Sunday, December 29, 2013

Winding Down

Our tiny family got the gift of being able to spend the last ten days together!  Tomorrow work begins  and routines will show their face again but at least we've been able to take a much needed breather together.  
Our holidays were grand.  Nothing over the top and a few really rough nights for the kid but everything was still absolutely perfect.  We decided to stay in town Christmas Eve so Rio could have Christmas morning at her own home.  We set up the tripod and recorded 26 minutes of us opening presents, just like my dad used to do when we were kids.  It was a hoot to watch later.  After our home movie debut, we packed up the car and spent the night in Okemah with Brent's family. 
As I'm learning with having a child, birthdays and Christmas overload you with STUFF.  We've spent the last day or so reorganizing her goodies and pulling out things she's outgrown to pass along to friends with bebes.  The house has gotten a good overhaul all around and it feels great.  We're also gearing up for a small New Year's bash here in a few days so our cleaning has come from many motivations.  

I'm back to family-time now before real life starts back up again!  See you next year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas With The Kid

While we were 'snowed in' a few weeks ago, we pulled out the Christmas decorations!  Last year, Rio was only about 3 months old and did nothing more than stare at the pretty lights.  Well this year, she's allllll hands...and it's awesome.  She still does get excited for the lights though.  Last night when I turned them on, she audibly gasped and it was the cutest thing ever. 
Only one ornament has met its fate so far and that's ok.  We placed kid friendly ornaments towards the bottom of the tree so she can pull them off and (try to) put them back on the tree.  She certainly has some favorites!  A friend of mine gave us three smaller trees of hers that she no longer needed for her shop and they've just been the greatest.  Not only did I use them at Alliday but they've allowed us to be a bit more festive around the house.  The tallest of the three stands next to our big tree and in a way, it's become Rio's tree.  
The only difficult part (if you even consider it difficult) is keeping her away from the gifts which she is REALLY interested in.  I'm really looking forward to Christmas morning when she can actually tear into her gifts.  :)  And to think, these holidays will only continue to get more enjoyable for us all through her.  I still haven't made her stocking yet though....six days left...I've got this.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

That One Time I Was a Fashion Designer

I did it!  Two weeks after Alliday, I put a small collection down the runway at Indie Emporium!  
It was nothing groundbreaking nor fashion forward but it was 100% me and I'm crazy proud of how it all turned out.  I never really let myself get overwhelmed or stressed out over the whole thing mainly because I didn't have the time!  I literally pulled out every item of clothing I have made over the past few years and started piecing outfits together that way.  I did make two new pieces for the show (the gold jacket and the scarf) but other than that, everything I showed was already made.  I wanted things to somewhat relate to each other either color or shape-wise so the collection seemed somewhat cohesive.  I had two darling gals that I previously did not know volunteer to model for me in addition to four ladies that I absolutely love, including Holly and Sam!  Sam helped me out in a pinch as one of my other friends who was going to model came down with a stomach bug so was down for the count.  Sam jumped in and was my beautiful hero!  Having friends that I adore be apart of this experience with me made it that much sweeter.  They were rock stars.  I'm incredibly lucky to know them all.  We didn't do anything special in regards to hair and makeup; I just wanted the girls to feel pretty and do what they would normally do! 
I did not know until about an hour before the show that we'd be going first!  I was equal parts terrified by that and relieved.  After the fact, I was thrilled that we were the first to go as the waiting was killing me!  We waited to go out in a very large and very concrete stairwell.  My girls did absolutely fabulous.  They were so positive, fun and excited that they really pumped me up more and more.  After each of them had walked, I walked out with all of them rather awkwardly!  I was SO embarrassed and I'm usually not at all!  I think it was due to me putting myself out there in a way I never had before with a form of creating that is fairly new to me.  Then that was it!  We were done!  

So overall, I'm very, very glad that I decided to do this.  I keep going back and staring at the pictures in amazement that I made ALL of that and that it all looked pretty good!  It was nothing earth-shattering but it all had one thing in common - gifts from the past.  Whether it was vintage fabric, a refashioned vintage dress or an earring turned necklace, everything had my touch on it and for that, I'm very proud of myself.  If you'd like to see my show live, you can watch the video here.
I truly do want to thank you all for cheering me on over the past few years as I've ventured into the world of sewing.  It's quickly become one of my favorite ways to pass the time and to be able to create things that others like too, well, that just rocks.  So thanks :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A BIG Creative Weekend Ahead!

I've not let pregnancy or having a baby stop me from creating or sharing my creations with the public.  Since I've had a kiddo though, I haven't done a show on my own!  I've shared booths with my Make:Tulsa buds and one with my mom, oh and I produced that one show, but I haven't had my own booth in over a year.  Well, this weekend will end that streak and I CAN'T WAIT.  Indie Emporium starts tomorrow and I'll have my very own, very special booth.  I have a few new items and I'm majorly discounting TONS of stuff because, well, I'm ready to clear things out to start fresh.  

