Mayfair Festival of the Arts

Best Sellers:
Soap: Rejuvenation
Bath Salts: Peppermint Foot Soak & Wisdom
Bath Fizzys: Rejuvenation
Lotion Bars: Bug Off!
Lip Balm: Coconut-Lemongrass

This was my first year at Mayfair Festival of the Arts and it is a wonderful show. Not only were sales brisk, but I got to see some old friends, and make some new ones.

Thursday was slow sales wise, which I expected. But set up was on Wednesday, so it was a breeze to just come into the booth and set up inventory on the displays. The weather wasn't too bad, a little cold for me, but nothing that would deter a crowd. I traded some soap for a great hand beaded necklace. I wish I remembered to pick up her card….

Friday was much nicer out, sales were still lower than I had hoped, but I at least made my expenses back, so even if I didn't make one more sale for the next three days, at least I wouldn't be loosing money.

Saturday was beautiful, until the rain. I had worn shorts and my regular shoes (instead of my rainy day shoes) so of course it was going to rain. C brought over sweat pants later in the day so I warmed up. During the rain storm a tiny little dragonfly came in and landed on one of the displays. I thought it had had a tiny little heart attack. So when I went to brush him off the display, I was amazed when he just flew way, happy to have had the rest I guess!

Sunday: Sales were brisk and steady all day. Now this is what I was hoping for. With sales exceeding expectations, I was happy and cheerful, but too busy to do any of the homework that I have piling up. I did have time to get to know my neighbors better and they are wonderful people. By the end of the show we went home with a new picture for dad and a few new pots as well. You can see the photos at Alex Pietersen(#93007). We got a fountain so the girls (cats) could drink out of it. We had gotten them a plastic water fountain some time ago, but since in the new house it needs to go in the dining room, we wanted something that looked a little spiffier. Unfortunately, JV doesn't have a web site of her work.

Monday: Slow again, but not too bad. Mostly because of the holiday, most people are home cooking out, not at a festival. It was great that we could pull the cars in next to our booths and tear down was a breeze. I dubbed this day "No, I label them just to confuse you" day, as I think everyone who came in picked up something, smelled it and proclaimed "Wow, that really does smell like _____". Since I have every fragrance neatly labeled, I am always a little taken back by this remark. What should I say? "Thank you" doesn't seem right, but everything else that runs through my head seems real smart-alecky. I want to say "No, I just label them to confuse you", but I know its just my tiredness talking, and that is the completely WRONG thing to say in this situation. I just have no clue what is right. Made one more purchase, a Foo Dragon plaque for the kitchen. You can see the work at Coover Porcelain . Real great dragon and lizard and whimsical stuff.

Well, that's it. I've updated the Fragrance of the Month suggestions and have no new additions to the "bad show" list- since it was a good show. At last, at last!


Week 20 Accomplishements

Week 20

Monday: Monday was filled with getting things on the "honey do" list done. It included a new doorbell, some shelves for the bathroom (which we couldn't find anywhere and never got done), Installing a new thermostat, bringing things up into the attic and down to the basement where they belong, getting lawn stuff (like a hose holder) and leveling the washer so it stops leaking.

Tuesday: I did lots of homework and then still just some stuff around the house. Laundry, etc. C is home this week so I cooked a good dinner and we just had a quiet night.

Wednesday: I got everything ready for the craft show this weekend, and we went and set up the tent. I have a great space right at the end of the garden market section, next to a photographer and a potter. We have a nice view of the lake too. Luckily the wood carver across the way is pretty far away, as his chainsaw is really loud, but I don' t think it wil be a bother. We are also close enough to a stage to hear the music, but not so close we'll have to shout over it and have people blocking the booth watching the entertainment.

Thursday: Show day! Its started out much slower than I had anticipated. We had a big mix up with the electricity and learned that we have to have a 12-gauge extension cord (which they told us before I bought 2 new 14 gauges on Monday! Luckily C stopped at Lowes on the way home from work and bought enough for 4 of us crafters. He saves the day again! All in all I was bummed, on a multi-day festival I like to make my "booth fee" back the first night- then it feels like the rest of the festival is all profit, but I came up short tonight.

Friday: Well, sales are still slow. I think it has to do with the fact that this is the first year this show has charged to get in. Many people just aren't coming out until the bands they like are playing. I also think its mostly demographics. The main headliner band tonight is some pop teenie bopper who draws out the young girls. This just isn't the age range that buys handmade soaps. And I think this was well reflected in the fact that all I really did sell that night was lip balms!

