So, yesterday was the horse expo.After spending every spare moment I've had working on my illustrations and my altered photography,
I was finally ready.
I was right up to the wire.
Friday morning I set my alarm for 4:30 am, so that I could do the final coat of sealer on the last batch of work and give them enough time to dry.
I had extra prints that I had thought to sell but decided at the last minute not to take them.
I figured that it might not be a good idea to give people a cheaper option to buy.
It would also cause me to have to deal with giving out "change".
I had signed up on Paypal to get a "reader" that plugs into my phone so I would be able to swipe debit/credit cards. The first reader is free and they only charge a minimal fee if you swipe a card and in this day and age when hardly anyone carries cash I thought it would be a good idea. Unfortunately it hadn't arrived by Friday but my friend who is the organizer of the vendors had one she wasn't using, so I was glad to borrow it.
Lily, my niece had promised to help me.
She's a great salesperson and she was really pumped up for it.
Lily lives across the river, where we both work and I drove over and picked her up and we headed for the stables.
It's only a 15-20 minutes drive from where we work and yet it's like another world.
It goes from a populated and new construction area and suddenly it turns country.
Lily and I had a nice talk on the drive out and when we arrived, everyone was very friendly.
It didn't take long to set up.
Here's the display and Lily -
The girl who used to work for me was there and she took her horse out for me to see.
About an hour later, one of the receptionists from work, a very sweet girl and now a friend of Lily's, came out to add moral support.
The stall behind us had the horse "Oliver" in it.
Most stalls were empty and the horses were outside but a few did have horses.
Oliver's owner came over and opened his window.
So then I had three helpers.
Lots of people stopped by and I had many nice compliments on my work.
Almost every owner of the horses that I had taken a photo of and altered, stopped by and was surprised to see their horses. They hadn't been there when I took the photos, so I hadn't been able to ask if it was OK, but they were all nice about it.
The woman that owns Oliver and also this horse-
bought his print.
Three or four people took my business card and asked if they could email me their horse/dog/cat photos and have me do an altered photo.
I told them - maybe.
I would have to see the photo, as it doesn't always come out right.
To be honest, I see photos all the time that people think are great, because I'm assuming that they have tunnel vision and just focus on their pet's face, but they haven't noticed the things in the background, the lighting or the angle of the face or ....
Anyway. I'll try but I've tried before and it really didn't translate.
Besides, I pride myself in the fact that it's MY photo that I took....
Another woman came by and asked me to set her horse's print aside and she'd be back to buy it.
After that, I had a lot of people stop and look and... nothing.
Lily was very outgoing and chatty and I was friendly and answered questions.
Finally a good friend of mine, whom I've done TWO big commission pieces for in the past
and who I still need to finish smaller pieces of her 5 dogs, arrived.
She had me set aside the Palomino illustration for her as she used to own one and then after doing some other shopping, she came back and bought that and the Dachshund photo print.
She stuck around and we all chatted as she used to work at the clinic with us.
Finally the event was over, the stable manager had another horse owner give the lady whose horse print I set aside, a call to see if she was coming back for the print.
I could tell by the expression on the face of the woman who was calling what the answer was.
She looked at me and shook her head "No"and I quickly said that was FINE.
She hung up and said that the woman had changed her mind.
So - I sold a grand total of THREE.
I'm kinda in the hole with exhibit fees, and supplies but I did have a very nice donation towards that, and it helped greatly with that sting.
Yep, everything is good.
We started to pack up and I told the manager how great it was to be around all the horses and she said for me to remember that I'm welcomed to come out anytime!
It was kind of long day. I definitely don't know how artists and crafters do that so many weekends.
I'm in awe of that ability.
This is the third time in my life that I've done an event/show.
Each time I've had lots of people praising my work.
The first time I had done painted furniture - chairs, chests, bed headboards and such, with animals and things painted on them.
The seconds time I had done little signs, and door draft blockers made to look like long Dachshunds and I had stuffed fabric and painted dogs and cats and also pins and necklaces.
Lots of people oohed and aaaahed and....
each time I ended up in the hole.
Yep. I'm done with doing that.
Lily had fun though.
She's a cat and dog person and never really thought about horses
but she was in love with Oliver before we left.
We had another good talk as I drove her home.
I told her to think about her FIVE year plan.
I told her that I wasn't trying to tell her what to do but just to help her.
I said that no one had ever told me to plan and that I drifted for way too long.
I told her that I'm still struggling and drifting.
But that maybe she should think about where she wanted to be in 5 years.
I told her that she had so much time and could do whatever she wanted to do
but that also, there's a saying that goes something about God laughing at those who make plans.
I wasn't getting religious with her I said, I just meant that unexpected things can happen but it's not bad to have a plan to work on.
Then we got to talking about how we have both gained a lot of weight and
how we are both our heaviest ever and
how we are both stress eaters and how we need to get motivated to get some weight off.
So that's part of a sub-plan.
I drove through the East Village, Lily lives just blocks away.
They had another event going on.
The area was packed with cars and people.
As I drove behind a convertible luxury car, I said to Lily "See that car in front of us?
The cost of that car could pay off my house, MY car and my credit card!"
We both laughed. Lily thought that was just crazy.
I agreed and we wondered what all these people did for a living.
I said whatever they did, maybe Lily should make a plan to do that! LOL!
After I dropped her off, I had to drive through the downtown area.
We are having unseasonably warm weather.
So downtown Davenport was crowded with people sitting outside the little brewery/coffee shop
and cars were parked along the river
and more on Arsenal Island.
They were taking photos of the Mississippi River.
Since I grew up here and have seen it everyday, I gotta say I don't get it.
To me it's a muddy dirty river.
They are always finding dead people in it and it floods almost every year.
Funny how others are so excited to see it.
I drove home thinking about all the people I drove past,
biking and walking.
People in the East Village and Downtown, just enjoying the weekend.
I was glad to get home though.
I let the dogs outside to potty, and looked around my home.
It was still light outside and I suddenly could notice all the things I've been neglecting around the house.
I thought about how I wished my house was "done" and each room wasn't in an unfinished stage.
I know I need to really just focus on one room at a time, and get it done.
I looked out at the dogs and thought about my plans for the yard.
I want to level out the yard where it dips down and expand the fence.
I will need to get the hill weeded and cleared again and this year I hope to choke out the weeds with Zinnia's and Sunflowers.
I let the dogs back in and looked at a few things online...
but gave up and went to bed.
Tomorrow is another day.