Tag Archives: friendship

Tiny House 6

Back in April, my friend Diane was in town. I’ve known her for 25 years, +/-. We met at an art show in the 1990’s and have been friends ever since. She now lives in North Carolina and though we have been in close touch over the internet, I had not seen her for about 5 years.

She means a lot to me, and that’s an understatement, no matter how loud I say it! So you can imagine I was thrilled to see her. I wanted to give her something to take home with her to remind her of our meeting and all our past history. So I decided to make her a Tiny House.

I do not think she will mind if I show it to you. Here is the front and back.

I thought she would like a house with an attic (studio?).

Here are side views.

And here are some pictures with more detail, showing the inside and outside.

Well, there it is. A Tiny House for a friend. Good feelings make this one a Tiny Home, I think.

Artist Book Pages from a Book Being Made by Two Long-Distance Friends: Three

Marcy Erb at Illustrated Poetry and I have been blog friends for years, and even better, we have actually met in person, some years ago. Our most recent doings involve an artist book project collaboration that has had a long history – I think we got it started in 2016? Maybe? If you want all the details, look here for my first post about the project, where I give more information.

Here I am showing you some random images, pages where I did only one side of the page spread and left the other one for Marcy to create however she might like.

You can see that I incorporated some parts of the book’s earlier library life – the card pocket, the bar code (right there is a tangible picture of how times have changed, isn’t it?)

In the cat picture, the book arrived with the cut out chromosones on the page, put in place by Marcy. I took that theme and in some way made a connection with the idea of a cat, which I then set out on the page. No one says any of this process has to make the kind of sense that we ordinarily see in everyday life.

That’s another thing about these book projects: sometimes you do a whole page by yourself, and other times, both artists mix their work.

I have done other collaborative projects and I have also made quite a few of these artist books. Here is a partial list. You can also check under the category Artist Books, here on my blog.

Note: You might like to click on the images and see them in the viewer; back when I was doing a lot of these books I was new to blogging and did not understand making the photos larger in the actual post…

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A Tossed Salad of a Book

Small Book, Pages and Poem Form

Create Your Own Library

And my favorite book that I have made, In November. Because in November is when I was born and it’s my time of year.

Here is a beautiful project I did with Sharon Mann some years ago: Nothing But Sunshine

We, Sharon and I, also made two decks of playing cards: Pick a Card, Any Card

If you have any questions let me know. Maybe making an art book is for you!

Artist Book Pages from a Book Being Made by Two Long-Distance Friends: Two

Marcy Erb at Illustrated Poetry and I have been blog friends for years, and even better, we have actually met in person, some years ago. Our most recent doings involve an artist book project collaboration that has had a long history – I think we got it started in 2016? Maybe? If you want all the details, look here for my first post about the project, where I give more information.

Now, here are some more pages. I seem not to have separate images, so you can just take a look at them as a page spread.

As a note, Marcy is a scientist, and by coincidence this book was a very outdated non-fiction book on atomic energy. Interesting, that serendipity! You can see evidences of the book’s subject in the bits of text and illustration I incorporated.

More images to show you in another post!

Artist Book Pages from a Book Being Made by Two Long-Distance Friends: One

Marcy Erb at Illustrated Poetry and I have been blog friends for years, and even better, we have actually met in person, some years ago. Our most recent doings involve an artist book project collaboration that has had a long history – I think we got it started in 2016? Maybe?

Anyway, not too long ago Marcy revived the project, and sent me the book. Usually when I do collaborative projects like this there are two books, so that we can each keep one. This time, for various reasons, there is just this one, and it is for Marcy to keep. I did some pages in it over the past 6-8 months, and now it’s in her hands to finish as she would like. I hope she will look at the pages and remember our friendship. I feel lucky to know her.

Anyway, I took photos of a few of my favorite pages. I don’t think she’ll mind if I show them here. They are out of context, but that’s ok. Each page is mean to be enjoyed on its own as well as with its fellows.

