Somewhere Over the River…

Do you live near a scene from nature that you dream to capture? Maybe you have taken great digital photos of it on your last vacation, or just drive by it every day to and from work. Scenes from nature give a lot of us feelings of peace and calmness.  For this piece, we got a photo of our local river and our artist made her interpretation. We are including a picture of the before & after framing of the piece as well, to show how a frame can define an art piece. We can choose the frame or you can. Along with the personalization that paint touches can provide, they can also be used to compliment a special frame that you might have that has been waiting for the right piece.





Thank You for Busy Season

We all have our own version of the busy day: The 2 parents moving as a well oiled machine to get everyone up and ready for the day, get the kids onto the bus and baby off to daycare and themselves off to work. The service workers who start their days before the sun, and don’t end them until long after the sun has gone to bed, dealing with all busy people in their own right as customers.

At Sundance Engravers, though, our version of this is known around the studio as “Busy Season.”  From about the mid point of April until the 4th of July our predominantly one-woman show goes into 5th gear and our artist loves every minute of designing, production & presentation of each piece. We are thankful to have customers throughout the whole year, but as school winds down and summer gears up, our shop gets especially busy with graduation gifts, going away presents and end of the fiscal yr spending for awards & plaques.

With this in mind then, the question is, How does one fit life into a jammed-packed schedule? It is our desire and in fact, policy, that we don’t say “No”. If you need 3 framed pieces for your awards dinner next Friday we say “okay”. And if you need 4 mini boxes as thank you gifts for your child’s teachers, tomorrow morning, we say “okay”! When our artist closed the in-town store location and opted for a home studio, it was suddenly easier to get up at 3:30a.m. to work on the big orders. But believe me, be it sleep or lack thereof,  we have never minded the business, and the busyness as well.

So, how do we fit life in, when we’ve scheduled every waking hour and then some?  The answer is, with very patient and understanding customers, friends, spouse, children, grandchildren, and furry-family.  It would have been impossible to get through this year’s busy season without your help, because this year in the midst of it all, we dealt with the loss of our dear 11yr old puppy. Most definitely, it was the fact that there was a lot of art and work to do, and people counting on us that  kept us going.

Each job takes time to design, build, run, antique, buff, paint touches, seal, dry, package, ship or deliver and while we have definitely honed the craft to make the most unique & attractive piece we can in whatever time frame you give us, it is sometimes easy to forget that life will be persistent in getting your attention if you are too busy.

Have you had a week or more that by the end of it you are juggling so many things that you hit a moment where you feel like you’ve probably let down every single person you’ve bumped into that day? Or that every thing you’re rushing to put together is taking 4x longer than normal and have had to redo something that you barely found time to do once, let alone again.  There are days like that around here. But thankfully, there are also days when you get a delivery of a lovely plant from an office full of dedicated customers who know you well enough to know the past month was hard. And normal Mondays  when you open the email to find a thank-you from a delighted recipient of a gift box. We will gladly take the stressful days for the gem of the regular days! Thank you again for this “Busy Season” !

day begins

day begins

Architecture as Inspiration

In previous posts we have discussed some ways the artist can personalize your gift or piece of art. Using architecture as a means of personalization can be a fun and unexpected way to surprise someone. Maybe it is your exciting office building facade as a retirement gift. Or possibly, representation of your family home that Dad built, presented to Mom&Dad on their 50th wedding anniversary.  The first picture below is the front of the Cochise County Courthouse and their impressive front doors.

actual courthouse doors



To stand in front of them is something else. As a gift for a retiring judge, we made our line drawing then a brass embossing of them as a framed piece with black paint accents. While the first piece we did was framed, the county clerks have since ordered our depiction as keepsake boxes, smaller framed versions and even requested permission to make them into their Christmas cards one year, for which we felt very honored. This is a picture of our piece.

courthouse doors as keepsake box