Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving a day late!

Happy Thanksgiving a day late. Had a wonderful holiday with family back on the island. So nice to see everybody. The kids have all gotten so much older(where does the time go anyway), the food was delicious, and the company even better. I am blessed to have such a wonderful family.

I have so much to be thankful for and news to share with my artwork also. Tomorrow is our Holiday Open House opening up in Cambridge at Valley Artisans Market, there are so many beautiful things to choose from. I am so looking forward to it! Please drop in and give it a look you won't be disappointed I promise. We are also having a raffle for a Valley Artisans Market tote bag,jam packed with goodies from all of the artisans. All you have to do is spend $20.00 and you will be entered in the raffle and that also means that if you spend $40.00 you will have 2 chances. $60 and you will have 3 and so on and so on. The artwork included in the raffle is very beautiful so please come.

I will also be selling my work at Samantha's Cafe(and gift shop) up in Glens Falls. Samantha's is a wonderful cafe with delicious food and beautiful artwork. I recommend the bread pudding and the butternut squash apple bisque. They are delicious. Right now they are carrying hand embroidered ornaments but coming soon will also be carrying some of my hand embroidered pieces and crocheted scarves.

Lots to keep me busy and grounded during this hectic time of year. That is something I am also thankful for. I am also quite thankful for the opportunity to show my work in The Katbird Shop in Schenectady with the wonderful Kathy at the helm and to have my ornaments carried by Jim at Desolation Road in Altamont. And once again a reminder to shop at the Christmas Craft Fair at Albany Shaker where there is also a raffle for a beautiful quilt along with many talented artisans.

Now that my Black Friday sales pitch is over, may I just remind you that tomorrow is small business Saturday so buy local. With my next blog post, I will get back to what I enjoy the most, hand embroidering and talking about hand embroidering. My greatest thankfulness this year is the opportunity to hand embroider and have my work in enough places to keep me happily, meditatively using my hands every single day! I hope you are having a very creative and meditative holiday season too. Keep stitching(so that you don't do that very stressful holiday thing that rhymes with stitching). Blessings to all!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ornaments, ornaments, ornaments

This little cardinal and his brothers and sisters would like to remind you to buy handmade this christmas holiday. After a few weeks of wonderful times with many fabulous shop owners and artisans and a few weeks of ornaments, ornaments, ornaments, I am happily ensconced in my embroidered cocoon. A little tired, actually more than a little but it has been worth it tenfold.

I've seen such beautiful things in my travels. I'll begin with Valley Artisans Market, there you will see beautiful glasswork by my friend Cheryl who is a remarkable artisan in more ways than 1 . Beautiful pottery by Chung Ah along with the most remarkable, gourd doll houses, new roosters and mosaics from Rose And the incredible dolls made by the wonderful Julie complimented wonderfully by the beautiful paintings of Jean. And also for all of those with beautiful little children(or delightful grandchildren) there are beautiful wooden toys which are made so beautifully and wonderfully constructed. There are pens for men, earrings for the lady and beautiful baskets to bring them home and so much more. A trip to VAM is a must see for the most incredible gifts ever.

I also visited the delightful Kathy at the Katbird Shop, she is such a wonderful store owner to deal with and she has a lot of beautiful, cool things too. She has wonderful soaps to smell, beautiful bags(including quite a few of my own)to carry your belongings, beautiful glassware, a wonderful baby section and of course lots of ornaments. Perhaps if you are lucky you will get to meet mayoral candidate Roger the cat who spearheaded a wonderful campaign to make sure that every pet gets spayed and neutered.

If photography is your thing, there are wonderful places to find beautiful photography. Two of them are right here on my blog roll, there is the wonderful Judy Olson who constantly amazes me. Every time I see a photograph taken by Judy I wonder just how the heck she does it, she has such an eye and a unique way of making the ordinary, extraordinary. Her work is available in several different venues around the Capitol Region so look on her blog to find her work. Lynda Lehman is also a very talented photographer who happens to be on my blog roll, I'm not quite sure where she hails from but her photography of Long Island(I think) is breathtaking. And then there is Jim Miller at Desolation Road, he takes incredible photographs of nature. I have my ornaments at Desolation Road so give him a look if you are in the area of Altamont.

