Friday, November 30, 2012

Getting all Gala on Ya



Well it's the last big weekend of some thing I'm involved in before the how-de-do of Christmas and I'm talking about "The Christmas Gala" ; the yearly extravaganza that I and some good folks organize to have a great excuse to dress up seriously and party seriously and eat great food seriously and raise money for deserving local charities. Seriously.
This year we have made the theme a 'masquerade' and as such, I created the mask you see in pic #2. What is not visible is that I took apart an old pair of eyeglasses and fit them into that mask so I can actually see ! There's a bonus, huh? 
Anywhatanexcusetomakesomethingwildway, we spent 4 hrs setting up today then will be back tomorrow finishing setting up and then I will zip on back home to feed the Jams and get dressed and then drive back into town - and no, we will not be driving with my mask on - and party down. 
I also made the third year of doing this. Here's the series so far:

Trophies 2010

Trophies 2011

So I'll be snoozing in for at least a bit because we have to clean up Sunday - sheesh.....wasn't this supposed to be fun?

It is, really, it is.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

She Organized, She Set Up, She Passed It On....

The Start:


the end. 
Or near enough. What I really wished I'd done is to get a snap of the Craft Fair at the height of the immense crowd that went through....but there you go - I was most likely gabbing. 
50 tables and approx. 80 vendors. Biggest CF yet in my lo-o-o-ong stint as the organizer of this event. Which has spanned the last 20 years. (eesh...has that much time gone by....?!?) Not too shabby to have this as my 'swan' song. I passed it on to the younger crowd who are the organizers of the Friday Night Market and have formed a society around that.
 It was time to let go. 
I am admitting to some sadness this am but am also looking forward to just being a 'plain old vendor'. 
Can now paint more. And make more 'thingies'.
And not have cranky souls to deal with. 
There is a lot of misunderstanding by vendors when it comes to how much work organizing Craft Fairs can be. And that, try as you will, you are just not going to please everyone. There is always going to be a place viewed as 'not the best' and upset folks who feel you've slighted them by placing them there or a mix up with assigned tables or something untoward....unfortunately. This year it was the radio station giving out the wrong phone number AND that when I arrived yesterday morning at the crack of dawn to open up and get ready for the hordes - the keys I was given didn't work for the doors. 
Had to wake up the Recreation Director from her well earned sleep-in to come down and rescue me. And calm the anxiously waiting vendors. 
Always something. 
Ah well....these are the stories that entertain in years to come. 
So my dear reader(s), if any of you participate in any type of Fair or assembly of selling folk, please take a moment to consider the effort the organizer(s) put forth. They really truly want everything to be the best for you as it all reflects well for everyone. It's only by working together that we flourish and prosper. 
And remember to shop local.
Now, to rest up.
...after I unpack the van and sort out the boxes and store the tables and screens and then prep for the next event,
....... did I mention I'm also helping organize "the Christmas Gala"....?
For next weekend.

I think I'm slightly crazy. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to the Craft Fair I Go....

Ah.....the bl%%#& craft fair...the big TASK that I am embroiled in at this time of year - and the ensuing mayhem it engenders in this humble artist's life...we will pause here for a general clearing of throats and eye rolling. 
One of my myriad Facebook cronies asked me this morning "what are you making?" and I replied "stuff", after which I thought it was disingenuous of me to respond that way, so I took the above photo. What you don't know from that seemingly innocuous statement, is the 'back story' that preceded the photo shoot. 
First of all, when the Craft Fair rolls around each year at this time, I'm usually doing something else - like painting - and when the phone starts ringing and the folks start bleeting about reserving tables....I'm not ready for the whole shooting match. I put them off for another couple of weeks meanwhile scrambling madly trying to remember where the frelling heck I put the darn "Craft Fair" file. I will generally locate it in the last place I look as it was that 'can't forget this' place in the studio that is. Forgotten, I mean.
So I pull out my file, make a poster, post a Facebook page ('cause that's how you roll in this day and age), submit ad to paper, radio, etc. and start the spread sheet with names, contact info, # of tables wanted and items being sold and field the plethora of calls and emails and get my list together and deal with the 'crankies' and try to accommodate the masses. From there we mock up a to-scale floor plan and cut out a bazzillion little tables (to scale as well) and foodle around with getting as many tables as I can into the allotted space - and allowing for the fact no-one wants to go on the stage....(too bad). We then glue down all these little 'tables' and proceed to assign places, keeping in mind who's selling what and who wants to be near who (and visa versa on that) (small town). Great screaming vendors, I'm just exhausted writing that. And! I almost forgot...making directional sandwich boards for the day. (Now, I AM tired.)
Meanwhile, meanwhile, I myself am figuring out what I will be making to sell and generally getting ideas at the last minute. That's my table up there with the 'stuff' of which I am making the last minute things right now.....and why we are frittering away these precious moments blogging escapes me...oh wait! It's guilt about not posting....anyworld'ssmallestviolinway, that brings us all up to this point in time. Me at Keyboard, you with coffee. 
And the story. 
Yesterday, in the midst of all this holy hell, my sewing machine broke down. This was not optimum at this point with me sewing some small baby toys (there has been a boom of kiddies in my town...or is it just I am that old ...eesh) I was pretty discombobulated and posted this on my Facebook status.  Along with some colorful language.....
"AAAAUUUGH! The sewing machine just went FOOBAR and I haven't finished my sewing for the Craft Fair! FRACKING FRRACKSHINICKING FRUNKLLESCHNITS!!
poop" be precise. I then spent the rest of the day trying to screw around with the machine to make it work. Sewing by hand was not an option. Period. 
So here's what we found out from that. 
#1. The machine is not capable of sewing stretch fabric.
     - changed all fabric to plain old cotton and re cut all patterns
#2. The machine must be equipped with proper needles and thread for project undertaken
      - Duh. 

