They plant the seed in my mind. I produce the "crop".
A customer had previously purchased one of my Soda Santas painted on Coca-Cola bottle and said she would also love to have a snowman painted on a Coke bottle. No problem... I've done those before. Then...here's the "Burger King" moment! She would love it if I could also make it a fisherman. Never done that before. Result! She bought two!
Green snow!!! That's what you get when you get snowed under with orders! Money, money, money!!! Smart shoppers are getting their Christmas orders in early. That's great.
Of course, my favorite order is the one where the customer shops on my website, http://www.wood-n-stitches.com/ and finds just what she wants, puts it in her shopping cart, and pays. Then all I have to do is pull it, wrap it, pack it, and ship it! Smooth transaction!
Next, there's the order I call "the Burger King order" (the special orders don't upset us kind) where the customer sees something on my site that has been sold or is out of stock. She sends email and we discuss whether or not I can duplicate. Most times it is not a problem and I appreciate that she took the time to inquire. The order gets filled. Both customer and I are happy! My motto is "Happy customers become repeat customers".
Then there's the "maybe I'm not Burger King" kind of order. This is the challenging type that usually takes me out of my comfort zone. However, thanks to such interesting ideas from creative customers, I've created some great selling new products that I might not otherwise have done.
Where I get orders from is another story in itself. Besides the usual internet orders and craft show customers' follow-up orders, there are the beauty shop orders, grocery store orders and of course the Wal-Mart orders. By this I don't mean I that I have things for sale in all these places. It just means these are places I frequent and living in a small town has its advantages. Everyone knows you and your business! People stop me and tell me what they want me to paint for them.
Yesterday, I got my first gas station order. While I was pumping gas into my van, a lady came over to ask if I could do a special order Santa for her son. It was nice to visit briefly with her and catch up on what our kids are doing now that they are all grown up. Our boys grew up playing Little League and Dixie Youth baseball together.
Well, I'd better go shovel some snow, but Lord please ... let it snow...let it snow...let it snow. (Even if it is 72 degrees outside today!)
Well, here's my house as of Sunday. It has been a week and a half since the tree fell on the roof. I'm still waiting to hear from the insurance adjuster and still waiting for the carpenter to get in touch with me. There's nothing I can do until I hear from them. At least the rain has stopped...for now anyway. I need to get this mess fixed so I can get on with my crafting. I've got orders too fill ASAP.
Yep, my house is under there somewhere! The weather got pretty rough just hours before I was to leave for my craft show in Mississippi. That's when the HUGE tree on the north end of my house split and fell across the roof (almost full length). Most mornings I can hardly get out of bed due to my aches and pains. When that tree hit at 4:30 a.m. that morning, I was out of that bed and wide awake in seconds. Never thought of my pains! I was just thanking the good Lord that tree wasn't in bed with me!
Within hours I had filed an insurance claim and my insurance agent had a team of tree cutters clearing my roof. I left everything in my brother-in-law's (and sister's) capable hands and I left only 2 hours later than planned for my show.
Now the show is another story. I'll post that later.
Rain, rain go away!
I've got another outdoor craft show Thursday!
Rain, rain go away, please!
I need to sell a lot of Santa cypress knees!
The Lord was good to us all for the Barn Sale in Camden, AR last weekend. The rain stopped. The craft show area was dry. However, the parking lot (or rather "parking pasture") was not. Customers had to park anywhere they could find. Some were shuttled in from area church parking lots. I'm just thankful that things went as well as they did.
Now, watching the weather reports, I see I need to be praying for the rain to clear out once again. Boy, I'm glad I only do two outdoor shows a year.
Come see us on the McAlister's Deli parking lot in Canton, MS (not TX...MS) Thursday, Oct. 8th!
Well the van is loaded and ready to pull out in the morning...rain or shine! What you see is a 10' x 20' tent, all the display stands and all my inventory. I've had people just stand and watch as I start pulling it all out. They say it reminds them of the clowns getting out of the VW at a circus. It just keeps coming and coming.
