Friday, September 30, 2011

Stab Wounds Aren't Fly Like a G6

I recently discovered that time management is not one of my strengths. I think grossly underestimating how long something is going to take is more my specialty. It's 1:30 in the morning. I have to be in the car and on my way to Columbus in four hours. I still have clocks to assemble, stuff to pack, and molded clocks to spray. Yes, spray! How did this happen?

Good thing I discovered Pandora. I've been listening to it through my phone, a constant stream of music helps keep me sane. I've been listening to the Lady Gaga channel. It's less Gaga and more stuff that supposedly I should like because I like Gaga. I have no idea what a G6 is but I find myself wanting to be fly like one.

What is totally unfly is the stab wound I just gave myself with a box cutter. You see I have to use a razor to trim up the little wood and resin shavings around the hole in the clock so that the movement fits in nice and neat. Well, I got a little too aggressive, I suppose, and stabbed my thumb. It hurt and surprised me so much I dropped the clock I was working on. The clock is okay. My thumb is not.
Yes, I let it bleed while I fumbled getting the memory card into the camera to take a picture just for my blog. After the picture was taken and the thumb bandaged I surveyed the floor. It looks like a small animal got murdered down here. Gross.
One more picture for you. This one is a little more artsy I think.

Well, I better get back to it. Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'll have the post show report ready no later than Monday I promise.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Publicity and Time Crunch

Two days till Via Columbus. I'm excited to see how it goes. I've been busting my rear to get ready. I went to bed at 7:00 this morning and got up at 8:00, yep one hour. It's 11:30 at night now and I've got a few more hours of work to do. The problem is that paint takes soooooo long to dry. I feel like most of my working time is waiting for paint to dry. Paint and lacquer. My basement is quite stinky right now. The humidity outside is high so when I spray a final coat of lacquer on a molded clock I have to run it inside as quick as possible so it can dry inside. This keeps the finish from hazing. All that fresh lacquer is quite potent.

Tomorrow I have to somehow cut, sand, paint, and spray ten molded clocks. Then I need to cut tops for my shelves and paint the backs and legs of my display. I need to finish painting the backs of the sixty wall clocks I am taking and put the movements in all of them. Then I need to make sure the car is completely packed because we are going to have to leave around 5:30 in the morning on Friday. Right smack in the middle of all this I have to go get my oil changed. I am not complaining, I knew this was going to be a chaotic couple of weeks when I decided to do back to back shows.

I had an extra fire lit under me today when I discovered that Via Columbus' facebook page has my clocks on the pictures across the top of their page and in one of their galleries! You can see the album here and the show page here. Then I found out tonight that the commercials they are running in Columbus have a picture of one of my clocks.

Via Columbus has an interesting incentive going for college students. They are handing out $10,000 in "Art Bucks" to college students. That is money that can only be spent at the art show. If you accept the art bucks you turn them in Saturday morning for cash. Sign me up. My clocks are very college student friendly.

On a completely different note:
Oh how I love my Bionic. Let me count the ways.............................infinity. My poor little old Blackberry doesn't hold a candle to this new phone. The reviews I read were correct, it really is a laptop in my pocket.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DAI Oktoberfest 2011

Before the show..............

After the show.............

Time for the post show report. Oktoberfest was a big success! It was my first major art show and I was surprised by how well it went.

Friday I got there at 2:00 and with the help of my Dad got the booth set up and ready to go. The booths were under larger tents and somehow I lucked into an awesome spot right. The first booth on the left from one of the main entrances. The large tent roof was a bit low in the corners so I wasn't able to put up my tent, but it didn't matter. It was raining when we arrived but thankfully it cleared around 4:00 and stayed pretty much rain free for the rest of the weekend.
I only made four sales on Friday night, but one of those clocks was headed to the office of the new executive director of the Art Institute, which I think is pretty cool.

Saturday was a fantastic day. The crowds were steady and in the buying mood. Not only were the patrons friendly and nice, but the other vendors were super nice and helpful. Several of the other vendors have been doing Oktoberfest for many years and had good advice and knowledge to share. I am thankful to how welcoming everyone was to a newcomer!

Sunday morning started with a good luck sign. At breakfast I received a free meal courtesy of getting the "blue plate". I guess someone randomly gets the blue plate each morning and gets their breakfast free. Sunday was my lucky day to get the free breakfast. I ordered strawberry pancakes thinking I would be getting plain pancakes with fresh strawberries and cream. Instead I got plain pancakes smothered in thick strawberry pie goo, but hey, they were free, so oh well. I had a good sugar buzz going from that for awhile afterwards.

Sunday sales were much slower, but not bad. I think having so few clocks left actually hurt sales as people realized they had such a limited selection. Packing up was quick and easy and we made it home at a decent time.

