Wednesday, 29 December 2010
It is with a few extra pounds (weight not cash) I am writing my post Christmas Blog! I'm sure I'm not alone and I hope that you have all over indulged sufficiently enough to recover in time for the next time on New Years Eve?
I have been attacked by a winter cough which has me hacking more effectively than a teenage nerd with a penchant for I.T. It's been two days now and that's been forty eight hours too long for my liking.
I know you're all wondering what could possibly have happened at the gallery over Christmas. The truth is not a great deal actually. But I have however had my first advert in the local paper. It's very exciting, it looks great.....there is a down side though. They have printed my home phone number as opposed to the business one. Ooops, so that will have to be rectified as I can't have people phoning me at home when I am at the gallery.
The other things that have happened are Christmas presents, I got loads of great stuff all for the gallery. I got a coffee machine, three liquidisers, a flip video camera and various other small bits and pieces. I hope that with my new video camera I can successfully upload videos to my blog. Then you can see all the exhibitions and keep visually up to date with all the new developments.
I think it is worth telling you that there must be a lot of people surfing the Internet looking for everything rude. The Blog that I called 'Sex, Sex and More Sex' has had so many views this week it's crazy. Oh how disappointed were they when they opened it and read it?? I'm guessing supremely.
Well that's all I have got to say for the moment. I hope that you all have a great New Years Eve and that 2011 is the year that makes you happy.
Have fun and be safe!
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Like everybody else I have been doing the festive thing. Wrapping presents, writing cards and trying to catch up with everybody before they head on their Christmas way. I have some exciting news......my doors have finally arrived. They came this morning so this means that I will be able to complete the renovations by New Year.
I have organised all my publicity and I have collected the majority of the work.
I spent some time at the gallery today mostly up a ladder and you know how much I like being up a ladder. The rest of my lights have now been fitted and the gallery is nice and bright. I took the rest of the rubbish up to the dump so there are no more jobs left to do. Merry Christmas to me.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who has ever read my blog a very Merry Christmas and a really great New Year. Let's hope 2011 is the year that we all achieve everything that we set out to do.
I will continue writing my blog over the festive season as there are always developments that I can let you know about. I will also be revealing the date of the official launch party, so keep your eyes peeled.
I hope you all have a great time with your family and friends.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
|Stewart Perry Ward|
There are days when you know that you've got a lot to do, so the night before you go to bed at a sensible time. Then there are random nights when you ignore the fact that you will be absolutely hectic have a crazy late night and still expect to achieve what you had planned. I am proud to say that I managed it and it was a day long event.
I went and got the work from Claire Hincks the Ceramist (yes, that is how you spell it). You learn something new every day. It has been over ten years since I last saw her and it was great to see her again. She was very good back then and now I think it's fair to say she has improved with age. Her work is fantastic and I can't wait to put it out in the gallery.
I have made contact with another glass artist who makes the most unusual but fascinating works. His is the work in this blog. I hope that you like it. I have to finalise the workshops page for my website as my website designer wants to get on and finish up. I have been busy writing other stuff but that is the most important job tomorrow.
An early night beckons.
Monday, 20 December 2010
How the white stuff seems to be wreaking havoc with everybody's very existence. Mine included. I have planned a strategy to ensure that everything that I need to do for the gallery is done prior to Christmas. Apparently that is not going to happen. I have been snowbound but not anymore...but people I need to see are still snowbound. I remember the days when I was young and the very thought of snow filled me with anticipation of time off school, snowman building and snowball fights. Now as an adult I worry about delays, car accidents, missed deadlines to name but a few. When did I grow up and put the NO into sNOw? I'm not sure but I suppose since I am my own boss I don't get paid for Snow Day no fun there then. I feel the cold more now and I worry about falling flat on my arse. I am supposed to be writing an article about myself promoting me and the gallery for a magazine but the truth of the matter is I can't think what to write. It would be great if I could just write ' Come to my gallery, it's full of cool stuff and it's a really nice space to be in'. I know that would not cut it. I shall have to continue to ponder that one. I tried to think about whilst playing Harry Potter on the Wii. Apparently that calls for multitasking skills way beyond my control.
