Where to start...
Draft Horse Classic: my sixth year showing there, I had a lot of new stuff and a new booth configuration. I was pretty optimistic, but mother nature did not cooperate. The first day, as always, was a complete waste of time. The out-of-towners like it because it makes the travel easier or something, but dang it's just a waste, didn't even make enough to buy lunch that day. Friday was better, did pretty well that day. Saturday and Sunday are usually jammed with people (except for a few "dead times" like during the Saturday evening show). But with the rain on Saturday and Sunday morning, the hoards simply did not show up, so sales were WAY down. I definitely covered expenses and then some, but compared to last year it was pretty bad. Oh well, not much I can do about that. You never know...
I love that show, so it really doesn't change anything. I'll be back next year. :-)
I got a lot of good feedback on the paintings, which is funny. Maybe not funny, but sometimes I think if I had to cut back one thing it would be the paintings, but that seems to be everyone's new favorite, so go figure, I'll make more. ;-) That was the general encouragement..."make more, those are marketable." Yes, that is incentive! I showed my little scrimshaw piano keys around a bit and people really liked those too. The booth was set up different this year (the shelves are new, and I reconfigured it to make a storage space, GREAT setup!!! For anyone who is not familiar with art shows, you show up and there's a 10x10 space for you. You provide the walls, lights, carpet, furniture, and of course all the art. That booth was a big investment but a very wise one.
I had a number of visitors at the show from all areas of my life. Some I expected, some surprised me, and it was a delight to see all. Truly, thank you, it means a lot when people come to a show. :-) Saturday night when the public was all at the horse show we had a little artist party with munchies and drinks and some of the artists are also fabulous musicians. That was really nice. The artists there are just some of the nicest people in the world, I so enjoy that crowd. It was bitter sweet this year, being the last show ever for some people who have become dear friends over the years. It will not be the same without them next year, but I know that we will keep in touch.
The downside to being an exhibitor is that I really don't get to see the horses much. I went out for an hour Friday morning and saw a bit of the halter classes but didn't get any really great photos, so if I ever manage to draw/paint a draft horse again I'm still working from old photos.. But I'll stick some pics here anyway.
That's a lot of horse to handle!
Exercising the Budweiser Clydesdales, that looks fun!!!
So... plenty of time to get ready for next year and have a lot of new stuff and hope for good weather.
***** changing directions now *****
I have debated on whether to talk about this or not, I try to refrain from discussing personal stuff but it's been on my mind and does explain part of my blogging absence. Two days after getting home from DHC I flew down to San Diego with my mom to visit family, to see my grandma for what was probably the last time. She has been in poor health for the last several months (she is 90), and what was planned originally as just a visit ended up more urgent. It was a hard visit, and it's hard to talk about. She didn't look like herself anymore, and for the most part didn't act like herself except for the occasional glimmers that almost made me laugh, like when she rather suddenly looked at me and suggested I go mop the floor. :-) It felt more like a vigil than a visit, and I felt like I didn't know what to do or where to be or quite how to handle it, tiptoeing around and trying to be quiet when in truth she couldn't hear me anyway. I've not experienced this before. I have lost relatives and I have lost friends but I've never seen someone in the last stages of life.
She knew who I was when I was there, but said very little. Talking seemed difficult. She would talk about things that didn't make sense though, and ask about things that nobody understood. She would see and converse with relatives who passed away years ago. My uncle suggested (seriously or not I don't know) that maybe they were there in the room, and that has just boggled my mind ever since. I would have no trouble believing it though. Maybe the nonsensical things make sense to her, I wish there was a way to know what and who she really sees.
Leaving to catch on plane on Thursday was a heart-wreching goodbye, knowing it was probably the last. I am teary-eyed just writing it. She said to me "I hope you have learned something." It may take me a lifetime to know exactly what that means.
I feel terrible for my grandfather. For 70 years she has been his life. He is with her every minute, so in love, so devoted. It is beautiful but tragic to see him dote on her, knowing how lost he will be when she passes. That just rips my heart out to see him go through this. A love like that is something most people can only wish to find.
She is still hanging in there, but keeps saying she wants to go, she wants to leave. She does not fear death, she seems to see it as going home, and she so clearly wants to just go. She said to my aunt "I should be home by now, the guru is not doing his job." That makes me smile, in spite of it all.
***** completely changing directions again *****
Since returning home late Thursday, I've just been attempting to get things back on track, I am so far behind on work it's not even funny. I still have not managed to completely unpack from the shows, and I have so much cleaning to do. I have way too much art. It needs to be sold, but sometimes in desperation for some place to stash it I even think about giving a bunch of it away. I'd probably regret that, but it crosses my mind. Or maybe it needs foster homes or something. Maybe I just need to make smaller stuff. ;-) Scrimshaw! OMG, I am so far behind, I am going to order blanks tomorrow or Tues and get going on a bunch of jewelry soon. I haven't even finished the lion in color. Sigh.
I saw Sourdough Slim in the security line at the airport on Thursday. Totally random.
Today I baked three dozen chocolate mint sandwich cookies, and a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. The cookies went in the freezer for later, and the whole cake went to the neighbors, since I owed then for help welding new stuff for the art booth, and for feeding critters.
The trail ride adventure is soon. And the poultry shows start soon. October is nearly as crazy as September, but in a more laid-back way.
Postings still might be few and far between for a little while, there is still SO MUCH going on.