Good Times Are Ahead

I made some resolutions earlier this year. 

Not New Year’s Resolutions nor Solstice Resolutions nor Mother’s Day Resolutions. Just some Creativity Resolutions.

The first one comes due next Saturday. My first Art Show of the Season.

Am I ready? Is anyone ever ready for their next step into the world of creativity?

Making Angel Tears is one thing. Painting plates is one thing. Crocheting hangers on kitchen towels is one thing.

Showing them to the public is another.

I keep telling myself I’m too old for this $hit. That to be afraid of who I am at nearly 70 years old is ridiculous. I mean, how can I be any more off-center than I already am?

So anyway, my first art show is this Saturday. I’m doing the final count, the final packing, the final polishing. I swore I’d be done way before this weekend, but guest what — life got in the way.

Good and Bad.

So I’m taking my wares and my gauzy summer dress and my hat with lots of strings of tears that didn’t turn out so I wrapped them around the band and a new sparkly tablecloth and making my way up north. I’m going to play some instrumental medieval tavern music softly in the background and hang up my sparklers and do what I was born to do.

Sell Creativity.

I’m going to talk about Tears and Art Fairs and friends who are crafters. I am going to watch sparkles across the pavement and sneak away during the slow time and check out the other artists who are hanging around and down the main street with me.

Once I get back I hope to start working on my second Creative Resolution.

Offer one of my earliest books for free on my website.

Why not? I can’t share the magic if I don’t share the magic. I’m not up to making money on my writing — I just want to share (what I think) is some great writing.

Next I’m going to do some research and send out some of my short stories and poetry to publications and see if anyone is interested in a woman who is forever driving through a cornfield or someone who is chatting on their computer with someone who may or may not be right in their vicinity or a little girl who made friends with a dwarf.

If I sit in the background for the rest of my life that’s where I will be when I pass on to the next level.

In the background.

And I will not have  shared my excitement about my world and my craft and creativity and the beauty of love and life to anyone.

What a shame that would be.

 

 

 

What I Learned From My Craft Fair

It was a partly sunny, partly windy Sunday afternoon at my first craft fair for Angel Tears. The crowd ebbed and flowed up and down the walk around my booth. I got a lot of compliments about the beauty of the crystals and colored stones, which I gratefully acknowledged. I perhaps made back 1/5 to 1/4  of my total first-year investment in sales, which surprised me for a first time outing.

It was a great day. A tiring day. A learning experience. Here’s some things I learned:

  • Give yourself more time than you think you need to set up. For me, two hours wasn’t nearly enough time. I know. What is there to setting up?
  • Be willing to change your layout on a whim. This spot enabled people to walk up and down both sides of the booth, and I had planned for only one side. Had to adjust so both sides could see the sparkle.
  • Some customers are chatty, some come up and say “I want this one.” Some just walk by and say “pretty.” Be friendly to all.
  • Know that setting up and taking down at a fair is a lot of work. I never underestimated the work that went into selling your wares, but I never experienced it, either. There’s a lot more to it than what you see.
  • Learn how to use your credit card reader (if you have one). My helper and I stumbled a few times in getting the darn thing to work. Embarassing.
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously. Know the day is important and stay focused, but don’t be a Debbie Downer (sorry Debbie) about everything wrong that happens. Product will blow over. Fall over. You won’t have the color or the shape or scene your customer is looking for. Oh well. It happens. 
  • Related to the above, offer to make a custom order. The customer loves a certain color or scene? If there is a real chance for a sale there, offer to make their request, unless it’s an intricate piece of work. Then it’s what’s there is there.
  • Bring everything you think you need your first time out, then trim down your supply bucket. In my case, no one wanted a receipt (except electronically), didn’t need extra  crystals or pens or, surprisingly a guest book. In my case, it was a snatch and buy business.
  • Hang your price sign high enough for people to see it. Setting it on a bucket that was holding down water jugs that held down the canopy was not an ideal site.
  • Have a helper. I can’t tell you how many times the moment’s rush almost got away from me. Maybe it’s just that I’m not a good multi-tasker. I can’t wrap and answer new questions and chat about where to hang Tears and replacing stock and trying to get the reader to work all at the same time. I’m a simpleton in that world.
  • Don’t sit all the time, nor don’t stand all the time. The small of your back and your hips will take the brunt of the abuse, and there’s nothing more embarrassing than standing up after a long time and moaning in pain.
  • And finally, have fun with your day. Observe and learn and listen. Learn where people want to put your piece, the colors they like, and which food vendor was the best. An art/craft fair is a wonderful people watching place. Don’t be afraid to make eye contact and say hello to those looking at your wares as they pass by. You never know who will come back and purchase something.

