That Summer Season
Whew! What can I say? This month has been super busy around here with everything but quilting. It's making it rather hard for me to come up with what I think is appropriate content for this blog. However, in an effort to be true to the nature of these things, I am just going to share a bit about the literal season I am in right now and what I have been up to all of July.
As I mentioned in my Chippewa Scrap Quilt post, I just don't have as much time to sew and quilt in the summer. My children are home with me on their school break and days are spent in mom mode more than artist mode. I clean twice as many dishes and mediate twice as many squabbles. We swim, we hike, we get followed around the neighborhood by a group of feral cats.
As a family, we vacation, visit friends, work in our yard, and compete in family art competitions. Well rounded days full of summer goodness, but not much time to be inside quilting away undisturbed. I miss it, and, yet, I relish it too. It's the rhythm of life right now. I work intensively late August through May, and then almost not at all during the summer season. A forced break that causes me to hit the reset button.
Sure, I have some time to sew and quilt, but not much. Mostly, I use this time to sketch and brainstorm, filling my notebooks with ideas to fulfill in the fall. I even used one idea as an entry in my daughter's summer art show she hosted in our living room- winning on the multi-tasking!
Just about the only intensive work related thing I do during the summer is attend a few shows or festivals to sell my work. And, if you've done some of these, you know they are intense. The prep alone is quite a lot of time! It almost never fails that I think I have all my listings current and offerings organized, yet, in actuality I have not been as organized as I imagine myself to be. So, so many details to straighten out!
This year I have two shows the last two weekends of July. One show is for my local arts council with which I work running children's art classes once a month throughout the year. The Perry County Council of the Arts Arts and Drafts Fundraiser is being held this year at a local brewery in my hometown. Sounds like fun, right? Sure, except it turns out it will be the hottest day of the year, with temperatures indexed to be at or around 110°!!! I enjoy the summer heat, but this is going to be intense!
If I don't melt into a puddle on July 20th, I have another weekend-long festival sale the next weekend, July 27-28th for the 2nd Annual Susquehanna Folk Festival being held at Round Top Mountain Resort in York, PA. My husband and I did this show last year with mixed results. Day one, I was completely downtrodden when we finished because I had not even sold enough to cover the cost of my booth - the killer threshold for anyone selling at these events. But, by the end of day two we had done much better and I left the event feeling quite satisfied! Also we had a booth right next to the main stage, so we were able to enjoy all of the entertainment. Even though folk music isn't really my thing, it made for a fun experience!
Since we've been home from vacation, festival/sales prep is basically all I have been working on. Each day I use my little spot of work time to organize, edit, price and pack all of my work from the past years to get ready for these sales. I have also spent a bit of time making new sign-up forms and other paper items to pass out or fill out for those interested in a follow-up after the shows.
This year I am using simple craft paper flags to price all of my items. My Etsy shop syncs to a Square selling app. I would prefer to have everything go to my new website, but I just didn't have the energy or time to work trough all of this this year. I have also updated all of the listings - I think- to reflect some adjustments in price. Sometimes I just feel the need to simplify and not make it too complicated. I tend to stress over the small stuff I'm fairly sure no one else notices, so this year I am trying to take a more laid-back approach and see if there is actually a difference.
The good news is that I am essentially prepping for two sales at once, so I really feel like I am getting more bang for my buck this year. I don't sell in person super often because of the time commitment, but this time it feels a bit more worthwhile, even though it is more intense. Hopefully a lot of people will attend both events, buying all my awesome work, and then I can feel even better about it all! I will let you know. Right now, I know I'm just committing to enjoying this summer season.
Enjoy your summer season, wherever you are. xoxo, Janice
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