I have asked Father Christmas for a skills sharpener and I'm hoping that I have been good enough to get one.
If your life is being totally screwed over by the snow I hope that it rains for you like it did for me and now we have no snow!
I would be eternally grateful if anyone had any words of wisdom about how to sell/promote the gallery. I have done it too well on the website and don't want to keep repeating myself.
Friday, 17 December 2010
- Don't pay anyone upfront, they work slowly as a result of not being hungry for the money.
- When creating a lot of dust breathe less often. Alternatively wear a dust mask.
- Ignore the phone for at least the first two months unless you specifically want to be cold called and sold something you ultimately don't need.
- When ordering things from the Internet, make the phone call to check they actually have the thing you are trying to buy.
- More than 5 layers of clothing on your upper body does restrict your movement making painting difficult.
- Don't leave all outdoor painting until it starts to drop below freezing, not only does it take ages for the paint to dry but it takes ages for you to thaw out.
- Polyfilla is not designed to fill any hole no matter the size.
- Do not believe the lies of Sales people. They are only interested in their commission and will quite happily sell you the wrong product or the most expensive.
- People that say they are not trying to sell you anything are all trying to sell you something.
- Don't use a ladder that is more than fifty years old.
- Toilet roll has many other practical applications, none of them restricted to the littlest room.
- Don't tell anyone too much about what you are doing, because some people are just negative pessimists.
- Don't sweat the small stuff until it mutates into the big stuff.
- Think before you paint, don't just start where it's most convenient because ultimately you'll end up leaning on it when you paint the less convenient places.
- Don't take ladders for granted, they are not human, they do not understand fear and will topple if given the right encouragement.
- In the cold weather try and find a warm drink that's an alternative to coffee. Don't have a 'warming coffee' every hour and expect to sleep at night.
- Think twice about inviting drunk people to the gallery when the floor isn't quite dry.
- At no point is it appropriate to behave like an ostrich when confronted with a crisis.
- Don't expect artists to contact you back, they are a creative bunch with an abstract understanding of time.
- Electricity is sold by charlatans and thieves.
- Keeping the workforce happy can be as easy as having Quavers in the cupboard and a regular supply of tea/coffee.
- Power tools can be cool, not scary especially when you actually get over the initial fear!
- Writing a Blog keeps you focused and honest. It totally lifts your mood when you get nice comments and lots of readers.
- Lunch should not just consist of the afore mentioned Quavers and coffee.
- Just because you work four doors up from your local pub does not mean that you have to call in there every night.
I think 25 observations are more than enough. I hope you enjoy them.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
There are days when it flows and there are days when no matter how hard you try it is clumsy and boring. I'm talking about writing my blog. I really do try to make it as interesting and humorous as possible but I know sometimes it falls short. So thanks for reading it anyway. This is actually my second attempt as I thought the first draft was duller than an overcast day in Dullsville.
As soon as I posted my blog yesterday I remembered all the stuff I forgot to mention. I have organised my first advert and it looks great. I have tried to put a picture in the blog but apparently I do not have the rights to publish it. I have also lined up some more publicity with Wessex Muse, they wrote about me a few years ago. They are going to do a double page spread about the opening. I have already had to update the website in order to make sure that there is enough information on there for people to start emailing/phoning me to book places on one of my workshops. Have I mentioned that I'm an eternal optimist?
Now the gallery is pretty much finished it is time for me to focus on other things. I am sure that my blurry eyed approach is not doing me any favours. I have all kinds of tedious tasks to do but I cannot seem to settle to finish any of them.
I've been doing a fairly in depth study of Harry Potter Lego for the Wii and I find it to be both amusing and challenging. Needless to say it does not help me to complete any of my tasks. I am now allowing myself to get sucked in to 'Murder She Wrote' and writing my blog. If I could win a prize for procrastination I might get round to collecting it tomorrow or maybe Saturday.
I'm going to the gallery in a little while so that might motivate me to get a few more of my tasks complete before I go.
I better go and get on with them then. Jessica Fletcher has just promised not to keep a secret and a policeman just said 'wild thoughts give me the willies'. I kid you not. It's very, very bad!
