Wednesday, June 29, 2011
This was our "blank slate". The booth came with a covered table, two chairs, 3 foot sidewalls and an 8 foot backwall.
I had the convention center staff add 8 foot tall polls with connecting horizontal bars around all sides. This allowed me to add lights to the top of the booth.
You can also see I hung ivory drapes in the back (I wanted the art to hang on a neutral color) and wood floor design foam tiles on the floor. (Yes, that is one of my peeps putting them together.)
I put the table along one of the sides and covered with the chocolate colored table cover. I then set up pedestals along the back and in the front corner of the booth. The Cow Art and More booth was also on the end of the row, so I had the show staff take off the outer side rail to allow traffic to flow easier.
The finished booth with cow artwork in place! The great majority of our art was of Holstein cattle, but a few Jerseys managed to sneak in too.
The two wooden framed drawings were the original ideal Holstein and ideal Red and White Holstein done by Gary Sauder. The stained glass piece in the center right was done by the McIntyres and had one of Gary Sauder's ideal Holstein cow prints in the center.
We had several Holstein prints by Jo Lynch. This same design is also available as a cross stitch pattern.
"Bessie the Cow" made her debut! She was just added to the Cow Art and More gallery this week. She was also a big hit with the kids since she was hanging out on ground level. Bessie can be displayed indoors, but is meant to live outside and enjoy the weather.
In addition to having the new Holstein cow bookmarks, we also had flower and bird designs from the same artist at Palmetto Cat Designs.
We also debuted our new farm themed nightlights (and sold out)! These will be listed soon on Cow Art and More. Be sure to keep an eye on our new products section.
In addition to having the Out to Pasture and Over the Moon tote bags by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson, we also showcased bags with the Grazing Beneath a Garnet Sky image by Robin Maria Pedrero.
Of course we couldn't come without bringing our Southern Living star, "Lazy Afternoon" by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson. She looked the regal part watching over the Cow Art and More booth and was sold to a farm in Virginia before the show was over.
By far, one of the favorite things of the convention was visiting with dairy farmers from across the country. America salutes what you do and I am honored to represent your passions in artistic forms. We will also be posting our success in helping the National Holstein Women's Scholarship Organization raise money for their scholarship through the sale of the milk bottle charm.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Over the years, Progressive Dairyman has grown in influence, becoming the source of dairy information in the Northwest and securing many loyal readers throughout the U.S. The company now publishes three additional magazines: El Lechero, Progressive Forage Grower and Progressive Cattleman.
In the spirit of June is Dairy month, the magazine is sponsoring their own version of "bracketology" with an ice cream face off. Voting for the second round runs through this Thursday!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
My woodworking friend Bill also cut some scrap lumber for me to use as shelving. Here, I'm drilling holes for screws to attach the brackets.
He also marked holes for me to drill to attach screws to secure the jewelry displays.
Some good fit and now I can secure it. (Bill is always good about "safety".)
A "ballot box" to collect names for the Cow Art and More contact list. I like doing it this way as to protect people's privacy. Do you really like adding your name to a list so everyone can see?
Okay, the truck is PACKED FULL and we are heading north! See you on Friday!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Click here to order the sterling silver milk bottle charm
P.S. Order this silver milk bottle charm through Thursday, June 23, and receive FREE shipping!
Some of the pedestals will have a nice pale green cover. This is a fire retardant fabric I bought directly from the manufacturer.
I used my handy-dandy sewing machine (which had not seen the light of day in awhile) to finish the edges.
I also did the same with some burlap fabric, but had to use a "edging glue" to keep the sides from fraying.
To hang these to the pedestals, I have a applied velcro to the cardboard pedestal and the fabric cover.
Look for pictures of the finished product later this week!
Monday, June 20, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
These 8 foot tall drapes will hang along the back of the booth. They are an ivory color and will be the background for a couple of hanging canvas art prints by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson.
