On Monday, the on line registration opened up for the annual SALI Convention. I signed up for 3 classes: Faux Marquetry with Modellos, taught by Melanie Royals; 21st Century Print Room; and New Stencil Techniques, both taught by Helen Morris. I'm excited about going to this convention, since the last one I attended was 2 years ago in Chicago. I'm eager to learn some new techniques and add some new samples to my portfolio. I'm sad to learn that many, many of my decorative painting pals will not be attending convention this year due to our uncertain economy. It's scary to hear one after another tell me their business is suffering and they just cannot justify the expense this year. I can relate, and had to really give this convention experience a lot of thought. I feel the classes I've signed up for will benefit my business and because the convention is on the east coast this year (Charleston, SC), travel expenses are less for me. At all Sali Conventions, several of us always share a room to keep that cost down. I'm hoping, in the end, enough of my painting pals do go, so we can still keep this as an option. The convention is not until July, so some are waiting a bit to make the decision. For more information about the SALI convention visit: http://www.sali.org
While work has been steady for me so far this year, work that I typically get every year from local builders of the McMansions is non-existent. The bulk of my work is coming from commercial sites and from homeowners who are renovating. I have not been in a newly constructed house in well over a year, now that I think of it. Often I see a big increase in business once tax refunds start arriving. With gas prices rising daily, grocery costs soaring, and every bill we open increasing, it leaves all of us with fewer and fewer dollars for necessities, never mind luxuries like decorative painting.