Yesterday, the girls and I went out shopping. I still didn’t dry my hair, but I did put on a little more makeup, a nicer t-shirt and jeans, and my shiny new red patent leather Mary Janes. The girls, however… The girls are dressing themselves these days. (Click on photo above to enlarge for full effect.) They haven’t really learned the whole “matching” concept yet. I guess as Stacy and Clinton say: “It doesn’t have to match! It just has to go!” Whatever… But it was that compliment I received that made me say, “What the heck, you guys look fabulous, let’s go.” Because it really doesn’t matter what you wear, does it?
I’m so excited about this week’s Sunday Evening Shopping Spree artist! Why? Because I’m taking an online class she’s teaching. Yeah! I know, I know, not like I have nothing else to do, right? But, lucky for me, Sarah Whitmire found me, instead of me finding her, through our North Florida Craft Revolution Etsy street team. Since I’m the team leader, she contacted me about joining the team. And when I looked at her shop, and then her website, and then her blog….what gorgeous work! I read about the class on her blog and, thought, “Oh, what fun, I want to do that!!!!” We’ll be making an altered journal, like Sarah’s journals pictured here. The class starts later this week. I'll share pictures of what I come up with! Wish me luck! In the meantime, please go look at Sarah’s beautiful work! Among other things, she has some gorgeous, very affordable tags in her Etsy shop, perfect to use as bookmarks or as a little extra special touch on a Christmas gift.
Saturday morning as I was driving around the block three times near Garnet and Gold in Tallahassee trying to find a place to park so I could pick up a new t-shirt for the FSU Homecoming game that night, I got a call from my best friend Becky. Becky and I have been friends since 9th grade English with Mr. McDonald. We sat behind Wally Rakestraw and both had a crush him (on which Becky’s brother Robert commented at Becky’s wedding rehearsal: “Wally Rakestraw!!?? Damn you girls for always going for the jocks!”). Becky and I went through high school and college together, became sorority sisters in college, and are still best friends 20 years out of college. When she called that morning and asked what I was doing, she said, “Well maybe I shouldn’t tell you this while you are driving.” With a comment like that, now you know I really had to know, so she told me.
At 9pm the night before, one of our sorority sisters in Tampa had a knock on her front door. It was a State Trooper. Her daughter, her 17-year-old daughter on her first trip away from home without her parents, had just been killed in a car accident. She was on her way to Tallahassee with three friends for the very same game that prompted my t-shirt search; the other three girls survived the crash but were in ICU. I pulled into a random parking lot and just stopped. What do you do in that moment? What can you possibly say? No words seem to fit. All I wanted to do was hang up the phone and call my own children at home, just to hear their voices. I cannot imagine the devastation our friend’s family must be feeling. My heart and prayers go out to them.
Which brings me back to the importance of today…. That moment crystallized for me that someday truly is today, and that you never know what that someday, this today, that tomorrow is going to bring you. And for that reason, I realized that every moment, big or small, must be cherished. Today was one of those moments. It was the day that all the kindergarten parents were invited to come to school and have a Thanksgiving lunch with their children. Before Saturday morning, I hadn’t really thought about going. Work is very hectic right now, and I have to travel to Orlando tomorrow and Friday for a meeting. But I went. And as I walked down the hall to the cafeteria, Olivia spotted me and yelled “Hey, there’s my Mama!” to all her friends. When I got in there, I saw that Sarah was still in line and hadn’t spotted me yet, so I told Liv to save us a seat and got in line. I saw Sarah walk out of the serving area with her little tray in her little hands, looking so smart and so grown up, and my eyes filled up with tears. When she saw me, she almost dropped her tray and yelled, “Hey, Mama!” So we sat down. And we ate. We ate terrible elementary school cafeteria turkey and dressing, box mashed potatoes and pre-packaged fruit cocktail. But it was one of those little moments to cherish. It was the day that someday did become today. It was the start of a lot of somedays that will become todays. When will your somedays become today? Do it now.
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When I look in the mirror,
I see my mother.
When I look at my children,
I see myself.
My green eyes turned blue,
my blonde hair turned red,
yet the same little twinkle,
the same little spunk,
the same great wonder,
the same boundless spirit,
building the courage to become…myself.
Catching back up on the Creative Construction Weekly Creativity Challenge, this week’s entry was “hands”. This was a last minute entry I did on the computer using Adobe Illustrator, my first time playing with it actually! The words in the background are the lyrics to Sugarland’s “What I’d Give”. The sentiment in the foreground comes from a special memory of mine. Click here to see all of this week’s entries.