I've also had people just as amazed while watching me pack it all back in the van at the end of a show. There's a place for everything and everything is in its place.
I've got an outdoor craft show Saturday!
Rain, rain, go away, PLEASE!
I don't want water up to my knees!
Don't you just hate it when it rains on your parade or as in this case, your craft show? I've been so pumped and busy getting ready for my first craft show for 2009! Then the dreaded forecast...rain, rain, rain!!!
I had the same dilemma last week. At the last minute, I had just about decided to do our local craft show. Then came the forecast...40% chance of rain. Knowing I had two big shows in the next couple of weeks, I opted to stay home rather than take a chance of getting soaked. Wrong decision! No rain...even the sun made an appearance!
I (and problably several 100 other folks) am praying for the weather to move on out earlier than expected this weekend also.
Here are a few photos from the 2008 BPW Barn Sale in Camden, AR!
Pardon me while I get on my soap box! For the last 25 years I have used Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint for all my painting projects! Now for some unknown reason (at least unknown to me) they have changed not only the packaging, but also evidently the paint within the bottle!!! Big mistake!!! They ruined a perfectly good product!
It is kind of like the story of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears...Apple Barrel is too thin...Folk Art is too thick...Delta Ceramcoat is (make that was) just right! What's a girl (Okay, I used that word lightly.) to do?
So far I've scoured the stores and internet for any paint in the old package. That's the bottle with the rainbow on the label rather than the one with the colorful flower. Fortunately, I've found a few, but when that is gone...I'm going to be in a pickle!
Any of you other painters/artists have any suggestions? Please let me know!
Firecracker Kid is having a "hot" giveaway on Oct. 1st. It's this neat primitive rolling pin / dough bowl holder. Winner gets to choose color! "Pop" on over and sign up. Not that it will do you any good because I'm going to win! (Only the stand is being given away.)
If you don't have a chimney and your little one is worried about how Santa Claus will get into the house on Christmas Eve to leave all those longed for gifts, here's your sign! This is my original take on the familiar Santa's Magic Key. As it says in the note to Santa, just hang the key on an outside door so he can use his magic and this key to open the door. Then Santa can leave it by his cookie plate and you can keep it safe until he needs it again next year.
The other day at the beauty shop, I ran into our local "Martha Stewart". She told me that she had planed some cypress lumber and thinking I might could use them to paint Santas on, she saved the rough end pieces. I agreed to try. I love a challenge occasionally. I went out to her house and her husband loaded them for me. Before I left, I also got to see the oak coffee table she had built after planing the boards. She had done an awesome job. Next, I was amazed at the two antique pieces she had refinished and even built a tri-fold mirror for one piece. Additionally, she had finished a replica of an antique wall clock for herself. (Sh! Don't tell anyone, but she's building some more for Christmas presents.)
Anyway, back to the Santas...here are some before and after photos. I had a lot of fun with this challenge. "Martha Stewart" gets first choice of course. More are in the works.
Monday, June 15, 2009 Wood-N-Stitches proudly offers unique, high quality, seasonal and everyday home decor lovingly created one stroke and one stitch at a time. Mother Nature's interesting cypress knees and vintage finds have been turned into one-of-a-kind, hand painted and handmade treasures.Please stop by http://www.wood-n-stitches.com/ and check them out. Posted by "B" at 7:02 PM0 comments
A blog that's not only about handmade or hand painted treasures found at http://www.wood-n-stitches.com/, but also those created by talented artists from a variety of fields.
After 33 years of teaching first graders, I'm finally retired and getting to turn my attention to my other life-long love...crafting! It's always an adventure.
As my business name, Wood-n-Stitches, implies, the bulk of my handmade crafts are folk art paintings on a variety of wooden items and soft sculpture folk art dolls, Santas, snowmen, etc.