Thursday, November 16, 2017


 (Above:  Wrapped-and-stitched vintage wooden thread spool Christmas ornaments.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

This past weekend's Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show was WONDERFUL!  Lots of artwork found permanent walls on which to hang and hundreds of wrapped-and-stitched vintage wooden thread spool ornaments went home with holiday shoppers.  I made HUNDREDS of them.  Because my booth space had a limited space for the ornaments (and because I had hundreds of them!), not all were even made available.  Every day, I put out more to replace those sold.  Still, I came back with about 150 of them.  Because I shared them on Facebook, I got requests to sell some "on-line".  Well ... I'm not experienced in on-line shopping but today I made an attempt to try.

 (Above:  Forty-two groups of three ornaments ... neatly arranged in numbered sections!)

My camera went onto a tripod focused on a piece of linen mat board.  I shot forty-two groups of three ornaments each.  The groups were carefully placed in slotted foam-centered containers.  Each row is numbered.  I just uploaded them to a Facebook album with this message:

Wrapped-and-stitched vintage wooden thread spool holiday ornaments by Susan Lenz. Hundreds were made and sold at the recent Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. Every day, more were made available but not everyone of them actually made it out into the booth for sale. (Limited space!) These are the ones that are left. At the PMA Show, I sold three for $40. I am offering each group of three for $47 including tax and shipping anywhere in the USA. (South Carolina actually charges tax even on out-of-state sales!) To make a purchase, send me a private Facebook message or email at PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. I will send a PayPal invoice. Once paid, I will ship immediately and remove the image from this album. You do NOT have to have a PayPal account to pay the invoice! You can also call me at Mouse House at (803) 254-0842 to pay by credit card. My regular hours are 9:30 - 5:00. If you purchase more than one group, the shipping will only be $7 regardless of quantity. Thanks! Susan

 (Above:  Ornaments, Group One.)

Obviously, I'll sell them to people reading this blog!  Same information applies ... except, if a group actually does sell, I'll write SOLD in the caption!  Just scroll down to see the other forty-one groups!

 (Above:  Ancestor Wall: Like Mother Like Daughter.)

Before sharing all the holiday ornaments, I'd also like to share three more pieces for my solo installation Anonymous Ancestors.  The next time the work will be exhibited is this coming January at Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, Alabama.  I really do love making more and more work for this show!

 (Above:  Ancestor Wall:  Sisterhood Forever.)

 (Above:  Ancestor Wall: The Long Exposure.)

Now ... here are the available groups of Christmas ornaments!

(Above:  Group TWO)

(Above: Group THREE)

(Above: Group FOUR)

(Above: Group FIVE .... SOLD!)

(Above: Group SIX)

(Above: Group SEVEN ... SOLD!)

(Above: Group EIGHT)

(Above: Group NINE)

(Above: Group TEN)

(Above: Group ELEVEN)

(Above: Group TWELVE)

(Above: Group THIRTEEN)

(Above: Group FOURTEEN)

(Above: Group FIFTEEN)

(Above: Group SIXTEEN)

(Above: Group SEVENTEEN)

(Above: Group EIGHTEEN)

(Above: Group NINETEEN)

(Above: Group TWENTY)

(Above: Group TWENTY-ONE)

(Above: Group TWENTY-TWO)

(Above: Group TWENTY-THREE ... SOLD!)

(Above: Group TWENTY-FOUR)

(Above: Group TWENTY-FIVE)

(Above: Group TWENTY-SIX)

(Above: Group TWENTY-SEVEN)

(Above: Group TWENTY-EIGHT)

(Above: Group TWENTY-NINE)

(Above: Group THIRTY)

(Above: Group THIRTY-ONE)

(Above: Group THIRTY-TWO)

(Above: Group THIRTY-THREE ... SOLD!)

(Above: Group THIRTY-FOUR)

(Above: Group THIRTY-FIVE ... SOLD!)

