Done Like Dinner

The 2014 Thanksgiving Studio Tour is over. Well, technically there is still an hour to go, but it's pouring rain, and we haven't had any visitors for two hours, so I'm assuming that everyone is snug and warm at home. Anyway, it was a mad house the first day, with over a hundred visitors. I was exhausted by 4:00, and trying to think of clever ways to get out of the next two days. Get my mom to write a note to the Arts Council, saying I was in bed with a bad cold? Post a sign on the door saying "Gone Fishin'"? Oops, there's the doorbell, please excuse me.
A few more intrepid souls ventured out in the rain. A lot of people came just to see the dome, I think. I heard many stories about the house's history over the past few days, and met the owner of the only other dome on the island, as well as the past owner of this one. Kinda fascinating, and for me a nice break from talking about my own work - I am truly feeling like a broken record.
We didn't sell a lot, but that was hardly our goal. Mostly we just wanted to meet people and have them see what we do - sort of an investment in the future that I am am sure will pay off in many ways, the least of which is monetary. Lots of cards were exchanged, there is talk of teaching and stitching groups and collaborations.
I found out that many women share my love of vintage linens, and that many have stashes of treasured pieces.  I even had a group of Girl Guides visit, and I was proud to show them the sampler that I made for an embroidery badge back when I was a Guide.
The duly chastised guard dog retreats to her pile of pillows.
The low point of the weekend was with our first visitors on the second day, when our worst nightmare happened. Gracie and Mischa, resident canines, aren't particularly used to guests and tend to bark unpredictably. We couldn't find anyone to take care of them, so we just kept them under control with lots of rewards, and they behaved perfectly the first day, greeting 100 people without incident. But when a family of five, including two small children, arrived on Day 2, the dogs barked, the kids freaked, Mischa charged the little boy, nipping his pant leg, and everyone was very upset. James immediately grabbed Mischa and retreated to the bedroom, not coming out for hours. He later said he was envisioning lawsuits and the police coming and having to make a run for it. Of course none of that transpired - I just went on automatic and greeted visitors on my own for a while, and everything went fine. But I felt just terrible, thinking we had ruined the tour for that family, and the kids would grow up fearing art and especially artists and their dogs.

Another less serious example of why dogs and studio tours may not mix is that Gracie had eaten something that didn't agree with her and was wafting the most disgusting farts through the room as I was talking to people. Silent but deadly.
Well, that was written two days ago. It sure takes me time to get my energy back. I'm not 100% re-charged, but getting there. James and I have taken the momentous step of hiring an assistant, part-time. Not that we have money to pay her - James is using the wages from HIS part-time job to fund the position. But our hope is that she will help us be more productive and better organised - I will introduce you to her in future posts.
And here is the completed embroidery I did for Chris. It measures 18 inches high and 52 inches long, and I am very happy with how it turned out. The photo doesn't quite show off the colour of the text, it is a bit darker than it looks here, but the embroidery floss has a sheen to it that reflects light.


  1. Thank you for this post.
    So natural and how it is for artists...exhausting sometimes to do the stuff.
    not the art making stuff - that's not hard to do - but all the other stuff, the computer stuff, the public stuff.

    I've hired an assistant - she is a young artist who helps me when I need to sort photos into files and things like that in the computer. She just comes when I need her - not on regular basis - but it is nice to be able to call on some one when you've lost your energy.
    On the other hand - so much of the computer stuff I have to do alone anyway - I'm still writing a speech and have been doing so for two weeks.

    Rest up.

  2. Oh dear.. the dog situation sounds so stressful!! And I always feel so much more tired than I think I should be after just ONE day of an open studio, let alone a few!

  3. Oh dear.. the dog situation sounds so stressful!! And I always feel so much more tired than I think I should be after just ONE day of an open studio, let alone a few!

  4. Anonymous10:51 AM

    studio tours - have to love them or leave them. I will have one on the 15/16 Nov. Your display looks wonderful, you're very brave to open your home/private space to all those people. I'll be interested to hear how the assistant works out.

  5. I'm calling it "Home Invasion 2014", not "Studio Tour"!

  6. Sorry to hear about the dog incident but I'm sure you, James and the dogs were more stressed out by it than the family was! Your dome looked very nice though. Lovely to see all the pieces mounted and hung. So much work!

  7. thank you for taking photos and giving us a virtual glimpse of your new space and art!


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