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
I apologise that I have missed my 6 o'clock deadline that I have been trying to meet. I have had a very busy afternoon. I would like to say that it was a busy day but no just a very busy afternoon. I left my house at 7.50 this morning with the intention of doing many productive things before my midday meeting. Getting my haircut and writing my artists disclaimer thingy! No, apparently the world had other ideas. My hairdresser didn't even open until 10.30, admittedly I hadn't booked but still!! I did however manage to catch up with my best friend Ian for coffee. That was lovely. No disclaimer thingy was written as I'd forgotten the template for it.
I headed to Poole to meet with Rob Marshall, he makes the most amazing glassware. If you've looked at my website you'll have seen some of his work. I got five fantastic pieces from him and also picked up the work of ceramic artist Charlotte Blake. I'm excited about putting it all out on display.
I didn't say much in my blog yesterday as I thought it would be good for you to just see what I have been doing. Matt and I hung the work (mostly him) and it looks amazing. I had at least 25 'pinch me I must be dreaming' moments as it all seemed very real. It feels like a bit of scary wrapped in a blanket anticipation with a generous sprinkle of excitement.
I feel it is only fair to tell you about my up a ladder experience yesterday. You saw the lovely 'after' photos,what I neglected to show you were the 'before'. Maybe I have at some point but not yesterday. My front windows were two tone white at the bottom and beige at the top. I want you to guess what I had to do yesterday? I know you all got there with absolutely no help from me. I had to get up a ladder and paint it. I operate with a certain 'ladder theory', if my shins are beneath the top two rungs I won't hyperventilate and subsequently not fall off and die. Suffice to say that I had both shins exposed not behind the safety of the top two rungs. I was nearly sick with fear, I tried my hardest not show it but I was on the High Street with the world and his wife walking past. I slapped that paint on like a drunken abstract expressionist painter in a race against the clock. It would definitely not hold up under close scrutiny. Add to the nausea a wind chill factor that actually turned the tips of my fingers numb so that I had to keep getting down to defrost them enough to hold the paint brush. Grim times! But Hooray it's finished!!
I will put some more pictures up tomorrow of the final developments and the work that I collected today. I will also give you my top 10 maybe 20 of things not to do when 'Becoming A Gallery Owner'.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Monday, 13 December 2010
I have been doing what I need to do, it's gallery choredom but I'm wading through it. The lady in the picture above is me waiting for my doors. I have been waiting for three months for my new front doors. It's one of the very last jobs that I need doing. I just had a phone call to say that they are coming on the 23rd December. Woo hoo!! How exciting is that? My gallery front will look as nice as the gallery middle. At last, those ugly old doors will be history.
I have been working on my price list for workshops. It is depressing, I hate having to think about charging people but I also know that I have bills to pay and that it is important too if I'm going to be successful.
I hope that I am being reasonable with my pricing, time and bookings will tell.
I am working my way down a list of things that I need to do and there's only about two items that don't actually cost anything other than my time.
I am hoping that my sign goes up today as I haven't been down to the gallery yet. I am going to go there later to drop some stuff off. It would be awesome if my sign was there.
My next job that is gallery related is designing a calendar for the gallery. I'm going to use the work that is going to exhibited. I think that will be cool.
If anyone has any idea how to improvise an etching hotplate please feel free to let me know as they are far too expensive. It's a necessity but I may have to save up all my pennies.
Might have a picture to add later. So watch this space.
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Ok you have to forgive me for this moment of vanity and pride. I'm sure you have all googled your name before and come up with random people who share it. I have to tell you about my most famous namesake because for anyone who actually knows me it will make you howl.
She is a religious writer who goes on about how women have lost their way in the modern world. What a load of old rubbish.
Oh well, I just thought I'd share that with you. But I've got a whole page on Google to myself. Woo Hoo.
Buy God's Design for Women from a gospel book firm. Women today are encouraged to think they can 'have it all': career success and family fulfilment at the
Friday, 10 December 2010
I thought that yesterday I was just tired and reluctant to get out of bed. But I think it was a pre-illness warning. I feel rough today, excessively tired and an unhappy stomach. It's just as well that I have got only two jobs left to do at the gallery. They both can wait until next week.
