Thursday, May 31, 2007

1920's Exhibit at The Harry Ransom Center

If you are looking for something fun to do, last Friday I visited the latest exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center here in Austin. The current exhibit is all about the 1920's - one of my most favorite decades. It was great, highlighting all the amazing art, literature and societal changes that happened during that decade. There was a letter from Ernest Hemingway's mother, to him, chastising his behavior. There were tons of great photographs and original manuscripts with the writer's notes in the margins. One super neat picture featured of all these ladies in their fancy full coverage bathing suit ensembles. Why can't we still have bathing suits like that? I came away with a long list of books I need to read including Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis. I really enjoyed all of the first edition books they had on display. The cover art was beautiful and inspiring. Then, at some point in the exhibit I was reminded of prohibition - it's amazing what you can accomplish without alcohol in your life! Just kidding, I know they were all drinking bathtub gin at the speakeasy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Craft in America

I almost forgot CRAFT IN AMERICA: Memory, Landscape, Community a three Part PBS Series starts tonight (thanks Ginger for reminding me)! I don’t think you are going to see the familiar Indie Crafter Faces that you might recognize in Handmade Nation, but the series looks fascinating nonetheless. Here is a little blurb from their site…

The centerpiece of our efforts at Craft in America is the production of a nationally broadcast PBS documentary series. The intention of the television series is to celebrate craft by honoring the artists who create it. In three episodes entitled Memory, Community and Landscape, Craft in America television viewers will travel throughout the United States visiting America’s premier craft artists in their studios to witness the creation of handmade objects, and into homes, businesses and public spaces where functional art is employed and celebrated. One of the main objectives of the series is to convey to a national audience the breadth and beauty of handmade objects in our culture.

Here are the run times and you can click here to watch a preview.
Memory May 30, 2007; 8p EDT/PDT
Landscape May 30, 2007; 9p EDT/PDT
Community May 30, 2007; 10p EDT/PDT

The other added bonus is that there is going to be a traveling exhibit called CRAFT IN AMERICA: Expanding Traditions In Texas they are coming to the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft February 22 through May 4, 2008.

Ok I need to go set my DVR.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Boss Lady Panel at SXSW

Recently Vickie Howell posted a link to the Boss Lady panel podcast from SXSW on the Babes in Biz email group. I listened to it this weekend while I worked in my studio. It was so helpful to hear how other women wrestle with the same issues I am coming up against. Two things really stood out for me: working time and hiring an assistant. They talked about how much time they spent working in the beginning. For me this has been a real issue lately. I want to work on my business ALL THE TIME these days. I feel kind of obsessed about it and I was starting to wonder if it is normal. My passion for my business really drives me to do everything I can to make it work. Right now it is difficult to conceive of turning out the lights and walking away at 6 PM but I find it comforting that other women have been through this kind of madness to be productive and have come out the other end, sane and with thriving businesses.

Another subject that really spoke to me was hiring an assistant. Being super detail oriented I fear turning over tasks to other people. They made such great points though. Jenny Hart talked about reading that businesses that hire employees end up making more money. Vickie Howell recalled advice from Kathy Cano Murillo, to let go of web design and other tasks. That totally made sense to me. If I could let go of accounting or hire someone to update my website, I could spend more time designing jewelry. Vickie also addressed another troublesome aspect of hiring an assistant: worrying that you won’t be able to support their job or that you're not offering enough. She suggested asking for exactly what you want because it may be exactly what someone out there is looking for.

There were so many other great bits of information in the podcast but these were the ones that really spoke to me. So, thanks for posting that link Vickie! I learned so much from it!

In case you missed it and want to listen to the podcast, here is a link.

Also recommended: The Influence of Art in Design podcast on the next page.