somer sherwood

surprises, everywhere

So when I’m not making over-priced hats, I’m enjoying time with my six-year-old son; or working at my day job (yes, I have one); or spending time with my partner-in-crime, Jeff; or folding laundry; or stressing the eff out while watching The Walking Dead (Do you watch it?! Most stressful show on TV, hands down); or worrying about what to make for dinner; or wondering why the grown women in my office can’t be bothered to flush the toilet; or thinking about going for a run, but then not going for a run; or a million other little things that make up the fabric of my existence.

And here’s what I’ve been doing since my last post:

1. Birthday: I’m 35 now. I got some lovely flowers and a creepy mannequin head in a box:

On the left, a birthday surprise in the mail. On the right, birthday flowers.


2. Patchwork Show: Just over a week ago, I shared a booth at Patchwork Culver City with my friend Kelice from Careful, It Bites. Great crowd and tons of talented artists & crafters!

The Classy Broad/Careful, It Bites booth at Patchwork Culver City, November 13, 2011.

I sold two of my one-of-a-kind freeform crochet hats. One hat went to a woman who I did not expect to buy one of my hats. But the minute she tried this hat on (her hat, named “Bot”), I knew she was supposed to have it. Looked amazing on her. The second hat went to a woman I identified as one of my own before she even wandered into my booth. I just knew. Then she spotted my booth and a look of total joy came over her face. She tried almost everything, but there was one in particular that looked as if it was made for her (and it was, I think). And now it truly is hers.

I can’t describe how it feels to give my hats, which are sort of like my children, a home. Not to mention the validation of having someone truly love and appreciate the thing I’ve made and loved into existence. So thank you, to you two women who bought hats from me that day.

3. The Desert: Is weird. Car trip this past weekend reaffirmed this.

Clockwise, from upper left: General Patton statue at the General Patton museum; the Virgin de Guadalupe at Chiriaco Summit; all class at the Chiriaco Summit gift shop; and a mannequin in a tub on top of the RV Proctologist's car in Quartzite.


4. Murder Mystery Party: In Phoenix (hence the trip through the desert, see above). My friend of almost 25 years, Jessica, hosted a murder mystery party with a 1980s high school reunion theme, which might sound a little lame but ended up being totally fun.

Clockwise, from upper left: the pinball room at the party (yeah, I said pinball room); Jessica dressed as intrepid reporter Randy Reporter, complete with thick eyebrows and silky mock turtleneck, posing under the prom picture trellis; a cute little orange wine glass identifier; and Jeff, dressed as former AV Club dork-turned porn director-turned ginormous Hollywood douche, Steve Spielsen (don't blame me, the names came with the game)


And then I came home to all these comments on my last post.  Totally blown away by the response. I never imagined my itty bitty blog post would hit such a nerve with people. And it’s really started me thinking about the business of art more, and what that means, and how I feel about it. I think I’ll expand on all that soon, but I want to formulate my thoughts a little better first. Thank you everyone, for sharing and commenting. Lots to think about.

11 Responses to “surprises, everywhere”
  1. Nicola says:

    Hi Somer,

    Just wanted to let you know that I just came across your True Cost of Handmade post and went from the absolute joy of having someone else get it to the absolute horror of reading the huge number of offensive comments below your post. I sell my photographs at craft fairs too and I know how hard it can be to educate your audience on why your work is not cheap.

    I recently read a great post on the issues with selling products, and the main takeaway was the fact that your audience will always grossly underestimate your input costs and always grossly overestimate the profit you make on a high priced item. If I can dig it out I will email it to you. You may find it useful.


  2. Thanks, Nicola! Would love to read it if you can find it.

  3. david says:

    dig your art… You remind me of me, im just a bit less electronicly blogged (which judgin from you last post… makes me thankful i am =) Keep it up though, its nice to see some one who does their art, cause they have too, Its like water, your soul needs it to be able to live. Its like music, when it all comes together, like the universe stops for moment and god (whatever that might be) looks down upon you when you birth your creation into the world… Nothing, and i say nothing beats hand made. Keep it up!!!

    And happy holidays =)

  4. Sue McG says:

    LOL, your life (paragraph one) sounds very much like my own. Is it wrong that I find the RV Proctologist incredibly amusing – what a business concept 🙂

    • steve says:

      Hi all, thanks for noticing my sons car. We have a lot of fun with our buisness. Last year someone put our our buisness on the Sunday LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Baltimore Sun. The papers said when you get to Quartzsite ” You know when your in Rv Heaven when you see the Banner for the Rv Proctologist.”

  5. Sue McG says:

    P.S. I came here via the ‘True Cost of Hand Made’ which was posted by another creative friend on Facebook – it’s gone viral 🙂 Keep doing what you do!

  6. Steph says:

    Saw your post via sharing on FB. your work is lovely. i have been self supporting making handmade tile and sculpture for a number of years. when you are in business for yourself you encounter the best and the worst people. hopefully the worst will remain a small % of the people you meet and do business with. experience in retail prior to going into business made me realize that some people sluff off crap wherever they go. Other people who cannot work out their personal issues in a healthy way, find it easier to ‘abuse’ retail workers, craftspeople, service people and those they encounter in the marketplace. i once had a woman slap my wrist with a book because i was writing her receipt with my left hand. so ,it is about them, not you. still, understanding the true cost of handmade is not easy, even for those of us who are the ‘handmakers’. a sale doesn’t occur until both the seller and arrive at a price that works, and it is a long and winding road , full of apple throwing trees and monkeys with wings, trying to figure out just what that is .A real tightrope act trying to get a price that reflects the work put in, educate the ‘purveyors’,and actually display and sell the work.WHEW! .the sad truth is,most years anyway, I could not afford my own work. when i see work I love but cannot afford, I always complement the maker. I am always amazed at the people who make an effort to purchase work they love and collect work by their favorite artists .

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