Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Car Free Day TODAY

Although today happens to be Car Free Day, it seems to be more like Great Customer Service Day. A shout out to Home Depot and Staples for having great employees working today! Everyone was in a good, helpful mood. Perhaps they rode their bikes to work and had high endorphin levels... Well, I drove today already and I will drive later. However, there are many, many days that I do not drive, walk around my neighborhood to do errands or just work from home. Hope I get credit for that!

This week is a busy one for me! Tomorrow, at NIH for the first time in a few months. AND, Saturday is the Crofton Craft Fair. Weather looks good, I have a great amount of stock, looking forward to this nice, towny show.

The Low Down:

What: Crofton Craft Fair

When: Saturday, September 26, 10am-4pm

Where: 1691 Crofton Parkway, Crofton, MD

website: www.croftontownclub.com

Happy Car Free Day!~Jen

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fall Festival Kick Off Weekend

I *LOVE* fall, the smells, the colors, the cicadas going away....And, this year, I love that I will be back doing markets. I miss all the other vendors and my customers. Also, I have been working really diligently to make some new products, improve on older ones and in general, design functional, fun items.

This coming weekend heralds in the Fall Festival season. It is a double header with two of my busiest shows. I am getting excited to be back after almost two months break from markets!!

Arts on Foots is a one of the biggest arts festivals in the area. Each and every artistic discipline is covered, from performances and demos to a three day art market. Love food? Check out the Cooking As Art Pavilion. Dig dancing? Get your face painted and join the cast at the CityDance Ensemble. All the worlds your stage? Head to the Shakespeare Theatre.

What: Arts on Foot, Art Market

Where: 7th and F Streets,Penn Quarter, Washington DC

Where I'll be: Space 73

When: Saturday, September 12, 11am-5pm

Website: www.artsonfoot.org, for maps, schedules and full list of activities

Take metro! Right outside the Gallery Place metro stop, Verizon Center. Come out the 7 and F Street Exit.

The Art Market will be held Thursday- Saturday. *However*, I'll only be there on Saturday, as will many artists. Some will be there all days.

Sunday sees one of the loudest and, usually, hottest shows. Last year, I think it was about 90! This year, the weather is going to be perfectly fall for Arts on Belmont, the handmade only area of Adams Morgan Day.

As Adams Morgan is one of the best places to go party in the city, the festival that celebrates it is nothing less than a fantastical fiesta in itself. Live music, fashion shows, a green area to get educated about new products and earth saving tips.

And, of course, Arts on Belmont:

Where: Belmont Street, Adams Morgan, Washington, DC

Where I'll be: Space 15

When: Sunday, September 13, 10am- 7pm

Website: www.adamsmorgandayfestival.com, for maps and performance times

Arts on Belmont starts a FULL two hours earlier than the rest of the festival, so you can come and shop before the hordes of people arrive. Come early and get the best pick!

Here are a few of the items I have been frantically working on.

Over the summer, introduced my version of a versatile tote bag. Made mainly from upholstery samples, some bags could be small enough to use as a purse, some could be large enough for an overnight bag. Fully reversible with pockets, these are truly go anywhere totes. Farmers market, library, and office are all covered.

Totally new this year, something to get the kids, big and small, into the Halloween spirit. Trick or Treat goodie bags! Made from cotton material that can be washed and used for years to come, these little cuties are eco-friendly *and* fun! Kid sized, but large enough for tons of sugary goodness.

The Squid Scarf made its debut last year at Arts on Belmont and was really well received. Back this year for the cool weather, this scarf looks great with a tank top or a heavy sweater. Made mainly from recycled t-shirts, I found the edge that goes against the neck to be a little rough. So, I *IMPROVED* the design. Now, smooth edge against your neck, and no chaffing, no reason not to wear one. Available in a complete range of colors, from neutrals to reds to bright turquoise.

Looking forward to seeing you for these great shows, and maybe more!~Jen

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Artist of the Month~Jenny's Pretty Things

Believe it or not, folks, fall is coming!

For many around the north east, summer has hardly shown an appearance. With rainy days and damp, chilly aftermath, the heat and stickiness of the 'hottest' part of the year did not make much of an impression. At least here in VA, we could still be getting months of Indian summer. With blue skies and warm days, it is the perfect time to start thinking about back to school, Halloween and the holiday season ahead.

I have been bulking up on shows and fairs and festivals, so there is little excuse to not come out and see me.... stay tuned to this blog for more shows being added all the time.

