10.25.2006

Vacation Day 0- The Day before I left

Well the good news is that if what they say is true- then we have already had all the bad luck for this trip. J and I tried to check in on line yesterday and couldn't. She called the airline, I didn't. They had changed everything and hadn't bothered to tell us. Her outgoing flight from Detroit to Philly had changed airline and flight number, and her flight from Cancun to Philly had changed times. And they didn't change mine.

See they thought they were doing her a favor by "decreasing her layover", but never bothered to call her to see if this was a good thing. Well it wasn't- we would have been flying out two hours different than each other. But J get it all fixed, only shaving about 3 hours off of our prosepctive sleep. It is bad enough now they claim that they no longer can seat us together because their are no seats available.

But honestly people, her tickets were purchased using C's air miles. He is a platinum member. Like a bizillion miles a year flying. And this is how they treat him, and someone they he has purchased a ticket for. And we wonder why the major airlines are starving for buiness.

10.23.2006

October 16-22- Week 42

I can’t believe that 42 weeks of the year have just flown by. Only 10 more weeks of this year to survive, and they are the businest 10 weeks, so I’m sure they will just fly by as well.

It’s been an interesting week, it’s been so odd in fact, the cats are doing their impression of Velcro. They tend to do this when things are out of the ordinary and I think, when they believe that we humans need to slow it down a step and relax a bit. They stick to us like glue and force us to pay attention to them because they turn on the adorable.

Monday I got back from my show in NY. In the morning mom and I went to breakfast at our new favorite place to eat. Jackie’s on route 29 for those of you who know the area. Its right near Turkey Farm Road, across from the Vet’s office. I was lucky enough to come home to a house that had no heat. C and I had decided that it was going to be warm enough over the weekend that he didn’t need to turn it on before he went to PR to visit his family and then stay for business. We hadn’t had the heat on all season yet, and it was going to be another day till I got heat. Luckily I am a wimp, and the 66 degrees it was in the house isn’t really cold, just uncomfortable. So I put on sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and my warmest socks, threw a log on the fireplace, and caught up. I read my mail, replied to e-mail, paid bills, got an order sent out (actually 2), and started to empty the van so I could get inventory packed for the weekend.

Tuesday I got up and called the heating/air conditioning company pretty early. It’s a great place and the owner himself comes out when things are messed up. He usually comes out right away, be he was already on his way to another job, so I had to wait till the afternoon, no big deal. When he got here, the wire on the thermostat had fallen off- probably last time he looked at it and took it off the wall when the AC was down. Quick fix, no charge. Awesome! I did a bunch of homework (have I told you before I can’t wait till I get done with school?), blogged, went to the post office, did my inventory, got another order out, and researched shows for 2007. It amazes me that even with the Internet how little good and reliable information there is out there that can help an artisian choose a good craft show to attend. I can’t imagine doing this before the age of the Internet.

Wednesday: I had a doctor’s appointment. See, for those of you who don’t know I’ve been having trouble with my tummy, my digestion, and , well, er, my “regularity” for quite a few years now. Most of it I can control with a balance of diet and stress relief (like yoga or meditation), but this leaves me with a whole list of foods that I shouldn’t (but I do sometimes anyway) eat, and I still have problems. So off to the doctor’s I have finally gone. I am now scheduled for a battery of blood tests, fecal cultures (fun…), a colonoscopy, and an endoscopy. At least there isn’t a lumbar puncture- after watching three seasons of House M.D. I figured almost everything needs a lumbar puncture to be diagnosed (kidding!)- and those things scare the h*ll out of me (not kidding!) After I got back with all of my good news, I made samplers, and measured out the dry portion of ingredients for Bath Fizzys so I can get some of those made next week.

Thursday:
Dentist! Somehow I always get more than one doctor in a week, I don’t know how this happens. But at least no cavities. I also stopped at the grocery store and cleaned the house a little when I got home. C finally got back from his business trip to PR and we could sit and discuss my tests and procedures that are coming up. I don’t know who is more worried and scared- him or me. I just have to not be scared, so he is worried less. And I don’t know what I am scared more of- the procedures, or the possible test results.

Friday: I did lots of homework and packed inventory for Saturday’s show. Once C got home and we could discuss it, I decided not to attend the show on Saturday. I know I should have and I am sorry if anyone was looking for me. It is just that I didn’t feel all that great, I hadn’t seen C in quite a few days and won’t see him next week either, and I really needed to go get my blood work done before I left on my trip. I can’t go alone to get blood drawn, I passed out last time and now C is freaked that it will happen again. I have a Vasovagal reaction- where my blood pressure drops leading to me passing out. Since C leaves again Monday morning my only chance to get the blood drawn with him present was Saturday.

