I know many of you have been wondering where I have been. As everyone can probably understand, life can slip you some unexpected turns and twists and mine is in the midst of just now beginning to settle back into a routine.
My summer was extremely busy what with 4 summer shows in the Mid-West. All of them very successful beyond my expectations. I had a great time, but as anyone knows who does this type of thing, it really isn't a vacation. In order to save on money my husband and I drove to all my show with all of my equipment, from Portland, Oregon PACKED into our Volvo, along with two kids and two dogs (our Rat Terrier - Daisy and our Jack Russel - Rosie)...phew! I have to say it was an adventure. Jason is the best - he did most of the driving so that I could make beads from my tray on my lap. I had to make beads between shows as I ran out of certain color combinations and at each rest stop I would count how many I made in a sort of competition with myself and the miles yet to travel.
I did two shows in Wisconsin. Wisconsin, you say... yes, I love Wisconsin. It is truly a beautiful state and Madison has the most amazing capital building. This Art in the Square show was crazy - at the end of the second day a major thunderstorm moved in and because I am used to the temperate weather in Portland, Oregon, I thought that my tent was perfectly suited for any city, weather, etc. Well, I was wrong. Mid-west weather requires a much more durable tent... so, next summer when I go back a re-purchase will have to be made. At one point Jason and I were hanging on the tent in hopes that it wouldn't fly away!
I also love Sheyboygan, Wisconsin. If you don't know where that it, well its about a 3 1/2 hour drive north (depending on the traffic) of Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan. It is during their Summer Festival this year that I experienced my first tornado. Yes, tornado. The sirens went off and everything - but the locals seemed unfazed by it, letting me know that tornados never come to Sheboygan because of its close proximity to the water. Needless-to-say, I was rapidly throwing jewelry into a bag while people are running past and into the Art Center building. In the end the locals were right. The tornado didn't come 'close' to Sheboygan... it hit three miles outside the town. And my knees were jello the whole time afterward!
We did find time after Sheboygan to get down to Milwaukee to the Harley-Davidson Museum. I had been wanting to go there for Years and it was absolutely fantastic. I wasn't sure how the kids would like it but they had the best time... go figure! It really is a great place for them, sitting an some of the motorcycles, listening to engines, playing some of the games, looking at all the crazy styles - they even had one of Elvis' motorcycle.
So, with more shows after that, by the time I got home all I wanted to to do was relax and never get in the car again! It took me a few weeks to re-group and get back to things by mid-September. So, my daughter started high school and my son started 2nd grade. Also, my father's cancer is progressing and I needed to help my mother out there since I had been gone for so many months. He is holding his own right now I'm happy to say:)
After my summer adventure, and a much depleted jewelry stock, as well as being pulled in 40 directions - Etsy and even some of my retailers are suffering the consequences of my busy schedule. As of November, I now have a new routine and some new retailers as well, and I'm back to work on Etsy and finally feel mostly caught up.
Thank you so much - everyone for all your thoughts and best wishes... my work is a success because of you.