My kids are to this day the best thing I’ve ever accomplished – and they are now starting families of their own.
Three daughters – it seemed like a lot, when I was younger. Being a Stay-Home-Mom seemed like a lot. The messes in the house all day – every day. The bickering. The laundry – oh, the laundry! The sheer avalanche of smallish socks, that mysteriously lost their partners, never to be paired again (unless, of course, I threw out the lone socks…invariably, the other one would turn up again the next day…).
The sleepless nights filled with one, two or three crying kiddos (and sometimes a crying mom, too).
The very early morning wake-up call from the husband, traveling for business overseas, from his cushy, clean, expensive hotel, to complain how wronged he was, when his fancy steak in the restaurant the evening before was not cooked to perfection, the fluffy clean towels in the hotel room were too small, the conversation with the other adults there did not circle around his particular – and, even then, very strange interests…
It seemed like I was being buried, never to emerge again from an avalanche of, well, EVERYTHING.
but even in all of that, there were hugs from my girls. Snuggles in the morning. Teaparties with hats, and bears, and fishhie-crackers. Playground picnics. Hikes in the canyon, walks in the woods, butterflies, and horseback rides, bowling alleys and cookie bakings… soooo many fun moments with my favorite people on earth.
My duaghters always were – and in fact still are – my world (and the avalanche of missing socks is about to descend on their homes as well)- seeing their worlds emerge in their own ways, is nothing less than magical.
Here is the little Lass of Legends, a strong-willed survivor of tempests, a defender of the weaker sheep in the flock, and a red-headed fury with a sword – not to be messed with, yet with kind eyes, and a soft heart.
Surely, you know a woman like that in your life. This is to celebrate all the women that have stood strong through the winds of life, defending their flocks, and loving those around them.
The New 2019 Sheep Incognito Wall Calendar Is Here!
Snag ‘Em While Ewe Can – only 500 available!
…and, a free blooper is included this year…
As every year since 2006 or so, we have created a new Sheep Incognito wall calendar for you – it has become a favorite in many offices, conference rooms, class rooms, and family homes. Mainly, because the cute Sheep Incognito will make ewe smile!
This year – due to a very hectic time during the layout process – we overlooked the most prominent bit of text on the front page of the calendar: the year’s date.
Everything else inside the calendar, such as months, year date, and holidays are correct – just that front page number was not noticed and changed on the front page.
So Ewe will now own a bit of “Bloopery Art History”, when you snag one of these limited edition wall calendars.
13 months of Conni’s sheepish humor, some really strange, some really funny, some just happy, holidays during each month, so ewe will always have something to look forward to in each month.
And, this being a limited edition calendar – we have cut the edition down from 1200 copies to only 500!
If you would like your copy signed by the artist, Conni Tögel, please specify at checkout, or give us a call at the studio.
And this year, we are offering sweet “Flock Discounts” on them as well – get your entire Christmaaaahs shopping done in one fell swoop – the more ya buy, the more ya save, kind of thing.
We do love sending smiles to the world – so thank ewe for helping our efforts by letting the Sheep Incognito hang out wherever ewe happen to be hanging out!
Front Page of 2019 Sheep incognito Calendar
Inside Page of 2019 Sheep Incognito Calendar
Thumbnail Page, back of 2019 Sheep Incognito Calendar
As an artist, downtime rarely happens at all – whether we are driving on days between shows, or printing between shows at home, or getting set up for the next show, we hardly ever just sit and contemplate what we might want to be doing with our time.
So what DO we do when we aren’t working?
But, because work is fun, it has become not only work, but a hobby, a life-style, and the things we love to do most. We usually will walk along the beach looking for findings for jewelry creations. Or look around the desert for some cool rocks to wire-wrap or include in a new mixed-media piece of art. Or we will be looking at other artists’ websites to see how other artists create. Or, we are watching inspiring movies that usually spark new ideas.
It has become a lifestyle to see the little unseen things in the world. A little girl pitching a fit outside our booth becomes a little grumpy flowerfairy from the woodlands. The sunset becomes the color palette for a new landscape painting. The store we are visiting to purchase a clothing item becomes the inspiration for a new texture we want to add to some paintings…so while yes, we will occasionally sit on our behinds, we draw inspiration from everything life surrounds us with.
Happy things that make us smile. Stupid people that make us cringe. Stories that make us laugh. Clothing that transforms the wearing one. All are now part of what makes our downtime into worktime – we never clock out.
Which is why we love being artists.
Every now and then, life has a way of reminding you that little things do, in fact matter.
Things your mom would tell you to “Never Mind” or “Get Over it”. Things like the salt in the shaker going solid so nothing comes out.
The bread you had in the oven for dinner being slightly burnt, because you took the time to watch a quick youtube funny with your teenager.
Or, best example: hotel sheets that don’t fit the bed.
To an outsider mundane, irrelevant occurrences.
The sheet thing – it’s a thing.
When you are forced to join the “carnies” of the art world – the art show road warriors – you get a whole different perspective of what the real “art world” is like for thousands of american artists.
Did you know, that quite a few of these people come to the art festivals from hundreds of miles away?
