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:

View Larger Map

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!