Yay!!! By far the best show I have done, so I am totally excited to be accepted as a vendor for Crafty Bastards D.C. style on Sept. 28th! this chickadee and I will be together in craft again, showcasing our wares under the big top. We can't wait to see you there!
"Our hearts swell with B'more pride whenever we log onto The Baltimore Etsy Street Team's site, baltimore-etsy.blogspot.com. This is a compilation of all the local designers and crafters who have pages on Etsy, the popular online marketplace. The talent is awe-inspiring. Some of our faves: TheBrokenPlate takes vintage and contemporary dinnerware and gives it new life as a necklace or a ring. And vwstudios, where images on clay are created using a process that includes photography, painting and printmaking."
-from Baltimore Magazine's Best of Baltimore issue 2008
Anyone got a copy??? It hasn't hit newsstands yet and I'm dying to see! Yay B.E.S.T!!! For anyone who is not familiar with B.E.S.T., we are a collective of artists and crafters brought together by etsy, who focus on promoting the handmade arts in the Baltimore area. We rock if I do say so myself! What a great way to start the weekend! Cheers!
I realized this morning, as I washed my cereal bowl, that the crepe myrtle outside the kitchen window was blooming. I am aware of the calendar date, July 24th, but seeing the hot pink blooms of the crepe myrtle really brought home how fast this summer has been flying by. As a kid growing up, when the crepe myrtles would bloom it meant that it was almost August. Being the pessimist I generally am, that meant that summer was half over and it was almost back to school time. More depressing was the blooming of what my childhood friend and I dubbed the "back to school flower." It was some sort of lily that came into it's full glory in the last precious weeks of summer. Her mother had an extensive garden that she worked tirelessly in, and went mostly unnoticed by us, until those damn flowers bloomed. Every year my friend and I would behead them in an attempt to stop the encroachment of rising at 6am, new binders, sharpened pencils and back to school clothes shopping. I doubt her mother ever knew- blaming the decapitation on the squirrels who were starting their fall hoarding frenzy.
Standing there looking at the hot pink flowers this morning I felt that familiar drop in my stomach- fall and back to school are looming. 20 years later I still feel much the same way as I did as a kid- because I have been teaching for the past 7 years, and fall still means the loss of whole days free to pursue MY interests and art, sleeping in past 6:00 am, and the time to actually read a book. Around this time every year, I start to panic that I've taken my summer days for granted. All the projects I didn't get done, books that didn't get read, no days spent just "being." Wasted chances at vacation and renewal in the pursuit of trying to cram all my built up creative energy into the fleeting time off from teaching. I become so anxious that I won't get "enough done" before going back to school that I work myself into a tizzy, and before you know it I am back in faculty meetings wondering where my "free time" went. But I have to keep reminding myself that this summer is different.
I've alluded to a "big change" for a while now, dancing around the subject, leaving you all to guess, but never really giving a straight answer because, well I have had a hard time embracing this change.
So here it goes- I am taking a year off from teaching, to do, well, what I am not sure of yet. "Wow," you may say, "was that really so hard???"
Yes it is- for me.
You have to understand that I can't remember a time when I have not worked or earned my own money.
Even as a child some of my earliest memories are of doing chores for extra money, painting seashells to sell to unsuspecting neighbors, and cultivating rows of corn to sell at my vegetable stand. I have always had more then one job at time- the standard job for the benefits, and then a side job for extra cash, or in the case of running my own event photography business- to buy a house or pay for Grad School. Even in the summers off from teaching I rarely gave myself a vacation really. I was always shooting events, walking dogs, or for the past 2 summers, working on my jewelry line. This past year I realized I had to make a change. I have never given myself the opportunity to really take a chance on myself, my abilities, my creativity, or my dreams. I fell into teaching while still in school myself, and once graduated, it was an easy, "safe" job with benefits and a steady paycheck. The longer I was at the school, more and more was expected of me, both time wise and energy wise. I realized this past year that I was so drained that I couldn't come home and work in the studio, or do any of the things that are a vital part of my life and happiness. This lead to one cranky, frustrated person to live with. Terrible.