I also have an exciting new prospect for my ornaments and had a great lunch at the same time. Samantha's cafe in Glens Falls is a great little luncheon place and art gallery. Make sure you try the butternut squash and apple soup(to die for) and the bread pudding(I can't even describe it in words). I will be bringing my work to this wonderful venue shortly and unfortunately for my diet I will probably have to have the bread pudding when I'm there.

And finally don't forget the Albany Shaker Christmas Craft Show which inspired my blog post today. I volunteered there today and met many wonderful people and saw many beautiful things. A percentage of the sales helps to fund the museum. It is a wonderful place to find many handmade gifts and see a little history too. It's very close to the Albany Airport so please stop in and see how wonderfully talented those of us up here in Upstate NY are.

So now I have given you dozens of reasons to visit the galleries and shops up here in beautiful upstate NY. Hopefully where ever you live you can find beautiful handmade items made by hand in galleries, gift shops and craft fairs to fill up your christmas gift list. You will be helping to feed those starving artists, keeping your local businesses in business, and making someone ooh and aah over your gifts.

Thank you for reading my shameless plug and return soon so you can see more pictures of ornaments and bigger things too. Have a happy thanksgiving and a handmade black friday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Barn Revisited

Sorry no pictures today. I had a fabulous day at the barn and a wonderfully creative weekend. I met such nice people and saw a few wonderful creative friends. All is right with the world. I'm still embroidering as much as I can and still enjoying the peace and tranquility the stitch brings me.

I met a lovely young potter at the barn named Maeghan, her work was so beautiful and innovative and she is attending college for a career in ceramics. Just that sentence gives me such joy. The arts are being left behind in this crazy world we live in and it was a joy to see someone so dedicated to her craft and her art that she is making the ultimate career choice. I know she will be very successful as her pottery is very unique, beautiful and spiritual. I do have a thing for pottery. I love it, I think but to look at not study. Potters and photographers are kind of the ultimate artist to me as they look at the world uniquely and share their visions with the rest of us. I'd like to think my embroidery does that in some small way.

I guess the point of this post, is I was reminded of how much I love being a working artist(thanks to my husband I don't have to put the starving in the sentence). I was reminded of how enthusiasm for your craft is so darn important and that is the bottom line. The stitch itself is the point, not so much the money. If you love something and work hard at it sooner or later the money will come(at least that is what they say). I wish I knew what Maeghan knows when I was her age, but sometimes we have to grow into our own happiness and our calling. Late bloomers I suppose.

There are wonderful things happening in all of the venues that I am lucky enough to participate in. So if you are in upstate NY, check out the Albany Shaker Christmas Craft show in Albany, The Katbird Shop in Schenectady, Valley Artisans Market in Cambridge and last but not least Desolation Road in Altamont(where Jim has some really wonderful things going on during the next two months). Please come and shop handmade at our local markets or shop local in the markets you live in. You'll end up with really cool gifts and be the hit of the party.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Saturday at the Barn at the Bridge

Hi All! Tomorrow I will be at the Barn at the Bridge artisan show at 250 Lakehill Road in Burnt Hills. The hours are from 9:00 to 4:00. It is a beautiful red barn and a beautiful venue for a show. This will be my first time there and I am so excited. There will be many different artisans and friends and such beautiful work. If you are in the neighborhood please stop by.

Today I was working at Valley Artisans Market and marveling at just how wonderful it is to be a working artist. On my home I was just overwhelmed for a moment at how lucky I am. There is a beautiful bridge(actually it's a road) that overlooks the beautiful hoosic river. It takes my breath away on good day and it really overwhelmed me with it's fall beauty today. Between that and the wonderful day at the market, I realized that if you have a dream and you take baby steps toward it you can live the life you've imagined. Not hard to see where Thoreau found his inspiration in nature. The thought that God gives us dreams for a reason also landed in my brain during that lovely ride home.

I've got to get back to work, so have a wonderful weekend. Hope to see you at the barn, see you at the market and see you at the Meeting House at the Shaker museum. Otherwise I hope I see you at your local gallery or craft fair or anywhere else that you can buy beautiful handcrafted pieces. Buy handmade and buy local!