Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Elder Care

isn't easy.  I try my best but I miss having some time for myself and hate having guilt when I manage to get some time with my husband.  Just getting an afternoon (last Saturday) with my husband felt incredible.  I've regained the appreciation for the *very* small pleasures in life such as grabbing a beer at a local microbrewery and a burrito for an early dinner or having the privacy to talk to my husband about anything.  

I've always been one of those people who rides the fence post on whether I'm extroverted or introverted and took for granted my "time to myself" when I could re-charge mentally, physically, and creatively.  I no longer have that time and I find it hard.

I've got my demo day for the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi fast approaching so, I've got to get to work.  My demonstration will be interesting no matter what!  If you're in coastal MS on Friday, August 1st, please stop by the Biloxi Craft Center and say hi.  I'll be there all day during the open house to demonstrate several of the techniques that I use in my jewelry.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Remembering The Brave Civil Rights Activists

NAACP_Freedom Summer 1964

Ending 50 Years of Silence

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kiosks at the Outlets of MS

The Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi worked with the MS Development Authority to secure a 1,400 square foot space in the new Outlets of MS in Pearl.  The satellite gallery is housed inside the visitor services office which is located in a great corner space.  They also have five unmanned kiosks located throughout the outlet showcasing the wares of artists from five distinct areas of MS.

My husband and I visited the outlet while we were in MS for a guild meeting and were very pleasantly surprised.  The gallery space seemed larger and the displays are very nicely done.  The kiosks are adorable.  I only wish that the light had been more conducive to photography that afternoon. 

Craftsmen's Guild of MS_Outlets of MS Satellite Gallery

Capital River Region Kiosk_Craftsmen's Guild of MS

Coastal Region Kiosk_Craftsmen's Guild of MS

Delta Region_Craftsmen's Guild of MS

Hills Region Kiosk_Craftsmen's Guild of MS

Pines Region Kiosk_Craftsmen's Guild of MS

Other states should consider emulating their idea with outlets in touristy areas showcasing the work of local artisans and traditional craftsmen.  If you're going to be in the Ridgeland/Jackson/Pearl MS area, please consider visiting the MS Craft Center and the gallery at the outlet mall.  You're sure to find lots of beautiful, handmade treasures!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Better Late Than Never...

Bayou Boogaloo was a whole month ago and it was great!  I had expected the weather to be insanely hot and humid.  Previous festivals were scorchers but we were blessed with sunny skies, lovely white clouds, and daily temperatures no higher than 81º.  The great weather meant that lots of people came out for the music, food, and art.  I would not be surprised if attendance exceeded the pre-festival estimate.

Stress has been making my neck and shoulders ache so, I wasn't feeling great the first evening but I felt better and better as the weekend progressed.  Other than my aches and pains and a certain little *dog who decided to hike his leg and scent mark one of my newly finished linen table skirts, it was a very nice weekend.

I saw lots of friends and repeat customers--gotta love that!  My customers' purchases also confirmed for me that you can never anticipate what will be popular during any given show.  Very few new pieces of jewelry were purchased but my customers did seem determined to help me clear out a lot of old stock.  That was a welcome surprise.  I get sick of seeing the same items from market to market and festival to festival and feel like customers are bound of be sick of seeing certain pieces over and over again.  Thank goodness for my new customers who saw everything as "new".

Several months back, I purchased window panels that match my green tablecloths with the intention of hanging them in front of the back canopy wall.  I'd never gotten around to using them because my last few markets were all during very muddy, rainy weather.  I think they were a hit because I got a lot of positive feedback from customers, fellow vendors, and festival officials.  I'm now determined to get panels for the remaining two sides, as well.  It should look good and also provide a bit more insulation during cold weather markets and an additional plus is that they'll cover the the other cambuckle straps which are so glaringly neon orange.  The question is whether I should use green for all three sides or stick to using only turquoise on the side where my Cicada Silver items are displayed.  Any suggestions?

Libellula Jewelry & Cicada Silver Tent_Bayou Booglaoo 2014
 Set-up starting to look a bit bedraggled from heat, humidity, and diminishing stock

I was busy with customers and didn't have an opportunity to watch the rubber duck derby but a video was posted to YouTube.  It was taken using a camera mounted on a drone and provides a really good aerial vantage point.  I wonder how much money was raised for Second Harvest NOLA?

