Archive for the ‘It Happened One Day…’ Category

This weekend I had a booth at my first craft fair!  It was at Urban Grind in Portland, Oregon, and benefited Two Dollars A Day, a nonprofit dedicated to helping end poverty through women’s literacy. I received tons of compliments on my creations!


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Ever feel like selling your art is an uphill battle?

Yesterday I went to a workshop called Creating More Money From Your Art.  Lead by songwriter Justin Stark in Portland, Oregon, this inexpensive workshop detailed the steps of art and business, both separately and together.  We were each given complete workshop and take-home materials, which I appreciated, so that I could review everything at home from time to time.  It included topics such as personal/professional strengths and weaknesses, consistency in creating one’s art, rejection, goal processes and so much more!

The 6-hour workshop is conducted round-table style, with attendee participation encouraged.   It was casual, comfortable and it felt great to discuss commonalities with other struggling artists.   The six hours flew by, and we were all reluctant to end the workshop.

This workshop is held monthly, and is worth a few hours in the car to attend!  Email me for more information.

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I recently visited my parents in Bend, Oregon with my husband, Ty.  A few days before the visit I received a huge order from a community college bookstore for 45 journals, all due within the week.  If you’ve never made a book from scratch, I’ll tell you right now that it’s no easy task: it takes time to let glue dry in-between steps, there’s tons of paper measuring an cutting, there’s board sanding and paper/binding design, and millions of details.  But I was determined to get it done, so I planned to do it while visiting my parents.

After ordering a 30 lb. box of supplies to be delivered to my parents house the next day (complete with mile-high shipping costs), I packed 2 huge boxes of supplies.  I called the Bend homestead to warn them of the project I’d be undertaking, and let them know that the majority of my time there would be spent elbow-deep in paper.

Our Jeep was filled with boxes, tubed rolls of paper and paper cutters, my camera and our luggage.  My poor dog Spencer was crammed into a tiny space in the back seat, bless his heart!  The trip over the mountains was an eventful drive over ice, through light snowfalls, and I must thank my wonderful husband for driving slowly and safely and for putting up with my gasps and my yelps of “SLOW DOWN!” every few minutes.  Luckily, we arrived safely.  And  in one crammed piece.

My parents greeted us with open arms, waiting on the front porch like always.  As my dad hugged me he said, “I’ve got to show you what I set up for you!”

He led me to the garage where he had cleared a large space,  set up a table and a bright project light.  The cd player was playing holiday music, the space heater was blazing and various tools were ready for my use.  This was such a sweet (and very appreciated) gesture!  My million-dollar delivery box was waiting for me, and after family updates, a piece of leftover pizza and a slobbery kiss from my parents’ pug, I got to work.

I set up my work area with haste: I had two good work days to get my project complete.  I cut my paper pieces, I cut my ribbons and I measured my boards.  After about two hours of work I was ready to move to the gluing stage.  I dug through my supplies, and only found an old bottle that was nearly empty.  I found the shipping box, which didn’t contain any of the 6 bottles I had ordered.  I became frantic. I can’t make even a single book without that specialty goo. Where was my glue?!?

I pulled out the itemized shipping list, and there, at the bottom, in teeny font, was a single, terrible sentence: In freezing temperatures, glue cannot be shipped, as our glue’s properties change.  Charges for glue have been returned.

I tried to keep my cool as I stared at that awful news.  Why didn’t I know that it couldn’t be shipped?!?  Why didn’t they call me and tell me?!?  Where could I get glue in the middle of Oregon, with no bookbinding supply stores for 200 miles?!?  What would happen to my order?!?  I was shaking, my hands were wringing and I started to feel faint.

After a few hours of online research, a few phone calls from my dad to local craft stores and quite a few crazy-girl, freakout moments, I found my only option: a craft store in Eugene.  I called them and blurted my freakout dilemma and they told me they could hold thier last 6 bottles of glue until close, at 6pm.  I looked at my watch. 2 o’clock.  “Thank you so much,” I said to the salesperson as I hung up the phone.  Eugene was two and a half hours away, over icy mountains.   I think that then and there, sitting in the swivel chair at the computer in the office at my parents’ house, there I reached the pinnacle of my freaked-outness.

Ty came in, rubbed my shoulders and asked, “Hey baby.  What’s going on?”  Through tears, wheezing and an almost indesipherable rant I told him about the glue, the store in Eugene and about my level of anxiety.

“I just started my business and I’m being irresponsible and they’re counting on me and I hate driving in the snow and ice and I should have known and now I have all this stuff and no way to make journals and I’m screwed!” I wailed.

Ty stood me up and hugged me.  After another crying bout, he wiped my slimy tears off my cheeks, took my shoulders in his hands, and looked into my eyes with a calm, loving look.

“Here’s what’s going to happen.  You’re going to go back to your work, and keep going.  Do whatever you can that doesn’t take glue.  If I leave now, I’ll make it to Eugene before the store closes,” he said.

I was so relieved!  Ty was wonderful, I knew already.  But things like this just make me realize just how wonderful he is.  I felt guitly and worried about the drive and still anxious, but I knew then that it would be okay.

I sniffled and shuffled back into the garage, and began to work.  My mom made Ty a thermos of coffee and a sandwich and he left.   I might be able to make my deadline after all!  Soon after the cutting began, my mother came into the garage and handed me cheese and crackers and hot tea.   I nibbled and listened to Jingle Bells, and worked and worked.

Six hours after he left, Ty returned with the glue.  I thanked him and told him I owed him forever and ever, and I gave him a squeezing hug that knocked the wind out of him.

“You don’t owe me.  Just know that if someone drives six hours over the icy mountains just to get you glue, well…he must love you a whole lot.”

And I do: my dad set up a work space for me with music, my mom made ty roadtrip snacks and brought me snacks as well, and Ty braved the mountain’s dangers to bring me 6 bottles of glue.    I love my family.  And they prove, time and again, they love me.

Oh, and after two days and one sleepless night, I finished.  The journals were beautiful, and they’ll carry an untold story with a theme of family and love to their owners.

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