12.15.2006

December 11-17 Week 50

Monday: The problem with this show is that my whole life becomes one big blur. From what I can vaguely recall I spent the day catching up on things. C left for PR early in the morning and I got up with him for a little while until he left and then I crawled back into bed. The morning was spent making phone calls, answering emails, running errands (like going to the bank) and making soap samplers for the next weekends show. In the evening I got the chance to finally relax some and got some knitting done. A scarf that had been hanging around done, but none of the tails were sewn in, finally got 100% finished. I also started to finish a huge poncho I had started months ago. I only had about 30 more rows to go, but I had run out of yarn and had to wait to get more in to finish the project.

Tuesday was more of the same. I finished the samplers up and took care of a few last minute orders. As I work in the shop I have been watching Six Feet Under on DVD. I’m mid way through season two, and I amaze myself that I can watch that show hour after hour and not get thoroughly depressed. So far this year I have finished all nine seasons of the X-Files and now I’m onto Six Feet Under. After this I’ll rewatch the two seasons of Carnivale, and I think I’ll finally watch 24 too.

Wednesday: Good news! Doc said it’s not Chron’s. I have no intestinal wall thickening and one of the meds they tried and put me on helps, and it wouldn’t if it was Chron’s. So the diagnosis? IBS- irritable bowl syndrome. I am frustrated at what I feel is a non specific diagnosis- that there really isn’t much that can be done for it- I just need to eat better and exercise more, and calm down. Right…I am an artisan, my life revolves around stress, bad food, and a sedentary lifestyle. I meant to make bath fizzys in the afternoon; instead I put a bowl that was covered in soap in the dishwasher. 1” of standing water in the kitchen that leaked through the ceiling into the shop. That took a few hours to clean up. And in the evening I helped B set up her booth and then we went to dinner to celebrate my last day of classes. I am officially done with school. Bachelors in business marketing and a minor in web design. 4 years of hard work that taught me to recognize the things that I already knew but didn’t know I knew, and how to research and where to go to get the answers I need for everything else. But above all I think it gave me some confidence. I always joked (but believed) that my first degree only certified me to ask “So do you want fries with that?” Now I can at least figure how many fries I need to sell to break even, and how to determine my target market for the fries, and how to write a business plan to get financial backing for opening a fry shop.

Thursday-Sunday: LAST WEEKEND of that show I’ve been doing.

Chriskindkmarkt Week 3

Thursday: Expecting the day to be close to a total loss like last weekend, I brought a long list of thing to do. I needed to get caught up on bills, fold flyers, get my mailing list caught up, etc. I started by working on my blog. I can’t believe that I have chronicled my life for two years now, and that some people find it interesting enough to keep reading. A friend from high school told me once that reading it is like sitting next to me and talking to me. I’m glad, that is what I want really. An internal dialogue with myself that tells my friends, family, and customers more about my day to day life, and that leave a detailed account of what has been going on in my life and at shows so I can go back and reread the entries and remember what I felt and thought at a particular time.

Well the show wasn’t as slow as it was Thursday of Week 2, but it was still slow enough for me to blog, do my inventory from last week and from MLAC, pay bills, totally catch up on my mailing list (both e-mail and snail mail), go through and throw out all of my old coupons in my coupon bin, fold 100 flyers, get gift certificates ready to mail out to B, and start both homework and show research. If the Internet wasn’t so darn slow, I’d have plenty of time to get a bunch more stuff done as well.

Sales for the day were stronger than I had expected based on the last two weeks, but I am not certain that I will be able to make as much as I did last year this same weekend.

Friday: Sales started out quite well and then we entered the usual afternoon slump. I got most of my sachets labeled and they are selling well. I don’t know why I am so surprised at this but I am. The samplers are selling well too, which I expected. I may even need to make more before the last weekend. Many people are asking for fizzys, which I am almost totally out of. So I need to try and get some made next week if I get the chance. I only want to make a few of the best selling fragrances since I am so low on them. That way I won’t have a ton of discontinued fragrances left in a few weeks to need to liquidate. Sales for the day were not as good as I would have liked to see them. Last year I did quite well this third week and I just highly doubt that I will have the opportunity to make the same sales this year as I did last year. It was horribly cold out all day and windy. With the weather bring better over the weekend, I can only hope that the crowds follow.

Saturday sales were strong but not close to last year’s. I know that the fact that I am running low on many favorites and am completely out of others is a huge factor, I am also out of almost all of my bath fizzy fragrances and my best selling lip balm. I mean I am out of Patchouli and Lavender- two huge sellers.

Sunday: The day was slow with nothing special to report. Part of this is because there was nothing special, part just because I can’t remember what happened so I am assuming it wasn’t anything special.

12.07.2006

December 4-10 Week 49

Monday I went down to MLAC to pick up my extra inventory and to help clean up after the show. I did quite well, up almost ½ from last year. I love doing this show and being part of something, part of the committee. But the time and the hours, the drive and the gas is getting hard to do. I will really have to take a good hard look at this in the spring and decide of what I learn, the time there is worth it or not. When I got back I filled sachets. Those sachets were the surprise of this show; I didn’t expect them to be as popular as they are. Most likely because they are reasonably priced and smell pretty good. C had darts so he got home late, but that allowed me to work late as well.

Tuesday I made samplers up, and finished the sachets. Now they just need to be labeled. I also caught up on my homework that I am desperately behind in. I have Senioritis so bad it isn’t funny. Just another week to go and I will be free of these classes, and bound by student loans. I got three orders out and got a bunch of random paperwork done- including my application for Philly Folk Fest. I received my new slides in the mail and they look terrific. I am hoping that the new slides help me get into some better shows this next year, since I will be trying to get into a bunch of new ones.

Wednesday I started the day by running some errands. I needed to get yarn in order to knit a bath mitt so I can fill an order. I also needed to go and get gas in the car and things like that. C came home from work sick, I think he has the cold that I had last week. It’s a pretty terrible one so I feel really sorry for him. I ran back out and got him the cereal he wanted for dinner, and grabbed myself a pint of ice cream for dinner too. In the afternoon before he came home I started to rearrange my shop. I had gotten a new bookcase and tried to put it where I wanted to put it- well it doesn’t fit the way I wanted. Big surprise. So now the shop is a wreck. Glad I don’t have much else to do for the rest of the year.

Thursday-Sunday Chriskindlmarkt Week 3

Chriskindkmarkt Week 2

Chriskindlemarkt Week 2

Thursday: There is nothing worse for me than being at a show with a cold. Especially one where my ears are plugged and I can’t hear, and the snot keeps rushing out of my nose like a faucet. At least the day didn’t end up all bad- I thought my stomach was going to give me problems by the way it started out in the morning. But at least I ended up not having that as a problem. Sales on Thursdays are always slow but the day was just terrible. I have a pet peeve about this booth that is next to me this week. It is a local store- a coop that rents out a double booth. But I don’t know how they jury in and I don’t think it’s fair that a business has a booth inside this tent- they should be in the other tent with the rest of the businesses. I also dislike the fact that they have products in their booth that are represented by other artists around them. (For example they have soap). There doesn’t seem to be any thought behind where they are placed in the tent. If they are going to be here, they should be next to other booths which are also shared (but not stand alone businesses).

I did take the time to get a bunch of work done. Caught up on blogs, did homework, folded flyers, read magazines, and started to get some postcards ready to send out. C went to the bank for me in the morning before work which was great as well.

Friday: The day was slow. There were tons of busses but it was sort of like watching the night of the living dead. If I was told one more time how they could get 12 bars of soap at Wal-Mart for the same price as I sell one for I was going to scream. The rest of the busses were full of local school kids. Which is cool, they love the lip balms and glosses, as well as the bath fizzys. And I get great input on what kinds of products they like and what fragrances they are looking for. It’s a marketers dream to have some of the conversations that I have with these young ladies. But it is a salespersons nightmare. Not a lot of money to go around and lots of peer pressure to be witnessed.

I have a great neighbor kitty corner from me and I have been enjoying our business talk. She has been doing her craft for 15 years while balancing a home and kids. It is just wonderful to have the opportunity to talk no nonsense with someone who really has seen it and knows it and doesn’t want to blow smoke up your skirt in the process of talking to you.

Saturday was more like it. It was a strong day of sales, not spectacular, but strong and it set me up to possibly make as much as last year, if I have a strong Sunday. My cold started to come back, especially in my sinuses, but nothing that a little medication couldn’t take care of. I also learned that I had a strong day of sales at MLAC and got to come home to a couple of pretty large orders as well. All in all it was a good day.

Sunday I started the day by meeting A at Starbucks in order to drop off more stock for MLAC. That was a good sign. The show sales went well, and all in all I was only down $10 from last years sales. Although I always wish that sales increase from year to year, right now I am just happy to say the same. So many of my friends and acquaintances are struggling with sales this past year. I am happy that I make a consumable product and that I have a reasonable price point. I am worried that I will need to increase prices next year since so many of my supplies are going up in price. But as a whole the weekend went well. Next week was my best weekend last year, lets see if its my best weekend this year.

12.01.2006

November 27-December 2 Week 48

Monday morning was my “Small Bowel Series”, a fluoroscope complete with barium shake to track how my insides process food. The Doc there said that everything looked fine. So now I am worried that my Dr. is going to tell me that this is all in my head. I think that is one of my biggest fears, to be told that there is nothing wrong with me except my mind. I got home and napped for most of the rest of the afternoon, while a head cold slowly set in. It started with my throat getting sorer and sorer, and ended with my whole body being sore.

Tuesday I spent the day at MLAC. I have to be honest, I didn’t plan on being there all day when I arrived. I thought I’d drop off my stuff, help for a bit, and then bug out. But It was about 10 pm by the time I got home and I was ready to take a dose and a half of Nyquil and call it a night.

Wednesday started out pretty rough. I wanted to get so much stuff done, but being sick just put me on edge. C and I started with a disagreement which sent me into a tizzy. It was quite cathartic as I sat at the computer listing all the things that I am worried about right now, all the things that make me unhappy. I cried quite a bit, which didn’t help my head cold, but at least emotionally I felt better after getting it all out and on paper. C came home during his lunch to check on me which redeemed him after the morning, and showed me he forgave me for being a jerk as well. He went back to work and on the way home ran some errands for me. I just sat in bed all day, caught up on some of the homework I was behind on, but mostly slept.

