Sunday, October 31, 2010

October is All Done!

So the first two months of school are past! I just can't believe its November already.

I did a craft fair in Natick about two weeks ago. The road was under construction, yet open, so I think people that WOULD have come, didn't. It was pretty slow and the biggest disappointment was that the Elks Club Cafe announced they would be serving hot dogs and french fries. Katie and I was VERY much looking forward to that but, alas, they served tostitos corn chips instead. So Katie went off and got us, and the table next to us french fries. She is a good sister. Even given the slowness of the day we had about 5 or 6 sales, and the best, I got a custom order out of it!

This week, Mike is gone on a business trip. Me and the Bailster are home and gonna do laundry and watch chick flicks all day. If I get done with the monstrosity that is doing loads of laundry I may make a necklace or two. After all, I am a Suburban Artist.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Successful Show, and Some Confusion

This past weekend, I was at MAYNARD FEST, in Maynard, MA. It was a great time, TONS of people to watch. That paired with LINCOLN PARK DAY the weekend before, and my people watching has at an all time hight.

First, in my hometown of Lincoln Park, we had the good fortune to be placed next to a Tae Kwon Do studio. At first, watching a dozen children with weapons such as bo sticks, knun chucks (I KNOW I spelled that one wrong) and splitting boards, I thought my faithful car Red, had met her doom. Or myself or my sister or mother would receive a concussion from a flying martial arts weapon. The flip side? Watching the very nice and very attractive Sensei Scott all day long. I smile now as I remember trying to get my sister to go hit on him. My mother took care of that and got us all an invite for a free lesson at the dojo. Seriously.  But it was a good show and I made my money back on the show fee and had some scrumptious fair food and sat back and watched the interesting people go by. Both my mother and I are stout "Lincoln Parkers". We spent most of our lives there, I at the age of 33, spent half my life in good ole Lincoln Park and my mom is always telling us "kids, this is where your roots are." My sister and brother, are not stout Lincoln Parkers, and my sister was convinced that some of the more...interesting sights were a product of LP. My mom did not agree and neither did I...for the most part. But it was a great day. I sold a few Autism Awareness items and that made my day. Even if I do not sell a necklace and an Autism Item is sold then my mission is done. Awareness is spreading.

That leads me to Maynard Fest. It was beautiful weather. After a week of torrential downpours to have a crisp, sunny, New England day was just fantastic. There were tons of people and I made sales! MacGyver, Mike's friend from college and my friend too, showed up and bought us (my mom, sister and I) fried dough and really who doesn't like fried dough (although it was NOT a zeppoli, a reminder I am sadly no longer in NJ).

Here is the thing and here is my disclaimer before my statement: I fully support Gay Rights. People who are gay should totally be able to get married, have kids or adopt kids. I have family members who are gay, and seriously I am, and always have been, open and have had friends who are gay. Another disclaimer that will make sense in a few short seconds: Massachusetts, as a whole and as observed as a public school teacher in 3 different schools in 1 year, has no or little understanding of Autism. Traditionally students with Autism that may have not been able to function in the mainstream, have been sent to private schools. I have heard many times "Autism is new for us" in three different school districts. That statement alone sums up why I have had such a hard time in my new district, as the program I am in is in its 2nd year, and people aren't used to "those kids being in school." OK, SERIOUSLY?! Before I digress any further here is what happened.

I make jewelry, necklaces and earrings and bracelets. I also make AUTISM AWARENESS jewelry and bookmarks. To spread awareness in a pretty way,instead of those bulky rubbery livestrong type bracelets. I use a Sterling Silver PUZZLE PIECES (you have no idea how many people asked where where the puzzles that I was selling...that did not happen in NJ), and I use four colors from the Autism Awareness ribbon: red, yellow, teal and blue. I use these colors in Swarovski crystals and really they are very pretty.

The confusion was people where either: A) asking what the puzzle piece was for and not understanding my explanation, B) thinking my Autism Awareness items were  Gay Pride items or C)buying the Autism Awareness jewelry WITH A PUZZLE PIECE and said "Thank you for my Pride bracelet." Or they thanked me for supporting Gay Rights...Which I do support, just that was not the point of the jewelry.

I did sell two pieces of Autism jewelry to people who knew immediately what it was. I was hesitant to correct the other people. I tried at first, but no one "got it". "Its a rainbow" was the reply I hears often, and y e is but its missing three other colors to make a rainbow. And there is a PUZZLE PIECE on it. My mom said, oh let them buy it and how silly will they feel when someone asks them later on "Oh you support Autism Awareness?" My mom has a point, does it matter how the Awareness is spread, as long as people see it and notice it? I have decided to make a few Gay and Lesbian Pride themed items, such as bookmarks and a bracelet or two, and have two distinct displays. Only because I truly wish to spread Awareness in a state that is so obviously lacking in knowledge of Autism. Another disclaimer: My signs that read "Puzzle Piece Jewelry" had photos of the JEWELRY that I make and a little statement about spreading Autism Awareness, so I was very baffled when people asked me where they puzzles were. They could read the sign but not process the images? And many people who could read and process images asked me why Puzzle Pieces are used for Autism Awareness.

So in the end two shows. A great time hanging out with my mom and my sister and MacGyver. And I am more determined than ever to spread Autism Awareness. Because if I FEEL frustrated as a teacher, person and artist, how do families affected by Autism feel to be living in an area where people are supposedly "just getting used to Autism"? I hope that those families know that they are not alone. Because there is at least 1 person who is trying her best to spread awareness both as an artist and as a teacher.