A few notes:
-my credit card reader sucked. Friday night was fine, but on Saturday three cards read wrong and would not process and two didn't show up at all. That means five customers should be super happy because they got their clocks for free. Having to wait to run the cards at the end of the day was no good. I had to hope that they would all go through without problems and then suck it up and take the loss when they didn't.

~~~My solution? The Square. The best damn invention for a mobile vendor EVER. You plug this tiny little square into your smart phone and swipe the card. It immediately processes the card and lets you know if the transaction is good. The customer signs your phone and puts in their email or phone number for an instant receipt that shows their signature, the transaction info, and even a map of where they were when they made the purchase. Awesome. It gets even better, there is no monthly fee, no per transaction fee for swiped cards, just a flat percentage rate which is only .005% higher than other plans with monthly rates. I won't be using it every month, maybe only 4-6 times a year so I don't want to have to pay for a service when I'm not using it. So how much is it, you ask? $10 at Best Buy. That's right. What are you waiting for?

My prize for show success was a brand new Android Bionic. Hey, I needed something to plug the square into and my two year contract with my current phone was due to end. I was ready to move onto a new phone so I decided to get the best I could. Nick and I got bargain Blackberries last time around and knowing I would be stuck with this phone for two years I wanted to make sure it wasn't bottom of the barrel. Don't get me wrong, I liked my Blackberry, but it was soooo slow and Blackberries are not compatible with the square.
My new phone with the square......
A great perk I found out about working a show? Trading with fellow artists. I got two pretty pairs of earrings from the super nice man in the booth next to mine and two pairs of earrings from a lady a few booths down. I also got two beautiful glass pumpkins. Something I never would have thought I needed, but now I'm so happy I have them. I told Nick we will have a house full of wonderful handmade creations if I keep up on the art circuit.

Earrings can be found at

Earrings by Bart Ziegler:
And last but not least my lovely glass pumpkins by Jack Pine Studios:

I feel like I made out like a bandit with the trades. Plus I have a pair of totally amazing cast glass earrings on order from an awesome husband and wife team. They are also going to be at Winterfair in November so I will get those earrings then. Can't wait to post pictures of them.

Now this week. I have been distracted by the mad dash to figure out the phone and credit card situation. The rush was because the account that supported my card reader expires Friday and I wanted to find an alternative before then so I wouldn't have to renew. Now I have to catch up on orders and stock up on molded clocks for the show this weekend. It's going to be a very late night.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wish Me Luck

It is 12:19 in the morning. I am getting ready to FINALLY go to bed. I went to bed at 6:00 am this morning after pulling an all nighter getting ready for DAI's Oktoberfest tomorrow. Then my beautiful daughter woke me up for the day a little before 8:00. I don't drink coffee anymore, but I did today.

The weathermen are liars, apparently. The extended forecast a couple of weeks ago said 70's and sunny for this weekend in Dayton. Now they are saying showers all weekend and temps in the 60's. Boo. Guess I'll just have to see how it pans out.

I'm feeling good about the inventory I'm taking. I have just under 60 wall clocks and about 25 mantel clocks. Plus two fantastic looking accent tables. It will be fun to get feedback in person on the tables.

The chair didn't pan out for this show, but I'm not giving up. It is so close, I just need to get the seat mounted to the base. Much trickier than you might think. The bottom of the seat is curved and the base is flat. Not exactly matching puzzle pieces.

Okay, I'm off to bed! I will have a full update and hopefully plenty of pictures by Monday. Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Here is some evidence of the clock chaos raging in my filthy basement right now:

I'm getting there. I have all but eight wall clocks painted and poured. Now I just need to sand the resin drips off the back, paint the backs, and assemble them. All 100 of them.

I'm also making steady progress on the molded clocks. There is no way I will have enough molded clocks done for both shows by the end of next week so I will have some more hustling to do the following week to prepare for the second show.

I have a table coming out of the mold today and a second one going in. Those will be done in time for the show. Then I just need to finish my melting clock chair. That's right! The first and one and only melting clock chair. I really want to get that done in time for the show so I can get customer in person feedback on it.

Tomorrow morning I'm heading to Home Depot to get the rest of the supplies I need to revamp my display and light my booth.

Have a happy weekend!

Monday, September 12, 2011

It Was Nice While it Lasted

Our brand new laptop is no more. My dear husband spilled coffee on it and now it won't work. What a pisser. We are going to take it to the computer doctor, but I have a feeling there is no hope. Maybe they will at least be able to save my super nifty excel sheets that I made in my short time spent with the new computer. So sad.

In clock news I have been a busy busy clock maker! I have over 90 wall clocks made and 40+ mantel clocks in production. I think I may just pull this off before the shows in two weeks. TWO WEEKS! I really would like to take a couple of tables but all the wood I bought for tables is going to table orders. Which in all honesty is a good problem because those sales are funding my supply buying for stocking up inventory.

I bought an EZ up canopy last week. I am going to mess with it towards the end of the week to make sure I know what I'm doing when putting it up and taking it down. Plus I am going to build new displays out of nicer looking wood than the junk I used last year. So aside from some lacquer for molded clocks, some wood for tables, and lighting for my booth I am good to go! I think.

My sales so far this year have far surpassed last year's sales. This is very exciting and also very scary because my busy season hasn't even started yet. Last holiday season was chaos so I'm a bit frightened of how this year is going to pan out with an increase (hopefully) of sales and three shows on top of it all. It will be very interesting. Maybe I'll make enough to buy a new laptop. One that will not be allowed on the dining room table if food or drink is around. Just saying.

(What does the skunk looking squirrel pic have to do with this post? Nothing. I was looking for a sad squirrel picture to help convey my distress over the lost computer and found this pic instead. Look at it! It's a squirrel that looks like a skunk! I want one.)