Thursday- Sunday: Back to the Show More to come later

Chriskindkmarkt Week 1

Friday was fabulous. The place was packed, people were shopping, and I had the opportunity to catch up with old friends that I don’t get to see too often. My neighbor R and I were near each other a few years ago and just by happenstance ended up together. It was so nice to spend time and to make plans for the winter to get together. J and I have decided to go halfsies on a booth next year so we can both expand out to 15’. Having a double booth is too much, both to handle and cover, and to pay for, but a booth and a half would be perfect.

Saturday was slower than Friday, much to my chagrin. The end of the day was highlighted by C and my dad rescuing two women from the train tracks at the back of the tent. See, at night it is easy to confuse the tracks for a road, which they did, getting they car stuck on the tracks. C, dad, and another crafter got them pushed off before we needed to call 911- since the tracks are still used quite a few times a day by a train! After the show dad, C and I went to dinner at B&M’s favorite Italian restaurant which is on the way home from the show.

Sunday: I didn’t need many sales to surpass last year’s sales, unfortunately that just didn’t pan out. I was only off by a little, but it was disappointing that Sunday was so slow. B & M stopped by to see how it was going, and we went for dinner afterward. I started feeling a little snuffly, with a sort of sore throat. I chalked it up to talking all day, I was wrong….

November 20-26 Week 47

Monday and Tuesday C and I went to Atlantic City. We came back a little richer than we left (if you don’t count the money we spent on food, gas, or tolls). On the way down we went and picked up my new tent at A’s. A few years ago, A and I were neighbors at a craft show and we started talking about the different kinds of craft tents and how easy or hard they were to put up. I really liked his, but I couldn’t rationalize the purchase of a new tent- not only are they really expensive, but if I do go the route of opening my own shop I won’t need a tent for more than another 5 years or so, so the return on investment just wouldn’t be there. So long story short, I offered to buy his if he ever sold it. Well lo and behold; two years later, I have a new, old tent! It needs a bath, and a few spot welds, but besides that it is just perfect. I’ll get years and years out of it, and may even be able to sell it again when I’m done with it.

The first night in AC we stayed at Resorts. I wish the beds were more comfortable, but it is in a nice location right on the boardwalk. We explored the new Pier at Caesars (the AC equivalent of the Forum Shops, minus the prostitutes) and got to walk around quite a bit. The casinos were pretty quiet- just the way we like them. Only time they are ever quieter is the day before Christmas. Tuesday we stayed at the Marina, but spent all of our time and money at Borgata. I’m sure the Marina won’t offer me a free room ever again.

Wednesday on the way home we stopped in at MLAC and helped get the show ready. C was the muscle of the operation, stacking and carrying all sorts of stuff. We stopped at Ikea as well, and picked up more stuff for the bathrooms and another book shelf for my shop.

Thursday was Thanksgiving. Like usual it was a day filled with getting ready for Chriskindlemarkt: lots of packing, going and setting up, and figuring out how to lay out the display. We had gotten a boneless turkey breast and a bunch of sides from BJ’s. C didn’t like the squash but the sweet potato casserole more than made up for that. And it gives great leftovers.

Friday- Sunday: Chriskindlemarkt Week 1

November 13-19 Week 46

I started the week doing a good bit of my Christmas shopping for C. Mom and I took the day and went to the Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall, in NY down near the exit on the Thruway for West Point. J and I went last year and it was great to get a bulk of my shopping done so early, without having to stress over it during Chriskindlemart. Everything that I didn’t find or couldn’t get there will be bought online anyway…

Tuesday I drove home from NY, getting there in the early afternoon. The rest of the day was spent catching up on paperwork and reading all of my mail that had acquired while I was gone.

Wednesday I caught up on my homework and got the oil changed in my van. It was way overdue. I tried the dealership here in Emmaus rather than going back to where I bought it in Bethlehem. The experience was a trillion times better. The staff was more friendly, the waiting room was large, clean, and warm, and had coffee available. I’ll be a regular customer from now on for sure. I used to hate bringing the van in for an oil change, now it is just an inconvenience that has to take place.

Thursday: Well Thursday I got a wonderful notice in the mail that somehow I had forgotten to pay my PA sales tax for the previous quarter. Whoops that meant I had forgotten to pay my NJ sales tax too. Unfortunately that means that I didn’t get the credit for paying on time, it’s not much but I like to save as much as I can wherever I can. So I got that paperwork complete. I also went and got my hair cut. Pretty short so I can make it through the holidays with a pretty stress free existence. I also made some fizzys so that I could fill an order and I started conversations w/ A about buying his old tent.

Friday: I got those fizzys wrapped, ran some errands like the post office, and did tons and tons of homework.

Saturday: C decided we should take some time and start to redo our bathrooms in some cosmetic ways- new towels, new medicine cabinets, etc. We will be painting in January/February sometime so wanted to spiffy up the bathrooms anyway. So that meant we spent the day at Marshalls, Target, and Home Depot. We also went to the bank, stopped at the drycleaners, and did homework (well C did work at home and I did homework).

Sunday: I got the opportunity to watch the last NASCAR race of the year. I was pretty bummed that Jimmie Johnson won the cup. I mean, he deserves it, he has been close to winning it more than a few times, he’s just not my favorite driver. There is always next year. I just need to root for someone who will be running a full cup schedule since Mark Martin won’t be. I’m not sure who though. It’s tough to loose a favorite.

11.16.2006

Nov 11 & 12 Herkimer County Arts & Crafts Show

Herkimer was a loss this year. It never was a spectacular show, but it never was bad either. There usually was two, maybe three soapmakers-this year I think I saw 4. And for the last few years I had gotten a blue ribbon- this year not even an honorable mention- even though I had new displays, new labels, and some new product. I learned that the ribbons are more to award newcomers and to try and get them to stay coming back to the show than to really reward who has the best products. I don’t think it was a coincidence that so many vendors that I recognized as new to the show this year had ribbons at the end of Saturday.

So since sales have been pretty good the last few years, when I received the information in the mail about advertising in their flyer I though it might be a good thing. So J designed me up an ad. It even highlighted that I had won a blue ribbon in both 2004 and 2005. I paid an exorbitant amount of money to have it placed in the show flyer/map. And my sales were down by ½. I barely made back my booth fee + my ad rate. Don’t even talk to me about the gas and tolls.

My roommates also annoy the heck out of me. The application says that spaces are 10x10 but they only put three of us in a room. I used 10x7 on my side of the room. The other two just expand and expand. Putting displays so close it is hard to look at my product because people can’t get by one another. And I have complained for two years, and nothing has been done about it. I hate indoor shows like this just for this reason. Crafters want every inch they can, even at an outdoor show when we are supposed to stay in our 10x10 booth, but inside, give us an inch and we’ll take a mile. And since mom is with me I am a lot more likely to roll over than if it was C and I.

So this was my first real dog of a show this year. So I can’t complain. I just need to look for other options next year and I need to hope that this isn’t a precursor to the rest of the holiday shopping season.

November 6-12 Week 45

I keep having to go to NY and I keep feeling like all I am doing is trying to keep my head above water and get something complete by the end of the day. I had a complete mental breakdown (ok for about 10 minutes) feeling totally overwhelmed by everything that HAS to get done and everything that I WANT to do being in total conflict right now. But that is this week, and this post is about last week (that really wasn’t much better).

Monday: Catch up after the weekend’s show. This means lots of laundry, banking, paperwork, homework, and some time cleaning the shop. Why do I keep cleaning the shop? Because I feel out of control and I feel that cleaning it gives me some control over it in some small way. Hey, they say knowing is half the battle….

Tuesday: B and I went and picked up some much needed supplies. I got oils, 200 lbs of lye (B says I bring her to all the nicest chemical supply companies, LOL), and citric acid. We stopped at our favorite place to have lunch, and then headed home. Nothing too eventful, but much more fun spending the 6 hour round trip with a friend. I had gotten up and voted in the morning, B needed to be home to go vote in the afternoon.

I felt all grown up going to vote. I have to admit I hadn’t voted since college, and then it was an absentee ballot, something about those always makes me wonder if they are really going to be counted, ya know?? But I actually went to the school, did my touch pad thingie, and voted. And I feel bad. I voted for someone that I wouldn’t have voted for in a “typical” election, but I felt for what I don’t agree with him about (like women’s right to choose, etc), it was more important to vote for him on issues that I did agree with him on (like the war in Iraq). So if in the next few years PA has more guns and no abortion rights, it’s my own darn fault, but hopefully if that is the way it is, at least we won’t be at war….

Wednesday: Orders are starting to poor in and pile up. At least I got one out on Wednesday. I also started making fizzys that I am severely lacking- I am out of most fragrances right now. Have I ever expressed to you how much I dislike making them. Well I do. And I have to make a ton, and it sucks!

Thursday: More fizzys. I also printed out flyers for the show, caught up on my blog, and did a bunch of homework.

Friday: Morning was homework and packing the van for the trip. The I drive the 4 hours home, picked up mom, drove another hour to Herkimer, et up, and drove another hour back home for the night.

Saturday & Sunday: Herkimer Arts & Crafts Show

11.09.2006

November 4&5 2006 Apple Festival at Peddlers Village

The show was COLD! Saturday was the worst of the two days weather, but as usual was the better day in sales. They moved the site of the show this year in order to increase attendance. I think I saw more people, but overall my sales were only up $30 from the last two years. It is possible that with nicer, warmer weather this could have been even more, but you never can tell.

About a week before the show I got a map in the mail telling me my booth space. It was a corner. When I got there the set up was completely different than my map and my corner booth was gone! There were also a bunch of artisans not listed on the original map I got, so my bet is that they were last minute applicants.

The show used to be set up where the tour busses parked after dropping people off. It guaranteed that those people would walk through the crafts to get on their bus at the end of the day. That means people with smaller items, and less expensive items, tended to do the best in sales because they were things that could easily fit on a bus. Now that the show has moved possibly more local people will come through because it is closer to their parking and that may mean bigger sales of bigger items. But I don’t need to work about that since soap is small and inexpensive. So that means I might have more competition for the dollar next year than I have in previous years.

