May 21-27, 2007 Week 21

Besides Mayfair (see other posts) I really got quite a bit done this week. I really think much of it has to do with the fact that I had taken the weekend off, relaxed, and did something that I wanted to do for a while, start my garden.

Monday: After taking three whole days off I was ready to get back into the shop, but I had promised myself and C four days out of the shop, so I did a bunch of other things instead. I called Lowe’s to get a time set to get the last of our blinds installed. The replacements had finally come and now we can finally get this fiasco off of our plate. I also did my accounting for March & April, and after I finished that did my sales tax for PA, rather late, but not so late as to get me in trouble at Mayfair for it not being done. I also printed out new signage for the entire booth. I talked to B about the darts banquet that was this night that I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it to, and I did laundry. I also got a few boxes mailed- one to J with some things for the girls and some recipe books for her. And as usual on Monday I blogged and paid my bills….

Tuesday: Finally back in the shop. K came over and she e-bayed just about everything that I have hanging around here at the house. While she did that I got the signage laminated and stamps on the newsletters so I could finally get them mailed out. I did the usual chores: bring out the garbage, check the hot tub chems, dishes, cat pan, etc. I sold one thing on e-bay just after she posted it, so I got that mailed out as well as a few orders I needed to send. To day also included a trip to Home Depot to get some more garden soil, dinner at a local Italian place, and some time on line at Staples for toner.

Wednesday: Amongst everything else I somehow found some time to knit. I am a little more than halfway finished with B’s afghan. There are 8 strips that make it up, I have four completely done and one more almost complete. K came and completed the e-bay. We made the day short because I knew that Mayfair was going to be long and hot. I finished getting my veggies in the garden plated (lettuce, beets, cucumber, pepper, tomato & basil). I also stopped at AC Moore for some hemp cord so we could make bubble bags at Mayfair and I got the parts of the bubble bags cut down and flattened- all ready for assembly. I also got change at the bank, got another toner at Staples that I didn’t order the day before, because I didn’t know it was low, and packed the van for the show. Somewhere in this mess I also got soap cut and into the curing room and four batches of basic soap made. Whew… looking back on it all makes me tired….

Thursday: I folded flyers in the morning before going and setting up for the show and doing the first day of the show. I also got to suck a spider into the vacuum- I HATE SPIDERS, and although I always emotionally miss C while he is gone (he is in Puerto Rico this week and weekend), it is things like this that I sometimes take for granted and really miss him being around for. I mean, this thing was so big it thumped on the side of the vacuum hose, yuck!

Friday: Before going to the show I: packed the fridge with water bottles, ate breakfast, counted the bubble bags made the day before while at the show and logged them into inventory, printed labels, packed things to do at the show this day, cleaned the cat water bowl, updated my events calendar, ran credit cards through the terminal from the sales the day before, cleaned the cat pan, brought out the garbage, put chlorine in the hot tub, filled the outside birdfeeders, and watered the garden. Then I went to the show….

Saturday: Printed labels so we could finish labeling lotion bars at the show, packed soap, packed molds to show a potential new client , and some packaging options, printed my mailing list so I could go through that and get rid of duplicates, watered the garden, counted sales and inventory, packed inventory to being to the show, packed lunch, and inventoried in bubble bags mad the day before…. Then off to the show…

Sunday: I changed sheets on the bed, started laundry, ran credit cards, straightened up the house (C was coming home and it was a mess), bloged the last few days of show, packed my lunch, packed inventory to bring to the show, and I emptied out my tent of all the extra stuff I didn’t need- a work table, some boxes, an extra display and an extra chair. Good thing since I think if everything was still in the tent when the storm hit, things would have been a lot uglier.


Mayfair Festival of the Arts Day 4 May 27, 2007

Mayfair Day 4

I think only one word can describe the day- fiasco…It is the only way I can describe a show that doesn’t bother to warn its crafters that a large storm is heading their way. It is the only way I can describe a show where there is no assistance for the dozen or so crafters who had completely lost or broken tents due to the storm. It is the only way I can describe the fact that a crafter opens a sewer line to use it as a storm drain, only to fill the artist market tent with noxious fumes, sending one person to the hospital after they just about pass out.

