December 28, 2008
I will be successful and I will have fun doing it.
I like it because it's easy to remember and it makes me feel good just thinking it. Saying I will be successful relieves some of the stress associated with trying to get there. And having fun doing it - isn't that the whole reason I started my own business? Heck yes!
December 16, 2008
The shipping department at Freshie and Zero has a holiday elf helper! I couldn't keep up without my sweet husband helping me pack up my orders - especially with the last two week holiday rush. It's been completely crazy around here (bless all the people who have been buying handmade jewelry this holiday season) and I've also been trying to get ready for a huge HUGE wholesale show in January which I am pretty behind on in the preparedness department... I've also been trying to finish unpacking since we've moved, get ready for house guests in a few days, and not go crazy. Spiked egg nog, anyone?
December 10, 2008
What a fun show! What a freezing cold weekend! For someone who has grown up in the south and has experienced 70 degree weather on Christmas Day, and has seen not only the entire city of Atlanta shut down (including banks) due to a couple of inches of snow, but also the citizens of Atlanta cross country skiing in their 2 inch blizzard, the weather was nuts! It was 8 degrees on Sunday, people!!! At least I was prepared with lots of layers, and it gave me an excuse to buy a new hat and some handmade lotion, a fabulous solution to dealing with the elements.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who stopped and shopped in my booth - we had a great time and met a lot of fabulous people! Thanks also to all the vendors who let me talk their ear off including Mary Ink, Cursive Design, and My Favorite Mirror. I did my fair share of shopping which I have been so good about lately, but there was just too much fabulous stuff that I was unable to contain myself. I can't giveaway too much of what I bought since I did actually buy some Christmas presents, but here are a few...
Paper Parasol by my favorite illustrator Cindy Tomczyk
Biggs & Featherbelle - i love everything i got from her!
December 09, 2008
Anyway, I had lunch with my mom and my cousin, who grew up with my brother on our grandmother's farm in the summertime. He told us stories of how they would hide from Maw Maw when she was mad at them. We toasted our iced tea to him and I felt a deep sadness, just for a moment. Then we ate some really good sushi and tried to figure out why he pulled the trigger. I know we will never really know, but there is a bit of comfort in our attempts at understanding. Maybe one day I can just be sad about it and leave my anger at him behind.
December 03, 2008
December 02, 2008
The steps to the upstairs are on your left when you walk in the door. I appreciated the bold color choice, but it just wasn't something I wanted to live with so....
We changed it to a light cream wall color so that the art and accessories could be really fun. The rug and warm silver table were purchased for the space. That's my favorite "For Like Ever" print hanging on the wall.
On the wall by the stairs, I put up a collage of family photos and small artwork. I intend to finish it from floor to ceiling over the next few years.
The lantern light fixture replaced this fixture that I wasn't crazy about:
It wasn't bad, it was just kind of boring to be the first thing you see when you walk in the door. I love the lantern style fixture so much better!
A word of caution - once you start replacing light fixtures and fans, you realize how easy it is to do and how quickly it changes a space, and if you're like me, you go a little crazy in the ceiling fixture department. We replaced every single fixture and fan in the house except for four, and one of those four is going down in the next year. It added up to about $1000 - definitely not something I had factored into my budget but it looks FABulous!!!
Speaking of lighting, here is a sneak peek into the next room I will reveal...
November 11, 2008
Anyway, for those of you who tried to email me today or just look at my website, you may have noticed that my system was down. Yes, for the first time since I launched freshieandzero.com two and a half years ago, it went down for several hours today with no functioning email or ability to view the website. Needless to say, this stressed me out considerably, but fortunately I was moving and working on my house all day so I didn't have much time to think about it. I was listening more to the jerky cable guy who gave me a hard time for not disconnecting my old account before hooking up my new one. What does he care anyway? How does this affect his life at all? I'm the one who has to drive our cable receiver to Metro Center, not him!
Sigh. I digress. I worked on my house all day today and tomorrow will focus on jewelry again for at least half the day. Then, back to packing up my worldly posessions! The moving of the office and studio will have to happen in a coordinated effort, all in one day preferably so that I can know where everything is for jewelry emergencies (these things do happen!). Okay, off to bed to catch up on my sleep! Tired and grumpy is no way to move, folks.
October 30, 2008
October 15, 2008
This is from Jess Gonacha's etsy shop. After what my family has been through, a sentiment as simple as this is like receiving a big hug, and who doesn't need a big hug? This print also reminds me so much of all the love and support my family received through this tragedy. Thanks to everyone for sending me sympathy cards - I'm going to keep them forever and pull them out whenever I'm feeling not so loved!
