My 2011 Gratitude List - Thank You

I'm expecting a quiet Thanksgiving. My very large family has scattered all over the country and I'm left at home with my vegetarian husband and other vegetarian friends. I went out and bought a turkey anyway and I'll fix it like my mother did and give thanks for all those years when my three brothers, two sisters and myself gathered with our spouses and little kids around the family table in Fort Wayne, IN, and eat it all myself with Jacki.

Life brings so many changes and this year's holidays represent big changes. But you've got to know that I have many things to be grateful for.

I'm grateful for this community.

How much fun it is to get up in the morning and to meet you here, stay in touch with old friends and make new ones. I know you like it here also. I am so grateful to meet you and appreciate your participation here. I am grateful for the opportunity that has enabled me to continue being part of the art fair business.

I'm grateful for the Internet.

Where would I be without it? Yes, greeting at Home Depot and learning the intricacies of the paint mixing machine.  Thanks for providing this unbelievable environment in which we can create value, build audiences, make friends out of strangers, laugh at funny pictures of cats, and construct things that have never been imagined before. What a rush.

I'm grateful to you

Thank you so much for reading, for commenting, for sharing the posts, for your interest and support and intelligent criticism, for keeping us honest, for giving a damn about doing great work. You are magnificent, and everyone here is supremely grateful for your time and attention.

I'm grateful for the team that helps me keep my websites running

Jacki Bilsborrow who keeps updated and also drops in here at AFI regularly to visit you; Sabrina Aughenbaugh who has become my right hand at developing our email newsletters; Heather Hansen (great tech skills) who is running Grateful to Larry Berman for all his vetting of members coming to this site and who delivers detailed tech advice to all who ask.

I am grateful to particular individuals who have been valued partners at AFI

Nels Johnson, Barry Bernstein, Jim Parker, Geoff Coe, Geri Wegner, Ruth Finkenbiner, Munks, Holly Olinger, Carla Fox, Linda Shields, Annette Piper, Linda Anderson, Caroline Kwas, Karole Bowlds, Chris Hoyt, Alison Thomas, Kathy Oda, Michelle Wermuth, Diane Wright and so many others. Please nudge me to include you!

I'm grateful to all the art fair organizers

I never thought these websites would turn into a business but because of your support I've been able to earn a living while bringing artists and art news together for your shows. I thank those of you who have participated on this site including Cindy Lerick, Sara Shambarger, Jon Witz, Richard Sullivan, Stephen King.

I'm grateful to my advertisers

Michael DiGiovanni, Patrick Sullivan, Mark Rogers, Chris Ritke, Andrew Wollman, Bevin McGuire, Luke Block for their reliable support

I'm grateful for my family

Brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren who make my life worth living and to my husband, Norm Darwish,  who totally understands what I am doing and says, "go do it!" Thanks to Scott who built my sites and said, "you can do it, Mom."

I'm grateful to my aerobics class

You tolerate me as the oldest person in the group and inspire me to keep going.

How about you?

I want to know what you're grateful for. Whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving or not, it feels great to take a minute and think about what's made your life better this year. Let us know about it in a comment below.

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  • Dear Pat,

    Those are tortuous hours, my dear! 12 hour days for TEN DAYS IN A ROW!!! That's not very healthy for anyone.

    Do you have a partner to lean on? Or some good friends or family? Don't let silly pride get in the way of asking for help. Boy, listen to me! Here I am sulking in my bed because I am so exhausted getting ready for Amdur Production's "The Inside Show." My hubbie is carrying on with as much energy as I have on good days. But I've reached my "wall" and have to save myself for the event.

    I'm a lucky person. Hope you are too. Keep in touch and let's hope people have their purses open for your show! LOL

  • I heard that it is tough.  The people that run that show came by my booth in Georgetown last month, and introduced themselves and gave me a ticket.  The producer, Bruce Willenzik gave me his card, (I am not sure of her name, it may have been his partner / wife), and told me he would like to see me in the show, but said I was not ready quite yet, maybe next year.  I was not quite sure what he meant, but when I talked to another artist who does the show, he said it is most likely because I don't have the inventory or experience for such a long show (I just managed to fill my booth completely last month with work).  Once I realized it was such a long show, I understand exactly what he meant!  I will be there to check it out for myself on the 17th, so I will stop by and say hi.  Good Luck, and hope your energy and sales are good!

  • Hi Patricia, I wish you strength for  your next show. 

