Friday, February 16, 2007

Festival Season Approachin'

Well, I just got the first issue of my new subscription to the Craftmaster News. Wooo! It's been a few years since I subscribed, and they've really done a lot to it. This is a giant list of fairs and festivals, including all pertinent info. I mean lots of info... fees, deadlines, contacts, type of show, types of crafts, whether or not commercial items are allowed, if there's camping available, everything. Now there are lots of emails and websites too. Sweet!

Used to cover mostly California and a few surrounding states... now it includes shows all the way to North Dakota and Texas! Also some articles, indexed ads for supplies and shows. Each issue used to cover 6 months, now it's almost a year. Pretty cool.

I remember hunting around for a craft fair list a while back and many cost hundreds of dollars. This one, I think, is a good value. They send you an updated version every other month, and now you can get updates online and via email. All for the low low price of about $50 a year. I totally recommend it.

Anywayzzzz... I've been pouring over the list, looking for potential shows for the year. Every year I try to add more shows to my schedule. My plan (although a gradual effort) is to grow my distance of travel every year. Eventually, I'll go on the road traveling from fair to fair for a period of months.

There are lots of factors involved here... the biggest one right now is mode of travel. I used to have a super sweet van, looked a lot like this:

Now, it's dead in the driveway. They don't make them like this anymore... and I'm sad. This thing is nice and boxy, fits tons of stuff, gets decent mileage. And it's a 4 speed, which I love. Where can you find a manual van these days?? Heh? Exactly. And a Toyota freakin runs forever. I see people driving these all over and I think you can't get them newer than 1989. I drove mine all over the state with no problems.

I digress. Sigh.

Now, for shows, I take Barney's work/storage van which looks something like this: Ok, I couldn't find anything close enough. But, it's a big huge primer grey cargo van, with rust holes. I feel like a stalker or kidnapping suspect when I drive it, and the mileage really couldn't be any worse. But, it is reliable and gigantic enough to sleep in, even full of Mermaid stuff.

So, I now seek a balance between these. I realize that eventually I might need a trailer (eesh). Especially if I have to carry 2-3 shows-worth of stuff at a time. However, I will resist this as long as possible. I like feeling self-contained and compact. I might need a big truck with a shell. Or a caravan with a roof rack.

Whatever I end up with, it will probably happen in the next few months. We shall see... anyone interested in a Toyota van?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Settling In

Yes, the new studio room at the house is getting broken in, finally. You know... it takes me a while to settle into a studio space. Moving the stuff in is easy. Making it a comfy place to create takes some time.

For some reason, until I get my mojo going in a place... I just want to leave. I stay long enough to get stuff done, but then I'm eager to go. I can't explain it. So, I have to make an effort to just spend time there... reading art books, writin
g, sketching... quiet time stuff that gets my creative juices flowing.

To that end, last weekend I spent lots of time in there... added some shelves, emptied some boxes, set up more lighting, put some of my favorite art on the walls (some of mine, some I have acquired from friends).

And I made a wonderful discovery. While the super bowl raged just a few feet away... my little studio was a calm oasis. Quiet except for my npr favorites on the radio and the occasional passing car. Lovely. The photos really can't capture the calm I feel in there now. It's great.