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Well, here we are almost at the end of another year. I look back on my goals and though I wasn't able to take the art class I wanted (I was pretty disappointed) the trade off wasn't bad ..... we were too busy with our work schedule to allow for the time. Being busy isn't a bad thing. We are fortunate that our metal fabrication business is still chugging along in this slow economy. We are heading into our 7th year so nothing to complain about here! We have had some great commissions this year with two big railing jobs, some unique custom kitchen hoods and are getting ready to build a very large full dimensional copper steer "weather vane" for the top of a 43 foot water tower in the Newport Coast, CA, area. The work has been challenging, but satisfying and we are always learning new things or improving the old things. Eric, my husband, has been been commissioned to build a custom wood kayak in the Spring - yep, he builds boats, too! LOL Another door opening for him, maybe??? He is very excited about it!

I did get accepted into a couple of good art shows this year. One show was an all women show in San Francisco, CA, AND it looks like that show has gotten accepted into an art gallery in New York for 2011. Unfortunately, the venue is quite a bit smaller than in SF., so the show will be "re-juried" since there is not room for all the original entries. I await more information to see if I make the cut for the New York show with my "Screaming Ovaries" piece. Got my fingers crossed!! Either way, it was great opportunity being part of the SF show, met a lot of other inspiring women artists and saw a lot of great art. Another show was the Cal-Expo State Fair - got first place in the Metal Art category - my first win! These shows were particularly exciting for me because they were shows outside the Fresno area - a bit of a confidence builder and more exposure for both businesses! My portfolio and resume gradually continues to build.

I was not able to complete any new metal / welded sculptures this year, but did complete a couple of wall hangings and got started on some copper tile samples. One of the wall hangings actually was a commissioned job from the local Masonic Lodge - a big 3'x4' framed copper piece. It was a challenging commission, but you never get better unless you push yourself - definitely raised the bar for myself on that one! It was a special piece due to the connection my husband's grandfather had with the Masonic Lodge - meant a lot to Eric and meant a lot to the lodge members, as most of them knew John Montgomery personally.

I am still learning a lot about website building and creative marketing for our businesses, which I am really enjoying. This year we have made some good connections with mailers and link exchanges - so will press on with all of that. I plan on completing my first e-book for sale on repousse techniques. That is currently in the works and I am shooting for sometime in January or February to publish that. We will see what happens there. We have also learned quite a bit about photography this year. I mean it's quite a bit more cost effective and convenient to take your own pictures, so we will be working on that more over the next year.

We are enjoying our little haven up in the mountains, have already gotten some snow! Everyone is healthy and happy and we are grateful for that. My daughter and her husband are doing great! There have been some changes with jobs and apartments, etc., but its all good. My son is safe and sound in Hawaii right now with his girlfriend. He is still Navy medical support with the Marines, but no deployments on the horizon - as a matter of fact, he may end up in school close by in San Diego for a year so I got my fingers crossed. And I am going to be a grandma in April and am looking forward to a mini-family reunion in Hawaii in May to celebrate the new little boy!

I got one Art Hop to do in January of this year and I am going to try and complete a piece for a show I have been wanting to do coming up in February in Murphys, CA at the Ironstone Vineyard ( really I just want an excuse to go back to Murphys - I love that place!). After that, I think my goals this year would be to take some time off trying to get into specific shows and concentrate getting another sculpture completed, apply to teach some classes at The Crucible in Oakland, CA., keep working on my copper tile samples and possibly take Davide Bigazzi's cuff bracelet class in Menlo Park, CA. He does some beautiful metal work and his classes are reasonable. We shall see!

Hope everyone has a Happy and Creative Holiday!

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