(the above picture is of one of two installations of "take what you need" at the library. "love" and "luck" are consistently the first to be taken; "the high road" and "the long way home" tend to be last. I noticed "the cake" was last on one page... and I am still puzzled as to why anyone wouldn't want to take the cake).
I saw a card once that said: "If only you really COULD work your a** off." That's kind of how I feel this week. In some ways, I feel like the store is finally reaching a point where we have staff and system enough that I can ease off on my 6 day work schedule, in other ways, that has just enabled me to create more work elsewhere. We are winding down our time at the Bubbler and frantically adding "just a bit more" and also making lists of all that has to be done to move out. The new artists are moving in on Monday and while there will be some transition time (which means we don't have to totally clear our installations out), we do need to move out of the room itself... but not before the weekend. So mostly I'm just... waiting. It's that same feeling when you've done pretty much all the studying your brain can hold and all that is left is to take the test but it is not until tomorrow.
I've had two days worth of batiking to generate paper which I am ultimately cutting and sewing into a quilt. I'm taking over the wall behind the librarians on the ground floor and phase one of installation revealed that I have a lot more batiking to do. I've spent the last two nights cutting more paper into 2" squares to make more quilt blocks, also cutting some 4x2 pieces to use for a mini book that I will somehow bind for the next holiday party. I do so love this batik paper.
On Thursday, I helped install part of the Gallery Night exhibit up on the third floor gallery space of the Central library. It's a collection of things made in the Bubbler - by makers-in-residence and by patrons and is a fun peek into the effects of that space. I've been told the Bubbler was just going to be another meeting space and I am SO happy that they opened it up for other uses. That exhibit will be up for the next two months. In a related note, I enjoyed spending time up on the third floor - it's kind of a low-traffic area and it has a nice view of the rooftops.
In related Bubbler news, the new issue of Madison Originals Magazine that just came out has an article about Bubbler Makers-in-Residence and includes a nice section about our work at the library, though it was poetry not pottery that we made.
In addition to our Bubbler work, tonight is Gallery Night, and the culmination of our quest for postcards for the shop. We received submissions from a baker's dozen of artists and are enjoying the variey of creations and interpretations of a Madison/Wisconsin/regional postcard. From worrying that I wouldn't have enough postcards to fill the window and would have to spend last night making more, I went to having so many postcards that I didn't know how I would fit them all in. Also, Sachi wanted to wash the inside windows, so I spent Thursday emptying and lifting all our cubbies out of the way and then putting it all back together, trying to find room for what I displaced, and create space to display postcards. I kind of missed our old clothesline system which would have made hanging postcards easy, but managed to find a way to prop up and otherwise display the postcards... oh, and also create a space for Mother's Day cards. We really wanted to have a special exhibit for Gallery Night, but it is also coming right at the moment when our window is needed to convey our Mother's day (and shortly, graduation) gift and card options. So many things for a tiny space to do! I think I managed to cram it all in.
Even though it has been a lot of work to create this postcard show, I am also feeling really happy about the results so that helps ease the tiredness that I am feeling. Also, we ate breakfast for lunch - pancakes and a breakfast sandwich at Short Stack Eatery, so I am feeling full & happy. A nap wouldn't be amiss, but there is still Gallery Night ahead of us. then busy Saturday. then moving out the Bubbler. Really, which is it? No rest for the weary? or no rest for the wicked?
We ended April on a very strong note, well above April 2013 sales so the year continues its strong pace... which also helps account for the feeling of tiredness. At least Sachi and I were able to take some Wednesdays off during the wintertime. Despite the cold of this spring (and the need for me to still wear Smartwool socks), the street is definitely getting more lively. I guess we're all ready to come out of hibernation.
This will be our 6th Mother's Day and I think we finally have enough Mother's Day cards. Our first year in business, I ended up delving into my card collection and our assortment of thank you cards to find enough for customers. The second year, I ran to the copy shop and made up some collage ones. And every year since has been a close call. We went all out this year and I'm very happy with our assortment for all sorts of Mothers.
We also have our craft table set up for decorating your own card for Mom. $2.50 gets you a blank card and envelope, and free run of the table: paper scraps, glitter, twinkling watercolors, decorative edge scissors and more.
Last but not least, in addition to the window and postcard display work and the Bubbler work, we had some shipments to receive. I was super excited to receive this Madison print and card from a Milwaukee artist - we really like being able to find the intersection between artist styles that we like and souvenir goods that our customers are asking for. We think this one will be a hit!
We also received more t-shirts, though I'm still waiting on the next batch of Wi/Mn hugging t-shirts. We had a big box of them a week ago, and most of them went to happy customers last Saturday. We did get our Midwest is Best, squeaky cheese curds, and I'm with Bucky so at least we have more to choose from than we did three weeks ago.
And finally a delivery from the charming Alison, whose prints we love, and who gave in to our pleading and made a postcard for our show, and also printed it larger. We just love all the details!