My husband and I stopped in Fairhope AL on our drive back to FL because we've been wanting to give the Fairhope Brewing Company a try.  They offer pints and 6 oz. samples and we shared four samples:  Mamasbier (Belgian Single), I Drink Therefore I Amber (American Amber), Rescue Dog Red Ale (Imperial Red), and Painted Black IPA (Black IPA).  The Mamasbier and IDTI Amber were both very good beers but the Rescue Dog Red Ale and Painted Black IPA were our favorites.  I've had better Black IPAs but I've never had a better Imperial Red.  Fairhope Brewing Co. has  only been open a little more than a year but the Rescue Dog Red Ale is seriously on par with some of Abita's best.  I look forward to future visits and a time when their distribution area expands into the panhandle. 

*Back to that little dog...Does anyone have any ideas on how to deter dogs from urinating on tablecloths/skirting?  I treated the table skirt with a pet urine remover so that future dogs won't smell where the other dog marked it but I'd like to prevent it from happening to the other skirts, too.  I really don't think this is an infrequent occurrence because I saw it happen at Freret Market and an additional time while out at Bayou Boogaloo.  That time, the dog aimed and (thankfully!) missed the woman's tablecloth.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk

Have you ever found yourself using a word that other people find strange?  I do it all the time so, you can imagine how interested I was when I found this interesting quiz while I was reading one of my favorite blogs.

About the dialect quiz:

"Most of the questions used in this quiz are based on those in the Harvard Dialect Survey, a linguistics project begun in 2002 by Bert Vaux and Scott Golder. The original questions and results for that survey can be found on Dr. Vaux's current website.
The data for the quiz and maps shown here come from over 350,000 survey responses collected from August to October 2013 by Josh Katz, a graphics editor for the New York Times who developed this quiz. The colors on the large heat map correspond to the probability that a randomly selected person in that location would respond to a randomly selected survey question the same way that you did. The three smaller maps show which answer most contributed to those cities being named the most (or least) similar to you."

I took the quiz and found that my dialect is a bit different than I expected.  This lifelong Southerner was a little surprised to see both Yonkers and New York City pop up as two of my cities!  Here's a link to my results:

Let me know if you find anything surprising about your dialect!

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Bit of an Update

Oh how I wish that there were more hours in a day so that I could get everything completed or at least make a valiant attempt.  Trying to get jewelry made while caring for an elderly relative is no easy trick and a flare-up of my carpal tunnel problems only makes matters worse.  I did manage to get a little bit of time for myself and my husband and we took a nature walk.  We came across a juvenile king snake that was very shy.  As soon as it felt our vibrations on the boardwalk, it started to slither away but my husband did manage to snap one photo as it made a quick exit.

I am reassured when I come across such helpful, nonpoisonous snakes that really help our ecosystem.

With the dangerous weather conditions across so many states, I'm sending positive vibes to all those who may be in harm's way.  Stay alert!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

ArtWalk at Sans Souci, Lafayette LA

Please come join us this Saturday at ArtWalk at Sans Souci Fine Craft Gallery in Lafayette LA.  This ArtWalk will be featuring the work of eight new members of the Louisiana Crafts Guild.  There will be a variety of media represented:  porcelain, mixed media, traditional candle making, drawing & collage, art quilting, print making, and metalsmithing.  Come and enjoy a glass of wine and an hors d'oeuvre (or three!) while you get to know the artists and find that perfect Mother's Day present or something special for yourself.

Sans Souci Gallery is located at 219 E Vermilion St:

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and ArtWalk runs from 6 to 9 pm. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014


SWAN Day logo

This Saturday is the seventh international SWAN Day which stands for "Support Women Artists Now" Day.  Please support fellow women who are artists and fellow women who are our patrons, customers, and those who give us the daily support that we need to create.  Many places are hosting local SWAN Day events so, please check to see what is happening in your area.  YAYA will be hosting an all female exhibition on Saturday, March 29th from 5-8 pm at 338 Baronne St, New Orleans LA.