I set up the original ” book canvas”. I took a discarded children’s library book and glued some of its pages together to give a strong surface for paint or collage. Then we got to work on it.

Take a look at these pages. First, I’ll show you two images and then how they appear together in the book.

Here they are as a page spread.

More images to show you in another post!

Outdoor Art Time

On June 30 a couple of art friends and I got together in my back yard to do some art work and visit a little. I think it was a good way to assemble in a safe way and enjoy ourselves, in these times as they are. Here’s what we did.

I met these two friends in the mixed media class I taught last year. We have stayed in touch and wanted to get together. But how? I volunteered my back yard. We picked a day, and luckily it turned out great weather-wise, sunny, but not too hot, and no threat of rain.

Here’s what we did:

First hint: have shade available, or a shelter from the sun. I figured I could set up my tent (that I use in art shows) but it was not necessary. Our yard is very shady.

Second hint: Make sure there is a comfortable amount of room to spread out. We decided to wear our masks as we set things up, then, as long as we remained at our table, or ten or twelve feet apart, we took them off. Then we put them back on to clean things up. Having plenty of room made things comfortable.

Third hint: Bathroom. I had one available nearby, involving walking in my back door into my studio and going only a short distance inside the house. I did a **SPARKLE** clean on that tiny room and had towels ready for hand-washing so each person could have her own.

Fourth hint: Tables and chairs available. Or some kind of area to set up so that each person can have a good space to work. Alternatively each person could have brought her own chair and table, or whatever she needed to work comfortably, but this needs to be settled up front.

Fifth hint: Cleaning items. I set up a table with hand sanitizer, spray cleaner, and towels if anyone wanted to clean anything, and I also put out some bug spray, just in case…

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Well, we had a great time. Here are some pictures. Here is where I sat:

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and here is our general set-up. We were facing each other so that we could talk or show each other our work.

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Mary Ann made a lot of painted papers and she set them on the grass to dry.

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I put out the red buckets of water for washing brushes and so on. The hose was just around the corner of the house if we had needed more water.

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Here are Mary Ann and Andy cleaning their things up and packing after the session.

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Things went smoothly with this set-up. We were comfortable and felt safe. All of us are living very cautiously right now, and this allowed us to get together and experience a bit of an activity we really value – doing art with others. I am so happy we were able to pull this off, it meant a lot to me.

Shout out to Andy and Mary Ann, for a real spirit lifter!

 

 

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending July 13

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art! This week is devoted to shows and gallery events – the public side of my art.

Friday, July 6 – Tinicum Arts Festival set up time. The forecast was for rain and clouds…but it all worked out. I’ll give a short tour of this pre-show day.

Now, unlike most shows, this one offers a set-up time the day before, and most people take advantage of it. It’s like seeing the circus put itself together, I have always thought.

We arrived after lunch and were directed to our assigned area. Unlike most shows, artists are not assigned a specific spot but instead an area, and can choose any spot within the section. I think of it as a land grab kind of thing. Naturally there is some competition for spots (people have their favorites, and I am no different) but it all works out.

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We are in a section in a row of trees kind of out in the open. I like the ease of getting the car in and out and it’s less crowded during the show, too; the shoppers don’t have to push through the area. They don’t skip it, either – since there is an admission charge, people see every part of the show and most people make a day of it, given the array of things to do. Everyone eventually goes past every booth.

Me, I don’t like feeling pressed in, so our spacious section is appealing to me for that reason. Our tent, seen through the neighbor’s structure, is right above the red arrow.

Other areas of the show are under deeper tree-cover:

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Since the weather was iffy, some people dropped in just to snag a space and then will set up tomorrow.

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You wonder why a ladder and a blue tarp-pile are here? Well, they are saving the spots. I’m telling you, you get in here, you pick a spot, you stand in it and don’t leave until your husband drives your car through the check-in gate on the other side of the park (yes, I admit I get out of the car and go through the fence to grab my spot before picking up my show packet, and I’ve been doing it for years with success…thanks to my wingman and partner in crime, we’ve got the routine down).

