Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Indie Designer Market on Randolph Street

Wow, we lucked out with the weather for this Memorial Day weekend's art fair! Sunny and 70's, couldn't be much better. This weekend kicked off the Chicago Antique/Indie Designer Market, which happens now once a month until September (however, I only exhibited for this month's opening show). You can really find some great stuff here with a mix of independent artists and antique dealers. Booths are both outside and inside Plumber's Hall near Randolph and Ogden. Saturday sales were fantastic, however, Sunday proved to have mostly browsers, which was disappointing, but an OK show overall - easy to do, great weather, in town.

I'm on the wait-list for Summerfair in Cincinnati this weekend, so I'm just waiting for that last-minute call that someone cancelled - and maybe I'll be next in line! Not holding my breath, but it sure would be nice to get that phone call! I've never done an art fair in Ohio, and I'd love to expand my customer base there.....most likely, I'll be home stocking up for the next shows - 57th Street in Hyde Park and then Wells Street! Two huge shows back to back, and very much anticipated!

Here's some shots from the Indie Designer Market.....until next time!

Me in the booth - I also hung up my mother's handmade windchimes (right) that she assembles from vintage silverware, glass cups, and other odds and ends. They are really cool!

Mike the patient helper

Looking east.....

Looking west.....

Melissa Kolbusz of Wired...set up inside Plumber's Hall

Pistol Bazaar's booth - visit the store at 1717 W. Chicago Ave!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maybe I can train him to make chainmaille.....

I can't seem to get much jewelry made tonight because I am too excited to get my new kitty-cat tomorrow! Mike is bringing him home from the Anti-Cruelty Society after work, since he works right around the corner. I went to visit him today after a friend sent me pictures - and how could I resist this face? I was powerless, and therefore had no choice.

I've been sending his picture to everybody, being the proud momma, and I gotta get his little room ready tonight, and kitten-proof the condo. Work.....BAH! I think I have a name, but I am not revealing it yet in case I happen to change my mind. It's not yet official....

But please help me in welcoming my 8-week old Snowshoe Siamese little boy....he shall be very loved!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First outdoor show of the season - a success!

Last Friday evening, May 1st, I headed out to Elmhurst with my wares to set up in a very hip store, Camden Boutique. Many stores around town were participating in the First Annual Art Off the Park, a preview night for the weekend's Art in the Park. The owner, Dee Doyle, and the staff were very welcoming, and had the store stocked with champagne and chocolates for customers. I had a great time, met new people, and made good sales! Camden will be carrying my work very soon - as soon as I get the order made, hopefully by next week :)

Saturday and Sunday's art fair was the first of the season....I broke out the tent and all the equipment (was sure I was forgetting something....but I did good!), and the weather could not be better, with the exception of some pesky wind. Also - to my surprise, I won 2nd place overall out of over 150 artists! This rarely happens to me, so I was very shocked and grateful. This past spring I won 2nd place at the Spring Bloom show in Bloomington, and 2
years ago I won 1st place in the jewelry category at the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival. These are my only awards in 10 seasons of doing shows (this is my 11th season, I can't believe it!), so needless to say, I never expect one, and it's such a great honor when it happens.

Unfortunately, the bummer of the show was theft. Theft is a big issue for us artists out there on the road, and most people are surprised to hear this. I, myself, am surprised when it happens, because you always want to believe that people are generally honest, especially the friendly art fair goers. Every time it happens, I try to think of what kind of person would steal from an artist, from someone who puts so much time and energy into their work. It really angers me to know that some jerk is e
njoying the energy of my blood, sweat, and tears that I put into that piece of jewelry. For me specifically, I have struggled with the thought of locking my jewelry in cases for the shows, but if you know my jewelry, you know it really has to be touched and tried on. Also, some shows are so busy that I would have a hard time helping everyone in a timely fashion. So, I think that the thefts that happen are worth the fact that I think my jewelry sells better when it can be available to the customer without being locked up. I just have to remember to stay aware of the people at my booth, but when you're out there all day and if it's busy, it's easy to forget....Oh, and the theft was especially upsetting because it was one of my new rings - the XXL rectangle ring (pictured in a previous post), and it is also my most expensive to date ($115). I had another ring like it in my inventory, so I felt good that it sold on Sunday. At least I know it's a winning design, since it's seems coveted! ;) And I also had a small pair of earrings stolen. Strange - I have the most thefts in the suburbs - not many in the city! Interesting.....

Two weeks to stock up again for my next show! Come out if you're in Chicago - May 23-24 - Indie Designer Market on Randolph.