Arts Market of New Orleans:  Celebrate Africa Day

I'll also be vending in the Louisiana Crafts Guild tent at the Arts Market of New Orleans in Palmer Park this Saturday.  It will be an all silver day because I'm only bringing my Cicada Silver jewelry with me.  If you're interested in other metals, please visit me at Freret Street Festival the following Saturday when I'll have everything with me.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Freret Street Festival #FSF2014

Freret Street Festival 4/5/2014

Mark your calendars.  Freret Street Festival will be held on April 5th from 11 am to 7 pm.  The festival is slated to be bigger and better than ever with the addition of a fifth music stage.   Come out and join the fun and be sure to visit Kalaya and me!

03/28/14 Edited to add another link to an article about the upcoming festival:

Last year's festival:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo, New Orleans

16-18 May 2014

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Flyer

One of the best community festivals in New Orleans is in May after the hoopla of Jazzfest is over and I'd love to see you there!  I'll have a nice assortment of jewelry including:
  • enameled copper
  • etched copper, red brass, and bronze
  • bezel set natural stone and glass cabochons
  • metal clay items
  • sterling silver hot forged chains
  • etc.
and as always, all purchases will be gift boxed in either recycled kraft paper boxes or my handmade origami boxes.  Everything is reusable and recyclable--no waste!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cupid's Offering To You

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Recipe Rant

Does anyone else absolutely hate recipes that list peanut butter but don't specify which kind of peanut butter is required? 
  • Does the recipe need the typical American peanut butter which contains lots of hydrogenated oils and added sugar, etc. or can natural peanut butter (peanuts & salt) be used?  The two types of peanut butter are not interchangeable in most recipes.  
  • Hint to those who write recipes:  If you don't write a clear & concise recipe, I'm not going to try it.  I do not enjoy wasting ingredients because you're too lazy to write a proper recipe!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Last Weekend

My husband and I were at Freret Market last Saturday.  The weather was beautiful which brought out a lot of people who came to enjoy the sun and music but most were not there to shop.  I talked with many vendors who were lamenting the low sales.  I also heard from a couple of vendors who were unsure about whether they should be charging sales tax or having buyers fill out the "sales tax exemption certificates".  This means that the city is still not doing a good enough job of informing business owners about cultural product districts and the sale of original works of art.

The unusually cold weather that swept across the South has certainly not slowed the start of allergy season.  I suffer from year-round allergies but they do worsen when seasonal allergens arrive.  I had a hard time understanding what people were saying while we were at the market because my ears started to pop and felt very muffled from a combination of allergies and my tent's proximity to the bands.  I felt so deaf!  I've had a hearing deficiency since birth but this was much worse than usual so, I apologize to anyone who had to repeat his/herself to me.  It couldn't be helped.

My friend, Dan, who we stay with in New Orleans, was pet sitting an enormous rough coated collie.  She is the largest collie I've ever seen and weighs in at 86 lbs.  She's not overweight--just very tall and long.  Her coat is extremely bushy and thick, too.  I had always read that male collies were used in the television series Lassie because male collies typically have more luxurious coats.  This dog was certainly an exception!  I wish that I had thought to snap a photo of her.  Darn!

Note to my customers:  Your orders are all in the works and will begin shipping very soon.  Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weather Woes

My husband and I drove over to New Orleans on Friday to attempt to get my occupational license.  I tried last year but a computer error flagged my first time application as a late renewal which meant that they cashed my $50 check but the system still expected a $10 late fee.  Emails and calls resulted in absolutely zero help so, I just gave up.  Fast forward to 2014...Freret Market has begun requiring proof of licensure which meant that I had to not only try again but actually succeed this time.  The stars must have aligned because I got my license and an answer regarding what went wrong last year.  Finally!

