Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wire Organizer Tip

Does your wire get all tangled in piles? Can't find the gauge you want without pulling everything apart? A few years ago I came up with the idea to use these plastic filers to organize my wire. The silver and gold have separate cases and all are labeled by gauge. You can still use a plastic bag for protection within the file sections, but at least it's not a tangled mess! Plus, when I travel which is a lot, it's easy to grab what I need.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kiosk Opens Saturday, October 31


The holiday kiosk will be opening a day early on Saturday, October 31 at the Lycoming Mall. Stop by and mention that you are a blog follower and you will get 15% off your entire purchase!  


Offer valid through Friday, November 6. This offer extends to facebook fans as well! 

MUG Monday - Support CUP

This week's collection comes from submissions from last week's post and an eclectic assortment  from my favorite list. Check out the shops of these talented potters by clicking through the big picture to get to the individual Etsy shops!
One mug from last week's post sold!

Supporting Operation CUP (Citizens Using Pottery) 
For more info about CUP and featured potters
see Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics on facebook. 
I'd love to hear from you! Comments below are welcomed...
 
If you would like to enter for a MUG Feature on my blog,  you will need to do the following TWO steps
1. Leave a comment on this blog with your favorite MUG from this week's feature
AND
2. Post your handmade MUG or your favorite MUG someone else made in this ETSY FORUM

Monday, October 19, 2009

MUG MONDAY-Just the Mugs Please 
Edition #5-Etsy Artisans

This week's collection comes from submissions from last week's post and an eclectic assortment  from my favorite list. Check out the shops of these talented potters by clicking through the big picture to get to the individual Etsy shops!


Supporting Operation CUP (Citizens Using Pottery) 
For more info about CUP and featured potters
see Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics on facebook. 
I'd love to hear from you! Comments below are welcomed...
 
If you would like to enter for a MUG Feature on my blog,  you will need to do the following TWO steps
1. Leave a comment on this blog with your favorite MUG from this week's feature
AND
2. Post your handmade MUG or your favorite MUG someone else made in this ETSY FORUM

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mall Kiosk Time Machine

I remember calling the Lycoming Mall back in 1994 to see about leasing a kiosk for the holiday season to sell my clay bead jewelry. Brand new carts were coming in and I was the first to inquire. What great timing!  In my previous life as a buyer for 400 card and gift stores I had been to many malls coast to coast where carts were common. It seemed a logical step to try since the first six months had been a thrilling success at shows. The scary part of course was the cost, but I had to try.
This must be circa 1995 judging my Savannah to be about three here.This was the original cart design. All natural wood with wheels. It had a big drawer for storage at each end on wheels. I actually had a toaster oven in there to bake the beads. Start to finish everything was made at the cart. An all day long demonstration which captured attention, started conversation and helped with sales. This cart style lasted quite a few years then was put out to pasture to sell apples or who knows what, as the mall purchased a  new model.
This model came around 2003 with its bright white laminate finish. I made the "lovely" sage skirting to cover up as much of the stark white as possible. I tend to go with a natural look for display. Wood, cork, tile, burlap...you get the picture. At the time, the skirt looked sooo good. Now, change of mind...
For 2004 it went skirtless. A soft suede overlay, more cork and natural fibers to cover up that drastic white. Better than the skirt? Maybe... Is anyone ever satisfied with their display?
 
The end of the cart view with the bamboo blind as a backdrop. This look became a part of my show booth design, but that's another story entirely. Having settled into solution for the white laminate model, the mall announces it is bringing in yet another design for 2007. This one would be cherry wood in a pagoda style.  It's a beauty except the display space was cut down. Time to regroup once again and brainstorm for display ideas.

This was the beginning of the transition from wood displays to metal and tile. Ahhh, so many tile choices. I stood in the aisle at Lowe's and drooled. 

Today, title for first and most continuous cart vendor is mine. Guess it makes me the old lady of the mall, old at 43? Naaaa .... People seem surprised when they find out how many years it's been since they've been coming.  This I appreciate the most. Little kids who have been picking out their mother's Christmas present are now in college. I love making even the smallest contribution to the holiday season. It warms my heart.

Center court is my home for November and December. It's a crazy time of year trying to squeeze in taking care of everything, but it's all we know at my house. Making beads and jewelry all day at the kiosk where family, friends and customers gather to watch or chat. This is the time when I get to catch up with everyone! The bonus comes after with four months off before the outdoor season kicks off again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

End of Outdoor Season Giveaway

$50 BEAD BUCK DRAWING 
In celebration of the end of the outdoor show season I am giving away $50 in Bead Bucks! Bead Bucks can be used on Etsy, ArtFire, or in person of course. Originally the drawing was for facebook fans, but decided to extend it to my growing blog following as well.

Contest starts now and the drawing will take place on October 31. 
Two ways to enter: 
1. Leave a comment here to earn one entry. 
2. Refer a new follower who must also leave a comment including your name for the referral. You can refer as many as you like to earn additional entries.

