Today I joined an AWESOME on-line marketplace for artisans of all creative endeavors to open shop...It's called 1000Markets; it's free but each shop must be approved prior to going "live." The community theme is similar to ETSY, yet it has very different, and very cool features- like a front page "comment wall" for other shop owners to comment, and a front page Blog for the shop owner to blog and post pics. There are a variety of "Markets" one can join which characterizes your product and encourages networking with like-minded artisans. AND- payment is through amazon.com (required to open a business account with amazon.com)- but the great thing is that when somebody buys from your shop, payment is IMMEDIATE....ALL THE TIME... there is a direct connection between amazon and 1000markets- no more deadbeat buyers which occasionally occurs on ETSY. There is also no cost for uploading your items. Total commission fee is "5.5% plus .50 cents" on each sold item. Not a bad deal, not bad at all! The founders are very responsive to queries, and the over-all vibe/energy of the site is calm, cool, relaxed and very positive. There is truly a sense of community, and everybody is pretty darn excited to be there! I think the site went live in August, and there are quite a few shops open. As of now they feature ONLY artist-made shops, no vintage, supplies, etc to bury the artist shops, but they may invite those shops in the future. A big thank you to Ellen of YellowDog Farm for the heads-up, and a big, big thank you to Lisa of 1000Markets for featuring my Farmer's Market notecards on the "Fabulous Finds" community page...on my FIRST "live" day, (Winter Solstice), on 1000Markets...whoo hoo!!
We in Vermont... we LOVE our PARTIES with a big dose of politics thrown into the mix just for shits and giggles....but seriously, in the time-frame BBE* (before bernie era; circa 1791-1980)... Vermont, for many years a staunchly independent-minded, "get-your-government-out-of-my-face" entity, somehow morphed into a "Progressive with a capital "P" power-to-the-people-greener-than-thou" conglomerate, when all the flatlanders rolled into town wanting to be big fishes in a small pond...(and just to tout my own horn, I am a fifth-generation NATIVE VERMONTER, thank you, although the NATIVE native Vermonters were here long before me)... Anyway, because Vermont now has a lot of beer drinkers who appreciate "do-it-yourself" micro-breweries, each year the Micro-brewery known as "MAGIC HAT" throws a huge MARDI GRAS parade/party...even though this year, (2008), it happened a week AFTER Mardi GRAS, (in which case we really don't care...it could have happened on July 3rd and we Vermonters would still have come out to the parade because it's an excuse to have a party and drink beer)... BUT...Something truly magical has been going on, because this is a Presidential election year...and people are looking/hoping/praying for some SERIOUS CHANGE after EIGHT LONG, DARK YEARS of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E...sOOOO... I present to you a little bit of "Magic Hat" Mardi Gras Parade/Party 2008... Oh...tomorrow is Vermont's "Town Meeting Day" (The REAL "Super-Tuesday"!!...God, I love Vermont!@) or, the VT Democratic Primary, which will determine who Vermonters choose to be the 44th President of the United States...I think the Magic Hat might have gotten it right... (And I had to throw in a pic of Ben and Jerry's, celebrating their 30th Birthday...I still remember the day they opened their scoop shop in the renovated gas station on College St...Damn, if only I had aspired to be an ice-cream scooper when i was 16...I could possibly have been a VERY RICH GIRL today!@@@@>>>)
* "Bernie" is Vermont's first...note FIRST... Brooklyn-born SOCIALIST and some say "carpet-bagger" Mayor (of Burlington...won by a mere 10 votes way back in 1980, but that's ANOTHER long post/story!) who shouted his way into the hearts and souls of progressive-minded Burlingtonians...all the way to Washington, DC...and who says that miracles don't happen??
As I type, the snow continues to fall outside my poorly insulated windows making March 20th (Spring) seem like eons away... Fortunately, the Lemay Sisters of "House of Lemay" (www.houseoflemay.com) fame helped ease the burden of icy roofs and snow-blocked driveways via their annual "Winter is a Drag" Ball. Held last Saturday, February 16, at Higher Ground in So. Burlington (www.highergroundmusic.com), the standing room-only party packed both the ballroom and show-case lounge with tons of music, entertainment, dancing, art, raffles, and um, loads of "gender-bending." So in celebration of my birthday on Valentine's Day, I became "Madame Valentine" and my daughter became "Andrea," playing a girl playing a boy playing a girl...or something like that (fourth picture down)... and all for a good cause- all proceeds of the ball went to the Vermont Coalition of People with Aids and HIV. Most of the people in the following pics are either related to me, sing with me, or just wanted to get in on the act! (PS...check out "Winter is a Drag Ball" 2006 "A Toast to New Orleans" on the House of Lemay Website "past Drag Balls" ...third picture down features "moi" singing with The Decoys, opening with Ike & Tina Turner's "Rolling on the River," and ending with "Lady Marmelade." What a blast! And congrats to the "Sistahs" for setting a record in selling the highest number of tickets for a one-night event, Rocky Horror Valentine Drag ball, in the history of Higher Ground! Guess winter is not such a drag after all)!!
Seeing as this is a personal blog, I can be completely unprofessional in bragging about the fact that my greeting cards were accepted for publication in a forthcoming book entitled; 1000 Hand Made Greeting Cards Published by Rockport Publishers/Quarry Books which "Create beautiful illustrated source books for professional designers and artisans of all types." RP also states, "Our books present the best design work from around the world and bring you inside the world's most talented design and art studios to see how the work gets done and the inspiration that lies behind each finished piece." Check it out: www.rockpub.com/graphic-design.asp
So much for my "New Year's Resolution..." related to "writing more" on this blog, but I am trying!! Some new developments to brag about, nonetheless! My art dolls and greetings cards are now being offered at the wonderful new boutique, Candles and Creations, located at 150 Dorset Street in South Burlington, Vermont. C&C is owned and operated by Heather Paine and Casey Webster Stabile- Featuring local and regional artists, Heather and Casey's vision was to open a shop with a very special mission; many of the artists featured contribute proceeds to charitable causes. Classes are offered, and they host a really cool monthly workshop called "Sixth-Sensory World." About 35 people showed up at last month's "Colors" workshop. Check out Heather and Casey's own work, view their press, and learn more about Candles and Creations:
Something sweet is happening in Burlington's New North End... Do you live in (or plan to visit) the Burlington area? If so, head north down North Avenue and swing a right onto Gosse Court, followed by your first left into the driveway of "Sweet Treats." Sweet Treats is a new bake shop owned and operated by Jessica Leclair and her mom- offering all sorts of hand-baked goodies, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and local art on the bright sunny walls. My greeting cards are now available at Sweet Treats as well, including an assortment of birthday, holiday, thank you, and scenic land-scape. So stop in, and treat yourself to something sweet!
Does anyone else have the sense that "Time" seems to be speeding up?? I am just starting to get used to dating my work notes, checks, etc "2008," but it just seems that only last month we were all freaking out about the "Millenium Bug...." 2008...geez. So my New Year's resolution is to write more, and more often, in addition to creating artsy/crafty things, and to promote and feature the work of others. I truly sense we are moving closer to a more egalitarian sphere of reference, as we slowly move out of the dark days of the last 7 years. Let's hope.