Saturday: Now we're talkin'! Sales started strong right off the bat. I had a few large purchases by new customers and a few repeats come buy as well. Mid afternoon we had a bad rainstorm with some wicked winds, but we survived and stayed dry (but cold). After it blew past, the crowds were significantly smaller than they were before, with many people waiting till today to come back. But overall, sales were strong even with the rain, and I got to meet some cool people who just popped in to stay dry. We did decide that one of our major purchases for this year will be a new tent. We want a CraftHut or a LightDome. Those puppies never even move in a rainstorm, and don't leak a drop. Time to get a serious tent…

Sunday: Two more day of shows.. will post again later….


Roving Entertainment at the Arts Festival Posted by Hello

What exactly is a Strip Feat? This is where we had dinner on Saturday. Posted by Hello

The Mifflin-Juanita Arts Festival

Well easy to say this show was advertised as the "best kept secret in central PA" and it is certainly a secret for a reason. It was one of the shows where you know you're in trouble as soon as you realize there are only port-a-pots to service the whole show- thsi is the first sign of a poor attendance. Second, when you use the services at the end of the day,a nd theyare still clean, this servies to reinforce your belief that the show was bad.

OK, the show isn't that bad- just bad when you consider the tank+ full of gas, the tolls, and the two days of a bad hotel room bed into the mix.

Best Sellers:
Soap: Lavender
Lip Balms: Coconut-Lemongrass & Strawberry
Lotion Bars: Bug Off! (there were these little gnats everywhere!)
Fizzys: Love Potion

Oh, and I have a new pet peeve. Please stop beinging your sister, mother, and/or grandmother, to show them the bath mitts and soap savers so they can go home and knit or crochet you one later. 1) They won't remember to do it 2) Its rude to stand in the booth and count stitches and 3) No I won't give you or sell you the pattern, and 4) Yes, I know they're cute, now stop making small talk to try to cover the fact you're standing in the booth counting stitches.

No, I'm not bitter.....really.....

Next show: Mayfair.... weather preditcion: rain, rain and more rain.. It has hardly rained all month.. this means Mother Nature will catch up over the last five days of the month- the show.. just wait and see....

Week 19 Accomplishements

Still all about me…. Hopefully I'll get some soaping done next week..

Monday I got the opportunity to break into my own home. Not too easy, but not as hard as it would take for me to sleep better at night. I went out to weed and feed the lawn at 7:00 am and had to cut a window screen and crawl in, using a recycling box as a step stool, and knocking a fan out of the window to get the job done. I added a few more bruises to my already bruised (I never know where they come from) legs. Besides that I did laundry and started arranging my new soap storage room so I can actually find something when I need it.

Tuesday I finished arranging storage as much as I can right now. I need to go buy more shelving units, storage boxes, and need to finish emptying out my old storage unit too. I finally finished unpacking the kitchen. Last thing needed here is a spice rack. Still taking spices out of boxes. The only place I can put them I can't reach them, so we need to come up with another option.

Wednesday I was lazy. Took an afternoon nap, went to bed early, did a little homework, and watched a lot of TV. Also knitted a little…

Thursday I did lots of homework and started getting ready for the show on Friday. I cleaned the house up, went to recycling, the grocery store and visited my friend A all afternoon. We are going to start meeting and having knitting sessions so I can learn how to knit better. She also swears she can teach me how to crochet, which I think is impossible, so we'll see.

Friday, packed for the show and left around 2:30. A 2 ½ hour drive took about 3 ½ hours due to construction traffic.

Saturday & Sunday: Mifflin-Juanita Arts Festival


Week 18 Accomplishements

This week is all about me (and so will next week), you think I have a business or something; I am so involved in getting this house up and going.