October 07, 2008
I got Zero all kinds of doggie things yesterday and spent about $100. Pets are expensive! I got him a new rope/tennis ball toy that he's in love with and new food that he actually eats. He was not a fan of the all-natural food I got him last week so it's nice to see that he was just picky and not depressed. We left him alone in the house for the first time last night, and after three hours we came home and he was ecstatic to see us! He also did not have any accidents or destroy anything in the house. Fantastic!
It's funny how soon Greg, Zero, and I all acclamated to each other. Having a dog thrown into your life is kind of crazy but Zero seems very happy - he loves Greg and whines whenever he leaves. I missed Zero when we were at the craft show last week, too. He's definitely going to love our new house - bigger and with a back yard - what more could he want? He might miss walking around our current condominiums and "leaving his mark" every ten feet or so, though....
Anyway, here are some cute doggie items I have hearted on Etsy:
this is a great dog tag by Cristina Ashley Design - very simple and modern
but I kind of like this one for his rock 'n roll side by Punk Rock Paper Scissor
I like all of the pet beds in this shop, but this one is my favorite by Apartment C
October 06, 2008
Hi (very nice Shecky's representative who has no idea what I am about to unload),
I actually did Shecky’s in Atlanta 2006. It was really just too expensive to justify doing it again since I didn’t sell very much due to the fact I actually threw my back out before the show started and left in an ambulance. My friends came to the rescue once the show had already begun and tried to sell my jewelry, but my setup was incomplete and they did not know what they were doing. I was only there for an hour at the end in extreme pain and also sick from the medication the emergency room gave me. Plus, I was completely harassed by a customer for a discount I would not give her, and security would not throw her out. She was really fun to deal with between throwing up outside in the bushes. I did not receive a full or partial refund from Shecky’s which everyone who was at the event and witnessed my horrendous night was appalled by, including the manager of the event at the Biltmore. But thanks for contacting me!
“freshie” beth lawrence
Too harsh? I hope I made her laugh if nothing else. The best case scenario would be that I actually get a partial refund of that wasted $600! Ah, the joys of business ownership...
October 03, 2008
First of all, I got into the Atlanta Gift Mart - one of the biggest wholesale shows in the country which means if I have a good show, there wil be less traveling to craft shows! That prospect makes me a little sad since craft shows have been such an adventure but now it means I only get to do my favorite ones, right? Staying at home more is the goal so that I can be all grownuppy and maybe pop out a freshie junior or two... scary thought.
Then I got into the Philadelphia Buyer's Market of American Craft! Rock on! Suck it American Craft Council! (who by the way, if they ever invite me to apply again I'm going to let them know I think they're scamming artists nationally for their jury fees - oops i guess i just told them) This is a handmade-only wholesale show a month after the Atlanta show so I should be a very busy girl next spring. And Amy of Olaria Studio will be there so I'll ge to hang out with her again hopefully.
And if that wasn't enough, Greggars and I closed on our house on Monday so it is official - we have a house we can call our own! Wall St crisis shmisis! We are practically doubling our space and I will have an entire room dedicated as a studio space. I can't wait - I've been picking out paint colors for weeks and getting decorating ideas from Domino magazines I have collected over the years. There is a sweet back deck so I am also so happy to be able to entertain friends at my house again - the condo was just too small and cramped to have people over, let alone more than two and now we could invite the entire neighborhood!
We also now have a fenced in back yard that is quite large which leads me to one of the most positive things that have come out of this - I have Zero back! I gave Zero to my brother about 4 1/2 years ago because he was driving me insane since he was such a demanding personality and I did not have enough space for him to roam around in. Plus, he refused to be housebroken since he would pee out of spite. It's a little weird to say that I inherited a dog, but the minute I heard about my brother I knew I would take care of Zero again. And the only reason I knew for sure was that we were getting a big yard that he can play in. There are all sorts of doggie neighbors that he has already met (including a hilarious territorial chihuahua) and I know he'll be very happy. He's also mellowed out a ton and will actually sit still and even behave (!!!) - I may even take him to a craft show one day...
So now we are at the Pink Palace Crafts Fair in Memphis and I miss Zero already. I'm totally happy to be away from all the gloom and doom at home, though, although my brain only lets me escape for a few hours at a time. I'm coming to terms with everything and I know my family and I will be okay. I'm convinced it has to do with so many people loving us and praying for us. My heart has opened up so much to not only my nearest and dearest but also to long lost friends, not-so-close relatives, and even strangers. It's sad that it takes a tragedy of epic proportions for facets of your life to be revealed to you but it's awesome that I have reconnected with people I thought I had truly lost. To the Toy, nothing between us has changed and that's the way I intend it to be. This experience has also taught me a lot about grief and for better or worse, I can empathize with people when they have experienced any kind of loss whereas before I could never really face sorrow, especially when it was other people's.
