Rogue Thoughts…

Burn out & finding a better way to do this.

Breathe, do the work. The work is always a good place.

The last few months, I’ve been trying to wrestle my thoughts into some coherent order on so many things; social media, what success means to me, professional ethics, what is really important to me, (why do I have to take everything so seriously?) …do I even want to be doing this anymore?

I suck at chit chat and that’s honestly how social media feels lately (when it doesn’t feel like a sustained advertisement ) so I retreat from it. I rarely have anything lighthearted to say and nothing to sell.

There is burn out and winter depression. Depression doesn’t manifest with me as an inability to get out of bed or attend to my life…it creates a fugue of indecision. I see all the possibilities, all the angles, outcomes and consequences always…but when things go flat, I lose perspective, lose the patterns, can’t find what piece to pick up first.

It has lifted, as it usually does when spring registers as renewed possibility, but the holding space I’m building for me is still pretty fragile. And into this space intrudes the need to communicate on behalf of this business.

Each week my “to do” list has had “write a blog post describing winter thought process and structure for communicating going forward” and each week I get paralyzed by trying to make it perfect and not shudder at how raw it is. To not over analyze how much the people who only want to know about the next show or the next piece are going to hate it, or the people who like bunnies and goats are going to be bored by it, etc etc. So I don’t write it, and I don’t really say anything here, and I haven’t updated our FB page since December…and thinking too much about “you” silences me.

I’m drawn to perfect words but what I need more right now is imperfect words that are actually said. Words that are true but also recognize that they demarcate a position in time, one that will change. Should change.

So… here’s my thing. I mostly don’t know exactly what I’m/Rogue Goat is doing right now. I’m pretty close to figuring out the shape of things, the new path forward.

Between now and then, it’s likely to be a bit messy, wordy and light on pretty things, but it will be real. I’m going to pick up blogging again to tease out and address some of the issues we have been sorting out as artists and a business. Maybe you won’t find it interesting…but at least it will be out of my head. 😜

Doing it (Together)

I am One of a Kind Show consumed. I’ve read the whole website with the Artisan’s profiles updated. I look at all the Instagram photo’s the artisans have started to post #ooaks14 and #ooakdiaries, even though I couldn’t give a rats ass about Instagram. I read all the posts in the One of a Kind Artisans’ forum. Read all the details about the upcoming launch of the One of a Kind Online Shop. I make lists, then more lists – what we need to make, things I need to arrange (place to stay, electrical hookups, booth sitter etc etc.), new ideas for the booth, things I will buy if we do really well, bills to pay if we do ok, how to make do if we don’t do well.

Madness.

The Spring show has a Wedding themed area this year, and in support of it and Valentine’s day, the Show sent out a request for wedding pictures from artisans who worked on their artform together. I didn’t send one as our wedding pictures weren’t quite….um…conducive to people buying lovely things for their big day. But it got me thinking about working together as Rogue Goat.

marriage

Working together creatively is one of the most valuable things in my life. If you are driven to create, passionate about it, it can almost become the “other woman/man” in a relationship. It’s there, it consumes you, you have your best and worst times with it, you don’t care if it snores.  When your partner is part of that creative affair, the love triangle disappears. You understand the need to create for hours and ignore one and other. You aren’t perturbed that something else is coming first, you support that. You are as mesmerized by that “other” as your partner.Like being in a band, but also playing house, for real.

Sure, some people aren’t threatened by it, but then…you kind of miss them not knowing that feeling, that pure, creative plane, not being able to really relate to it.

josh & I

It works best  though, or at least I think it works for Josh and I, because our skills are distinct. I can’t cut wood, he can’t paint.  I can’t define his process and dictate his creative part, nor can he I. We discuss the end result in loose terms, and leave each other be in constructing as we individually see fit.

We tease each other that we can’t break up or we’d have to get “real” jobs. And it’s true. What we make is an outcome of us being us. Making what we do, makes us more us.

Forever

That up there is a piece of rice that says “Allison & Josh Forever”. It is both barfy and terribly awesome. I am one of the least sentimental people I know, being only romantic in the sense of mourning the decrease in deaths by lightning and having had childhood desires to have sword scars and tuberculosis. Not in the notes and flowers ways. Josh says he would buy me off the internet still. Happy Valentine’s Day! xxoo

A kite string to Spring, packets of hope

When I was a kid, my mum used to get seed catalogues in the mail beginning late January and also kept a very detailed journal in which she would plan the upcoming growing season. Notes on what worked and where the previous harvest, species to try, budgets to maximize what made it into the freezer and pantry. She was an ambitious gardener, as well as raising chickens, turkeys and ducks when this was simply an extension of living simply and frugally, rather then a “lifestyle choice”.

I thought those journals were crazy mum stuff, some weird diary for women not drawn to drama and more concerned with the minutiae of the everyday. But I get it now.

