Sunday, February 28, 2010

Show over...

Another iPhone post. Does this work? Can anyone read this?

I'm curious.

I'm also SO done!

This time tomorrow I'll be on a plane.

Heading home.

Of course I'll miss the clean sheets, towels, toilets, chocolates on the pillow each night...

But...

I'll be home.

Retail show much, much slower than I had expected or hoped. Same story from the other artists I spoke with.

But wholesale has promised me a very busy year, so to be anything less than incredibly gratefull would be simply insane.

I arranged for late checkout tomorrow, so I get to:

SLEEP IN!

And I'll write more after a full dose of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's........

Good night!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Too cheap to...

...buy another couple of day's Internet service here in the hotel, but not too cheap to spend ridiculous amounts of money on reastaurent meals every night. A girl has her priorities! So I am trying posting from my iPhone, I've been finding lot's of little reasons to justify the fact that I have one. Such as this, and using the compass when I lost my bearings coming up out of the metro in NYC, with no WTC to orient to.

Show slow, but totals above panic level so that's good. And I have good job security for the next year, and that is awesome.

Becky and I had sushi tonight after the show, and I am happily jammied up back at the hotel here for the night.

Last day tomorrow, then pack everything up again and ship it home.

Then one more night here, and I get to ship myself home.

If every moment were not so demanding I know I'd be excited.

But until I spend a couple days in my own home and allow myself to slow down, it all just seems like a string of things on the list to try to keep on top of.

Can you tell I'm getting more and more tired? It's all become a total blur.

I hope the last retail day tomorrow proves to be the best!

And the only appropriate thing to do just now is to wish you all a good night!

Friday, February 26, 2010

I slept!

I almost overslept.

I would have, had housekeeping not pounded on my door at 9:30 this morning.

My alarm didn't go off and I got 11 hours of sleep.

Hallelujah!

Slow, molasses slow day.

But no matter:

I slept!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

day one of retail

My ability to be articulate is waning day by day.

Today was day one of retail and I was there early, as planned. I hustled and hustled and brought out as much more inventory as I could fit on the shelves (more, actually, but I can work magic with risers...).

Very few customers, but if I sell as much as I sold today each of the next 3 days I'll not have to shoot myself. So that's a good thing.

If, as some customers said, it is utterly swamped over the weekend, I could actually come close to meeting my retail goal and go home having covered the expenses of doing the shows. Let's hope for even better, ok?

Today my cousin Becky came, and she and her friend Beverly picked me up to go to dinner at a fancy Italian place.


And Beverly commented how much we look alike. It must be Grandma Bunny's eyes:


Proof I'm a "real artist"


Wish me sleep, ok?

I think this whole show stuff requires SOOOO much override of all my mental, physical, emotional limits just to accomplish what is necessary that my body doesn't know how to let go finally, at the end of the day.

I do my breathing, yoga, reading...

It seems that for now, knowing it is only 4 days until I head home will have to do. And that's pretty soon! Lot's to do in the meantime, but still, it's pretty soon.

And right now?

I wish us all a good night of sleep!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

soooo tired!

I need to try to explain here just how tired I am.

Never mind.

I can't explain it.

It is more than words could bring to the senses.

So instead I'll simply say:

After NOT sleeping again last night, I worked out this morning at 6:30 (thinking that might help) and then worked the show and while there were no customers I made up cards for the retail customers and new price thingies and got bags ready and stuff...

Then at 6 pm, when the wholesale show ended I hurried up under the mistaken illusion that I could transform my booth from wholesale to retail in an hour or two and get to the bar and have my drink and supper and go to bed and get up in the morning to workout and go leisurely to the show opening at 10 am...

Well, at 9:30 pm I stopped lifting and carrying and schlepping and jogging with box after box after box from stock storage to my booth and back (a pretty darn long trip).

I gave up.

I went to the bar, had the martini, ate my supper, came upstairs, called housekeeping for more chocolate (gotta love a hotel that does the chocolate on the pillow thing...) and I'm about to go to bed.