NOLA occupational license

Weather in the Deep South has been strange this year.  Our car started icing as we drove through coastal Mississippi on our drive over to New Orleans on Friday.  We hadn't really expected icy weather because the forecasts were not in agreement.   Our friend's staircase was encased in a thick layer of ice by the time that we had to bring up our suitcase and other bags.  That was a scary experience.  Not only is the stair steep but the old railing offers no stability.  Thank goodness the ice had melted by morning.

icicles on railing in New Orleans
Icicles on Railing

The newest bout of winter precipitation hasn't been quite as bad as we were expecting here in the Florida panhandle.  Everything is covered in a thick coat of ice but with very little snow accumulation.  The humidity level was so low that most of the snow sublimated about as fast as it fell.

icy Civic
Icy Civic

car encased in ice

car roof rack encased in ice
Encased In Ice

My husband and I are at my mother's house so that she's not alone and we'll be iced in until at least mid-day on Thursday when the temperature begins to rise.  There have been power outages but thus far, we've been lucky.  Just a couple of days of weather like this is enough to make me stir crazy.  I have no idea how people deal with this up north! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Annual Meeting

My husband and I drove to Lafayette a couple of weekends ago for the annual meeting of the LA Crafts Guild.  The meeting took place at the Acadiana Center For the Arts.  ACA serves as a place for education, community development, performances, and exhibits.  One of our guild members (VP of the guild, too) has her work featured in the Vault.  That space was actually the vault in the building's former incarnation as a bank.

I learned a lot more about the guild and the guild's gallery, Sans Souci while I was there but most importantly, I met wonderful, talented people.  Members brought gifts that they made for an exchange and numbers were drawn while I was out for lunch.  That ended up being very lucky for me because the last gift remaining was this beautiful handwoven purse from the very talented Lynn Langhoff.  Her work is gorgeous so, it was no surprise that she won the Best in Show Award of Excellence at the 37th Annual Chimneyville Festival.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bad Weather, Cute Dogs, Guilds, and UPS

The Arts Market at Palmer Park was fun and lucrative in spite of the weather.  New Orleans people are a hearty crowd!  Saturday was very windy but we weighted everything down well and added extra tent weights.  The rain held off until the market was over but it rained all night.  The rain resumed almost as soon as we arrived on Sunday and the temperature started to drop.  We had a few customers despite the bad conditions but once we started battling leaks, mud, and being chilled to the bone (we could see our breath), all the vendors threw in the towel and we packed up.

We always stay with our friend, Dan, when we're in New Orleans.  He was pet sitting two of our favorite dogs:  Maddie and Socks.  Maddie is a sweet lab mix and Socks is supposed to be a chihuahua but I'm convinced that he's half cat.  I've never seen a dog who acts more cat-like than that precious little pup.  He even washed his face the same way cats do!  Neither dog liked the temperature drop so they were more than willing to be wrapped up like cuddlebugs.

Maddie wrapped in blanket

Socks wrapped in blanket

The annual meeting of the Louisiana Crafts Guild is this Saturday in Lafayette.  I really look forward to attending and having a chance to meet fellow members.

The guild now has a YouTube channel.  They currently have only one video which was made at the World Cultural Economic Forum in New Orleans.  It's informative and should tell you a bit more about the guild:

It is so important that those who create handmade items, band together.  Those of us who make jewelry often gather in online groups which can be very helpful but please don't neglect your local guilds which can be such wonderful sources of information, gallery and art/craft market opportunities, and friendship.  They also give us the opportunities to reach out to the community with demonstrations and classes which help spur interest in our art forms.  It's a great way to get new generations interested in traditional handicrafts!

I finally ordered my canopy walls.  When I first ordered my canopy, the only walls that were currently available were the roll-up kind that zip and the kind offered by Undercover would not fully zip on the UC-2 Pro.  I knew that they had new walls in the works so, I waited to order the fully functional walls which work more like curtains that zip.  I can't wait for the shipment to arrive so that we can install the wire that functions as the suspension system.  Plus, I need to take a booth shot for a festival application.

The order shipped from Ontario California and the destination is NW Florida but it seems to be taking a rather circuitous route.  Here's where it's been so far:

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I first thought that this was related to the extreme weather conditions gripping the US but the current weather conditions and forecast in Sioux Falls SD are no worse than in Dickinson ND.  What's going on UPS?  Will the next stop be Calgary?

My package went back to Louisville KY, on to Montgomery AL, and then finally arrived in FL and it's "out for delivery".  What a journey!