Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones...

I'm now working furiously to get as many items made as possible before June 8th (the deadline for registration). Of course, my every hope is that all my items will sell out (but mostly last the entire 5 hours) so I'm really trying to put my usual amount of effort into each book so that not a single client gets short-changed. I made my list and I'm chugging away at it...I haven't decided on final numbers, but I plan on having some blank/lined journals and or sketchbooks; a few of my Bookbag creations (which take the most time thus far); some decorated copies of popular novels that are no longer under copyright protection (e.g. The Secret Garden, Pride and Prejudice, etc.); and a few leather-bound journals/sketchbooks that I will be burning or tooling my own designs into. I'm quite excited about this last one even though I've never done it. I've had enough of a variety of crafting experiences that I think I can manage it. :) Especially when I just need to read up on it and then practice! I'll be making a trip to a leather supply company that's local this weekend and I don't know how I'll be able to contain myself.

I've started looking ahead at the setup and besides a prominent sign with my business title, logo, etc, I mostly need to worry about props, how it will all be set up to the best advantage, and rain protection! We have to supply our own table and chairs (which I can do) but rain cover...hmmm. I don't exactly own a large party tent. I may have to get clever. Thoughts?

Now for one last serious though that's been on my mind lately. I enjoy writing and part of the reason that I started this blog was because I like to try so many different things. It seems natural to also write about them and share my experiences, especially if someone else is considering doing it. I also hope that if someone out there is considering trying something new but doesn't know how to start, doesn't think they can manage outside of a classroom setting because that's how they are programmed to learn, doesn't have a large income at their disposal, etc (I could go on and on); I would want them to read this and think: I can do this. I can just give it a try and that's the best I can do. Why not? That should be the answer: "Why not?" I've recently felt some pressure that made me feel belittled because I'm just dabbling or won't ever be considered serious unless I'm devoted to one craft for years at a time. I was upset but ultimately, my life is about trying new things (lots of them!). There will be people who won't understand that, who see hobbies and careers in a different manner than I do. I guess that's why I'm a Jane of All Trades! I'd rather try many different things than just stick with one. And I hope other people in doubt feel bolstered by that. :) Happy hump day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Muchas gracias

I would like to say thanks for the helpful comments regarding my decision to participate in my first festival. I just needed a swift kick to get out of my rut and jump back into my routine of just jumping in! I think the older I get, the more I contemplate things entirely too much before jumping in...

I'll post some small updates tomorrow but I have decided to participate, as long as I can get enough merchandise created. Plus the set-up for my own table. Thank goodness it's only two blocks from my house!

Ooh and you may be hearing about some baking experiments soon since I finally acquired some matcha powder and saffron in my month of travels. AND I will be attending my first ALA conference this summer, so any advice is appreciated!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I feel myself at an intersection of a crossroads. I know which way I want to go (ultimately), but I've been on the other path for so long. Do I really want to forge the other direction? No one else I know has gone down that path, it looks quite overgrown. Am I ready to travel it? I'm likely as prepared as I'll ever be, but the other path looks enjoyable in a different way. Instead of spending time clearing the path, I can just enjoy the view.

I have the opportunity to participate in my first artist and crafters' show. Irwin has numerous festivals throughout the summer months. A few are free for me to participate in, but the biggest one is only $25 for registration. I'm not sure if I'm ready but it feels like putting it off for another year would be too long. I know how I operate. I start projects, new ideas, entertain ideas. And then I move on to the next one (usually) before finishing the previous. I've been lax on spending time creating the handmade books, crafts, and art pieces and I can always find a reason why I can't do it. I certainly don't have a backup supply prepared for this show in June. I would have to spend a good bit of time in the next 6 or 7 weeks making lots of books and objects! I'm capable of it, I know that. When I focus on it, I can do them. And maybe I need that motivation to give me a kick in the butt. But what if I don't have enough product? I have no way to gauge what I'd need, not sure how to arrive at my price points. I need time to research what should be prepared. Should I just jump in with both feet and give it a go? I don't want to ruin my business' name if things don't go well, but at least I'm a small business and would have other opportunities?

At the heart of it, I'm also afraid of failure. So far, it's been a little side hobby that I've relegated it to. I chose a name, made business cards, had a few clients and donated my services. But those are all small. If I fail, I can look back and say, well, I was just messing around really. It's not like I tried to do it full-time or even part-time really. No biggie. But if I really try to get enough accomplished, get a table set up, and participate as a vendor, that's it. No more playing around. If I fail, it's for real. But what defines failure? Should I set my sights low? Make back the cost of registration and call it even? Hmm. Luckily, I don't have to register until the week before the festival. Any thoughts out there?