Pray to the gods of sleep they bless me tonight.

No workout tomorrow morning, no leisurely walk to the opening of retail.

No.

I'll be there at 8 am trying frantically to merchandize and price all the work in my booth.

And if the customers come and buy as I sense they might... (I already made a few retail sales to people who couldn't wait),

Well, it will be worth it.

But don't think for an instant that it is easy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

learning to say no

Well granted, it's kind of cheating. But hey, baby steps count! I couldn't take any more orders no matter what, but I DID have to tell some potential buyers "no".

As you can see from this:

there really weren't any buyers to be seen.

So I'm even more grateful for the Philly show.

I had two galleries come by that currently sell my work and I had to tell them I couldn't make any promises, but that on my waiting list current customers definitely get top priority. That seems right.

Hell, I don't know how to do this! I'm flying by the seat of my pants.

For some behind the scenes interest (or not) here is a shot of my "desk" area with everything packed in, along with my knees. Not much space, the work is more important so I get squished in a corner:


Telling customers "no" was a brand new experience.

Most of the buyers brightened up and said things like: "oh! I am so happy for you! Congratulations!" This is an amazing example of this community, artists and buyers alike, supporting each other in what are really two sides of the same coin.

I was so touched by their responses when they clearly had enough interest in my work to stop in my booth long enough for me to consider it important to warn them.

One potential customer kind of scowled and asked me why I was even AT the show, if I wasn't interested in selling. I explained that I had never in my wildest dreams expected to be in this situation, and that I had already committed to doing the show.
She started walking away, then turned around, studied my work some more, and took my card.

Flying by the seat of my pants.

I slept poorly last night. I was feeling some anxiety, and was generally unsettled. I realized at some point in the middle of the night that I was overwhelmed at the thought of getting home late next Monday night, going to sleep, and getting up early Tuesday to hit the ground running again. I would have missed being in my home for 3 weeks, having worked very intensely in ever-changing environments, and others (wonderful others, but others non-the-less) will have been in my home the whole time. Which is EXACTLY what I had hoped and planned for, but...

I feel a little out of control of my world, left out of my home, and I realized I need (at the very least) a whole day alone in my (rarely!) clean house that I'd paid to have cleaned just before I left, so that it would be clean to come home to.

I need:

to pee in the corners, mark it again as my own.

to get snuggled up with my kitty again!

to have a whole day in my jammies if I choose.

to not answer the phone, not look at orders, not think about business for an entire day.

to take as many naps as I feel like!

to reclaim my home, my life, my work, my self.

I realize that's a very tall order for one day, but it soothes me and helps me feel a little more sense of control, and that feels good.

So I cancelled work for next Tuesday.

I expect to sleep better tonight.

I'm heading off to bed right now, to test that theory.

I'll let you know!

Good night!

Monday, February 22, 2010

fully fed and martini'd...

..but you deserve a post today. (that reminds me of a jingle, but which?)

Ok. So I wrote last night, all responsibly intentional and everything, that I was going to jammie up, go to bed, sip some cognac while folding my customer cards and watching something stupid on TV, right?

Well. What really happened is: I got my jammies on, poured some cognac, set all the stuff in place to work on, and fell asleep. At 8:30. And I didn't wake up until 9 this morning.

Tired, you think?

So today I walked over to the show and proceeded to spend, oh, 8 hours? on "fluffing", getting everything arranged and priced and set on risers and polished and buffed and and and...

Discovered that certain pieces from several lines were just plain missing.

I dug through ALL the empty boxes, already on skids and wrapped for storage.

I dug ( seventeen gazzilion times) through all the retail back-stock.

I did my yoga stretches after my back seized up in my booth after lifting all the heavy boxes of back-stock seventeen gazzilion times.

I wondered where those pieces went, between Philly and Baltimore.

I hope whoever has them loves them.

I hope they reap just a smidge of karma.

I hope they recover and go on to have enlightened lives.

And I sent my empties off.

I lost a huge filling in a way back molar. Eating gluten free high fiber "sticks and twigs." Sheesh. I thought they were good for you!