So having said all of that, keep your eye out for updates about all of these really amazing blessings in my life because truly - my life overall is very blessed! God gave me talent and a brain and I thank Him (almost) every day for that. I'm going to be like Fawkes the phoenix and rise from the ashes. Hmmm... maybe it's time to reread Harry Potter again...
September 26, 2008
HARDCASTLE, Charles Gregory "Greg" Age 34 of Nashville. Died Sepember 24, 2008. Graduate of Franklin Road Academy and UT Knoxville. Survived by parents, Rosemary and Lester Porter of Nashville; sisters, Beth (Greg) Lawrence and Lacey Porter, both of Nashville; grandmother, Mary Austin Hubbell of Columbia; uncle, Charles L. (Joyce) Hubbell of Lynnville; three cousins, Jeff (Susan) Hubbell of Murfreesboro, Jamie (Penny) Hubbell and Cyndy (Paul) Gibson, both of Columbia.
miss you already...
September 21, 2008
Alien aerobics class? No - just a fun night of laser tag, mini putt putt golf, beer, and pizza for Thad & Hilary's wedding shower. It was definitely a fabulous wedding shower/party and of course we had to go since we'll be at a craft show the day of their actual wedding. I've never played outdoor laser tag - we ran around this big open field with lots of hay bale obstacles and mini woodsy hiding places - we all got a good workout for sure! It reminded me of how much I used to love laser tag - just call me the "sniper in the woods"... The highlight of mini golf was when the one and a half year old toddler got a hole-in-one. Time to sign that kid up for golf lessons! You can read more about over at my husband's blog here if you're interested.
September 18, 2008
Anyway, I saw the UPS man walking up to my door on Tuesday with a stack of boxes and it was like Christmas morning! I ran downstairs (not even caring that I was still in pajamas) and opened the door to greet him! I nervously opened up the boxes to see my custom gift boxes in all their glory:
So much good news is going on in Freshie & Zero land right now - stay tuned for an even more exciting announcement in the next day or two!
September 16, 2008
Last year at this show, I was so busy that I didn't get to talk to anyone. Very sad stuff - I love networking with my fellow crafters! This year, because we were all concerned about each other and because we weren't swamped with customers, there was much visiting of other tents and chatting about the weather, the scene, and other fun stuff. Crafter heaven, actually!
My friend Heather from Rinse Soap shared some of her successes with me, including adding a wholesale account in Chicago during the show - you go girl! The friendly gals of the Indie Craft Experience in Atlanta, Shannon and Christy, were keeping me in the loop of their upcoming holiday show which I am excited about and hopefully will be able to apply. (just gotta work out the timing of buying a house and moving) There are just too many shows I want to do this fall! I had to bail out of the Girlie Show in Oklahoma due to all this house buying mess and that makes me sad. I have another application out in cyberspace that I am already worried about being able to commit to doing. I guess I'll have to "make it work!"
Anyway, I also reconnected with Chicago illustrator Cindy T. who is now making beautiful cards under the name Paper Parasol. She was sharing her booth with Holly of Thread and Needle and Courtney Fischer - they had done an amazing job of saving their products from the water by rigging up some fancy tarp and bungee cords to keep the rain out. Holly actually won my Valentine's contest and she was so grateful that she gave me one of her coffee cuffs which i have been using nonstop since!
Amy of Olaria Studio flew in from Boston to do the show and my hubs and I were lucky enough to grab some very tasty brunch at Forno with her Sunday morning. (the food was delicious - if you've never been and you live in Chicago - go there now!) She is originally from Birmingham and only moved to Boston recently, so she filled me in on all the southern crafty scoop. I had a feeling that if she lived in Nashville, we'd be hanging out all the time. She also encouraged me on the Philadelphia Buyer's Market of American Craft application I have sent in and said we should be booth neighbors if I get accepted. I have already been rejected from the American Craft Council wholesale show so I'm not holding my breath, but if I got in that would be wonderful! I welcome more wholesale with open arms.
The ceramics of my back yard booth neighbor, Up in the Air Somewhere did not disappoint. Her work is so beautiful I was overwhelmed. I could not make a decision of what to buy but again - after the house stuff is worked out I'll know exactly which one (or five) of her pieces will be the perfect finishing touch to our new pad. I'm thinking an arrangement of Silos on a dining room table (that I don't have yet but hey a girl can dream).
