Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More cowbell

Wow, it sure was cold out there in Mount Vernon all weekend. Frigid, freezing and drizzly. Except Sunday. Sunday was actually sunny. Only warm in the sunbeams, but at least it brought out all the kids and families to get a little fresh air. Sales were a mixed bag for most artists, but I did pretty well and am happy with the weekend. Even the part where some guy hit my car while I was parked there on Saturday. He was nice enough to leave me a note, and even took the time to call the police and report it too. It's basically a bumper dent and not that big a deal, but it's good to know that integrity still exists. Who knew?

For those of you that missed me there, or for those of you that bought something/didn't buy something but want to get more - my products are still at the Berry Barn there thru April 30th. You can save the shipping by heading over to Charlene's show (and pick up a delicious pie while you're there). The Berry Barn is just off Hwy 20 on the LaConner road.

Of note: the tulips are finally out. Some fields popped over the weekend, and some are just coming out right now. So this coming weekend should be spectacular. They only leave them out for 10 days before they get topped and dug up for bulbs. Don't wait around til it's too late.

New shows! Northwest Art Alliance (Best of the Northwest shows) has just taken on organizing the Art in Occidental Park show, which happens in Pioneer Square on the First Thursday artwalks. It starts next month - the first Thursday in May and runs through December. My summer and fall schedule is already pretty full so I can only head over there a couple of times. I'm scheduled for June 2 and September 1. Here's a link to what goes on over there. Looks like we're setting up our tents all around Occidental Park - and it's a long day of it too - 11am to 10pm. Sounds like it might be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Just a quick post about this weekend's events. Friday through Sunday (4/15-17) is the Mount Vernon street fair - the big hoopla show in the Skagit Valley and center of the tulip festival activities.

Hours are Fri and Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun 10am to 5pm. My booth is located in the same spot as last year, sort of catty corner from the front door of the food co-op. I'm in the furthest north block of the fair, at the corner of Washington, in booth #149. You can't miss us - they shut down almost the entire downtown area to set up our sea of white tents.

Oh it's going to shower a little bit and be cloudy a little bit and it's not going to be very warm either. But it's not expected to have snow or hurricane winds or monsoon rains either. All of which have happened in previous years. So this is a probably going to be considered a "good" year for weather - just have to wait and see. I'll need longjohns anyway.

And one other show announcement: the Country at Heart show up at the Berry Barn over there is going to say open longer than originally planned. The tulips are not out yet, even though the show's been on for a week. We just need a couple more days of sun and they should pop. But the gals are going to keep the show/shop open for an extra week and go through the whole month of April. The plan is to close up Sat evening, 4/30. Just to get a few more days of tulip tourists and lookie-loo shopping in. Tip: The gal who owns the place has PIES. Freshly made pies of all kinds. Including little individual ones that are cute as can be. Plus super good ice cream. So even if you aren't in the buying mood, it's a great place to stop for a treat. Just off Highway 20 on the LaConner road. It's on the tulip map -


I'm beginning to think paying taxes is only for the little people. The little tiny people who have hardly any sheckels to begin with. There is something seriously wrong here:

"EXXON MOBIL: The oil giant that was the world’s most profitable corporation in 2008 has spent $5.7 million in campaign contributions over the last ten years and $138 million in lobbying expenditures. Its federal corporate income tax liabilities for 2009? Absolutely nothing. Not only did it pay nothing, but it also received a tax rebate the same year of $156 million.

CHEVRON: Chevron spent $4.4 million in campaign contributions and $91 million in lobbying expenditures over the last decade. It received a tax refund of $19 million in 2009 while making $10 billion in profits and $324 million in government contracts in 2008.

CONOCOPHILLIPS: The Texas-based gasoline giant spent $2.5 million in campaign contributions and $63 million in lobbying expenditures over the last decade. It received “$451 million through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction,” a special tax break, between 2007 and 2009, despite $16 billion in profits over the same period of time."

The list is much longer, and scarier. Of course it includes all the major banks, Boeing, GE, FedEx etc.

I'm waiting for my puny little refund over here. Which is a relief that I even got one, but that I desperately need right about this time of year. All the taxes and show fees for the year are due in the spring, even if they don't happen until November. Yet there hasn't been but one real show so far in 2011, and spring shows are notoriously small sales anyway. It's a hat trick game of cash when you do this kind of work. The big fall/winter show funds only last so long . . .

Thursday, April 07, 2011

April Showers

It's been 41 days (and counting) since we've had a sunny day here in Seattle. Every day seems like the same groundhog day of chilly, showers, gray. Spring is stalled. The daylight hours are longer, and little bits of things are beginning to grow and flower. But I'm so darn impatient for some real sunshine and temperatures closer to 60 than 40.

Next week is the Mount Vernon street fair, which means the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival should be well under way. But with the weather we've had, the tulips are not blooming yet. And it looks like more cool, showery weather for another week. One hour of sunbreak and me and the cats get delirious. Clearly we are Vitamin D-deprived.

I've tried to jump start the garden. I've got sugar snap peas in, a new horseradish plant, more rhubarb, some red onions and a couple of strawberries. But they are also in a holding pattern of inactivity, like the rest of us. Straining to reach the few little rays of sun that peek out for a minute here and there, before the clouds race in and we go back to shivering and huddling.