Saturday: Got up and went to have the blood work done. No passing out for me this time!! And then we went and got breakfast at Bob Evans. After a little nap, we sent a good part of the day putting up pictures. The house is slowly feeling more like a home each time we do little things like this.

Sunday: We ran some errands- you know, when you go to Target for a 99 cent container of shave cream and leave $70 later with a bunch of stuff you didn’t even knew you needed… Also stopped at AC Moore and Pier 1 looking for some sort of cool candle votive type things for the mantle. No luck. We went to Best Buy to find out how to send the I-Pod in under their extended warranty- the battery is dying, and then to Home Depot to look for a new thermostat. Once we got home C went to get his oil changed in his car, I watched the NASCAR race (*crying* poor #6 will never win a championship, *sniff*) while doing more show research (getting some good leads for next year), and then we raked the lawn.

10.17.2006

The 25th Annual Adirondack Art & Craft Festival

Thursday when I went with Mom to set up the show I was very impressed with the fairgrounds where the show was being held. They looked finely manicured, and their was ample parking. The booth size was much larger than the 10x10 space that I paid for, and I was right next to a small walkway, so I easily could have set up the booth in a corner configuration. Instead, mom and I MacGyvered together a display after running to Target. It also didn’t help that I forgot the displays that I use for bath mitts so the whole thing really needed some help.

Friday when we arrived it was very easy to park and to get into our space. The show went better than I had expected it to on a Friday and although it certainly wasn’t an amazing day, I was looking forward to Saturday. Although the buildings are heated, they are still quite chilly and I was under prepared for the chill. I was also under prepared for the fact that the weather there was so much colder than in PA.

Saturday sales were solid, but once again, nothing so spectacular that I left jumping for joy. There are some wonderful artisans there and I found many things that I wanted to buy, and also brokered quite a few barters as well. I left hoping that Sunday was going to be a solid day and not the typical “1/2 of Saturday’s sales” type of day.

Sunday: boy was I wrong. I actually made less on Sunday than I did on Friday. Mostly everyone did not feel that this show is as strong as some others that this producer does in Vermont. I may just try one of those in the spring. But for the price that I paid for the show, it certainly barely broke even for itself. Witch is too bad, it certainly had potential.

October 9-15, 2006 Week 41

It was another short and hectic week as I prepared for another out-of-town show and just tried to hang on for the ride.

Monday I spent the day doing homework, running around doing errands, updating my mailing list and my inventory and just generally catching up on stuff from over the weekend that went by the wayside because of the show.

Tuesday I finally finished touching up the living room paint. It is all ready for the new furniture (whenever it decides to arrive). I finished getting out the last of my post cards that I have for winter shows. I can’t believe how much the postage costs. It is just unbelievable. I really have to keep a tight reign on my postage costs for next year and watch to see if my mailing list pays for itself, or if I should just switch to an entirely e-mail list since that is so much cheaper to maintain. C and I went to dinner with B&M since it is going to be quite a few weeks before we get a chance to hang out with them again. They are going on Vacation, I have a show, and then C and I both travel for a week, him for work, me for fun.

I think it is weird that come August I start to plan things that I want to do and I start to put a January-April time frame on them. C and J and B too always say that I need to stop thinking so far ahead, but really, after August, I cannot believe how fast the time goes, that things and days just fly by, and I can’t finish half of what I have to do, no less trying to do anything that I want to do.

Wednesday I packed. I packed inventory, I packed the van, I got everything ready for an early morning departure. I learned while packing that I am seriously short on some important inventory. I need to move my tail along and get things moving and get things made. STRESS!!!

Thursday: I got up early and drove to NY. I picked up mom and we drive to the show, stopping at the Veterinarian’s office so she could pick up a prescription for one of the dogs, and then we went to set up.

Friday-Sunday: Adirondack Mountain Heritage Festival

10.10.2006

Flemington Craft Show- Fall

Setting up Friday was not fun at all. I was hoping that C was going to get out of a meeting early enough to join me and help me set up. The day was cold and windy, gray skies, muddy field. I immediately got a bad feeling about the show. It stuck with me while I struggled to get set up and by the time I left I really thought that if the weather continued, I would be lucky to make my booth fee back. Not a great way to start a new show.