Socializing aside, I was lucky enough to do a bit of trading. Megan of Harrilu and I have done a few shows together in the past - she was wearing my birdie necklace all weekend and picked up a few more Freshie & Zero pieces for gifts. I am now the lucky owner of two of her v-neck t-shirts, including the one below.
Squast by Les - my favorite hat maker was also sweet enough to trade with me, so I indulged in a fourth hat from her. This one is totally different than the others, though. First of all, it's fuzzy on the inside so it's great for cold months, plus it has little ear flaps and it's simple black (all of my others are prints). I told everyone who would listen that they should go to her booth and two girls came back to my booth, each proudly wearing one of her hats and thanked me for the suggestion! Just spreading some crafty love...
So that's the thing - yes everyone was soaking wet and praying that their product wasn't ruined but the ones who stuck it out both days really were rewarded with good camaraderie and good sales. My sales were still high overall for a show - people really came out to shop despite the weather. Chicago shoppers are tough cookies! They aren't going to let a little rainfall keep them from their crafts and I love them for it!
We just arrived back from Chicago and I have a lot of catching up to do, but here is a tiny bit about the Renegade Craft Fair. I will write about the happy side of it tomorrow when I've digested it all!
For starters, Chicago had a record day of rainfall on Saturday - a record that's been held since the 1870's when they started recording weather. They usually have about 2 inches of rain during this time of year and they've had 12 as of this weekend. So it was rainy and wet wet wet. Chicago area suburbs flooded - including Bloomingdale where our hotel was and schools were even closed today due to flooding. One of the main interstates in Indiana/Illinois was entirely shut down near Lake Michigan - we had to reroute ourselves down through Indiana (thanks to my trusty Road Atlas) to avoid the four hour delay to get through the interstate closure. Nuts!!! In a gas station in Indiana, this poor girl was trying to get to Detroit and the worker at the gas station told her it wasn't going to happen today since the interstate she needed was closed. I would have advised her to get a map and figure it out, but hey that's my d.i.y. mentality kicking in.
Anyway, this was supposed to be brief! I only bought one thing - I was just feeling too wet and icky to shop and that's just not like me! The one final bummer was that the electricity we paid for was never turned on. So it was dark outside and inside our tent. I understand why they were afraid to turn it on (safety issues I presume) but I was still bummed out about it and I imagine they're going to get some angry emails from crafters wanting a refund. However, it could have been worse. And how could you foresee this kind of weather?
The upside of the Renegade Fair will be posted in a day or two... yes there was a definite upside!
September 09, 2008
The Germantown Festival this past weekend was very successful. My sales were up a bit from last year , and I anticipate the upcoming Pink Palace show in Memphis to be even better. We even had nice, cool weather on the first day - I actually needed a jacket! It was awesome!
The Renegade Craft Fair is this weekend in Chicago and I can't wait! I'm making a list of vendors I want to visit, so that I have a game plan when I have a few free minutes. These include:
Up in the Air Somewhere - the above piece was just featured in Martha Stewart Living! (luckily they're right behind me so I know I'll get a minute to shop their booth!)
I'm also hoping to say hey to my friends from Rinse, Olaria Studios, Seibei, My Favorite Mirror, Mike and Mary Jewelry, Holly Hue, Mary Ink, So Silly, Squasht by Les (she makes the hats I wear all the time), and Supermaggie, just to name a few! And did I mention that Northern State is playing? Aw yeah.
September 08, 2008
So what can you do? Go and vote for Freshie & Zero in their survey! Pretty Please? The DIY category is at the very bottom of the page, #17. All you have to do is select "Other" and write in Freshie & Zero. I know it's super easy, but I made a little skitch image below for your viewing pleasure:
I do not expect to win, of course, but I would love to be on their radar... who knows? The poll is up until October 15th. Please tell all of your friends to take a sec and vote for Freshie & Zero and in the meantime, if you don't see Venus Zine at your local bookstore, ask them to start carrying it! It's a great magazine and just keeps getting better.
Thanks and no more self promotion for a while... although this weekend is the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago and I'll be there in case you were wondering... lots of new stuff not on the website... I'm just saying...
September 04, 2008
The first year at this show, my tent neighbor was a Tupperware booth. Last year, it was a booth selling "spirit hair" - real dyed human hair you attach to your own hair to show your school spirit. I kid you not. I can't wait to see what lies in store for us this year!