But I am going to look at other shows next year and not just black out the dates indiscriminately like I usually do. If I can find something that I really think is going to be better I am going to apply for it. Of course right after I hang in long enough that I am the only soaper, guess I either scared off the others or they are smarter than me and left to go someplace better. It’s probably the latter.

October 30-November 5 Week 44

Monday: Back from paradise I needed to catch up on homework, catch up on laundry, and paperwork.

Tuesday: I started to clean and organize my shop. I have realized that it has come to the point in the year where I have little time or motivation to do any more than I really have to do. So instead I am just getting ready for next year. I am going through boxes to determine what I don’t need and what I can sell. I am deciding what direction I want to go in, and trying to organize things into a working plan for 2007. It will take me weeks to do this, but that is OK, I can hit the ground running.

Wednesday: Tests. I had my oh so wonderful and fun colonoscopy and endoscope. Good news: my upper G.I is in great condition. My heartburn is most likely a combination of diet, lack of exercise, and overwhelming stress. But I can go off the million dollar a month Nexium and just do an over the counter remedy. And once January hits I’ll be signing up for a yoga class and getting on my bike much more regularly. Now the lower G.I. may pose some problems, it may be Chron’s and luckily if it is, it looks pretty mild. But I go back in January for another meeting with the doc and more will be determined then.

Thursday: I started new classes- my last two!!!! International Marketing and a Resume Writing course. I’ll be done Dec 13th. I already have plans on taking a Spanish class and a Herbalism class in January though. I can’t be bored. I just don’t want to do anything for a grade anymore…for a while…I went to Target and the grocery store. I probably should have waited another day…just a mental note….

Friday: I packed and got ready for my show over the weekend.

Saturday & Sunday: Apple Festival at Peddler’s Village.

11.08.2006

October 23-29 Week 43

Monday was spent packing and getting ready for vacation. C left for his business trip to Mexico this morning so I got up early with him and just did stuff: laundry, bills, bank, drycleaner, dishes, etc. In the afternoon B and I picked up her car from the shop and then had lunch at the Brass Rail.

Tuesday: The new furniture arrived! It is stunning and beautiful, and did I mention big. The cats were afraid of it at first but it quickly became cat beds, with each one picking their favorite places. I went over to AC Moore for a present for my mom, and stopped at Barnes & Nobles and picked up a book on Cancun. I packed the van with all my stuff so I didn’t have to do it in the morning and made a list of everything I did need to do in the morning before I left. I tried to get some sleep but the ticket fiasco left me a little uptight (see Vacation- Day 0) and I got much less sleep than I wanted to.

Wednesday-Sunday Vacation Days 1-5

Vaction Day 5


Well there was enough time to pack, to eat a good breakfast and to catch the flight home. It was said to see the vacation end so soon, we both could have filled a few more days with fun activities or just lounging by the pool. Hopefully we will get the chance to do something like this again next year.

We finally go seated together on the flight and were put with a guy who was with a bunch of other people seated behind us, so all he did was either talk or sleep. Customs and Immigration back into the US was a breeze and the J waited for her connecting flight while I drove home. At least she got bumped to first class on her last flight. Home in style.. I was stuck in traffic since the Eagles game had just let out.

Then it was back to real life. Catching up on e-mail, school, phone calls, and bills. Hm… I miss paradise.

Vaction Day 4


A free day. We ventured to the Isla Mujeres. It is a small island, about 7 miles across that mostly has small shops, a tiny Mayan ruin and lost of snorkeling.

We first took a taxi to the pier where we had to catch the ferry. On the way there the sea was sort of rough and we got soaked from the water coming over the top of the ship. Once we were there we rented a golf cart for the day and drove around the entire island. At the tip was the Mayan ruin and some vendors, and along the way plenty of coves and places to explore and get pictures at. We should have brought our bathing suits, as I think it would have been fun to get some snorkeling in too. Then we shopped. Lots of bartering and some vendors are more persistent than others. But it was a fun experience and we got some really good deals.

Once we got back we went to the Italian restaurant for dinner. The food was fabulous and although J and I had a pretty serious conversation the evening was fun. Then it was off to bed for we had to get up early to get ready to leave this paradise.

Vacation Day 3



The second day of seminars. I found most of them boring or useless, except for a great presentation on presentational speaking. I also got a great list of additional reading. So many of the books they suggested for most of the seminars could pertain to any business, I just need to get out there and read them now. At lunch break we ate and went for pedicures. Mine tickled something fierce and unlike me I picked a pretty pink nail polish. I guess the sun was getting to me.

That evening we went on a pirate dinner cruise. Complete with audience participation. Luckily J and I were on the top level so we didn’t have to get dragged into that mess, but it was fun watching everyone else make fools of themselves. J had a crush on our pirate. Disney would love to learn that the ship came complete with a Captain Jack Sparrow look alike and the ship was named the Black Pearl, I’m sure they pay royalties, not…..

Vacation Day 2


We got up early because seminars started at 8:00 am. After breakfast we checked in and sat for the start of the seminar. We realized that once you check in there really wasn’t anything that was keeping you there. So it seemed as the time went on more and more people discreetly left the room, I am sure heading to the pool. For me the first seminar was boring so I left and headed to the business office so I could get online and answer some e-mails and do some homework.

We met back up for the second seminar and I found it quite interesting. After that we headed to lunch and then to the spa for our massages. It was the most beautiful experience in an awesome setting. Just magnificent.

Afternoon brought some more seminars. Dinner for the evening was at the Oriental restaurant where the sushi was excellent and I had some of the best octopus I have ever had. The kept the sake flowing and I was a pretty happy camper by the end of dinner.

Vacation Day 1


Well up and out early in the morning with an arrival time at the airport of about 4:45 am. I got a little lost trying to figure out where long term parking was. It seems that although I figured you followed the “Departing Flights” to get to where you could park for more than 24 hours, you actually follow the “Arriving Flights” signs to get to the parking garage. Who would have thunk it?

I got to the airport in North Carolina no problem and then literally ran to my gate in order to get checked in. Then it was off to J’s gate, where her flight was delayed. And delayed. When she got off we ran again back to the gate where they were already boarding. Whew, we were tired and ready for a few drinks for sure. The in flight movie didn’t work so we talked and read. I tried to start knitting a new project but realized that my circular needles were too big and that I should have brought double points. So much for getting any knitting done.

Arriving in Mexico was pretty easy. Going through customs and immigration was like winning the lottery. You went up, gave them a form, and they had you press a button that seemed like it randomly decided if you passed through or if you were detained for further inquiry. Weird. But we both made it.

A bus was waiting and it brought up to the resort. We were STARVING and as we went upstairs to check in there was a great spread of food for us and lots of mixed drinks to liven the party. Our room wasn’t ready yet so we headed out to the pool area where lunch was being served. We ate while we sweated to death in our long pants and long sleeves, and then walked around and explored the gift shops some. We also took this time to set up some excursions, a spa appointment, and appointments for pedicures.

Once the room was ready we changed, decided on dinner- Brazilian- and went to eat, again. But we were so tired we went to bed early and slept quite well.

10.25.2006

Vacation Day 0- The Day before I left

Well the good news is that if what they say is true- then we have already had all the bad luck for this trip. J and I tried to check in on line yesterday and couldn't. She called the airline, I didn't. They had changed everything and hadn't bothered to tell us. Her outgoing flight from Detroit to Philly had changed airline and flight number, and her flight from Cancun to Philly had changed times. And they didn't change mine.

See they thought they were doing her a favor by "decreasing her layover", but never bothered to call her to see if this was a good thing. Well it wasn't- we would have been flying out two hours different than each other. But J get it all fixed, only shaving about 3 hours off of our prosepctive sleep. It is bad enough now they claim that they no longer can seat us together because their are no seats available.

But honestly people, her tickets were purchased using C's air miles. He is a platinum member. Like a bizillion miles a year flying. And this is how they treat him, and someone they he has purchased a ticket for. And we wonder why the major airlines are starving for buiness.

10.23.2006

October 16-22- Week 42

I can’t believe that 42 weeks of the year have just flown by. Only 10 more weeks of this year to survive, and they are the businest 10 weeks, so I’m sure they will just fly by as well.

It’s been an interesting week, it’s been so odd in fact, the cats are doing their impression of Velcro. They tend to do this when things are out of the ordinary and I think, when they believe that we humans need to slow it down a step and relax a bit. They stick to us like glue and force us to pay attention to them because they turn on the adorable.

Monday I got back from my show in NY. In the morning mom and I went to breakfast at our new favorite place to eat. Jackie’s on route 29 for those of you who know the area. Its right near Turkey Farm Road, across from the Vet’s office. I was lucky enough to come home to a house that had no heat. C and I had decided that it was going to be warm enough over the weekend that he didn’t need to turn it on before he went to PR to visit his family and then stay for business. We hadn’t had the heat on all season yet, and it was going to be another day till I got heat. Luckily I am a wimp, and the 66 degrees it was in the house isn’t really cold, just uncomfortable. So I put on sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and my warmest socks, threw a log on the fireplace, and caught up. I read my mail, replied to e-mail, paid bills, got an order sent out (actually 2), and started to empty the van so I could get inventory packed for the weekend.

Tuesday I got up and called the heating/air conditioning company pretty early. It’s a great place and the owner himself comes out when things are messed up. He usually comes out right away, be he was already on his way to another job, so I had to wait till the afternoon, no big deal. When he got here, the wire on the thermostat had fallen off- probably last time he looked at it and took it off the wall when the AC was down. Quick fix, no charge. Awesome! I did a bunch of homework (have I told you before I can’t wait till I get done with school?), blogged, went to the post office, did my inventory, got another order out, and researched shows for 2007. It amazes me that even with the Internet how little good and reliable information there is out there that can help an artisian choose a good craft show to attend. I can’t imagine doing this before the age of the Internet.

