Sorry for the long lapse! I have been traveling like crazy – last week I was in Chicago, this week I’m in Southern California. I’m going to try catching up now…
Last week I went to SOFA Chicago – and what a time I had! I flew in on Thursday afternoon, and spent a very pleasant, low-key Friday with my in-laws before going to the show on Saturday. SOFA Chicago showcases top-flight craftwork – it is put on by galleries, who bring selected works from their featured artists. While there weren’t many textiles, it was an amazing show otherwise – I’ll showcase some of the art in my next blog post.
Chicago is just entering fall, and while it wasn’t yet the blaze of autumn leaves that I’d been hoping for, I did get to see some beautiful fall leaves:
If you’re wondering why I’m so fascinated by fall, it’s because I haven’t seen a real autumn for almost 30 years. Neither Los Angeles nor the San Francisco Bay Area have what I would call “fall” – yes, a few trees change colors, but most do not. So you get one or two trees changing colors on every street, but you never get a blaze of glory as all the trees change at once. I don’t miss the cold weather, and I definitely don’t miss slush and ice in winter – but I do miss fall. So it was nice getting to see even a little bit of it, for once.
Saturday I went to SOFA. It’s an incredible show – the creme de la creme of craft artists. I’m planning to cover some of the craftwork in a separate post, so I’ll leave that to later – but despite a dearth of textile artists, I found a ton of creative inspiration there. I also got inspiration of a different sort when I went to the Schiffer Publishing booth. My book Master Your Craft: Strategies for Designing, Making, and Selling Artisan Work was displayed prominently on a beautiful table. As I walked up to the display, I overheard two people (who were looking through the book) talking excitedly about how wonderful Master Your Craft was and how much they needed what was in it. They were delighted to meet me and get their books signed. Moments like that are golden for writers – they make the four years that went into the book totally worthwhile!
Here’s a pic of myself at the Master Your Craft display, with Pete Schiffer, the president of Schiffer Publishing:
Later that day I gave my lecture, which was very well-received. The audience wasn’t huge (about 30 people), but they were engaged and attentive, and several people came up after the talk to say how great they thought it was. Sandra, my editor, was in the audience and said it was great to watch people’s eyes light up as they got “Aha!” moments throughout the presentation. And afterwards, ten or twelve people followed me to the Schiffer booth to buy books and get them signed.
Here’s a pic of me at the podium, wearing my jacket Autumn Splendor:
And here I am signing books afterwards:
The day finished on a lovely note. My mother-in-law had gifted a friend with a copy of Master Your Craft, and got a wonderfully enthusiastic thank-you note in return. Here it is:
I’m totally blushing. And delighted, of course! Helping others was my primary goal for the book, and it’s marvelous to hear that I’m succeeding.
I flew home on Sunday morning, still aglow and more certain than ever that spending four years writing the book had been the right thing to do.