Monday, March 31, 2008

Only Two Weeks to Go!

Ruby-throated hummingbirds will begin returning to their northern breeding areas in about two weeks. The males will arrive first. Remember that your flowers aren't blooming yet, so you want to call attention to your feeder. Red is the color hummers see from the greatest distance. Having a red feeder or red nectar is NOT necessary. Simply hang a few red ribbons, fluttering in the breeze like flowers, or a big red bow near your feeder. That will get their attention and they will come to investigate. Once the food source is located, you are on their route for food! Make sure your feeders are clean. Rinse with a mild bleach solution before filling with nectar to kill any leftover mold. Remember to keep the nectar clean and fresh!

If you're in the St. Louis area this weekend, come see us at the Cool Art, Hot Jazz show April 5-6. You'll find some great art! It's at the Greensfelder Recreation Center in Queeny Park. Spend the day wandering the art booths and enjoying the great jazz music!

Hummingbird fact for the day: Thousands of New World plants rely on the hummer for pollination which occurs when pollen is transferred on their bills and head feathers from one plant to another.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Exciting News (at least we think so)!

It's so rewarding when one's art is recognized by other artists and by art promoters.

We will be "residents" of Silver Dollar City in September along with other Best of Missouri Hands Juried Artists. The week after we committed to that invitation, we were contacted by the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair and invited to spend two weeks there in July. We've not done any "in resident" shows so we're excited about these! The great thing is that you get to unload and set up just once and then tear down and head home just once but you get the benefit of two weekend shows plus some weekdays.

Get your feeders ready! Our little feathered friends will be returning soon - just 2 to 3 weeks in most parts of the US!

Hummingbird fact for today: Males use their bright gorget as a signal flag to opponents and potential mates. Females generally have their most distinctive markings on their tails and will fan and wave the tail as a warning signal.

Monday, March 3, 2008

ArtSmart 2008 - An Artists' Conference

The Missouri Artisan Association, dba The Best of Missouri Hands , held their annual conference this past weekend. The conference is called ArtSmart and the theme for 2008 was Stayin' Alive. It was held here at the Lake this year and as a newly-juried artist, I decided to go and hopefully learn a lot more about this crazy business called art and doing well enough to "stay alive" in the art business.

One tremendous advantage at the Conference is being able to get quality, professional pictures taken of your art at a greatly reduced rate. With so many artists applying for the shows now, professional pictures are a must if you want a shot at getting juried in. So Terrie and I took four of my best pieces and lo and behold, we sold one of them at the show! We also learned a lot about the jurying process at one of the break-out sessions.

We would like to expand the wholesale side of our business, and we learned a lot about about wholesale shows, wholesale pricing, and a lot of other great tips at the break-out session covering this topic. Another session I attended gave great advice on writing and distributing press releases and how to develop a good ad. And there was a session, facilitated by an art show promoter, on what promoters look for when considering artists for their shows. We probably would have learned a lot more on the second day, but unfortunately we couldn't be there on Sunday.

I also learned that as a Juried Artist of BOMH, I have my own page on their website. Check it out!

All in all it was time and money well spent and I wish I could have taken advantage of both days!

Hummingbird fact for today: Because of their small size and daring acrobatics, hummingbirds are rarely caught by predator birds.