Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summery summary

Often I have the urge to share something here, but time does not permit me the luxury of plugging cards and cameras into the computer, or of sorting through photos to find pretty pictures to accompany my thoughts. But a shortage of words makes a web-log go stale even faster than a shortage of pictures!

Summer is here already, and it finds us in the midst of much frantic preparation for Faire Season! Newly finished masks assemble about the studio in colorful piles, and loose bundles of elastics and ribbons and fabric trimmings scatter across most work surfaces. Fresh wearable horns hang from the ceiling waiting their turn to be sorted and packed, and the new selection of extra-affordable felt masks grows bigger with each passing day! (I'm so happy that the felt mask experiments have been a success!)

As each event races towards me, my biggest concern is always reining in as many unfinished pieces as I can, so we will be sure to have plenty of pieces in the booth that are ready to sell! The inventory did seem a little thin this time, so I have finally decided to dip into my personal mask archives and sell some of the very first masks I made. Perhaps a lucky collector will enjoy the chance to have "Curly Masquerade mask #1" upon their living room wall?

Also, I have suddenly become very conscious of how much space ten or twenty years of accumulated art can occupy! There is a lot of stuff there I should sell--and some I should probably recycle, donate or give away! If I'm sufficiently organized, I'll start putting a "Make an Offer" trunk in the booth at shows full of random arty items in search of the right home.

I'm really excited about Faire Season this Summer! Part of that reason is that we didn't do any faires or markets during the Sproggling's first year, and I have missed the chaotic but interesting life of the traveling merchant. The other part of that reason is our new set of wanderlusty-wheels! The cab of our little pick-up truck was never intended to fit a family of three, so for the sake of practicality (and for the sake of my ability to be able to feel my legs!) we'll be cleaning it up and helping find it a new home. And the replacement vehicle for our faire-related travel is a big chevy camper van! It is older than the truck but has an excellent engine, and will provide us with a comfortable place to sleep, a sink with hot and cold running water, and a stove and a fridge so we'll be able to cook our meals and enjoy hot pots of tea! It will take a couple of shows to pay it off, but it will be SO much easier for us to do more out of town shows, (especially with the Sproggling-factor to consider). And suddenly, the notion of spending a week or so of every month at the Oregon coast no longer seems crazy--there are lots of charming little art and craft markets along the coastal highway that we can sell at throughout the Summer and Fall as well.

It is funny, as ever since college I had imagined myself on the road in some kind of "house on wheels". I spent many hours visualizing (and designing) house trucks, converted school buses and gypsy caravans. True, the van is a little less romantic than those images, but probably a lot more practical for now. And if we keep doing faires and markets and need more space, there could still be reason to convert a step van or delivery truck into an amazingly versatile wheeled camper/booth/portable studio in a few years. Such lovely daydreams for making masks by!