Did you know that they often have to set up their tents and displays either late at night or before dawn the day of the festival?
Did you know that many of them sleep in their van or even their little cars to save on hotel costs?
Did you know most of them eat snacks all day, because they can’t leave their booth to go get food – or, if they do, the food choices might be limited to fair food like funnelcakes or chicken on a stick. For every day of the festival. At $7-$15 a meal.
Did you know that most of those sleeping in their vehicles don’t get to shower after a long day of set up, show times in the sun, talking with people all day, and the going to sleep in their overheated cars?
Did you know that booth spaces at art shows cost between $100 and $1200 to rent at the art festivals?
Did you know that often the only bathrooms available to artists are the portapotties at the festival? Did you know that often there isn’t even water to wash hands afterwards?
Did you know that artist often get robbed, at shows, with security present?
My car was broken into twice in four days, with important paperwork two gps systems stolen from it a few years ago. Another time, a lady tried walking off with the money from four shows in my computer bag – she opened the car door and tried walking away with it, while I was loading the trunk.
This, at a show in one of America’s wealthiest towns.
It explains why so many of us artists have vans or rv’s or even tents to sleep in while we are on the road. And canisters of water and hand sanitizer.
This past weekend I joined the ranks of the “nomadic tent dwelling artist” species – the rv was being difficult again, so I opted to avoid paying $129 per night at the only hotel in walking distance of the show, and bring a small tent along instead.
Camping on the grounds was $40 for the weekend.
Only, I grabbed the wrong one from home – it was the smallest we had, but it also turned out to be the one with the shattered tent poles, and apparently also the one tent some cat or tge other had decided to use for a marking spot.
This I found out after a long drive here, a long setup of booth, and a scuttle to fix the broken tent poles with a branch and some duct tape.
Did you know that duct tape fixes a multitude of things, but it does not remove the smell of cat pee? I learned a lot this weekend.
At night, i also learned that I am highly allergic to something in the grass or the tent I was sleeping in – breathing problems at night in a field in a tent that smells like a litterbox after a long day don’t make the art world look more attractive.
So – three nights of that situation got me through the art festival (which, it turned out was more of a craft festival instead). After the show ended, i decided to splurge on a hotel room – a clean soft bed, with a clean shower, and free breakfast within walking distance sounded great.
The price, I was told: $166 for the night, but, special discounted rate is $99.
Usually, my max for hotels is $89 per night – higher than that, and the car becomes a viable option for sleeping in.
But – with no other hotels to choose from and the lobby looked clean and comfy, I got a room.
Everything looked tidy – towels and bathroom clean.
The shower felt great.
But the sheets!
Not the crisp, white, tightly tucked sheets of a $99/night hotel, but the $35/per night “you will get mugged, raped and hacked into pieces if you sleep in this motel” kind of sheets. The pillows: flattened pieces of old quilt batting or possibly up-cycled chair cushions from a hundred year old church pew (it was hard to tell – almost got a concussion when flopping onto the pillow).
The blankets: half unraveled,musty smelling objects (not unrelated to the smell in my tent, with the additional “flavor” of old nicotine).
Not tucked in sheets. Not cotton sheets.Not fitted sheets. But a flimsy, somewhat polyester type flat sheet that attempted to cover the mattress and the protruding very worn yellow foam mattress pad.
No matter how careful you lay down on that kind of thing, you will find yourself engulfed in a twist of sheets, blankets, unsavory bedspreads, and nicotine smell.
Keep you awake all night, regardless of your level of exhaustion.
It is most certainly not the ingredient for resting up after fighting the war for survival for three days…
$99 for a night like that – Did you know that a halfway decent sheet set with a fitted sheet can be purchased for around $40?
– if you are in the hotel business: the sheets matter. A lot. Get good ones, or charge only what your bedding is worth.
– if you are an art festival goer: your purchase of someone’s artwork matters. A Lot. It might just pay for a fitted sheet, or just a flushing toilet for the artist for a night. But it matters.
– if you are a show promoter or organizer: charging the artist $40 extra for a booth fee or electrical service, without providing humane sanitary conditions for the artists to work in, matters.
– if you are a city hosting an art fair and you decide to charge $100 parking fees from the artists that are already paying hundreds just to be there – please give the hotels a tax break so they can put that money towards good sheets on their beds.
Today is the day.
It has been a long time coming – a time wrought with fear, anxiety, discussions, screaming fights, and meltdowns. But, nonetheless, today has come.
Today, we drive.
On The Interstate (yes, this needed to be capitalized).
My daughter has been dreading this event for quite a while – each day the necessity of learning to merge on and off the interstate has come up, there were long discussions and hurt feelings ensuing.
A fear of doing things wrong – is that a teenager thing? A learned response from emotional abuse for much of her life? A self- inflicted horror idea now set firmly in her head?
Whatever the cause, whatever the story – TODAY WE DRIVE.
We have not discussed where we are going – she’s the driver, so we’ll go where she is going.
(Hopefully all the destinations will include firm ground under the wheels, and a big void in front of the car…)
When this is done, we will both have successfully ascended a Mount Everest for both of us. I think the view will be grand from up there….