Monday, December 29, 2008

#1 fan?

I received a very special Christmas card this year. We lived for just over a year in Naperville, IL (from May 2003-June 2004). During our short stay there I was an active member of the Naperville Art League. I enjoyed the company of many dedicated, talented artists and was allowed to display and sell my own work in NAL's beautiful gallery. One of the League's members (Willard Smith) is a retired art professor and like-minded flea market/garage sale-er. He told me how he encouraged his students to collect old jewelry at tag sales so they could take it apart, melt down the metals, and re-use the stones in their own creations. He confessed to having a house full of things he intends to re-purpose and now has time to begin doing the assemblages he's been "saving things up for" for many, many years.

Willard was very fond of the boxes I make and he purchased quite a few of them. He sent me a Christmas card this year in which he described how he uses my theme-based boxes. In one he stores his collection of Beatles albums; one jingles with his stash of miscellaneous keys; another keeps precious photographs; in another he places his Coca-Cola memorabilia; one holds information about every car he has ever owned; one keeps safe all the love letters from his wife...the list goes on (he bought a LOT of my boxes).

I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. I wish Willard and his wife, Joyce, many, many years of good health in which they may continue to collect and create (they are both artists).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Sale Success

Our First Annual Holiday Art Sale was a great success! In fact, it was magical - Hurrah! We really had no expectations for how it would go this first time, and now we're already talking about doing it again next year.

What we did right:
Homemade (but professional-looking) signs with balloons, strategically placed at key intersections. Also balloons on my mailbox and front porch.
Postcard mailings to friends and previous clients (can't beat the deals from VistaPrint)
Free announcement in the local paper
Refreshments - Mulled Cider, brownies, cookies, misc. sweets
Variety of art media and prices
Each artist took responsibility for some part of the planning and preparation
Holiday decorations were kept simple
It was not a problem that we didn't take credit cards. No one even asked.
Free Raffle for Gift Certificate to the Shelburne Arts Co-op (each artist contributed $5)

What we'd change:
Make more art!
Send more postcards - These proved to be our best advertising, and probably 80% of the shoppers were people we knew.
Attach the signs to WOOD stakes! The ground was frozen hard which made it nearly impossible to push the wires in!
Personally, since the sale was at MY home, I'd start my housecleaning earlier - maaayyyybe

I promised photos of the new boxes I made for the show but 3 of the newest sold, along with some older ones. You'll have to wait.

I would love to hear from anyone who's done one of these types of sales. Any advice you have to share would be welcome. There's always room for improvement.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Holiday Gifts

Tomorrow I'm hosting my First Annual Holiday Art Sale. (Calling it the First implies there will be more to come, so I'm putting the positive energy out there.) Six local artists are offering Fine Arts and Crafts for Holiday gifts. Along with my boxes, collages and paper quilts, we'll have 2 jewelers, an artist who paints silk scarves and ruanas, a potter, an artist who sews exquisite pieced garments and wall hangings, and a smattering of other handmade items. It's all very exciting, I've never done anything like this before, and, of course, I'm not nearly ready enough.

I made 6 new boxes this week and I'll post them soon. Wish us luck!