Friday, March 28, 2008

Craft Con: one week

I said the phrase out loud two different times today before I believed it "The conference is in one week". The second time, when I let myself realize it was true, my voice went a little hoarse for a second. It is getting close and things are coming together beautifully in places and falling apart all over the place elsewhere, although that second part is amazingly diminishing. Tonight I massaged and trimmed the budgets and spreadsheet columns to a place where, with the people who are already registered, if i put my thumb over what is left in the contingency budget (not much at this point) the numbers match and the project breaks even. Let's have a happy moment of silence for that one; its not the end but I can sleep a little at night. Well, it's 2:30am but i will go to sleep soon i am pretty sure.

Not everyone who has committed to pay and come will do the former or the latter but I figured out a way to leave registration open for much of next week so hopefully we will get a few new people in to tip the scales back again. Making and arranging budgets is not as cut-and-dried as people would think. It's really interesting to me to take the budget management skills i learned in school for lumber and steel and welding and apply them to a myriad of different kinds of projects... everything seems to track. Biggest baddest rule demonstrated in this project? The less you know the bigger a margin for error you leave yourself. Thankfully i got that one right... so far.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Craft Con o Rama

Craft Con is less than two weeks away now and the hours are just evaporating out from under me! I feel like a juggler, and if I only drop every third ball I have to think I'm doing ok. I've been fielding very interesting phone calls lately, from faythe levine to the american craft council... and that's just today!

Here you can read on etsy's blog about Craft Con. Hopefully the word has spread far enough that the numbers in my spreadsheet are accurate. This in a lot of ways has been a far riskier proposition financially than any of my previous endeavors... with my phone number in the hands of the vendors and much of the event resting uneasy on the backs of volunteers... it's nearly that time, though, close enough to the culmination of such a large project that it feels like jumping off a cliff with your eyes closed. when you open them you'll be there, for better or worse.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Swept Away

We're two weeks out now, wow that was fast! Tons of interest in Craft Con, the business development conference for the craft community that I am hosting here in San Francisco April 4-6. Everything is coming together and falling apart at the usual rates, I don't know why I am surprised each time by both things occurring. Having a few good level heads to work with makes almost all problems go away. Well, diminish in importance.

I just got a phone call from Velvet Da Vinci and am all excited now about the high vs low craft debate coming to roost at our conference. Maybe you didn't know about this divide? as if it weren't enough for 'fine art people' and 'craftspeople' to be split from each other, there is a divide also between fine craftspeople and uppity internet crafters who yes, sometimes use hot glue guns. some of them.

Me and (oh god, uh... Mike?) from VdV had a great conversation about the ways that good (and bad) things can be found everywhere you look and the way that hacker-craft can enable fine-craft in all sorts of awesome ways.

Monday, March 10, 2008

March with a Vengeance!

Spring has come upon Mediumrealityland full force! Craft Con is less than a month away but in between now and then I'll be putting on a runway show. Opel's 5th anniversary was a barrel of fun last year; I am looking forward to this one. My work has evolved a lot over a year.

The Hare and the Hounds went really well; by the time I stopped by the show my map had been purchased and my hidden piece found! It was really fun to make something map-oriented and kind of intentionally ephemeral for this concept show... I hope I get invited to do more things like it. This spring is bringing a renewed focus for me on my career as a painter. Not that I have the fashion world all figured out but I feel a little bit more comfortable there and am freeing up some time to focus on neglected areas. Spring cleaning my studio, too. I've got lots of things squirreled away that I don't see any need for anytime soon. It's a fine line between expert recycler and those people who die in musty apartments surrounded by yellowing bundles of newspapers.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Defense of something

A rare political post here... I was walking the dog today and came to demonstrations outside of the state building. Today was a hearing on the gay marriage issue here in California; it's been bouncing around in the court system since 2004 when that smart (and slimy) man Newsom made/exploited a loophole in marriage law and got a bunch of gays married. Don't misunderstand me, i am alllll in favor of gay marriage. I think that he made the move as a political act but I'll take what I can get.
I was led to the demonstrations today by a pickup doing loops around Civic Center with rickety aftermarket wooden sidewalls all tarted up with bible verses and dire warnings. "The truth seems like hate to those who hate the truth."

At the state building the crowd was small and tepid. Mostly trucked-in bible thumpers with god-love and god-fear signs that were a little bit well-worn. A giant yellow banner declaring "sodomy is sin" which, when I was walking up, appeared for a moment to say "sodomy is in". There were a few signs which i wanted to string together in silent conversation with each other. First, the one quoting MLK Jr saying "Christianity sets for a system of absolute moral values" then "stop ignorance homosexuality is not a choice" then "moral wrongs cannot equal civil rights" then "your religion is not my government".

I tried to explain to an englishman the difference between marriage and domestic partnership. i stuck my tongue out at the eastern european men from sacramento who had come out for jesus. There was a jolly effeminate brown man on a bicycle who went down the line of them, asking questions and demanding to see the passages of the bible they were quoting.

Creepiest was the smiling grey-haired grandma in an understated black outfit with a sign simply declaring marriage = 1 man + 1 woman. A few kids walked up to her to ask what was going on and she began explaining her sign and the crowd. After a few minutes the girl grabbed both guys and declaring "i hope they make the right decision" over her shoulder they all fled giggling. A MUNI bus roared by with a cell phone ad on the side. The series of ads is all about how this new kind of phone can let you say more; the ads consist of a first half that says something simple, the second a complex concept. this particular bus said "wassup" and "support gay marriage".