Today is my birthday. I typically celebrate it as a very private and personal holiday, and those who know me will remark how completely out of character it is for me to even announce it publicly.
But you only turn 60 once ...
I had planned to spend my birthday in Egypt, but other plans interceded and I have postponed international travel until next year. Smaller plans also went by the wayside, including any plans for today as I am still battling a bad cold that I caught earlier this week. But then I decided, why limit the celebration to a single day? It is, after all, the Year of the Monkey, my Chinese zodiac sign. And I'll be 60 all year : )
I invested my travel fund in a new, smaller and more efficient place to live, which has freed up my time to focus on rebuilding my hat business. To that end, I have doubled the size of my online Custom Catalog and have brought back some styles that I introduced after my first international travels in 2010-11, specifically the Topkapi and the Happy Hat, both of which have been well received on Facebook. You will also find links on my Custom Catalog page which will take you to my albums on Facebook. These publicly accessible archival files showcase a number of previous and custom-made works and now include larger photos for your viewing pleasure.
New hats for this spring-summer will include a 1900's women's riding hat, which will be offered in brocades as soon as I get them off my drawing table ...
I am taking a break from local art shows in order to shift my focus towards building a broader market. As of today, I am a member of Artizan Made ... "a collective of shops offering fine, carefully curated handmade products focused on home decor and eco-fashion." Rachel Biel, who runs both Artizan Made and the TAFAList, does an excellent job of promoting artists on both her websites and several social media platforms. I am very excited to be a part of this collective. Check out her January Photo Contest on TAFAList and vote for 10 of your favorites. The winners receive free advertising on the TAFA website. If you want to give the BirthdayGirl a lasting gift, help promote her business by voting for her : )
I am also interested in expanding my representation in galleries beyond those listed on my Galleries page. If you have a favorite gallery or boutique shop that you think would be a good fit for my hats, please email me with your recommendations. I am especially interested in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, the Northeast and MidWest. I favor craft schools where a percentage of my sales helps to fund curriculum which preserves American fine craft by teaching those skills to the next generations, and small, independent shops who give a portion of their profits back to their community.
The sun has just come out so I'm going to put my computer down and take a walk. Have a great day, and thank you for reading my blog!