Mon: C is home today, so many things get done while I am driving home from the Tulip Festival in NY. I get home and a few hours later the inspector comes, C walks him through and Voila! We pass. No more ulcers about having to move again because we don’t get a certificate of occupancy because of a window screen missing, or a window lock that doesn't work. I unpack from the trip; check my e-mail and a few other miscellaneous things. C and I go out to dinner to celebrate my birthday tomorrow. Good steaks, great loaded baked potato (with Carmel and marshmallows), and of course good company. I have this monstrous margarita but its so weak I don't even get giddy. But it tasted good! We get home and C gives me my presents (that are highlighted in another post)

Tue: It's my birthday! C leaves for PR again this morning, not the best way to start a birthday, but certainly better than starting it alone, which was the other option. I get up and go down to Mainline to pick up what I haven's sold at the show. Boxes are heavier than I wanted them to be, that's depressing. Drive up to the cable company and drop the cable box from the old house, drive to the old house and pick up some stiff- mostly the drying racks and shelving from my soaping closet, along with a few last pictures and some other miscellaneous things. (Almost done, really!). When I get back to the house the phone keeps ringing and I just have time for a shower before going to dinner at my friends B & M. B has made me a birthday dinner, a Hungarian dish that I just love but can't spell. It was my first time having it and I had trouble saving leftovers for C. I even got a made from scratch cake with 31 candles. It looked like a forest fire up there! But I have to admit, when I got home I cried a little. B & M are such wonderful people; it's like having a big sister & brother. They really made the day special. I even tear up now…

Wed: Homework day! Its finals so I spend my day catching up on work and doing my final projects. I have another two classes that start tomorrow, so I read up on what is expected in them as well. Its gonna be a long 6 weeks till summer…I take some time to arrange my office some, now I can at least find a pen and paper. Besides that I chill and relax, after all yesterday was my birthday…

Thurs: In the morning I go to a landscapers and learn what I need to do to get my front lawn and landscaping to be something other than so tall I can park cars in the front lawn and no one would notice them. I pick out some plants I want in the front and figure out what I need to do to get rid of the weeds that have over taken the front lawn. I am overwhelmed. The back yard stands waist high with weeds in some parts, and I have a few plants that are so overgrown that I am afraid something may be living under them. This is going to be a long summer…

Friday: C comes home in the evening so I spend the day doing laundry, vacuuming, and generally unpacking stuff that is still in boxes. Need to make it look like I did something this week.

Sat: We bring my truck in to be inspected. It does need breaks, so I get those done too. Go to Lowes to get some stuff for gardening: peat moss, seed, weed & feed, a shovel, rake, and "the claw", well there goes the first $150 in gardening for the year…Also go to Target for a new kitchen trash bin, a bike rack for the basement, and shoe racks for the closet. When we get back we put the new shelves in the armoire and in the closet. It finally looks like we have enough room for all of our stuff. Whew, that was close. Now where are we gonna put the winter jackets… glad we have an attic.

Sun: Finally finish cleaning out the old house. Had one last trip and a little cleaning up to do. Went to storage and picked up my shelving units. Came home and put together the shelves, and the drying racks and put them in my new soap room. Now I know exactly what I need to get to finish shelving the room. I'm psyched. I'll probably drive down this week to Ikea and get them so I can be good to go in June. Need to get oils too to make soap with; I'll probably do it both the same day…


Show Report- Mainline Arts Center

Well I didn't do too great in sales this Spring, but its my own fault. With the move I have a pretty depleted inventory and really limited time, so suffice to day, my biggest sellers weren’t even available at this show. As usual I sold a fair amount of lotion bars, but not as many as I expected to. I also didn't have any sampler boxes that usually sell really well because of Mother's Day. I really have to be on the ball for this show come Fall. But I love working on this show, I love the whole experience of being on the committee, learning about other crafts, working together with other artists, the experience becomes more wonderful every show.

I am so crazy I can't even find my list of what I brought to the show to sell, so I can't even update you on the best selling fragrances. I just know how many I sold overall, not what I sold.

Well, that's it, short update!


Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep, its that time of year again. When I look at the long term "things to do" list and realize I haven't done any of them. That there is a exercise bike just waiting to be used regularly, that my real bike hasn't had air in the tires since it was given to me last year, and that I have yet to make up a calendar with all my family and friend's important dates on it so I remember them as much as they remember me.

But my gifts this year have been perfect! Mom gave money, dad gave money, and C gave me some clothes (a blouse and some pajamas), some gardening books, a few mini Sharpies that hook onto my keychain (how cool is that!), and an ice cream mixer. Now what is an ice cream mixer? Well its reminds me of the Flurries at McD's- the ones with the ice cream mixed with M&M's and stuff. Looks like I'll have to keep "use exercise bike" on my list of things to do for next year. My friend B and her husband M invited me over for dinner tonight. C is out of town again, but managed to leave this morning- so seeing him today has been my best gift of all.