I have an "earthy, chocolate brown" for the table cover. This will give the table a sophisticated, yet country feel. It will also go nicely with the "wood" floor tiles.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
This is Bill. He makes wooden boxes and other assorted pieces from exotic woods. He is also a man after my own heart as he has completely converted his garage into his studio (same here). I needed him to cut some wood boards and dowel rod, along with drilling some holes into the medium density fiberboard pedestal tops. Bill is pretty good about figuring out the simplest way of doing things. I just need to go to him with an idea.
I think I caught him off guard a couple of times. He's used to working without a flash....or an audience.
Without a doubt, I know he got this job done better and faster than I ever could have. He's got the best in tools, including a laser sighted wood saw. Pretty slick!
I don't know what the technical description is of the technique here, but he's doing a partial drill out of circles for the dowel rod pieces that are going to support the glass for the jewelry display.
No art studio is complete without a mascot. This is "Steve", of the rare breed, "Florida brown dog". Steve was a stray dumped in Bill's neighborhood a few years ago, and he's been hanging here ever since.
The construction is done! The wooden dowel rods are holding up a piece of glass. The jewelry will be displayed underneath. Not high tech or high security, but enough to make someone give pause.
More on the pedestal construction this week!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I had the medium density fiberboard (MDF) cut into squares of 14 by 14 inches and 12 by 12 inches. I managed to get a total of 21 squares out of a 4 foot by 9 foot sheet.
I centered a 12 inch by 12 inch square on a 14 inch by 14 inch square. I glued it down with wood glue and let it sit for 24 hours.
While those were drying, I started working on the pedestal base.
I ordered a stack of 10 cardboard boxes, double walled thickness, 12 inches by 12 inches by 48 inches. It almost cost as much to ship them as it cost for the boxes.
I had selected a few different heights that I wanted to give the display some visual interest. This particular box, I marked 40 inches from the bottom all the way around.
I then used my handy-dandy "as seen on TV ginsu knife" to cut the box. (Yes, that's me in the do-rag at left. I'm either wearing one of those of a baseball cap.)
Voila! Cardboard pedestals with hard tops! The top piece is the 14 by 14 and 12 by 12 combo. A 12 inch by 12 inch piece of MDF is in the inside bottom of the box to help keep it steady. I figured I made 7 for the cost of buying 2 already made.
They're still not done though. I need to make covers and have attachments for glass for the jewelry display pieces.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
My research led to the websites of several large home improvement stores. I found the MDF I wanted and it came in a 4 foot by 9 foot size. "Great!" I thought to myself. That will definitely be enough. Got my wood working buddy to agree to cut it to size for me, so off I went to Lowe's.
When I got there, I asked for help finding the said 4 foot by 9 foot MDF. As the very nice men at Lowe's took me there, I had this, "Oh my God, what was I thinking moment". How the heck did I think I was going to get this home in my vehicle???? (Notice said piece of MDF in the picture. It's huge!)
I looked at the two Lowe's guys and asked, "Can you guys cut this?" In a rather confident, respectful tone, one of them answered, "Ma'am, we're Lowes."
Yeah, I should have know they could do it.
So the very nice sales associates at Lowe's cut up my MDF (and thought I was a whack job for taking pictures too).
In the end, I have enough pieces to do 6 pedestals. Next on the to do list for this project is to cut the cardboard.
Stay tuned for the next part of the pedestal making.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
There are several lighting options, but what works best for me is a portable (which really isn't meant to be portable) track lighting system. I will be taking three two foot track sections with gooseneck lights purchased from one of those major home improvement retailers. Why two foot sections you might ask? Portability! I can take these apart versus trying to bring a 6 foot track in the back of a SUV.
To get the tracks back together, I use connectors and put covers over them. I also have it wired to an electrical cord at the end.
This is what the finished track looks like when it's hung and lit. I've attached it to a cross bar above the top front of the booth (this picture is from a different show) with cable ties. The gooseneck pendant lamps are adjustable, so I can pose them to shine light exactly where I want them too.
