6th Annual Garden Art Show & Sale - June 7, 2015

by mary June 9, 2015

On Sunday, I set up at Ken Keiran's 6th Annual Garden Art Show & Sale.

Ken is my husband's cousin & the owner of WhirlyThings.  He makes whirlygigs out of bicycle wheels & vintage glass cups, jello molds, hubcaps & more.  He also makes "barn birds" out of old barn wood & lithograh tin.  He has a huge back yard, & invites family members & friends who are also artists to set up for the afternoon as well. Ken & Marta also serve refreshments.

This year, the show included 3 of us that made jewelry (all very different styles), a friend who makes glass beads, a woman who makes mosaic pieces for the yard, a couple that make wood benches, a guy who makes copper geodesic domes for the yard (varying in size from a foot diameter to 6 feet diameter!), & a photographer.  A new addition this year was a friend who played guitar & sang throughout the afternoon!

It rained during the night, so we were all initially worried a bit about the weather, but it was great -- pretty warm, but with a slight breeze that made it quite pleasant.

There was a nice crowd & it turned out to be a totally lovely day -- I really enjoyed visiting with everyone that stopped by -- had a chance to catch up with people I used to work with, talk with some of the "regulars" that come every year, visit with some of the other artists, & meet new friends.  Plus sold some of my jewelry, including several of the new pieces I had made just for the show, like this wire-wrapped moss agate necklace & this pair of earrings made from some of Ken's vintage lithograph tin scraps!  (Pardon the quality of the pictures -- I was in a hurry to get things photographed before the show.)

A great day!

And now it's back to making more jewelry for ArtFest Midwest on June 27 & 28!




Filed Under: Shows

Beaverdale Books Trunk Show - December 6, 2014

by mary December 7, 2014

I had a great time last night doing a small trunk show at Beaverdale Books during the annual Beaverdale Holiday Shop Hop! 

The Beaverdale Shop Hop is sponsored by the Beaverdale Neighborhood Association & the Beaverdale Betterment Coalition, & is designed to encourage residents & visitors to shop locally in our neighborhood.  During the Shop Hop, many of the local businesses offer treats & beverages & specials. 

Santa also visits several local shops -- including Beaverdale Books where he read a Christmas story to the children!

The kids had a great time listening to Santa read "The Night Before Christmas" & helping him read the last few lines!

Author Debra Engle was also at the Bookstore signing copies of her latest book, "The Only Little Prayer You Need".  Here's Debra taking a picture of Santa & his elf as they leave Beaverdale Books . . .

Deb was just across from me, so I had a great opportunity to visit with her & learn a bit more about her book.

And here's another shot of my set-up . . .

Lots of people stopped by the Bookstore during the Shop Hop & I had a fun time visiting with old friends & making new ones, & talking about my jewelry with folks that stopped by. 

I'm so grateful to Alice (the owner) for allowing me to participate in this annual event!

To see more of my jewelry, check out my website at http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.  And, as always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!


Filed Under: Shows

Art on the Prairie -- 2014

by mary November 9, 2014

On November 8 & 9, 2014, I had the opportunity to participate in the 5th annual Art on the Prairie, a 2-day celebration of the arts in Perry, Iowa.  Art on the Prairie showcases more than 100 artists, musicians & poets in 7 buildings in the downtown cultural & historic district.  This was my first year at the festival.

I was in the Town Craft building, next to the Hotel Pattee -- where there were artists on both the 1st & 2nd floors . . . including several artists showing jewelry, textiles, photography, stained glass & woodworking. 

One of the things that is really fun about this show is that the booths are set up in these historical buildings -- making the spaces both somewhat challenging & intriguing!  Here are a few shots from the first floor of our building . . . in these first 2, the artists had large open spaces . . .

In this next one, the artist's space was a long hall -- I thought he made great use of it!

On the 2nd floor, there were 2 large rooms on either side of the hall, with space for 5 artists in one room . . .

and 8 on our side.  Here's a couple of views from my booth looking out at some of the other booths . . .

Our room also was the setting for one of the musician areas -- both days, we had different musicians coming in hourly which made for a great atmosphere . . .

Here's a shot of my booth before the show opened . . . we had to adapt a bit from our earlier set-up, but I was pleased with the result none-the-less!

And one that one of my neighbors was kind enough to take of my in my booth . . .

