Handmade, Local Holidays

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For my birthday yesterday, I went to work.  That's right - I didn't want to take the day off.  I really enjoy my paid day off every week and I particularly love the Holiday season at the Arts Council.  It was a pretty quiet morning yesterday, Hilary and I focused on staying on top of the inventory pouring in for the holidays and getting it displayed in the store during the morning.  We had a few visitors throughout the day and then something happened at 4:30 and we were inundated with shoppers.  I actually had a LINE at the checkout counter!

Hilarly and I stayed busy 'till after 6:00 wrapping packages (yes, we do free gift wrap for purchases from the gallery) and helping customers check out.  It was a mad house with constant chatter from the credit card processor and tissue paper crinkling non-stop as we stuffed boxes and curled ribbon.  Our little shop did almost $800.00 worth of sales in under 2 hours, most of it through debit and credit cards which add an extra step and a few extra minutes for processing each sale.  This much traffic in a normal retail setting would have been very stressful for both customers and the people running the checkout. 

But not at the Arts Council!  Our customers were all very friendly and chatted with each other while they waited.  I heard strangers giving each other advice on gift giving and talking excitedly about the beautiful things in the shop.   Hugs were ditributed among customers - even I got a hug!   And with every sale I entered in the compuer, I knew that a real person in MY county was getting paid to do something they love.  The work of North Country hands was being validated with evey check written, every nickel dropped into the cash box, every beep from the credit card machine.   Come January, when heating bills are due and winter is making good on its promise to stay, our artists will be getting their Christmas Commission checks and their long winter will suddenly become a little warmer and a little brighter.

The SLC Arts Council Gift shop and Gallery is located at 51 Market Street in Potsdam. It is on the block between Jreck's Subs and the Clarkson University Bookstore (used to be Westons for you old timers) on the same side of the street.  It is the sparkliest window in town and we have beautiful gifts ranging in price from $5.00 to $1,500.00 representing the work of over 240 North Country Artists.  We offer gift certificates that can be used for either goodies from the gift shop or classes offered throughout the year.   You will find pottery, stained glass, jewely, mittens, scarves, hats, woden boxes and bowls, paintings, photographs, quilts, sculpture, lamps, ornaments and magnets and many other lovely things. Normal hours are 10-6 Monday -Friday, 10-4 on Saturdays but we do have a few specail hours for the holidays.  Check them out on the SLC Arts Council's website.

The rest of my day was wonderful, too.  I got more Facebook birthday wishes than I can count, Molly had fun at call backs for her musical - she thinks she might get the part of the Queen - we'll find out today and Maxx had a fun afternoon with gramma and grampa, who picked him up at school so he didn't have to ride the bus.  Bry and the kids took me to dinner at Hotel Grande, where we met Meemo, Nate, Jo and Derek for a wonderful meal.  Hotel Grande is about as close as you can come to 'Mexican' food this far North and the little boys were amazingly well behaved so it was a great meal.   Mom gave me some cash and some chocolate and ran off with the check before Bry could get up to pay for the meal.  Maxx gave me a pair of lovely, warm plum leather gloves which go well with my aubergine winter coat, Molly gave me a beautiful bead from ADKlampwork (another Adirondack glass worker!) and Bry gave me a Llewellen's Witches Calendar which Ive been wanting for years.  It lends some cred to the joke that I want to be a Buddist Mormon Witch when I grow up. 

It was an excellent way to spend my big day.  I'm so grateful for my wonderful family, my perfect job and the sweet friendships I enjoy.

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Happenings in Luna's House

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Remember when I wrote this waaaay back last year?

"I hate always failing at my New Year's Resolutions. Often I pretend not to make any but end up keeping a secret mental list of untrackable and therefore unattainable goals. This year will be different. I have just a few main goals and I'll be blogging about them so hopefully I'll be able to keep track of my progress and actually succeed at something."


Take care of my body - Fail
Manage all aspect of my business without allowing it to overtake my life - Fail
Post regularly about my shops and my creative endeavors - Fail.

I'm going to get back on the horse and try these again in 2010.  Maybe I'll get it right this time - or at least earn a C.  A C would be better than an F.