My lights are finished, thanks Dan they look great. I need a few more and when I have finished writing this I will get on with that.
My sign goes up today and I shall definitely make the effort to go and have a look at it. I'll take a picture.
My admin jobs that I have been busy with this week seem to have payed off. I have organised two different advertising campaigns. One has allowed me to have a double page spread as they have written about me before. Which is really good, oh there's always money to be spent so I have organised a six month ad campaign in a local publication.
I thought that all my big money spending was done it starts all over again.
I'm just going to take it easy today as I really want to enjoy this weekend as I have quite a lot lined up to do. I will post a picture later if it comes out ok and isn't too dark.
Enjoy your weekend, I hope that you haven't got too much Christmas shopping to do I think the shops will be hectic. Whatever you're doing have fun!
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Who doesn't think that this is true? I get up and the first thing I do is check my emails, I read them with one eye open. I toy with the idea of going back to sleep even though I know I have got plenty to do. But it's cold and I don't really want to. You all know the way this ends up right? Getting up anyway and starting the day regardless of whether I feel ready to or not.
I know that I am far from alone in the whole getting up when you don't want to stakes.
There's a lyric in a Smiths song 'and everything she wants costs money' this is my new life. I have to spend, spend, spend and that means the sooner I earn, earn, earn the better. I have a pile of scratch cards all saying I've won a pound. I virtually win a pound every time I buy one, is it wrong that I am dismissive of these small triumphs as I'm only interested in the big money.
They are advertising scratch cards as perfect Christmas presents, I don't know about you but if I got one as a present I would feel cheated. I'd rather have the pound!
Guess what I need to do at the gallery today? No, go on guess? I have to paint, that's right that's what I have to do. It's all fiddly and and technical. I really don't want to but there are little areas that scream out to me every time I walk into the gallery 'Paint Me, Paint Me Now!'.
I think that Dan may have finished my lights last night so that's quite exciting. I should finish up here so that I can get ready to go the gallery for an afternoon of painting. Great!
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
A little sneaky peek at what is happening at the gallery. Pictures are not brilliant because I took them on my phone. I have left Dan fitting the rest of my lights so tomorrow there should be plenty of light down there. I have started looking into advertising and I now know that there is more money to be spent. I had a visit from Dave Field one of the artists who will be exhibiting at the gallery. We had a chat about his new work and he seemed impressed with the progress so far at the gallery. Anyway, enough from me for one day.
Now I enter the final phase of the process of opening a gallery, I am starting to see the parallels between my new job and my old one. Paperwork! The biggest difference is that I don't have endless reports to
write. I don't have to think of several different ways to write your son/daughter is ultimately average and could get better results if they applied themselves. Now it's numerous emails to art publications trying to get them interested in me. Self promotion is hard. Wording things so you don't sound like egomaniacal lunatic is quite difficult. Under sell yourself and people don't think you have what it takes. Over sell yourself and they wonder you are contacting them as it is obvious you are just one step down from God like status and why do you need them?
I am aiming for modest but confident, whether or not I am hitting the mark is anyones guess. I hope that the next fifteen times that I will check my email in the next hour will actually bring some rewards for all my efforts this morning.
I am going to try and find some money to put in my business account in a bit, that will probably just be depressing.
I have had lots of very encouraging messages from people who have been reading the blog and I would like to thank everyone for those.
A double blog day today so I can show you the new developments as promised for the last two days.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
I would have loved to have shown you great pictures of all the new developments........but when your electrician says he's coming you stay put. I can't upload my pictures from here. I have my first row of lights! Hooray!!! They look great! I am busying myself doing various menial tasks but feel guilty because I'm not doing anything meaningful.
I have spent the day sending emails and chasing up artists. I did this at home as the gallery is a bit 'freezing' at the moment. The weather here is so cold. I have been wearing five layers down here and the minute you stop working the cold grabs you by the throat and strangles every last bit of warmth out of you. I think it will dramatically improve when the lights are finished and the rest of the ceiling is up.
So Dan and Matt got all the tracking up and some of the lights are actually already working. They look great. (I'm worried that the word 'great' is becoming the new 'so') But you know what, I don't care, because everything is looking great, fantastic, brilliant and fabulous.
