Tuesday, December 31, 2013

When it rains, it pours

The Answer by TW Stifel
Creativity shows it's head in a lot of ways running a consignment shop/art gallery/vintage shop.  Just getting through the day is a constant juggling feat, ESPECIALLY during the holidays!  I am frequently non-plussed when I will by a category of things and then they don't sell and I ask myself "Why, oh why, did I buy 27 decanters (or butterfly pins, or china St Bernards)? and then miraculously and weirdly they all sell and then folks come in ASKING for china St Bernards or a crystal decanter and I am out of stock.   
Imagine by TW Stifel
I also tend to sell art in clumps.  I won't sell a piece for weeks and then BOOM! I was thrilled in the last week of December when all 4 of these pieces PLUS 3 prints left Stifel & Capra and are now proudly hanging in someone else's home. 
Judy by TW Stifel
People often ask how an artist can part with something she has made.  For me, at least it's simple.  I make art because I love to create to problem solve, to capture an emotion or idea.  I enjoy sharing with the person that is viewing my work, EVEN if they don't experience the same emotion that I did when I made  the piece.  And if it moves them to actually invest money in it so that they can enjoy it themselves that helps me buy more paint, do more treasure hunting and seek out new artistic problems to solve. 
Brooklyn Bound by TW Stifel
And it is CERTAINLY cheaper than therapy.
Thank you to my patrons throughout the years. You inspire me to keep creating.
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Friday, December 6, 2013

Weird being on the other side of the coin-

It's been an event filled week around here.  After our awesome shout-out from the Washington Post Express I got the news that an interview I did a little while back with Karen Merrill Berg got published yesterday on her blog, Redoux Interiors.  As a former recruiter it is quite odd to be on the receiving end of the questions but Karen made it lots of fun.  Turns out we have lots in common (tall moms with more ideas than time) so it was actually hard to stay on point.  but we managed it, somehow!

Karen is an inspired DIY'er and is generous enough to share her tips and techniques like rebuilding this farm table and painting out cute buckets (with CeCe Caldwells paint, naturally!) to transform them into Christmas ready decor.
After basking in all of the nice comments on Karen's blog and Facebook, I got the good news that a health screen I had been sweating came back clear and THEN I found out I won a contest naming one of Cece's newest products. I was advised at this point to go buy a lottery ticket, but I feel like I have already won.

This morning brought me concrete examples of Stifel Excess. Back to piles of paperwork, piles of dishes and amusingly enough PILES of ornaments.  Mae West said "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful." 

Better get cracking before I go grocery shopping for our FIRSTfriday reception tonight.  5 to 8- stop by if you are in the neighborhood!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Commuter Cover Story!

 Now here's some exciting news! S&C Creatives score 9 out of 22 mentions in the Washington Post Express cover Story yesterday.  Yippee!!!  Am so excited for them, and Stifel & Capra.  Thanks again to Cathy for steering the editor our way.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Small Business Saturday IS Thanksgiving!

I just have to say that Small Business Saturday feels like Thanksgiving II to me.
So many old customers came in today JUST to tell me how much they like what we've built and how we are their favorite shop.
Of course because the parking lot was full that made new customers pop in to see what all the fuss was about.

I feel truly blessed.  Now back to work! We are open until 6!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Weaving it all together

if only it was this easy to see the light sometimes
 I am pretty proud of my colleagues.  I was having a chat with a co-worker, oh She That I Have Been Threatening to Get Together With And Actually Work on our Blogs and we decided to sit down and brainstorm about marketing ideas.  We picked a date and time, threw it our there to our retailers and son of a gun, everyone showed up.  4 weeks in a row.  AND in that 4 weeks we conceived of a community shop hop, planned, printed, passed out, promoted collated, explained, exclaimed and ran a 14 business promotion and Lord have mercy, people came, had a blast and visited places in out neighborhood they had never seen before.  SO proud we pulled it off. And the best part? had fun doing it.
patching things together is NEVER this clean
 That said, STILL feel like I am piecing things together to try to make it all happen.  Juggling commissioned client work, consignments, art and family time, chasing down friends so I don't lose them, freaking out over IT issues and health care benefits, staff schedules, laundry and carpools, weddings and funerals, medical appointments and tax returns.  Hmmm, wait a minute.  Isn't that life?  Mine at least.
this reminds me of our creative collective

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Trust is an important thing.

