Thursday, December 30, 2010

OUT with the OLD in with the NEW (year and other stuff)

So here it is the end of the year and WHAT we only made one video this year? How did that happen? We started last year with every intention of creating one a month for a total of twelve. That makes us eleven videos short! Oh well you know the saying: "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". ( I think the road to heaven is paved with LOVE but that's just my opinion.) Maybe next year the videos will take precedence over the blog - just a thought not a promise. In case you missed it here is our one and only Mesquite Furniture Making Video - to date:
So WHAT have we been working on?  Well unfortunately not a whole lot of Mesquite Furniture work going on at this time. The Dancing Trees took a huge amount of time and energy and most of our large mesquite wood inventory.  We are waiting on usable mesquite wood (slabbed and dried) to begin the chapel benches that go alongside the Dancing Trees. Lou has been tied up ripping out the tub in my parent's bathroom replacing it with a walk in shower and widening the doorways to make it all wheelchair accessible. Out with the OLD bathroom and in with the NEW.  Lou Quallenberg is mighty handy to have around - but seriously what a true waste of talent!

Taking care of an injured and aging parent has taken its toll in both time and energy from both of us. Not only do we worry over MeMaw's health and care we also have to make sure PaPaw does not over do it while looking after her.  We both look forward to the NEW year in hopes that MeMaw's healing means out with the OLD cast, in with the NEW improved, stronger ankle and overall physical MeMaw in general. A big THANK YOU from the Walker, Quallenberg and Martin families goes out to Llano Nursing and Rehabilitation, Physical Therapist Linda Walling, Occupational Therapist Luis Sirvent and all of the caregivers that took such good care of her.  We only have two skilled nursing facilities in Llano, Texas and only one that provides the much needed services of rehabilitation.

Any day now the two Jackson & Sister Tables will be headed OUT on their journey to the UK where they will make their debut in London.  We are proud to have a few NEW representatives for our work. The lovely and talented Amie Prest and her hard working husband Joe Prest the owners of Hill Country Mesquite will be introducing Lou Quallenberg's Mesquite Art Furniture to the UK and Europe. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with the Prests. Their passion for Mesquite combined with their positive energy is a sight to behold. The fine folks at Hill Country Mesquite will also be promoting Mesquite, Mesquite Products as well as the fine works of Shangri-la Woodworks and Texas Mesquite Co.  We wish them super success as they start this new venture.

Because we had made the decision to partner with Hill Country Mesquite and get our work shown on the London worldwide stage it was an easy decision to enter the British Airways Face of Opportunity Contest with a chance to win a trip to NYC / London and on to any destination that British Airways flys.

First let me say that we may not have found out about the British Airways Contest if it had not been for Thea Marx of Contemporary Western Design mentioning it on her facebook page. Her promotion of all things contemporary and western is amazing.  This woman is a one horse promoting machine!!! We thought for sure she would be one of the finalists for the TEN ticket prize British Airways is giving away. Check out her video here: youtube

So we entered the essay contest on a whim  thinking wouldn't it be nice to go and see Lou's pieces in London or wherever they end up overseas. Well it is about that time that MeMaw ended up in the hospital and voting deadline was a few short days away.  We kinda lost track of what was going on then Amie Prest emailed us to tell us the Texas Hill Country Fans on facebook had taken up the cause. They voted their hearts out daily (and so did most of our friends) and because of that we WON!!

Our Winning Essay:

Lou Quallenberg's Texas Mesquite Art: London DEBUT

My business tip is to follow your passion. If you are doing your own THING and starting up a business, it is guaranteed that you are going to be working harder and longer than the competition and all of your 9 to5 friends. This means you better be doing that one THING that makes your heart sing!
My THING is creating art furniture from one of the most amazing woods I have ever seen: Texas Mesquite. Much like me- this very hard, craggly, gnarly wood is full of character, holes and color variations created from the stressful conditions that the tree survives and thrives in. The wood has a rich color range that flows from golden blonde to a rich, deep, velvet red and so many stunning combinations in between. No two pieces are ever the same and I try to use that uniqueness to my advantage. My one of a kind sculpted designs are created and inspired by each individual piece of wood as I attempt to honor the incredible life that the tree lived.
My company Lou Quallenberg Studios in Llano, Texas was recently contacted by Hill Country Mesquite in Nottinghamshire, England. Their THING is to market mesquite and mesquite products in the UK. The company and I have reached an agreement to export some of my pieces to England to be part of their showcase of mesquite art pieces at the end of this year and early part of next year. I would like to travel to London to help promote this incredible wood and my furniture art to an audience of Art Galleries, Home and Garden Magazines, and prospective clients that are currently being courted by Hill Country Mesquite. I am very excited to have my work put onto the world stage with London as the launch pad and it would be so incredible to actually be on location for it‘s debut.
While I’m in the UK I would like to pay a visit to master craftsman, furniture maker and teacher David Savage at the Rowden farm Workshops in Devon. It would be a dream come true to take a class, but at the very least I would like to see the shop, gain a few woodworking tips, be inspired and perhaps discuss the merits of mesquite wood.
I would feel honored to attend any business forums or seminars that British Airways puts together for small business. So I’m asking you to please help me play a bigger role on the world business stage and help me grow my business into a lasting legacy, so I can just keep doing my THING.

Due to a conflict in schedules Cheryl Quallenberg will be making the trip and attending the conferences representing Lou Quallenberg Studios in place of the busy Lou Quallenberg and you can be sure she will be posting about it on the blog hopefully with a few pictures and great stories. Just stay tuned.

Don't forget if you are not in London you can see Lou's work Stateside at these two fine Galleries both NEW representatives this year:
Riverbend Fine Art
710 1st Street
Marble Falls, TX 78654
Circle on the Square
103 east main
llano,texas 78643
and you can always visit us online 
or stop by the shop and we can show you what we have going on 
just call first to be sure we are around and not off flying around the world.

While we were so very sad with the sudden OUT going of life and light from our sweet Louie this year, we are so very happy with our NEW puppy Barney. 

He turns a year old in January and he has gone from 95 lbs to 150 lbs in the small amount of time we have had him. He literally grows before our eyes some days. Every pound he adds somehow expands our hearts more than we ever thought possible.  He has brought his delightful lumbering puppy bounce and his wavy walk into our lives and while he slobbers more than Louie ever did, it is still so much less than our Jake who slobbered all over our hearts and home when he was alive.

A word of Congratulations goes out to Llano, Texas for making True West Magazine's List of Top Ten True Western Towns. While we helped do the work  of putting the application together it was the charm of Llano's History, Llano's Historic Courthouse and Red Top Jail and the hard work of MANY that create and put on the events that evoke the Western Spirit of this great little town. We are so happy to be a part of this great small town. Thank you Llano, Texas!!!
Cheryl & Lou Quallenberg with Mr. Big Bucks

 Don't forget that the auction for the Trail of the Deer Community Art Project has begun. Put your bucks down for Big Bucks or one of his beautiful herd mates!!! The money goes to create more deer for the Trail of the Deer and to promote Art in Llano, Texas.

It's been an amazing and blessed year for us with we made a Video,  have not one but two NEW Galleries representing us, painted a deer for Trail of the Deer, created Dancing Trees,  made the London Connection, Won the Rikon Mini Lathe via a Client, Won Best Texas Style Award (3 years in a row), Won British Airways Face of Opportunity Award, helped Llano make the True West Top Ten and received a GIANT Puppy,  we truly have so much to be thankful for and WE ARE!!  So OUT with the OLD year and in with the NEW Year.  With the amazing way the past year went I doubt we can even start to imagine the possibilities of the NEW YEAR.....