Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bacon, Shrieking Cats, Snowstorms, and Deciding What's Next

There are lots of great things about doing shows. The chance to meet some really great people. The opportunity to share my jewelry with customers. And since my children are well beyond their toddler years and I am currently between full-time jobs, doing shows is, without a doubt, the best fodder for wacky stories I have in my life right now.  And no matter how bizarre things get at a show, I can keep it in perspective by reminding myself that "it'll make a great story for the blog -- no one will believe this!"

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I did a show in a nearby city. So I get set up and ready for a fantastic weekend, when all of a sudden, I smell bacon.

It was not the cologne worn by enthusiastic art buyers or the aroma of credit cards being swiped fast and often.  There was actually a booth about 100 feet away from me that was selling artisanal country ham and bacon, and dear heaven, they were cooking up samples. You will be proud to know that I limited myself to one sample each day. But it was pretty funny to watch customers walk down the aisle with their noses twitching and a puzzled look on their faces...

Not an actual photo from the show. But now I'm hungry
The music, however, was a completely different experience. Piped in holiday music for eight hours a day. I do not know how store clerks make it through the holiday season, endlessly listening to it, without wanting to slap the living daylights out of someone.

There were 32 repetitions of "Winter Wonderland", about 29 "Jingle Bells", and so many people singing about chestnuts roasting over an open fire, I figured the world supply of chestnuts was depleted for in-home cooking purposes. (I'm not exaggerating too much  -- I actually kept a running tally of the songs played Sunday to amuse myself). Sometime mid-afternoon on Saturday, an aural offense was perpetrated that was so heinous, it nearly had everyone running from the event space with their fingers in their ears. Remember the "Jingle Bells" done with barking dogs?  This horror was similar, only using the meows and moans of cats.

What I imagine the lead "singer" in this particular holiday
nightmare looked like in the recording session.
Good grief, it was terrifying. People looked alarmed. Children wept. Have you ever heard two cats fighting? Yeah, that's a Beethoven symphony compared to what this sounded like.  Thank goodness it did not get played again. Happily, the show was better than the soundtrack!

And this weekend was my last show for the calendar year. A local show, with high-quality work, with an enthusiastic crowd of buyers who eagerly await it each year. It opened at 2 on Friday, and ran all day Saturday. But we woke up on Friday to sleet and ice, which made getting to the venue and unloading the car an adventure.  By 3, the sleet had changed to snow, and this is what it looked like outside the venue.

A lovely volunteer kept trying to shovel the walkway,
but as you see, it got ahead of him.
What you can't tell from the photo is that it was snowing when I took the picture. Heavily. All afternoon. The customers who'd braved the sleet evaporated when it started snowing.  The artists had a lovely time that afternoon visiting with each other, because there certainly weren't any customers (can't blame them!). Saturday, though, dawned clear and cold, and the roads were clear, so we had a strong Day 2.  I spotted someone wearing a necklace she'd purchased from me at the same show eight years ago (!!!), and helped a number of folks cross things off of their gift lists.

This was one of the things that went to a new home on Saturday. Yay!
Now that I have a break from getting ready for shows, I want to hop in on some of those new things I've wanted to explore. Perhaps some soutache. Maybe I'll finally tackle CRAW. Probably not. Then again, haven't done any freeform in a long time.

What's on your list of techniques or projects that you want to tackle next?