Monday, May 26, 2014

A Report on Surtex and National Stationery Show 2014

I'm bidding a fond farewell to New York City
and heading home with my head packed with images
from the National Stationery Show
and Surtex.

Like this early evening view from my hotel window:

The Shows were beautifully presented.
Hundreds of Exhibitors and throngs of Buyers
created a great upbeat vibe throughout the Javits Center.

The artwork presented was beautiful.

Here is a tiny sampling of what I saw - all images from the artists.
Artwork of Laura Lobdell
Artwork of Sandra Jacobs

Artwork of Diane Kappa

Orange, Dusky Pink, Emerald Green, Blues, Mustard Yellow
and pops of Orchid in shades from Plum to Lavender
were the Colors of the Show.

Cactus and Succulents, cute little Forest Creatures, Vintage Kitchenware,
Paisleys, Plants in Pots, and of course lush Florals
were everywhere.  Tropical motifs, including Flamingos 
were also widely represented.
Lighthouses, Whales, Anchors and Beach Scenes 
caught my eye in some booths,
and of course there were the Seasonal workhorse motifs 
in many booths.

It was a virtual Tidal Wave of art.

By far and away, the National Stationery Show had the largest crowds and the most exhibitors, including a new section of Gifts and Creative & Lifestyle Arts
and another new section for Etsy Wholesalers.

In addition to the lovely booths offering Stationery and other Paper Goods,
there were booths displaying equipment to be used in the creation of all this lovely stuff.

Waste Not Paper was packed with buyers - both retailers and artists.

Janome had a huge booth set up with embroidering machines.
There were paper scoring machines, corner rounders, and foil finishing equipment services.
Software for personalized stationery and Hot Stamping services.

AccuCut had a booth that was hard to get into - they doing a booming business selling their Stationery Die Cutting Machine, the GrandeMARK Roller.
Image courtesy Traci Ambrust of AccuCut...the night before opening.

I jostled my way through numerous paper and stock booths,
looked over the Scotch Brand booth, 
and visited The Gift It section.

Perhaps the most amazing booth was the Hewlett Packard presentation,
where they had latex printers displayed that would print on almost any substrate,
up to Billboard Size!

Bottom line, this is the best Market I've ever attended to bring artists, artisans, agents, equipment and buyers together.

If you are an artist wanting to sell your artwork for application, do yourself a favor
and start saving up now for Surtex 2015 to at least walk the show.
If you have a small business in Stationery, Embroidery, or other hand made product,
the same goes for you.

It is truly worth the price of admission.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pattern Genes from Mom

This is an old picture of my Mom at a Girl's Party in her Mother's front yard.
Mom is on the far left, and her Mother is second from the right.
You can see from the clothing and hair styles that fashion and grooming
even in the Depression Era was very, very important.
Grandma has on a dotted dress with tucks detailing the front,
the guest on her left has lovely tailored sleeves on her dress, and 
all of the young women are groomed prettily.
That was how Mom was raised, 
and that was how she was
all of her life.

When I was a little girl, she made most of my little dresses. 
My Dad bought her a Kenmore Sewing Machine from Sears Roebuck, 
and she could make that thing fly. 

She bought her fabrics from Wilson's Bargain Center in Florence, Alabama.

Image by Cathy Wood of the Tennessee Valley Art Association

Founded by "The Tall Man With the Low Prices", 

it had wooden floors that creaked and snapped agreeably as you walked, 
kibitzing companionably 
about the sewing project you had in mind
- a lovely, cozy connection from your feet to the fabric and trims.

We spent weeks of my life in there, with my eyes stinging 
from the copious amount  of formaldehyde used 
in the finishing process of the fabrics, but I didn't care.
I just loved fabrics, same as my Mom. 

When I was very small,
I watched as she and her sister Clara would cut apart brown paper grocery sacks,
smooth them flat, and then lay them out on her bed.
They would spend hours discussing the sleeve design, the fullness of the skirt, 
the waistband and neckline of the dress they were imagining.
And then, my Mom's scissors would start flashing through the brown paper,
following the pencil lines they had drawn and re-drawn.

They had their pattern, and it was time to cut the fabric and start sewing.

Later in life, she bought her patterns from McCalls and Simplicity,
and this was one of her favorites:

She made this one up in pink and white,
but amended the pattern
just like she always did, cutting freehand.

I made up my first pattern by folding a  brown paper grocery sack in half
and cutting out a triangle with a square sticking out from the side-
that was the sleeve, I think.

I don't sew much anymore - 
my days are filled
with happy Pattern Making of a different sort.

Instead of scissors and paper,
 needles and thread,
my tools are pens, scanners,
Photoshop and Illustrator
as I draw patterns for the fabrics
she may have chosen to sew up into dresses.

I think she would approve.

Thanks again for those art genes, Mom.  I love you.
Dorothy Louise Cornelius Sizemore, my Mother.
Happy Mother's Day.


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