Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Catching up

After a show there is always the catching up phase! First there is the 3' tall pile of mail to sort through. Most of it usually is junk, but of course there are goodies in it!

The mail gets sorted, then it's time to do the receipts. Every receipt from the trip needs to get posted into my accounting software. Then I have to post my monies received, and then pay all the bills. This usually takes a day or two, depending on how long I was gone, and how fast I work! Most of that is done now, I do have a few odds and ends yet.

Then it's time to gather up all my info for the tax lady. I know a LOT of people do their own taxes, personally I could do it, but my time is better spent creating. What the tax lady can do in an hour, would take me 4!


I got a pressie in the mail today! I had ordered a "REDUCERATOR Deluxe" from Wes at http://www.custommadebeads.com/ It is a tool to help in reducing my square canes. It uses acrylic rods with an acrylic base. Now I have used the rods for years, in fact I sell them on my web site. But I have just used my table top, which has a dip in it, and is a pain to try to keep my canes square on. I am hoping this tool will help with that! It will be a nice addition to my collection of reducing rods.

Speaking canes, I have 2 that I started while demonstrating at the show. I plan on getting to them later today. Making more of each, and finishing them all up.


Jenny P

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Backroads and Byways

Whew! I am finally home, we had an awesome drive! Sometimes frustrating, sometimes wonderful.

First, the show went great, my sales were up by about 5% over last year, which means that it was my best show ever, in that venue! I came home with less inventory, and some new ideas.

We left on Monday morn, drove towards Arizona on Hwy 40, and somewhere on that road had a flat tire on the trailer. After a lot of interesting language, we managed to get the tire changed. *note to self, when packing up trailer, make sure tools are handy, so next time we don't have to unpack 1/2 of it on the side of the highway! We made it to Kingman, and found a tire shop, there we discovered that not only was the flat tire bad, the other good one was in tough shape too. Something we SHOULD have checked before we ever left home. We ended up buying 3 new tires (spare wasn't in very good shape either).

As we were hooking the trailer back up, one of the repair men mentioned that our van seemed to be riding low. We had noticed it earlier, but didn't think anything of it. Upon further inspection, the shocks on the back of the van were SHOT! And I mean SHOT, there was no spring in them at all. This makes me mad at my local shop, we had a brake job done just before we left, the guys there should have SEEN the bad shocks, and said something. It was very obvious, even I could see they were bad. So guess what? We ended up having them replaced too, and you can't just do the ones on the back end, so we did the front end ones too. I have to say the guys who did the work were very nice, they ended up working 2 hours past the normal closing time.

After paying the bill (good thing my show was a good one!) we made it to Williams that night, ate and found a hotel.

Tuesday we were up early and off to see the Grand Canyon, this was my 3rd or 4th visit there, and I don't think I will ever get tired of it. What a beautiful place! We left the Canyon while it was still daylight, ate and filled our tank in Cameron and drove through the Navajo lands in Northern Arizona towards Colorado. This is a beautiful part of the country, we were driving through at night under a full moon. I have to say the land was enchanting. We drove past the turn to Monument Valley, and I want to go back someday and see it in the daylight.

We spent the night in Cortez Colorado, and spent Wednesday trekking through Mesa Verde National Park. Oh my! I get chills even typing about it! The thought that these people were living there in a complete society as far back as 600 AD is awesome. We did a tour of some of the ruins, did a driving tour on the Mesa top and had a wonderful afternoon. After leaving the park we only drove about an hour, both to tired to go any further.

Thursday we woke up early to new snow on the ground and a storm on the way! We hightailed it out of there as quick as we could. Raced over the passes in front of the storm. They closed the passes about an hour later. For these flatlanders driving on mountain passes pulling a trailer is already a white knuckle experience. Driving it in winter on snow........well the knuckles are still recovering. And I was the passenger! *nother note to self.......pack tire chains in trailer, next to door, NOT under boxes, next to jack.

The rest of the drive was uneventful, we arrived at home last night about 9PM. I did take a LOT of pictures in the parks. I will load them off my camera to the puter, and put the best of them up on my webshots page.

Now to get caught up on all the paperwork, accounting and mail that piled up in the 2 weeks I was on the road!

Jenny P

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Anatomy of a booth

I thought some of you out there would like to see a booth come together. So I put together a slide show of pictures I took today. If you click on the pictures, it will take you to my web shots album, where there is a description of the picture under each.

