I can still recall the delight in watching our father try to guess his gift, often mysteriously guessing correctly. He was goofy and delighted unlike his typical responsible Dad self. I loved this ritual.
I have a particular memory of buying my Mom “chain by the inch” at the Frederick Towne Mall kiosk, having had pooled with a sister for the sterling option. It didn’t take long for me to discover that you could get a lot more mileage from the 10 bucks if you bought raw materials to make something. JoAnn Fabrics usually did the trick.
These early teachings about selecting, or making gifts honed in me the joy of giving a gift well considered. And what makes it so? At the heart of it is listening, observing and paying careful attention. What would delight them, surprise them, or bring them joy? What would they never buy for themselves but secretly crave? What colors, textures, styles, flavors do they enjoy? Do they collect some quirky thing you would never think of enjoying yourself? Then it’s the perfect item and I say bend over backwards to find it for them. Remember the mix tape? I made a few in my day.
Also consider what would support the makers in your very community, our dare devil designprenuers, restaurateurs, chocolatiers, alpaca yarn spinners? Of course I gift a lot of jewelry but not always.
Gifting anything handmade trumps big box plastic land. Try local theatre, a concert, a gift certificate to a favorite small restaurant or chocolatier or nursery, a subscription to a CSA, a class at the art center, a massage or my all time favorite as a child a handmade coupon book full of sweet favors.
Be it an experience or a handmade piece of jewelry, a well thought out meaningful gift makes memories and communicates Love. We all crave to be seen, understood and appreciated, with the gift giving season upon us, this is your chance to give deep this year.
Here is a list of some of my favorites locally in Frederick County, it's short but it's just the beginning…
InBloomJewlery - We are offering Gift Certificates to use online and FREE Shipping through December!
Spun Alpaca Yarn & Gifts
Fine Art & Classes
Nursery & CSA
Local Holiday Shows where you can find InBloom Jewlery...
It’s an unavoidable, at times frustrating and yet always inspiring aspect of a life as a jewelry artisan. Arts Festivals are vital and traveling the show circuit is a fascinating way to get to know a place, its people and my fellow Artists on the road.
First it’s the most effective way to sell my work to my customers. Second, even during a particularly challenging event, often a weather related calamity, something memorable always happens. Third, I LOVE to travel. I love the anticipation, the adventure and the stimulation that comes from seeing and experiencing, the new.
Compounded with the drive in studio to make the next piece or build the next collection for my customers this makes for the excruciating, slightly addictive vortex of pressure that constantly asks me to reach and explore as an artist. Oh yea, I can’t forget, this is how I make my living and support my family, that’s a very powerful driver too. So many of the inspirations and ideas for new designs are born in the booth, or the drive home. Most recently, I had two in a row, a difficult but formidable feat.
First Rhinebeck Arts Festival in upstate New York. The drive from Frederick, Maryland to upstate New York was just stunning, with the leaves turning. I stayed with a dear friend and fellow fiber artist Sonya Mackintosh. Our friendship began when set up across the aisle at a show in a New York City Armory 16 years ago. She is a talented designer, an amazing businesswoman and someone I consider a true friend. I stayed in her lovely home, we cooked delicious food and most importantly we caught up on each other’s lives.
Here’s a link to her site, her scarves are divine www.smartworks.com plus a photo of the view from her guest room window! Not a bad way to wake up every day Sonya!
Most memorable sale in Rhinebeck?
This sweet man did the ole’ “wrap it up quick” secret return to the booth after watching his lovely wife try on this Petal Necklace. It was a fabulous surprise for her and fortunately they sent me a photo. If you’re ever in Woodstock stop by his mountain bike shop! He’s fabulous. Hope she doesn’t wear it on a 80 mile bike trip!
After Rhinebeck I headed to Louisville for the first time.
The St James Court Art Festival was celebrating its 54th year! One of the largest outdoor arts festival in the country, it takes place in historic St James Court and Belgravia District surrounded by the stately Victorian homes of Old Louisville. After set up on Thursday I had the opportunity to take in this lovely artsy city. I even picked up some bats for my sons at the Louisville Slugger factory!
My Favorite sale was to a young college student that returned to the booth to purchase the necklace his sweetheart had admired the day before. They grew up together as neighbors then fell in love in high school and are now still deeply in love as college students. He was taking her out to Ruth Chris Steakhouse to celebrate their anniversary that night and wanted to surprise her, I gave him a little discount. They too shared a photo of the moment! What a dear couple.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Nana and Granddaddy Krantz are a huge part of what make this all possible for me, in ways too many to count. I am especially grateful for the special time they spend together with my Zach and Ryan when I’m on the road. Their relationship is a true blessing. As for my parent’s unrelenting support of me, well that’s priceless.
See you on the road!
For our show schedule click on the "Shows" tab at the top of our website.