Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How To: Work Around a Toddler

I'm not an expert.
I just do it everyday.

For me, the key to working around a toddler is to make him as tired as possible so that he takes the longest nap possible.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays my guy goes to preschool for 2.5 hours each morning.
For the last 6 weeks on Tuesday afternoons he has taken a swimming class.
Still, this winter has almost killed us.
It's too cold and school is canceled and we can't go outside (and I don't WANT to go outside) or today, almost immediately he got sent home from school because of a rash on his face.  I mean, how stupid.  The rash has been there for a week.  I've thought about it and considered it and researched it online.  It healed in one area and spread to another which according to online research (yikes) meant it would eventually clear up and could last 2 weeks to a month.  I could have taken him yesterday which would have interfered with nothing.  But of course I didn't.

When a teacher says take him to the doc you go.
And we didn't have a doc in lumberjack country, so I didn't even know WHERE to go.
But I asked.
And we went.
And we saw a medical professional.
And she said he needed anti-biotics.
SO we fill the prescription, which took FOREVER since he hadn't needed meds since we moved to lumberjack country.
And Sweets fell asleep on the way home which always ruins nap time.  So not only did I miss work since he wasn't in school, my laptop punched me in the forehead as I was exiting the car and everything was falling apart...


Morgan Walsh tweeted at me and said she loved the painting I created with her quote on it
And she wants to BUY IT.
And she wants me to make cards with the image on them.
She's seriously amazing.  I was inspired by her when she appeared on the podcast Totally Mommy.

If you're an artist mama you could get some serious support from the Totally Mommy podcast.
I laugh with them, and cry with them, and feel fulfilled by the moms.
Most of the moms are artists, as in actors or comedians, but there are so many things that cross over to my life.

And now, as I sit and type, sweets IS napping, I posted four new things on etsy and two of them (custom orders) already sold.  No matter what, the best feeling as an artist is for someone to buy your work.

Thank you Morgan Walsh for turning my day around.

And as for working around a toddler, when all goes into chaos and your laptop punches you in the head while you're getting out of the car, hold on.  Your sunshine is just behind a cloud.  Also write to me (@dancingfork) and I'll send you some love.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How to prepare for an art/craft show.

This isn't your average How-To.
I'm not even sure it's the best way to go about preparing.
But I always prepare.
So now I'll share my process:

1. Decide what art I'd like to pack in the car and haul across the country/city/what-have-you.  This is generally decided at the point that I apply for the show since I have to submit a description of the art I plan to sell.  Make a list.

2. Draw up a booth containing all the elements necessary to display the art you'd like to show/sell.  This will include tables and displays that I already own as well as things that I don't currently own but that I might need to acquire in order to participate.  In the upcoming show there are prizes for best booth.  So I'm going to go above and beyond in booth decoration.  If I can create something amazing.  I'm having trouble brainstorming amazing.

3.  If there's a display option that makes maximum sense and I therefore cannot live/show without it I will acquire this piece.  For my show in two weeks I've decided I need a 4 foot folding table.  Before I buy one I'm going to check around to see if I can borrow one.

4. Inventory what I have and what I need to paint or print.  I make lots of lists because I can't keep track of everything in my head.  Lists calm me.  Also checking things off of lists is extremely rewarding in a career where no one checks your work or gives you raises.

5. Paint.  It's a simple step and I use as much art that I already have as I can.  However, I always like to present something new and I usually need new mini canvas paintings.  This show is no different.  I'm planning to paint 40 new mini canvases.

6. Touch-up existing paintings.  Travel has wear-and-tear on canvases.  Before each show it's important to make sure each painting looks as good as the day I finished it.  Then I carefully re-wrap and package them to keep them safe until the show.

7. Pack art and display in carry-friendly packages.  Ikea bags are a HUGE asset.

8. When all the lists have been checked and everything is ready it's time to pack the car like a Tetris game.  Especially when you drive a Prius, like I do.