You can see the slide show here:

Or if you would rather just see the album, here is the link:



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

We have arrived!

Well we spent yesterday morning wandering around old Santa Fe, around the governors palace, St. Francis Cathedral, and other sites. I took a few pictures, but had my settings wrong, so most of them didn't turn out.

After we tired of our wanderings, we spent the rest of the day driving to Flagstaff. We made a few stops along the way, just to gaze at the view, and such.

Today we drove the rest of the way, took a scenic route, at least that's what the map said. Although the DH and I had a hard time finding the scenic part for most of it! LOL!

Tonight it's early to bed, or it was going to be, until about 5 minutes ago when the DH informed me that we don't have a regular tub in our room, it's a WHIRLPOOL! Didn't expect that, I might have to test that out!

Tomorrow will be a long day, our unloading time is 10am, we have 1/2 hour to get everything out and hauled to our space. It usually takes us, (the DH and I) about 4 or 5 hours, but we usually end up spending about 7 hours at it. Taking our time, to do a good job and not stress over it.

If I think of it, I will take some pictures of the process. I actually remembered to bring the camera this time!

The weather here is great, talked to the DD at home, and found out we left just in time. The COLD weather came down from Canada after we left. It is supposed to get down to -28 in the next day or so. I am sure going to enjoy the warm temps while I am here.

Off to check out that tub


Sunday, January 13, 2008

California Here I come!

After 2 weeks of panic mode, getting inventory ready, we are finally on the road.

It seems that every time I tell some one, YES we drive to all our shows, and YES it is 2350 miles one way to Ontario. I hear, "oh my! I could not do that"

I love the drive! It's like a vacation, and I see parts of this wonderful country I would never see otherwise. After frantically working to get ready, we left on Saturday morning about 7am. I had worked getting packed up until 4am. So the DH drove, this is our standard routine. I can never sleep the night before we leave anyway. So it has become my habit to stay up most of the night.

I have no problem sleeping while the DH drives, in fact I slept through 1/3 of northern Minnesota, the bottom 1/3 of North Dakota, most of South Dakota, all of Iowa, and into Nebraska! We went 750 miles on Saturday and I slept for at least 500 of them. Then had a good nights sleep at the hotel! When not sleeping or driving, I can read, listen to music, or a book on tape, or just day dream! There aren't any pins to make, canes to finish, or even phones to answer.

Today we went another 750 miles, and right now are in Santa Fe New Mexico. This place is one of the reasons I like driving. We drive 2 long days just so we can take our time the rest of the way. I love Northwestern New Mexico. I don't know if it is the mountains, the clean crisp air, the smell of pinon pine or the people. But this part of the country is one of the few places I have come across that sings to my spirit.

When you think on it, mountains here are a good example of the celtic betwixt and between. They are both old and young, old in terms of our human lives, but young in terms of the age of mountains.

We arrived tonight, found our hotel, and then went for supper at a little Mexican place we love called "Maria's" About 4 or 5 years ago, on our way through, we asked a gal at the gas station to recommend her favorite local restaurant. The place she pointed to was "Maria's" and we have stopped at least once each year since.

Tomorrow we will drive slowly, and stop when we get the urge. Maybe first thing in the morning we will go to old town Santa Fe for breakfast. Maybe later visit a pueblo, or a ruin, maybe just find an out of the way restaurant for lunch. Or stop and just sit, or take a hike somewhere. If we only get 300 miles tomorrow, that's fine. We don't need to be in Ontario until late Tuesday nite! We allowed ourselves an extra day in case of bad weather. The weather has been good, so we can Play!



Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Getting ready for California!

Happy New Year!

I have been busy getting ready for my next show. We leave on Saturday for the "Road to California" quilt show. I always like this show, who wouldn't enjoy traveling from Minnesota to California in January! LOL

I have spent the time since the holidays slicing up canes, and making jewelry from them. Then I decided I needed to have something new to bring. I dug into my "things to make" list and pulled out the pink ribbon idea. So I put together a new to me design and make a Pink Ribbon cane. I really like the way it turned out! The pins are a complex design using 5 of the ribbon canes, and 4 plain white blocks. Then the plain ribbon will be used to make earrings in various designs to go along with the pins. This should be added to the web site in the next few days.

I also have been busy getting all the things put together for the bathroom remodel, since they will be doing the work while we are gone. I want to have as much as possible organized and discussed with the workmen as possible.

Time to get back to the work table.
Jenny P