We look forward to seeing you all soon and the privilege of your company!
We have had our first two art festival weekends locally - Arlington & Chevy Chase - and so many thanks to all who supported us and our fellow makers. The enthusiasm for seeing and buying art in person seems better than pre-pandemic times. We had many conversations with our customers about how they preferred buying in person. Reasons included wanting to meet the maker and learning about how a piece was made. This is certainly the case with fascination about Bill's process for blowing the big hollow blown glass beads. They scroll online, they say, but nothing beats a live art event. I'm of a similar mindset. I grew up in the era without social media, had loads of friends, and went out of the house for my entertainment. It's probably why I have lukewarm enthusiasm for making my business focus online, preferring to engage with the public at shows. Its hard work, but rewarding & fun. Even in the rain, & wind & cold....!!!
During the winter break, which flew by way too fast, I had five new banners for the booth made. The old ones were tired and the new ones feature my latest jury photos. Rod pockets make for easy hanging. Pardon my photo styling above. I tried them out on broom handles when they arrived at my doorstep. This year some of the new work features combinations of glass, metal and gemstones. All elements are equally worthy to be in the company of one another.
We look forward to seeing you all soon and the privilege of your company!
I want to start by saying a big thank you to all of you who came out and supported us and all the other artists at the many shows we did this past year. We will never forget that first May show in Pittsburgh, after a very long Covid lockdown. The joy and the energy in the air that weekend was amazing. And then the remainder of the year, the enthusiasm from art & craft show lovers everywhere - rain or shine- continued.
Covid and a somewhat stalled show season start, and subsequent rescheduling of some, resulted in us being double booked and having to make difficult choices of which to cancel. We also added some new shows. We will see how the schedule shakes out next year.
Now that shows are over, I am slowly photographing and adding items in the online store here. It's slow going - just like our work is original and rather slow making! This is also the time of year we experiment with new techniques and color ways to keep things interesting at our 2022 shows. I'm already looking forward to next year, but also enjoying the short-lived season of creating without weekly deadline pressure.
I'm also finding that Manly Art Glass bead and button store suffers a bit during show season, but I'll load that up with some new things over the winter.
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Happy Holidays! Be safe and stay healthy so we can see you next year.
As the world is opening up again, so are art shows. We have completed two shows so far in the last few weeks and the response from patrons has been tremendous. After being cooped up for more than a year, people are shopping with enthusiasm and just as thrilled to be back in society as we are.
I had been reading that jewelry trends for this year include big statement pieces. And my goodness, that has certainly played out in our case. The bigger and chunkier, the better.
Pictured above are some of the many pieces that found their new forever homes. I hope this trend stays around a while. It's my favorite way of making. But I continue to work on petite pieces as well. Our 2021 show schedule is on the "about us" page. Unfortunately, we will miss some shows we have done for years, because a few spring shows were postponed to fall because of covid and conflicted with others. We are also doing some new ones - former Sugarloaf shows that are now organized by new event planners we have worked with other places.
Happy Summer! Hope you are all getting out there. Back to friends and family up close. Concerts, beach days and whatever makes you happy!
If you are reading this, I'm hoping you are ok, thriving and hopefully better than just surviving. Bill and I are fine. We had our second vaccination and thinking about better days ahead. The last year was not fun, but we stayed home, wore masks when going out on a weekly grocery shopping trip, and watched way too much TV. But if it kept us off ventilators, I say it's a win.
There are some new things in the webstore. Bill has always enjoyed wood turning and we have a few ring boxes and bowls there. We have also added some cast glass ring boxes and bowls. If you enjoy following our creative journeys, the place we most often post photos and general information is Instagram and the business Facebook page. Follow and "like" those posts to have them bubble up in your feed.
We have also added a second website for glass buttons, beads and cabochons for designers to use in their own work. Manly Art Glass. I have established a Facebook page and Instagram for that website as well, but not quite gotten a running start at filling that social media with content. I'll be getting after it now.
