Sunday, May 23, 2010


some things are so obvious it's silly to point them out. but let me be silly anyway

my degree is not in business /it's in mass communications, remember.

i'm a writer, an artist, a dreamer, and as a result i put my attention on creating and 'making a profit'

well, it has greatly eluded me; actually, literally, and practically speaking.

let me take that back. -because, from my point of view, i have actually profited a great deal from each and every creative adventure i've ever been a part of

just not financially.

so let me share here my recent prayers:

"dear Jesus

i've done it again, haven't i. you know, i know, and i keep messing this up somehow. please help."

because i definitely didn't approach our 'diapers to diapers' fundraiser with a business mind.

rather it went something like this:

me to monica: "how 'bout we say .... i don't know... $3 at the door"

monica to me: "sounds good"

and good it was, so we included that on our postcards. [postcards cost... /i forget.. i think it was $100 for the first batch. and monica paid for those. and then we ordered more, and that was $61, and arzo from vogue paid for those]

cost to print portraits and panoramics were covered by anonymous sponsor, and not sure the total value; but let me round it to... 20 11x14's, several panoramics... so; a lot.

and skipping a longer story here, to point out, that we came up with the $3 per person, prior to having any knowledge whatsoever about what it would cost to frame all the portraits/panoramics for the exhibit


turns out to frame the 11x14s would cost about $15 each, $20 something for the 10x30 panoramics -and so we borrow money (thank you you know who!) -cuz we have none of our own, to pay what totaled to $416.00 for all the frames with a promise to reimburse immediately after the event.

did you catch that? four hundred and sixteen dollars.

i can no longer sleep.

gets worse, because we thought complete frame meant, well, complete frame. as in, the frame, the glass, the hardware and the matt board.

not so.

actually, complete frame meant: frame, glass, hardware. -no matt board. that would be extra.

i look at monica. monica looks at me. all i can do is shake my head no, no, no back n' forth. we cannot spend one more penny,

not one more. we're not even going to be able to break even. we are sinking into debt for a fund-raiser

RAISER! not a fund-go-into-DEBTER!

so we agree to creatively improvise the matt board by using -what? poster-board, painted cardboard boxes, a bunch of 8x11 card stock papers glued together; whatever it takes -but we CANNOT write another check!

and God showed us some mercy here, by inspiring our frame vendor to throw in some matting. "Thank You Jesus!"

so here is finally when i realize that maybe i should get out a calculator and figure out how many people will need to come to our exhibit in order for it to serve as an actual fund-raiser..

-k- so... $416, divided by $3 at the door =

on my knees in prayer, that what it equals. /and did you notice how i didn't even factor in cost of postcards. those went immediately under the donated category.

so this is write about when monica and i start thinkin' up things like... $5 drink tickets, and $5 raffle tickets

but all of our efforts to have wine donated were unsuccessful, -so God showed mercy here again, by inspiring a friend of monica's to provide wine at a great discount

keep in mind we have no idea how many people will actually show up -so using best guess

we now spend $70 on wine.

i, by the way, am not even keeping track of the little expenditures taking place... string for hanging pictures, adhesives, art supplies, decorations, etc. -put those under the donated category also

and every night as the exhibit draws near, i'm calculating how much each person will need to spend in order for us just to break even

if at least 12 people show...

-k- ...if 25 people show...

maybe 40 people...

and i think i figured out that we would need about

a ton of people to show up and be very generous, and very thirsty...

in order to break even.

cannot go one more word forward without mentioning the donated time, effort, creative energy, talent of our musicians, the band 256 , who showed up at 4:30 to set and up, and then provided great live music from 6:30-9

and the gourmet appetizers donated by Chef Paul... oh my good God! -we are not talking about salame n' cheese thrown on a platter here... we are talking -very gourmet! and an amazing variety! the most remarkable spread my eyes have seen - and enough for a hundred people

if we were paying the band or Chef Paul, there is no way this would have ended up a fund-raiser.

as it stood, we considered our cost, the $416 for the frames, and the $70 for the wine. -everything else donated.

so i

and monica

have both been in prayer that we could actually provide a check to the tri valley haven.

that we actually would have some proceeds

and PRAISE GOD! because people started showing up early...

early as 6, (our event scheduled for 6:30) people started coming in.. and i need to thank here, my daughter and her friend amaya for helping collect $ from our guests for the first hour

and for the whole first hour, people kept coming in...

one after another... individuals, families, friends...

such an awesome show of support from everyone! -and we provided a receipt to each person, and i have to tell you here that we went through our entire receipt book! -and ran out!

$3 here,

$9 there,

$5 here,

$12 there...

and write about 7:30, i thought... i thought

i think we might break even!

Dear Jesus... keep 'em coming...

and i was so grateful to see every friend, every family member, every neighbor,

and truth is i couldn't visit with anyone at length, because there was so much to manage at the door

but seemed like everyone was enjoying themselves, and several people went out of their way to compliment monica's photography, and share how moved they were with barbara's poem, and i enjoyed some fun responses to my mixed~media w/pantyhose art.. -and people were enjoying the live music, and raved about Chef Pauls appetizers

and i thanked God three times for monica's -cousin?- who was collecting tickets and pouring the wine

and i could, and did, take a moment somewhere in there to just look and smile

smile at the show of support

smile at the enormous generosity of everyone who contributed, helped

smile at the energy in the room

smile at our completely used up to the last page receipt book

smile at arzo and her mom , noria..

and i think around 8:15, the majority of everyone who was going to come was there...

many had come and gone; and late as 8:30 friends were still stopping by

and around 9:15 or so -when the event was officially over, monica and i

with some nervousness and anticipation

dared to count the money in the cash drawer.

"drink tickets brought in $195!" -she told me. -and she went through counting the 20's, then the 10's, then the 5's, then the 1's

when she passed up $500 i said, "hallelujah!"

and we had arzo double-check us,

and wish i could say here, we brought in $1000! -but we didn't.

we brought in $658.00

and for some people, that might not equal much excitement. but for me!

for me, i'm like "$658.00!! Thank You Jesus!!"

and monica took the $70 for the wine.

and i will repay our loan-angel the $416 for the frames

the rest will go under donated

and we will provide a check to the Tri Valley Haven for

wait. let me go get my calculator...


and i'm certain monica can call her very first photography exhibit a huge success

and i feel like...

exhausted mostly...

but hopeful. -very hopeful.

i just know i can turn this corner, climb this mountain, learn from this a lesson or two and

next time...


and darn it if i didn't leave my camera at vogue. more pix to come, the one above from monica's facebook friend

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Vogue Hair Studio
5410-4 Sunol Blvd -Raley's Shopping Center, Pleasanton
Live Music by the band, 256 ~ Gourmet appetizers by Chef Paul
$3 at the door. Proceeds benefit the Tri Valley Haven
Creative Director: Sandra Kay
Featured Photographer: Monica Dawn of Red Carpet Studio's