Finally!!!! After over 15 years!! I, Christina Serra, have begun to work the metal! I always thought the set-up had to be more than what we had, that I had to find an anvil/rail to even start, to build a mini forge for coal or propane---etcetc...but we had everything we need to start simply right in our back yard! My 'better half' decided that his contribution to gifts this year should, on a whim, involve metal (details AFTER Christmas, just in-case!). I have a suspicion that a large part was because he's known the fire I have for iron-working for years, and he knew it would please me if we made a project together. SO, to make the 'mini forge', he filled with charcoal (the kind you put in your grill) a charcoal starter (the cylindrical thing you put newspaper and charcoal in to get the charcoal started before you put it in the grill). He did buy metal rod today for the project- this we did not have. We have an amazingly useful heavy steel worktable in our backyard which works for now in leiu of an anvil, and we also have a small sledge hammer whos head creeps off the handle...occasionally, but works ok for now. I filled one of the buckets on the yard with water (for drenching), we put on leather gloves, and stuck the metal in the coals. It (surprisingly to me!) turned red-hot, and we took turns beating the rod into a shape. Oh my goodness! WHat fun! In my own back yard! WHat shall I do now, that I have opened this Pandora's box!?! ( I guess, technically HE did....since he started it) Now, metal bits do not look the same; I am already thinking on how to easily change our heating arrangement to be more efficient (without buying or seeking anything-yet), thinking of how to incorporate this new excitement into my needle feltings presentation.....oh, 2012, here I come!! Winter- time to make new.
News on the blog here isn't exactly a month behind!
November 10-13 I attended a show in Myrtle Beach, SC. My whole family came with me, and while I worked, they made a vacation of the time. This was the first time I had been to this show, and thought I would try it out. Ugh! Thanks to the lovely people who came into my booth, and appreciated my art, and a huge and heart-felt thank you to those of you who purchased my art pieces to enjoy at your homes, or as gifts to give. You are what kept this show from being a total disaster for myself and my family! All of my appreciation to you! Aside from these wonderful people, I had some very nice neighbors, especially a hilarious off-the-cuff woman across the aisle and diagonal form me, Anne Micciulla. Oh, I wish Anne lived closer! She was truly a fun woman, especially as the traffic was slow each and every day. We joked, laughed TOO much, and at one point in our effort to stave off boredom, we both ran down the aisle, hooting, bleating like goats, and making ruckus!! We spoke of revolt (in the show!), we shared some uncanny similar stories, talked about kids, goats, sheep and whatever else came up. Really, too much to retell here! Of our other neighbors, was a nice lady who shared her salsa she makes (and her avocado one day..mmmmmm!), a jewelry maker who was somehow very amused my myself, (I think she liked my art too;), a Russian lady selling beautiful handpainted nesting dolls (she actually paints them!), and a nice lady selling baby dolls. Oh, and a magician-I think over the course of the days we ended up with one of every product he sold! Despite the kind people I was surrounded with, and the festival people I spoke with over the phone prior to the event, I found that the top woman in charge of the event is a true Cruella DeVille. Most vendors had had horrid run-ins with the lady, and told of how rudely and unfairly she treated them. The woman almost ran over my children in her little golf cart on the day of set-up, and I found out days later, that she had also YELLED at them?!?! It is well observed by everyone they come in contact with, how well-behaved, quiet and respectful my children are; this woman had no right to treat them this way! I will find out who she is and post it here. I am writing this in my entry to WARN other vendors about this show. There is false advertising, corporate greed, LOW quality, no jury process, and exuberant booth and entry prices. Also, there are NO helpers for the vendors, NO parking for vendors (they make you PAY FOR PARKING), NO hospitality, no care, no questionnaire, NO VENDOR OR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION!!! This show is called Charles Dickens Christmas Show, and every vendor I spoke with was VERY DISSATISFIED. About 85% of them said they wouldnt be returning, so that makes me think that the company Leisure Time Unlimited will have a great trial of recruiting new vendors, ones who are not familiar with this show. This is NOT a craft or art show, as advertised. MUCH of the garbage for sale here was IMPORTED, as-seen-on-tv, with very little actual hand-made. items. I have never been to a show this badly-run.
I do not, as a habit speak ill of groups, but I wish to warn others so that they can make an educated decision regarding their investments, because, face it- Being an artist is like being a gambler- just a lot less glitz and alcohol! :)
I did get to spend some time with my family during the trip, in the mornings and after dark in the evenings. My kids and I went down to the beach one morning- and it was glorious to be with them there. One evening I came back to the hotel and gathered the kids and we ran outside to the beach in the dark, because it felt so good, and we laughed and chased, and then their dad called from the hotel room, and directed our attention to the horizon where a great HUGE blood moon was beginning to 'rise' above the ocean. I have never seen such a sight, it was unbelievably large and surreal, like a planet rising in a sci-fi book. We watched it rise; we could actually see it moving, like it's opposite, a sunset (Im not up in time usually for sunrises;)! I was speechless, and exclaiming at the moment. Of course, we tried to photograph, but to no avail, in the the pictures the moon looked like a tiny orange dot. The last day, the day to drive back to Asheville, was the best. The weather was perfect, warm and sunny. We all rolled our pants legs up and played in the waves, then, tiring of this, sat just out of waves reach in the warm sand, the kids making sand channels, and I looking for sea shells. It was the BEST time! :) (btw, what do you do with all the sea shells you bring home???!!!)