It's late here so I'll be signing off. More news about Fine Craft Fairs to come. All of my March, April and beginning May have cancelled. But more shows are looking hopeful later May and beyond. Get your vaccination when you can, wear your masks, and keep your distance, so we can gather again soon!
These days it seems to take very shiny objects to hold my attention. During this terrible pandemic we find ourselves fighting off anxiety while trying to make productive use of the time inside. I have to limit the amount of news I watch and audio books are my favorite escape as I dither around way too much. Focus has been somewhat elusive. Friends say how great it is to be creative at this time holed up inside, but I'm finding it difficult to follow through. Starting now, however, I vow to do better and work towards building up inventory for that day when life returns to normal (whatever new normal is) and hopefully art shows with it. If we can muster some concentration, its a good time to try new techniques. Ever hopeful, I'm keeping my show schedule up on the events section of this website. But every week I'm changing the entries as spring and early summer shows continue to cancel. Producers of fall shows have slowed down jurying and sending out results, somewhat wisely. We are all figuring this out as we go. We are staying in and following all the rules. We are wearing masks and gloves to go grocery shopping, buying what we need and not hoarding. I hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and holding fast. This too shall pass and I can't wait to see all your smiling faces soon.
I wanted to take a moment and say thank you for all the support this past year. We did 16 shows in six states. It was so great to see so many of our collectors and meet so many new fans of our work. We appreciate your enthusiasm and support more than I can say.
Once again it was challenging keeping the webstore stocked. But with the very slow-going handmade nature of our work, I find I need all the inventory for the road. Since our last show in early December in NYC, I am slowly listing a few things. Our earring inventory is nearly depleted! (thank you !) One task at hand, is to make a new collection of work for jury photos. I hope to be invited to all the shows we did last year, but our category is very competitive with lots of good work, and only so many spots. So keeping my fingers crossed.
Bill and I wish you all the happiest of holidays and we hope to see you in the new year. XO
While in New York City in March for a trade show, we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was blown away by a new exhibit: Art of Native America - The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection. This exhibit of master crafts from fifty cultures across North America opened last fall and is ongoing. The most beautiful bead embroidery, weaving, baskets, sculpture and more that I have ever seen. The work spans pre-European settlement in the Americas to the early 20th century. My photos don't do any of it justice, but I'm hoping I'll entice you to either go see it live, or get the book. If you are a seed bead enthusiast, weaver, woodworker - and craftsman or lover of fine crafts of any sort - this is for you.
My advice whenever you go to the Met is get there first thing as the doors open. This is an exhibit that will lure you in and you will want to marvel and savor each item. More enjoyable in some solitude than elbowing for a better look. By the time we left the museum early afternoon, the whole building was just mobbed.
I hope some of you will be able to join us in New York City the end of November for Crafts at the Cathedral - Nov 29 - Dec 2. It is being held in the Cathedral of St. John the Devine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave, at 112th Street. Like last year, the booths are in the center of the Cathedral Sanctuary itself, making for a beautiful holiday setting. Refreshments and light food are available for purchase. It was so fun to see my customers from around the mid-Atlantic region show up for that event last year. It is a tradition for many folks around the east coast to make a trip to NYC at the holidays. So come to the event at the Cathedral and then go to the holiday village at Bryant Park, Union Square Holiday Market & Grand Central Holiday Fair.
We had such a fun weekend at the New Hope Arts & Crafts Festival. The weather was picture perfect, and everyone was in a great mood because of it after the long, hot, wet, nasty summer we've had. We received some totally unexpected recognition for our work, for which we are so appreciative. Now its back to work to get ready for Occasion for the Arts in Williamsburg, Virginia next weekend.
I admit it. I'm a cat lady.... After our last senior cat passed away last fall it's just been too empty around the house, especially working from home. I've always raised my cats from kittens, and have been patiently waiting for kitten season to start. At last, a rescue group I've been working with texted me that some kittens were available. So many older cats need good homes too, but I just can't resist the babies. So meet Bella & Beau. Absolutely adorable litter mates. I have to discipline myself not to play with them all day and get my work done! Show season starts in two weeks! I'm excited for that too.