Now the days are completely turned around. Sachi & Co. are on a little vacation so I was on my own for a few days... Well, as much as one can be alone considering that Pamela and Mom are keeping me company, as are many customers. I was off on Sunday (my usual day to work) and then worked on Monday afternoon to close (my usual day off).
I did get a "real" weekend day on Sunday though so that was lovely. Usually Mondays are filled with errands and other things. On Sunday, Dad and I went to the Spring Green Art Fair, ate lunch out in Mazomanie and then in the evening I went on a bike ride and then ate Chinese for dinner. It was such a nice day. Although there was a lot of art at the art fair that wasn't too interesting to me, there were just enough things to inspire me, and even one possible new artist for the shop.
Now it's Wednesday. Sachi is coming back. What is normally my second day of work is now my third, potentially of 7. We still haven't decided about being open on the 4th of July. It's tricky. We are such a new business still (relatively) that I feel like being closed misses opportunities to introduce ourselves to people. Then again, being open all the time is a little tiring. What to do, what to do.
Without Sachi around, yesterday was kind of a long day. Usually I get to hide in the office for part of the day. Luckily, things brightened up in the afternoon. In the morning, there was lots of enthusiasm but not a lot of purchasing. Now, I honestly don't expect everyone who walks through the door to like the store, let alone make a purchase, but as a wise woman I know said, "If compliments could pay bills small shop owners would be loaded but alas it does not." Thankfully, before I could wallow too long in the lack of purchasing, several friends arrived for visiting, I got to show off pictures of the adorable girl,I had some enthusiastic purchasers, and I started making paper packs. Cutting up paper to sort and put into packs is one of my favorite fall-back tasks.
I also started looking at the computer for the list of everything that I have sold since we've been open - an exercise which is both comforting and panic-inducing. I spent about 10 years making things with the expectation that I would have a store to sell them in... now many of those things are gone in 2 years. Yeah, not a bad problem to have. And, of course, I don't have to make 2 years worth of product just this minute, but there are certain items that I really do need to focus on. Perhaps if I write it enough times, it will become truth? One can only hope. Magnet picture frames are the tippy top of the list. I've sold 401 to date and sales always diminish when I let the supply dwindle (as it is now) so I really really need to get to work on those.
What have I been doing instead? Working on an altered book, thinking about stocking our booth at the Creative Connection Event in Minnesota (in September), ironing skirt fabric, gathering collage materials for my Valley Ridge workshop, taking photographs, organizing the fabric studio, sorting fabric scraps, reading.
Our Maxwell Street Days studio garage sale will be here in a few weeks so I've been sorting through fabric and other pieces in my own studio and gathering things to put outside. It's always hard, as an artist, you think, "oh, but maybe I could use that!" - that is a quality of most artists that I know, the ability to see potential in the most mundane of items. But when you have several lifetimes worth of supplies, it's time to set some of it free, at least that's how I've been feeling.
I can hear that the UPS truck just pulled up outside so hopefully I will have some pictures for you soon, but for now I'll leave you with my fallback, the adorable girl... Here she is in her purple dress that I made earlier this spring. After a flurry of dresses for the girl, I am now working on several skirts for myself. If I had a serger to finish the edges, and if I could get the production time down, I could make some for the store, but the reality is that they will probably be just for me. Each skirt is an assortment of fabrics and quite lovely, if I do say so myself, but at four yards of fabric each, it's getting kind of pricey, and that's just the supplies, not including my time. I'm reminded of what I don't like about sewing clothes. Still, it will be nice to have some new skirts and it does feel good to use up some fabric (even though it barely makes a dent in the supply). I didn't get too carried away. Well, I did, in that there is fabric for five skirts waiting, but there is not an exact match to any of the girl's dresses - so no matching Auntie/Lily outfits, though there are some close coordinates, truth be told. Then again, I'd have to actually catch her still for a photo shoot and that is proving more and more difficult.