28 July 2008

The Markt van Morgen: this is how it was! Finally! :-D

bedankt dat jullie er waren, Mireille en Els (en iedereen die niet op een foto is beland... ;-) )

Thank you so much Elizabeth, for giving me this lovely opportunity to write this report! I had a lot of fun working on it. Otherwise I would have been too lazy to do it and this would just have been a couple of pictures and maybe half a paragraph...

The Markt van Morgen through the eyes of a quirky Dawandanian who's still new at this world of art markets. And what a grand adventure it was...Two weeks later and I finally have somewhat recovered! LOL
This is an account of the day itself, so I'll spare you the tedious details of the whole preparation & excitement that went on anticipating the market...
I'll probably go down in history as the one jewelry designer who managed to lose the treasure box with all of her jewelry in it, only to find it back in the nick of time with the help of some wonderful neighbours who deserve statues to be erected in their honor! Or more realistically some custom made jewelry by yours truly... ;-)
The day itself had its own challenges, as we had been treated to typical Belgian weather the weeks before: showers, winds, all sorts of interesting weather phenomena but the one you'd associate with the usual summer vibe: sun. But miraculously it was lovely, only that sunday! Some clouds, some generous sunny patches...brilliant! You see, we had had to make our own stands (the organization only provided tables and chairs), while I loved styling it I hadn't found the time to design, let alone make a rain-proof stand!
Now how do you style a stand? Is there a manual?! I didn't have much of a clue at first. It's not just finding a practical way to show your art work but also how you want people to perceive it. How to give them an impression of who you are and what your art stands for.
I had sort of wanted people to be intrigued by the look of the bigger items than just the jewelry itself. Jewelry can be kind of abstract if taken out of context -i.e. when its not worn by real people. So I tried to create the atmosphere of my jewelry with items I could drape, hang or hook them on.
And I guess it worked! People were drawn to these "installations" and when they came closer, discovered they were covered with jewelry. (potrait by WALTERito)
I was really happy with how it all turned out -the contrast between the two long winding horns (from that quaint little shop in Antwerp), the smaller ones that carried the ring and some earrings and the pissed-off clay elephant that I had borrowed from a friend: this elephant had the most funny expression on its face (I had filled it with sweets) and on the other hand the funky ensemble of handblown (not by me) vases of different sizes & colors and huge transparant glass rods matching and contrasting the colors of the vases (the ones I use for glass beads are much thinner, these thicker rods are used for glass sculptures and presse-papiers), thanks to my fellow obsessed glass people & suppliers G & Q ...even down to the jewelry boxes I had folded myself (with a little help from my KANTL colleagues...!), the little photo album I had assembled and printed (with examples of all my collections and some action photos so people could see this was indeed all handmade) and my address cards.
We arrived one hour before it started, which gave us just barely enough time to build our stand! Officially it started at 12.00h but visitors came flocking towards the market already. We had found a great spot in a corner of a building area, so we could make ourselves a little “fort” with the table. And the fence was ideal to put up all the Dawanda posters Elizabeth had sent! It was as if we had found a Wishing-Table because in no time we had it draped with the black cloths, and all horns, vases and elephants were accounted for.
And so it began. Thankfully, I wasn't alone manning the stand as I received great help from Hilda, my mom! She went out hunting for food when we got hungry and helped out when our stand got flooded by visitors...