Partly, I love the ground level science of it. Observation, trial, hypothesis. Partly, as I have grown older, where one I felt burdened by the everyday, by routine, by “just” living, now I am at peace with it to the extent I can be. It is the real, profound, quiet and often overlooked act of walking about your yard, or the park or your street and actively noticing tiny, cumulative change.

But mostly it is like a kite string attached to Spring, making it yours tangible. By planning for Spring and even further, for fall’s harvest, an escape route from snow and long dark days is found.

Last winter, up all night with very little Boogie/Taryn, I REALLY wanted spring. One hand holding the baby, one hand researching heirloom beet varieties to plant. Have I mentioned we love beets? Next matching tattoo -beets. To quote Tom Robbins in Jitterbug Perfume-

“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.

The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip…

The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.

The beet was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.”

Anyway…beets. Researching beets led to this lovely business, Cubit’s Organic Seeds. I loved the seeds, the dedication, the care, the thoughtful writing, the great recipes…and loved the integration of artisan entrepreneurship & kids presented with beauty. An awesome discovery that brightened a long winter’s night then…and a winter’s day today.

Cubit’s will be at OOAK in the Etsy section with little organic packets of hope. How amazing that this company should be at our first #OOAK in the year that we have our first full growing season in our first home.

My kite, happily blowing away in the upcoming Spring, is beet red.

xxoo

yellow beets (Ok, these beets are yellow)

Babies and business go together like nuclear holocaust and birthday parties….

Or something like that.

This is Taryn, our little goat (he’s a Capricorn).He is a splendid little beast to cohabit with, but is also fabulously time consuming. Definition of hubris- thinking that as the new baby is not the first baby, that it will be easy, and that juggling other kids, full time math-y studies, and business with the mesmerizing gaze of you wee sleep sucker will be done with aplomb and perfect outfits for all.

Ahhh….chagrin. While it is indeed less like swimming underwater during a panic attack then I recall previous babymoons…there is actually no more time in the day. Who knew?

So…my 2012 review blog post remains undone, the website remains un updated, show applications are being sent in at the last minute,   production remains slow, and our outfits while generally decent, are accessorized with baby puke.

So be it. Life is awesome.

The new work is our best..stay tuned for pictures.The website will be updated this week.And I’m going to straighten the artwork in the photo RIGHT NOW.

xxoo.

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New Studio at The Tremont

Ahhhh…sweet, sweet studio bliss. We are fully set up in our beautiful little finishing studio inside The Tremont in Collingwood, ON. The Tremont is a lovingly restored 19th century hotel…bought from the Town by private restorers and developers Rick and Anke Lex, and turned into a jewel of a building, now housing 8 artist studios, the Bay School of Art and The Tremont Cafe (as well as residences on the third floor).

The Tremont is located at 80 Simcoe Street, Collingwood, ON and open to all…just come on up the stairs and one or more of the second floor artists will welcome you.

Fellow Tremont artists include Bonnie Dorgelo, Andrea Rinaldo, Peter Adams, Jenn Wilkins, Kaz Jones, Suzanne Jarvis, K maclean and Bryan Wall.

Wow…we need a camera!!

The inability to properly illustrate the blog posts right now is driving me crazy…need a new camera asap!!

We had an awesome time at Handmade Market in Beamsville…hoping to be back in Wine Country September 21 (my birthday!) and 22 for another market…this time in St Catharine’s.Check out their website at http://www.handmademarket.ca/

We are super excited to be sharing a studio with the wonderful metal oddment artist k maclean at The Tremont! Still working on getting it set up, but loving being surrounded by the other great artists: Sue Miller, Peter Adams, Bonnie Dorgelo, Andrea Rinaldo, Kaz Jones, Joanna Alonzo, and Bryan Wall. Check it out http://www.thetremont.ca/

Also getting ready for Windsor Art in the Park June 2 and 3 in…you guessed it…Windsor! http://www.artintheparkwindsor.com/

We are very grateful to be part of some absolutely amazing events this summer…check out our schedule.

And…Made by Hand @ GivingTree Eco B & B outside Collingwood is a new co joint between Rogue Goat and Andy and Chai at Givingtree…save July 14 and 15 to come out for handmade awesomeness, Dj Danger Bay , Arkham Records vinyl sale. Please email us at roguegoat@hotmail.ca if you are interested in participating.

Time for naked trampolining. That’s illustrative, right? 😉

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Tom Goes to Algonquin

The Owen Sound Artist`s Co op embarked on a new venture last year supporting youth artists, one funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.It expanded the physical space of the Co – op by leasing adjoining space, now called the Legacy Gallery. Predominantly used to showcase youth projects, the gallery is also used by the Co op membership several times a year.

This month`s show commemorates Tom Thomson`s first trip to Algonquin 100 years ago, each member submitting a piece addressing the theme, some within their normal medium, some not.

This is our submission (sold!) (Please excuse the terrible photo)Image

Detail

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We also did this necklace , Tom`s Red Canoe

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Opening is Saturday, April 14 at 3…TODAY!!