Years ago, back in the early days of stay-at-home-momdom, I loved knitting. I could sit and knit for hours. All the repetition was hypnotic and I craved the process. The husband unfortunately did not feel the same way. I do not believe he has any hard feeling for the art itself, but for the addiction that came along with the craft - yarn. Yummy yarn is expensive and I loved me some yummy yarn. My love for buying and stashing expensive wooly goods far outweighed my love of actually knitting things. A skein can easily run you $20 and a sweater pattern can often times call for 8 skeins.... that is one hell of an expensive sweater. Not to mention it would be Spring before I finished it - if I finished it at all - but I digress. I had closets full of yarn and knitting tools. So much yarn that I would never get through it. I was unable to pass a yarn shoppe and not partake. It is just so scrumptious. Oh! And did I mention the books? All the wonderfully crafty craft books with the luxurious patterns that I would never make? How I loved them so. I had collected about 50 or so when I last counted. All of this during a time when we absolutely were unable to afford to make such purchases. An intervention was held and the knitting was ceased. Nobody puts creativity in the corner however and I immediately went on the pursuit of a less fiscally taxing craft. Here is where quilling walked in. Well actually loaded in since I discovered the art on Etsy. I was instantly enamored with all the little paper scrolls. I found some supplies that would make due (like my fingers) and began to test the waters. I was hooked from go. I tried doing some of the projects that run rampant on the net - greeting cards and such but I bored of them quickly. I did a few necklaces and things but the styling was not me. I have this issue where it is really difficult for me to follow. Follow examples, follow the leader, follow the rules - none of this works for me. I would much rather go it my own and only have myself to answer to. With quilling, it was no different. I tossed out the traditional ways and never looked at a quilling book or pattern again. I do find the traditional ways visually appealing and interesting but it is just not me. I started off on the pictures. They used to take me forever and a day to complete. And in the beginning I glued glass beads into the middle of the pictures - which added to the time and in the end made the pictures even more busy - hard to imagine I know. Eventually I came to the conclusion that my little paper swirls were all that were needed and the beads were handed down to the girl. And so it continued for a few years. I would make a couple of pictures a year (as I was very busy with the hair cutting business, children and such) and never showed them to a soul. I liked them but doubted anyone else would care. Eventually the husband pointed out that it would be nice to maybe sell one so we could buy someone else's art or something or at least show them to someone. So I did. I entered a show and was accepted. 'Twas an exciting day in my world the opening night. No one bought the picture however. I imagine the hefty price tag deferred potential buyers. When a work takes 120 hours to complete, it is hard to price it at $300 or whatever - so I don't. The spark to sell had been placed however and I began experimenting with smaller things. First pictures, but small is not nearly as fun as big, and then I stumbled on jewelry. Thus began the sales. All my friends wanted them and the design possibilities were (and are) endless! My fingers were rolling at super speed. I could not stop. Every free moment was taken by paper. It bordered on obsession. I was still working as well, so the family once again intervened. I had to make a choice - it was either them or the paper... Not really, they told me I should quit my job, so I did. Best decision ever made. Rolling paper became the way and festivals came into my life. Festivals are a thing of beauty because thousands of people come to admire your goods and a few actually pay you for them and take them away. Everyone is always so nice and in the end you feel giddy and big headed. That all ends when you realize you have to re build up your stock for the next go round. Festivals became the way I earned income and I loved them, but living in a State that only has three months of warm weather was not helpful in any way. We'd have to travel if I wished to continue. It just so happened that the husband and I had recently decided to sell our home and everything we owned*, quit our jobs (him), pull our kids out of school and go on a year long road trek. I will be happy to go into this in a different post, but in effort to keep this post at least a smudge shorter than War & Peace, I am going to skip over it. Completely unrelated events but a great answer to my festival issue. We took off on our trip the day after Labor Day of this year and hit the road. It was too late to join any festivals, but I did manage to show at a cool spot in Brooklyn - Artist & Fleas. You can read a blog they wrote about us here if you so desire. And a week or so after that we partook in selling at The French Market in New Orleans. And that brings us up to date - sort of. When done with the French Market, the fam and I flew to Oahu for a planned month of sun and surf. We did not envision it, but shortly after leaving the airport we fell thoroughly and deeply in love with the island. There is next to nothing I do not luurve about this amazing mass of land. Perhaps in a moment of premonition, I had only booked us one way tickets, so we do have the option to stay. I have no responsibilities that can not be handled from here and the way we set our life up allows us to easily make that choice if we so desire. So here we shall be - that is until we aren't. What does that mean? I have no more clue than you and I really enjoy it that way. Let's just say I am here for now. And I am making art. Lot's of it. I am also making plans. Big ones. And I think it's time to share.
*If you read this and wondered about my knitting beloveds - yes and no. I could not bare to sell it all so instead gifted e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. to my lovely sister-in-law Bree. I also gifted the addiction which she now suffers from happily.
Frankfort, Michigan Art Festival
From inside Artists & Fleas
The French Market in New Orleans - I am not sure why the only shot I took was in the morning before anything was set up.