Monday, September 29, 2008

Rainy Day Fluff

The Fluff festival, What the Fluff, happened on Sunday despite the occasional rain. It was a wacky and wild festival. Union Square was packed. I didn't get to see much (I missed the Fluff licking contest - I wonder what that looked like?) or take any pictures because I was either blindfolding children (and the occasional adult) and spinning them around, or preventing them from wandering into the street (the game was about 3 feet from a major thoroughfare) and handing out tickets.

At first I didn't think we would have many kids coming to our game, I thought pin the tail on the donkey was a cultural reference that would be meaningless to them (I only remember playing it once at a birthday party). But the promise of tickets was like the call of the pied piper and we had a line for the entire time I was there. Who would have thought pin the "F" on Fluff Boy would be such a hit.

I got a free shirt for volunteering, which is pretty awesome, but didn’t have time to sample and Fluff themed food. Next year I might just go as a spectator and bring friends and family so I can truly appreciate the magic of Fluff and not spend my time worrying about pink eye and children being run down. I’ll find something a little more low-key to volunteer for next time around.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

stART on the Street

I am resurfacing after a busy week with some photos and news about how last week's craft fair went. It was a great day. There was a huge crowd as you can see. It was a really big fair with about 250 vendors. I sold a good amount of cards, but got the sense from some of the vendors around me that overall it was a slow sales day. You know, the massive economic crisis and all. But it was a good experience and I gave out a bunch of business cards and met some very nice people.

This is my little set up. Yes, that is a car. No, it is not ours. And yes, it is awfully close to my table. I ended up with car dirt on my shirt from constantly bumping up against it. My husband spent the day with me and a friend and her super cute dog, Belle, visited for a long time. I think I owe Belle a commission for all the people she drew over to my table.

My husband and I left our house at about 7:30 that morning and got back at about 7 that night, it was a long day. I was in bed by 8:30. These are the top 5 things I learned over the course of the day:

1. Bring a beach umbrella if you aren't under a tent. We would have fried without ours.

2. No matter how nice a day it is, the wind will blow. Be prepared. If I do another outdoor fair I will change my set-up.

3. Bring a cushion to sit on. Seven and a half hours is a long time to sit in one place. My back was sore for 2 days.

4. Bring a calculator. Doing math in your head in front of strangers is hard/stressful.

5. Bring lots of water and food, unless you are willing to spend your profits on fair food. We did take advantage of the vegetarian Chinese food at the fair, and it was worth every penny. Veggie teriyaki on a stick can't be beat! Not to mention there were frozen chocolate covered bananas, which I also could not pass up.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Treasury - Rainbow Brights!

In the midst of all my preparations, I have snagged a treasury. Check it out here before it comes down on Tuesday afternoon. It's called "Ms. Rainbow Brite" because if the cartoon character was ever allowed to grow up, she would shop at Etsy and have lots to choose from.

Craft Fair Here I Come!

I think I am just about ready for stART on the Street tomorrow. I have all my cards packaged and labeled. I decided on prices. I have a cashbox and change, business cards (and a fancy new holder), my handmade card stands, a sign holder, a table, and a tablecloth (OK it's actually a shower curtain, but it's really cute!). Now all I need to do is make a little sign to put into the sign holder and get together some snacks to keep me and my husband fed for the day.

I am also going to do a quick inventory here so that I know what I sold after the fact without having to keep track tomorrow. Tonight I might do a practice set up with my table and stuff to make sure I like the way it looks.

I have lots of moral support between my husband (who will be with me all day, bless his heart!) and my mom and a friend who will be coming by to visit. And I have some long distance moral support radiating from family in Pennsylvania. Thanks to everyone for all the ideas, and support. I will let you know how it goes and will be sure to take some photos tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Find - Deluxe O Tone Record Players

These cards just make me happy, plain and simple. These Deluxe O Tone Record Player mini prints are just one of the many, many great items in Yee Haw's Etsy shop. I am also in love with their farmer's market cards. They have beets, tomatoes, sweet peas, artichokes, and corn. Yum!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What the Fluff?