I indulged myself one purchase -- a hand-woven tinsel (I can't wear wool) scarf/shawl from the woman across from me, who was spinning yarn throughout the entire 2 days!

The organizers of Art on the Prairie do an amazing job of publisizing & organizing the event!  The staff & volunteers were super helpful & really made us feel valued & pampered -- they even have an artists' reception with food & music on Saturday night in the old post office, which has been restored & is really quite lovely! 

It was an absolutely great show!  I super-enjoyed visiting with all the people that came through our area & getting to know the artists that were set up close to my booth.  I was especially grateful to one of the artists in the room across the hall who helped me get Square working on the first day, when I was totally stuck!

My only regrets are that I wasn't able to go to all the other buildings to see what the artists there had to offer, & that my husband & I didn't stay Saturday night at the Hotel Pattee. 

And, I do hope to do it again next year!


Filed Under: Shows

Valley Junction Fall Art & Upcycle Market -- September 14, 2014

by mary September 21, 2014

Last Sunday, September 14, I participated in Valley Junction's Fall Art & Upcycle Market.  It was absolutely perfect weather -- the best I've ever experienced at one of Valley Junction's Art events.  The temp was in the upper 60s/low 70s, there was very little wind, & absolutely no rain (& none even predicted)!  This time, I was prepared for wind, too -- as we've learned to weight or tie down everything -- necks, earrings stands, anything that could blow over or away in the wind!

With the weather being so lovely, there was a nice crowd pretty much all afternoon.  I had a great time visiting with all the people that stopped by my booth to look at my jewelry.  I especially love talking with them about the stories that go with the pieces I've made, & hearing their stories about the heirlooms or odds & ends that they have at home.  Several friends also stopped by, including someone I knew from my years at DHS & hadn't seen for ages! 

I was really pretty pleased with how my booth turned out too.  (Steve & I had done a "dry run" the Sunday before in our driveway -- testing out different "props" & table arrangement.)  We landed on what we called a "modified Z" -- here's a picture from the front & the "back" side.

One of the things I really like is the table runner you can see in the first picture -- it came from my folk's & I think it may have been used as carpeting in a long hallway we had in the house we lived in until I was in 3rd grade -- Steve remembered seeing it in our basement & suggested using it!  I especially like the way it covers up some of the white table clothes. 

We also displayed jewelry on a dress form I picked up at the June Valley Junction Antique Jamboree that I dressed in Victorian undergarments I picked up from Dorothea's Closet Vintage sale rack, as well as an old multi-tiered plant stand & a little doll dressing closet that we got at a garage sale, & some old shells & driftwood.

The plant stand was especially nice for adding some variety in height.

And we used several old boxes I had from my folks to hold more necks, as well as a couple of old cardboard suitcases I've picked up at antique shops; & hung a necklace on an 33 1/3 album case we had.  And to hold earrings, we used the old 35mm slide case we picked up at the What Cheer flea market earlier this summer & a wire Eiffel Tower that Steve got me last year!

Here's another picture of one of the suitcases we used, plus we finally used some of the frames I've been collecting & fitting with felt -- in this case to hold bracelets.  We also used a couple of clipboards covered with music to hold necklaces, & little plastic frames that I filled with music, maps, & patterns etc. to hold earrings.  The little circular piece towards the bottom left is an old movie case that I filled with gravel & put bracelets in!

The little letters at the lower right are old scrabble tiles & other game pieces I've picked up here & there.  They spell the word "Inspiratu", for the charm bracelets & other jewelry I make that has "spriritual meaning" (e.g., new beginnings; health of body, mind & spirit; 5 elements & 7 chakras, etc.).

Here's a close-up of the wood shelves & metal cocktail cart we used on the "back" side of the booth -- both of these are collapsible, which makes them really nice for storage!  I got the cocktail cart at Funky Finds -- one of my favorite shops in Des Moines for mid-century modern odds & ends!  We used another of the clip boards, several small boxes, more of the plastic frames & an old jewelry box to displsy more jewelry.

And I used a little gold & green metal box on the lower shelf to hold my business cards!  We also used old crocheted doilies & furniture covers from my folks & some I'd picked up at Dorothea's Closet Vintage to cover the shelves.

There's still a little more I want to do to "refine" my booth set-up -- mainly think about something else to use for tableclothes (maybe burlap?) as there is still a lot of white showing.  All in all, though, I think it's really come along from when I first started. 

