Saturday, January 25, 2014


It's January and after doing the mundane things like stock taking and doing year end, we find that we do have a small window of time to try new things that have been buzzing around in our heads for the past year.  When I hear about my friend, Wendy Moore, in Australia having to live through searing heat and brush fires every year at this time or other friends like Cynthia Blanton and Helen Breil who live in another part of our country,  are putting up with freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, we feel so blessed to be living where we do.

We've lived here for 5 years now and the weather pattern seems to be similar each year with no major storms to speak of.  December cold temperatures and snow and January with acceptable temperatures and more snow.  As I look out my kitchen window, I see the lake is not frozen and most likely won't this winter.

We are nestled in a valley between 2 mountains which protect us mostly from strong winds.  We don't find it very difficult at all to get inspiration from our surroundings.

One neat feature of the area of where we live is that there are 200 lakes all within a 2 hours drive of us and they are all teeming with fish.

Probably the most interesting feature, is that every year the Sockeye Salmon come to our area to spawn and every fourth year they come in the millions.  I believe it is the largest Sockeye salmon run in the world (except for some place in Russia).  We will again be involved in the Art Festival surrounding the salmon run this October where over 100,000 tourists come to see this big event over a 4 week period.  This really is a unique occasion since many of our 3,000 residents of our town are involved as well.

We will be making many small pieces of salmon themed art work to sell during this time.  We have to think of our designs now as this may be the only large chunk of free time before the event.  Although it has been in the back of our mind since the last one, (more than 3 years ago), it is unique because we normally don't sell the salmon themed pieces at any other time.

So why am I talking about this now?  It takes away from our regular routine, as I say it only happens every 4 years and we are forced to think of what will sell to these tourists and at a price point where they will sell quickly.  Also, if last time was any indication, we will have to be more prepared and make dozens of each design which are basically the same.  This is a different approach for us as we pride ourselves on making unique and individual pieces.

Four years ago, we found that every second day we had to replenish our supply again and again.  This meant long hours doing pretty much the same tedious duplication of pieces we had already designed.  We don't like to work on a deadline but when it was all over, we found that it was well worth the effort both financially and creatively.  Forcing us to produce on a deadline with an assembly line style, we came away being able to produce larger amounts of other items such as beads and buttons in a shorter time period.  This became the basis of an increasingly successful wholesale business to yarn and quilt stores.


Mal said...

Good luck with this Carolyn! It is harder to do the multiples. This is what the ladies in Nepal spend their time doing but they love it! The sock eye spawning sounds like ti would be incredible to watch. Hugs from here, Wendy

2 Good Claymates said...

Thanks Wendy. I can understand about the ladies love doing the multiples as I strangely don't mind it myself -- that is once I figure out what we are doing! lol! The Sockeye spawning is pretty awesome and was totally fascinated the first time I saw it. The fish are so colorful and the streams are all bright red and green.