Our first ever Hilltown Open Studio Tour was a huge success! So grateful for everyone involved, I learned so much leading up to the event about all the talent surrounding us here by taking on the job of promoting the tour on instagram and facebook. My husband created our eye-catching logo, and we spread the word far and wide.People really responded, it seemed like all of the participating artists received more visitors than expected for a first-year event. Even with some terrible weather predictions, we had a steady flow on both days. Having a separate studio for my stained glass cutting, it was a bit complicated as I do the bulk of the creating within our home, up in the balcony overlooking the living room. So we offered a tour of both to anyone interested, my husband David helped so much as I couldn't be in two places at once. Grady, our sweet rescue floof also helped with breaking the ice, it can be difficult as a shy person when talking to kind neighbors and strangers about what you do, where you do it and why all day! But it was so very rewarding, and we met so many fantastic new friends that we hope to see again soon.
Before the event, David built some much needed stairs to the entryway of the Stained Glass Studio so that no one would fall! I spent the week transforming my normally messy workspace into a mini gallery/shop and had displays of my older costume crowns, the latest Amulet collection, and metal clay work from the Snow Farm class I took last year. I also displayed a few photo postcards of life at Frog Hollow for sale, a fun new side project.
I was so worried about a family of Eastern Phoebes that were nesting on one of the building's light fixtures, but mom continued to feed babies in between folks walking by and all was well. Yay! So much of Nature can be disrupted by humans, I'm so glad they can work around us sometimes.
Thankfully our tiny orange friends, (eft stage Eastern Newts) seemed to stay out of the way, though normally on rainy days they are just about everywhere underfoot! I had imagined myself frantically running up and down the driveway moving them between each visiting car, but somehow they all kept safe under the leaves deep in the forest. Whew! Aren't they cute?
We had so many great conversations and experiences, already looking forward to next year. Only wish I had taken more photos when people where around, but was just too busy and focused on having those wonderful conversations to think of it. Now all of us at the Hilltown Arts Alliance are trying to figure out a way that we can visit each other's studios, as we were all unable to take the tour and wished to see what everyone else experienced over the weekend. Hopefully we can figure something out!
Thanks so much to everyone who came up to the"hidden hills", persevered down our unfamiliar dirt roads even when gps sent you elsewhere! (Working on more detailed and informational maps & directions for next year.) We loved meeting you and showing you around our little corner of the Hilltowns, around our beloved Frog Hollow.
Special thanks to the lovely Esther M. for purchasing the Amber Bee Stained Glass Amulet Necklace, was able to donate 50% of the sale to the Western MA Pollinator Network, as part of the #givingback collection.
(Look out for a new collection appearing here in July.)