Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Evacuation Tips for Artists (and crafters) Part 2 the Gustav edition

Whenever we get alerted to something "brewing in the gulf" I tend to get a little antsy. Rollo May, creativity philosopher extraordinare calls this feeling the physical call to action for the artist.He says anxiety is the body's response to do something. I've put together these tips for my fellow artistas who live in areas that may be evacuated so you can do something with the antsy feeling and better prepare yourself should the worst thing happen.

1. What to evacuate with first: pets, people, & papers. The first two need no explanation I hope. The important paperwork you are going to need will be your tax documents from the past three years, your sales records,and insurance, birth certificate, passport. S.B.A. and CERF (Crafters Emergency Relief Fund) require documentation of your livelihood that comes from your art work. Without documentation they simply cannot help you. Also, even if you do not own your own home, you need to have reneters insurance if only to cover all the funds you've out into tools and supplies. Most renter's insurance policies are about $50 a month at the most expensive rates.

2. You need to decide what small supplies/tools you can take along with you to fill the anxious hours (which can turn into days, weeks,) while you wait to see what has happened to your home.Trust me, you will need something small to do to keep yourself occupied. Hopefully you wont need it.I recommend knitting or crotcheting or needlework like sewing leather for the car or hotel.

3. Take along any items you have listed on etsy or take your recent sales and mail them from your evacuation place, not your evacuation city. We lost millions and millions of bits of mail here in Katrina.

4. What you cant take, document. We have been taking photographs of all of our art work and collections and have been posting them to private files on flicker just in case of another freak storm. Insurance cannot pay you the full value if you dont have documentation and the best form is a photograph. If you have receipts those need to be taken with you as well.You cant take everything with you, obviously, so just take a picture and post them to a free shareware site so you know they are safe. You can also back this up by emailing some pics to yourself.

5. Take your most precious big tool or two if you can fit them in the car. We had to sneak back into the city to get our tools of the trade so we could work (under the cities' mandatory evacuation policy we could just look and grab stuff and then had to go). We werent sure about our jobs or employment and needed to make sure we could make money elsewhere. I ended up opening a shop in an antique mall selling my repurposed wares and Heather took carpentry jobs in the area. This also kept us less stressed out as we had something else to focus on. plus we ended up doing pretty well (it didnt hurt that Lucky magazine featured our antique mall just a short time later).

6. Get a copy of your fellow artists' emails and contact numbers just in case. After Katrina we had a few networks of our fellow crafters to comiserate with and hear about art opportunties elsewhere. This helped us feel like we could pick up and move some place if we had to and still have our creative lives somewhat intact.

I hope you never have to use these tips, but just in case, you'll feel less anxious.... One last tip- a certain source, we'll call her deep thrift, has recommended viewing as a source that civilian governments use to make decisions about evacuations and potential weather events. Be informed about your area in advance so you can make the best decisions for you, your family and your art business.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kansas City Salvation Army Family Stores

It was with great glee when I came across this the Salvation Army Family Store in the Kansas City Area.
First of all they were having a half price sale at night. AT NIGHT. who does that any more, you know, makes it easy for working folks to thrift? Well I went inside and fell in love right away and that's just how it easy it was.
This store continues to make the shopping worth its while for her customers. The racks are double stacked, so they can fit the maximum amount of fashions in.

As I glanced around the premises before zeroing in for the kill there was an ***urban hipster alert*** The urban hipster is a breed that lets you know there is probably some choice loot to be had. This guy checked out next to me with a mile high stack of vinyl- Pavement, Led Zeppelin and the like. He kept looking over his shoulder the whole time we were there. He was the only hipster I saw- the disheveled Vans were a sure giveaway- so just had to document. He got at least 30 albums for 11 bucks s maybe he was just nervous due to his getting over!

At any rate, this lovely suitcase was in perfect condition and exactly what was on my list.

This lovely checkout lady couldn't find a price tag and had the manager give me a good price.

it was a wonderful time- the store was packed full of great stuff. Definitely a THREE truck shop!
6219 Johnson Dr
Mission, KS 66202
(913) 384-3321

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Shawnee Goodwill In Kansas City Area- bring two trucks!

Upon approach, the Goodwill at Shawnee was very promising. Perhaps it was the mid century modern table and chairs with Goodwill Blue matching tabletop that drew me in. Whatever it was, it worked. As you come in the door, the store has checkout(s!) to the left and furniture and to the right, a small boutique that has nicer clothes,books and paintings.At first it was a painful flashback tot he Salvation Army on Chef Menteur Highway that flooded(and the wonderful vintage Chanel jacket in perfect condition I found there for 5 dollars), but I digress.
The "boutique" collection wasnt anything to write home about, but what about the wall of leatha? The leather, much of it vintage, in every shape, texture and hue.And it was organized and wonderfully priced. Time to get the truck!
This shop had quite a few vintage items all mixed in with newer, better quality stuff perfect for reconstruction, altering or whatever you could dream up.
This is a two truck store, for the cute vintage furniture and wonderful leatha.

(913) 631-3955....6220 Nieman Rd....Shawnee, KS 66203

Friday, August 1, 2008

Goodwill Thrift Store 8929 Wornall

After leaving the Goodwill Superstore on 135th, I headed backdown 435 & 69 to Kansas City proper and the thrift store highway known as Wornall, 89th & Wornall are the cross streets.

This brightly lit store is a bit smaller than the others in the area, but had good quality newer clothes, tons of vintage shoes, and quite a bit of soft vintage leather.

It was great to spot this old sewing machine that worked great and was very clean.
Also picked up this great bag for my collection. have a lot of brown,cream and black going on for fall so this will be perfect. This store earns One Truck for vintage leather & accessories but is very picked over in terms of good vintage or art supplies.

Goodwill Thrift Store 8929 Wornall, across from Smokestack Barbeque (sweet sauce + great burnt ends)in Kansas City,MO =