Show Report- Albany Tulip Festival

Albany Pinksterfest- Tulip Festival

I grew up near Albany, and I must admit, I still haven't a clue what a Pinkster is, and why they have a festival. Although Pinksterfest is much more commonly referred to as the Tulip Festival and is held annually on Mother's Day Weekend. This year I learned on the local news that 13 of the past 15 years have rained on Mothers Day, but we were lucky enough just to have to deal with some terrible winds.

Although this festival has a few drawbacks including a big pain to tear down, usually bad weather, and what feels like 10% of the vendors make soap, it remains to be one of my favorite festivals because of the perks. I get to see my mom on Mother's Day, I get to stay at her place for free, she comes and helps me at the show, and the fact that I get to pick up my birthday present in person are just a few of the bonuses of this show.

So this year I made in 2 days only a little more than I made in 1 day (the 2nd was rained out), last year. Overall, I noticed very few people walking by with bags; I would be surprised if sales all around weren’t down. They also add more and more vendors each year, spreading the consumer's dollars thinner and thinner. Not to mention the glut of soapmakers (I think there were at least 6 this year, maybe as many as 8). At some point during the next few years I will have to determine if this show is worth the gas, time, and energy, but I'll be back in 2006 I'm sure. If the next few years continue to decline, I'll just skip the show and visit mom, rather than doing both.

As for the most popular items:
Soaps: Black Cherry Oatmeal
Bath Fizzys: Love Potion
Lotion Bars: Lavender Fields
Lip Balm: Pina Colada


Week 17 Accomplishements

C Left for a business trip early in the morning and I got up and started doing homework. That lasted for about an hour or two before I gave up, going back to bed, and sleeping till 7. Went and set up at the Mainline Arts Center and picked out way too many things that I want to buy from other artists. Such a talented group of people! On the way, a Jeep kicked up a rock and Blam! a cracked windshield. Got home and did some homework, then went to bed. I slept soundly given it was the first night in the new house alone. I think just being really, really tired can have its advantages.

The electrician came to do the final electrical inspection. We passed! Just one more to go and I can finally have all these strangers out of my house for good, I so can't wait! Also did laundry, more homework, went to the bank, the post office, and Ikea, before going back to the Mainline for the opening reception of the craft show. I bought a key chain, that I promptly lost about 48 hours later, some pottery, a few tiles, and a sushi set complete with chop sticks. I had a few other things on my list, but my wallet was a little thin, so I decided to wait till the fall show for a few other things.

More laundry. Realized garbage pickup is on Tuesdays- only after I drug the cans to the end of the driveway, left to run errands, noticed they were still there and full, and went into the house to call and complain. Good thing I checked my notes before calling or I would have sounded like such a dumbass. Went and bought groceries, cat litter and cat food. Coaxed the cats into using the cat litter pan even though I had moved it into the basement and I have three chickens**t cats who seemed afraid to go down there. In case you wonder- I appealed to them with food to get them to come downstairs, it’s an approach that always works with them. Got a new PO Box (then forgot to put it on my flyers for my next show anyway) and got my newly cracked windshield fixed. Also brought all the empty cardboard boxes to the recycling center got my nifty green recycling boxes and finally rinsed out three cases of empty coke cans sitting on my kitchen counter. (Oh the joys of moving!) Oh, and I found some time to unpack today.

Stopped and bought one of those plastic things that goes under your chair in order to help it roll well. Went to the old house and almost finished packing everything. I think it will only take one more day. Went to the new house, unpacked the truck, and then repacked it with display in inventory for the Tulip Festival this weekend. Stopped at the drycleaner and picked up the drapes I dropped off a month ago, and printed flyers (yes with the old address still) to bring to the show. And here I am, updating my blog, and hoping that it makes you as tired to read as I am as I sit here and type… sorry, but its true…
As for tomorrow and the weekend- I have to drive to Albany and set up for the Tulip Festival tomorrow, do the show Sat & Sun, and drive home Mon. C will be home tomorrow afternoon- we'll just miss each other. Hopefully he'll get more done around the house this weekend than I got done this week. I'll have a show report on Monday. Wish me luck!