Next weekend, I will be taking part in another festival, this time as a volunteer not a vendor. It will be the third annual What the Fluff festival in Somerville celebrating the invention of everyone's favorite marshmellow spread right in Union Square. It is presented by Union Main Streets and the Somerville Arts Council.

This will be my first time going, something came up last year that kept me away. Not this year though, you will find me running one of the many fluff themed games in the afternoon.

Come by and enjoy a delicious Fluffernutter!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Craft Fair Countdown

I have the day off and I am using it to continue my preparations for the craft fair on Sunday. These are the final two cards in my five card set of antique lace designs.

Today I have to put my name and Etsy address on the back of about 450 cards. It goes by pretty quickly compared ot the actual printing, but it will keep me busy all day. Then I have to package everything in cellophane sleeves and what not. Still thinking about signage and business cards. It will all get done, or done enough.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chattanooga I Choo Choo Choose You!

While in Chattanooga, aside from going to the aquarium, the Hunter, seeing a childhood idol, and walking around in (at times) oppressive heat, I did a lot of eating, and a little shopping.

I was on a mission to eat as much southern vegetarian food as possible, but didn’t realize what a challenge that would really be. There was a vegetarian restaurant, but is was closed on Saturday when I tried to go, so it was not meant to be.

The one, more Southern chain that I did go to for the first time was Cheeburger Cheeburger. They had a veggie burger, and they aren’t kidding when they say “bigger is better,” the patty was a full two inches bigger than the bun. And the whole thing was held together with a large toothpick topped with a green olive. We got some “Frings” which is an order of fries and rings. The onion rings were the best I have ever had.

By far, the most outstanding meal I had while in Chattanooga was at Terra Nostra a tapas restaurant on the North Shore. We enjoyed a variety of vegetarian tapas including, asparagus au gratin, a cheese platter, spinach phyllo, mozzarella bruschetta, and fried yummies, which were fried sweet potato wedges with chili spices and brown sugar.

We enjoyed the $12 pitcher of Sangria, and the Crème Brule, but the highlight of the meal was the fresh fig dessert with goat cheese mousse. I will probably talk about it for the rest of my life. The figs (above) were picked that day from the owner’s tree, and they were amazing. It was the first time I had eaten fresh fig. The staff was also super friendly and attentive, it was a great night. If you are ever in Chattanooga, you have to go.

In the world of retail, the North Shore was the place to go. I loved Blue Skies, the Winder Binder Gallery of Folk Art and just across the pedestrian bridge in the Bluff View Art District, World Next Door. Everyone at these shops was very friendly, talkative, informative and friendly (yes, they were friendly twice).

For the first day or so, I was confused when random people spoke to me and I would nod and shuffle on with my eyes down. But after a while my frosty New England nature thawed and I found myself striking up conversations with any stranger that came across my path. It is really a different world. Everyone was so nice! It might take me a while to readjust to being in the land of “good fences make good neighbors.”

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Hunter Museum

I went to a reception at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga. It was a nice, smaller museum, and I loved the mix of old and new architecture of the buildings. This is the view at night from a pedestrian bridge looking back at the museum.

The special exhibit was of William Morris: Myth Object and the Animal. It was comprised of works in glass and had a very archeological, specimen collection, primitive feel.

These are a few of my favorites from the permanent collection:

An Out of Town Trolley - Francis Luis Mora

Dutch Still Life with Art Books and Field Guide to Western Birds - Paul Wonner

Listings and Sailings - Robert Stackhouse

Confrontation - Hughie Lee-Smith

Dolly Days

So I am back in Somerville now, but the next few posts will be a retrospective of my time in Chattanooga. I was so busy there between my conference and adventuring, I didn’t have much time to write.

The highlight of the conference was seeing Miss Tennessee herself, Dolly Parton. She spoke and then the National Endowment for the Arts gave her the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor for artists in the country. The funny thing is that she won it 3 years ago and had never had time to receive it. They couldn’t schedule the usual ceremony at the Whitehouse for the President to present it to her because her schedule was too busy.

