Sunday, January 27, 2008

Booth Updated

Finally the weather warmed up and cleared off so I was able to get some booth photos to use for show juries this year. I still haven't decided on a business name, although I'm now leaning toward No Stone Unstrung. I'll need to get a banner for the booth as soon as I decide. I'll probably use the above photo for juries.

Here is a close-up of the interior.

Here's Jazz supervising the take down. The cats always find the booth fascinating, especially when they realize they can go under the walls and under the table covers. Jazz was under one of the tables when I took the shots. Scrappy may have been under one. He was checking it out earlier.

I still have some jewelry pics to take plus I need to make lots of jewelry.

Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK Day and other things.

Today is Martin Luther King day. Rev. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech resonates deeply with me. The dream is closer now than it was in his time, but there's still some distance to go.

My parents were careful to raise me as much as possible without prejudice against people of different races, religions, gender, or backgrounds. I'm profoundly grateful for that and I've tried to do the same with my son.

One of my earliest memories is of my parents protesting segregation at the local livestock auction in our small town of Gonzales, Texas. There was a separate section of seats that African American people were required to sit in. This was about 1961 and the Jim Crow laws were still in effect. The African American community was boycotting the auctions. Mom, Dad, my younger brother, and I sat smack in the middle of the "colored" section, as they called it then. I did not know what we were doing, but I knew we didn't usually go to the auction. There was something odd about the event that made it stick in my five-year-old mind, even though my parents didn't tell me at the time what we were doing. The "white" section was packed full and NO ONE looked at us. The "colored" section had two African American men on the top row and one on the bottom. I remember they seemed very nervous and one man on the top row left quickly after we sat down. After about 20 minutes my Dad said "I think we've made our point." Mom agreed and we left. Years later I asked about it and Dad told me why we went. The auction was desegregated later, although I'm not sure when that occurred.

For those of you too young to remember, signs like this below were used during the Jim Crow era to designate water fountains, seating, entrances, etc.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Business End of Things

This time of year I usually don't have any shows so I catch up on the business end of things. What I need to do now is
  • sales tax. It's due Tuesday, so no procrastinating.
  • take new pictures of my jewelry for use as jury photos when applying for shows. I have already applied for one major show and have several more applications that have to be in either February 1st or the 15th.
  • update my booth photo (see above, taken about this time in 2006). I do have large scale photos of my jewelry that I plan to hang on the sides. I need a business sign to put on the back wall. I need to do this fast, because of approaching show application deadlines. The weather is not cooperating.
  • update the actual booth. I want to figure out how to add some height to my displays without having to worry about wind blowing things down, or without having to take a trailer with me. I'm not sure this is possible. Right now everything fits in the car and the humongous five-body trunk, except for my family. When they come along, which isn't that often, I have to rent a trailer. I know what you're thinking--I stick hubby and son in the trailer... or the trunk. No, no, no. I free up space in the car and they ride with me.
  • update my website. Nearly everything has sold. Out with the old and on with the new! Of course, I have to take pictures of the new. Somehow I always procrastinate at this point.
  • decide on my business name. I've been wanting to change for a while and now is the time to do it. Then I need to go to Staples and get a sign.

On top of this I have a couple of necklaces to finish for customers, and I am scheduled to sub at the middle school for Wednesday through Friday this coming week. We had a pay raise last year and the money is now good enough that it is very hard to turn down a day.

I've just about decided to go with Leslie Todd Jewelry as a business name. Possibly I should go with Leslie Todd Jewelry & Accessories. When I google Leslie Todd not much on me comes up, at least not on the first page. When I google Leslie Todd jewelry lots comes up on me, especially the first page.

The other name possibilities I thought of were Eclectic Stone and No Stone Unstrung. No one else is using Eclectic Stone, but it's kind of hard for some people to pronounce and that will make it hard to remember. No Stone Unstrung is the name of my blog, so it has potential. I don't want people to think I just do stringing though. I could go with Essential Adornment, the name of my Etsy store, but it has the same problems as Eclectic Stone.

Enough blogging, I have to do the sales tax.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Skating in the Moonlight

This is Stefan's latest video. He took some of the video and edited all of it. It is my favorite so far. Stefan is the skater in the gray thermal, second-to-last.

kidzone sesh from stefan neal on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's a New Year

It's another new year and I've decided that the thing I most want to do this year is get my beading stuff organized. Right now I seem to have stuff in every room in the house and I'm tired of it. I'm cleaning out a room and making a studio out of it. It's not as big as I need so I shall have to be ruthless in getting rid of stuff.

The other thing I want to do it learn some new jewelry making skills. I want to improve my wire work and my work with Art Clay.

We had a busy holiday traveling around. We had Christmas in two places, Christmas Eve in another, and two family reunions.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the gatherings.

Here is my son Stefan sleeping at the family reunion for my paternal grandmother's family. We had this reunion the weekend after Christmas. He also slept at the family reunion for my paternal grandfather's family. It was two weekends before Christmas. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture then. He's growing so fast it's hard to keep him both full of food and awake.

We had Christmas at my Mom and Dad's the Sunday before Christmas. That was the day that nearly everyone could get there. Here is my niece Sarah with my mother.

Here's my husband Ralph with his mother.