It doesn't really hurt. Yet. I hope never.

I hope I make enough money to:

1. Pay my assistant back what she lent me to do these shows.
2. Pay my suppliers.
3. Get a crown on said molar
4. Buy a new mattress since my 17 year-old one feels like a boat, or a ditch, or something inappropriate for a mattress.
5. (and all those other things like money in the bank, etc.)

What else? Oh yeah, photos!

During set-up and tear-down we enter through the loading docks. Very "inner circle" and industrial!


There are several guards posted at every possible entrance. And other places throughout. If you are not wearing your badge, you don't get in. At least that's how it's supposed to work.


Where I have my retail back-stock stored. I am always quite certain that I have brought waaayyyy too much. Sometimes I'm wrong. I'd love it if this were one of those times! (Several guards here too).


et voila!
ready and waiting for tomorrow. It might not look much different than the photo I posted yesterday, but it took all day fluffing and fussing to get it as "right" as I could.


YES! Redemption! Happy hour with fresh local oysters on the half shell.

I can live again.

And now bed. No illusions about work or cognac or even stupid TV.

Just lovely, luscious sleep.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I've become a snob

True confessions.

And I hate snobbery.

But Loews Philadelphia has spoiled me. Their magnificent happy hour, the wonderful hotel, what comes across as authentic friendliness and helpfulness...

Let me say: I just spent 2 times as much on a sushi dinner that might as well have been purchased at a grocery store, and "cold" sake that was room temperature.

Yep. I've become a snob.

I hang my head in shame.

But on a more positive and uplifting note:

My nasty virus is beginning to retreat into submission. I didn't get dizzy or pass out all day today. I don't know if you realize it, but that's a positive sign.

Most of my Baltimore crew showed up, and after 7 hours my booth looks like this:

I'll spend most of tomorrow "fluffing" and pricing and all that other stuff,to prepare for the two wholesale days during which I likely will be taking orders for my waiting list.

If you can believe that.

Amazing!

It might snow this week, and I'm laughing at it gleefully.

Because I'M HERE!

I'm not trying to GET HERE!

And it's not LAST WEEK!

Last week left all THIS in it's wake:


Ok, I'm luxuriously done for the night.

I'm going to jammie up, sip a little cognac, and fold customer cards in bed while watching something (without a doubt) stupid on TV.

Stay tuned for the next installation of:

"My Life As A Showgirl!"

(reality blogging at it's best).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In Baltimore


I got here!

Snow, in enormous piles.

It's what everyone is still talking about: in the cab, in the train, in the bar tonight where I had my dinner.

I am SOOOO glad it is not falling this week too.

I am resting with great vigor. I know, that sentence contains an oxymoron. But with all the intent I can muster I am trying to shake this nasty virus by tomorrow, no, today, no, actually YESTERDAY.

The hotel is fine. Disappointing after the Loews in Philadelphia. And no tuna tartar on the menu. Just ordinary stuff. I'll have to stop by the sushi place on my way "home" from the show each night.

How I do suffer.

Let's see, what else?

Well, I certainly regret not having more time with Danielle and family. Everything was kind of a foggy blur because of being sick.

I e-mailed my crew for set-up tomorrow. I hope they are as good as the Philly crew.

Oh dear, this is a nothing post.

But still, representative of a working artist-type on the road.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Soooo disappointed!

I'm here in New York. One of my very favorite cities in the world (that I've seen).

I'm getting to see my dear friend Danielle, who I rarely get to spend time with.

And I'm sick as a dog.

I leave tomorrow morning on a train for Baltimore. Heading into the second big show.

Being sick as a dog makes a hard show a whole lot harder.

I'm a trooper.

But not happy about it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm here!

I'm in New York. I'm with my friend Danielle. I feel like I'm home. Sounds strange, doesn't it? But New York feels like a home to me, and being here in Danielle & family's home also feels like home. It's lovely.

