It’s that time of year when I am working mostly, and mostly working. I have three trade shows coming up within the next month. Outdoor Retailer is the trade show for my work in Nepal, with hand knit sweaters and accessories (next week) in Denver. After that, I fly to New York City for “Metal and Smith” – a wholesale show for my jewelry, and then I go to Baltimore for the American Craft Council Show for wholesale and retail.

I work round the clock to get samples finished, with the aid of my wonderful artisan helpers. It’s exhilarating and nerve-wracking, and I alternate between excitement and self-confidence, and fear + insecurity. These shows usually set the tone for the year in terms of sales and orders. Once I finish the samples and set up for the shows, it’s out of my hands, and I just have to roll with it. There is also a lot of marketing involved, and I try my best to stay on top of that also.

One reason I really do enjoy these shows is the fact that they are very social. It’s meeting people, telling stories, accepting criticism and praise, learning about other regions and perspectives. And of course, I love having the reunion with other artists and designers, often catching up with each other, or sharing a meal. In a world where I work by myself 95% of the time in my workshop, this is a welcome change. But I’m always so happy to be home and back to making things when it’s all over.


February 2020 starts my year with the Trade Show season. I will be participating in both a new show (for me) in New York City called “Metal and Smith” which runs simultaneously with the gigantic show “New York Now” at the Javits Center. I will be at 518 West 38th street on February 3 and 4, Monday and Tuesday. There will be a pop up show, open to the public on Monday from 5-8 pm, and on Tuesday from 1-4 pm

I will also be back at the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore, February 19-20 to the wholesale market, and February 21-23 to retail/public.

Preparing for these shows is a colossal task, but from my background in the garment business and merchandising, I tend to get REALLY into it. I design a whole new collection for museum stores and galleries, as well as OOAK pieces for special customers. It’s full of high-adrenaline and non stop work. But I love it.

I will come up for air at the beginning of March!


I just returned from a lovely family holiday at Sea Ranch- a beautiful development of 1960’s beach houses along the Northern California coast. Here is a link to a NYTimes article about Sea Ranch: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/arts/design/sea-ranch-california.html?fbclid=IwAR0VZ65OLZsyLrslzG7RmhYamx1Zeq0eZqI220K69hMJRGVjzfjmT-ycM68.  It was a wonderful five days, with my mother meeting her 6-month old granddaughter, along with my brother and his wife and my two boys. Lots of hiking along the rocky rugged coast in the mist, running along trails and swimming my mile each day in the most lovely pool- a five minute walk from the house we rented. We shared delicious meals, mostly cooked by my son Matthew, who is a chef and forager in Oregon- including fish and all kinds of mushrooms and venison.

We spent the last day, before flying home to Colorado- visiting good friends in San Anslemo and at my brother’s apartment in San Francisco- with a delicious meal at the R and G Lounge in Chinatown….


It’s only the second of December, and I may have had my fill of cold weather. I think the temperature has not gone about 40 degrees for two weeks. So, I try to see the beauty in all of it. There is a beautiful lavender glow on the snow- at sunrise and twilight and the gold of the sunlight is gorgeous as it plays agains the purples.


It’s been too long, but finally I have updated the shop on my website as well as my galleries and my schedule. I have been very busy, like a circus juggler with balls in the air. I found a little block of time (well, not so little) to clean things up and add new work.  And it feels great.

 

I moved in May from Boulder, Colorado to Fort Collins, Colorado. We will look for a new house, but in the meantime we are living in a town house north of Old Town. I love it. I love the simplicity, the modern and new design of the place with lots of windows and wood floors. I have a little studio, but probably need more space in the long run.

 

Winter has really hit Colorado hard and the ice and snow are really beautiful in the different times of day. I’ve been back to doing a watercolor painting on a daily basis, and am happy to be back to the rhythm of that joyful quiet time each day.


I am busy preparing for my shows in Philadelphia and Baltimore beginning next week. But I still have to keep my sanity by doing a little calming, meditative watercolor painting every now and then. Here are two from this week.



I am still working with the luscious blue violet/lapis/gold/turquoise palette. I always seem to return to this form- inspired by patchwork quilts and Amish quilts- a square within a square. This is the latest iteration of one of my favorite forms.


I am in the process of designing and creating samples for my upcoming shows. I realized last week that I had 4 groups, but none of them really featured BLUE. I gave myself a few days to come up with a palette that balanced with the other color palettes that I had already done, and I came up with Lapis/Blue.  It is rich and saturated with a nod to Ancient Egyptian jewelry and faience. I’m working with purple-y blues and lobelia, turquoises, navy, lavender, and shades of metallic gold. This is the first piece I have made and now I want to keep making more and more with this palette. It’s calming and deep and mysterious- and looks good on lots of people.

This little painting by Hiroshi Matsumoto is my color inspiration.