Monday, December 20, 2010

take down--load out-- and cream puffs

Take down. Load out. Anxiety rises. Tensions mount as the end approaches. Are there be-backs in the aisles? The instructions have been passed out. Pack first then get a pass to get your car. Discreetly  folding and packing begins.  Clear out the trash. Put on work clothes. What can I put away? Do I really need all these potholders out? When do I get my boxes?  Have you heard the weather forecast?

We all know the horror stories. The show where security locks the hall down for hours. The load out where you have to park two city blocks from your car. The dolly that breaks. The impending blizzard. The one where my van needed a jump start to get out of the parking lot. I left my box of lights on the show floor. One artist kindly packed them in her van, drove them to Ohio then drove them back to Boston where neighbors who were doing the show picked them up and drove them back to me. Aren't crafts people wonderful?

This is not some TV show--the tale of some hit squad. This is the end of the craft show. So different the anxiety from set-up. There it is spread out. Arrive at your set-time. Load in. Park the vehicle and then begin figuring out how to best display your work in the space provided. Then the anxiety is whether the work will sell. What will your neighbors be like? Set up can be spread out over hours--even days. Slowly carefully putting up your display.  Your own little world. How does it look from a distance? A methodical process followed by time hopefully selling your work. Oh that seems like such a long time ago.

Take down is different. Everyone is doing it at the same time. We are all tired. All eager to be home. But first, the work must be protected. The quilts folded, rolled, wrapped. The forecast calls for horizontal rain. Wind. Gusts up to 40 or is it 50. A nor'easter. What fun. Lights removed carefully so they are ready for the next show. Yes, I remember them.  The display taken apart. The sections put in logical, manageable bags, boxes, bundles.  I do have a system. In the words of the U.S. Supreme Court--the time for "all deliberate speed." (Yes, I really am an attorney--inactive status.)

As my neighbor Laura Baring-Gould--oh I do love her work--said, "You can plan and think ahead but then something will come up and this is where you have to use your knowledge and skill to deal with it. Roll with the punches."

There is scant parking. One elevator. The rain has started. But the staff is pleasant--gives you cream puffs--literally and figuratively. Sometimes it is the little things that matter. This can get done. Just keep moving.

And this I believe is the lesson of take down. A lesson for life. Recently I did a series of
blog post exchanges with Lisa Call on getting things done. Do you make lists or have a schedule?  What is your process? But sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. Move with all deliberate speed and hope for the cream puffs.  At least that's my theory. Whether it is family coming for the holidays, the cord on the snow blower that snaps as my DH tries to test it or just finding time to create art. There is a way to get things done. Deal with it. One step at a time. And hope for the cream puffs.

And you how do you deal with this harried time of the holidays? The challenges of the season and getting work done in the studio. And the cream puffs?

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