For those who are already fans on facebook and follow the blog, lucky you! You can double your chances as each entry counts separately.
Good luck!


Monday, October 12, 2009

MUG Monday Supporting Operation CUP

Make the coffee, open the cupboard door and now I get to choose which one. This is one of my favorite morning moments. So many different colors and shapes. Each one is a memory of where I got it and the artist who made it with their hands. All the perfect imperfections that make each piece unique.

This morning, I drink my coffee from a fine Aaronsburg Pottery vessel which I purchased at People's Choice in Boalsburg, PA.It's body is round and fat with a deep olive color and smooth...I mean really smooth and perfect to the touch.
These are the work of Tofano Pottery. I had the priviledge of trading with Tanya and Mike at Bedford Fall Foliage. The color is serene and the quality is perfection. They are new to Etsy so check them out!

Every chance I get at a show to seek out potters is a thrill. It makes me a little bit giddy with happiness and I am not kidding around here. Scanning for color and texture and quality, I pick up the mug and imagine how it will feel doing its job. The weight of it in my hand feels comforting. The handle has to fit. The rim has to be like silk. Any rough spots will not be friendly on the lips. It has to be beautiful and practical, not just for show.

Even after all these years of collecting, it's not difficult to find something new and interesting to add to the collection or to put in the gift pile.This year we decided early that it would be a mug Christmas. The tough part is deciding which to give and which to keep. Gotta be honest, I want to keep them all!!!

Support Operation CUP (Citizens Using Pottery)
For more info about CUP and featured potters see Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics on facebook
Buy handmade. Give handmade.
Below is the fourth edition of MUG MONDAY. If you click through the picture, you will be able to click on each individual mug to visit the artists Etsy shop. Please show them some love!!

MUG MONDAY-Eclectic Mix


This week's collection comes from submissions from last week's post and
an eclectic assortment  from my favorite list.
claynfiber      hijackedceramics      miekongo
shoshonasnow      JulieKnowlesPottery      jewelpottery
cofstudios     patspottery      ApplewarePottery
 Check out the shops of these talented potters by clicking through the big picture to get to the individual links or by clicking on each studio name!
Supporting Operation CUP (Citizens Using Pottery)
I'd love to hear from you! Comments below are welcomed...

If you would like to enter for a MUG Feature on my blog,  
you will need to do the following TWO steps,
1. Leave a comment on this blog with your favorite MUG from this week's feature
AND
2. Post your handmade MUG or your favorite MUG someone else made in this ETSY FORUM

End of Another Outdoor Season

Packing and unpacking the minivan (my daughter would prefer we have a cooler vehicle, but this is a job requirement) to hit the road twenty times or more from April to October is how I earn my living. Setting up at the crack o'dawn in the wet grass (please tell me I remembered to bring a second pair of sandals) or on the street with its slope to the curb hoping the displays won't be too tippy.
Cringing with the howl of a wind gust. Chatting with my neighbors about the last place they have been or the weather..always the weather. Wondering if there is going to be a food vendor making breakfast, oh I hope so. Where is the good coffee? Anyone know of a local coffee shop with the good stuff? Take a bite and put some more stuff out.
What did I forget this time? What booth configuration will I use? Inney or outey, corner? Some mornings it's the hardest decision to make. You can ask Nick, he knows when to leave for more coffee. Thank goodness for him. He is the most awesome weight attacher, sign poster, table cover folder and yes, he even does a great scarf. Better than me as he recently pointed out...
Honking the horn on the way out of town saying good bye to a favorite town on the show circuit. Loving this gypsy lifestyle. Stopping on the way home for more good coffee. Talking about how fast things went and oh yeah, where was that hotel with that incredible shower? I forgot to take notes again this year about which hotels were our favorites.
Smiling as we know that this weekend we get to stay home. Hmmm, no he is driving to Pittsburgh to see his daughter play college soccer. The next weekend we go to Long Island and then to the city for a birthday celebration on broadway. I think there is one weekend at the end of October that is free?? No, that would be time to set up the kiosk at the mall. That is if we don't head up to Corning for the half marathon. We love Corning!! Aniello's Pizza, Mac's Grill, Market Street Brewing Co. ... yeah, let's do it. Back in the van for another trip. A cold one after a long run sounds like a great way to spend the day!
This trip the only load in the back will be a change of clothes...all the show stuff is taking a rest in the garage.

Monday, October 5, 2009

MUG MONDAY-Dark and Earthy


This week's collection comes from submissions from last week's post

and an assortment of dark and earthy mugs from my favorite list.
Check out the shops of these talented potters by clicking through the links!
I'd love to hear from you! Comments below are welcomed...

If you would like to enter for a MUG Feature on my blog, 
you will need to do the following TWO steps,

1. Leave a comment on this blog with your favorite MUG from this week's feature
AND
2. Post your handmade MUG or your favorite MUG someone else made in this ETSY FORUM

 
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