Life is a roller coaster….

Hi everyone…long time, no see!!   Back on September 22nd, I said I needed to put my blog on the back burner because of my show schedule. I was into the peak of the season and when you get home from a show late on a Sunday, then have to buy lumber on Monday with only three days to produce sometimes 100 pieces , it doesn’t leave much time for blogging. I have missed my blog and REALLY missed you, my readers!  We are nearing the end of the season. Actually, I only had one more show until yesterday—-we picked up JUST ONE MORE!  We did the show last year, but decided to take a break from it this year…..the shows were so close together last year, I was really burned out. This year the dates shifted, so we called and even though she has a waiting list, we got a space .

Last weekend we were at a new show for us. This was a four day show ranked as the number one traditional show in the country near Buffalo New York.  Even though we were placed in the last building  (out of 4 ) in the show, we were thrilled that we got a space that we could show product all the way around.  We worked like crazy people making product, because if you run out of product, you do not get back in the next year. On set up day, we drove up early, set up for three hours, then drove all the way back home, packed again, loaded up again, and drove back up to Buffalo directly to the hotel.  WHEW!!  This was a total of 480 miles! Two vanloads is a LOT of product—at one point I counted 400 pieces to put sawtooth hangers on!!  The booth was set up with one vanload in it, and the second load was backup stock.




Thursday started extremely slow for everyone—even the promoter was concerned.  We had a lot invested in this show and I was just sick!!  Thankfully, we got busy later and did good for the day, although not quite what we expected.  Friday started just as slow!  What was going on?  All the vendors were very upset—some said they were down by 50%. The weather wasn’t the best either day, but really shouldn’t have affected the show. Once again, we got busy and had a MUCH better day….but many vendors did very little.   Saturday also started slow, which actually is pretty normal for us, but then kicked in and was very good as was Sunday. Overall, we had a really good show and are excited about going back next year. Eventually, most vendors were happy with the show.  The promoters of this show provide a catered dinner for the vendors on Saturday evening. Oh, my goodness it was good!!  Smile  Salad, yummy veggies, rolls, roasted red potatoes,  chicken cordon bleau (YUM), and a gorgeous bakery cake for dessert… pop, beer, and wine to drink. We sat with some close vendor friends and really enjoyed the evening!  As good as the show ended up being, a four day show is exhausting and we took three days off to recover and to run errands.

Just as a roller coaster takes you way up to a high level of thrills, life can carry you way down to a sad low. As some of you know from Facebook,  just prior to leaving for the show, I was finishing up the last of the product when we got a frantic call from Brian.  He had just rushed his beloved Stryker kitty to the animal hospital.  Stryker had just been diagnosed with asthma by his vet a few days before at his annual vet checkup.  Just before Brian called, Stryker was struggling to breathe and Brian rushed him in. A valve in his lung had ruptured.  Long story short, after several days of rushing Stryker in and out of the hospital to have his lungs drained, endless tests, and treatments, Brian made the difficult decision that we all dreaded.  We lost our beautiful, precious Stryker that had charmed his way into our hearts. Even though Stryker didn’t live here, our house seems so empty.  Brian planned on adopting a kitty as soon as he was settled in his new job and apartment after grad school.  He missed his girlfriend’s kitty , Bubbles, after they broke up .  Stryker became a loving support system after Brian learned of his own health issues and was always waiting at the door when Brian was out of the apartment. We are all still devastated at the loss of this very special member of our family.  Sad smile

And yet, the roller coaster goes up again.  We are making progress with the publisher…it is so strange that Al types in my name on the computer and it brings up stores that are selling prints of my work!  Today we received a delivery of originals that are already on the publishers site.  We will continue to build our portfolio with them over the winter—the more pieces they have, the more royalties you get.


This four season set was painted at a summer show and was sold to a lady there…will be shipping it to her soon.


So, there you are….only two more shows to go this season…I am anxious to finish up so I can work on some fun projects for ME!!  I am trying to get some painting done on doors in my hallway and pantry….it has been so long since I bought the paint it will have to be shaken again at Home Depot!  I also have some projects planned for a few pieces I got at flea markets. They have been patiently waiting for me all year.  Hopefully I will be able to post again soon as this season winds down…I hope all is well with all of you as I have not even been able to keep up much with reading posts.  Have a wonderful weekend…..Jan


15 comments on “Life is a roller coaster….

  1. marly says:

    Oh Jan I’m so sorry for your loss. So heartbreaking. Glad you will have a break soon. I just can’t imagine the pace you’re keeping. Congratulations again on the new venture!

  2. Janet W says:

    Hi Jan, sure have missed you. Gosh, you have been so busy. Glad things are going well. Welcome back.

    Sorry to hear about Stryker, poor kitty. Must be so hard for Brian and all of you. 😦

    I hope Brian is doing well too. 🙂

    Take care, Janet W ((hugs))

  3. Goedele says:

    I read on Facebook about Stryker. I’m so sorry…
    How can I find shops that are selling your prints?


  4. Goedele says:

    Your name is on Facebook, so I found it already!!

  5. Teresa says:

    WOW!!! I can’t imagine getting that much done! It exhausted me just reading it!!! I’m burnt out from just 6 shows this year and ready for a break!!! Enjoy your time after your shows and sorry to hear about your kitty friend!

    • Hi Teresa! Yeah, we had about 70 show days this year…pretty exhausting! We are pretty disappointed we had to cancel a big one because of problems with Brian’s health and low stock. Looking forward to a break. Stryker will be dearly missed. –Jan

  6. Cindy says:

    So sorry to hear about Stryker…it is so hard when we lose one of our furry children.
    I’ve been busy working on stuff for my upcoming Christmas show…it is a 3 day show on Thanksgiving weekend and then I’m done until next October.

  7. betty crowe says:

    Oh NO! I am so sorry Brian lost Stryker.You all too. I know that cat provided all of you with what you needed during Brians diagnosis and following ups and downs. Tell him “not to cry because it is over, but to smile because it happened”. I am sending all of you hugs as well as prayers. You have been one busy couple!

  8. Steph says:

    Hi Jan. Nice to see a post again:) I am so happy that you can see the end and some relaxation (whatever that is) coming up!! I am sorry to hear about Brian’s loss. And your’s as well. I don’t think the word “pet” can accuratly describe our animal family members. They are truly part of our homes. Good luck with your last two shows. Thanks for always visiting me and leaving such nice comments. -Steph-

  9. Angie Berry says:

    Gosh girl, I have missed you SO VERY MUCH!!! I’m super behind on your blog because I didn’t even know you were taking a break back in Sept… wow, where has the time disappeared too?!

    I can see why you needed a 3 day break… your booth is incredible!!! So glad you ended up with a good weekend with a nice dinner, that’s great!

    Aw, that is so very sad about Stryker. I’m not a cat lover at all but I always enjoyed your stories about Brian and his buddy, they always made me smile. I hope Brian is doing okay. Those sweet and crazy animals have a way of becoming part of our family and stealing our hearts.

    I probably won’t be back to visit before Thanksgiving so I just want to say now that I hope you all have a relaxing, enjoyable time just being together as a family laughing, loving, and having fun!

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