Saturday, March 20, 2010

anthropologie love...

I have a confession to make, I have a little bit of an obsession with Anthropologie.
Yes the clothes are pretty and I have found some amazing pieces there over the years, and yes, the catalog is also pretty and amazingly fun and inspiring to peruse...but holy mother of merchandising GODS...their displays, photography and styling is GENIUS! Would I like to work for the company? (which is Urban Outfitters actually) uh, YES!!!! (pick me, pick me!). Anyhow, I just got yet another gorgeous email from my personal friend "Anthro" and take a look at what they did this time- combining some of my very favorite things. Cardboard, doll houses, architecture, style and utter cuteness...I might need to go buy some cardboard and new blade and start building my very on dollhouse!

the big city can be exhausting!

This was a photo that Lynn took of Tess in NYC this past trip.
I don't know if it's because I know what each and every gesture or sound from Tess means, or simply because the composition, color and subject is utter perfection, but I adore it!

Monday, March 8, 2010

January 2010 New York International Gift Fair

finally have the amazing booth shots that fabulously talented Lynn took!
I will be posting her info as soon as she gets her website that you can all hire her!
yeah yeah, I know, no web site yet,
I guess she wasn't sure this whole computer/internet thing was going to stick! :-)
need booth help, suggestions, tips & tricks and resources?...get in touch!

Monday, March 1, 2010

the speeding ticket

I tell my friend Paulette all the time, "you don't drive like you jam!". She is an absolute speed demon on a derby track, and I mean crazy amazing fast!, on the flip side, she drives like old people make love (I can't remember what movie I heard that line in, but it cracks me up!), she's slow and steady and maybe a little distracted even...kind of a boring driver, if you can imagine that.

P (as I call her, aka: The Iron Wench) likes to come back with, "you don't either!", here's what she is saying, I drive like she skates! (and no, I don't skate like she skates, sadly, and never ever will mind you, but that's ok, because very few humans ever will, I do however, skate vicariously through her).
However, get me behind the wheel and I become the Iron Wench in my VW. I am precise, fast, cunning, speedy, rarely if ever wipe out and I am perhaps a little cocky, yes, I said it, with years and years of driving under my belt from snow storms to hail and rain and you name it...I am a damn good driver! plus I can do an amazing 2 move parallel parking job into a vert tight spot, left or right, just saying.

So, there we were, early morning on a Friday at the end of January, Kicky, baby Tess and I, minding our own business on the way to the NY Gift Fair somewhere is nowhereville upstate NY, when suddenly, after driving behind a police cruiser for at least 20 minutes, he pulled over, pulled back out behind us and turned on his siren...DAMN! SHIT! FUCK!
Times are tough dammit, I do not want to shell out for some damn speeding ticket when I can use that money to do a little shopping! UGHHHH I have my priorities!
I promptly pull over and tell myself to "be nice" thinking that perhaps I can get us (and by "us" I mean ME) out of this little situation...apparently not.
The Ray Banned Officer asked me if I knew why he was took all I had to not give him the sarah silverman answer "because you got all D's in high school?????", but I just said, - because I was following behind you? ( which he ended up quoting on the ticket! the jerk, do you know how stupid it sounds when you read it out of context?, oh, you do, don't you? you just read it! :-)
So, he takes my licence and registration and goes back to his cruiser for what seemed like a remarkably long time while Kicky and I keep saying back and forth to eachother- how can he possibly know how fast we were going when he was way in front of us?????- YES, and by US I mean ME!
He finally comes back, still Ray Banned and hands me a ticket (apparently my charms are not so charming) and in essence says that for the last 20 miles or so, I had been behind him- DUH, doesn't he know that I know?...then he says that when he would slow down, I would slow down...again DUH???? and then he said, when he would speed up, apparently I would speed up....whatever...he said that he went as high as 81mph and that is why the ticket reads 81 mph.
Definitely not a very nice man, I mean he could have stopped me at 71mph and said the same thing, but NO, he had to go to 81mph...well, I don't believe him. OK, I can hustle sometimes and I admit it, I am speedy, but I am NOT stupid, or blind. Bottom line? I SAW him, I was not out to win any cop tricking awards, I was NOT going 81 mph. no way, no how!
The date on the ticket said that I had to either show up (at a PO box apparently) on February 22nd at 10am or file a plea before this date. I realized on February 22nd that I hadn't done either, except bitch about the ticket ALOT.
I decided to take things into my own hands and figure out what I could do about this. I called a number on the ticket and got a very nice lady that told me that I needed to call the court clerk directly, call and ask for Christina the clerk. That was my first clue that this was a very small town, hmmmm, this could be interesting.
I called and asked for Christina the clerk and a nice older voiced man answered and said, - sorry, Christina just left to go to the bank with the court's money. I laughed and asked when she would return and he simply said, - maybe I can help you. I doubted it, but heck, I figured I would try.
Long story a little shorter?...the guy on the phone with me was the JUDGE!!! and he was telling me (in a nutshell) that he hated hearing that I might just plead guilty to "be done" with the whole ticket situation and that it was my RIGHT to fight this ticket and I should! He explained that the worst that would happen by submitting my NOT guilty plea would be an immediate offer to reduce the ticket, meaning rather than admitting to 81 I might be offered 75mph, this man was talking my language!
He told me to fax in the form, tick the NOT GUILTY box and I would hear from the court, he also asked that I not write his name at the top of the fax, which of course I didn't...
I will keep you updated on this one!
lesson #1...don't plead guilty to a speeding ticket, just DON'T! it seems that less than 3% of people actually plead NOT guilty and that you will at the least have your ticket speed reduced or maybe even thrown out...I am hoping for the latter.
Lesson #2...probably just shouldn't speed, but I am the IRON WENCH on 4 wheels!

hmmmm, this blogging thing is easy to slack on...

and we were doing so well!
alright, I am back on track now.