For those of you asking for pictures from my road shows, here you go! Click on any photo to enlarge. I must admit Halifax was not as good to me [pictured here] this year as it has been in the past, but I’m sure that was due to the dragging economy and, on Sunday, the weather. Saturday was a glorious shopping day with bright blue skies, windy but at least sunny. Crowds were not as big as they have been in the past, but I understand the Daytona News-Journal was not able to sponsor this year because they are in the middle of an ownership change. I imagine that greatly affected advertising since in past years they’ve done a special section on the show listing all the artists and events. Regardless, sales were still decent on Saturday given the economy. Sunday, though, was a complete washout. Literally! It rained on and off all day, mainly on, with a few very heavy, windy thunder storms. But let me back up to my Sunday morning arrival.
[Picture of my booth here] When I arrived at my tent Sunday morning, some kind soul had added an additional clamp to the bottom right front zipper. Apparently a pretty bad storm had come through overnight and that zipper didn’t hold. I opened the tent to find a full set of shelving and displays scattered everywhere. My guess is that the gust of wind that opened the zipper then proceeded to take out that facing set of shelves. Luckily, I do not leave my jewelry on display overnight. (And in the midst of all this, I lost my keys…after Patty and I both searched off and on for a couple hours, Patty found them in HER pocket! I had put them down next to my jewelry case when I discovered the scattered display, so she had evidently picked them up and put them in her pocket so they wouldn’t get lost!)
[Nice street shot here] Back to the rain. About 11:30am Sunday morning, we got hit with a particularly stormy band of rain, so we zipped up and tried to wait it out. This time, it was my center front zipper that gave way (if I’m going to continue to do this, I apparently must replace my zippers….). The wind was really whipping and the rain was coming down in sheets, and here I am in the middle of my tent trying to hold the front panels together to keep the rain out—no way to rezip with the wind blowing as badly as it was. It was a fruitless effort, and by the time that particular band passed, I was drenched from hip to toe, in jeans. Yuck. I tried to suck it up for about an hour and then gave up and went back to my van to change clothes. My van was parked directly in front of a very popular restaurant. Have you ever noticed that your front windshield isn’t tinted? Oh well, at that point I was wet enough that I didn’t care who saw my bum.
[This is Patty!] Towards the end of the day Sunday, we had all given in to the weather gods and were standing out in the rain talking. Patty and I were talking to the artist a couple booths down from her, an acrylic artist named Bruce, and Patty jokingly said, “Tell me why we do this again?” And Bruce took that opportunity to respond with, “Hmmm, let’s see….I don’t want sick leave, I don’t want health insurance, I love spending two days outside battling the weather trying to protect the art I spent countless hours creating, and um, what else…oh yeah! Paid vacation time? Who needs that!?” Are you catching the sarcasm here? By that point, we were all punch drunk from rain so everyone just laughed about it. (If you’d like to read another very entertaining report of a disastrous show, click here.)
[This is Malcolm, winner of the Canine Costume Contest] Bruce’s answer really made me think about that question though. Unlike Bruce and Patty, my art is not my sole, or even my primary, income. I do have sick leave, health insurance and paid vacation time. I do have a “real job”, as some full-time artists get accused of not having (ridiculous accusation, by the way…). So why do I do this? Why do I spend hours creating at night and then long weekends away from my family to show and, hopefully sell, my art? I thought about that on the way home, and I realized the answer to the question is two-fold. For me, it’s not to make money. Sure, it’s nice to make a little profit and hopefully at least not lose money, and frankly I often spend the majority of the profit I make at shows on other people’s art! But I love the people I meet, whether they be fellow artists or customers. People like Ken Dames and his wife Theresa, my neighbors this weekend. Ken’s hysterical “Bathroom Art Series” reflected his sunny personality and definitely kept people laughing as they passed by his booth. I’ve also met some great customers that have become great friends and have shared their lives with me. Wonderful people.
[Battling rains on Sunday, before I changed my clothes!] The other reason is maybe a little more intangible. Though I know it will realistically never be my life’s work, I do have that drive to create. And while creating may be a very personal thing to some people, I get so excited about new things that I create that I just want to share them! (And DH and the girls can only express so much enthusiasm on any given day.) So for me, it’s just really cool that there are people all over the world wearing a little piece of something I created. Like little pieces of Kelly scattered all over the world. That’s a cool concept, don’t you think?
So I guess I’ll keep at it. I always get a little burned out during the fall because I’m not only juggling arts festival travel and work travel, but I also have that football schedule to contend with. Gotta have my ‘Noles and my Barnaby’s. I’d love to beef up my online sales, but that requires more time than I have right now since I’m traveling so much. Maybe in the spring you loyal blog readers can help me spread the word… Till then, next stop is Tallahassee’s Market Days December 6-7. And, yeah! It’s an indoor show!