Tag Archives: long beach quilt festival

silk shibori ribbon by the yard

had some feathers around and it seemed to fit this piece… the magnetic clasps are silver and quite handsome.

a shop in Tokyo Ginza had requested an upscale braided cording. they came out pretty well.  this was a new way for me to use the ribbon.

So far, I have only used the borealis colorways on these.  You can clip on a magnetic broach as shown above, or wear it alone.

I spent all day yesterday prepping for a class and this morning teaching it.  Forgot the camera so no photos but a good time was had by all.  The best part is when everyone discovers how much they like what they made.  Even if they were dubious along the way, they were pleased in the end and have plans to do more. Thanks to all for taking the class and hope to see you again sometime!

I am finally moving the ribbon by the yard into the bigcartel shop. This is something I had been wanting to do for some time.  I think it will be much easier to order that way.  So far, only about 20 colors are there in this listing (use the drop down menu to select colors) but all the colors are well pictured which is a big improvement over the old etsy listing.  Also no listing fees. Eventually I will get up around 40 of the colors there.  here are the color cards as they appear in the shop-

color chart 1

color chart 2

color chart 3

color chart 4

Todays class at convergence was the impetus for finally getting this done.  Now, students can much more easily order colors using the drop down menu.

see the new listing in the bigcartel shop

A few more things were made for the upcoming Long Beach Quilt Show-

fun flower necklace on silk cording

even a little casual indigo got into the mix

bits of this-n-that…

I like numbers

I always have. Numbers help me figure things out.

numbers, my pretties, numbers

(new in the shop) 

They help me make better decisions when I might be tempted to do something out of sheer emotion or desire (there is a time and place for that as well). Numbers are handy when measuring dye and silk or clay and glaze materials. Numbers help me be more efficient. Some of these things can be downright destructive if I weren’t paying attention to the numbers. The whole world is based on numbers. Business, governments, science, music and even art and nature can be looked at through a number filtered lens.

Daily, we have occasion to confront some pretty disturbing numbers. There are so many of those these days that I could drive myself crazy with them.  Most recently in the news JPMorgan  “mishandled” some numbers. Here, Candida Abraham says the numbers don’t lie when it comes to servicing the needs of the mentally ill in our society. The numbers Abraham speaks of have some pretty dire consequences if we don’t pay attention to them.

The numbers in my own small world are really tiny compared to such things. But, like most of us, I have to pay attention to them or the bills won’t get paid next month.  So in addition to being visually and technically creative I need to engage the other side of my brain and pay attention to the NUMBERS!  This post is just a little reminder to myself that one day, a year or so ago, I wasn’t paying close enough attention and allowed myself to agree to something I shouldn’t have.  At least not if I had been paying attention to the numbers.  I am actually pretty good at the numbers thing which is why I’m still around, independently creating daily for over 35 years.  But not that day.  I share it here so others may learn from my mistakes if you have any notion of making an honest living -of making.

This situation involves a teaching gig. I was honored to be asked and should have left it at that. Said thank you and made an excuse or some such thing. There had been something about it- like a little voice that said no,don’t-but I went against the instinct and signed the contract. Silly me.

I won’t go into all the details but as I later looked over all the n u m b e r s  I was less than happy. Not only did I feel that I had been misled in regards to scheduling and my ability to take a booth on the vendor floor I felt that the n u m b e r s  took financial advantage of my teaching in great favor of the organization who’s stated purpose is to inspire creativity and encourage excellence in the fiber arts. Hmmm.

So here are the numbers. See for yourself how it feels to you.

Class #1 (3 hour class)

35 person max. capacity for a fee of $75 per person-that’s a total of $2625 for a sold out class

My pay for the 3 hour class-$210 flat rate. (that’s $6 per student)

Now if my class doesn’t sell out, I still get paid the same.  Not very smart on their part if you ask me (they didn’t).

Class #2 (6 hour class)

24 person max. capacity for a class fee of $150 per person-that’s a total of $3600 for a sold out class

My pay for the 6 hour class-$425 if the class has a minimum of 12 people. If not, then I get paid $35 per student. (otherwise for a full class I am being paid $17.71 per student on a $150 class fee paid by the student) I think I’d be happier to take $385 for a class of 11 rather than $425 for a class of 24! Again, not a very smart move on their part.

Numbers people, numbers.

Now mind you, this is all in addition to fees that all students pay to even attend the convention itself- which runs about $200 each not including any hotel or travel.

This whole scenario created a situation for me that made me ask why would I even promote my own event? When their scheduling of my classes ended up being during prime vendor market time, I had to decline taking and paying for a booth where I might have been able to make up some of that. Feeling that I was “chosen” since I was a local to the event and they would not pay any travel expenses as with many of the other teachers,  didn’t help matters.

And as if that weren’t enough- the contract states that I am not allowed to teach the class (in this case shibori and ribbonwork-the only two things I do teach) for 7 MONTHS (6 months prior and  one month post) within the CONTINENTAL NORTH AMERICA.  SERIOUSLY?? Get a grip.

I really doubt that folks who take classes have any idea about these things.  I think they’d be surprised.