I got a new phone yesterday, and a new SIM card, as mine was apparently weird. Thank goodness for warranties! I bought the apple care plan too. the one extended warranty I ever buy. So now I'm good to go. And hey, I didn't lose all my contacts like the Philly tech had told me I would! Whew.

I went to Soho to the Apple store almost as soon as I arrived, and that felt like home too. I got to walk back in a gentle snow. And then have a feast here with the family.

I have a little cold so feel a bit blunted, but it won't keep me from going out into The City with Danielle today.

I love having different homes.

Reading Premium T's blog, I remember the waves are my home as well. And the high desert. And Puget Sound. And somehow those all feel more like home to me than where I actually live. Weird. Could just be the moment.

I'm going to start my day, sipping my espresso while watching the view down below of hundreds of yellow taxis zipping this way and that. The city's buzzing!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

next time, for sure...

The next time I do a traveling show (next year) I will fly in one day early to eliminate the anxiety of possibly not arriving at all. Plus it would be a wonderful day of rest and recovery from the PUSH to get ready, then the PUSH to set up, then the PUSH to do the show, then the PUSH to pack it all up again.

And It was brilliant of me to finally learn to stay an extra day & night after the show. I'll do THAT from now on as well. I wish I had planned it for this year after Baltimore (the next show), it will be brutal to get up the morning after tear-down and get on a train, then a plane to head home.

Brutal. But hell, I've been through worse, and I can certainly handle it!

I slept until noon today. Yep. Then laid in bed, drinking tea, tallying orders and arranging them by month.

Then surfed the internet, tried to order some folders, etc. on line to be delivered to my Baltimore hotel (to be really organized before Baltimore to see if I can even consider taking any more gallery orders). Then texted with my brother and suddenly my phone went out. After some research I walked to the local Apple distributor (not a real Apple Store, they don't have one here), but they couldn't help. It is probably a "serious problem" and I'll need to replace it. But it's on warranty still and I made an appointment for when I'm in New York tomorrow.

I was going to go work out, steam & sauna, and teased myself and my budget with the idea of a massage (in house spa here), but realized I was fighting a cold and decided to not put any additional stress on my body. It's almost a forgone conclusion that one gets sick after a big show. Talking with hundreds of people, shaking hands, air travel, nasty convention center air, exhaustion and stress. But I'm fighting it with all my magic potions and I arranged for late check-out tomorrow so I can sleep and rest until I have to leave to hop on a train for NYC.

And that is about all there is to say. This "show girl" is about to jammie-up, climb into bed, and watch something stupid (is there anything else?) on TV until I fall asleep.

Good night!

Monday, February 15, 2010

One down, one to go...

We finished up tearing down later than hoped (union guys take their own sweet time delivering the pallets of empty boxes), and I was paying $50/hour for my crew so sit around, cold and bored. But so it is sometimes. I just tell it like it is!

More orders today.

It is TOTALLY necessary to make at least one new line each year. That is the primary factor to which I attribute my success at this show. Galleries ordered wide and deep. Even when I told them they couldn't possibly get their order until September, they just shrugged their shoulders and said "ok, then September it is!".

I'm tired now.

I'm glad I have a full day and night to rest and recover.

I put the "do not disturb" sign out.

I ate tuna tartar and mussels again, and a martini of course.

I'm too tired to be more articulate. Here are the photos from today:
The view from my station inside my booth:

my remarkable and amazing and totally enjoyable Philly set-up and tear-down crew:

shows go from being all sparkly and magical to... well, to this:

TRYING to get the shipper to bill the proper credit card so that my mortgage payment won't bounce and I have money to eat the next couple of weeks... I had set it up and confirmed way back when it was appropriate. Did that matter? Apparently not.


And now, well now I am going to sleep.
Oh yeah.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nothing short of amazing.

There is now a whole new level that I now have to grow into (personally, spiritually, emotionally, and practically).

It will be no small challenge.

I want (need!) to do it mindfully as what I most love most is making pretty things, and I DON'T want to be simply a manager of people.

I love the making of things.

I will need to hire some fabulous helpers.

