continuing on….

Lately it seems I just can’t get settled into regular blog posting. I have so many things to make note of I keep putting it off and the list gets longer. Here are a few of the ones I can remember….
I did get a new post up on Elementary Art. Stats are improving over there but not many comments. I do enjoy the interaction with the kids and we try to do lessons that can also be done easily at home if the kids want to or if anyone stumbles on the blog they can try out the projects with their own kids at home. I do wonder if it’s worth continuing…we only have a few months to go so will finish out the school year and who knows what next year will bring?


Inspired by both Jude and some recent questions posted on Dyerslist regarding dyeing brick red on silk I spent a day dyeing pinks and reds. Recent orders for ribbon requesting these colors also figured into the mix. While I had dyed red scarves I hadn’t done much in these colorways so far with the ribbons and started off base dyeing a batch using a combo of the Sabraset colors deep red and magenta for the color on the left. The “brick” red in the center was achieved with the same combo plus the addition of a small amount of black- a nice red that will inspire the making of some lovely red roses. The pink on the right was done with the leftover bath quite exhausted and quickly. I pole wrapped some of each of these and discharged them without over-dyeing and they came out very nice! I’ll add photos later when the poles are unwrapped.
these cyclamens shooting up through the fallen gingko leaves in my yard offer further color inspiration…

The Pasadena Bead and Design show- Thoroughly enjoyed the show. Some really fine artists at work. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to look around except in my immediate area and to and from the restrooms and coffee/water shop. I did find Donna Conklin on one trip down the hall on the way to my workshop and bought a most beautiful glass bead from her. Absolutely stunning series of glass lampworked beads. At first glance I thought they were ceramic- the way she uses color reminded me of beautiful porcelain glazes. I don’t know much about this art form but I was really taken with Donna’s sensibility toward the surface of the glass. I mounted the bead as shown below (on ribbon with silver, of course!):

Another find was Melanie Doerman’s exquisite beadwork. Her kits and custom pieces are just wonderful. She also teaches beadwork at various locations including the San Gabriel Bead Company.

Sales-wise the show was quite good! A little surprising for a first time show. I know not everyone was happy with it but I think those who were selling supplies and very unique high quality, fairly priced items did better. There were definitely some areas for improvement- especially in the organization / marketing of the workshops. From what I could tell, workshop attendance was very low with many being cancelled due to lack of students. Pre-signups were extremely low and many attendees were only there for the day and didn’t want to spend all their time in a class. Have to re-think that for next time! My class wasn’t cancelled and was rewarded with some nice ribbon sales afterward but definitely could have had more students! I took to demonstrating in my booth in between customers. Attendees commented over and over that they were impressed with the quality of the show and hadn’t budgeted nearly enough money to spend at the show. I trust Anna who manages the show will make the necessary adjustments for next year. She offered me a last minute booth at the Tucson show next week and I considered going but reconciled to the fact that I simply couldn’t rebuild my inventory quickly enough in addition to my pending wholesale orders and had to decline her generous offer in the better interests of not driving everyone around me crazy and meeting existing commitments (sales tax returns due today for 2 states, online class lessons to write and photograph,orders etc., etc….).
Which brings me to another thought….
The laws of attraction- Often times I think we self-employed “arTiists/ makers” sometimes live in fear of where our next orders will come from. I had to get use to this feeling 30 years ago and still I find myself struggling with it from time to time. The truth is we DON’T know where our next orders may come from. We don’t work 9-5 and have our paycheck direct deposited. It’s easy to find yourself signing up for shows worried that if you don’t do it that you won’t have enough work- that somehow the opportunity will pass you by. I have vowed to myself not to do any shows this year coming from that place: to specifically define my reasons and goals for each individual show and be well prepared for those I do choose. This helped me decide not to do the Tucson show. And wouldn’t you know, within 24 hours I had several new orders fall into my lap!
I also updated my profile on ZAPPlication and applied to a couple of shows. One was the Santa Monica Arts Festival which offered me a booth at the upcoming February show. I decided to decline as it falls on my birthday and I’ve decided to party instead of work. You only turn 50 once! The other show is the Chicago One of a Kind Show in December which I was turned down for last year. I think this show could work for me but I understand it is very hard to get into so we’ll just have to see.
200 yards of base dyed ribbons prepared for wrapping….these have all been discharged, overdyed ,and steamset. they now await my unwrapping and preparation for shipping.

I swear the indigo vat is lurking…..I just need a good block of time to commit to it.

4 thoughts on “continuing on….

  1. jude

    not much blog reading for me these days, but whenever i come here, the color heals my heart. i keep thinking of a way to go into business but i would never make it. you are so devoted and unique. keep at it.


  2. Kristin

    I’m sorry for the delay in thanking you for your lovely pay it forward gift. The calendar is truly stunning and the silk bit leaves me weak in the knees. I’m not sure what to do with it other than drape it around the house as decoration. Do you have any suggestions? I almost don’t want to use it as it’s so beautiful. Thank you again!


  3. shiborigirl Post author

    you’re very welcome! as for the silk ribbon, play with it, stitch it, cut it, use it. you can make a simple necklace by stitching a small seam down the length (RST) and turning it forming a tubular cord. i put pewter conical beads on the ends and wear it around my neck or wrist.
    see photo here:
    ribbon necklace with silver beaded tips


  4. Donna Conklin

    What a wonderful way to start the day! I was just checking the webstats on my website and saw that had a link to my website (Ahhh, the wonders of the internet!) So, I come over and see the wonderful post about my beads! Thank you so much. I love what you did with the bead you bought and I am still coveting the ribbons I got from you! Seeing what you’ve done gives me some inspiration to use them, I hope I can do them justice. I hope to meet you again! Thanks, Donna Conklin



be in touch and wonder~

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s