So, to sum it up- choose your events WISELY unless you are NOT in this to make a living. Not everyone is. But if you are, make sure that each event makes financial sense and pay attention to the numbers and the details. Each event should stand on it’s own merit and produce a profit.  And certainly not prevent you from making a living in your own field.

If you are a 501C3-then it’s a different story. For an organization that took in over $1,000,000 in 2010 (according to Guidestar) they give a whopping $4000 out in annual educational grants according to their website. They do a bit more when you include grants for students to attend the biannual conference($11,000-ish altogether). Many folks work as unpaid volunteers but with one exec salary at almost $100,000, additional employee compensation at $117,000 and travel expenses for the organization at over $62,000 (2010) among other things, the $4000 seems rather paltry when it’s stated purpose is to inspire creativity and encourage excellence in the fiber arts. This sort of thing starts making me, the lowly teacher/vendor feel a little like a stepchild-no nostalgia for that one. After looking at their tax returns available online, I realized I am not interested in  partnering with these sorts of organizations. Although they offer some benefits, often 501C3’s are organized around benefiting few rather than many.

I once attended a local Arts Council  roundtable where one of the discussion table talks encouraged artists to form  non profit corporations so that wealthy patrons, uncles and relatives could give them money and get tax write offs!  I kid you not. Tax-free trust-fund-ism. And in times where tax dollars are in short supply-all endorsed by the Arts Council.
No talk about how to run a successful and profitable business. Very disappointing.

Fortunately,the Long Beach Quilt Festival is just around the corner (July 26 at 5:00pm until July 29 at 4:00pm) where I will have a booth with all kinds of silk shibori and indigo. I won’t be teaching since it falls in the no-no zone but I will be demonstrating for free so come on by!

Here are the relevant NUMBERS-

Long Beach Quilt Festival 2012

July 27-29, 2012
Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center
Long Beach, California

Hours:
July 26: 5-9 p.m. (Preview Night)
July 27 & 28: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
July 29: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Ticket prices:
$10 daily adult
$8 seniors & students
Children 10 and under free.
$10 Preview Night (includes one free additional day)
$25 Full Show Pass (includes Preview Night)

preview sale!

Amazingly I feel like I am on track for the show and ready to go down to the Convention Center to set up most of the booth today. Preview Nite is Thursday 7/23 from 5 PM – 9PM where the early bird shoppers can get in for $10 and choose the “pick of the litter” from those of us who do one of a kind handmades. When the show opens the next morning at 10 AM the rest of the buyers don’t even know what they missed.

I decided to have a little preview sale of my own here (free admission!!) so I chose 3 sets of my new ribbons to offer up here. Of course they are my picks and I’ll have about 100 more down at the show. These are my personal faves and I couldn’t resist showing them off a bit.

Koi Pond

Koi Pond

Ode to Jackson

Ode to Jackson

Simply Luscious

Simply Luscious

Each is a set of 3 one yard cuts of 4″ silk satin ribbon that has been dyed one at a time using a new-to-me-method of dyeing which I somewhat recreated and bent to suit the result I was after. I have been playing with this idea for a while and have finally worked out the details and the set up so as to have a more standardized process and result.
Preview sale price-$33 per set. Go to the Etsy site if you are interested in purchasing any of them. I’m only leaving them up until Thursday 5 PM!

And, it’s quite amazing how fast the children are growing! They even have siblings now!

they grow up so fast!

they grow up so fast!

-and more from the travel weary musicians on the road:

“Well, we got on the ferry pretty drunk after going thru all this shit, changing drivers and all. Landed in France, which I wasn’t expecting. Played the show in holland, which was just crazy huge festival the consumed the whole city. Drove all night all the way thru Germany and in to Czech, really deep into Czech. Got to the city we were supposed to play at and it looked like the city was abandoned. We got out of the car and heard music in the woods and walked like really deep into the woods and there was like 1000 people in the middle of the woods. Everyone loved it. We got a hotel that night and it was like a four star hotel and we got 4 rooms! Woke up and drove down the road about an hour to the next festival and we heard we didn’t even go on till 2am so we went to our hotel for the night. It was like crazy beat hotel we got 3 rooms with 3 beds in each. Left for the festival about 8 and when we got there we had to walk a mile through knee deep mud at the festival, there were probably about 10,000 people there No joke walking in rain and knee deep mud, crazy night in all. Went back to the hotel, slept. Woke up this morning, drove all day throught czech and slovakia and into hungary. Now in Budapest.”

Indigo children and thoughts beyond

Things have begun germinating here and children are sprouting up all over. It has been hellishly hot lately and I’m trying to be careful not to let them get dehydrated:

indigo children-shiborigirl style

indigo children-shiborigirl style

Ideas germinate as well and indigo thoughts have become viral. More on that later.