I am blown away. Tonight while I was sitting at the hotel bar eating and drinking "the usual", I heard that many, actually most of the other artists had written very few orders. And more than a few absolutely nothing. I am very, very,very sorry for them, as I KNOW, I KNOW, I know. I am astonished by the courage it takes each and every one of us to follow this path. And I'm very, VERY grateful for my current good fortune. Which is not to say I will be rich. No, unfortunately not, my profit margin is such that I had to borrow money to even do these shows.. But I will continue for another year as a working artist, making my living doing something I love, which I suspect is one of the hardest and rarest things in this current world to do.

I got an enormous order today, probably as much from one buyer as I've ever gotten in an entire year from several buyers combined. And as they spoke amongst themselves, the owner said: "It doesn't matter what or how much we order, we know we will sell it all".

Wow.

I am both thrilled and terrified. I have SO much to grow into!

SO much to learn.

And such a challenge to do it mindfully and from a centered place.

I am getting photos taken tonight by my excellent photographer Karl Seifert, who I met here last year when he answered my craigslist posting for set-up/tear-down help. He joined the crew again this year. Another example of someone who has amazing skills & talent, who is willing to do whatever it takes to make a living while pursuing he passion. He will be working all night to do this so he can have the work back in the morning for the last day of this show.

This evening after the show I went to my favorite hotel bar with my very first artist-show friend from the first big show I ever did (with my brothers help). When we went to the lounge after breaking down that show to have a drink, one at a time other artists from the show joined us. I was a total baby in this world. Talking, and listening, I was moved to tears as I realized that I had finally, after so many years of doing so many things, that "I had finally found my tribe".

Mia (in the center below) simply assumed that I belonged. It was very powerful for me. (click to enlarge).



I know for a fact that there is much more I could write, but it was a 2 martini night, and I need to organize my things first to go work out (yes! I did it again this mornig!), be ready in the morning to go back to the show, and have my dirty clothes ready and all kinds of things prepared to pack everything up for the shipment to Baltimore.

Then a luscious full day and night off. To read, sleep, go out walking or whatever.. before taking the Amtrak to New York for a few days and a lovely visit with my friend Danielle and her family before heading to Baltimore to do it all again.

But what the hell am I going to tell all the wholesale buyers THERE? I dunno. I guess tell them I am fully booked. I have a wait list.

And then retail, and I hope I sell every single piece so that I can pay my wonderful assistant T. back the money she lent me to go to these shows, and buy the materials to start filling these orders.

And then, another Amtrak back here to Philly where I'll catch my plane back home on the 1st.

And then there is this: I understand the allure of a really nice hotel while working very long and hard hours in a far-from-home city. I SO appreciate the effortless comforts provided. Really. When all my energy is expended just doing what I need to do for my work, it is unbelievably wonderful to have the comfort of simple needs and rest provided in a lovely way.

Such as working out hard in the morning, and having fresh, chilled water infused with lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit right there in the fitness center. Ahhhhh....

And might I emphasize that Hotwire got me this at less than half price???

OK. That's all for tonight.

Time to get my recharge of sleep for yet another long day tomorrow.

It's hard work. The hardest I've ever done. The most personally, emotionally, and spiritually challenging.

And by far the most satisfying.

And it totally suits me.

As hard as it is, my soul feels content.

Good night!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

day 2

Tired!
(oh yeah, that's what I've said before, and before, and before...

But still, it's true!

The biggest part of the issue (I've decided) is that the convention center is ungodly dry and the air is so recycled and unpleasant. To give you an idea: I drank at LEAST 3 or 4 quarts of water and several giant cups of decaf tea today and yesterday. And I only once "used the facilities". Weird, huh?

And then there's just the fact of talking with so many people; lovely people, lovely conversations. But I am so accustomed to being alone most of the time that it's a big change.

But it's really, really ALL good.

I think (haven't had time to add it up) that I am totally, fully, spilling over fully booked-up through June. And some of my biggest customers haven't ordered yet. Yikes.