Wednesday: I had a doctor’s appointment. See, for those of you who don’t know I’ve been having trouble with my tummy, my digestion, and , well, er, my “regularity” for quite a few years now. Most of it I can control with a balance of diet and stress relief (like yoga or meditation), but this leaves me with a whole list of foods that I shouldn’t (but I do sometimes anyway) eat, and I still have problems. So off to the doctor’s I have finally gone. I am now scheduled for a battery of blood tests, fecal cultures (fun…), a colonoscopy, and an endoscopy. At least there isn’t a lumbar puncture- after watching three seasons of House M.D. I figured almost everything needs a lumbar puncture to be diagnosed (kidding!)- and those things scare the h*ll out of me (not kidding!) After I got back with all of my good news, I made samplers, and measured out the dry portion of ingredients for Bath Fizzys so I can get some of those made next week.

Thursday:
Dentist! Somehow I always get more than one doctor in a week, I don’t know how this happens. But at least no cavities. I also stopped at the grocery store and cleaned the house a little when I got home. C finally got back from his business trip to PR and we could sit and discuss my tests and procedures that are coming up. I don’t know who is more worried and scared- him or me. I just have to not be scared, so he is worried less. And I don’t know what I am scared more of- the procedures, or the possible test results.

Friday: I did lots of homework and packed inventory for Saturday’s show. Once C got home and we could discuss it, I decided not to attend the show on Saturday. I know I should have and I am sorry if anyone was looking for me. It is just that I didn’t feel all that great, I hadn’t seen C in quite a few days and won’t see him next week either, and I really needed to go get my blood work done before I left on my trip. I can’t go alone to get blood drawn, I passed out last time and now C is freaked that it will happen again. I have a Vasovagal reaction- where my blood pressure drops leading to me passing out. Since C leaves again Monday morning my only chance to get the blood drawn with him present was Saturday.

Saturday: Got up and went to have the blood work done. No passing out for me this time!! And then we went and got breakfast at Bob Evans. After a little nap, we sent a good part of the day putting up pictures. The house is slowly feeling more like a home each time we do little things like this.

Sunday: We ran some errands- you know, when you go to Target for a 99 cent container of shave cream and leave $70 later with a bunch of stuff you didn’t even knew you needed… Also stopped at AC Moore and Pier 1 looking for some sort of cool candle votive type things for the mantle. No luck. We went to Best Buy to find out how to send the I-Pod in under their extended warranty- the battery is dying, and then to Home Depot to look for a new thermostat. Once we got home C went to get his oil changed in his car, I watched the NASCAR race (*crying* poor #6 will never win a championship, *sniff*) while doing more show research (getting some good leads for next year), and then we raked the lawn.

10.17.2006

The 25th Annual Adirondack Art & Craft Festival

Thursday when I went with Mom to set up the show I was very impressed with the fairgrounds where the show was being held. They looked finely manicured, and their was ample parking. The booth size was much larger than the 10x10 space that I paid for, and I was right next to a small walkway, so I easily could have set up the booth in a corner configuration. Instead, mom and I MacGyvered together a display after running to Target. It also didn’t help that I forgot the displays that I use for bath mitts so the whole thing really needed some help.

Friday when we arrived it was very easy to park and to get into our space. The show went better than I had expected it to on a Friday and although it certainly wasn’t an amazing day, I was looking forward to Saturday. Although the buildings are heated, they are still quite chilly and I was under prepared for the chill. I was also under prepared for the fact that the weather there was so much colder than in PA.

Saturday sales were solid, but once again, nothing so spectacular that I left jumping for joy. There are some wonderful artisans there and I found many things that I wanted to buy, and also brokered quite a few barters as well. I left hoping that Sunday was going to be a solid day and not the typical “1/2 of Saturday’s sales” type of day.

Sunday: boy was I wrong. I actually made less on Sunday than I did on Friday. Mostly everyone did not feel that this show is as strong as some others that this producer does in Vermont. I may just try one of those in the spring. But for the price that I paid for the show, it certainly barely broke even for itself. Witch is too bad, it certainly had potential.

October 9-15, 2006 Week 41

It was another short and hectic week as I prepared for another out-of-town show and just tried to hang on for the ride.

Monday I spent the day doing homework, running around doing errands, updating my mailing list and my inventory and just generally catching up on stuff from over the weekend that went by the wayside because of the show.

Tuesday I finally finished touching up the living room paint. It is all ready for the new furniture (whenever it decides to arrive). I finished getting out the last of my post cards that I have for winter shows. I can’t believe how much the postage costs. It is just unbelievable. I really have to keep a tight reign on my postage costs for next year and watch to see if my mailing list pays for itself, or if I should just switch to an entirely e-mail list since that is so much cheaper to maintain. C and I went to dinner with B&M since it is going to be quite a few weeks before we get a chance to hang out with them again. They are going on Vacation, I have a show, and then C and I both travel for a week, him for work, me for fun.

I think it is weird that come August I start to plan things that I want to do and I start to put a January-April time frame on them. C and J and B too always say that I need to stop thinking so far ahead, but really, after August, I cannot believe how fast the time goes, that things and days just fly by, and I can’t finish half of what I have to do, no less trying to do anything that I want to do.

Wednesday I packed. I packed inventory, I packed the van, I got everything ready for an early morning departure. I learned while packing that I am seriously short on some important inventory. I need to move my tail along and get things moving and get things made. STRESS!!!

Thursday: I got up early and drove to NY. I picked up mom and we drive to the show, stopping at the Veterinarian’s office so she could pick up a prescription for one of the dogs, and then we went to set up.

Friday-Sunday: Adirondack Mountain Heritage Festival

10.10.2006

Flemington Craft Show- Fall

Setting up Friday was not fun at all. I was hoping that C was going to get out of a meeting early enough to join me and help me set up. The day was cold and windy, gray skies, muddy field. I immediately got a bad feeling about the show. It stuck with me while I struggled to get set up and by the time I left I really thought that if the weather continued, I would be lucky to make my booth fee back. Not a great way to start a new show.

Saturday the weather was cold, the type of humid cold that just sets in your bones, with enough wind to just push the chill through any layers of clothing that you have put on in an attempt to shield yourself from it. Luckily I learned that I was as the end of a row of spots, near some tables set up for people to eat at. So C and I rearranged the booth for a corner display and took advantage of the two sides being open for people to be able to see the display. With weather being as bad as it was I was pretty surprised, bringing home just about 2/3 of the show fee. At least as I left I thought that I wouldn’t be loosing any money by the end of the weekend, and it seemed that the weather was going to get better as well.

I got a chance to walk around; there are some really nice crafts at this show, and LOTS of consumables. Mixes, dips, candy, oils, jelly and jams, you name it. The show was just packed with them. That is sometimes good for me because people are in that consumable state of mind, which soap is surely a consumable. I got a glimpse of a woman who used to make soap, who is now doing something else. I was going to go talk to her but she seemed occupied with someone else and I didn’t want to interrupt. I used to think of her as one of my biggest competitors, so I have to say from a business standpoint I am not sorry to see her leave the business, but I am curious and she is a nice person, so I wish I had the chance to stop by and say hello. Part of me didn’t want to talk to her because I didn’t want to seem rude if she went out of business due to lack of sales. I just don’t know.

Sunday however was a beautiful day- the exact opposite of Saturday. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and hardly any breeze. I made ¾ of the show sales on Sunday and was very happy with the results. Now this show is expensive for me to get a booth at, and overall I didn’t make that much profit. But the day was good enough to give me an idea that this show has some serious potential. The next one is in the spring at the end of April and I think that will be a good show for me to participate in. Maybe it will actually be a decent spring show. It would be nice.

October 2-8, 2006 Week 40

I started the week by getting out the print version of my newsletter on Monday as well as some of the post cards for my upcoming shows. As usual on Monday I caught up on the laundry and some other home things that needed to get done. I also painted the walls in the office a nice medium tan to go with the burgundy that we painted the week before.

Tuesday I blogged, got my hair cut, and touched up the paint in the office. I tried touching up the paint in the living room, but the dozens of colors the old owners left us were no where close to the color I needed to fix the base boards.

Wednesday I caught up on some homework. I have this awful group project to do and somehow I ended up volunteering to be the group leader. I cannot explain how happy I am that I will be done with these shenanigans in just a few more months. I also got some soap cut up, ran to the post office and got a boat load of paperwork completed.

Thursday I printed out new signage for the booth. I need to do them again, because although they look really great, they are a little hard to read. So I need to try again when I get the chance in a few weeks to print them again. But they do look great using the background that D designed for my labels.

Friday I set up the show in Flemington. More on that later. I did more homework, packed the van with inventory, ran my typical Friday errands, and printed out about 100 flyers on my spiffy new printer that I am totally in love with.

Saturday & Sunday: Flemington Craft Show.. that’s another post

10.03.2006

September 25-October 1 Week 39

Monday was my trip home from NY. I got here tired and sore, my stomach giving me a run for my money. All I wanted to do was to go to bed but I did throw in some laundry and check my mail before doing that.

Tuesday I had a doctor’s appointment. Se sent me to a specialist for my stomach issues. So now I am documenting everything I am eating and how I am feeling from now until I see that doctor in a few weeks. And of course, as soon as I make the appointment I start to feel better. Isn’t that always the way?

Wednesday I started working on my newsletter and updating my web site as much as I can, and the final touches on my mailing list. I have been taking names now for a little over a year (about 13 months) and have just about 400 names of people who want to hear from me every few months. That just amazes me to no end…

Thursday I got the newsletter out to my e-mail recipients- it will be a few more days before I get the hard copy in the mail.

Friday was errand day and in the afternoon I went out with B. She treated all of her girlfriends to a show at State Theatre- it was called Menopause- the musical. Now I still have quite a few years before the subject of this musical actually impacts me directly, but I can tell you it was FUNNY!!! The set was simple as well as the costume and lighting. There were only four women in the show and it was mostly a review where they have taken well known songs and rewritten their lyrics to have to do with women’s issues. At dinner before the show I got to meet all of B’s friends, I knew one pretty well and one in passing, the other two were a pleasure to meet. We had dinner at Fridays and I was pleasantly surprised that my stomach didn’t balk at the idea. I had a really fun time to say the least.

