Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bras for the Cause!

The Calico Cat, and The Blue Armadillo Winery recently hosted a Bras for the Cause event. 

I had a plan in mind and ordered the supplies while I was at the Revel.  Then we all got the H1N1 flu, and the supplies still hadn't arrived.  The supplies arrived just in the nick of time, I started feeling better and went to work on the design.  I used heavy aluminum wire shaped into large spirals and textured it with my hammer.  I think it came out with a kind of futuristic science fiction/fantasy chic look.  What do you think?

my art bra

I used some vintage clip earrings, chain, aluminum wire, and a purchased bra.

Here are some pics from the event.  The red bra, "Butterflies are Free" was made by my friend Billye.

butterflies are free

bras for the cause event

There were some really interesting bras.  Click on the Bras for the Cause link above to see pics of all the bras.  I know hubby was thinking that I was dragging him to a boring event but he had a good time and commented about the humorous aspect of many of the entries.

The event was a huge success! Over 60 bras were entered.  Attendees voted on their favorites.  Each vote cost a dollar and over $3000 dollars was raised for the Hunt Regional Healthcare Cancer Rehabilitation facility. 

I like to give some of the income from my jewelry shows to charity and our vote money came from proceeds from my shows. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Red River Revel

My biggest show  this year was the Red River Revel.  I did the second half so I was there October 7-10.  My sales were slightly down from previous years, which I attribute to the weather.  I always enjoy this show and the volunteers who take care of us are terrific. 

views from my booth

Here's some views to either side of my booth.

views from my booth

Wednesday wasn't so bad, but there weren't many shoppers.  Thursday was really, really hot.  Friday it rained, at times severely, and it was cold. 

a slight break in the rain

Almost no shoppers, although as you can see above, there were some. Did I mention the hours were 10 to 10?  Saturday it was cold and misted all day but the shoppers were plentiful.  Saturday made my show.  For several hours I was so busy that I didn't even have time to eat lunch, even though the volunteers brought me one.  I told Ralph that next year he has to come help me on Saturday.  My booth was packed.

Here's some booth views taken when the booth wasn't packed.

booth display

My new banner is visible on the back wall.

booth displays

The earring display going up the wall is new.  More on the cards later.

I had some great neighbors this year.  Randal Sprangler from Kansas City, Mo. was right beside me (he's seated in the chair above).  He has wonderful whimsical paintings.

Behind me were Frankie Buckley and her husband Tom. I especially liked her cats.  Next to Frankie on the fourth corner was Gloria Shanahan.

The stilt walkers were a treat this year.  I tried, but couldn't get good pictures.  Maybe I should say stilt puppeteers, since they  were basically wearing a puppet.

stilt puppiteers

stilt puppeteers

stilt walkers

You can click on any of the photos and see them in more detail on Flickr.

The venue is right next to the train tracks. 

one of many trains

another train

Shreveport is a colorful place to visit, for several reasons.  Here are a couple:

mural, downtown Shreveport

part of a mural across from the venue

These are some new earrings designs I had at the show:

new earring designs

Some new Art Clay earrings:

art clay earrings

I dropped Stefan off with my parents for a visit while I was at the Revel.  I spent Sunday night with them and visited for a while and we came home Monday. 

Monday night Stefan came down with the swine flu, then I got it.  Ralph didn't catch it for about three days which was good, because for a couple of days before he got sick I sure didn't feel like taking care of anyone else. At least there was always someone well enough to take care of everyone else.  By the time they get the flu vaccine ready no one around here is going to need it because they'll already have had the swine flu.

Luckily my parents didn't get sick. 

Autism and Homeschooling

The past few months have brought a major change in our family.  About six weeks before the end of last school year I started homeschooling our son.  Then this summer I took him to a pediatric neurologist who diagnosed him with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Ironically, we took him to a different pediatric neurologist when he was three because my mother insisted that we get him checked for autism.  At that time he wouldn't make eye contact most of the time and did a lot of spinning. He would flinch and cover his ears when he heard a car engine starting.  And boy, was he obsessed with vacuum cleaners, just as long as you didn't turn them on.

Naturally he looked the doctor right in the eye and interacted quite well with him.  The doctor was also impressed that Stefan could ride a bicycle.  He thought he was okay, but did mention that he might have ADD.  

In the end, Grandma did know best. 

He was later diagnosed with ADD, Dyslexia, and anxiety.  Things didn't quite seem to fit and I took him to the neurologist because I felt we must be missing something. 

At first I was relieved to know what was going on.  All the little things that didn't fit his diagnosis before all fit with this one.  Then I was bummed for a while.  Stefan is still the same kid he has always been, he's high-functioning, and I've decided to quit being bummed. Things could be a lot worse.  I know people for whom things are a lot worse. 

Luckily we did a lot of things for Stefan when he was little that turned out to be the things we should have been doing if we'd known about the autism.  We read to him from birth, we took him to Kindermusic, mother's day out, pre-school, sports, scouts etc.  Starting in Kindergarten he had speech therapy through 7th grade.  We worked on writing in the summer because his fine motor skills needed improvement. 

I've quit subbing at the Middle School for a couple of years until  Stefan graduates.  He's in 11th grade this year.  His interest is in filming skateboarding, so hopefully he'll go to a college after high school to learn videography. 

I'm enjoying being at home with Stefan and teaching him.  So far it's working out well, although we never seem to get as much done as I want to do.  Part of that is because I don't have a handle on how long it takes to do things, part is technical (we are getting him a laptop for his birthday, which should rememdy a lot of the technical problems) and part is just because we don't always get everything done.  He is learning and the stress we had when he was in the local high school is gone.  Also gone are the hours and hours of homework after school. I'm also able to do life skills with him at home that he couldn't do in school.  

I've been reading a lot about autism.  One of the books I read is Homeschooling the Child with Autism by Patricia Schetter and Kandis Lighthall.  It's been very helpful.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Getting Ready for October Shows

new fun ring

My trunk show at the Calico Cat was a success.  I ended up adding a day to the show to take advantage of the downtown crowds gathering for the Ralley Round Greenville event. 

Now I'm running around madly tring to finish getting ready for October 1st Monday Trade Days at Canton.  I'll be driving back and forth to Canton, but the show hours are 8 to 8, so there won't be time for anything else.  I'll be finished with Canton Sunday evening and have to leave again Tuesday morning for Red River Revel in Shreveport, LA.  I'll go via my parent's farm in the Troup area of Texas where I'll drop my son, Stefan, off for a visit with his grandparents.  My part of the show runs Wednesday through Saturday.  It'll be after midnight before I finish packing up so I'll stay over until Sunday. It's likely I'll stay until Monday at my parents so we get a chance to visit.

I'm just hoping I can fit Stefan and his stuff into the car.  Usually the show stuff takes up every available space.

I've spent two days just getting things printed and working on the earring cards.  Plus I made some new rings. I hope to get a picture of some of them up in a post.  a couple of new rings

(Okay, this was supposed to be posted about three weeks ago, but better late than never.)