All right. We got a nice spot, next to some show friends, and we spent some time catching up, then got to work. The rain had stopped. We put up the tent, complete with sides. Please forgive the ghostly blurry photo:

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We then set up the racks and left some other items. We will complete the set-up tomorrow with the art. I do not leave the art in the tent overnight, ever.

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Meanwhile, other things are going on. They set up the flags while we were there:

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The Tohickon Garden Club booth is ready:

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My friend Pam has her booth right behind the gardeners. I stopped to talk with her for a little while. Then I went back to our booth to get ready to leave, passing the stage, closed up now, but tomorrow they will open it and poof! a stage:

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and I put some effort into avoiding getting caught up in the emergency dead tree limb removal:

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I was kind of wondering why they didn’t do that work last week…OK, finished with today’s set-up, we took off for home – our plan being to stop at the grocery store on the way to pick up our provisions for the weekend, food-wise. Experience has taught us that bringing your own food to a show is always better than taking a chance on what the fair might offer.

Saturday, July 7 – By the way, this day is my husband’s birthday. All day! It was a beautiful clear and cool day, brilliantly sunny.

We arrived and began to put the artwork up in the tent.

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A view of our section of the fair, plus a backstage look – here is where we keep all the various boxes and so on during the show.

My friend Helena, a wonderful pastel artist, was the featured demonstrating artist for the fair. Her completed plein air pastel view of the barn was donated to the silent auction and will be the image used on the show postcard next year. I went over to talk to her and watch her at work. The arrow points to where she was situated.

The fair got busy. Here is a quick overview of what was happening…

Shopping:

The used book tent:

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Yard sale:

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People eating lunch and listening to the music. (Remember, I told you the stage would appear out of that trailer…)

The day went along fine, and then it was time to take down the artwork and close up for the night.

I always take my artwork home at night, as I said earlier. Other people leave their displays as are. Most tents are zipped up tight, like these – mine looked just like them.

Sunday, July 8 – The day was pretty much a repeat of the day before, weather-wise – perfect. I put the art back up in the booth, moving the pieces around – I don’t like to look at the same display two days in a row.

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In the afternoon I had time to visit the indoor exhibit, which is juried separately from the festival and also awards prizes. My friend Alison had won second place for her piece, entered in the acrylics division. You see it in the middle photo.

Here is a view of our tent from the barn – the arrow marks the spot:

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I took a couple of pictures from the back of the barn over the music/food area, including this peek into the backstage work of one of the food tents:

I walked around a little bit more. The purpose of the fair is to raise money for the Tinicum Civic Association which supports the park and several other sites nearby. These trees were planted with proceeds of one of the previous years’ takings:

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I didn’t eat any fair food but I toured the area. Plenty to choose from, and by the way, the Italian place is the one that appeared in the earlier photo from the barn.

I heard an announcement about painting pigs, pigs that paint, I mean, and I went over to check them out. They were not painting at the time though you could buy their work. The set-up was to benefit a pig rescue group (people who get pigs as pets when they are tiny and then are dismayed when they grow up…big… and don’t want them anymore – this group takes them and re-homes them).

Anyway, the pigs were darn cute. (They are not pink – the sun coming through the red tent is doing that to them, but I like the effect…)

The day wound down to a close. We took everything down and left our little patch of grass behind.

Overall, the show was a success for me. My sales were fine, not the best, but good. The crowd included real art lookers and buyers, and my work got a nice amount of attention. Plus, I really enjoy looking around this fair. It’s a big draw for the area – Tinicum is kind of out in the country, but accessible from more populated areas, if you know what I mean, and there are not a lot of competing activities in the immediate vicinity. People come and spend the whole day.

I also get a lot of visitors at this show, which makes it a lot of fun. Shout out to Mary Ellen and Guy, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law; Missy, John G, Steve, Bill, and Stephanie and her husband (whose name is escaping me at the moment, I apologize); I also got to see my artist friends Pam and Aidan.