Saturday C and I went to Home Depot and picked out paint for the office and the living room. We painted the office wall (I still need to do touch up) and Sunday we painted the living room wall. I can actually say that I don’t miss painting. I thought the smell of the paint and the feeling of it gliding on the wall would bring back memories and the itch to paint. But it didn’t. I think I feel the same about painting as most people now- its must a necessity to do it if you want your house to look nice. It was cool to learn that I can still paint a straight line.

Eagle Mills Arts & Crafts Show- September 16& 17, 23&24

Sales were much slower this year than last year, about 30% lower in fact. The first weekend was quite slow, and I sort of expect that. There are a few other craft shows in the area to draw the crowd from and people are more likely to go to them because they are one weekend than here because it’s two weekends. There is also another soaper the first weekend that is more local than me, so they have a longer history with this show and have built up their own fan base. The only thing that I have going for me is that my lotion bars are much cheaper than theirs so I get some people who are willing to try mine just based on price.

But the days were pretty short, the food was good, and the weather was quite nice out the first weekend. I was hoping that the second weekend would fair better this year (I think I remember it being better last year).

The second weekend was a weather disaster. It rained, it was cold, and people didn’t come to the show. It was so bad that the producers actually credited us all $25 towards the second weekend of next years show. Now that’s pretty bad, I can’t remember the last time I had someplace actually give me a credit to entice me to come back the next year. D stopped by the booth again this year and I meant to call her to get in touch so we could hang out, but things got crazy and by the time I got torn down, home, dinner, and packed for my trip back to PA I was just whipped. I’m gonna drop her a line and maybe we can get together when I’m home in October.

So I decided next year that I was only going to give a deposit for one weekend. There are many other options for both the first weekend, as well as the weekend after this show. So I am going to look into doing two different shows in the same timeframe, with just the second weekend of Eagle Mills. That way I can still visit my mom, but hopefully I can make some more money. I would be visiting anyway, and if I am going to do poorly, than I’ll just come and visit- forget the hassle of doing a show. So I’ll try and find a more profitable show and if that doesn’t work out, than I’ll just be on vacation.

September 18-24 Week 38

What I didn’t tell you about last week was that on Thursday night I got a phone call that J was in the hospital for some severe abdominal pain that they weren’t sure what it was yet. I spent most of my day on Friday determining if I should be driving to Michigan rather than NY, but decided that I should at least do the show and drive up on Monday if I was needed. By Monday they had figured out her issue and released her, against their better judgment (and mostly everyone else’s). But she had to get to work or she’d loose her new job.

Monday through Friday I caught up on quite a bit of work that I needed to get done. I ordered samples for our new window shades in the house, I finished catching up on getting my mailing list entered, I called for a doctor’s appointment I had been meaning to schedule, I answered some long past due e-mails and I started my last classes before I graduate. I have three left, thank God, and I started one of them while I was gone. The other two will be done by mid-December!!!

Mom and I just had fun all week. We went to Saratoga one day and checked out the new yarn shop, went to AC Moore, and grabbed some lunch. Another day we went looking for fireplaces because C and I need either an insert or a new fa├žade for ours. We took a few days just to watch TV and chill and knit. It was a very nice and relaxing week. I wish I slept better, I was going through a phase where I was having odd dreams and the sounds of the house kept waking me up. It took a few days but I realized if I left the TV on for a few hours after I fell asleep I slept better because it drowned out external noises.

Saturday and Sunday were the second weekend of Eagle Mills (see another post).

September 11-17 Week 37

Well, I am pretty behind on my weekly updates.. good thing that I keep notes as to what the heck has been going on in my life.

The week started out pretty strange. B and I went to Atlantic City and were supposed to come home on Tuesday morning. Instead on Monday night she got very ill and we ended up staying till Wednesday just so that she could make the drive home without getting sicker. I played some slots and lost, but we did play a free slot tournament and we both won t-shirts. B was one slot away from winning money instead, but her score just wasn’t high enough. Because if this I missed a meeting at Main Line for jurying- luckily my peers know me well enough and although I didn’t have all my stuff together- they gave me a free pass and allowed me in anyway. Who says that hard work doesn’t pay off?

C was in Mexico for most of this week so when I did get home I had plenty of time to try and get caught up before heading to NY. Wednesday I got out some orders, made up a basket for the Northampton Library Auction, wrapped my mom’s birthday presents, and packed for the trip. Thursday I ran errands, packed the van with inventory, and generally just got things ready so I could go. C got home Thursday night (ok really Friday at like 12:30 am) and on Friday when he left for work I left for NY.

Mom & Rad were waiting for a delivery of their new hot tub and were hoping that I would be home in time for it to arrive so I could tell them where to put it. But the delivery company was running late, so rather than waiting for mom to get out of work and then going to set up the display, I went and set up and then just went home to chill.

Saturday and Sunday was the first weekend of Eagle Mills (see another post).

9.14.2006

September 4-September 10 Week 36

So next week you get to learn about my adventure that kept me from blogging on time this week. Meanwhile, this past week really was one that I had a tough time motivating myself. It’s the end of the summer, those long lazy days are gone and the fury of the holiday shopping season is soon upon us. I start school again in a few more weeks, just three classes to go until graduation. Then I need to get those student loans straightened out. I’m already stressing about next year, about what new shows to apply to, about what I should do with some free time. I feel that I could accomplish so much more than I do, maybe I am holding myself up to a bar that is already too high. I don’t know. But I’ll learn soon enough.

Anyway, enough about this…
Monday…Laundry, researched shows, went to an end of summer picnic dinner at B&M’s
Tuesday…Bills, the air conditioner was fixed, more laundry, dealt with paperwork
Wednesday…my merchant credit card terminal died.. it was fried when my merchant services provider tried to download a new program that updated my address. Whoops…the overnighted me a new unit. This was the best money I ever spent. When I opened my merchant account I bought an ancient unit off of e-bay that I figured would be discontinued, that within a year or two I wouldn’t be able to use it anymore. Well, it lasted my 4 years, and now was just updated with a unit with more memory for free, thanks to my service provider. How cool was that!
Thursday…I made basic soap so when I get back from NY I can make more soap. I sent out a box of goodies for a swap that I am in
Friday… errand day…bank, target, drycleaner, you name it
Saturday…laundry (this stuff never ends), we went to Home Depot and picked out a paint color for the living room finally, and I watched the NASCAR race…. So glad that the #6 made the chase….
Sunday…. Did stuff around the house and then went to Hay Creek- a craft show that B was doing. C stayed with M and B & I went to Atlantic City for the next few nights. By the time we got there Sunday we were tired, so we ate dinner, played some slots, and then went to bed…

9.05.2006

August 28-September 3- Week 35

This week was quite eventful for me in a very “home body” sort of way. I made quite a bit of soap during the week- actually getting myself to the point where I need to go and buy more lye. I also started a systematic cleaning of the house. Each day I hit a different room- the living room, the dining room, the bathrooms, and the kitchen all got thoroughly cleaned. I started a schedule of cleaning that will get me through the rest of the year with a pretty clean house and stuff for the business done as well.

Monday: Besides cleaning & making soap I did laundry and bills and paperwork.
Tuesday: Made some phone calls, got out an order, updated the blog, etc.
Wednesday: a day of cleaning & soapmaking….
Thursday: emails & phone calls
Friday: errands, visited my friend A for a few hours, and went furniture shopping in the afternoon- we need a set of drawers for the bedroom.
Saturday: Ikea (for the drawers) and Best Buy (for a TV that they didn’t have) as well as AC Moore (for yarn) and Joanne’s (for an Ott-lite)
Sunday: In the morning I started researching shows for 2007 (yes already) and in the afternoon we played mini golf with B&M and then went to their favorite Italian place for dinner. The gold was pretty cool- it is a new park in Philly where the holes are themed after Philly landmarks- like the liberty bell, and boathouse row…Good fun was had by all. Dinner was great and I had enough left over for at least two more meals. Yahoo!

8.29.2006

August 21-27 Week 34

This week was another of just rest and relaxation as much as possible. I planned on doing a show over the weekend, but instead a raving migraine and a big rain storm kept me at home. I probably would have gone to the show if it was sunny and I had a headache, or if it was raining and I felt fine, but the combination of the two was too much for me to take and to try and work through.

Monday: I went to the bank to make my deposit- accidentally depositing the money I use as change in my cash register- forcing me back to the bank on Friday for money for the show that I ended up not going to. I paid bills, caught up on laundry, ran the credit card sales from the show, got out an order, and did some other miscellaneous paperwork and phone calls.

Tuesday: I got my hair cut. I really like my new hair stylist. Her name is Sandy and is at the Artisan Salon & Day Spa here in Emmaus. I also went to the grocery store in the hopes of actually cooking some real meals, went to the post office, and made an appointment to get my oil change and a recall on my van fixed.

Wednesday: Not much during the day other than making soap, but at night we went to dinner with B&M to celebrate M’s birthday. We got him a trivia game based on the Soprano’s. I think he wishes he grew up as part of the Italian Mob.

Thursday: Made more soap. I really need to get caught up on some inventory. I don’t think I have enough lye in the house to get what I need to get made completed. I’m dreading the drive to go pick up more. Maybe B will want to come and we can make it a day trip. Who knows?

Friday: I got up and got my oil changed and my van fixed and inspected. I dropped off some soap at OOOH and then quickly got home, because my stomach was starting notteo feel well, and who likes to be sick in public? Not me. When C got home from work we talked about going and setting up for the show but decided that my tummy wasn’t ready for a port-a-pot, or lack there of, so we decided to wait till morning. Good thing, around 9pm my head felt as though it had split open and my brain was trying to escape. Then around midnight it started raining and thundering so hard I don’t know if my tent would have made it through the downpour if I had set it up.

Saturday: Around 5 am I finally got relief from my headache enough to get some sleep. We had decided about 3 am not to go to the show. I struggled with the headache all day, so much so that we skipped the opportunity to go to Atlantic City with B & M for the day. The thought of being in a moving car just didn’t sound like any fun. Add in the incessant jingle of a slot machine and I think I would have lost my mind…Around 7 pm I started to watch the NASCAR race and couldn’t make it through- so glad we have a TiVo.

