Monday, March 31, 2008

I've been busy!!

I have to apologize for not posting here in so long! Since my last post I have made tons of product from my canes. The new ones are up on the web site now! Getting enough inventory finished for 3 large shows in a row, can be very tiring! My DH, DD, Niece and I worked almost night and day trying to get things done. Even then I didn't finish all that I wanted to finish! But that's not new, It seems I am always under estimating how much time I have, and how long it takes to get things done.

Along with getting ready for the shows, we had to get ready for the bathroom remodel. Which meant we had to pack up a lot of stuff. My studio is on the opposite side of the wall from the bath. I had to take down everything on the shelves, and pack them into boxes temporarily.

Then on Easter weekend my 2 oldest girls came home for a visit. My niece had a surprise 40Th birthday party for my "baby" sister! My 2 sisters from the twin cities area and parts of their families came up for it. And then we had a nice Easter dinner at my mothers.

We left for our first show at 5AM Monday morning after Easter!

So, last weekend I was at the first of my 3 show run, in Lancaster PA. It was a good show, up from last year, which is great! I am sorry I didn't get any pictures, the camera is still at home, on the desk, waiting for me to grab it as I go out the door. I forgot!

Right now I am sitting in my hotel room, somewhere in Indiana, on the way home. I should be back in Minnesota sometime late tomorrow night (Tuesday). Then I will spend a day catching up on paper work, reading mail and all that. After which I will be filling orders, and then doing some work to fill in weak spots in my inventory. We will be leaving for Chicago a week from today for the next show! Whew! Talk about a whirlwind!

I look forward to getting home, the plumber and carpenter have been working on the bathroom while we were gone. I know they won't be done, but it will still be a big change! This is something that we have wanted to do for years! They will have replaced all the fixtures, the walls, the floor, the lights and I forget what all else. Living in a 100 year old house, there is always work to be done!

My middle daughter Errin is a traveling Respiratory Therapist and is currently on a mission to Peru as a volunteer with a group called "Cardiostart" I am really proud of her! You can read about her travels on her blog:
It seems my kids have inherited my travel bug, Amy the oldest has been to China and Ireland. Errin is currently in Peru, and Tena my youngest will be traveling on a tour to England, France and Italy in June. It seems the sisters are a globe trotting gang! LOL

Well I am off to bed, I need to be up and on the road early tomorrow morning.

Until next time
Jenny P

Friday, March 7, 2008

Another McKim flower

This is my most recent cane, another one based on the designs of Ruby S. McKim. I am very pleased with this one! I love how the colors pop, and the design definitely says "Pansy" The large one will be used for pins and large pendants. The small one will be used to make beads in various sizes, to be used for necklaces, earrings and charms.

I am going to have to pop into Lindly's blog, and answer her question about using "yellow" in Jewelry, with a YES! LOL

This is the last new cane for spring, although I do have a number of other designs I wanted to make. I just ran out of time! I leave for my next round of shows on March 23, and then I have 3 shows within a 6-week period. Not only that, but also these are 3 of my top 5 shows of the year!

So now, I start what I call panic mode! I will work night and day until I leave, slicing and baking, making beads, stringing necklaces (my Daughter's job, but I do the finishing) and assembling earrings and such. I do have a couple of girls who help with the earrings. My husband does all the gluing, pricing, and packaging that needs to be done.

People ask me how much inventory I bring to shows, well I am not really that organized. I always say I am going to start planning better, but never do. SO! I will make as much as I can get done. Then I will bring with me extra beads and supplies, and while at the shows, will put together things as they are requested.

Until next time
Jenny P

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Know your customer!

Ok so I had this experience today that has been eating at me, and I need to get it off my chest.

Don't "assume" you know who you are talking too, and don't "assume" they don't know what they are talking about, especially your customers. I was so put off by a vendor today, that it will be long while before I go back to them. This was a company that sells products to polymer clay folk like me. And I have dealt with them off and on for a number of years now. I do have to admit that I have not spoken to this representative very often, but I have.

I was asking questions about a product they carry. The person I was speaking too made a number of comments about how this was a product for those Polymer clay artists who do "production" I told them I knew that, and went on to ask some more questions, again there was a comment about "production work" I told them I KNEW that! And I know what "production work" is. I tried to ask some more questions, but again the person I was speaking to, was "assuming" I didn't know what I was talking about, didn't listen and I gave up!!

I know I am not well known in the polymer community, I don't write books, or teach classes. Mostly because I am to busy "producing" in order to feed my family. I just go along, doing my thing, and running off to the quilt shows. But a company I have dealt with for years SHOULD know this! I actually went to the computer and counted, just at the shows I did in 2007 I had about 4000 individual sales, and most of these were for more than one item. I think that counts as "production work"

And now when I think about it, I don't know if I am put off because of the attitude of the person on the phone. Or if I am just disappointed that they didn't know who I was! Maybe my ego is getting in my way. Maybe I am getting to much accustomed to the recognition I get at quilting venues. And it's going to my head!

Ok I got it off my chest!
Jenny p

Monday, March 3, 2008

What I learned from American Idol

I have to admit, that I never watch reality shows, I was just never interested. That is…..until this years American Idol. I was channel surfing and came across the first episode, and now I am hooked! I have watched all of them so far. However, in light of some of the discussions that have come about because of Synergy, I am looking at Idol differently. You know, what the judges tell the contestants can be interpreted for PC too! Or any kind of Art!

#1. Be consistent! This seems to be a theme, those that consistently perform well, move on!

#2. Be yourself, don’t try to be just like Carly Simon, sing Carly, but with your own twist. Do those projects you see in books, or learn in class, but just to learn technique, not to imitate!

#3. Don’t be complacent, just because you can sing already, doesn’t mean there isn’t more to learn. I love learning, I read all the time, what ever I can get my hands on! LOL I even read cookbooks like novels! You never know where something will click, and cause you to say “DUH”!

#4. Be a good sport; get along with your peers! Sharing ideas and techniques always sparks more.

#5. Listen to the judges, but don’t take what they say as criticism, but as good advice. Critique from someone you admire can help you become well rounded.

#6 Look at your performance as a complete picture, don’t just assume that because you can sing, you don’t have to look the part. Kathleen Dustin said in a recent interview; make a decision about every part of your piece, so it is a cohesive whole! WOW!


Until Next time
Jenny P