Sunday, January 31, 2010

Just returned from St. Armands Circle in Sarasota. One large Starry Nights (just completed) and lots of transoms. We sold almost exactly the amount of glass we produced this past week. That is perfect, and I wish we could do that every weekend! All in all, a really good weekend!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday: We begin by raising at 2:30AM for set up on St. Armands Circle. At 5AM the street closes and we begin setting up our tent, stands, and loading-in our glass panels. The early morning crowds were heavy, and sales started out OK. We sold a Wright Transom and the Circles & Arrows Transom with the commercial dicro disk. By mid-morning we had on and off showers, the crowds had thinned and sales slowed. By 4PM the rain came in earnest, and the crowds were all but gone. We got some good leads on Commissions, but sales were well under our minimum. So, "...everything is fine today. This is our illusion.". Let's see what tomorrow brings. We hope for the best!

We begin the weekend on Friday evening with a beautiful sunset on Lido Key.

The Beach was desolate, with hardly anyone in attendance for the Show at Sunset.

This beach has the nicest Lifeguard stands we have ever seen. The sand here is like "Baby Powder". The Blue Dog really enjoy herself! We have high hopes for this show! St. Armands Circle is a very high end market. We hope for the best...if the weather holds!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Circles & Arrows" in Blue Ice dichroic glass with Youghiogheny glass boarder. This panel measures 37" X 25" and is shown here with light streaming through,
and with a black back drop.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

After a busy morning of commission paperwork I traced out the Fisheating Creek Egret panel and sent the template to Nan Merrick for final confirmation on size. Once we get the approval, we are ready to take the panel to completion. I started work on this "circles and arrows" panel. It will go slightly over 6 s.f at 37"X25" and consists primarily of cut color glass boader and blue ice dicro. I am leery of trying this new boarder, but I think it adds some much needed color. I am going to do the initial layout on the light table, to get a feel for the final product. If it won't fit, I will switch out the color with a clear crinkle SI100K. Carol Keys emailed me today to say that she thinks Sherry's C-24 in S100GC is great, but she may want to switch out the cobalt blue for clear. We will await her response. Also, Linda S. will call friday with measurments on the 10' transom, and Lortetta S, will call by weeks end with feedback on the Poconos Heron. Things are looking up all of a sudden, on the commission end!

Cold again this morning. 40F. at 6AM. Too cold for Florida. High today of 72F. I have to run the truck into town today to get a new tire on the front. I had the oil changed yesterday and the tires rotated. The one on the front had lost a weight and with just a short trip from Sarasota, wore it down. Although I could probably get another couple of shows out of it, it would probably through the truck out of alignment, or worse, go flat on the way to a show. That would be a costly. So, I will take the time again today and get the tire. Sherry is continuing work on inventory.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Preliminary Design layout for The Keys door insert. The Bevel Cluster is surround by Spectrum Clear Glue Chip with a 1 1/2" accent bevel followed by a 2" cobalt blue boarder by Wissmach. This work is by Sherry.

Cold this morning, 48F. warming to 75F by this afternoon. All foiling and fitting is finally done on Nan's "Fisheating Creek Egrets". Sherry laid out the Keys' C-66 Bevel Cluster in S100 Glue Chip with a Cobalt Blue Boarder. This panel will be installed in a wood frame provided by The Key's. The Painted Buntings were all over the studio feeders today. At one time we had two males and four females, as well as a dozen American Gold Finch.!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just got in from Sarasota. The show was closed at 2PM due to high winds.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lots of people. No sales (to speak of). Some pretty good leads on commission work. A couple from Canada (The Talbots) discussed 6 panels for their home in Toronto. They appeared serious. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Busy Day! We started with a big breakfast of bacon and fresh eggs that Sherry picked up at the Farm Bureau, fresh (just picked) grapefruit and toast. Right after breakfast Beverly came by again with lunch! Fried steak and gravy on potato cakes with rice & beans (just like yesterday)! Later in the day she showed up with a big pot of spaghetti with sausage. I think she is trying to get me fat(ter). We finished soldering up these six transoms. Tomorrow we patina, wash, wax and clean them before they a entered into inventory, all ready for The Sarasota Masters this weekend.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Aunt Treva Whorl RIP January 20, 2010.
First thing this morning Beverly (of Harley & Beverly) came by with chicken fried venison smothered in brown gravey and served on a plate of fried potato cakes with a side of beans & rice. She is a great cook, and periodically comes by with "vittles". She had been up since 4AM cooking. Everyone who has sampled her cooking is convinced she should own a restaurant.

Later in the afternoon, Todd and the Prevatt kids came by on the Swamp Buggy. Gavin is trying is level best to talk. Todd and Kylie interpret as necessary. Gavin ate a bunch of bananas, jumping up and snatching one at a time. He is cute as a button!

