Monday, July 2, 2012

God Bless America

I enjoy making patriotic pieces.  It all began back in the fall of 2001.

Of course, we all remember that fateful day, September 11, when terrorists struck us on our own land. No one will ever forget that day.  Or what they were doing that morning.  I was knee-deep in preparing for my very busy upcoming craft show season.  But for a while, time stood still. 

After several hours, I had to pull myself away from the tragedy unfolding on TV.  I had to get back to work.  It wasn't out of disrespect for what had happened, but more of a self-preservation thing.  I just couldn't watch anymore.  It was far too heartbreaking.  I had to move forward. 

At the time I was selling my work at a local craft boutique, not far from my home.  By Friday of that week, I had a call from the owner, asking if I had any patriotic pins, or anything else patriotic that I could bring in.  She said the requests were non-stop.  People wanted to show their support for our grieving nation.  (This is also a big military area, with Offut Air Force Base just down the road.)  So I rummaged through my inventory and found a dozen or so flag pins, much like the ones shown here.  I grabbed a few other patriotic things I had left over from July and took them in. 

Two days later, I got another call.  Everything I had taken in was gone.  When could I bring in some more?  So began a cycle for the season.  Every two or three days, I needed to restock the store. 

While many crafters say they saw a slump in sales that fall, I did not.  I was working long hours every day, mostly creating things in red, white and blue.  Normally, this is a one woman operation.  Anything that must be done in this business, I do myself. Well, that year, there was no keeping up on my own.  I had to enlist some help, so I called on my niece. 

As a college student, she was always eager to make a few extra bucks.  I handed over the busy work to her.  She glued jewelry findings on pins and earrings.  She put the jewelry on cards for display.  She priced everything I made.  She packed boxes of inventory.  She even carried things over to the craft shop and filled my booth for me.  She was a Godsend that year.  I don't know how I would have survived without her. 

My patriotic work extended beyond flag pins and star earrings. I made Christmas ornaments and figurines as well.  One of my more popular miniature figurines was this adorable little Angel:

She is still one of my favorite patriotic pieces. 

God Bless America!

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