Peddler's Village Strawberry Festival Show Report

Peddler’s Village Strawberry Festival Show Report

First, I had made a silent promise to myself that if the opportunity arose to be able to set up early for a show this year that I was going to take that opportunity every chance I got. Well, I had the opportunity, and I didn’t take it. Instead of setting up on Friday evening, when it was warm and dry, I set up on Saturday, in the cold and rain. I drove straight from the new house to the show, so of course I got a little lost on the way, but that worked out OK. C drove his car to storage to pick up the Rubbermaid container that contains the tent stakes and such and then met me at the show. Since it was rainy and windy, we had to make sure the tent was down good, but I had forgotten to pack the tent stakes… lucky the show is only about an hour away. I had the tent set up and the truck unloaded by the time he arrived, and then we just got everything else ready.

Saturday was a washout- it rained all day. I didn’t do badly on sales- well I did bad compared to previous shows there, but not bad for the rain. Sunday started off wet, but ended up being a really nice day, just a little breezy. At the end of the day my friend D stopped by and helped me tear down the booth and get it loaded into the truck. That was a great surprise, I love help like that! Sales on Sunday were better than Saturday, but not up to par with past shows. Bummer…

Best sellers for the show were:
Soap: Rejuvenation
Bath Salts: Lavender
Bath Fizzy: Black Cherry
Lotion Bars: Lavender
Lip Balm: Coconut Lemongrass

Stupid Quote for the Day: (while picking up a clearly marked lotion bar) “Lotion Bar, you like put this on your skin, right?” Now to explain, its not the fact that the customer wasn’t sure what a Lotion Bar was, that happens a lot, however, its more the fact that its labeled LOTION and is in a soap & toiletries booth, that makes the “on the skin” part so puzzling to me.


Week 16 Accomplishements

Week 16:

After not going to the show in Bloomsburg on Saturday, I still had a truck full of supplies, so on Sunday we packed up C's car too and brought everything to the new house. We learned that there are still a few little problems that need to be fixed; so a few contractors'll visit us during the week to get everything straightened out. We got everything dropped off and went back home to pack more.

Sunday was much the same, pack both trucks, drive to the new place, unload, drive home.

Monday we attacked the electronics. Packing the DVD's , the computers, cameras, that stuff. Once again, loaded up the trucks and dropped stuff off at the new house. This is getting old by now, but the house still seems so full!

Tuesday the movers came. They were supposed to be here between 8am-10 am ("closer to 8"), and showed up closer to 10. They were wrapping and packing until almost 6pm and couldn't fit a few things into the truck! (A headboard and some chairs mostly!) Got to the new house about 7 pm and got the truck unpacked around 10 pm, the drove back to the old house to pick up the cats, and back to the new house to get some sleep around midnight. They only busted one thing: a wheel off of my coffee table- now I have to stop at Ikea to get a new one!

Wednesday: Unpack, unpack, and unpack, Cable guy comes- sets up cable and modems. Trades show- fix leak in basement. Leave big hole in wall to be fixed later. Now where the heck is the plumber!

Thursday: Drive to the old house; pack up my truck with a few of the remaining things still sitting in the closets and such. T arrives and we go to storage, where we pack like 100 shoebox sized boxes into my truck and her car. This is my inventory. Each box holds about 100 things- bars of soaps, lotion bars, bath fizzys, and many of them are really heavy! 100 bars of soap weigh about 22 lbs! We get to the new house and unload into my new workspace. We start to organize and unpack. C helps us at the new house; we catch dinner with T and then our friends B & M come by to bring us to the local ice cream place. Awesome ice cream, I had a soft serve chocolate with chocolate dip. I haven't had a dipped ice cream since I was a kid!

Friday: I went to the Mainline Art Center to help set up for the spring show from 10 tll about 2:30ish. On the way back I stopped at Ikea for a new wheel, and then at the old house to meet C & T. C was packing up some stuff, and T had taken on the task of the last cleaning & vacuuming of the place. We packed the trucks (yet again) and went home to the new house. We found a great Asian bistro and had some dinner. Came home to a refrigerator not working (it’s the outlet!) After that we put the headboard on the bed (finally!), and crawled into bed so we can get up early to do a show on Saturday (which deserves its own post for sure)…

Sat & Sun: Strawberry Festival at Peddlers Village. C works on unpacking & gets the electricians here to fix the outlet. Sun he waits for the hole in the basement wall to be fixed, the washer to be hooked up and/or fixed, and the hot water heater element to be replaced so we actually get a more than luke warm shower.