ALL the lines are selling. Even the new work. I took some photos this morning but they turned out horribly (I simply don't have the energy to take the time to pay attention) but Karl Seifert (who did my photos last year) is coming tomorrow evening to pick up some pieces to photograph properly (an he stays up most of the night to do it so that I can have the pieces for the show). What a great guy!

So, as promised, I'll have photos soon.

What else? I know there were all kinds of things I wanted to write today, but they all seem to have vanished with the martini, tuna tartar and coconut curry mussels. Yes I know it's the same as last night, and it will likely be the same every night I'm here. It's delicious, CHEAP, and did I tell you that it's delicious? Not to mention right here in the hotel, and considered one of the best bars in the city. So why go anyplace else?

OH! And I did something this morning I've NEVER been able to do when I'm away at a show. I got up early and went to the fitness center here in the hotel, and worked out for 45 minutes. It was SOOOOOOOO hard. I wake up in the mornings at shows feeling like (I imagine) it might feel to be ground up in a meat grinder, or hit by a mack truck (god forbid). Really. Everything hurts, I am exhausted, can barely consider moving. But I did it. I worked out. And it DID make me feel better. For at least a couple hours. And that's still something.

And in the bar tonight I was sitting close by a group of corporate guys (and one woman) and they were carrying on. I am SOOO glad I don't have to play those rah, rah, rah games. Oh lordy, so very grateful. They have tons and tons more money than I, stuff and security, but... well, I simply couldn't do it. I'd shrivel up and die.

So I am willing to work this hard. Yes. I'm willing and grateful to work this hard. Be this tired. Be so close to the edge that a blizzard had the potential to render me homeless (god forbid).

And so I do.

Gratefully.

you dress autistic

I forgot to write that the man of the couple I talked with at the bar last night said in his strong Brooklyn accent (although he swears he's not from Brooklyn) "you dress autistic". He meant artistic. I mean, maybe I do dress autistic. I just didn't know that autism came with a particular style. We laughed. I am still giggling about it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

whew

Where do I even begin?

Where did I leave off?

Where am I now?

I dunno. But I'll try to achieve a little recap.

Well. I woke up early (early! 4:30 am after staying up until 1 to finish my catalog, etc.). Checked flight status, cancelled of course, so called. No flights possible until Saturday. (BIG knot in belly. do they have ANY idea that my entire livelihood depends on me getting tho Philly on time?) so I said. Uh, that won't work I need to be ther Thursday morning at the latest. Luckily a very nice woman kept at it, and came up with me flying to Charlotte Wednesday, then on to Philly on Thursday. Ok. That can work. Got my confirmation numbers and adjusted my attitude.

I called B ( who offered to take me to the airport). My plan for personal grooming (washing hair, etc,) went out the window and I grabbed my stuff and she came and we drove to the airport.

I got to the ticket counter and the agent said... "we have no flights to Charlotte. We've never had a flight to Charlotte. Lots of people have come this morning with these confirmations, but we have no flight to Charlotte. The earliest flight you can get to Philly is Saturday (after the show has opened, and it takes me at LEAST a full day to set up WITH help). She had been turning people away all morning.

At that moment she somehow got word that there was a "ferry" flight (no passengers, just bringing an aircraft to Charlotte) that was opening up to passengers. I was the first to get confirmed on that flight. Amazing. Because of that, there were only around 20 people on that plane, so I took a wonderful little blue pill, drank the whiskey the attendant brought me for free, and stretched out on the entire row and dozed the whole way. Heaven.

Landed in Charlotte (cold!) and got a $49 room at Quality Inn. Slept around 5 hours before getting up to shuttle to the airport again.

Checked in, delayed flight, but NOT cancelled, as all the other ones had been.

Finally got on the plane, sat on the tarmac for 3 hours, then went to Philly. Whew. Texted all my crew, most could make it, some brought friends. I shuttled to my hotel, paid the bellman to bring the 8 boxes we'd shipped via UPS to the hotel, to cart them over to the convention center. No easy task in nearly 4 feet of snow...



And we started setting up.