My husband is giving me an incredible gift. Supporting me and us, both financially and emotionally, while I take this year to figure out what my next move is. My first instinct after I asked for the year off from my school was to try and find an interim job- any job. My husband quickly squelched that by saying "this wasn't the point of the year off, I need some time to process and think about what it is that I want to do. Jumping in to another job, just to have a job, was not productive." So I have decided that this next year is going to consist of taking all those classes at MICA that I haven't been able to take because of teaching, wrapping up my metals program, making jewelry, doing shows, and promoting my jewelry more in the hopes of a small income. And we'll see where I'm at next year. Don't get me wrong, it will not be easy financially, and I couldn't be doing this at a more scarier time (umm recession anyone?). But I figure I can go without all those new shoes I hardly ever wear, dinners out often, expensive haircuts, and new clothes, in exchange for this time for me. And hell, if all else fails, I am an experienced dog walker, photographer, jewelry maker, business owner, retail shop manger, gardener, vegetable sales girl, waitress, sea shell painter, nanny, teacher, and artist- I'll figure something out.
In all my skirt and pillow making frenzy, I almost forgot to post the "pick of the week sale item!" Not only is this Graffiti Drop pendant the pick of the week, it is also a new item. AND, my friends, it's completely one of a kind. I over fired and layered the glass "free form" so try as I might, I can not make another exactly like this. The orange glass is built up over the aqua, and some deeper blue glass burned through as I over fired. It has great contrast and a little bit of texture from the thickened glass in areas. Find it here in the shop!
So I am still on my self imposed sabbatical- from jewelry making that is. Because I have been crafting as you can see below. I decided to dust off (literally because it was upstairs in the middle of our rehab project) the old Singer and try my hand at making some pillows for our blahhh couch. So I made those three, and then was inspired to try my hand at making a skirt, which you can see part of in the reflection below. Now I am hooked and am inspired to try to make a skirt from an old table cloth my mother in law gave me. If all goes well I'll post pics tomorrow. But don't you worry, I'll be hammering, sawing and firing the metal again here soon. Sometimes you just need a break to feel inspired by your materials again.
Just a little side project while I take a quick craft vacation. My friend found these awesome chairs in the trash! Here is a before picture:
After- I pressure washed them to get the flaking paint and rust off, and then painted. Good as new!
The give away table- lot's of goodies for next months give away (sign up here), plus the drawing for the $50 Doubledutch gift certificate! Congratulations Alicia!!!!
BEST members hanging out in the store. Work by Dandelion Blu, Tiger Lilly Shop, The Broken Plate, The Littlest Bean and Jill Popowich shown.
A display of Spa Therapy and Beth Pohlman's work.
My little colorful corner!
As promised, the vendor list for our first Trunk Show at Double Dutch! This Sunday in Hampden 11-5pm. Come for treats and drinks, shopping, and your chance to win a $50 Double Dutch gift certificate!
Elisa Shere Jewelry
Jill Popowich Designs
The Broken Plate
2 more exciting events for Dandelion Blu are on the horizon! 1st up, I will be returning to the lovely Ballston Arts Market in Arlington VA this Saturday the 12th. The market is open 10am-4pm and showcases some of the areas finest handmade goods. Situated conveniently close to the Ballston Metro station in Wellburn Square. Come for live music, outstanding art, and a visit with this chickadee and I!
Next up is the very exciting BEST trunk show hosted by doubledutch boutique in Hampden, Baltimore hon!!!! Sunday July 13th, 11am-5pm. This is our debut show together, so come out and support your local crafters. I will post a vendor list and links later in the week, but look forward to handmade jewelry, accessories, stationary, soaps and more. AND we are giving away a $50 gift certificate to doubledutch, so stop by for your chance to enter! It's going to be a packed weekend for this dandelion! Hope to see you there!
Don't forget to leave me a comment on the giveaway post so you too can have a chance at winning! I'll randomly pick the winner this evening- after a few beers and veggie dogs hot off the bbq! Check back tomorrow to see who the lucky reader is! Good luck!
To celebrate Independence Day, my own independence (more on that to come...), and indie design in general, I thought I'd bring back the giveaway with these fun "July" earrings. They are from my "Beaux Style" line of earrings, sterling silver vertical loops that pass through the ear and catch at the bottom, with vintage glass beads. So come out of hiding and say "Hi" in the comments. I'll randomly choose a winner on Friday- it could be you!!!