What is exhausting, I've discovered, isstanding in one place for hours during a show. A week later, despite good shoes, despite sleeping with feet raised, and despite being off salt for years, my otherwise skinny ankles are still a bit puffy.
The Ann Arbor show ran 4 days, opening at 10 am each day; closing at 9 pm but for the last day, when it closed at 6 pm. That's four 11-hour days (not counting partial setup and takedown each day.) It also doesn't count the heat and humidity and the RAIN! [Mercifully, when we had a deluge overnight, my neighbor had a sump pump. He used it to bail out the backs of both of our booths. Apparently, we were in the lowest part of the street, and the water rolled downhill right into our booths. So glad I'd picked up the carpet!]
Nonetheless, it was a very successful show from many perspectives. My work was validated and valued by my colleague artists, which is most gratifying. Sales were better than they've been for at least the last 18 months (but then, again, so were the crowds, probably since it's a free show of very long standing).
And Ann Arbor is a GREAT town! Stucci's ice cream (so fresh, such unusual flavors, so MELTED!). The pilgrimage to Zingerman's deli where they serve corned beef that is the next closest to New York City's that I've ever had. Wonderful dinners at great restaurants -- including two meals I received in boxes after John went to dinner with our midwest relatives who visited. Clam pie from Mani Osteria was particularly remarkable --even tepid/cold! And we met the most incredible, friendly and wonderful people, whether other artists or locals.
I must say, the shows really know how to make it comfortable (relatively, given that we're talking an outdoor 4-day show) for the artists. Breakfast is available for us in the morning -- coffee, bagels, muffins and other goodies. Staff bring around ice cold bottled water during the day without asking. Booth sitting is readily available and the (ahem) facilities are very clean and tidy --and include sinks and recycling, too.
What you see to the right is the view I had from the BACK of my booth. It's the University of Michigan "Diag"(I assume, short for "diagonal.") Out front, in addition to my wonderful "across the street" neighboring artists, is a stunning old church (barely visible in one of the pictures). How much better could it get?! Not much!
I do hope to return next year.....perhaps at a different place to lay my head. The B&B was nice, but the large dogs, turn-of-the-century AC (and I mean 1800 to 1900!), shared bath, and the fact that I left before breakfast made it just OK. [That, plus the fact that being accepted late meant we wound up sharing a double bed. We're small, but it was small for even us!!] But all of that is a year away......
In the meantime, I continue to rest my sore tootsies and stretch my seriously compressed spine, a problem that I can't afford at only 5' tall!
My most fabulous and creative photographer (a rare combination for a man whose daily life is as a nuclear engineer!) has beautified some of my latest work into magnificent photos. They're so new that I haven't put them up on the website yet!
When I get back from my travels to Ann Arbor, MI, for the 4-in-1 series of shows that run from next Wednesday through Saturday (with 11-hour days in the booth for the first 3 days!), I'll probably be putting a new area up on the website for items that are "hot off the beading table," such as these pretties. Wait until you see my latest "under the sea" creation with an all-bead ammonite! I haven't gotten a picture take of it yet; I only hope it doesn't sell before I do. [No, that's not true. At its high-end price, I sure DO hope it sells and fast!!]
I'll be blogging from my perch on State Street (booth C04) in Ann Arbor. That is, I'll be doing it IF the weather (yes, both heat and thunderstorms are in the forecast, gulp) and the crowd (yes, let there be a large crowd) permit, and my level of exhaustion doesn't catch up to me too quickly-- a big ask at my advancing age, LOL. If you're in the area, stop by -- but you MUST bring me a cold drink if you do so. I wilt very rapidly in warmth, particularly when combined with humidity. [No pictures of the artist are allowed under such circumstances; the appearance is much like someone emerging after 15 minutes in a warm sauna!
Let's all keep fingers crossed that the weather holds, the crowds are legion, and we have a bang-up successful show.
This blog is where Thea Fine, Beading Design meets Fine WordCrafters (my writing/editing activities). I hope you find it a happy collision of my two artful worlds.