Sunday: Headache gone, but still lots of rain. Boy was I glad I didn’t go to that show. It rained so hard we didn’t even go up to look around and get some good food. Instead we rearranged the bedroom, getting rid of an armoire and adding shelves to the closets. Now we just need a set of drawers.

8.21.2006

August 14-20, 2006 Week 33

This week really was just getting done with one show and then turning it over and doing another one. Monday I had to go to the bank and make a deposit, answer phone calls, pay bills, and order ribbons for my merchant credit card machine. That night B and I took a cosmetics class. It was fun to spoil myself for a few hours.

Tuesday I printed flyers, packed the van, cleaned my displays and table covers, did laundry and packed inventory.

Wednesday: J came in the late afternnon. C and I met in Lansdale and then drove to set up the booth, before coming home and having dinner with J.

Thursday: Errands that had to be done, the drycleaner, getting cat food and cat litter, going to the post office, etc. J and I then made about 270 fizzys. We then tried to find a yarn store I thought was in Northampton, but I later learned was in Nazareth. Oops…

Friday-Sunday- Philadelphia Folk Festival.

I don’t know if I like my biggest shows being back to back like this. It is just painful. I hurt, I am behind in the housework, I am behind on orders, I am behind on e-mail, I am behind on sleep.. But I can tell you one thing, the deposit slips make it all better….

August 19 & 20, 2006 Phila Folk Fest Days 2&3

Day 2 the last few weeks really started setting in. I was darn tired. After getting up way early to wrap some bath fizzys, the day was just way long. I can’t say enough about how pleasant and fun this festival is for me to do, and the sales don’t hurt either. Saturday was an exceptional day, and I really believe that having a corner booth and having it located where it was located had a large hand in how well my sales went. I am now interested in spending the extra money (often corners cost more) in a few other shows to see if getting a corner booth increases my sales by enough to warrant the expense.

Sunday was my best day of sales ever. I cannot believe the response that I got from the customers. I really though after Friday and Saturday going so well, that Sunday would be a dud. It started out really slow because of the heat and humidity, but picked up in the late afternoon and then just didn’t slow down. Load out was a breeze. Although we choose to wheel out all of our stuff, rather than bringing in the van, it was still simple and so extremely well organized it is amazing.

Like all shows not everyone is happy all of the time, and many people didn’t do well, or as well as they thought they should. Some started packing up pretty early, others stayed open late to try and get the last remnants of people as they left the late concert. I stayed open a little later and then just got tired and decided to pack up.

I also got some wonderful trades- earrings and an anklet from Isis, and another set or earrings and a pin from a couple that my dad bought from last year. I also did some shopping, some earrings for a gift, and some (ok lots) of yarn for me. I think I have enough yarn for 15+ projects now. I need to get some serious knitting done. I just need some serious down time to get in done during. J told me that there is a new yarn store in Saratoga now too, I’ll have to bring my mom when I am there for her birthday.

J was here Wed-Sat. It was very nice to get to see her and spend time with her before she moved. She came to the festival with me and even loosened up enough to take off her shoes and sock and walk on the ground! This is a huge deal- as she really hates all things nature and dirty. She enjoyed her days enough to think about taking the festival off next year and coming to the booth to help. So it must be a pretty cool place to be…

What a little makeup will do ya.....



So the day after Musikfest B and I took this Cosmetics class at the local college. I figured that it has been yeas since I have seriously put on any makeup, and that a brush up on what my best colors are would be a good thing. So the first picture is my before shot. It makes me look really, really tired, but I was so I guess that is OK. The second shot is my after picture. I think I look pretty good, a little more polished, but not excessive.

8.19.2006

August 18, 2006 Phila Folk Fest Day 1

The first day of the festival this year has been terrific. First, I have a corner booth, so I have great visibility, plus my “smellies” get out into the public, for some free advertisement. I have a great location as well, as just about everyone that comes in or out can see or smell me. So on that note, sales exceeded expectations for me this year so far. If this keeps up, I will be one happy camper. They are calling for some rain on Sunday, so we will see how it goes.

There are a lot of crafters this year, over 50. And many new ones, different, than last year, and some that I know from other shows as well. I’m already working on the barters (big surprise) and have some great ideas for things that I want. The kicker is, some of the things that I thought would be here aren’t, so I don’t have the opportunity to spend money like I thought I would.

Breakfast was good, French toast, cereal, and juice. Lunch was wither a chicken Cesar salad or a veggie burger with a salad, along with some corn, a roll, a drink, and a popsicle. Like last year they came around to get you change, give you water and/or ice, and generally just be really, really, nice people. J was with me and she agreed that this really is a special show.

I had a good amount of repeat customers which was really nice to see. Some bought for them today and say they will be back for gifts on Sunday. That would be cool!

But the first day is the longest. We came in early so we could get J’s badge (which wasn’t in the computer), set up, and get breakfast, as well as avoid the crazy traffic. We succeeded, but it made for an 18 hour day. So sleep came quickly, and not for long enough…..

8.16.2006

Plummy Update

Well, I guess I didn't have enough support, or just wasn't cool enough to make it farther than the nomination. I'm not listed as one of the three you can vote for. That is OK. I think it was so cool that Katy thought of me to nominate me. I did take a look at the other three, and I did vote. Because who likes a sore looser?

8.14.2006

August 7-13 2006 Week 32

In a word- Musikfest

C was out of town Monday-Thursday in Mexico for work.
Over the weekend the handyman came and installed the bedroom ceiling fans.

besides that the week is a blur......

August 13, 2006 Musikfest Day 10

Well the show ended for me on a high note with Sunday being the best day of the event. It is already being published in the paper that this year’s event has been the highest attended ever, with somewhere over 1 million people in over 10 days. I will admit, my sales did not reflect that this was the highest attended event ever, but with Sunday being as strong as it was, I made out almost as I did 4 years ago- my first time at the show.

Tear down was surprisingly civil, typically there is at least one yelling match, but alas, there wasn’t. There is however a lack of direction and assistance from ArtsQuest at the end of the show. I know they are busy, and that they trust us to be adults, but there really should be someone directing traffic. The people next to me that have the huge trailer, surprisingly didn’t pull it in and block everyone like they have in years past, but pulled it in to the side and hauled their wooden signs rather than loading right into the trailer.

I also, like every year, make some wonderful trades. I got a necklace from Autdemna Jewlers (http://www.autdemnajewelers.com/home%20page.html), some hanging pots and a lamp from Acorn Tinnery, some prints for the girls (K&M) from James Browne (http://www.jamesbrowne.net) , and a bracelet from J & F, whose company name escapes me right now.

I also acquired some leads on some other shows that I need to look into doing, lots of great ideas for soaps for next year, and a lead on doing some sales through a local high school band as a fundraiser. All in all this has been a pretty profitable show for me and if these leads pan out, it will be great.

8.13.2006

A Plummy in my future???



I have been nominated for a Plummy award…What is a Plummy award…. Well, it is an award for excellence in crafting, and Katy in Chicago nominated me in the Bath and Body category…

When she nominated me she said…”Hedge makes all-natural soaps, lotions, fizzies and other body goodies by hand and then sells them on her website, in retail stores and at art/craft fairs. She deals with all aspects of having her own business, and has been at it for a few years”

Thank you Katy for you recognition!

Nominations are being accepted until August 15th and you can learn more at http://plummies.plumofthemonth.com. If you have other favorite crafters, be sure to nominate them… Just not in the Bath and Body Category… I want this so bad I can taste it!!! So starting August 15th- vote for me early and often! The winners will be announced September 1st. But really, its like getting nominated for anything- it really is the nomination the counts!

August 12, 2006 Musikfest Day 9

It was day 9. Just 1 to go, and we started counting down the hours before the day even officially began.

I love my customers, and I consider everyone who steps into my booth a customer, whether they make a purchase or not. I want my customers to be happy, and informed, and generally enjoy their experience. I want them to equate coming into my booth, getting a chance to smell the good smells and having a pleasant conversation with me, with having an overall good time. I want them to come back year after year, a sort of tradition. But by day 9, as I smile and chat, there is a little devil on my shoulder yelling “buy something or get out, can’t you see I’m tired, and thinking hurts my head”…it never comes out of my mouth, and the angel on the other shoulder always wins, but in the last of these long, strange days, the struggle exists. Not always, but sometimes….

I also have a hard time with the prevalence of debit cards and the use of credit cards. For a typical $10.60 transaction paid for with a credit card, I loose .60 to state sales tax, .32 for the credit card fee, and an additional .45 for the processing of the transaction itself. That leaves me with $9.24 for the purchase of three soaps (or about $3.08 each). Now, I cannot legally (or for me ethically) put up a sign asking for a minimum purchase for credit card use. This is a no-no and could lead to me loosing my merchant account if someone complained. But I don’t think we as a society think about exactly how much money the credit card companies and the merchant processing companies make off of our use of these cards. It really costs, and do you think the Wal-Mart’s of the world just write off these costs? No they pass them onto the consumer. It is the little guys like me that get stuck. I need to accept cards, or loose a sale altogether, but I don’t take enough of them to feel like it is fair to pass on the added costs to every customer in the form of a price hike. And it is not legal for me to pass them onto just the people using cards, or legal for me to ask them to make a minimum purchase to help defray the costs either. I mean, yesterday I took a card for a purchase of $3.98- my take after all the fees and taxes- $3.18, about 15% less than I would have if it was paid with cash.

Oh by the way, sales wise it was the best day of the festival. I really did well. The weather was beautiful (even a little cold at night) and people were enjoying their evening. I can’t believe the number of repeat customers that have come in and told me how much they enjoy my products. Although I am tired physically, it sure has been good to rejuvenate my spirit.

8.12.2006

August 10 & 11, 2006 Musikfest Day 7 & 8

It’s at the point in the show where I feel like Frankenstein’s Monster when I get up in the mornings. My eyes are glued closed with sleep, every bone in my body hurts, so I lurch down the hallway, and my brain has totally turned off- if I haven’t written it down, it just ain’t getting done. I can't believe that after this I have to spend a day cleaning the tent/displays and repacking, so I can go set up again on Wednesday at the Phila Folk Festival. But it only takes one good night of sleep to put it all right.