Wednesday, July 11 – On Monday I put some time into cleaning paintings (they get dusty at outdoor shows), inventorying, and packing up the paintings I am taking to my exhibit at the Gallery at the JCC in Allentown, PA.

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On Tuesday, my husband and I drove the paintings to the gallery and left them to be hung the next day. I also met Catherine Debbage, my exhibit-mate, who does sculpture. And on Wednesday, the paintings were set into place – I got a phone call telling me that all is well and everything is on the wall.

I was asked to bring some of my clay tiles as well, a late addition! So I’ll get an assortment together tonight and set them up before the exhibit. Since they will be arranged on a shelf or in a case, it’s no work to do this and I am glad to give my clay work some exposure too.

Thursday, July 12 – Today is my long-awaited exhibit at the Gallery at the JCC. As background, a year ago I received an invitation to exhibit my work here. I prepared for it over the winter, working to gather a good group of paintings, and now in summer, the day has arrived.


My husband and I drove to Allentown and ate an early dinner. We still had some time, so we took a short walk in Trexler Park, not far from the JCC. This park is quiet, though it’s surrounded by busy roads, and a good calming place to rest a bit.

There is a small lake near the entrance.

We leaned on the railing, near these ducks all quietly sitting on the ledge. The whole group of us, peaceful.

We marveled at the colors the sun brought out in the feathers of the birds and at the reflections in the water.

All right. Now it was time for the exhibit. I took pictures before I got too busy with things. My husband took the others (and I thank him here, because he is not familiar with my camera). In any case, at least I can give you a feel for the evening.

As soon as I walked in the organizer told me, Someone sent you flowers! Guess who – my husband. I was so touched I had to cry a little. It really made me feel encouraged the whole night to see them.

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Let me try to show you how things looked in the two rooms where my work was presented.

Music, too. And something nice about it for me – I knew one of the two musicians, Mickey, personally, once again through art connections, but I had never heard him play. The duo is called Just So and now I can say through personal experience that they are great. And, I want to thank Mickey – he emailed me earlier in the week to ask me if I had any requests. I looked at their list and I did – Roy Orbison. Three Orbison selections for me on this night, and thank you!

Here I am with some friends, Susan and Geoff:

and with Adrian:

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The exhibit reception ended at 8 PM, but the art will be in place through 8/31/18. I hope if you are in Allentown, PA, you’ll stop in – the gallery is open whenever the JCC is open, unless there is someone using the room.

I went home very happy. It is affirming for me to see my art in this kind of setting, and I want to thank everyone on the gallery committee for how wonderfully it all went and how nicely they presented my work. And I also am very grateful for everyone who attended, who encouraged me, and who has helped me along my art road.

Events like this remind you to step back and appreciate your own work – a good thing, because it is so easy to focus on where you fall short and to overlook your accomplishments. They also remind you of how many people contribute to your life and helping you accomplish your goals, and of the thanks they deserve. And last, at least for me, it reminds me that art is a connecting force, bringing people together, a glue holding my life and my spirit together.

Friday, July 13 – Now I return to my inner-focused art life – my schedule of shows and events takes a break until late August. I turn my attention back to my studio and the projects and ideas I have progress or in anticipation. I decided to run the kiln today – it’s been loaded and waiting.

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I’m ready to get to work on some new projects!

See you next week! Thanks for following along with me.

Game of Cards

Here is the story of two friends who have never met, live 2700 miles apart on opposite coasts of the United States, and who nevertheless found a way to play a game of cards. Read on and find out the details.

In fall 2017, Sharon Mann asked me if I’d like to participate in another joint art project with her. I say,”another”, because we’ve done a couple of exchanges. In 2014, sculptures traveled across the country:

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My clay figurine and Sharon’s Time Traveler in Las Vegas, NV.

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The Time Traveler who came to Wyncote, PA.

In 2016, we completed a project that had taken place over about 18 months – two artist books made from two discarded library books that we altered and added art and text. Our work was intermixed in each book, as we each did a few pages, exchanged the volumes through the mail, and continued the process until done – then we each had our own book to keep.