I'm doing all the tweaky tedious bits at the moment. I just want to start making stuff be it prints or jewellery. I want to get busy.
I apologise for the lateness of my last two blogs but I have been pulling late nights to be on hand if necessary to help. I made coffees and screwed in my led bulbs into the lights. So as you can tell I was a big help.
More of the same for me tomorrow, I'm hoping to have news on my sign and doors. They are the last few things that need to be finished. I will put pics up tomorrow as I will take the necessary lead to the gallery with me.
By the way I under ordered my lights, I knew it was all going too well. I HATE numbers, they are SO not GREAT!!!
Monday, 6 December 2010
Today was the beginning of my official life as a gallery owner! Until now I have been someone who has been engaged in the activity of refurbishing a premises that was to become a gallery. But today I had my real job head on. I had the very delightful job of selecting work that I will show in the gallery.
It has been a day of strange coincidences, two artists Mary Jane Evans and Maria Jirat arrived at the same time and I was listening to Michael Jackson and they both sign their work M.J. My phone rang twice and both times my mobile rang at the same time.
I have to say if I have been feeling uncertain in any way about having enough work to show, today totally dispelled that. Mary Jane and Maria absolutely had me spoilt for choice. Two very talented ladies. I cannot wait to put it all out. I did think about putting pictures on here but they would be spoilers as they would not do the work justice. I also want to keep it all a surprise until the opening.
I have decided that I am going to wait until January to open as there are a few jobs that really don't look like they are going to be finished in time. No-one is to blame it's just the way things are. It will give me time to plan it all properly and more importantly publicise it properly.
Matt added a second tier to my glass display table and it looks great, he made some great little display stands and my 'Robot of the Week' box. A very good afternoons work.
Dan turned up and sorted my plug sockets out. I bought the right but wrong quick fit boxes, which were nigh on impossible to fit let alone quickly. Luckily he had some others he could use and finished the job super quickly. He also showed me my lights in action and thank all that is holy I bought the right ones and the right track. Phew!!!! They are going up tomorrow.
I've got some admin to do in the morning, I guess I should actually put some money in business account and pay some bills.
I'll show you all the new developments tomorrow.
Sunday, 5 December 2010
There is always a danger when you expect too much from anything or anyone. Today I found myself expecting too much of christmas decorations. It was a mistake. I decided that whether I open or not I am going to put a christmas tree in the window. So in keeping with the black and white theme I have a black tree with silver and white decorations. Crammed the tree into the mini, along with a bagful of bling. Everything was going according to plan. Unpacked the tree, joined it all together and I thought 'Let the decorating commence'. Apparently not. I have boxes of baubles and other sparkly stuff, and none of it came with any means to hang it with. No string, useful loops or ribbon. Nothing whatsoever. This was a completely new one on me, this has to be the first time that I have bought decorations that did not come ready to hang. For now I have had to make do with the white tinsel and nothing else. I went across the road to the charity shop who sell christmas decorations and scrutinised theirs and they also did not come with any means to hang them with. WHAT is the world coming too? I have since been to several other shops trying to find something to no avail.
Luckily, I was rescued from my Mission Impossible by my friends Suze and Katie who came to visit and take me away from my arduous task.
I had my last Saturday class yesterday and it was great. I have really enjoyed being so self indulgent and creative for an entire day every fortnight. The people I was there with were also cool and I hope we keep in touch.
Gallery news.....My life is not yet lit up, but I'm hoping it will be soon. I have two artists coming to bring me their work tomorrow so at least something is progressing. I will have to have my official gallery owner head on which will be interesting.
My cheque book and debit card arrived yesterday. They are Big with a capital B. Not the card just the cheque/paying in books. My debit card reads L'Artishe Gallery and Stud as it couldn't fit the whole word studio in. I think that is fairly amusing.
I just thought that you might like to know I've written well over 100 blogs and I've had well over 4,000 page views so thank you all very much for that.
That's all I can think of for now.
