The Creative Connection Event, the conference I attended last week, was wonderful. I was a volunteer on Thursday schlepping boxes of books, and roving the Handmade Market, offering booth sitting and errand running to vendors. On Saturday, I attended Breakfast With the Editors, a jewelery making class (I made something really tiny, no small feat for a mural painter, and made a fabulous new friend), and in the afternoon, attended a panel discussion where I learned a huge amount about Internet marketing and etail. I met dozens of artists whose work I have been admiring in magazines for several years, and many not-yet-published ones like me. I also got to meet and chat with Jo Packham, former president of Chapelle publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief of Where Women Create Magazine, and the soon to launch Where Women Cook Magazine. I am looking forward to November, when she has promised me a somewhat longer conversation. She has snapshots of Belle's Kitchen (May 16 blog entry). :))))
One of the artists I met is Kay Foley of Ampersand Cards http://www.ampersandcards.com/. She is the only vendor who took advantage of my volunteer service, with a request for a cup of ice. I bought two of her cards, because I love her wit and style, and then won two of her books in a prize drawing Saturday evening...easily a ten-fold return, I think.
A few others you might want to check out:
http://www.barnbarnbaby.com/ nice gal from just norh of where I grew up
http://www.glassgardenbeads.com/ from near here. Nice selection
http://www.simplyposhdesigns.com/ lovely tattered treasures
Back to real life, I've spent the week doing paperwork, turning an overabundance of garden veggies (gifted by friends, as I only grow mint and ditch lilies) into soup and spaghetti sauce, doing a few small studio projects, playing art teacher to two of the art girls, working on the staircase, and a bit of mirror mosaic. Later today, I get to start a china mosaic fireplace surround. It will actually be a mixed-media job, with bits of interesting wood and metal salvage mixed in with the broken teacups and plates. Should be fun, as my client has a quirky, kind of dark romantic sense of style. It might be finished before next week's post.
Here are a couple of shots of my staircase, where I am in the process of replacing the crumbling rubber treads with varnished fabric ones. Floor cloths for the stairs, basically. Couldn't find an affordable runner that knocked my socks off, didn't really want to paint, in case a future owner wanted to restore the natural finish, and couldn't bear the thought of stripping and refinishing the treads myself, so this was my solution. The only problem is the upholstery tacks...I really stink at pounding nails. I'm great with a circular saw, a jigsaw, a drill, a screw gun, but it takes a major effort for me to get a nail into anything without bending it, and there are a lot of nails in these. I'll finish by Christmas, I'm sure.
My favorite Jacobean floral vine, glued onto my signature leopard print, with a painted border between. The varnish dulled the raspberry tones a bit, but just as well, to give it a bit more age, to blend with the slightly worn finish of the stairs.