Now that was something I hadn't quite anticipated: so many people! (<= this is Liesbet & me) It was both flattering to receive all that interest as it was overwhelming! Luckily I could refer them to the photo album so they could see how it all was made, and refer them to my blog and website if they wanted to know more. And I also received quite a bit of inquiries on Dawanda -both from artists and buyers. Especially younger people loved to know more, and the Dawanda flyers went flying off the table. Most people didn't know of its existence so with a bit of luck we opened a new world for them...
However, as I had foreseen, the slightly older generation still has a lot of restraint toward buying things on the internet. If you can't hold it in your hands, how can you be sure to get what you pay for? They're scared off by whatever news they hear of internet scams, so I tried my best to reassure them. Dawanda isn't some faceless company, you have direct contact with the sellers and it doesn't always require credit cards, especially not from local sellers. They also weren't sure how to find their way through the site and follow the buying instructions, so I may have to work on a sort of visual manual some time...
But most people were enthousiastic: a perpetual art market at your fingertips! ;-)
I wasn't the only Dawandanian there, Ella from Ella since Osix (see picture) who had her stand at the other side of the market came to say hi. She makes these gorgeous, cheerful shoulder bags from vintage textiles. I was impressed at how well she's been presenting & marketing her art, finding different channels to sell and attracting a wide range of customers! Something I have still to learn a lot about.
Also Nadine from PandoraPearl had come all the way from Dordrecht, NL and paid a visit with her friend -she would have participated at the market if she hadn't had such a big sale at her 4th of July sale the week before! She makes lovely wire-wrapped jewelry with all sorts of glass, semi-precious and pearl beads. Maybe she'll be there with a stand next time.
I saw a lot of my friends back as well (I grew up in Antwerp where the market was held, but swapped it for Gent a couple of years ago). There was Mireille (who's creating handmade stuffed dragons and Pullip dolls' accessories which she sells on Etsy, and she's got a jewelry shop coming up there too!) who finally got her lucky, bubbly fish necklace, I saw Liesbet and Tinne back, Jessy and her boyfriend Joris whom I handed my photocamera so he could play a little...and luckily for us we have some pictures now! Dank u Joris... :-D You can see them in the Markt van Morgen flickr group!
We got a surprise visit from G & Q (& T & friend, but not E & E...hehe) who discovered a couple of other lampworkers/customers who were there too! And Karen en Els, my classmates from libraryschool and fellow facebook plant throwers (we seem to have a thing for the lil green patch application...LOL). And my Antwerp clan Noor with Phil, Elke and Johan with Elisabeth -we've all studied/lived in Leuven... I saw back people I hadn't seen in forever, like years! So it was wonderful to see my friends and have their support. And meeting new people too: fellow glass beadmakers and Werner Vitt; a master lampworker from Brugge who founded the glass classes I followed there 2 years ago, a metalworker and a photographer, Walter who made some amazing portraits to capture the market's atmosphere. I even spotted fashion designer Walter van Beirendonck checking out some of the stands! (not mine though -I'm by far not controversial enough for him, LOL)
So was it all a success? It certainly was a lot of superlatives for me on many levels. It was so great seeing my friends, meeting like-minded artists and finding out how people reacted to my jewelry, and pushing my own creativity to meet the art market's deadline the weeks prior to it... I even made some sales! Hehe. But at the same time it was also quite stressful for someone like me: that said deadline of getting everything finished on time, and dealing with several people at the time for a couple of hours straight is an introvert's nightmare! It left me dazed & frazzled by the end of the market, and I was more than happy to break it all up and go home. However, after a good night's sleep I had returned to my normal self again, and knew that all in all it had been a wonderful experience.
Mom & happy customer -portrait by WALTERito
And now two weeks later I feel achieved and that I have really deserved my summer holidays..and guess what, the sun is finally here to stay!