You can't have too much lighting!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I settled on two foot by two foot interlocking tiles with a wood grain pattern. I also bought a zippered carrying case for them. The portability also made them more appealing than an area rug.
As you can see they are pretty easy to put together. My youngest was having a great time helping me make sure the tiles were going to work. The great thing about these mats too is that they should help people (and me too) feel comfortable while standing.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Head over the the Midwest Dairy site to learn more about June Dairy month and dairy farming. You will have the opportunity to meet some dairy farmers, learn more about how they take care of their cows, and learn how to cook with dairy products. Moms can also get nutrition advice and recipes.
The Midwest Dairy Association is a non-profit organization financed and directed by the dairy producers in nine states in the midwest. The association implements programs that help increase sales and demand for dairy products and dairy ingredients and help improve the economic well-being of Midwest dairy producers. The association's education division promotes a healthy diet through nutrition education and the use of dairy products to consumers, health professionals and teachers.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Both myself and Cow Art and More get requests from many worthy charities and non profits for art donations. The requests are usually for pieces for a silent auction, raffle, or door prize. Since I have created a new sterling silver charm with a portion of the sale price to go to a charity, I wanted to share 10 points for others to learn how to successfully approach a person or entity for an art donation for their cause.
1. Approach an artist or gallery you have a good relationship with. This could be that you are a regular customer or regularly interact via social media or live events.
2. Approach someone that has strong feelings about the charity or non profit group you are raising funds for. For example, when the president of the National Holstein Women's Scholarship Organization approached me about a fundraising joint venture, as a past scholarship winner, I wanted to make sure the program could continue and was happy to step up and do my part.
3. Know that artists and galleries get MANY requests for donations. This may even be a good way to lead into your request: "You must get lots of requests to donate your beautiful paintings. Our organization would be grateful if you would at least consider making a donation for our annual fundraiser."
4. Write your request to an actual person! Research the gallery and/or artist to find an actual contact person versus sending your request to "To Whom It May Concern".
5. Share what the artist and/or gallery can expect to receive in return for their donation. Are you going to feature the art and/or the artist in a brochure or catalog about the event? Will the artist's work be shown with their name and photograph? Are you asking the artist or a gallery representative to make a personal appearance?
6. A little flattery goes a long way (but be sincere!) Get to know the gallery or artist and their art first before you ask for a donation. It will be much easier for you to talk about their art and why you find it a good fit for your charity event.
7. Consider asking if the artwork is available for purchase at the wholesale price (since you are asking on behalf of a charity). While artists and galleries may balk at giving up art outright, they may consider selling it to the charity at a discount. Cow Art and More has done that for several non profit organizations with good success. Our artists got to make a sale, the charity got the retail profit, and I was happy knowing that Cow Art and More was able to help a worthy organization.
8. Don't forget to follow up with a handwritten thank you on a nice card or stationery. Not a postcard. Not an email. Not a "thank you" buried somewhere on your website. A thoughtful, handwritten thank you goes a long way in getting the artist or gallery to make a donation again.
9. Know that some of the artists and galleries are going to say no (and remind yourself this is okay). It might be the artists doesn't have any inventory to spare or can't afford the donation. Regardless, thank him or her for their time and ask if it's okay for you to contact them in the future.
10. Lastly, do not tell the artists what they can or can't do in terms of how this donation relates to their tax situation. Donating art is a tricky situation; recommend the artist or gallery consult their financial adviser for advice on this matter.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
So before I show you what I've designed, let me share with you what I'm trying to accomplish:
- The booth needs to flow well and have ample room to display different types of two and three dimensional art.
- I want to give the booth a "gallery feel", which means good lighting and somewhere between a tidy and sophisticated atmosphere.
- This is for an indoor booth display 10 feet wide by 10 feet deep.
This is a screen shot of the booth. There is a table with a shelf riser, pedestal displays, and a couple of wire racks (the black and silver poles at opposite corners).
The floor is wood grain patterned mats and there will be lights hanging overhead.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be walking you through all the components and how they're made.