We finished several pieces today. On is this large 2'X3' Starry Night in Pink Ice with Pink/Green split dichroic rondels. This panel jumped once we hung it in the light.

We ended the day with a short walk and closed down the studio for the night. Sherry is not feeling well, so we will take it easy tonight, do some book work, and close it down early.

Spent most of yesterday morning boxing up glass to ship around the country. UPS, USPS, and FEDEX are so sorry when it comes to shipping, that I am required to do their job for them. Fragile means "Throw Underhand". We have had three panels damaged during shipping this past month, always someone other than the shipper at fault. As a result, not I have to spend $$ and time, building a "bomb-proof" shipping container. After Sherry took these to our UPS Store (which is really good, none of the damage occurred at the point of origin ), she called with the totals. Remember, these panels (or rather, panels identical to them) were shipped a month ago. The costs of shipping these doubled as a result of the weight of the new containers. I lose time and money in building the new containers, and my clients lose money in the costs associated with the weight of the new shipping containers. All the while the shippers, (who are responsible for delivering the glass undamaged) is rewarded with increased costs! It is infuriating! I just want to build glass, and not have to deal with all of the incidental aggravation that goes along with it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We picked up two bunches of bananas from the Banana Hombre in Clewiston. We have to hang them in the Kiln Shed, so they have time to turn. We will be eating Bananas like crazy over the next three weeks. They are the best bananas! Sherry will go over to Lehigh Acres today, and pick up a half bushel of Honey Bell Oranges. Fresh Bananas & Honey Bell Oranges! The Best!
Beautiful day today. High in the upper 70's with a nice breeze throughout the day. Sherry continued to work a C-66 in Cobalt Blue (which she completed by days end), while I gathered up six piles of glass, and started in on some Wright Transoms. I had three cut and fitted by days end, one in amber with a sliced Brazilian Agate, one in "Fire" with a Blenko Tangerine Rondel, and one in pink with a Brazilian Agate. We spent the evening foiling these. I will get two more cut out today, and than begin some replacement Stary Night Transoms.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rain most all morning, with highs in the mid to upper 60's. The weather broke about 2PM and the crowds came out in force. We picked up a nice commission and sales were moderate. All in all, a pretty good show. Sunday was as good as Saturday. Arrived in Palmdale late. Will post more tomorrow, if I have time. Sherry says we have to work harder longer, if we are going to be prepared for the wedding in February, and the Easter Break in late March, early April. Uuurrrr!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bluedog "on guard" for another day as Super Therapy Dog! We can't afford therapy, so we got a dog?

The Mandatory Parrot (present at ALL Florida Art Festivals), and;
a shot of the heavy crowds that came out for the Arts!

Pretty good day at Delray Beach today. A couple from Miami came up to present us with a commission for a door. We did some direct sales and handed out a load of cards. The weather held, and hopefully, will remain nice through tomorrow. It was good to see old friends again. I started the day at 3AM, which made set-up a breeze. Howard allowed us to move into the street a little early, which helped. Sherry came over around 7:30am and finished up while I moved the truck back over to the parking area. We finished up at around 5:30PM, had a leftover spaghetti dinner, and we will close it down for the evening. I have to get up early to move the truck over to a relativity close in parking area.

Friday, January 15, 2010

High today in the mid 70's. Very nice. We departed for Delray Beach a noon. Along the way we stopped at the Banana Man just east of Clewistown and picked up two big bunches of bananas. We arrived here about 3PM and unpacked the trailer. We had a nice visit with Jimmy & Connie Langford, finished off The Cake with the Langford's and the Green's, and now it is time for bed (6:30pm) as we have to get us at 3am to set up for this show.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nancy Prevatt and the Kids brought over a beautiful birthday cake today. Nancy said it was my birthday gift from the kids. What a really sweet bunch those Prevatt's are. I tasted Nancy's cake when she made three cakes and three different icings for Jess to sample. I got hold of the leftovers and told Sherry that I would love to have one for my birthday. Everybody told me that I could not have wedding cake for my birthday. But if I have it for my Birthday, than it must be Birthday Cake. Regardless, it is the best cake I think I have ever had. Great job Nancy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Even after ten nights of freezing temperatures the Calamondin Orange is in full bloom. The blooms smell great, especially after all of this cold! Mother Nature is a pretty amazing lady, and I would bet that this tree is blooming becoming we are in for a long spat of warm weather. Time will tell.

Our little friend made it through the night. Once the temperature made it to 50 F. I put him in the Passionflower vines, on the Macadamia Nut tree. He should make it through the night, as it is only going down into the mid-40's F.

The bananas are burnt beyond belief. They will be stunted, but will come back.

I took The Bluedog for a walk around down this afternoon. We found a Cow Pony on every corner.