Kathleen Fasanella at Fashion Incubator recently posted some definitions (a month ago- I am seriously behind around here!) to some hard to define terms such as “handmade”. She states “hardly anyone knows what this means anymore”. It definitely is a word used broadly and as she defines the term –

“in sewn products, handmade means the item was made by one person start to finish. “

She also states that handmade should be defined by the industry to which it applies. So sensible of course. She broaches the topics and offers detailed descriptions of batching, production, manufacturing, one off, craft, craft production and their relationship to one another. I have her book and have loaned it out to a couple of DIYers thinking they want to start up sewing bizzes of their own. It seemed the least I could do. It had been a while since I had visited her site and it was, as usual, worth the trip.

Seems I have had an appetite lately for more understanding as I work hard towards the upcoming show- Quilt Festival Long Beach. Right in my own backyard. It could hardly get any better. Well, I guess it could if booth costs weren’t continually on the rise as well as all the associated costs. I’m doing a bit of an experiment here. Seeing just how low I can go.
So far- 1/2 booth ( only the second time I have done that in over 30 years of shows!), not ordering any lights or electricity (so far-we’ll see how that goes!) and putting off ordering any steel until I get there and determine my options. Maximizing profit. Keeping things simple. Focusing on the sale and the interaction with the customer. Listening.

Here’s a little preview of some of what’s been happening around here-

itajime shibori indigo virus on silk organza

itajime shibori indigo virus on silk organza

shibori ribbon- to inspire and create!

shibori ribbon- to inspire and create!

indigo silk cording

indigo silk cording

indigo cording and silver beads

indigo cording and silver beads

indigo ombre practice-cotton

indigo ombre practice-cotton

flow of silk cording

flow of silk cording

Long Beach Quilt Festival addendum

Just thought I’d note here that I added some large size photos of the booth over at Flickr and added some notes for anyone who is interested. If you’ve ever done a large trade show booth (and paid the fees!) you KNOW you need to make that real estate pay for itself. I like to give people a lot of eye candy to look at and I’m always working to improve on the way the space works for me.

AND, I forgot to mention and thank one indispensable person who was a great help at the show and that was my rep Maureen who came every day and worked the booth. She is marvelous and if you are a store in So Cal and want an appointment to see the ribbon let me know and I’ll pass your # on to her. She also caries several other fabric lines and is a direct rep.

And since I hate to do a post without something visual…here’s what was ready in the garden after the shows….time for some spicy salsa!!

some catching up….

in my head i have written numerous “ghost posts” here but just haven’t been able to actually get them
written down on the computer. i have a laundry list of things going back to the Long Beach Quilt Festival and i’m not quite sure how or where to start.
in preparation for the show i spent quite a bit of time polewrapping ribbon-

these are discharged and ready for overdyeing


previously i had been unwinding 2 at a time- i realized i can do as many as 10 at a time!
every little bit helps!

it was a pleasure to have a show in my home town for once which made set-up a breeze.
i snapped a couple of quick photos one morning before the doors opened-


a view of the front table- 360˚ display which can be walked around- lots gets sold off this table
-hey! that’s my friend jennifer from atlanta in the background! she sells the most delicious vintage trims-some which she hand dyes. she’s a fabulous seamstress and makes high-end pillows for interior designers in the south. she shared a booth with another friend (Dawn of Dawn Sklarr Ribbons and Trims) we always try to get our booths near to each other as we often share the same customers-beforehand we imagine we’ll have time to visit but it never works out that way-a good thing-means we’re busy!


close-up of the ribbon display

i’ll load some larger images into my flickr with some notes later….. i really haven’t taken many photos lately- (just being in the moment and later thinking-hey i didn’t get a photo of that! oh well….)

the make & take flower workshop was great- a little tricky being the first to present the first hour of the first day…(have to change that next time- last show i was the LAST hour of the last day- i asked to be moved up and i got what i asked for!!) we made it work and had about a dozen people altogether.

ta-da! one hour workshop and each wore their flower pin out of the workshop.

thanks to everyone who came by to purchase shibori ribbon, flowers, scarves and dyes and to those who stopped by to say hello and introduce themselves. it was great to meet so many who read the blog as well as other bloggers themselves. i finally met Jane Lafazio who runs Mundo Lindo-great to put a face to a blog! Also many thanks to Jeanne from the San Jose Quilt Museum who brought by many customers and stopped in at my workshop with her group!
i also want to thank Maggie from Things Japanese for helping out at the show and demonstrating the Colorhue Dyes at the booth.
more appreciation to the staff at Quilts Inc. who put on a great show and really got the crowd out at the festival- great attendance! the City of Long Beach ought to be very appreciative!!
we had a great salmon bbq at the house one night after the show for friends and exhibitors that we don’t get to see often. great fun!
the quilt exhibit at the show was great as usual- i realized i had seen a number of the pieces at the previous show and became aware that i was still attracted to certain ones- i really like the journal quilts-i think because they are very experimental and many are technique based. the small size allows the maker to try out ideas that might be considered too overwhelming or time consuming to do on a larger piece-at least until one has done a smaller one. i still loved Gloria Hansen’s work. probably one of my favorites.

i’ll leave you with this photo which is what i did the following week-

absolutely nothing! (at a cabin near yosemite)

except noticing the small things-butterfly on queen anne’s lace

next post-
Pasadena Bead & Design show….