Part way through the show, I realized that maybe I have "come along" too, in that I didn't have nearly as much anxiety about this show -- in fact, hardly any.  I'm sure the great weather had a lot to do with that, as well as feeling better about my booth set-up.  It probably helped too that I've been doing more shows & am just getting more comfortable & confidant.

As always, thanks for reading & supporting small businesses!  And, if you'd like to see more of my jewelry, check out my web-page at http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.


Filed Under: Shows

Beaverdale Farmers Market - July 8, 2014

by mary July 27, 2014

July 8 was my 2nd time as an "occasional vendor" at the Beaverdale Farmers Market.

Like last month, it was a great evening with temps in the 70s!  My husband Steve helped me set up my tent & booth.

Here's a shot of the finished booth. 

My neighbor to the north was selling gourmet jams that she makes herself.

My neighbor to the south was a face painter -- It was really fun watching her work & the kids had a great time!

There are lots of great produce vendors at the Beaverdale Farmers Market -- One of my favorite has sort of a community garden right in Beaverdale.  They grow the best okra!

Steve's cousin Ken was there with his WhirlyThings & barn birds -- there was a great breeze that night so it was fun watching all the whirlythings spin!

The Beaverdale Farmers Market is an especially great place for families too.   People bring their kids & dogs & just enjoy the food & music & the games that the organizers provide!

Like last month, I had a lot of visitors to my booth, which was great fun!  I don't know about other Farmers Markets, but I'm enjoying doing Beaverdale's, & am looking forward to my next one on August 12!

For more information about the Beaverdale Farmers Market, go to http://beaverdalefarmersmarket.org/.


Filed Under: Shows

Beaverdale Farmers Market - June 10

by mary June 22, 2014

I signed up as an "occasional vendor" this year at our neighborhood Farmers Market, and Tuesday June 10 was my first market day!

It was a beautiful spring evening & my booth had a great view of the musicians & of kids & families relaxing & having fun at the market.

And I had great neighbors -- the family on my left was selling Norwex products, & the family on my right sold fresh produce.  I was able to pick up some radishes & green onions from the latter; & at the end of the market, they gave me a bag of lettuce!

The people managing the market were super helpful & made me feel really welcome.

And, lots of people stopped by to visit my booth, which made the event fun.

I was a little leary at first about how it would work to do a Farmers Market, but it turned out to be very relaxing & fun -- I'm eager to do my next night at the Market on July 8!

For more info on the Beaverdale Farmers Market, go to http://beaverdalefarmersmarket.org/.

As always, thanks for reading & thanks for supporting small businesses!


Filed Under: Shows

Booth Set-Up

by mary June 11, 2014

As I've written in the past, I'm not entirely satisfied with my booth set-up, & have been collecting things to try to make it a bit more interesting.

This afternoon, I spent some time working on my booth for the up-coming Beaverdale Farmers Market (I've signed up this year to be an "occasional" vendor & will do 1 day a month & this coming Tuesday June 10 will be my first time).  I want everything to fit entirely under my 10' x 10' tent with a little room to spare just in case it rains, so I decided to go with a single table plus a small collapsible cocktail cart.

Given the smaller space for display, I decided I definitely wanted to use the vertical wire mesh unit that Steve made for me.  I also decided to use a couple of old wooden boxes to add some variation in height.  And, I thought I'd hang earrings & key chains on little plastic frames to again vary the height & make it easier to see them.

I also thought I'd try laying some of the bracelets on backgrounds, including a sheet of music, bingo card, piece of driftwood, & book -- to add a bit of interest & break up the white of the tablecloth.  And I added different backdrops in the little frames that the earrings are displayed on -- including music, sewing pattern, newsprint, map segment, & colored paper -- again to break up the otherwise all-white background.

(This week, we're going to get little weights to stick on the back of all of the necks & little plastic frames, so they don't blow over in the wind.)

I'm liking this design better than previous booth set-ups, but am also going to keep working on other ideas & posting our progress!

As always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!



Filed Under: Shows

Annual Garden Art Show & Sale - June 1, 2014

by mary June 8, 2014

 I recently set up at my husband's cousin Ken Keiran's annual Garden Art Show & Sale.  It was his 5th year of doing the show (my 4th) & a great day!

