Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello again, and thank you for visiting! I really had the best of intentions, but once again I found myself overwhelmed with the various tasks of running a small shop. I have yet to learn the fine art of tax reporting, and that has consumed my time for a while now. My January classes are up and running, I am having a lot of fun getting to know my clientele, and myself as an instructor. This morning was Tangle Tuesday, and though the class was small, we did pretty well. This afternoon I will be hosting a birthday party, with eleven 7 year old girl, and that should be interesting and exciting.

We heard from our Air Force daughter, and have started receiving her letters, finally! She is doing well, and looking forward to graduation, one month from today! I am still writing her each day, and am including my little sketches, sometimes it is the only art I get a chance to do. 
These little sketches, done in pen and marker, are a real change for me. My challenge to myself is to refuse the use of a pencil. I start with a permanent pen, and have to live with what happens. This is a great way to free yourself up from worry over perfection. No such thing, so why agonize over it? They turn out silly, goofy and sometimes strange. But my daughter loves them, and shares them with the other girls in her flight. She says they look forward to each one, and sometimes they are the only thing to make them smile that day. I can't ask for much more than to have my art create joy in someone else! 

If only for a brief moment, during a rough day...
Well, I better sign off and prep the classroom for the party! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and that 2013 will be wonderful for you and yours!
Until next time...enjoy!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Long Time, No See...

Happy Holidays everybody!

It has been an entire month since I last posted, and if you are still here then thank you very much for staying loyal! So many things have happened over the last few weeks, I hardly know where to begin....

The Grand Opening Art Show for my little shop was a huge success. Our town and all the creatives in it responded positively and made me feel very welcome. I was exhausted by the end of the day, but content. It was also a good day to collect ideas and suggestions as to what I should carry, so another order was quickly made. In fact, I have been fine tuning the supply list and ordering items pretty regularly. This is sometimes difficult to do, each company has a minimum order and some of them are quite high. My pockets are not that deep, so I have to be very careful about the items I choose. I have since added supplies for fiber artists, ceramic artists and a much larger line of children's art supplies.  

Requests for classes have been overwhelming, I am trying to keep up, but there are many things that I am no good at, and need to find other artists to teach, So I am focusing on the things I can teach. The little 5" x 7" canvas above was my first class. The idea was to make a Christmas Collage and then scan them and make them into greeting cards. It took two sessions instead of one, but some very lovely pieces were created. I am teaching a weekly private drawing class with a family, and that has been wonderful. It has been a learning experience for me as well, fine tuning the lessons to match their ages and abilities. Keeping the younger ones excited and engaged will be a challenge I hope I am up for.  I have hosted two birthday art parties, and they were a huge success. Each little girl received an 8" x 10" canvas panel, and made their own collage. Moms brought in the treats and we had a quick photo session at the end, so their work can be posted on the shop's Facebook page. Everyone had a wonderful time, and I have another one booked for early January. 
Plans are in the works for many more classes to get the shop through the down time of January and February. I am thinking of a Tangle Tuesday (zentangle), Art Journaling, Mixed Media Medley, Book Binding, and Expedition Art: Exploring Your Creative Potential. I plan to instigate an Open Studio Play Day a couple days a month, to encourage artists to gather and socialize. Mr. How2 and I are heading to California to the Craft and Hobby Association Convention, for a few days in January, and I am hoping to bring back all kinds of tips and samples.  
On a personal note, we had the proud and sad task of watching my beautiful daughter head off to boot camp two weeks ago. She joined the Air Force and the job she wanted came open about three months earlier than expected. It was a whirlwind time, catching up on all that she needed to do to back out of her life here and prepare for being gone for eight weeks. I am missing her especially for Christmas, she has only been allowed one phone call so far, and she sounded tiny, lost and alone. I know my job and said everything I could in a two minute conversation to cheer her up and keep her strong. I write her a letter everyday, and add little doodles that I think will make her smile. I have the care of her cats for now, making this a FIVE cat household! Before you ask, yes, it is chaos.

Well, that should just about catch you up on everything happening here, I thank you again for coming by for a visit. I plan to get back into the swing of this from here on out, so check back when you can. 
Until next time...enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Page Banner and Some Words of Wisdom...

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. I am spending the day in my shop, even though I am not open today. I have already found it nearly impossible to set up displays, let alone spend time in my studio, during normal open hours. Not that I am saying there has been a flood of sales yet, just that I am a new thing in town and everyone wants to stop by for a chat. This is a wonderful thing, it is just the type of vibe I want here!

I have been working on a few displays for the holiday season, but I haven't set up my little tree just yet. I need to shake off fall, before I can face winter! But I was able to play on the sewing machine a bit, and came up with this little pretty;

I am not sure I will sell these here, but I love how they look and plan to make more. I used old book pages and was tickled to finally find a use for my many packets of vintage seam binding. Seems nobody uses it anymore, so I find it at thrift shops all the time. This book page banner is so light, all I used to hang it was a couple sticky backed hooks from the dollar store.
I also repurposed this sign into a black board, and added a few words of wisdom I am fond of;

"Art is not a destination, it is a journey."