Now we have done another collaboration. It was Sharon’s (genius) idea – a deck of playing cards. I thought it was exciting, but ambitious. You know there are 52 cards in a deck, right? Then you see what I mean. Could I make 52 pieces of art that were different, interesting, appealing, and could also be put to use? (I did not have any doubt that Sharon could do this, by the way.) But I really wanted to do another project with her, and it did sound like a lot of fun…


So we worked out a plan. Parameters were:

•Each card is the size of a postcard, 6″ x 4.25″.

•Backs are blue.

•We would do a few sets at a time, say, aces and fours and sevens. Finish them up, and then move on.

•Each of us would do half of each card and send it to the other, who would finish it and keep it. The person who started the card also did the back of that card.

•Enough rules, get to work!

In practical terms, it worked this way – I did a set of Aces, let’s say, halfway. Sent them to Sharon. She sent me her half-finished Aces, and I completed them. Aces done! We worked our way through the whole deck in a few months.


All right. As in our other projects, we approached our work from different directions and our styles are wildly different, and yet – there was always a harmony in the end result. I marveled at how that happened, again and again.

One thing we did differently – how we approached actually filling up the card.

My way of doing half a card was that I covered the whole card but set in half the elements, scattered over the surface. Sharon then added in her elements, again, all over the card.

She was very patient with me because sometimes, I got carried away and took up a lot of space, exceeding my 50%. I tried to make up for that on the next set of cards I sent her (leaving more room), but you know what, I really got inspired by the themes and colors of playing cards and forgot to stop.

Sharon’s approach was different: she divided each card in half, totally finished her half, and left me an open space for my half. I created a whole new image on my half, and I didn’t worry about what was on the other half, just did what I felt. It was surprising how they coordinated and enhanced each other, I thought, every time I finished one.

I also enjoyed the fact that each of us adapted to how the other worked. In my case, it challenged me to do things in a way that I had not envisioned.

Now we are finished with this project. We each have a deck of 52: that’s 104 small pieces of art that we collaborated on. I think that is just astounding.

Even more meaningful, though, was the base upon which this project was built: a friendship built on art and sharing and giving our best to each other.

I am really grateful to have met Sharon; in the past, we would have gone all our lives without knowing the other existed, living so far apart. In what way would we have ever met, much less intertwined our creativity? And yet here we are today, playing cards together. Thank you, Sharon, for this project and for being my friend.

If you want to see all the cards, and I mean all – I’ve set up a permanent page for them

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Read Sharon’s account of her card-creating experience here at her blog.

 

We Are Who We Are

Paper Dolls from February, 2018. You’ve seen them scattered through the Art Diary, but here they are all together. And they stayed together – I gave them away, and they all went to one person.

I think they were happy about that, staying together, I mean. They do make a nice group.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending January 12

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

I started off the art week on January 7 with some collage. Oh, it’s messy.

I finished up, set a painting on the table for some other time, and cleaned things up. Ready for the next session’s work now – though all I am planning to do to this painting is paint the edges black. It’s pretty much finished otherwise.

I then went downstairs and worked on some tiles. I’m now addressing 4″ x 4″ commercially-made terra cotta tiles – I have a case of 80. I don’t need to do all of them, just maybe half, but that’s ok – I won’t need them until May.

I work on tiles in my basement. I have a little area set up down there just for tile work. I continued with more tiles on January 8.

On Tuesday, January 9, my husband and I went to Allentown, PA, to pick up unsold work from the holiday show at the Baum School of Art. I took a few photos of the area around the city center while we were there.

Allentown is undergoing a lot of changes – there is a new arena there and lots of new construction or renovation of downtown buildings. It’s nice to see. The areas near downtown are in transition too – new buildings, older ones awaiting development, and many blocks of fantastic row homes and traditional cityscapes.

I think these photos could make nice inspirations for paintings or tiles or ???

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On January 10, more tiles. And take a look at my brushes. Clay work is where my acrylic brushes go to live out a retirement that is more stressful than their original roles, because the clay items are so rough – they just eat up brush bristles.