Friday, 3 December 2010
There is still plenty of snow on the ground and I am yet to get dressed. I have set up office in bed and have been organising my admin from here. Outside my window there is an ice rink that would be perfect if it wasn't my road and the pavement. Snow was totally doable yesterday but the shimmering ice that is glinting beautifully in the winter sun looks lethal. I should add that I live at the top of a hill, that's a fairly crucial detail.
I am not sure it's worth the risk. When I have so much other stuff I could be getting on with. It would seem that there is always something to do. I have just designed and ordered my new business cards and a company stamp and some window decals. I need to get the name out there.
I am contemplating getting up and about but I'm not exactly sure why I'm bothering.
I'm thinking that I could do my homework for college tomorrow but I'm not sure that it is even going to happen. Unless the temperature goes up several degrees from -6 I'm fairly certain I wont be leaving Swanage tomorrow either.
I hope that none of you are suffering too much with the bad weather. I keep thinking to myself, how can something so beautiful cause quite so much chaos? A friend of mine is grateful for the snow because it makes his messy garden look tidy and he's got a point there.
My cats have all fully embraced the snow and are out playing in it even though it's up to their armpits/legpits, not sure what the correct terminology is for the top of cats legs.
Let me know if you know so I can be correct in the future.
I love the quote above as it is clever and insightful and one I intend to embrace whenever possible.
Happy Second Snow Day everybody.
Keep Safe and Keep Warm!
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Well Swanage avoided snow very effectively until about 11.30 last night. I saw a few flakes fall and thought nothing more of it. An hour later it was falling in earnest, more importantly it was settling. By 1.30 about an inch had fallen it was at this point I thought enough with this insomnia I should get some sleep. I should mention that Matt phoned me at 12.05 to tell me that it was snowing. He proceeded to venture out whilst I stayed put and cuddled my hot water bottle.
I woke up to six inches of fresh snow, and cats who thought the ground was attacking them. It was very funny to watch. It was officially a Snow Day and plans were already in place for snowman building and other snow related merriment.
Swanage only has one road out and that meant that Swanage was pretty much on lockdown, you knew this was the case because you couldn't buy a loaf of bread in the shops. Panic buying had already taken place.
Matt was unable to come to work today day to 'the long treacherous commute to work'. Admittedly he lives up a freakishly steep hill.
Gallons of Mulled Wine were consumed at the Red Lion and 35 people strong snowball fights took place, and I'm fairly certain virtually everyone I knew managed to be in there at some point today.
Now for gallery news, it's a bit up in the air at the moment as the artists whose work was supposed to be coming this week haven't been able to do that due to the snow. My doors which were ordered well over 2 months ago have not shown up yet. My lights need to be fitted. I may have to revert to a January opening which is a shame as I've worked really hard to try and be open before Christmas but there are factors that are beyond my control. For an OCD control freak you can imagine that does not sit well with me.
I've been grumpy on and off all day as I was really hoping to be open and have worked really hard. But I don't want it to be not quite right. Too much effort and energy has been involved to open before I'm fully ready. If everything falls in to place over the next 7 days it could all be back on. So send me as positive many vibes as possible.
Keep warm and keep smiling!
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
We have no snow but what we do have is wind a plenty, the wind chill factor must be bringing the temperature down to minus bloody freezing. If you walk outside without gloves your hands are numb within minutes. I'm sure you're wondering why I'm giving you such an in depth weather report. The gallery has not got any central heating and inside closely echoes outside. I had a halogen heater on and it took the edge off, but you have to keep moving.
Matt came down and sorted out all my hanging rails. The best news about this is that I did not under order the hanging rail. I was convinced that I'd ordered 9ft as opposed to 9 metres. I have developed a very peculiar paranoia. I think it's closely related to spending large amounts of cash. I put the order together, then check it, then order it. I allow 2 or 3 hours to elapse and then I suddenly think 'Have I ordered the right thing/amount/colour?' The list goes on. I then have to check and mostly I have been right. I am hoping that I am nearly over spending the really big wedges of cash. Just as well really.
It is getting exciting now just got to get the lights in and the artists work.
I've still got a few more jobs to do as always. I need some gloves to wear whilst I work that would definitely help.
Official opening in 2 weeks I hope. Fingers crossed.P.S I'm going to put the Christmas Tree up tomorrow not essential but nice.