Another crazy, exciting bit about the show this weekend is that I'm participating in their fashion show.  As in I'm sending a line down the runway with models.  Yeah, like that.  I've been working on it in my head for a few months now but haven't had one extra minute to tangibly work on things until after Alliday ended.  So for the past two weeks, I've been working on putting together six looks from clothes and accessories I've made over the past few years in addition to a few new pieces just for the show!  I've never even been to a runway show before so I'm greener than green in this arena but I'm super, MEGA excited with how things are shaping up!  It's been something else for me to look at all of my pieces together to create full looks; something my mister has been trying to convince me to do for a while now.  I'm starting to realize how big of a deal this is FOR ME.  The fashion show is Saturday night if you'd like to see this thing go down live.  If not, I'll recap it with photos later!  Wish me (and my models!) luck!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Alliday Reflections & Recap

Two Saturdays ago, I put on our fourth annual Alliday Show with the very gracious help of my family and some amazing volunteers.  I feel like this was by far our best show while at the same time, being the most exhausting for me!  I don't know if it was moving it so close to the end of the semester, having a molar-teething one-year old or just having more elements in it this time around but it sure took it out of me.  It was SUCH a good time though, exhaustion aside.  Here's a fairly brief recap with photos pulled from my phone :)

The doors opened promptly at 9 and let in those faithful fifty who had been waiting in the SUPER cold wind for swag bags!  The folks who make sure to be there early for those bags always impress and surprise me.  The swag bags WERE pretty cool though so they were worth waiting for!  

This year, Retro Den provided a lounge for shoppers to hang out in and hang out they did!  I LOVED having this component this year and really loved working with the Ashleys of Retro Den.  Their store is just asking to get me into trouble.  Seriously.  I've been building a shopping list in my head for a while now.

Another new part of the show was our stage area!  We had ongoing crafting demonstrations and music from my sister!  I had been very reluctant in the past to have something like this at the show but decided to give it a try this year and am glad that we did.  Pictured below is Short Mountain Sundries teaching us how to make t-shirt yarn and Aaron Paul Designs teaching us how to make elephants out of old forks! 

We revamped quite a bit of the decor this year.  It needed refreshing.  I needed it to be refreshed.  My sister and our volunteers really helped me achieve these changes.  This was our back wall at the information desk.  I LOVED this.  The garland is now a part of our holiday decor at home and the Hi is just waiting to be pulled out of a box to go in my work area. 

We were a bit more selective with our artists this year.  We didn't want to just accept artists just to fill spaces.  We decreased the number of exhibitors by about 15 this year and I think it was a great decision.  It did make for a smaller budget but I was able to do some things I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise, like change up our floor plan which is what I've gotten the most positive feedback on thus far.
I also feel like we had great, great diversity among the artists. When I mostly made jewelry, I hated nothing more than being in a show where it felt like 90% of the artists were also jewelry makers.  We definitely worked hard to insure that our artists were unique in their craft and chose artists that we were confident in.  Choosing who to have in a show is by far the hardest part of producing an arts and crafts show.  On the flip side, it's awesome seeing all of those artists together in one space doing their thing.  :)

So what does the future hold for Alliday?  I have no idea, honestly.  I'm crazy proud of what I've accomplished with the show over the past four years but I think for it to continue, more things need to evolve.  I've got some wild ideas for the show but I have to evaluate how feasible they are and if it's worth it.  I love the show.  Love it, love it but it has to change.

This is probably the most candidly I've ever written about the show-producing side of my life but I'm in a season of change and would love other perspectives on it.  Have you shopped with us?  Exhibited with us?  Tell me your thoughts!  I'm all ears.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Truckin' On Along

Decompressing. That's what I've been up to. After the show last Sunday, I went into a sort of hibernation mode that had nothing to do with organizing things, shuffling people or promoting anything. I slept {lots}, played board games with the mister, brushed the kitties and spent time with the kid and my sister who was in town for the week of the show. The day before she left and a day after I came out of my hole, we ran to the park with something more than a phone camera in hand and took a million photos of a baby in the leaves. Seventy-nine photos, to be exact.

Today we're 'snowed in' meaning we could leave but we're not which worked out perfectly since Rio woke up with her first bout of a stomach bug ever. That's been fun. She *seems* to be feeling better so hopefully that trend continues! I'm also taking advantage of today to work on my goods for Indie Emporium which is next week. Two months ago I was a genius and signed up to participate in their fashion show at the end of the event. Yeah, I know. I feel like I'm about halfway there with some looks that I already have made but I'm still working on some new pieces too. I'm very excited about it all.  Trying not to stress out about it and trust that it will all fall into place. :)  Until later...

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