Right now, check out the September Artist of the Month~Jenny's Pretty Things.

Jenny Sammons, the creator of Pretty Things, is in herself a pretty thing. Beautiful on the inside and out, she strives to bring joy and love into the world with her creations. Whether making a custom necklace for a lucking bride-to-be or producing an unique bracelet, she infuses each item with peace and happiness, touching each person that wears her jewelry.

Q~How did you get started?

A~I’ve always been creative but I sort of stumbled upon jewelry making. I had a stone that I wanted to turn into a pendant so I went to the bead store and discovered beading. I go so many compliments on that first piece that I was encouraged to continue.

Q~Why do you continue?

A~I love being able to use my creativity and raw skills to make money. I think I’m very fortunate to be able to make money doing what I love. What keeps me going is my hunger to learn and the fact that I find jewelry making and gemology fascinating. There’s always something new on the market and I love learning and building my skills.

Q~What is your greatest success story?

A~I’d have to say that working with the Red Tape is the biggest and most significant thing I’ve done. The Red Tape Jewelry is a jewelry line that I created while working at the National Archives. The product development team was looking for ideas for products to be made out of this historic material and they liked my idea of making jewelry with it. Before the Civil War they would bind documents with red cotton ribbon that they called tape. In order to have access to a document one would have to “cut through the red tape.”

I am making earrings, pendants, cufflinks, and lapel pins with the actual red tape that comes from historical documents at the National Archives; the very same red tape that one would have to cut through. Being able to work with this historical material is a success within itself. The fact that it’s selling is even better.

Q~What is one of your greatest failures?

A~One of my greatest failures happened about three years ago. I was arriving home after a long hot day of vending at Eastern Market. I was terribly tired and figured that I could unload everything the next morning when I had more energy. So I went in the house and left all of my gear in the car. The next morning I came outside to discover that my car had been broken into and everything of value had been stolen, including my jewelry case with all of my work inside. I was devastated. They even took my hand truck, which I’m sure they used to wheel everything away. It took me a few weeks to rebuild my inventory to where I could make a decent showing at the market. You can believe I never left anything of value in my car after that.

Q~Where do you get your inspiration?

A~Inspiration comes from looking at other people’s work, from beading and fashion magazines, art, and nature, but mostly from the process of creating. I find I’m most inspired when I’m in the middle of a project and I suddenly see a design that I hadn’t thought of before. For me, work begets creativity.

Q~Why do you make what you do?

A~I make jewelry because I love creating in general and using color combinations. There’s no end to the combinations that can be made with beads. I also find that it teaches me patience as I am usually working with a lot of tiny parts. Once I establish a pattern and get in to a rhythm, I’ve discovered that jewelry making can actually be very healing and meditative. Also, I find working with my hands to make nothing into something incredibly gratifying.

Q~Where is your favorite place to sell?

A~I really enjoy having trunk shows. I love getting to know my customers and working with them one-on-one to chose designs that suit them. I also love the intimacy of a trunk show.

Q~What is one thing you love about your business?

A~I love the freedom and flexibility that come with working for myself. I don’t have to depend on anyone else for anything and I’m on my own schedule. I also love that I’ve been able to make money doing something that I love.

Q~What is one thing you loathe?

A~I really dislike math and doing my accounting. Sometimes I wish I had more of the left brain capacity that would help me make more sense of it all.

Q~What is your favorite question to ask people?

A~What is your guilty pleasure?

Q~What is your answer to that question?

A~Miniatures and dollhouses. I have an old dollhouse that I built from a kit when I was ten. About two years ago I dusted it off and began remodeling it. I’ve been in love with miniatures ever since.

Q~Where would you live if you could live anywhere?

A~Probably the Pacific Northwest, maybe Portland or Seattle.

Q~What is your dream about your art?

A~My dream is to use the skills that I’ve learned along the way to teach and empower others to do what I am doing. I’d like to go back to school so that I might become an art teacher and inspire others as I have so been inspired.

Q~What is next?

A~This is going to be a busy fall and winter for me. I’m currently working on an order of Red Tape Jewelry and a few other special projects and repairs for regular customers. I’m going to be teaching a jewelry making class in October to benefit the Emergence Community Arts Center, as well as having a few trunk shows in preparation for the holidays.

Jenny's Pretty Things can be found at http://estore.archives.gov/category.aspx?categoryID=85,
jennysprettythings.etsy.com and