Monday, November 28, 2011

Post Wintefair Report and Artist Block

I've been pondering all day what I could share about Winterfair. The show was a success as far as sales. I expected to make more than I did, but I walked away with a decent profit so I feel weird complaining.

I guess it comes down to the show had quite a different atmosphere than the other two shows I did this year. Winterfair felt much more somber and serious. The crowds were not big and the other vendors weren't overly friendly. Everyone seemed a bit let down by the lack of crowds and lower than expected sales. Even so, I will most likely apply to it again next year. It dragged and wasn't the most fun show, but I did make money and that's all that really matters in the end I suppose.

Nick and I also got quite a bit of our Christmas shopping done. That helped us and the other vendors.

On to my artist block. I keep getting hit with the urge to draw, but when I do it ends up looking stupid. I've accepted that I'm just not meant to do realistic portraits. I'm like Salieri envying Mozart in Amadeus. I wish I could create amazing true to life portraits, but I just can't. Or at least I just don't have the time and patience right now. I have pulled a couple of great portraits out of thin air, but not consistently. I feel like I'm trying to find my new niche, my own style. So I started sketching tonight and as usual it all looked dumb. Then I sketched a sort of creepy little puppet girl.

Don't ask, I have no idea where this idea came from. It was an evolution from earlier dumber sketches. I actually liked it, though, but thought the x eyes were a little too creepy. So I switched them out.

Then, because I feel like I haven't shared any artwork on here for a while I decided to see this weird little drawing to completion.

I am actually quite happy with it. Better than nothing, I guess, which is what I've been coming up with lately. Well, since the beginning of the year. Maybe 2012 will be my year of art, cause 2011 was the year of the clocks!

Friday, November 25, 2011

First Day of Winterfair

So far so good at Winterfair. It is nice to be home after a show instead of in a hotel. I started some veggie soup in the crockpot before I left today so we had a nice hot yummy meal waiting for us when we got home.

The crowds didn't seem really big, but the convention center is a large place. I think there were quite a few people spread out. My sales weren't bad. I'm interested to see how tomorrow goes. The hours are good too. Eight hours on Saturday compared to the eleven hour Saturday of the last show I did.

I also got two totally out of the blue compliments on my hair. One was from a lady I was talking to and the other was from another vendor I passed as I was walking around. I just got it cut shorter than it's ever been so it was nice to know it looks okay. I don't think I've ever received unsolicited compliments on my hair before. I'll take it. :)

My booth ended up being a corner booth of sorts so I had to readjust my booth set up. I think it worked out well.
Wish me luck tomorrow! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winterfair is Nearly Here

Winterfair is a mere five days away! I am much more prepared for this show than the last two. I just did an inventory count and I'm at 96 clocks. 13 of those are molded clocks that will be finished up this weekend and a handful of wall clocks need to be assembled, but I should be done with clock stuff by Monday. Amazing! No sleepless all nighters and stabbed fingers this time.

My sales this November compared to last November are quite sad. Can you believe I sold 59 clocks last November! I remember it being chaotic, and that's why. This November is at half that so far. Thankfully I have the show next week so I am unstressed by the lower sales figures. Unless I sell nothing at the show and then that would just suck.

My melting clock chair has been postponed. I'm a bit bummed that it won't be ready for a show this year but the base just doesn't want to fit on the seat. I need to completely redesign it which is too bad because the base was very cool. Maybe in January I can start messing with it again.

Another postponed project is my, oh wait, I can't tell you. But it is going to be awesome when I get it finished!

Other than clock making not much new is going on. My almost 4 year old daughter got her ears pierced a couple of weeks ago. Every time she watched me change my earrings she asked to get her ears pierced. I kept telling her it would hurt but we could do it, so finally one day we went and she sat like a champ! No crying till after both ears were done and only for a couple of minutes. She was VERY proud of her new earrings. Her six weeks of healing is up right before Christmas and we can put new earrings in so I can't wait to buy her some Christmas themed earrings. She is very girly girly and I am not, but she brings it out of me a bit. My son adamantly proclaimed that he will NOT get his ears pierced ever, and that is fine with me.

Some of my clocks:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jigsaws and Juicers

I was merrily cutting away with the jigsaw today when the knob thing on top fell off and the blade stopped going up and down. Clearly you can see I don't know much about jigsaws except how to change the blade and cut stuff with them. It has been randomly making high pitched screeching noises all summer and it gets hot quickly. I use the jigsaw a lot, probably more than "normal wear" so after a five year run I'm not too shocked it broke. I don't have time to wait for it to be repaired since I have a show at the end of the month and I need to do lots of cutting. So I went out today and bought a new Bosch jigsaw. It was even on sale. Now hopefully none of my other tools take a crap because my bank account has taken a hit this past month.