Thursday was not as good as the miracle of Wednesday’s sales, but it was a surprisingly strong night. The day itself was blah- nothing that stood out that I remember now. I started getting caught up on my reading- I only have 6 months of magazines to go through, and knitted a wash cloth. I’ve been trying to knit one or more every day. For some reason they take longer for me than a bath mitt. I wonder why…

Friday has been my best day of sales yet. The list of soaps that I need to make is growing and it looks like I’ll have a pretty bust last week in August, first weeks in September catching up. I also have been selling bath fizzys like crazy, so I will need to make about 700 of them before folk fest in order to have any inventory at all. The lip balms seem to be pretty popular in their new tubes as well. I have also started working out a deal to sell a soap and a lotion bar in a seed catalog. Hopefully I’ll have more info on that in the coming months. And finally, I think I have killed my printer. I as way too much of it, and we have started searching for a higher quality, faster printing color laser printer. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

8.10.2006

August 9, 2006 Musikfest Day 6

Once I got home last night and counted my sales, I was pleasantly surprised. Although all evening I had this overwhelming feeling that I just wanted to go home and I just wanted everyone to go away. But the day was uneventful except for two things to make note of:

1) A great T shirt: “Sarcasm is your body’s natural defense against stupid” This is often my experience down pat. It can be at home, at work, or at play, I tend to be the most sarcastic when I am dealing with the most stupid. I hate stupid people. Not the developmentally challenged- but people who have a perfectly good brain in working order, and have made a choice to not use it to its fullest potential. I especially hate watching young girls that have already been conditioned into a Barbie mentality- that they can’t think for themselves, or make their own decisions.. It’s fine to be indecisive (I often am), but indecision, and the lack of an ability to make a decision are two completely different things
2) I was paid the highest complement I have ever been paid. A woman came into the stand and bough bath fizzys. She explained how she buys them for her mother for Christmas every year, and how her mother has come to expect them. She also explained how they store the fizzys in with all the other Christmas gifts, so that everything smells nice by the time its wrapped for the holiday. But at the end of the transaction she thanked me “for the tradition”. Wow, those are the moments I live for. I’ll at least give a few minutes of thought this holiday to that family and to that mother, and how my little bath fizzys have brought her joy that day.

8.09.2006

Monday August 7 and Tuesday August 8- Musikfest Days 4 & 5

I really must remember to do more shows next year before Musikfest. This is just painful when you are out of practice….I wonder, is it bad that I am eating cookies for breakfast? Are they really any worse than the Lucky Charms I would have had if I was eating cereal?.....If there is such a thing as Crafter Hell, is Martha Stewart the caretaker of the place, or is it run by ArtsQuest? (this has been a debate the last few days)… Besides calling them Lotion Bars, and having the directions on the container, how much more can I do to explain to people that they are a solid moisturizing bar- like lotion- but solid- in bar form…..Why, although I am so tired, did I stay up an extra 45 minutes to watch Rock Star: Supernova, when we all know Delanna (sp?) is going to win…Why do I bother getting to the booth early to set up, when my first sale is never before 2 pm?...My best friend is getting out of the Army next week. While she was in, at least I could rationalize my tax dollars going for her salary, and helping to feed my goddaughter. What now?....

OK… I digressed enough, on to the show.

Since I didn’t blog Monday I’ll do it here (because although its only a little over a day ago, who can really remember it?). I have been told by a reliable source that Monday’s attendance was the lowest they had in 4 years. My sales showed it. (Although they were better than Sunday, so what does that say?). There was a chance of rain and thunderstorms all day, so I liked to use that as an excuse for people not to come out. So B And I got to chat all day. And really, that’s all I really remember.

Tuesday… I got a chance to read a few of my magazines that I am behind on, and started formulating a plan for 2007 already. Scary ehh? I have recently equated my life much like a roller coaster. January is when you get in the ride vehicle and you are a little scared, but mostly excited, are spending most of your time chatting aimlessly with your friends. February is when the brakes come off and you start your ascent, hearing the track click away as you start up the first hill. March and April you come to the top and are anticipating the big drop. May and June is a trick, when you only plummet down a little ways, just to be hauled back up and ever greater, steeper incline. By the end of July you are at the highest point of the ride, scared for your life, and the beginning of August is when you plummet, stomach in your throat. September through December you just hold on for the ride, all its twists and turns.. and a week before Christmast the ride comes into a stop in the station. The feeling of being on solid ground, and the oppressive tightness of the harness being released is a prayer that has been answered. But before you even get out of the building you want to ride again, and Christmas through New Years is waiting in the queue line for the car in the front row.

Oh, the show… I did better than I expected. Weather was nice, but a little windy during the afternoon. Nothing of any serious interest to report….

8.07.2006

July 30-August 6 Week 31

This week was mostly prep for Musikfest: getting things done around the house, making some inventory, and just trying to rest before the storm.

Monday: Made about 60 new samplers, started labeling lip gloss containers, finished the small poncho for K I was knitting, and started another adult one.

Tuesday: Print flyers for the show, mail out an order (now that it cooled down it won’t melt in transit), mailed an ad out for a program for a show that I’m doing in November. Made Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey bath fizzys.

Wednesday: Wrapped the fizzys, cut up soap to put it to cure, went shopping with B- I bought beads for some shawls I knit, some yarn, and a pair of shorts for me and some shirts for C. Knit the rest of the evening.

Thursday: Besides setting up for the show (see the Day 0 post), I ran to the post office, and we went out to dinner with B & M.

Friday: Other than Musikfest, I picked up some groceries, did laundry, and blogged. “I” was here at night staying with us.

Saturday: Didn’t do much else besides Musikfest. “I” was here at night.

Sunday: Besides Musikfest J came into town on the afternoon. She came over to the show for a while, but she had to get up early to leave for work so she didn’t stay late either.

August 6, 2006- Musikfest day 3

The day started off very slowly, and although sales picked up later in the evening, I was surprised that I sold much less than it felt like I sold. There are always days like that- days where you feel super busy, only to come home to count the money and be disappointed, and some days that feel long and slow, but surprise you at the end. The three day total is acceptable, but below what I had been hoping for. The long range forecast is calling for great weather next weekend, and at night during the week, so I am being hopeful that in the end it will be a good show.

For the past four years I have befriended a volunteer that I’ll call “K”, well it is her time to grow up, she goes to college in just 20 short days. I wish I could afford to get her what she really wants- a drum- but instead I will try and see if I can find her something cool as a going away gift. I see so much of myself in her it is scary. I think going away to school will be a great experience for her and I’m glad that she has promised to come back next summer too so she can tell me all about it.

I knitted another washcloth, this one came out better. It is still looser than the ones my mom makes, but as B pointed out- so what- it gives people a choice. I just can’t get over comparing mine to hers and thinking that mine look so inferior. But B is right, to the customer; they just see “different”, not better or worse when it comes to knitted dishcloths.

8.06.2006

August 5, 2006- Musikfest day 2

It has only been two days and I am physically wiped out. My feet hurt, my legs hurt, it must be funny to watch me walk around the house and down the stairs until I get all the kinks worked out. I don’t remember craft shows tiring me out like this. I usually feel like this around day 7, not day 2. And no matter how much I try and sleep in, I am wide awake around 6 am, and just lay there till 7, listening to the cats beg for food.

Sales seem pretty strong this year. So far I am happy, but only the days during the week will really tell for sure. The weekends are usually pretty good, its those days during the week that really make a difference in the overall bottom line.

Overall the day was quiet and uneventful. B and I are trying to figure the “theme” of this years attendees. See last year it was like every other person had on “Cabella’s” merchandise, or was smoking a cigar. This year the cigars are much less popular, and I have seen few Cabella’s branded hats or shirts. What I have noticed is the trend of women to wear black bras with clothing that you can see them through (like pink wifebeaters), and more and more tattoos. I wonder, as tattooing goes more mainstream, what will the “rebels” amongst us do to differentiate themselves?

I also have a comment about Goth- last night Alice and Chains preformed, so there was quite a bit of what I think of as Gothlite – all the black, none of the makeup. Now I understand this is a fashion choice, a way of life choice, but geeze, it was 90 this afternoon, where does common sense overcome fashion sense. It makes me hot just thinking about how hot they must be walking around in the sun in all that black.

I also knit my first washcloth. My mom usually makes them, but I asked for the pattern. I am less than happy with my tension. And I tend to slip knit wise and she slips purl wise, so once it is done, upon inspection you can easily tell which one is mine. I stated another one with one size smaller needles so I hope that will help make mine look like hers a lot more.

8.05.2006

August 4, 2006- Musikfest day 1

I am the Queen of Craft Show Karma. What is craft show karma you may ask? I believe it is when one crafter does something nice for another, and eventually it comes back to you- when you need someone or something at a craft show, someone will be there for you. Its sort of a “Pay if Forward” idea, but just more limited to art and craft shows.

This was the day for me to charge up that karma. “I” who has a booth a few down from me and who in past years has been my neighbor, started chatting and mentioned that she could not find a hotel room for the next two nights and planned on sleeping in her van. Now she is not a kid anymore, and with this terrible heat that we have been agonizing through, I just couldn’t let her do it. So for two nights she is our guest, until she can check into her hotel on Sunday. Later that morning another a few down the other side of me didn’t have a long enough extension cord, so my trusty electrical bag got opened and they will be using mine until they bring in another.

But I think some of this love has already been paid back- in spades. See, C and I were talking just the other night about how tired I was of craft shows, and show mentally beat I was. We were talking about alternative paths I could take, and when I should take them. But the show today was just amazing. Customer after customer commented on my new displays, on my new labels, on how much they enjoy watching me grow from year to year. One said that it was his pleasure to watch me and my business evolve. Wow… that one is gonna stick with me for a while. It was just the boost I needed at the exact time that I needed it. Oh yea, and I made pretty good sales too.

8.04.2006

August 3, 2006- Musikfest- Day 0- Set up

It is amazing- every show I do- no matter where I do it, no matter when I do it, no matter how long it has been in existence and how long the promoter has been promoting it- something has to go wrong.