(Above: Group THIRTY-SIX)

(Above: Group THIRTY-SEVEN)

(Above: Group THIRTY-EIGHT)

(Above: Group THIRTY-NINE ... SOLD!)

(Above: Group FORTY)

(Above: Group FORTY-ONE ... SOLD!)

(Above: Group FORTY-TWO)

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Anabel Pichler and me at the PMA Craft Show

 (Anabel Pichler and me ... thirty years apart but SISTERS at heart.)

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is in full swing.  I'm spending every day on my feet, in my booth, talking about polyester stretch velvet and how it is the foundation for my artwork ... but this year's show is different!  This year Anabel came to visit!

Once upon a time, my family and Anabel's family arranged a private "student exchange program".  It was an arrangement between the Lenz family in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania and the Pichler family in Radstadt, Austria.  I wasn't part of the program but my younger sisters Wanda and Erica were ... they went to live for a half-year or full year abroad.  Anabel and Bettina came to the USA for a year or a year-and-a-half.  We all became "sisters".  (By the way ... Wanda now lives in Munich and is married to a guy from Radstadt.  Anabel made a wonderful life with a great guy here in the USA ... and they have three gorgeous daughters ... one who came to the show!)  Steve and I haven't seen Anabell since either Wanda's or Erica's wedding.  (We can't exactly remember which ... because it's been something like 30 years).  But, Anabel and I are Facebook friends. She knew I was going to be here at the PMA Craft Show.  She lives within driving distance ... and came to the show.  It was WONDERFUL to hug my "sister" again, to meet her husband, and hug one of her daughters.  Today has been amazing!

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Behind the Scenes at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show

(Above:  Booth 107 ... MY BOOTH ... at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 2017.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Yesterday morning Steve and I arrived at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  By the afternoon, we had unloaded and set up our booth.  I snapped three photos ...

... including this one!  Here's Steve standing in our space.  We hadn't unloaded a thing.  It didn't take much time for the area to look like ...

... this!  Quickly, I put together the interlocking carpet tiles that become our floor.  Several of our carpeted wall units are shown here ... standing up as "corners".  It took a couple hours of unpacking, arranging, and struggling with the track lighting until we were ready.  I posted these first three images on Facebook and got all sorts of positive comments.  Many people said my booth looks quite sleek and professional (Thanks!)... but the truth of the matter is that my booth is rather straight forward.  It is basically just a ProPanel "readymade" gray booth.  That's when it occurred to me that I ought to share some of the amazing designs that showcase the best crafts from across the nation and ...

... a "behind the scenes" blog post.  First, this is the way our booth looks "behind the wall".  We requested this booth area.  It is in the first of seven long rows.  We request this space because there's plenty of space for storage behind our wall.

The same can be said of the 700 aisle.  Lots and lots of space for artists whose work comes in crates, tubs, giant boxes, etc.  Behind the scenes there are ladders, rolling carts, extra artwork, bubble wrap, and chairs for spouses.

Behind the end walls the convention center has fork lifts ...

... and everything ready to roll in place for this evening's fancy gala ...

... including dozens of tables and scores of chairs.  Being at a high end craft show is an amazing opportunity.  It is also a way to see a year of organization coming together seamlessly.

It is also a chance to see how different artists use a multitude of materials to create 10' x 10', 10' x 15', and corner locations together in ways to showcase their artwork to best advantage.  Please remember, almost every booth came in a vehicle and will be dismantled and put back into a vehicle on Sunday evening.  Today, I walked the aisles and snapped these photos of "empty booths" as a way to share the ingenious ways artists create their spaces.  Above is the booth directly beside mine.  Brilliant!  It is constructed from 1" black foam-centered board.  I can't wait to see the work that fits into the lit enclosures.

Please continue scrolling down ... just to see the unique settings before the artwork is installed!  By this evening, it will all look quite differently ... even regal.  As I walked the convention center floor, red carpeting was being rolled into all the aisles for the fancy gala.  Enjoy this "behind the scenes" look!

I am linking this blog post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts.