A Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel from The ArtsCenter on Vimeo.
I have been in tech all week getting this show ready for opening night tomorrow night.
The actors are beyond wonderful and the music is so great. The show runs this weekend and next, if you are around you should come see it.
I sort of wish I could have designed the set and costumes, I haven't been sleeping much at night thinking about how I would have done it, there are so many possibilities for creativity with this show. Guess I'll just have to be satisfied with the props. I did find two of the coolest purses for Mrs. Lincoln and her Mrs. Keckley yesterday. Wesley went prop shopping with me and we just made a fun day of it.
The final weekend of the studio tour is this weekend. I sold one of my barns yesterday through an email, and some gallery checks are coming in, so there will be some Christmas shopping going on this week too. What a busy month, wish there was some spring/summer holiday gift giving event!
The Chatham Artists reception will be tonight, I'm bartending to work off my guild hours, come on by, I'll pour you a cold one!
Are you staying warm? It's been a cold December week here, brrrr......
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Thank you sooooo much to everyone that bundled up and braved the drizzle and cold on Saturday to tour the Chatham County artists studios. It was great to see everyone and really great to see my work finding such lovely new homes. Almost all of the visitors yesterday were repeat customers, now becoming tour friends. We catch up on the year and spend time talking and it is the most fun thing! It makes me realize how important selling work this way truly is. I love the galleries that represent me, but there is nothing like the personal connection you make with someone that loves something you created. Maybe that piece was created during a time of grief or happiness or loss or joy, whatever it was, it comes from some emotional place, and it is nice to have a personal experience with the buyer. They practically have to pry the work out of my hands, I get so attached to each piece.
Remember these chairs? I love them and I knew when I made them they may have to wait on someone that understood. And last night just as the tour was wrapping up for the day some wonderful folks came in and took these chairs back to Virginia. Fingers crossed they make the trip. I was hesitant to put them out, just because of having to wrap and transport them! FRA-Gee_LAY!
Here is a collection of my barns in their new home with Michele, who is a delightful person. I know they will be happy in this home! Thanks Michele for sending me the photo, it made my day, made me smile! Michele is one of my collectors that will stay in my memory.
I met her in Saxapahaw over the summer when I was set up at the Farmer's Market. She bought three of my Randolph County barns and mentioned she had Cavalier spaniels and could she commission a piece to include one. I have looked for a little figurine every time I go to antique shops with no luck finding one. Yesterday, Michele showed up with the most beautiful little dog figurine, and I just so happened to have a barn with a niche that he fit quite nicely in. So the doggy and the barn have a new home. I love when things like this happen!
Thanks to all of you for shopping at my studio, there are so many wonderful artists on the tour and I am honored every time someone chooses to visit my place. Several barns have new homes, lots of ladies will be adorned with pretty raku pendants, trees will be trimmed with stars and doves, a secret santa gift is going to one of the tour artists! and lots of other wonderful things are in new places. The shelves are thinning out.
I also had a chance to have a long and very nice visit with blogger Amy Huacani, who was visiting from Pinehurst. It's always great to meet a blogger, Amy has shared many words of wisdom with me over the years and she has a fun blog to read. Thanks Amy, for stopping by!
So, today is another day, it is very cold and cloudy, but that's ok, the candles and the twinkly lights look especially festive on days like this, and I have lots of warm clothes. If I can camp out in the mountains during snow, I suppose I can survive a cold day selling my work out in the studio!
Friday, December 6, 2013
The Chatham County Artists Studio Tour begins tomorrow, Saturday, at 10am. Come on over! I have my studio all cleaned up and full of treasures just waiting to be gifted to someone, or even to yourself!
Would love to see you, but bundle up, it's supposed to be cold, brrrrrr!
I dusted and even cleaned the windows.
I have a selection of barns for $125, they are ready to find new homes and they are priced for holiday shopping. People complained last year that none of the studios had affordable work. the comment I kept to myself was maybe you should not be shopping with artists, there is a Walmart up the street.....
But I do sympathize, I can't afford art either, can barely afford to BE an artist. But I have sucked it up and made many things affordable, so there should be a little something for everyone, and you can drive on past the new Walmart they built a mile from our house, ick!
I will have a few wrap bracelets for sale, testing the waters on these at $48. Quite a bargain considering the cost of the workshop I took to learn how to make them and the time and materials.... oh art, why can't we ever get back what we put into it when we sell our work.....
I wrote a bit about each one to tell you the inspiration behind the piece and the materials used and where they were found. This was fun!
I will say I did get back from these wrap pieces in pleasure value. I have enjoyed making them so much and last night in the wee hours, I had an epiphany. I am making something for the shear enjoyment and I don't give a rip if anyone likes them or wants to buy them. I will keep them all and wear them happily if they don't sell. These have been my art salvation at the end of this year!
Lots of stars, come get one, these are all I am making for the year....
Look Cindy, a fairy sat herself up on the studio sign you made for me! Good omen, I do believe!!
Get out this weekend if you can and come say hello!
Thursday, December 5, 2013
This week I have been shopping, but not like the normal folks out there, shopping for their Christmas treasures. I have been shopping for props for A Civil War Christmas. I have also been getting my studio ready for the Chatham Artists Studio Tour that starts this coming Saturday. And I've been unpacking all the Christmas decorations, cleaning the house and making things look pretty. As my grandmother used to say, "I am plum wore out" from it all. I laid down on the bed yesterday afternoon and got up two hours later. I never do that.....
Tuesday I went over to my favorite antique mall looking for a whip, a revolver and a drum, all 1800's era. I love this work, how fun to roam around in an antique mall all day and get paid for doing it!
No luck at the mall, so I went across the street to the nearly abandoned outlet mall. Most of the store fronts stand empty, thanks to the newer better outlet mall they built a couple of miles away, but there are a few random oddities still surviving.
First I went into a shop called Southern Heritage. Now I knew just from the name and the rebel flag outside that this was going to be an offensive store, and I was right. It was really difficult for me to keep my mouth shut and just ask the very large, "I will kick your ass" woman working there if they sold whips. She was nice, they didn't have whips, but they did have a lot of anti Obama stickers, hateful slogans on t-shirts and a LOT of really ignorant merchandise that can sometimes make you embarrassed to be a part of the southern white race.
The large redneck woman sent me over to the western store, surely they will have a leather whip. No, but they did have a really nasty sign on their front door telling parents that they are responsible for their children and they need to make them behave while in the store, the store smelled good, leather and cowboy stuff makes me swoon.
The also redneck woman working at this store sent me across the street to Adam and Eve. This was my first experience in a sex shop, I promise, I've never really considered going into one before. MY! What an interesting place to shop. Yes they did have whips, but not the kind I was looking for. Do people really beat each other like that?! While I was there, I figured I might as well make the best of it and have a look around. There was a time when I would have been mortified to be in this store, but age has a way of making things not matter so much. There was a very beautiful very voluptuous african american woman working in the store, so kind and helpful and professional. I must say, there are some really creative things going on in bedrooms....... hmmmm.... I sent Wesley a text and told her I was in a sex shop looking for a whip, that was a fun text to send to my college daughter, haha!
The sex shop sent me next door to Steve's Leather. This was basically a biker shop/head shop. Had I been shopping for a pipe or a bong, this would have been a really great place to stop. But, wait, what was that hanging up behind the register?! A whip! The kind I need, and it was $3.00. Sold! and how do you think the biker chick (maybe crack girl) recorded the sale of this whip? She got out her spiral bound notebook and wrote it down. I love it!
So, I'm not making pottery right now. I have plenty, my shop is full, just waiting on the tour goers to come and love everything and take it all home with them. Instead of making, I am shopping in western stores, head shops and sex toy stores. What a life! I did find an old toy cap gun that makes a nice prop revolver, I found a beautiful early american drum, navy blue with a rust red band on top and bottom. The lady at the antique store just let me borrow it, no charge, how amazing is that!? There is still kindness in the world and good Karma helps too I think. The house manager at the Artscenter is just by chance a drummer, and he put new heads on it and tuned it up for me. This is the thing that is so great about being a prop designer. I get to go into bizarre stores and I meet the most interesting folks and someone always knows how to do something that I don't and is willing to help me out. So great!
Friday, November 29, 2013
I have so many blessings and so many things to be thankful for, like most of you that read my blog.... family, friends, good health, a nice place to live. Good food and music surround me. Life is good.
One more Hope Floats quote, "my cup runneth over"!!
Its been a very lovely Thanksgiving here in Broomeville. Gerry had a brilliant idea for us to have Thanksgiving dinner here on Wednesday. We usually host his family on Thanksgiving day, but this year his brother did the hosting and was "keeping it simple". This meant no traditional Thanksgiving foods for us, no frig stuffed with leftovers, no turkey coma, travel for four hours.....
So the Wednesday idea was perfect. I cooked all day, healthy food, used some Weight Watchers recipes, tried in vain to stick to my points (which I did until we cut the pecan pie). Wesley got home early, just in time for a few snowflakes to fall. I got out my old oil lamps and lit candles, and the world was a cozy place. The house smelled wonderful, we were warm, the lamplight was soft and glowing, and we had a long peaceful dinner, catching up with school stuff and telling stories. I was so relaxed, not stressed about having fifteen people in my house and getting it all right. Just us three, sitting in the warm glow of my great grandmother's lantern...... sigh.....
I thought about my ancestors as we ate. Did my grandmother sit by this very lamp at night doing her school work, did her mother light this lamp at night and eat by it just as we were doing? I am so thankful to have these pieces of my past to hold on to and to remember.....
I'm also so very thankful to have this sweet child in my life. She brings absolute joy with her when she walks through the door!
Here is my version of Thanksgiving turkey. Wesley has been a vegetarian since conception. As soon as I got pregnant with her, meat became a problem for me. She has never eaten meat, and going places for the holidays can be problematic since most people's meals center around some sort of meat product. This is what I brought along to the family hoedown. In my WW meeting last week, a photo of this veggie tray got passed around and we all agreed to do one. It's so funny, but healthy!
When we first found out we were doing Thanksgiving at Gerry's brother's house, I balked a bit. The main reason I do it here is because I live with the two pickiest eaters on the planet. When we do family gatherings somewhere else, I usually end up bringing a trunk full of food for them. Plus, I am doing Weight Watchers, and that can be a problem too. However, this turned out to be a really good meal. Brother and wife obviously worked very hard putting the day together. Their house was lovely, warm and festive, the food was healthy and good. There was salad and veggies and plenty for us all. The best part was I just showed up with my veggie turkey and ate, no dishes to deal with, no stress, just a nice time with family.
Wesley got out her keyboard when she got home, and music is creeping back into her busy film life. Wednesday night after a wonderful dinner, she went down to Franklin St. to jam with some of her old band mates at a local bar. I absolutely love that she did this. Reuniting with her music friends, food for the soul!
Even after going a bit overboard with food for two days, I can still fit into jeans I haven't worn in a very long time! I was very careful to eat mostly veggies that were in salad form or lightly steamed. There might have been some excess on the gravy, I love savory way more than sweets. I stuck with my WW leaders suggestion to have three bites of a dessert, one bite for taste, one bite for texture and one bite just because. It works, that's all I had and all I needed.
My brother in law always brings this hateful thing called "Cherry Yum Yum". It's basically cherry pie filling, whipped cream and graham crackers. It's really basically a diabetic coma just waiting to happen. Last year I ate one half of the serving dish, yes I did. This year I ate three spoonfuls! and I enjoyed every tiny crumb of it! It's a ridiculous dessert and thank goodness it only rolls around once a year!
We got home around 4pm, yesterday, the sky was glowing with the setting sun, and I had to get out there in it. Wesley and I bundled up and went for a long walk. We saw the neighborhood deer family, the crows called to us, and there was peace on Earth, at least here on our little patch of it.
I hope everyone had a lovely day of giving thanks. As one of Wesley's friends so wisely put it on Facebook:
We spend Thanksgiving day giving thanks and then go out the next day and trample each other and pepper spray our fellow humans all for a better price on an electronic device at Walmart. It's a sad reality isn't it?
I am most thankful for the fact that this is not my reality!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Hey Ya'll! Just want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. I'll be off cooking and eating for a few days, so I though I would just say a quick hello and then get busy!
Yesterday Gerry had an assignment up near Stokes County, the land we love, so I rode along with him. It's not often I have a chance to go along on a fun assignment so I take advantage when I can. Now tell me truthfully, have you ever seen a happier girl :) This is the life for me!
This was a fun assignment. The AP is doing a story about a goat dairy up in Germanton that is participating in small business Saturday shopping, to counteract the horrible Black Friday (aptly named I think) and Cyber Monday. Go small business!
I think the goats really liked me, don't you? I know I liked them. This place was so great. Goats and chickens and turkeys and llamas, and sheep and dogs and cats. What more could anyone want!?
Heaven right here on Earth. Some days the world seems just right, doesn't it?
This was one of those days.....
Johnny and Robin are two of the sweetest people and they actually talk more than I do. So fun! I loved her insulated pink overalls, they would be perfect for a cold pottery studio or kiln firing outside, like my pal Susan just did, brrrr.....
They run a great little business up there at Buffalo Creek Farm. I bought some goat cheese, of course. Garlic and chive, feta, and they gave me a small gift of date and honey. This is some of the best cheese I have tasted and they had the medals from the state fair to prove it. They entered the fair for the first time this year and came home with four medals. Not bad!
The shop is very quaint with a country store feel to it. They sell crafts made by their daughter and several other artisans in the area. I also bought the cutest chicken ornament made from recycled sweaters. I'll show you later. I love that they are not only supporting a wonderful lifestyle for themselves, but supporting other craftspeople as well. There were even some french butter crocks made by a potter up in Boone. If you aren't working in your own small business this Saturday, try to get out and support some local folks who work hard and love what they do!
This is not the most flattering photo of me, but who knew, I have a mouth like a goat! haha! ugh, those wide angle shots.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Hope you have a lovely week
Sunday, November 24, 2013
I've been working on a few wrap bracelets, trying out the new techniques and ideas I learned in the Nina Bagley workshop. I love making these bracelets, but the challenge is keeping Nina's voice out and my voice in. It's so hard to learn something new from someone and keep them out of your own creativity. This first bracelet has parts of a turtle bracelet my friend Laura gave me, some sea glass from Maine, a really cool belt buckle I found at a thrift store, buttons from my mom's old sewing supplies, and some old pearls I picked up in an antique store. I really like the ability to reuse items and give them a new and pretty life.
This one, a bird's nest that Nina demonstrated and I have become obsessed with making. When Wesley left for college it seemed like everything I made had something to do with nests.
I'm getting there, making is becoming easier as I figure out what not to do, what works, what I like, what will say me and not say "Nina".
I still have this miserable cold, making pots of soup and pots of chili, trying to stay warm and hydrated.
Starting to feel the stress of the holidays upon me more and more. The days before Christmas seem to get more and more compressed every year, and just rush up on me and then rush past before I know it.
I'm trying to work out how to make this a pleasant time instead of getting annoyed with it all.
I got a text from Wesley saying that she went to church this morning and how lovely it was and how she feels like a better person today. She is certainly a better person than me. She lives near Old Salem and the Moravian church and from time to time she goes. She gets up by herself on these very cold mornings and goes alone. I love this child and her love for life. Yesterday I got a text from her saying she was alone all day and typed out a story on her typewriter about Jesus and Aliens. Ha! Yin and Yang....... :-)
Have a great week of Thanksgiving, I'm giving thanks for these folks I live with!