Thursday, September 26, 2013

Change is in it the air...

That old saying of  "Everything changes nothing stays the same" is so true. Just when you think you've figured it out and worked hard to get to where you are something happens that makes you do an uptake.
The property where our shop is located has been sold. This was done unexpectedly with no warning, sure we knew there were strange people lurking around after hours checking out things but you see people come and go all the time, no big deal. So now we have a new landlord who has big plans for the property that he just purchased and big plans to more than double the rent. In all fairness he has allowed us to stay with a small increase in the rent but come February it will double. I wonder if he's ever heard the term Starving Artists. The only reason we have been able to have a shop and do what we love to do it because we work together as a co-op, there is not one of us that could go out and have a shop on our own but together we have managed to make a really nice shop. The new owner likes our shop and wants us to stay put, I think he walks in and sees all the things we have to offer and he thinks the shop is making tons of money. I wish that were the case but not so much, we have good days but there seems to be more not so good days and days of no sales at all. This summer when the government started the sequestration we saw a big drop in sales, every time there are furloughs we feel it. Small businesses like ours struggle to get from one month to the next.

There is a custom frame shop next door to us Shelby's Custom Framing will be closing after 32 years in the business. Shelby has had rheumatoid arthritis in her hands for years but yet she has managed keep working to frame and do restoration on artwork for her customers. She has restored artwork that has been cut and ripped and had water damage and worse to look like new, it's fascinating. With the slow economy and the raise in the rent and of course the issues with her hands Shelby has decided it's time to give up her wonderful little shop and start working out of her home. After so many years in business Shelby has gained a wonderful clientele that will follow her no matter what she does.
As for me I'm not really sure how this going to work, I've come to rely on custom work, to pay my bills. My customers find me through the shop they come in they see my work and we start a conversation that leads to them asking if I will paint their chairs or a sign or who knows what. I think when people see my work in person they feel more comfortable discussing a custom order. It doesn't seem that online photos get me that same response or reach the right people for that matter. I've tried Esty with no success and Ebay is not the ticket for me either. I'm open to suggestions. When things like this happen you have to get creative so I'm going to think out of the box and see how creative I can get.
I've made another glass mosaic and I'm really enjoying working with the beautiful colors of glass, the new designs in glass that are available now are just amazing. Of course I'm just learning and I haven't gotten into all the new things but it's fun to learn about how they are used and see what others are doing with them.
Here's my latest piece....


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Trying something different

Where did the summer go? I feel like it just flew by, but here we are in September and the fall Craft Show season is upon us. I'm trying to paint Christmas ornaments but my mind is not on it I still have summer designs on my mind. The summer time sales were slow, I'm blaming that on the sequestration. It sure would be nice to have a busy fall and Christmas season. But we have another issue. Last month the property where our Craft Guild Shop is was sold. And unfortunately with the rent more than doubled and other the expenses that are added to the lease it looks as though it's time to move within the next four or five months. Just what I want to do is move in the dead of winter. Finding another affordable location is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I think we need to get creative and think outside the box and we'll find something. I feel like God has a plan the trick is to be patient and it will come to pass. In the meantime I have picked up another hobby working with stained glass, I love the beautiful colors of stained glass and have a few friends that have done it for many years so I'm using the scraps and making mosaics. It's kind of time consuming but the end result is worth it.
I just love the colors, there is a mate to this one I just need time to get it done. I've been painting chairs for someone, once that project is done then I'll have more time to work with the glass. There are so many different types and colors of glass it's like pulling together the colors for a painting the possibilities are endless. So there's no excuse for not working with color, there is always something you can do, if you have a passion for painting , stained glass or sewing you can pull together the right color combinations and make something beautiful with your own two hands. Try something new this week it might change your outlook on things.      

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