Well, to tell the truth, I'm not quite ready yet... I'm in the middle of a big rearranging project at home (rotated the living room 90 degrees and am finally dealing with the consolidation & studio organization that needed to be done after I moved things to the shop... FOUR years ago). I've also been busy with year-end paperwork and resting from Christmas (which means spending time on Pinterest instead of making things to restock the store). We had an amazing year in 2011! I'm so grateful for our great sales figures but I think a little rest is necessary before we jump back in to graduation, Mother's Day, summer tourists, and Christmas. Our California buying trip this year is to San Francisco and is later than previous trips to Los Angeles so I have a few more weeks to wait before getting away from Wisconsin winter for a little vacation.
Meanwhile, Sachi has been working like crazy the past couple weeks. Her main project has been sewing these little sweetheart ornaments with Spanish phrases, inspired by a box of Spanish sweetheart candies that a friend gave her:
Today, Sachi is installing the Valentine's window (to be fair, I installed the New Year window right after Christmas so we are continuing to take turns on window installation and I am not being a total slacker). Here are some of the pieces:
In other Valentine-related news, this weekend I am helping our church Sunday school kids make Valentines to send to people who are home-bound or otherwise in need of a pick-me-up. I decided, for the sake of variety, that we will make Valentine garlands instead of just cards. We can all work together on the garlands and string a bunch of hand-cut hearts with Valentine wishes on them. On to baker's twine, of course, my current obsession.
Or maybe we will just stitch them with red thread. I kind of like the hand-sewn look.
And so on to gathering Valentine garland- and card-making supplies, for church and for the shop. As soon as Sachi gets the table cleared of her window pieces, I can start unpacking. I'm eager to make some garlands myself, and know a few customers who are apparently all ready for card-making, judging by their requests.
This can be a relatively quiet time of year in terms of customers and new arrivals. We are waiting to see what we find on our buying trip and also slowly making our way through our list of current and possible consignees to restock and add to our collection. We did restock our "Midwest is Best" t-shirts, which were a popular Christmas gift. We were also pleased that a new artist dropped into our laps with these great tiles with her own collage images.
Finally, we were pleased to get more of the hearts for Haiti, stone hearts made by Haitian artists which fund works in Haiti. We feel strongly that arts are an important part of life and appreciate the opportunity to help artists elsewhere in the world.