I can at least post these photos of my most recently finished (?) crazy quilt block.  I am particularly proud of the grape clusters.  Those were fun.  You can see this block in person right now at the SLC Arts Council's Fiber Arts Showcase exhibit at 51 Market Street Postdam.  It's not for sale, though.  Crazy Quilting is strictly a Sunday Sanity activity for me right now.

Speaking of grades and goals.  Molly is going back to school.  I am waiting for the guidance counselor to call back this morning.  I'm so conflicted.  I have really been enjoying putting together her curriculum but it is obvious that she is not working hard enough. We have reached the mother-daughter stage where I cannot push her any further without unleashing the full force of my fury some days and that's not a happy place for either of us to be. 

She also wants to participate in the drama program - apparently the district has hired a top-notch music educator who is doing really wonderful things with the kids.  Have I mentioned that Molly has an incredible voice?  I have a fairly sweet little voice that blends well in the choir (when I'm not croaking sick) and I am a "Twinkle,Ttwinkle Little Star" virtuoso, it having been the lullaby of choice for the last 15 years or so but I've never had the range, power or confidence that MB is developing.  I think she may be taking after her Uncle Jonathan and she should get more vocal training than I can provide.  And have you seen her dramatic recitation of the Highwayman?  Holey cow.  Where did she come from anyway? 

She also talks abut Doctors Without Borders a lot lately.   It is an agency she would like to work with.   BOCES has a nursing program for juniors and seniors that would give her education and experience in health care early on (read - before obtaining enormous college debt) so she could decide whether or not medicine is a field she can really manage. 

I worry about social drama.  So Much.  I worry a lot about Math.  And homework.  I worry about how on earth she will catch the bus every morning.  (I fear that it will involve me getting up at 5 and pelting her with ice cubes and threats until she is dressed and out the door.  I'll probably have a stroke).  I worry that my unbelievably enjoyable teenager will turn into a miserable mean girl who hates her mother by imperceptible degrees.  I worry that she will hate the whole High School Social box.  Neither Bry nor I fit comfortably into the expected mold back when we were in school and I'm sure MB won't fit either.  (Strangely, I don't worry about that with Maxx.  He seems to be creating his own mold already, becoming the class clown in Kindergarten.)

Maybe Molly will prove to be tougher than I ever was.  Maybe staying home and studying in her own way and talking about what sort of person she wants to become has given her more courage than my parents were able to give to me.  Maybe she will make friends who help her learn to laugh at herself and the stresses in her life.   (Thank you John and Liesl and Kim and Lee and Laurie and Angie and Bill and the list is really too long when I sit and think about it )  Maybe she'll finally learn that Math won't kill her.  Who knows.  She lookslike a survivor to me - see how she rocks this retro '80's hair thing?

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Wednesday Wishes

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How did it get to be Wednesday again already???

I have a whole list of wishes again today - like;

I wish the national weather service was ever right about these huge blizzards that they predict will snow us in for three blissful days by the fireplace.

I wish everyone in this house would learn how to put their laundry away.  (The teeneager should begin to lean that putting laundry away does not mean putting it on her floor.  YES!  I know that is where I kept MY laundry as a teen, but that's not where hers should go.  WHERE are her father's neat genes, anyway?  I'm sure I put them in there.  Sheesh.)

I wish I were in my new studio so that I wouldn't have to paint scarves on my hands and knees on the living room floor today.

And mostly - I wish I had time to play with these today.

They're available in my Etsy and Art Fire shops in groups of four.  They are incredibly bright and sparkley Amethyst and Carnelian CZs that I got for an amazing bargain price.  They are so impressive, especially all stranded together like that - Molly cried when I cut them off their tasseled strands.  It was a bit painful.  I hate de-stringing beads.  They need 26 gauge wire, 24 is just a teensy bit too big for most of the beads.

Wednesday Wishes

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1.  I wish I had more time.

2.  I wish I were more productive with the time I do have every day

3.  I wish I were as cool as Lynn and Leslie.

Lynn and Leslie, two etsy sellers from Artful Market and Smiling Soul, have teamed up to create a bunch of amazing jewelry kits at incredibly affordable prices.  The kits contain all you need to make the jewerly pictured, plus professional instructions.  You can get the kits over in Artful Market's shop.  I buy from her frequently - her wares are of good quality, at great prices and she is very helpful and ships quickly.  There's plenty of time to order some kits for Christmas gift giving. 


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