10 hours later (midnight) I left, went to the hotel, had a martini, some tuna tartar, and went to my room to sleep.



A mere 5 hours later my alarm went off, and I made in-room coffee and washed my hair, got dressed, put on make up (the only personal grooming I had time for) and headed for the convention center to be there early for the electrician to come, as one half of my lights had blown out in a shower of sparks as I was setting up. He fixed them!!!! (I have no idea what it cost).



The show opened and it was a flurry of orders. Buyers LOVED my new work and were terribly impressed that I keep raising the bar with creativity. Wow. I lapped it up, as nutrition after all the struggles.

My system has to get easier though. With four lines, it is (more than) a little complex to take orders. The complexity, not remembering the prices, and not even taking how exhausted I am into account. But I'm "making it work".

I feel SOOOOO grateful to have made it here. There are lots of exhibitors who can't make it in until tomorrow. My heart goes out to them. I hope to be able to help some of them, as I was helped in a similar tough time.

The show closed at 6 tonight. I was happy to shut down and head to the wonderful hotel restaurant happy hour where I had a (well, eventually 2) martinis, and fabulous tuna tartar, and then coconut curry mussels. $5 for each (martinis and food!).

I met a wonderful couple who said incredible things to me that made me feel so full. That's all I'll say, let it suffice that it was pretty amazing and I'll keep it in my heart forever.

Now I'm in my (lovely!) room, I have the Olympics on, and I have promised myself a full 10 hours of sleep tonight (hey, first time more than 5 in.. well... days!)

And I plan to wake up early enough to work out in the morning.

And yes, my new fit, slender body created a very satisfying stir today.

There is so much more, but after 2 martinis and insanely hard work on very little sleep for days now I am deeply exhausted...

So that's all you get for now.

I'm exhausted, but so very grateful. It's all good.

Nighty night!

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

one step closer!

All flights cancelled when I checked this morning at 5.

I called.

I begged.

No flights available until Saturday (!!!).

I begged again.

Got a flight to Charlotte.

Went to airport at 6 am.

Ticket agent said it was a mistake. There is no flight to Charlotte. Never has been.

Just then someone said they were opening a "ferry" flight to passengers (formerly just taking a plane to Charlotte). They had already turned lots of people away.

I got on! I cried with relief. I hadn't realized just how anxious I had been.

I got on.

And not only that, it was nearly empty, so I got a whole row to myself.




I took a nice little blue pill, the attendant brought me a free shot of whiskey, and I laid myself down across all the seats and settled myself in for a nice sleep.



Lovely!

And now I am ensconced in a cheap room at the airport Quality Inn.



The Weather Station says it's still blizzarding in Philly, but I'm taking it one step at a time.

I have a confirmed flight to Philly at 7 am tomorrow.

Nature willing.

I contacted my crew, and all are on board to set up tomorrow afternoon.

One step at a time.

I plan to sleep a lot tonight, to stock up on rest in case I'm setting up all night tomorrow.

But I'm one step closer.

Keep the good thoughts coming!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

not looking so good

The blizzards are major.

I'll be going to the airport at my scheduled time in the morning. I plan to just stay there (bringing a book) until it opens or I get confirmed on the next available flight out.

I just read an alert on the show directors Facebook page (!) that said we would be allowed to set up all night long on Thursday, before the show opens Friday morning. That's a relief. I'll be exhausted from setting my booth up all night long, but I will survive, I've done it before. And it's worth it to keep this little endeavor on it's feet.

I was SO organized and prepared to have an easy, stress free set-up.

But mother nature has other plans.

"It's ok. No problem. I can handle it!" (that was the mantra I repeated over and over again during a particularly difficult year or two. The other one was "Go Dog Go!" (from the children's book). That one kept me going when I was way too tired or disheartened.

Just got home from yoga, and that helped too, as did my run this morning AND my nap.

So now I'm going to Go Dog Go, and get everything ready (only a few things left on my list) for things to work out perfectly.

What else?

Thanks for all your kind wishes. I appreciate them!

