Monday, November 26, 2012

Getting Ready....

Well, sorry I haven't been blogging, but I have been busy with holidays and kids and travel...and taking a little time off from sewing in the process.  It was really nice to have a break, and not take my work with me on my mini-vacation/buying trip...a first in a long, long time.
Yesterday I spent much time in my studio, straightening, refolding, culling, reshelving...I am probably half-way with the reorganization.  It is amazing how messed up things can get, and how many things I forget that I have until I start going through things again.  I have a little less than two weeks until our Durham Craft Market Holiday Market, so I will be working pretty much non-stop until then.  So I guess I have been getting ready to get ready for the Market.
Its hard, I straighten things out I see even more things that I want to make, knowing that I can't make everything I want to in two weeks.  But I'll be putting stuff on as well, so I can keep my creative stream going indefinitely.
So I just wanted to check in and let you know that I'm still here.  I will post some pics later this week of what I am working on at the time.
Hope you all shop small business and local business and give unique gifts this holiday is my livelihood, but also, it is the backbone of our nation, and we all need to remember that, and remember that there is usually little thought given to a gift from a big box store or chain, much less any originality.
Thanks for checking in with me...much peace and love to you...

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Universe Smiles....

Wow!  I don't know where to start, other than to say that the universe is still very much in attendance in my a good, good way, of course!
I received an e-mail from the wonderful woman that bought the top that was the subject of last week's blog.  It didn't fit....she was crushed, I was crushed...but she didn't want a refund, she wanted a credit, because she  said she 'loves what I am doing' and she thought she might get a bag or another top or something, either for herself or for a gift.  I saw her crossing the road Saturday morning, on her way to my booth, with such an aura of kindness and happiness, I knew it was her before I really recognized her.  She had wrapped the top in tissue paper 'to protect it', and handed it over so that she could do some browsing.  She looked and looked but then she saw one of the bags that I had just completed, jewel tones, clay buttons, long and soft straps, and she knew it was for even trade.  We chatted for a bit before she left, and I know that she will become a regular customer and will promote my shop and what I do long into the future.  It feels so good, knowing that there are people like her in the world.  I can't wait to see her coming toward my booth again!
There were other special folks that crossed my booth's threshold on Saturday...a nice woman, petite, treating herself to a 'new' top, dark teal with Indian Silk....that fit her just right.  Another woman, needing a plus-size, who was very attracted to the red top with the African dashiki fabric.  She proved to me that my idea for the pluses, my embellishments on the sides of the tops, does take attention away from a poochy belly or bubble butt (I have both myself these days!) in a flattering way.  She was short in height, and the top made a tunic on was just right.  So I had the opportunity to see my designs and theories in action, or come to fruition, or however you want to say it.  I continue to be amazed in that moment when someone pulls one of my pieces over her and it fits like it was made just for her.   It is its own reward for me.
Now, the boho top, the one that was the subject of last week's blog and was returned this past Saturday....
well, two other women tried it on, but it didn't fit them well or right...wasn't meant for them.  Then along came a good friend of mine that lives in Durham and believes in buying local. She comes to the market a couple of times a month, usually for veggies and such, and always stops by to say 'hi'!!  She saw the top in question on my display girlequin and she was like, "this is the perfect present for one of my old friends' of our stipulations for our gift-giving is that the gifts be locally made and artisan-made, and this is just right for her, her style, her colors...."
So that top is off to its new person....I don't remember where she lives, but I have great hopes that it will be a good home for it!  Finally!!!
And as a special ending to such a nice day....when I got home and checked my email I found that someone had purchased a top through my shop.  What a wonderful of my favorite tops is on its way to live in Florida!!
I appreciate all of the people that I met on Saturday, too. It was a beautiful day and there were tons of people out and about, and I enjoyed having people consider my art, my craft, my is good!

Peace to you, and the universe will smile back at you!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I Never Cease to Be Amazed....

Yesterday was a Saturday, so I made the trip to Durham early on a cold morning to get set up, along with my fellow artisans, in hopes of having a good day.  The weather has made it a little harder to attract buyers, that is for sure.  I didn't go to the market or the Food Truck event last weekend, as Hurricane Sandy's winds and spits of rain didn't seem like any fun to me.  Unfortunately the artists that braved the weather sold little or nothing for all of their trouble.  I am glad that I stayed home.
So, back to yesterday.  For probably the first two to three hours of the market, which goes for four hours, there were sparse sales for any of us.  I kind of figured it would be that was a beautiful sunny day but the wind was cold and the air was cold at the start of the market, and people were moving along briskly, not interested in browsing and freezing in the process.  Couldn't really blame them for that...we were all seeking patches of sunshine to stand in to feel some warmth.  Eventually it warmed up enough for people to feel comforable enough to shop.  I had someone start looking at my bags, and then she said she had to go and get her credit card and would be back....I gave this about a 70 to 30 percent chance of being true (bad for me to be so pessimistic, I know).  Well, she was good with her word, and she returned after about 15 minutes to shop seriously.  She purchased three bags from me, some pottery from my neighbor, and on down the line...picking out unique presents for friends and family.   When she departed the market, she was definitely weighed down with all of her purchases, and we all appreciated her not just for her dollars, but also for her choice to buy from us rather than hitting the mall or going to  And we all know from experience that the receivers of these gifts will cherish them as well.  So everybody wins!
Now, the truly bizarre part of my morning...a woman stopped to look at my boho styled tunic, just loved it, and said she was going to get her mom or sister or friend and would be back.  I had a less pessimistic feeling about that.  She returned with an older woman, her mom?, and another around her age, a sister or friend?, and showed them the top.  They agreed that it looked like 'her' and she decided to try it looked wonderful on her, was her color, style, fit....she was ready to buy it.....THEN...
THEN, something UNBELIEVABLE and RUDE and INSULTING occurred...she looked at the price, which was $34.99 or $39.99, I don't remember which....and had no problem with it, given what she would be getting, a one-of-a-kind original piece.  Her mother, however, looked me in the face and asked...'will you take $20.00 for it?'  I just looked at her, didn't allow my jaw to drop and the words that were sitting on my tongue to fly out of my mouth.  I said, 'no', she said 'how about $25.00?', 'no', '$30.00?', 'no', I said, 'I feel that this top is fairly priced and worth what I am asking for it...', and she said 'oh, I know its worth it, I just don't want to pay that'.   I just shook my head, keeping that mouth of mine zipped.  I held out my hands to receive the top and the younger ones were like, 'we are going to walk around and think about it'....I was like 'you do that'....
A short time later, as I had been sending out an open-hearted message to the universe to send me a different person that would be attracted to this top....and it happened.  A really nice woman took one look at the top and was just in was her color and her style and she wanted to go get her credit card to buy it...I remained optimistic, understanding that the universe was in control of everything at this point and I needed to just allow....and she returned....she was a dear woman, said she had had a rough past few years and was finally financially able to buy gifts for the people that stood by her and helped her when she had little or nothing and was in such a bad place.  She ended up buying two tops and two bags, and was just delightful to talk to and was so nice to me, complimenting what I do.  It was such a wonderful example of how people are supposed to conduct themselves, and how coming from a place of gratitude and appreciation is what it is all about, on both sides of any transaction.
By the way, I did give a discount to my two buyers, giving them my gratitude and appreciation, a gift...something they didn't ask for or was for me to give, you know!

And the other ladies didn't return, which at first I thought would have been good enough for them, but then I realized that they came through my shop and my life to remind me that while I am just a tiny speck in the universe, the universe takes care of its own, and karma takes care of itself....peace to you, my friends and followers....I appreciate you more than you could ever know....