Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tim Burton - Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice

Several nights ago, I received a call from an account of mine that carries a smattering of my designs on their web site. The owner had just been contacted by Tim Burton, wanting to purchase my complete Alice in Wonderland Charm collection for his wife, Helena Bonham Carter. I'm not up on pop culture, but I did know who Tim Burton was. I have just learned that he is producing a new film, Alice in Wonderland and that his wife, Helena Bonham Carter will star as Alice. Johnny Depp is playing the Mad Hatter. Perhaps I will sell a gold Mad Hatter to Johnny Depp?

I have been hesitant to post many of my story book charms on my web site not knowing which ones belong to public domain . I now gather that the classic version of Alice in Wonderland is part of the public domain. I created the charm collection in 1983. Later tonight, I hope to post my entire Alice in Wonderland Collection on my web site.

Deck the Halls with Magic

Our home is bustling with holiday chaos but much of the bustle is in getting orders packed and shipped for other's Christmases. We are thrilled to be so busy and in between the daily trips to the post office we are decking our own halls with Christmas cheer.

Last weekend we drove to Bonny Doon to cut down our Christmas tree at Crest Ranch. We always begin the day with great cheer and expectations. Choosing the perfect Christmas tree should be a joyful and bonding family experience, but seldom can we agree on which tree to cut. This year was no exception and we wandered the forest of trees indecisively. There were many wonderful trees, but one can not choose the first one that calls to you. There might be a tree over the horizon that is even prettier. Tension was growing by the time we found one that the three of us could agree on and Art and John quickly cut it down and carried it back to our car.

Our asymmetrical tree is finally decorated, the star tilting off to one side. Our fat cat, Godzilla, watched her foolish humans play with lights and bobbles

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Segue - Bali and Beyond

Our stay in Bali was magical and it was sad to leave paradise. We woke to this glorious rainbow one morning.

A serene morning in Ubud, Bali. I would wake before Art or John; coffee would be delivered to my outdoor terrace and I would write my blog overlooking the lush jungle beyond.

When I returned home from Bali, I hit the ground running. I was still jet lagged when I set up for the Los Altos Art and Wine Festival at 5:00 A.M. on July 12th. I had good intentions of writing about our final week in Bali, but the reality of the summer shows took precedent. I had scheduled 4 shows in a row and by mid August, when I had a momentary break, my memories of Bali had faded.

Many of you know that for over 25 years, I have sold my work at the Maryland Renaissance Fair outside of Annapolis Maryland. This show runs for 9 consecutive weekends from the third week in August through the third week in October. Preparing inventory for the show is a daunting job. Not only must I have the inventory, but also it must be counted, entered onto spreadsheets and tagged. Even with the help of Alisha and Katie, it takes over a month to prepare for the show. The prices of silver and gold were skyrocketing this summer, making it all the more stressful. When I finally shipped the inventory, I was cross-eyed and cranky from it all.

With the Maryland inventory shipped, I had a brief period of time to create new designs, but it never enough. Still, I was able to finish several one of a kind dragons and octopus’ wrapping arounsund shimmery opals and fire agates.

In September, my son John entered 9th grade and with that came a new schedule of homework, tutoring and chauffeuring John to his classes at Pacific Edge Climbing gym. Fall is always my busiest season and September was a blur of back-to-back shows, replenishing the inventory sold at the Maryland show each weekend, and parenting. Alisha and Molly would stop by many afternoons to help, but Molly (at 2 years old) would negate any help that Alisha could lend. Nevertheless, I looked forward to the late afternoons when I would see both my daughter and granddaughter and we would laugh, love, and juggle work and play.

In late September I flew back east to attend a weekend at the Maryland Renaissance Fair, oversee my shop and make my annual appearance. After all these years, I have an enthusiastic following and I look forward to seeing my friends and collectors.

The afternoon joust at the Maryland Renaissance Fair.

The Marty Magic Shop at the Maryland Renaissance Fair.

A collector proudly showing off his newly purchased skull ring. An awesome choice with his flame tattooed hand.

In early October, I managed to squeeze in a mini road trip with my father. He is 91 years old, a little wobbly, but still sharp. He is a geologist and an avid traveler and although he can no longer travel alone, with me as his chauffeur we revisited the Sequoia National Park. The journey was much of the reward and I have vivid memories of the stark and dramatic landscape traversing the passes between Santa Barbara and Sequoia. Seeing the giant redwoods is always awe inspiring, and sharing it with my father was the best. Much of my wanderlust spirit is due to my father and the many amazing, off the grid places that he and my mother took me to as a girl.

A dramatic vista on our road trip to Sequoia National Park

My father in Sequoia National Park.

October morphed into November with craft shows nearly every weekend. My favorite holiday, Halloween passed unceremonious between the shows, special orders and getting my web site ready for the upcoming holidays.

Alisha at the Halloween Parade where she teaches.

Rain, rain, go away! Molly in her ladybug costume with an umbrella that is much too big for her.

Thanks to those of you who encourage me to keep blogging. I've just learned how to post photos, so hopefully this will make it more visually interesting. I hope some of you will add comments to my posts.