It defies description to be me. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget .....

Today on the day that is set aside to pay homage to the men and women who gave freely of their time and often, way too often, their lives in war, I saw this posted on FaceBook by a friend of mine. 
"I woke up remembering that so many mothers are waking up today in war and conflict, not knowing if their children will be safe today, not knowing if they will live to have a future. So many mothers have sons and daughters who are soldiers who do not know if they will ever see them alive again. Often these wars are fought for greed and righteousness. To protect multinationals, oil interests, to prove my god is better than your god, that my way is better that your way, that my culture is superior to yours, that I deserve more than you. My heart and prayers go out to these families who live in violence or who must send their children into it. I dream of a time when my government and all humanity will fight for peace. When our greatest minds are focused on developing green energy, healing our planet, feeding people the world over and making space to grow peace and understanding, not on creating weapons of mass destruction, making war, destroying our mother earth and spinning hate and fear. Let us remember that there is a different way."
Nicely said. 
If only Humanity would believe and make it so. 

The Painting:
In 1917, the Canadian War Memorials Fund commissioned the British painter, Clare Atwood, to execute a large picture depicting the life of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in England. Appropriateness of subject matter for women artists was still a consideration during the 1914-1918 conflict, and they were not commissioned to depict the battlefield. Portraits and scenes of home front activity were assigned to female artists. Nevertheless, Atwood, who had gained recognition for her interior scenes, was chosen for the commission.
The Fund arranged for her to visit the military camp at Folkestone in Kent, England, to gather ideas for the work. However, the artist chose to illustrate a YMCA canteen at one of London’s railway stations, where enlisted men await a train that will take them to camps or to the front.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Grey Area Between Black and White

I went to a great party at friend's home last night. Good folks and good food and conversation with some of my townspeople who I haven't seen in a while. 
But here's the thing.
One of my friends has a husband who is, well, to be blunt, a racist. Now, I do like this guy - I like lots of oddballs- many times we will carry on good talks and enjoy the time spent. But, but, but and but again, if he starts talking about 'other races' (and by that I mean non-white, anglo-saxon) he becomes a bigot. AND he honestly thinks he isn't doing anything wrong because he coats all the 'spew' in humour. 
He was carrying on about a famous comic at last night's party - who's name escapes me because I don't have TV and am completely out of the loop when it comes to this kind of thing - apparently this comic is of East Indian heritage and lambastes most every other race around and, apparently again, can get away with this because of the fact he is of 'different race' ie:  not white. And this husband of my friend was just in love with this guy.
Now while I was listening to him, I kinda glanced around and really was hit with the realization that ALL the people at this party were 'white'. Granted we live in a small community but we have people from other cultures I was sort of taken aback.  I really love my friend (wife of this oddball) so calling him out would set into motion some unhappy repercussions, however I am sitting here this morning kind of appalled at my reticence to confront this behaviour. 
I do know I will NEVER introduce my multi cultural friends to him - that's a given. 
STILL! I am left wondering and in the dilemma of what is the best course of action here.....really, any kind of racist behaviour demands that you step up. But do I want to alienate my friend forever? Small town too, folks.
Not feeling good about this at all. 

Painting: "Moving In Day" by Norman Rockwell who approached the topic of racism often in his paintings.