Flirting vintage parakeet
One of the greatest things about my job is when people give me family heirlooms to transform them into something the family can share.  The things I worked on this week are actually to personal to put out there into cyberspace but I am honored that people trust me to do the work for them in memory of their loved ones. Have a peaceful day.
View from my pillow this morning, feeling blessed.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Running, running, running.

whew!  Insane fun at our THIRDthursday client ppreciation open house.
so MUCH fun, in fact that I neglected to take photos of the event while it happened. 
Suffice to say that our 40 party go-ers had a BLAST.  Our clients really enjoyed watching our artists demo their craft, chatted up  a storm and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  
Do come see all of our new artisan goods and the aMAZing sales items in the Sunroom Saleroom!  Cigar boxes 3 to 5 bucks!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

New Orleans Flashback - Day 2 Sept 22nd

As the Government furloughs are HEAVILY affecting sales at the shop I prefer to flashback to my 2nd honeymoon in New Orleans.  Day 2 visuals for your enjoyment. 
Bob did NOT test open the umbrella before we got on the plane.  (We picked him up another one along the way.)

Rain is dramatic in New Orleans. The sidewalks are VERY canted as are the streets.
Rain makes for dramatic pictures though...
We ventured out under umbrella to Frenchman's Lane not remembering that it doesn't get cranking until 10 o'clock at night!  We heard music and swung into Mojito's to hear this Blues trio playing tucked under the patio roof in the pouring rain.  Surprisingly we had the best bite of the whole trip there.  Cheese Jalapeno grits with seared shrimp.  Snappy, smoky HUGE shrimp. yum.
The rain stopped and we sauntered back to the hotel. Admiring street performers and shop windows along the way.
Awesome displays!  Made me jealous- our shop is an old house so we don't have big display windows. darn.
Add a comfy couch and I would move in here!  I really like the subtle colors and airiness of the display.
Love the "more is More" elements to this window!
A reminder of things past. Everywhere in New Orleans.
Back at home- Met some fantastic folks this weekend.  Visitors from out of town.  Folks that live right in the neighborhood that are venturing out after having babies.  Old clients with free time on their hands. A fun day.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Orleans Revisited - Flashback to September 20th, Friday - day1

Have I mentioned I have the best sister in the world?  More evidence?  She took us to the airport for a flight at National Airport when she lives in the opposite direction in Fairfax.  My husband Bob & I were heading to New Orleans for a 2nd honeymoon.  Seemed unreal to be actually away from work and my kids for a week.
 After an blessedly uneventful week, we cabbed into town.  Our taxi driver only looked like President Obama from the back seat I swear.  My parents kindly swapped a week at their National Time Share and gave us a week on them as a anniversary gift.  How exciting.
 Blue Green Pension was not huge, but very nicely appointed with a mini kitchen, Luxurious linens and local art.
 This piece invited us to take a bite of the city.
 The swanky chandeliers, friendly and helpful staff and charming rooftop terrace were not as well appointed however, as our first stop.
 Bourbon House on (where else?) Bourbon Street.  Bob had himself a bourbon, we scarfed down a couple dozen oysters and then walked around the city.
 Enjoying the street performers, musicians and various pre wedding parties roaming past us.
 This guy was perched on the point of a trash can like a statue!
 Did I mention it was relaxing?
 Had a nice long walk.  Marveling at the alleys leading to gardens , the spooky shop windows and the fantastical architecture.
 I was reminded that New Orleans is one of the few non-homogenized cities seemingly left in this country.
 Not a Target or Chipoltle in sight!
 Bob DID however find a new place to sell his BBQ spice too!
Back to reality.  Today's chores: email, laundry. trying to clear a horizontal space in my studio so I can make SOME thing!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

No saving "for good"

I promise I was NOT saving this pristine pile of Pan Pastels "for good". 

My beloved sister gave them to me for my birthday and frankly I m not quite sure WHAT to do with them.  I am not worried about ruining them per se, but so much of what I do is "wet work" I am concerned about turning them to mud.

The directions say "use as other".  Not very helpful.  We will see.  Any hints from you would be helpful!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Creativity on Demand

Nothing like a deadline to get me to finish something!  24 home from vacation I finished 2 collages, worked a full day at the shop and hung out with my neighbors at a fire pit party.  (NOT necessarily in that order!).

While I was working this evening, my lovely neighbor even offered to run my pieces down to our gallery.  Yippee!  On the agenda, a little family time: sleep in, church and clearing the post holiday debris field before we head to the shop.  Catch up time!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's the little things.

One of the reasons I have been married to my husband for twenty years is we enjoy the same things.  Little things like yesterday
*exploring the ancient cemetery in new Orleans and marveling over the inscriptions and how Mother Nature is infiltrating through all the cracks and crevices 
*admiring the crisp service of a famed restaurant like Commander's Palace
*watching the crazy weather go by
*wandering around crusty antique stores, not just admiring the merchandise but how they display it
*sitting and watching a band let a passing tourist play a set with them
*being content just sitting together at the end of the day.