I arrived around 5 pm- to realize that there was an electrical box in the space where my tent was marked to go. And the electrical line running to it was hung so low that even if I moved my tent over a foot or two, I couldn’t put it at full height (or any height for that matter) without having this huge wire draping on the top of my tent. So I called JH.

JH is the Events Manager. I’m an old soul, so I think of him as a young kid, but really in age I’m only I guess about 5 or so years older than him. But he was lovely- he came right down, called the electricians, got it taken care of, and I got to set up.

B is next to me, so while this was happening, she and M showed up to set up and had to wait till the electricians on the bucket truck came in and fixed the mayhem. Then they set up too.

I have a shiny new tent, a tent that when the wind blew in almost blew into the creek that runs behind the tent. I FREAKED as I was in it, sitting on the ground as it started to tip. And I had no clue who was around me and where they were and if they could help. Luckily C was there (I just didn’t know where) and B grabbed it as well, as long as a kind stranger crafter who came rushing to the rescue as I scream at the top of my lungs for help, as I visualize my new spiffy tent floating down the stream and me starting to pray that BJ’s had another one.

After we set up, we all went to Perkins, where the food was good, but the service was slow. It started raining, hard, so hard that the window in our booth started leaking and raining in the inside. So after we ate, C and I went down to check on the status of the tents- to be sure that no branches fell on the tents, to be sure there were no gaping holes in the top or sides. We made it through fine. The oppressive heat of the last week has started to break. We’re gonna have a great show, I can just feel it.

7.30.2006

July 24-30 Week 30

This week we changed our plans. We were going to go to Vermont to check out a boutique style craft show, but with the pressing amount of things I needed to get done for show season, the huge amount of stuff to do around the house, and the fact that C starts a new job on Monday (actually same job, same place, just for a new company), sit just made sense to stay home and get stuff done. I got to get some inventory done and C just did bunches of stuff around the house, and got to relax some too.

Monday: unloaded the van from the show. Went to AC Moore with J. They are carrying a huge ball of cotton yarn for only $10 now. I picked one up and will keep going back with my weekly 40% off coupon till I pick up all the colors. It makes nice bath mitts and will make quite a few of them too. Went to the bank and made my deposit- I also changed my address and ordered checks. Went to both post offices. I needed to make sure that my old PO box was being forwarded- which it is. J and I went to see Cars- it was too funny!!! I don’t see enough movies. I need to start bringing myself to see things that I want to see during the day once in a while.

Tuesday: B and I went to CDM Wholesale. She is on a show committee and needed to check things out in order to try and cut down on the amount of buy/sell at the show. We also went to the Flower and Craft Warehouse. We had a great lunch and a lot of fun. When I got home I started labeling lip balms.

Wednesday: Went to Out of Our Hands and updated my inventory (except bath fizzys) and then came home and almost finished those darn lip balms.

Thursday: Lip balms complete! C and I met J at the outlet mall and hung out for the day. I got a new pair of shoes which are really comfortable and I also picked up my mom’s birthday present- so now I don’t have to worry about that! C bought J a really nice purse. I joked it was her “happy graduation, happy birthday, glad you’re out of the military, sorry you’re moving, don’t expect anything else for Christmas” present… but its really just cuz we love her and C liked thinking that she will have something with her every day that will remind her that she is loved.

Friday: Worked on bath salts, went to the grocery store, stopped at Lowes, and J came for the night as she drove home to Michigan for little K’s birthday party.

Saturday: We set up the new tent, I worked on bath salts, back to AC Moore for more yarn, to Lay-Z-Boy to pick out furniture, Target for cat litter, did laundry, and vacuumed.

Sunday: Waterproofed the tent and finished the bath salts. Started putting together samplers and just about finished K’s poncho I have been knitting her. I took a nap in the afternoon, so now I am wide awake and doing stuff when I should be asleep.

7.26.2006

39 things about me

I was just sent this from a friend so I decided to answer on line instead of in an e-mail...

1. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR KITCHEN PLATES? Ivory with Hunter Green
2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING? 1000 Gardening Questions and Answers
3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A Cartoon Giraffe and baby Giraffe
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Parcheesi
5. YOUR FAVORITE MAGAZINE? The Crafts Report
6. YOUR FAVORITE SMELL? Egyptian Cotton (A linen and musk blend)
7. WORST SMELL? Patchouli
8. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? I need to feed the cats so I can go back to sleep
9. FAVORITE COLOR? Green
10. LEAST FAVORITE COLOR? Pink
11. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? 3 or 4
12. FUTURE (or first) CHILD'S NAME: Yikes!! Cats not Kids!
13 WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE? Love
14. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Chocolate
15. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? Oh yeah!
16. FAVORITE TV SHOW? Project Runway right now, CSI: Las Vegas in the fall
17. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? Nope
18. STORMS - COOL OR SCARY? Cool...especially at night
19. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? VW Bug
20. IF YOU COULD MEET ONE PERSON (LIVING OR DECEASED)? Ayn Rand
21. IF YOU COULD BE ANYONE YOU WANTED TO BE, WHO WOULD IT BE? I am happy to be me, but I’d like to be me with Oprah’s bank account!
22. WHAT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? May 10
23. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI? yes
24. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB. WHAT WOULD IT BE? The one I have

25. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY HAIR COLOR, WHAT WOULD IT BE? mine is fine
26. IS THE GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY? Doesn’t matter- pretty soon you’re gonna spill it
27. FAVORITE MOVIE? Shawshank Redemtion
28. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS? Not even close
29. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? Nothing, maybe one of the cats….
30. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? NASCAR- vroom vroom….
31. WHAT IS YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST FEAR? drowning
32. SAY ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Chris was my best bud in college, I wish we lived closer
33. KETCHUP OR MUSTARD? Mustard
34. HAMBURGER OR HOTDOG? Hotdog from Yocco’s
35. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SOFT DRINK? Coke
36. THE BEST PLACE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN? I really liked Curacao
37. WHAT SCREENSAVER IS ON YOUR COMPUTER NOW? None, I turn off my screen
38. PERSON MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? No one, I’m posting to my blog
39. PERSON LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? ??

7.24.2006

June 22-23 Blueberry Festival at Burnside Plantation

I have one word for you- Redemption. Last year I was worried about the future of this show and after this year, despite the rain, I am feeling as though it is back in track as a strong, vibrant, local craft show. Many of the crafters (but not all of them) that I personally disagree with their presence were gone, and there seemed to be more crafters this year than ever. As usual the blueberry pies and ice cream and other goodies were top notch and I was unable to say no to the temptations, as I now have three pies in my fridge (I wonder if they freeze?). It rained all morning on Saturday. A hard rain, enough to keep all but the most dedicated away. By the time it cleared, people already had set plans to do other things besides walk around in the steaming sun at a festival. Sales wise, I was surprised that I made what I did. Sunday was a good day- a strong Sunday, but not enough sales to make up for Saturday. All in all I made very close to the same amount as I did in 2005, which is still about 50% less than 2004. But I think that if it hadn’t of rained this show would have been as strong as 2004 and possibly better. It was nice to have J with me- even though she hates thunder storms, and anything that resembles camping (which being in a craft tent sort of does). But she knit her very first bath mitt and started a second one, reading the pattern all by herself…I’m so proud of her and I wish I could pick up crochet as fast as she has picked up knitting. It’s been a good, solid start to a long craft show season.

Best Sellers:
Soap: Lavender
Bath Fizzy: Gardenis
Bath Salt: Lavender, Oatmeal Milk & Honey, Wisdom (tie_
Lip Balm: Chocolate Truffle
Lotion Bar: Autumn Amber

June 17-23- Week 29

Well its official- show season is starting and I am totally out of shape and unprepared for this season. I can barely remember how to put up a tent, and getting organized on my side of the table is a challenge. The week went well and all in all has been positive, with many great things. I learned how to fold some awesome paper boxes, I participated in Emmaus Heritage Days for a few days at Out of Our Hands, and I received my new labels for my lip balms and lip glosses- so I had the opportunity to get some of those labeled as well.

Monday: Dinner with B&M. After a long hot day, B was a little dazed and confused. I think we all were. I cleaned the house in the morning a little, and the rest of the day, plumbers, handymen, and flooring guys came in and gave us estimates on some work we’d like to have done in the house. Yikes! Some of it was a little more pricy than we expected. Especially that sink in the basement (and water, and pump, and counter…).

Tuesday: Paid bills, started putting together stock for Out of Our Hands, went looking for a sofa, knit- finishing a shawl. The sofa hunt was interesting. Man there is a plethora of ugly furniture out there. Lots of stuff that is dated, and lots of fur magnets. With three cats I need to make sure whatever material I choose isn’t just a large lint brush in disguise. The cats will lay on it and leave behind the equivalent of another cat in fur and I’ll be constantly trying to vacuum the thing.

Wednesday: I finished putting together Out of Our Hands stock, went to the post office, picked up dry cleaning, and bought yarn for my next few projects- a child’s poncho for my nieces birthday, an adults poncho (same but bigger) and a Runan (I think I spelled that right) essentially a poncho without all the bulk, and much more style. With my show schedule these should keep me busy till September.

Thursday: I spent the morning at Out of Our Hands with a display outside because it was Emmaus Heritage Days and I am an Emmaus artist since we moved in June. Yippee! Unfortunately the scalding heat drove away most people who may have come by. That evening I went to a class with B about paper box making. It was very cool. I had made boxes before but in a different way and in a way that needed a lot of measuring, these were just so easy I’ll be making some of them for sure. I want to see if I can figure one that will hold bath fizzys. I think they would look great in folded boxes.

Friday: I wrapped lip balm in the morning because I got my new labels in. I messed up and bought the wrong size label though. So once I run out of these 2000 I need to measure again and order the right size next time. J came in the early afternoon. We were going to set up for Blueberry Festival but they were calling for rain, and with the downpour we got I was glad we didn’t set up. Instead we went to AC Moore and I bought a rotary paper cutter so I can cut those new labels down to the size I need more easily. We went to Out of Our Hands from 5-8 where I set up again. It was quiet, but we had lots of fun hanging out outside. We got packed just as the rain started.

Saturday- Sunday: Blueberry Festival at Burnside Plantation.