I was a nervous wreck all week, and all day before the fair started. The adrenalin kept me alert and adaptive. But when all was said and done, it was just another day.

A good day.

Be happy and thankful you were a part of it.

 

 

 

I Am Smiling … Aren’t I?

I’ve just paid for the insurance for my craft booth on Labor Day.

I’m catching up on the inventory I need for my first craft fair ever.

I have no idea how much inventory I need for my first craft fair ever.

I have no idea why I have to purchase insurance for six hours of sitting in the hot sun under a canopy smiling, chatting, sharing, and shaking from nerves.

Needless to say, I’m a nervous wreck. And I’ve still got four weeks to go.

How do you deal with a persistent case of nerves?

I imagine everyone goes through the same anxiety highs and lows before any event: giving a speech or presentation at the office; reading your latest writing out loud to fellow writers; teaching a class; preparing for an intense discussion with someone.  There’s all sorts of things  in our lives that make our stress needle go off the charts.

I’m so afraid I’ll forget something. Not do something. Say the wrong thing. I’m afraid that an Angel Tear will fall apart in someone’s hand.

I’m interested to hear your scare stories. How they developed, how you dealt with them. How you (hopefully) lived happily ever after despite the breakdown you created for yourself.

I believe that none of us would truly take on a project if we didn’t think we could handle it. Speaking in front of others, teaching someone something, writing something for work  or school — there are a million things we do every day that leave room for judgment and performance.

We all make it through our experiences. With a bit of luck, and talent and a positive attitude, we have fun along the way, too.

There’s only one way to go — forward. Might as go that way smiling … 


 

One Step Closer to Being Me

 

As quiet as a shadowed whisper, I have added a new page to my Humoring the Goddess blog.

Angel Tears.

Tears of joy shared by angels who bless us with love and magic (still working on that … rolls eyes).

I’ve finally committed full force to my new craft, which  means I am ready to craft, create, and sell my sparkling wares.

It’s all very exciting.

It’s all very frightening.

I have applied for three craft art fairs this summer. Too many? Too few? What am I doing?

I have already been turned down for one fair. That’s the game. I threw the dice and we’ll see what numbers turn up. Is sharing my crafts with others any different than sharing my joy for writing? Or art? Or my family?

I wonder why I’m so hesitant. So afraid. Why should it make a different if someone likes what I’ve made or not? Am I still not me?

This could lead to a whole psychological discussion, one I’m tired of having. Thinking. I’m going to do what I always tell others to do.

I always say — and I truly believe — that life is too short not to make yourself happy. When you make yourself happy you make others happy. The world swirls around us no matter what we do, and if you wait for others to make you feel better about yourself you’ll wait forever. So why not jump into the foray now and then and share what truly makes you feel good?

I have had fun exploring, creating, and sharing my suncatchers. If I come out with nothing more than new experiences, I have been very fortunate indeed.

Take a look at my new page when you have time. Tell me what you think! Have you taken the next step in your creative world? I’d love to hear about it, too!

P.S. If you can come up with a phrase about angels and their tears that would make a prospective buyer go “Wow. I get it!” hold onto it. I will be holding a little contest with a suncatcher as a prize. 

Sounds like an angel gift to me!