To add insult to injury (to my bank account) I also ordered a fancy new Breville juicer. Hey, it's for health and I've been wanting it for a long time! I think another juice fast is forthcoming as my autoimmune skin rash is threatening to flare again. I know, I know, everyone loves to hear about weird skin rash things. Don't worry, it's not contagious so you won't get it from buying a clock. So feel free, buy a clock. You'll be helping me fund my veggie filled grocery bill, thus aiding in healing myself. You could almost consider a clock purchase as a gift to a charity. What? Is that pushing it too far?

My pour room is complete and has been used. The basement is cleaned, for the most part, and organized so working on inventory and orders is actually enjoyable.

I've also been hit with a wave of creativity. I have started on my latest product, I'm going to let it be a surprise but I'll give you a hint: Wax, wicks, and melting clocks. I'm hoping to have the first prototype ready to share within the next couple of weeks. Don't steal my idea.

Hope everyone had a happy weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blog Feature and Pour Room Progress

One of my clocks was featured on a blog today along with some other cool Dali finds and the amazing Dali/Disney collaboration Destino. You can see the post here.

I am almost done with my pour room. All that is left is putting the top on my large workbench and the shelf underneath. I have a giant sheet of half inch Plexiglas in the basement that was supported by two sawhorses and a desk that was serving as my pour table/ work table. I decided that I would cut a piece to size for my workbench top. The trouble is cutting thick Plexiglas is not as easy as cutting wood. I went through three jigsaw blades tonight and still didn't finish. I'll have to run out tomorrow and grab another pack of blades to get the job done.
When I was cleaning all the crap off the Plexiglas I found a mirror clock I started working on a couple of years ago and abandoned. I quite like it, though, and I think I am going to finish it when I get some spare time.

I have given up all artistic endeavors the last seven months or so and have concentrated solely on melting clocks. I have started things here and there but have been uninspired. Seeing the mirror clock gave me a little spark back, I may start messing around with new projects just for fun. I've been so business minded and worried about turning a profit with everything I make it took the fun out of non clock stuff.

I searched and searched and the only kitty condo picture I could find is a partial picture that really doesn't do the condo justice. You can't see the two uneven levels or the jacked up crooked arch doorways. But here you go, it's on the right side of the picture next to my son drooling Oreo four years ago.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm Back!

I fell off the map a bit, sorry. I've been busy. Of course I just paused trying to think of an example of what's been keeping me so busy and didn't come up with much. An exciting tidbit is that I am writing this post on our laptop. Hooray! The computer guy was able to fix it. I thought for sure it was a goner so I am so very happy.

We are building a pour room for my clocks. An actual room with walls and a door and everything! No more ducking in and out of hanging drop clothes when I have to pour resin. My dad, Nick, and I put the walls up on Sunday and Nick did the wiring. I painted two of the inside walls yesterday and cleaned. Then today I built my two workbenches. I built them! I have totally redeemed myself from the kitty condo I built a few years ago. Let's just say it looked more like a junkyard kitty fun house than an upscale kitty condo. My workbenches are solid and level, yes level!! I actually measured stuff and everything. I hammered nails in without bending them or hammering myself. I also overcame my fear of circular saws. I feel invincible. Tomorrow I will put the top on the large workbench and build a shelf underneath it. I am also going to put up strips of wood on the walls to hang clocks on. It will be a pour room/storage room for completed clocks. I am on my way to complete organization!
Okay, so the picture isn't too super exciting. I will post more pictures when the room is all done. Plus I'll try to dig up a picture of the kitty condo for comparison.

The rest of the basement is a disaster. I think once the pour room is completed and I have moved everything into it I will be able to organize everything else pretty quickly. I need to because my next show is only three weeks away. Holy crackers! I haven't done anything to add to my inventory yet. Well, that's not totally true, I cut and sanded 38 wall clocks and started painting some of them. I just haven't completed any new inventory clocks. I have 40+ clocks left from the Columbus show but I need to get my rear in gear and start stocking up on more. I also need to tweak my displays (make them look nicer).

Sales have dived. I haven't crunched the numbers yet but it sure seemed like last October was much busier than this October. So far I have already exceeded last year's sales so I can't complain. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out. I have been tweeting away, with no response whatsoever, and I have been facebooking regularly. My melting clock facebook page gains new likes almost everyday, but I have no idea if any sales have come from it.

My last super exciting bit of news is that I discovered that my car can do a new trick! I have owned this car for over a year now and just now today I accidentally discovered that the back window can open separately from the back door. This is so very exciting. I will be using this new feature every time I load groceries and every other time I can find an excuse.

Hope everyone had a good Halloween! My kids had a great time dressing up and collecting candy. Our little village did Trick-or-Treat on Saturday. Which was not cool because I think the whole county drove in to get candy. We ran out of candy in one hour. Oh well, the kids had fun and that's what matters. My half assed last minute pumpkins looked okay too. All in all it was a good day.