Monday, February 8, 2010

stomach in a knot

I just talked with one member of the crew I hired to help me set up in Philly. She is snowed in, 30 inches on the ground and another 21 inches expected on Tuesday into Wednesday.

I'm due to fly Wednesday morning.

I'm feeling anxious, sick, and doing some pacing when I get up from the computer (where I am busy making my new catalog).

Doing everything I need to do to get there on Wednesday.

I guess I'll probably just get to the airport and hang out early Wednesday morning, so that I can be there the moment they open the airport in Philly and be one of the people getting on the first plane out. That's what I did in Chicago the last time this happened.

I comfort myself knowing I WILL get there eventually.

*I* have been impeccable in my preparations.

The work is the best I've ever presented.

I am utterly organized and on top of everything... MUCH more than ever before.

I have maintained a positive attitude.

But the weather, the weather...

It seems to have dropped the ball.

I spent $20k to do these shows (non-refundable) and a chunk of it was borrowed.

THAT is what makes the big ol' knot in my belly.

Keep saying those prayers, will you?

Now it's miracle time, for real.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

no no no no..

Repeat: There will NOT be big snow in Philly or Baltimore for my shows. No. Absolutely not. Did you hear me? NO! (Please?)

I get a little scared. The big snows, the airport closures.

It causes flashbacks and more than a small recurrence of PTSD.

A few years ago I was making that journey on a hail mary attempt to save my business (more stories than I can count that were devastating to my new business--911 (I was there), an enormous theft of my van and all inventory, and more..., that left me beyond broke) and I borrowed some money from friends to get to the wholesale show in Baltimore, having just been given a space off the waiting list. I knew getting wholesale orders was my only hope.

It was a frenzy to try to be ready in 2 weeks, but I did as well as I could. When I got on the plane I heaved a huge sigh of relief and settled in to doze. A bit after take-off, the captain announced that we would be landing in Chicago, as all airports on the east coast were closed. I had $300 in my purse, no credit cards (maxed from the other disasters), and stayed for 3 nights in a hotel across from Chuck-e-Cheese's. No money to eat (vending machines) and more anxiety than I can possibly describe. Picture fetal position on the bed. I didn't know whether to go home, or keep pressing forward. Decided that since I'd already spent the (enormous amount) of money, I might as well try to keep going.

I missed the first 2 days of the show. 4 feet of snow in Baltimore. Most gallery buyers couldn't get there either. I got in at midnight, went straight to the show, set up all night, "showered" in the sink... Some buyers made it for that last day and I actually wrote a few orders.

But it was really grim. It was one of the nails in the coffin that led to foreclosure and bankruptcy a couple years later. Thanks to a loan from a dear friend, I was able to stop the foreclosure, and it has taken years for me to build my strength and courage back.

Ok, so that's a kind of grim post. Those are some of the memories that get triggered by the current warnings of "big storms airports closed" I keep hearing. Friends calling asking me what I think about it.

Well. I think that damn snow better quit falling before I leave on Wednesday morning, that's what I think.

And the snowplows better be waiting in formation on the runways.

And once is more than enough.

So I'm trying to not watch the weather reports for now.

I have done my very best to prepare, and am still finishing up the details as impeccably as I can.

The weather?

It is out of my control.

But still, say a little prayer, ok?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

go look!

My marvelous assistant Premium T took some photos on the sly yesterday while she was packing the new line of work up to ship to the hotel (wanted to make some more refined ones after the Big Shipment went out). I'll have them photographed by the same photographer I used last year while I am in Philly, but you can see a preview by going to her blog today. They are VERY different from my other work, and we love them.

Countdown to departure continues. Still have to finish and ship some orders, make a catalog, finish up some small pieces I can carry with me, and a box of small pieces to ship to the hotel in Baltimore for the retail component of that show. Some errands and personal stuff to finish up (kitty care calendar, bathing suit purchase (hotel has hot tub & sauna!) and a small list of various and sundry tasks. We will be busy until the plane takes off, but it all fells manageable. For the first time EVER, I can say that.

Amazing!

Monday, February 1, 2010