Saturday the weather was cold, the type of humid cold that just sets in your bones, with enough wind to just push the chill through any layers of clothing that you have put on in an attempt to shield yourself from it. Luckily I learned that I was as the end of a row of spots, near some tables set up for people to eat at. So C and I rearranged the booth for a corner display and took advantage of the two sides being open for people to be able to see the display. With weather being as bad as it was I was pretty surprised, bringing home just about 2/3 of the show fee. At least as I left I thought that I wouldn’t be loosing any money by the end of the weekend, and it seemed that the weather was going to get better as well.

I got a chance to walk around; there are some really nice crafts at this show, and LOTS of consumables. Mixes, dips, candy, oils, jelly and jams, you name it. The show was just packed with them. That is sometimes good for me because people are in that consumable state of mind, which soap is surely a consumable. I got a glimpse of a woman who used to make soap, who is now doing something else. I was going to go talk to her but she seemed occupied with someone else and I didn’t want to interrupt. I used to think of her as one of my biggest competitors, so I have to say from a business standpoint I am not sorry to see her leave the business, but I am curious and she is a nice person, so I wish I had the chance to stop by and say hello. Part of me didn’t want to talk to her because I didn’t want to seem rude if she went out of business due to lack of sales. I just don’t know.

Sunday however was a beautiful day- the exact opposite of Saturday. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and hardly any breeze. I made ¾ of the show sales on Sunday and was very happy with the results. Now this show is expensive for me to get a booth at, and overall I didn’t make that much profit. But the day was good enough to give me an idea that this show has some serious potential. The next one is in the spring at the end of April and I think that will be a good show for me to participate in. Maybe it will actually be a decent spring show. It would be nice.

October 2-8, 2006 Week 40

I started the week by getting out the print version of my newsletter on Monday as well as some of the post cards for my upcoming shows. As usual on Monday I caught up on the laundry and some other home things that needed to get done. I also painted the walls in the office a nice medium tan to go with the burgundy that we painted the week before.

Tuesday I blogged, got my hair cut, and touched up the paint in the office. I tried touching up the paint in the living room, but the dozens of colors the old owners left us were no where close to the color I needed to fix the base boards.

Wednesday I caught up on some homework. I have this awful group project to do and somehow I ended up volunteering to be the group leader. I cannot explain how happy I am that I will be done with these shenanigans in just a few more months. I also got some soap cut up, ran to the post office and got a boat load of paperwork completed.

Thursday I printed out new signage for the booth. I need to do them again, because although they look really great, they are a little hard to read. So I need to try again when I get the chance in a few weeks to print them again. But they do look great using the background that D designed for my labels.

Friday I set up the show in Flemington. More on that later. I did more homework, packed the van with inventory, ran my typical Friday errands, and printed out about 100 flyers on my spiffy new printer that I am totally in love with.

Saturday & Sunday: Flemington Craft Show.. that’s another post

10.03.2006

September 25-October 1 Week 39

Monday was my trip home from NY. I got here tired and sore, my stomach giving me a run for my money. All I wanted to do was to go to bed but I did throw in some laundry and check my mail before doing that.

Tuesday I had a doctor’s appointment. Se sent me to a specialist for my stomach issues. So now I am documenting everything I am eating and how I am feeling from now until I see that doctor in a few weeks. And of course, as soon as I make the appointment I start to feel better. Isn’t that always the way?

Wednesday I started working on my newsletter and updating my web site as much as I can, and the final touches on my mailing list. I have been taking names now for a little over a year (about 13 months) and have just about 400 names of people who want to hear from me every few months. That just amazes me to no end…

Thursday I got the newsletter out to my e-mail recipients- it will be a few more days before I get the hard copy in the mail.

Friday was errand day and in the afternoon I went out with B. She treated all of her girlfriends to a show at State Theatre- it was called Menopause- the musical. Now I still have quite a few years before the subject of this musical actually impacts me directly, but I can tell you it was FUNNY!!! The set was simple as well as the costume and lighting. There were only four women in the show and it was mostly a review where they have taken well known songs and rewritten their lyrics to have to do with women’s issues. At dinner before the show I got to meet all of B’s friends, I knew one pretty well and one in passing, the other two were a pleasure to meet. We had dinner at Fridays and I was pleasantly surprised that my stomach didn’t balk at the idea. I had a really fun time to say the least.

Saturday C and I went to Home Depot and picked out paint for the office and the living room. We painted the office wall (I still need to do touch up) and Sunday we painted the living room wall. I can actually say that I don’t miss painting. I thought the smell of the paint and the feeling of it gliding on the wall would bring back memories and the itch to paint. But it didn’t. I think I feel the same about painting as most people now- its must a necessity to do it if you want your house to look nice. It was cool to learn that I can still paint a straight line.

