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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Riverside Rubber Stamp Convention

Just returned from the Riverside show. My truck is still heaped with stuff and it rained all night so everything in the bed of the truck is wet -- but it's just the tables and stuff. Left home Friday in the pouring rain to set up. Arrived in Riverside and it was dry. Unloaded, parked the car and it started pouring, but I was already inside setting up. Had lots of the new images and fabulous grab bags ($100 worth of USDA choice red rubber for $10) but I only had a 10x10 booth so there was as much under the tables that I could not fit as there was on top of the tables. Since I did not have a hotel room (home is only 40 minutes away) I planned to clean up before the show started on Friday night in the convention center rest room. Didn't figure that there would be many people and I would not be inconveniencing anyone by changing in the restroom, but there were several other events going on so I'm sure the crowd going in and out of the restroom thought I was a bag lady washing my hair in the sink, blowing it dry and changing in the handicapped stall. THIS is the glamour side of doing rubber stamp shows that customers never hear about or see. I had to wash my hair! It has a tendency to curl up when it's moist out and I looked like ANNIE (I recently dyed my hair red again), albeit a 60 year old ANNIE. Yes, I'll be 60 next month. No wonder it's getting harder to hop off the loading dock to schlep those boxes of rubber...the economy definitely had an effect on the show revenue but it was good to see old friends and customers and unload some of the stuff I've been storing since Stampaway in August. Anne and I had breakfast at Simple Simon's on the walking mall (Main Street) across from the Mission Inn. Auntie Amy recommended it and I read online that the owner was like the "soup Nazi" in Seinfeld. He must have been on his best behavior Saturday morning, those attributes did not surface. By the way, Auntie Amy says that "I rock" and she doesn't say that about many people.

Highlights of the show: Invoke Arts (Robert and Kate), Paula Best (Teresa), my friend Anne Garcia who helped me. Saw Bonnie, Cher, Miss Jennifer and Auntie Amy (and Haley) and other old stamp friends. Pat and Dave of Heirloom, Lost Coast and Stamp Camp, Rubber Romance and Polly's Pals. Good variety of vendors, great little area for eating and shopping around the show (Mrs. Tiggy Winkle's especially!), but the economy still put a damper on the sales.

Just added a link to Paula Best's web site. She is one of my favorite artists and I always manage to pick up a few things at her booth. I even buy MOUNTED stamps from her because I like looking at the indexed image on the wood mount. When I buy stamps from other companies I usually buy them mounted -- I know that most of the stamps are handmade by the people behind the company, so each one is a little work of art all unto sure to read her blog.

Heading for Santa Barbara this weekend for a "girlfriend getaway." Stopping at a "scrap" recycling place that we've heard about, so I'll report on that. We didn't know that the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is going on this week and wrapping up next weekend, but it wasn't hard to get a cheap hotel room. Mickey Rourke (whom I've always loved through his career highlights and lowlights) is being honored for The Wrestler on Sat. night. I am SO tempted to go, but it's 50 bucks so I'll honor him in my own way by watching Diner and The Pope of Greenwich Village again instead. If you have not seen either of those, rent them. Eric Roberts is in POGV and it's probably his best performance ever. I told the girls that maybe Mickey Rourke would be staying at the Day's Inn with us, but since he won the Golden Globe they probably moved him to Fess Parker's lavish hotel on the beach.

Gearing up for the stamp convention in March in Albuquerque. Can't wait to visit Mariposa Gallery again (an excuse to do this show is the great shopping around the university). Love the customers in NM and have done lots of new images for the show. New Frida, new Georgia, lots of crows and other images "perfecto" for Albuquerque (and ones I like best of all my images).

Back to school on Feb. 2. Packed away my fall semester thrift store, short-sleeve t-shirt wardrobe, then we had a 10-day 80+ degree heat wave and had to dig them all out again; then the rain set in and the temperature dropped again. I'm prepared for anything now with layers of
shirts, jacket, scarf, jeans and flip-flops (rain or shine). Five more art history classes this semester; art of China and Japan, Junior Seminar (small discussion group), an entire class on the architecture, painting and sculpture of Venice, contemporary art, and a class writing about art. Can't wait. I didn't want my brain to turn to mush during the last six weeks so I've read 5 or 6 books that I received for Christmas. Two on the Chelsea Hotel where we stayed during our trip to NYC a few years ago, one on the 'business of art," auctions, galleries, agents, museums, etc. that was pretty interesting, one on the artists and writers in the bohemian era of NYC in the 20's and 30's, as well as 8 or 10 magazines that I picked up at Borders...I read too fast. I don't buy myself new books, I usually check out the thrift stores and hope that friends will buy me books. Then I don't feel so bad about reading them in a few days...but I pass them along to friends, so the new ones are getting some mileage.

More after the SB trip with some photos and maybe a new video from my mini video recorder...

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