She was hysterical, sassy, and utterly charming when she spoke and received the award from Dana Gioia (who also announced his early retirement from his position of chairman of the NEA at the conference). I wasn't super close, so I had to settle for this shot of the big screen rather than an actual close up.

I just remember me and my cousin sitting in my uncle’s van in my grandma’s driveway, blasting the Dolly Parton Kenny Rogers duet tape and singing and dancing along. It was pretty awesome.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chattanooga Creatures

I got in to Chattanooga last night. Today I went to the Tennessee Aquarium and just wanted to post some pictures of some of my favorites from there. I will post more about my trip later, I'm a little beat right now.

I heart seahorses. They had a great special exhibit, where I saw these two. The second image is not seaweed, I promise.

The otters were great, I was super excited to see them and they were so fun to watch.

Blurry, but it still manages to capture what I love about puffer fish - that hapless good natured-ness in their "expression."

And finally, the jellyfish...

Sunday, September 7, 2008


First my Gocco, and now you take Tom Brady away? Universe, what did I do to deserve this? What's next? A McCain/Palin White House? No more Christmas?

All I have to say is BOO HISS!

Getting Ready

New cards! I printed 3 out of the 5 new cards that I have been working on. Eventually they will be a set of 5. I would like to finish them today, but the Patriots are playing, so we'll see how much time I have for crafting. Let's go Patriots!

The designs are based on antique lace patterns. I am happy with how close I was able to match the inks to the envelopes. I finally cracked the code for the curry color. It has been a challenge. The secret? Avocado. The final two cards will be chartreuse (my favorite) and pool blue.

I went to Ikea today with my mom. We got cafeteria breakfast for 2 for about $6.00 (which always feels amazing. French toast sticks rock!) and then shopped before it got insane. I got some boxes that will help with my display for the craft fair. Two weeks left! How did it creep up so fast?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"Friday" Find - Fox and Flowers

So I spaced a little yesterday and missed my Friday find, but since it is early Saturday, I figured this still counts. The Etsy seller, Magic Jelly does the most amazing Gocco prints. I absolutely love her Fox and Flowers print. The detail and patterns are incredible and it has the retro vibe I love. You should also check out her print, Stuff No. 1. Be sure to visit her shop and blog. Magic Jelly is my Gocco idol.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Say It Ain't So!

I have been hearing rumors of this for a while but have been blocking it out. There was even an article in the NY Times a while back. Unfortunately I can't ignore it any longer. Riso, the Japanese company that makes Gocco printers is discontinuing production. It became real for me when I saw announcements on more than one US Gocco supplier's website saying they weren't sure if they would have supplies beyond December. Think Ink, printaddictjapan and Wet Paint all say the same thing.

This is horrible. I went to Rugg Road Paper Company in Boston today and bought out almost all their bulbs and a bunch of ink. All I can do for now is stock up, and then hope for the best. There has been a public campaign to Save Gocco (where this great "save gocco" image comes from), and the discontinuation has been delayed, but now it seems more imminent.

In lieu of flowers or sympathy cards, please send Gocco supplies.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sneak Peek

I finally finished printing my series of bird cards. I did three variations, chartreuse, papaya, and finally curry. This little bird is mum and will say whatever the sender would like him to say. I still have to round the corners, which is time consuming and has to be done in small batches to avoid carpel tunnel. I was lucky with my chrysanthemum cards; my mom really helped me out a few weeks ago when she punched out all 800 corners for me while watching the Olympics (thanks mom!).

And since it was such a long, great weekend, I was also able to print a new design. Here is a sneak peek. I don't know when I will get it into my shop, but hopefully it will be soon. It was inspired by some Interpol lyrics. I just liked the phrase and I made use of some of my mother-in-law's lace for the heart.

I still have new designs I would like to print before the craft fair in a few weeks, and I need to get everything sorted out and packaged too. I also need to think about my table display, what to do if it is windy, and all the other little details.

Time has decided for me that I will not be printing any holiday cards yet. I just don't see it happening unless they decide at work that I should just stay home and craft and they will continue to pay me. Not likely. I’m also going to Chattanooga next week! I'm very excited, I will be sure to share the sights with you while I am there.