Eagle Mills Arts & Crafts Show- September 16& 17, 23&24

Sales were much slower this year than last year, about 30% lower in fact. The first weekend was quite slow, and I sort of expect that. There are a few other craft shows in the area to draw the crowd from and people are more likely to go to them because they are one weekend than here because it’s two weekends. There is also another soaper the first weekend that is more local than me, so they have a longer history with this show and have built up their own fan base. The only thing that I have going for me is that my lotion bars are much cheaper than theirs so I get some people who are willing to try mine just based on price.

But the days were pretty short, the food was good, and the weather was quite nice out the first weekend. I was hoping that the second weekend would fair better this year (I think I remember it being better last year).

The second weekend was a weather disaster. It rained, it was cold, and people didn’t come to the show. It was so bad that the producers actually credited us all $25 towards the second weekend of next years show. Now that’s pretty bad, I can’t remember the last time I had someplace actually give me a credit to entice me to come back the next year. D stopped by the booth again this year and I meant to call her to get in touch so we could hang out, but things got crazy and by the time I got torn down, home, dinner, and packed for my trip back to PA I was just whipped. I’m gonna drop her a line and maybe we can get together when I’m home in October.

So I decided next year that I was only going to give a deposit for one weekend. There are many other options for both the first weekend, as well as the weekend after this show. So I am going to look into doing two different shows in the same timeframe, with just the second weekend of Eagle Mills. That way I can still visit my mom, but hopefully I can make some more money. I would be visiting anyway, and if I am going to do poorly, than I’ll just come and visit- forget the hassle of doing a show. So I’ll try and find a more profitable show and if that doesn’t work out, than I’ll just be on vacation.

September 18-24 Week 38

What I didn’t tell you about last week was that on Thursday night I got a phone call that J was in the hospital for some severe abdominal pain that they weren’t sure what it was yet. I spent most of my day on Friday determining if I should be driving to Michigan rather than NY, but decided that I should at least do the show and drive up on Monday if I was needed. By Monday they had figured out her issue and released her, against their better judgment (and mostly everyone else’s). But she had to get to work or she’d loose her new job.

Monday through Friday I caught up on quite a bit of work that I needed to get done. I ordered samples for our new window shades in the house, I finished catching up on getting my mailing list entered, I called for a doctor’s appointment I had been meaning to schedule, I answered some long past due e-mails and I started my last classes before I graduate. I have three left, thank God, and I started one of them while I was gone. The other two will be done by mid-December!!!

Mom and I just had fun all week. We went to Saratoga one day and checked out the new yarn shop, went to AC Moore, and grabbed some lunch. Another day we went looking for fireplaces because C and I need either an insert or a new fa├žade for ours. We took a few days just to watch TV and chill and knit. It was a very nice and relaxing week. I wish I slept better, I was going through a phase where I was having odd dreams and the sounds of the house kept waking me up. It took a few days but I realized if I left the TV on for a few hours after I fell asleep I slept better because it drowned out external noises.

Saturday and Sunday were the second weekend of Eagle Mills (see another post).

September 11-17 Week 37

Well, I am pretty behind on my weekly updates.. good thing that I keep notes as to what the heck has been going on in my life.

The week started out pretty strange. B and I went to Atlantic City and were supposed to come home on Tuesday morning. Instead on Monday night she got very ill and we ended up staying till Wednesday just so that she could make the drive home without getting sicker. I played some slots and lost, but we did play a free slot tournament and we both won t-shirts. B was one slot away from winning money instead, but her score just wasn’t high enough. Because if this I missed a meeting at Main Line for jurying- luckily my peers know me well enough and although I didn’t have all my stuff together- they gave me a free pass and allowed me in anyway. Who says that hard work doesn’t pay off?

C was in Mexico for most of this week so when I did get home I had plenty of time to try and get caught up before heading to NY. Wednesday I got out some orders, made up a basket for the Northampton Library Auction, wrapped my mom’s birthday presents, and packed for the trip. Thursday I ran errands, packed the van with inventory, and generally just got things ready so I could go. C got home Thursday night (ok really Friday at like 12:30 am) and on Friday when he left for work I left for NY.

Mom & Rad were waiting for a delivery of their new hot tub and were hoping that I would be home in time for it to arrive so I could tell them where to put it. But the delivery company was running late, so rather than waiting for mom to get out of work and then going to set up the display, I went and set up and then just went home to chill.

Saturday and Sunday was the first weekend of Eagle Mills (see another post).