Initially, the weather was a bit threatening (possibility of severe thunderstorms), but it held off & turned out to be a beautiful day, with a great turnout of artists & people coming to enjoy the artwork.

My space was the same as last year, tucked nicely into a corner of their driveway/patio area that helped to shelter me a bit from the occasional gust of wind.  I did set up my tent this year -- just in case the weather forecasters were right about the rain, & even had the sides up & ready to drop down if necessary.

Ken's daughter & sone-in-law set up a table with Chelsea's little book jewelry & Shane's wire & rock sculptures; and, of course, Ken has his Barn Birds on display & his WhirlyThings scattered around the yard.

There was also pottery.

And copper geodesic dome yard pieces.

And ceramic tile pieces.

And paintings & blown glass beads.

After the show, it occurred to me that I have a sort of "love/hate" relationship with shows.

I love visiting with the people who stop by my booth -- hearing what they look for in jewelry, getting to know a little bit about them, connecting with people I haven't seen for awhile, getting contacts to add to my mailing list & building what my on-line marketing instructor called a "sense of community", & the affirmation you get when people find something you've made that they get excited about.  And I love seeing what the other artists bring to the show & catching up with them on what they've been working on.

On the other hand, I hate the anxiety I experience before the show -- about the weather (especially if it's outdoors, when I check the weather forecast several times a day & worry endlessly about what the weather will be like - will it rain, how windy will it be, etc.), about my booth (I still haven't developed a booth set-up that I'm really satisfied with), about weather Square (my credit card processor) will work, whether I'll have enough new pieces of jewelry (I have this "thing" about always having several new pieces at each show), & whether I'll have everything I need (I'm particularly bad about remembering to bring a pen!).

In the end, though, despite all the anxiety I feel before the show, I'm always glad to be there once I set up & people starting coming by.  I love being part of something that always turns out to be fun & exciting (even when it's windy or there's a bit of rain), & the good feeling that you get from people walking around enjoying the artwork they're seeing.

This was especially true for Ken's show, which is probably one of my favorite of all the shows I do, in part because of the great vibe that I always feel at his show.  A special thanks to Ken for letting me be part of this really fun event!

As always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!


Filed Under: Shows

Valley Junction Art Market (May 19, 2013)

by mary May 20, 2013

What a day!  Yesterday I did my very first juried art show, the Spring Valley Junction Art Market.  The day started with weather forecasters predicting we'd see severe thunderstorms by late morning or early afternoon (scary).  On our drive over, it started to sprinkle just a little -- not a good sign.  By the time we were setting up, though, it was clear skies and beautiful -- great!  Not long after, though, the wind started to pick up, with gusts probably reaching 30 mph or more most of the day -- not so great!  Our canopy was straining (even though it was weighted down with 40+ lbs at each leg), my table covers were billowing up, & jewelry was tossed around on the tables & onto the ground repeatedly.  Thank goodness for duct tape!  We ended up taping everything down that moved -- table covers, jewelry, jewelry display necks -- you name it.  Steve (my husband) said we would have made Red Green proud.  The wind got so strong that shortly after noon, we took our canopy off for fear it might blow over (thank you to one of the other exhibitors who helped us).  Farther down the street, we heard some artists' tents did blow over, and others lost some of their works (glass and pottery) to the wind, so we were very lucky!  Just when things started to look like we

had made it through the worst of it, my phone died so I couldn't take credit cards!  (Later I learned you can take down the info & run the credit later on-line).  All in all, though, it was a great day -- I saw lots of friends, met many new people, had great conversations with people that stopped by our booth, sold some jewelry, and learned a lot (get a new better canopy capable of standing up to Iowa wind; always have duct tape, pins, & sunscreen with you, and focus more on what's going well -- like it not raining or storming on us -- than on what's not).  Special thanks to Belle (our beagle), who sat peacefully in the truck while we unloaded in the morning and spent most of the day home alone without complaining (if you know Belle, you know this is a big deal); and to Steve (my husband), who ended up staying with me all day (we hadn't planned that he would) -- I would never have made it through all the wind without him! 


Filed Under: Shows

About the author

Pauline's Jewelry Box was founded by Mary Nelson in 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa.  I chose the name Pauline's Jewelry Box because my mother's name was Pauline & I have many fond memories of looking through jewelry box & playing with her jewelry

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