Back from the NY gift fair, (more) back on my derby skates than before, winter might just be coming to an end soon (although every time I say that, it magically snows again!), baby tess is sprouting a little tooth (yes, her first!) and will already be a year old soon, and I have a few things to discuss with you all. (or just YOU) whoever you are that might be reading this, or, if you are my ex or some other friend that doesn't talk to me, you are a little stalkerish for being here, (just saying).

Alright then, now that that is out of the way, I would also like to mention that perhaps this whole law of attraction thing does work...after blogging about a bag that I had absolutely fallen in love with, I had the wonderful opportunity to get my little paws on one (at cost! shhhhhh whilst at the NY show)- Now don't bitch and complain about that, we actually show at one of the same trade shows (much to my utter delight), there has to be some kind of advantage to being in this industry other than paying absolutely crazy prices for trade show booths, setting it up in record time in stinky dirty conditions, sitting in the booth through great shows or shows where hearing crickets would be considered busy, and then regardless of the outcome, packing it all up and doing it again. A little Carni-like if you really want to know (as in, Carnival folks that move from town to town and set up, pack up, over and over again).

Anyhow, long story shorter, I got the bag in Bone (that's a color) and it's going to be amazing! (I say "going to" because I haven't received it yet, but it's coming!).

As for the show, (photos are coming) I am happy to say that things seem to be moving along, certainly on the upswing! There seemed to be more buyers around, more buyers actually buying, and an overall less gloomy/doomy feeling than recent past shows. It looks like I will finally be doing business with some fabulous retailers that I have wanted to work with for years, wrote some exciting orders for great international stores in Tokyo, Saudi Arabia and Canada, had a bunch of interested magazines and press stop by the booth and have shipped and will be shipping to lots of new clients and some of our great regular clients within the coming months. So, phew (for now!) seems like we are still in business!

The actual trip to NYC was pretty great, except for the speeding ticket, but I will get to that later.
Although daddy wasn't able to come with us this time (which made the momma kind of nervous...). Roller-auntie Lynn came to keep baby Tess smiling and she did one heck of a job! I did hear a few comments along the way like "how do you do this all the time?" and "I am so not ready for this!",

but OMG she was amazing with her!
I was a little worried the first day of the show, when by 3pm I still had not heard a peep from auntie Lynn and 4pm I was dying. As of this point, I had never really been away from my teeny girl for more than about 3 hours in a row. Just as I was dying, in they strolled with big smiles and lots of toys and doo dads in the stroller, (the ones that you hand tiny people to keep them occupied as long as possible while you are trying to get something done or go from point A to point B). When I asked where they had been, Lynn smiled and said- "Hey, you need to work! don't worry about us, we are fine!".
For someone who usually controls stuff, this was oddly comforting and incredibly reassuring!
Needless to say, auntie Lynn was fast asleep by about 9pm that night.

I have known roller auntie Lynn for several years now (her derby name is Lyn dah Kicks, I like to call her Kicky, not only are we team mates on the same roller derby team La Racaille, but she is a wonderful friend.
I trusted her implicitly, obviously, when I asked her to come to NYC with us and care for her royal "babyness", but she exceeded all my expectations. Within 2 days she knew all of Tess' baby sing along book songs and didn't think twice about doing a little jig or making a kooky face to get her to smile or giggle, in public or privately! On several occassions I saw her pushing the stroller loaded with all kinds of paraphenalia, winter coats, water bottles, toys and her photography stuff (she is a professional photographer to boot!), while CARRYING a squirming Tess in her arms and still smiling! Moms, join me in a quick "Halleluja Auntie Lynn" moment!, Tres Impressive!

The booth once again made me quite happy! I am definitely in the "keep it simple" mindset for now, and I think that the overall feel and simplicity of the booth design is a pretty great backdrop for the line.
Basic white!
The line pops on white and I find that it's much easier to focus on the products rather than the actual booth, which is really what we want when working with buyers. I had some fun with my black Sharpies again this show, by drawing out picture frame mouldings on simple brown cardboard and cutting it out and adhering it to our foamboard walls with a glue stick. It served to add a little architecture to the plain walls and table with a little bit of a sense of humour, maybe Victorian humour (given the design of the mouldings?...maybe I am pushing it here!). Also, since the fabulous Marc Tetro (amazing artist and dear friend) and I still show together, the simplicity of the booth design is still perfect in giving us a unified look, while also keeping both lines independant and distinctive.

So all in all, things are pretty ok! although still what I consider to be a somewhat scary time to be a small business, the flip side is that BlueDogz Design is so lean to run that I am thankful I am not a big huge company right now with lots of overhead and families to feed. I look forward to see what the next months will be like business-wise and to see where my ideas and life will take us.

Stay tuned for the speeding ticket, great baby and booth photos (by Kicky!) and I guess it's time to get into some derby...