The table is filling up. I will have a kiln-load soon. Normally I store tiles in process on shelves in the other room, but I’ve been too lazy to make the transport when I know pretty soon I’ll be taking them to the kiln. They might as well wait here.

You can see the difference between fully-dried underglaze and that just applied and still wet – the colors in the latter case are bolder and resemble the finished results.

The newest tiles are at the bottom of the picture below. You can see the more intense wet colors on the tiles in the above picture.

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On Friday, January 12, I had a treat for myself – an art visit with my friend Martha.

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We got together to catch up on our art and our personal lives. She presented me with some collage materials, we looked at selections of her collage and assemblage work that she brought with her, and then we did some art ourselves. We chose to paint papers for future collages – here is a sample of book pages painted with very watery acrylics that I made.

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I also took the opportunity to paint random colors all over the remaining 12″ x 10″ masonite boards that I want to turn into more odd-people portraits. This is the first step in my painting process – I do not like the look of white backgrounds and I need several layers of color, any color! on a painting before I can start to feel the painting is actually in play.

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OK, that’s it until next week.

indiemade craft market, December 2 – Here’s the wrap-up

Yesterday, I participated in the indiemade craft market in Allentown, PA, a long-time favorite show of mine. The event was founded by Ann and Teri ten years ago, and I’ve been in nine of them. It’s a holiday party for me, I always feel; I see many art friends there as exhibitors and I have been lucky to find customers who return to see me year after year and who have become art friends as well.

Ann and Teri are retiring from the show this year and turning it over to Ken and Ron, who have a studio/shop, Mercantile Home, in nearby Easton, PA, as well as a lot of other art ventures that reach out into the community (they explain it better than I can: look here.) There is a sadness about saying goodbye to the founders and the hope that we will be seeing them still (I think they ought to take over one of the DIY areas at indiemade, just saying), but also a welcome for the new guys. Best of luck to everyone, I say!

OK. Back to the show. We set off about 6:30 in the morning and made our usual stop at the gas station, this time in Colmar, PA.

It is about 7 AM on Saturday and look at how busy this place is. People need gas and coffee.

We arrived about 7:45 AM. You may remember this show gives out a swag bag, filled with contributions from the artists, to the first 50 people in the door. Three people were in line as we started to unload and upon asking, I learned that Person #1 had been there since 7:15 AM (the show opens at 10 AM). Now, I think that’s crazy, but plenty of people don’t agree. I have heard stories of how friends get together to wait in line and have made an occasion of it. I like that idea.

We unloaded – I have tiles only at this show today. Our table was upstairs – the show takes place on two levels, with the downstairs being the majority of the vendor locations, but I like upstairs. Both floors have music and people chattering and so on, but upstairs is toned down from the first floor, making it a more relaxing and easier to talk to customers, I think.

Here is upstairs – we are the first people to arrive.

Vendors came in and got things going.

The table down the middle is a DIY location – the show features two spots where guided art activities for all ages take place. Upstairs, we had paper flowers and origami (many kids were wearing paper crowns made at this location); downstairs was macrame.

I snapped a few pictures of my table before the show started. As a note, each person gets an 8-foot table provided by the show – you do the rest.

Now here is where my chronicle loses coherence. It was a really busy day for me and I was very happy about that. I didn’t get to make many more pictures, though. Here is a view of our floor not too long into the show.

And that is about it. I want to say thanks to Ann and Teri for so many good years and for their friendship.  And here is a shout-out to John G and Missy M for stopping in to see me.

This being the last show for me in 2017, I also want to say thanks to all the people throughout this year have looked at my art, were interested enough to listen to me talk about it, who encouraged me or admired my work and told me so; who bought my art and want to live with a little bit of my vision of the world.

I am especially grateful for all the friends I have made in this art circuit I’ve been on for so many years.

And, thank you to my husband who has so faithfully and patiently and cheerfully supported all my doings for these past two decades that we’ve been participating in art shows. Here is to many more.

I wish everyone a happy 2018 in art and in all other things.