I was somewhat cautious when I put in my first order, and only picked out a few of each item. Now I find I already need to put in another small order, the journals are selling quickly. 
So I have already found the biggest downfall and irony of opening an art supply store. I have no time to actually DO art! I have to admit, I am getting pretty twitchy, and have a need to get my artist paint on my hands, as opposed to house paint. I am sure after all the initial set up is done, more of my time will be art related. But for now, the ins and outs of small business management are all consuming, and I am a babe in the woods when it comes to the details. 
I have had some amazing advice from my Flytribe, as well as all their encouragement and support. Let this be my official thank you to all you lovely creative souls! 

Well, I am off to paint another sign, and get that next order in!

Have a great week, and until next time...enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lonely Little Shop...

Good Morning!

I am posting a few pictures of the shop, though I still haven't received my shipments, so the cupboards are bare, so to speak. The extra time has given me the chance to organize and arrange things, maybe a bit more than absolutely necessary...

The classroom is set up...
 The beads that I already had are priced...
and the few vintage items I couldn't resist setting out are ready in their special place!

Though Monday is a day I don't normally plan to be open, I still needed to come in and wait for deliveries. Even in this modern world, there doesn't seem to be a good way to determine when they might arrive. The main shipment from the warehouse, that one I can track, but the drop shipments from the manufacturers, they are a mystery, and I can only pray they find their way to our little remote town in a timely manner.
So here I sit, price gun in hand, a wallflower waiting to be asked to dance...

No worries, though, there is still plenty to do, including plan and create the prototype for my first class, and make the flyers announcing it. I think I will start with something for the holidays, that can be scanned and turned into Christmas cards. Who knows, I might actually get to paint today, something other than displays, that is.
In case the shipments do start arriving today, and I don't get a chance to post later in the week, 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Until next time...enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Coming Along...

Just a quick post this morning, so sorry to be out of the loop for such a long stretch! The shop is only five days away from opening, the inventory is on it's way and most of the displays are ready to go.

I am still dealing with tiny details, like finding out the brand new strand of Christmas lights I just draped all over the ceiling, encased in tulle, are none functioning! Arrrgh! Note to self, always plug lights in before stringing them, even if they are straight out of the box, it will save HOURS of work!

I am still scrubbing floors and table tops, and keep finding interesting things around my house to drag down to the shop. I am at the point where it would make more sense to just bring a bed down there and move in. Most nights I am only going home to feed the cats and sleep. If  I could find a way to have three cranky kitties in my shop at the same time, I would certainly give it a try.
I am taking the camera  today, so I can take pictures to share here and on the shop's Facebook Page, http://www.facebook.com/hiddentalentsart, and will post as soon as I get a chance to breathe!

 We had our first snowfall last night, and it took me by surprise. I mean, of course I knew it was coming, but I still had snapdragons blooming in my flower pots!
The leaves had just finished falling, the ground was solid gold with them, and then gone. I never even touched a rake.

 I used to like the first snow, I would start baking, planning snow days with the kids, start singing Christmas carols...But now, not so much. I am just anxious about driving in it, worried about my grown children being safe in it, and generally just thinking that Arizona might not be such a bad idea after all. But the sunny states are not in our future, I have a shop to run!
 I haven't had a lot of time to create art, but I am still hanging on to the monthly ATC swap I participate in with my clever FlyTribe. So here is my contribution for November. The sketch is done in colored pencil, and the text in her dress is a poem about Thanksgiving by Ralph Waldo Emerson;
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I used a bit of digital manipulation to add the text as her apron, and behind her, and I am pretty pleased with the results. Just one this time around, it was all I could wrap my mind around, and even that was only because I got hit with a terrible cold and had to stay home for a day! Thanks for sticking with me, and for stopping by!

Until next time...enjoy!

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Little Shop of Horrors...

Well no, not really horrors, but it has been a crazy ten days! Here is my little store front, ready for it's transformation. It has been raining non stop, so I still haven't been able to rent the scaffolding and install the sign, but the sign itself is almost finished. It is awaiting a couple coats of poly. 
Here are some of the displays I have been working on...

 Right now they are all over the place, but a theme is starting to come together. The downside to having vintage and individual displays are that they all require some time commitment in prepping them, unlike a commercial rack I can just pull out of a box and set up. But this is the look I want, so there you go...

I am still putting together my first order, the sheer volume of items is incredible! You can't just by some brushes and paint and set them out. There is all the support paraphernalia to go with! Quite the learning curve, but I am figuring it out. 

I have a wonderful local artist ready to do a Grand Opening Show in December, and there is a lot of buzz in town, people are excited about an art store coming. I have kept it on the quiet side, and covered the windows with white freezer paper, but added this little spot...
I swear there are nose prints on the glass every morning!
I started a Facebook page for the new shop;
Log in for more frequent updates.
Until next time...enjoy!