A hedgehog summer romance

...or did you know your pc can't live without floppy discs?!

The art market report is ready and wants to be posted so badly, but since it's going to be published (partly) on another blog as well everything's got to be synchronized...So I continue testing your patience!

Meanwhile, let's have some romance to start the week with: two hedgehogs meeting in my garden under the lemon balm and the oregano yesterday evening (you can just about make out the other one under the lemon balm at the right):

I heard a short screech like a little pig outside and went to see what it was, with Assepoes. And there they were...funny little creatures. They really can't be buggered at all... :-p

And I almost finished my two other summer projects: install a rocking chair in my living room (thus having to rearrange the whole living room, causing me to make a new computer desk, moving the goldsmithing workshop to the kitchen, installing another book case and a cd case...)
Well, it worked! And it's awesome. Pictures sure will follow (once I cleared the floor of books and music scores...)(ooh: found someone who sewed yummilicious new covers for her "lillberg" couch -the same as my rocking chair! and it has cats! :-D If I ever find time I'd do the same; for now the seats are perfect for me in their off-white covers and embroidered cushions and a cosy sheepskin...)(and Assepoes and Shelley love it and have become total couch potatoes!)

Then of course I had to do something with my computer. It's been going slower & slower for months and driving me insane. I have been doing all the usual cleaning up; defragmenting, registry cleaning, antivirus and antispyware, but it didn't make so much of a difference. So last week I went by a computer shop to hear if they could do something. True enough, they could reformat the hard disks so I could start over with a clean slate. Literally. Then I did some websearching and found out I could do this just as well myself.

This weekend I put everything on my external HD, checked and double checked and was ready to do the formatting. But...

Since my Windows XP setup cd is outdated (well d'oh, it's 4 years old) the newer, updated version wouldn't allow itself to be overwritten by it. Right. (then wat's the use of a recovery cd after all?!)
No problem: I configured the BIOS's booting preferences so it had to accept the cd nonetheless. Nope, wouldn't work -it took me a bit (see, I'm not all that technical really) until I realized I don't actually have a cd-rom drive: I do, but it's external, connected via USB. And because it is USB my BIOS doesn't know it -drives on USB connections are apparently too novel a phenomenon for my poor old BIOS.
So I searched for BIOS updates and learned they can be found, either for a price or at great risk of killing your system. Hmm...

So I've been trying to find a way around that, and found only this solution: install (so buy) an internal cd-rom drive (dvd reader/writer/whatever) and go hunt for floppy disks. They're needed for booting the pc, the internal cd rom for the set-up of either Win XP again or Ubuntu (belgische site)(I plan on experimenting a bit). So when it comes down to it, your state of the art, newest of new computer still prefers good old floppies to anything else...

I do hope I can find some -found a few dusted ones but not enough of them: you need 6 of them for booting.

It was fun though having to use DOS-commands again. Makes me feel 16 all over again...LOL!

And while I'm at it, I'll put it some more RAM as well. Look at me being all nerdy! :-p

So I'm going to do some shopping today, and I hope I can find some cheap things, because upgrading your old pc almost costs as much as one of those mini pc's now... (I'm eyeing the superslim and pretty EEE desktop, but it will be a while before it lands here in Europe...)

And I need my trusty old computer to be strong and happy before the new school year starts...You see, I'm going back to school. Yup, library school. Become a proper librarian now (at least I have my role models: the Librarian and Rupert Giles).

The reason? I lost my job at the KANTL. Probably. The colleague I'm replacing half-time comes back to work nearly full time again, and the chances that I can stay in perhaps another function there are slim...so that's that.

It made me cranky for a while (I got the news the day after the Art Market, so that was a cold shower!) and I'm still not happy about it -but I'm making it my chance to go back to school full time -starting with one semester- and who knows, I might even graduate someday! ;-)

21 July 2008

just a little heads up:

I'm working on a little write-up of the market so you'll have to wait a little bit longer...

Meanwhile, have a look at the photos here and here and here!

12 July 2008

markt van morgen

Almost there!

I just discovered the gorgeous revamped look of the site:

Woohoo! And I'm getting everything ready, finishing touches to the last pieces of jewelry, the packaging, the display...trying not to forget too much! Boy, what an organization!

I received some great posters & flyers from Elizabeth @ Dawanda with which I'll decorate my stand with...

...and I just created a flickr group for the Markt van Morgen, so if you're there and you've got a camera, join the group and show off those pictures! :-D

Tot op de markt van morgen morgen!

Hehe. :-p

02 July 2008

...and the winner is:

Comment number 7, which proved to be by Annick! Woohoo, congratulations!!! :-D

And to the others, thanks so much for joining in!

This contest was such a fun thing to do, I enjoyed it very much... I should do this more often, don't you think? ;-)

And to more good news: my jewelry box has been found!!! With pretty much everything in it and intact! My mom heard it from a neighbour who knew the woman who had collected it & kept it untouched in her hall until my mom went to retrieve it... utterly amazing, isn't it? :-D
I will create something special for her... :-)

And now we're on this wave of fate and randomness, all sorts of luck: I found a bookcrossing book yesterday, in town! Completely by accident... One about an Egyptian queen, Nefertiti, in French...it has been traveling for 1 1/2 years, from the Auvergne in France. And I'm going to release it in the wild again very soon -you have guessed it: at the Markt van Morgen next week! (So I'm trying to read as fast as I can, LOL!)

And to finish, this is a little sneak preview for the market, starring my two models Trixie and Killer! :-p