Ok, seriously... WHERE did the time go? I look up and all of a sudden it is LABOR DAY WEEKEND?! Ack. The girl had her last day at preschool and is moving on to 4K. It's the end of my birthmonth and time (past time, if I was honest with myself) to buckle down and focus on... yes, I said it, Christmas.
I looked back at posts this summer... Honestly, I have NOT been on vacation that much. Truth to tell, we have had a pretty awesome summer as far as sales go, in ways that have left me scrambling to keep up with reorders and restocking. I know, not a bad problem to have. But I have definitely been neglectful over here on this blog. My apologies. Unfortunately we are starting to get to that time of year when I put things off until January, which actually ends up being February or March. But don't worry, there will be plenty of new things to tell you about and I won't forget about you.
(that said, if you are really impatient to hear about new things, our Facebook page might be the best bet. I tend to post pictures there as soon as things come in. You don't get as many of the chatty details, but sometimes that's fine.)
Anyway, here goes. I see from blog posts that I have LOT of catching up to do. I should mention first of all that we are open this holiday weekend. There's usually quite a lot going on downtown, and I'm looking forward to a little "studio" time on Sunday and Monday. We're open regular hours on Saturday (10 am to 7 pm) and Sunday (noon to 4) and reduced hours on Monday (noon to 4).
Has it really been so long that I've written that I didn't say anything about CREATE in Chicago?! A week ago, Friday, we drove down to the outskirts of Chicago to the Wynham Hotel in Lisle. Sachi and I said the next day that we felt like we had packed three days into one. I packed the car the night before and we left Madison around 11, drove to Mitsuwa for Japanese lunch & groceries, to IKEA for a quick look-around, then to Lisle to set up. The Vendor Faire went from 6 to 9 pm, then we packed up, ate a late dinner in the hotel, and drove back home, unpacked the car, and went to bed around 1. We were very glad we went; we had great sales, introduced ourselves to some new customers, were tempted by many fellow vendor wares, and were flattered that some people remembered us. The next day, there was a workshop for drilling pebbles so we were a little sorry that we had to get back to the shop. There seemed to be many interesting workshops and artists and people to connect with.
As far as the shop is concerned, I'd like to blame our UPS driver for bringing so many boxes this last week, but I know it is only my fault for placing all those orders.
We went to Milwaukee recently and while, for the most part, I was not jealous of other shops' product lines, I WAS jealous of their space. and their card racks. It's feeling a little crowded at the moment, but who could resist these? A lot of people have been asking for cards made in Madison - I know, you'd think that I would have plenty of those, but we didn't really. Now to add to the Artsy Fartsy collage cards, we have my photo cards and Stefanie Lin's painted/collaged girls as well. And, though it seemed like I went to Atlanta only to buy things made elsewhere, I did pick up a new line of cards from an Atlanta couple.
I especially love these postcards.
Other new arrivals include fun Black Apple buttons, the much-anticipated Nikki McClure calendar, prints with inspiring quotations, invitations,
Sachi finally responded to my nagging and made Obama button bracelets, and restocked her panty bracelets. I know, I hate that word too, but someone I like using it in conjunction with the pins protesting the GOP.
I had a momentary feeling of panic when I realized the calendar was turning to September and Christmas is that much closer. Luckily, many artists responded quickly and we now have a nice stock of earrings, from Kim in Manitowoc and Cynthia (formerly of Madison, now on the East Coast).
Other new arrivals include cut-out leather cuff bracelets, new art boards, more prints, sarcastic bird magnets, solar powered lanterns, more calendars, including my Blurb calender which is really more of a journal than a planner, but is filled with my photographs and my collaged calendar pages and will be a pleasure, at least for me, to use in 2013. I *think* we are close to the complete selection that we will have, in terms of calendars.
There are still three boxes that I haven't even dug into this week (keep calm prints, handcarved wooden stamps, guest books), and some recent shipment notification emails that indicate more items on their way. There's always some moment, right before the holidays, when it seems like the store is the absolute most stocked. I'm not quite there yet - there are some spaces in the drawers yet to fill.