    Is it in Austin by any chance?

  • Pat,

    I tested DNA positive for Lupus two years ago. Shocked both my doctor and me as I have only a few of the symptoms. If you ever want to talk, send me a message...we are friends. There is a Lupus group that helps support with practical daily living tips.

    I'll tell you it's harder to make jewelry when you have RA than LA.

    Here's my best advice Pat: never let yourself THINK of beng sick and never let people call you sick. It's a negative word. This is just the way Pat Hecker's body is meant to behave and she will learn to work around it.



  • I have lots to be thankful for.  Connie thanks for hiring me back in 1995 when I really needed some extra money as boy #1 was heading off to college.  We are heading into our 17th year!!  Boy, that is hard to believe.  I have had so much fun working for you and Norm, it has hardly seemed like work.  You opened a whole new world of art to me.  I am ready for 17 more years, how about you?

    Jacki B

  • I am grateful for each and every artist that has entered my life during the past 11 years that I have been helping my friend. I am grateful for this site. I enjoy reading about the different shows/ events in each of your lives. I sat alone on Thanksgiving day, and thought about my friend and her mom setting  up at a show. I could not go for I just had surgery a couple of weeks ago. My family that lives in Calif. I sent my prayers to everyone including the men and women who are serving our country.  Thanks to each and everyone of you for being a part of my life..

  • How did I leave Don Crozier off my list? Don found me and this site's predecessor ( before I even had this site, offered good writing and good advice. Many thanks Don.

  • This year I'm grateful that when we sat down for our Thanksgiving feast that my Dad was still there after having a heart attack a little more than a month ago! 

    I'm also grateful that for the first time in 5 years we do not have a show on this weekend and I have a 5 day weekend from the Corporate job, just realized it's the first time I've had 5 days at home without an art show or family visit in over 6 years so I'm very thankful for a little "downtime".

  • I'm grateful for this community, of course, and for the many artists, "lurkers"  and veterans alike, who come up to me at shows and tell me they enjoy my show review blogs.  I'm grateful for the show promoters, every one of whom has supported me in ways big and small.  I'm grateful for my brothers Rob and Alan, whose calls "to see how the shows went" are a regular feature when I'm homeward bound; to Alan and his wife Lilibet, who put me and my gear up for several weeks up North this summer; for my niece Audrey, who helped me set up and tear down the tent when I first started, and after three months could recite my stories about each photograph as well as I could; for, which always helps me keep the lodging expenses down and especially for the newbies who approach me at nearly every show and remind me that I took a few minutes to chat with them when they were visiting a show a year or two earlier.  They always thank me for helping them, and their appreciation puts a smile on my face no matter how the day has been going. 

  • Dear Connie,

    YOU were my FIRST friend on AFI. I
    have come to realize what a decent, intelligent, forbearing, witty and unique
    person cares for all of us daily with great charisma and chutzpah!

    So, now I am shouting out my
    gratitude for you, Connie. For all the long hours of work, the tears of
    frustration and laughter, the bustle and sweat, the endless giving that makes Art
    Fair Insiders give US a wonderful world for so many things. Kudos! Bravo! Thank
    YOU, Connie Mettler!

    I found AFI on my first web search for information about
    Art Fairs a few years ago. Next weekend, I will be one of forty artists juried to show at “The Inside Show” at the Highland Park Country Club (Amdur Productions Inc.) You all helped me
    understand rigid rules and proper procedures, new nomenclature and nuances, the
    wisdom of working a market…gosh, it goes on and on and on! Thanks Art Fair

    I owe so much of my knowledge to one person who has been my mentor. I am grateful to Larry Berman for everything. Thank you, sincerely. I need to thank Amy A. for buying and believing in green.
    I know I will leave a good friend out ( I’m sorry) but thanks to “THE Fox”, Ann
    Marie, Collin, Sandy Schimmel, Geoff, Barb B(keep getting better), Annette, Jim
    P, Jim K, Phil, S(I know your first name) Babcock, Lexi Erickson, Intuitive
    John, Julie, Steph, Oscar III, Nels, Barry B. , Pat H, Susan G-C, Michael S,
    Barb Mc, Geri, Dave, Diane, Lynn K, Jeni, Jane D, Amy F, Christine, Kathleen, Geri,
    Lydia, Lynda, Joy H, Karen C, Diane F, Jacs Webster, Sheree, Donna S and you,
    my next good friend.



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