It's been a better year this year than last for our business. We certainly felt the pinch of drop in retail sales long before the Powers That Declare called it a recession. And oddly, since the Declaration, things have picked up. I blame the anticipation. When I was a firefighter, driving to the fire was way more scary than picking up the hose and running into the building. Thinking about how bad it could be versus just getting on with it. People knew things were going badly, they reacted by keeping their hands in their pockets and pulling back, but there was just this sense of free fall. It seems like things are still not good, but they are less bad less quickly.
Some of the galleries we sell to are actually doing better. People who buy art seem to be more interested in actually knowing that the artist is Local. We have gotten many more requests for our "Artist Statement" this year. And we see more artist's pictures and stories around the galleries. People are buying fewer, better quality things. Yay!
We traditionally take some time off this time of the year to recharge and do something other than work in the studio. We renovated our (tiny 900 sq ft) house in 14 days one year. Another year we lined a room in bookshelves on all four walls, floor to ceiling - still have to organize the books, though. They are sort of piled up in a rough sort as to content.
This year, I believe, our activities will be much less challenging. Now with 10% more relaxation!
We went away with dear friends to Estes Park to enjoy the mountains for a few days. It was wonderful. We ate really well, played Wii silly sports games, ate some more, knitted (I taught myself intarsia - a way to knit blocks of color that is very cool. Not quite sure if I'm doing it right but it looks really cool and doesn't see to be falling apart. I am using 4 colors of hand-dyed cotton/angora yarn to make a bag), hung out in the hot tub, chatted, snow shoed, and just basically had a wonderful time. We had an Alter of Snacks. The mantle over the fireplace was heaped with yummies that we barely made a dent in even though we were rarely without active snacking.
I think the rest of the week I will be trying to dig out the basement a bit. I need to get a wine rack to hold my mead in a more organized fashion. Then I can free up a couple of big shelves that now hold boxes of mead. And getting things organized for the upcoming Mazer Cup International. And working on the natural dyeing company idea. And spending time with the horses. And prepping for my Dad's 90th birthday party coming up soon. And bottling up the 13 gallons of mead that need to get out of the carboys. And getting plane tickets bought for upcoming shows and details associated with them. And get ready for a retail show this weekend (I have no idea how much stock I have! eep!)
urg. Now I have to go lay down for a bit....