Sherry got back from her show at 7PM (13 hour day). Not big sales, but every little bit helps. Tomorrow I will finish up my two panels, while Sherry finishes the last day of her two day show.
Not quite so cold this morning, 33F. with today's high reaching into the mid-60's. Tonight our lows only go into the upper 40's with tomorrow's temperatures reaching into the mid-70's (our normal average temperature). It looks as if we might be out of it now, for a while.

Sherry headed off this morning at 6:30AM to Ft. Myers and the Tanger Outlet Mall for a mid-week show with Community Affairs. I hate seeing her go! I don't like to be apart from her for very long. We are in this business because we love our art, but mostly we are in this business because it allows us to be together everyday, all day. But I have to get into the studio and complete all of these panels in progress. I will continue to fit and foil Nan Merrick's "Fisheating Creek Egrets", and finish out the Starry Night in Pink Ice, and the Starry Night Glue Chip Transom. Tomorrow, I will drive over to Ft.Myers and help with pack up. We will see how the show goes, and will probably book another one or two mid-week shows before the season closes in May. On Friday we head over to Delray Beach for this weekend's show. On top of all of this, I have filings that have deadlines on the 15th! That is always both costly, and aggravating.

Yesterday I completed the preliminary drawing & costs budget estimate for "Pocono Blue Heron", Commission Number 120809-162, for Loretta Schneider.

The panel will measure 25"+/- square, and include both flat and painted glass as well as some warm glass inclusions. The cartoon is far from complete, but this is a good launching point. I have in mind more detail along a tree line with possibly some cloud work along the skyline, and some grass placement along the bottom edge.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just a quick entry this evening. We worked in studio today until Noon, and than headed over to Ft. Myers to set up for Sherry's "Community Affairs" show tomorrow and Thursday. We began our day working to finish up projects begun over the weekend. Once we were all pack, and the completed panels were tagged and entered into inventory we headed over to the west coast. We stopped along the way just west of LaBelle, to purchase some Honey Bell oranges. Fresh picked this morning and only $4 / dozen, we purchased all available. We began set up at 3 and finished by 7PM. We stopped on our way out to pick up packing materials at Home Depot and provisions at Walmart. We arrived in Palmdale at 9:30PM, unpacked the truck, and began covering up for tonights frost. 90 plants by my count! Tomorrow, an entire unobstructed day in studio (I hope).

Monday, January 11, 2010

We were feeding the bees today. They emptied this quart jar of sugar water in about 3 hours. Sherry completed her projects, while I laid out a Starry Night transom in Pink Glue Chip. I started the door insert project, and am beginning design work on the Schneider Heron and Dierks Calla Lilly. Tom the Cabinet Maker came by the studio today. We discussed the weather first. He said that the temperatures reached a low of 19F. in his nursery last night. We also discussed him daddo blading some lumber for shipping crates. Tomorrow we will travel to Ft. Myers to set for the show.

This little guy fell out of the Live Oak by the front door. He was frozen solid, and appeared dead. Sherry rescued him and put him in the studio. I cleaned him up with some warm water, and left him be. About an hour later he was up and moving. We will put him outside (probably in the outdoor shower) once it warms up tomorrow. He is a hansom reptile.

Here are some shots of Josh Fradis of Sutherland Glass Art, Gridley, Ca. Josh was across from me at the Dunedin Art Festival. He has some of the most beautiful blown/thrown glass I have seen out here on the circuit. Absolutely stunning glass art! I hope to see him again in the future when, hopefully, I will have the funds sufficient to purchase the "Salmon" bowl shown here. You might notice how "frozen" Josh appears in the photo.

Arrived home last night at 10:30PM. The show was a total loss, without one sale. Unless I get some calls on commissions this week, the show will be our first ever "Zero Sales" show! I vacillated about staying home and working in the studio, but opted instead to leave Sherry here, and try to at least recoup our booth fee. Instead, I lost additional monies from travel expenses by doing the show. It was just too darn cold, and the cold continues.

As stated on theTV News this morning, temperatures dropped to 19F. here in Palmdale last night. I don't think that we saw those lows here, but that is what they reported. I checked my thermometer at 4:30 AM and it was hovering right at freezing. At sunrise we had frost. I can't see how it could have gotten to 19F.
Lucky for me, Sherry covered all of the plants yesterday afternoon (quite a feat!), so hopefully she saved the day, and we will suffer no further loss. Tonight is supposed to be the last of the Florida Deep Freeze of 2010. After this we go into a warming trend with highs tomorrow in the lower 60's, and continued warming throughout the week, eventually reaching into the lower 70's by weeks end. Rain comes in again on Saturday.

Today, we are back in studio completing projects from last week (Starry Nights in Pink Ice) and Nan Marricks "Fisheating Egrets". Sherry has completed the replacement panel for Falker, and I intend starting the commissions for....whoever is next in line.