Somehow by the grace of God I avoided large losses. The storm came through at just an angle that it blew in the back “extension” portion of the tent, letting in air that tried very hard to move the tent, to blow it over. It pulled stakes out of the ground. I held on to a beam, feet off the ground, using all 165 lbs of me as ballast, as the tent rocked and shaked through the wind. I have never been so scared in my life, for my life, for the life of others if the tent did actually blow away…

We had no warning other than the grey skies coming towards us. I saw little or no help after the fact. It was a good Samaritan that helped me lower my tent closer to the ground as another storm just skirted us, bringing more rain and more wind. I counted around a dozen tents that were just gone from were they started, tables and displays standing in 3 inches of water, no roof, no sides, and a twisted, crumpled mess of metal and tarp fabric 20 feet or so behind where a booth once stood.

As I waited in line to gain entry, to pack my booth early, to call it a day and go home, behind me was a line of weary, worn, crafters who lost everything, or nearly everything. People who I have seen before, who I know, who I care about, soaked to the skin, hair tussled, a complete look of surprise and utter disbelief that this had happened to them. Anger building as the process of “escorting” cars through the uncaring and sparse crowds made for long lines of people waiting to get both in and out of the craft area. And as I watched some pack, show management came by, and rather than showing compassion for their losses, for their fear, and their anger, they only showed heartlessness, and a complete lack of understanding as they admonished many for leaving early, for packing up and going home, in essence for taking care of themselves physically, emotionally, and financially.

I can only say two things, one, K was an angel sent to me this day. Her presence allowed me not to completely loose my mind, as she packed my booth, I packed B’s inventory, since she was the one brought to the hospital. It was having K around that kept me from just breaking down, and not knowing what to do next, she gave me focus (not much I felt like a twit) but enough to be able to think in a rational manner, to make decisions, and to get braced for another storm if it came before we could get out.

The other thing is that it was a miracle that no one was seriously hurt that I know of. Tents from one side blew into empty spots on the other, tents blew where no one walks, and all those electric cords sitting in standing water didn’t electrocute a soul. Now I sit today in vigil and wait to hear about B and her health. Last M told us she was in the hospital, waiting for some tests….I can only hope that the adrenaline from the storm mixed with the fumes was her downfall, lets pray that its nothing else more serious….


May 25 and May 26, 2007 Days 2 & 3 Mayfair Festival of the Arts

Mayfair Day 2 & Mayfair Day 3

The weather was nice, no rain on Friday, but the heat was almost overwhelming. I know that crafters tend to be complainers, but this year’s show seems to have more and more complaints than ever. As usual, or local newspaper decided to publish an article about how bad the show is, how expensive the gate fee is, how the vendors aren’t making any money, etc, right as the show starts. What amazes me is that this paper sponsors the event and then talks so and about it. If it sucks so much, stop giving it your money and let it just flounder and eventually go away…

Another pet peeve of mine is vendors coming in from out of state and not respecting the show grounds. I have two vendors near me that feel that it is their right to spray paint about 30 feet behind their booth. They lay down cardboard, or plastic, but if you walk back there, plenty of paint makes it to the grass. Now beyond my environmental concerns (which are many), this event takes place in a public park. If I went into the park on a random day and spray painted the grass I would be fined, possibly arrested... but these people feel they can come in and just do as they please, and the show promoters can’t be idiots, they just let it happen…And this isn’t these vendors first rodeo, I mean they do many shows, so I am guessing many promoters all over the country let them get away with this crap, why else would they think they can do it here? How we as artisans, as business people, supposed to be respected, are we supposed to earn our money from a local population, when such blatant disrespect for the event local is demonstrated…

As for Friday sales- they were OK. Not fabulous, but enough that it brought up the projected sales for the show into a possibility of being reached, if there are 3 more strong days of sales.

Saturday the heat was still upon us and around 7 pm the rains began. I sold pretty well until the late afternoon and then for me everything just died. For B it was the opposite, she sold after 7 pm, but not much before. Of course I think so many people went into the big tent to avoid the rain, because she had many, many more people walking by her than I had walking by me and I am just across the path from the tent where she is located.

K wasn’t feeling well so I did the show alone. I got some things done- labeled lotion bars, and stated to knit a bath mitt, and culled my mailing list. I got out all the duplicates and the spam e-mails, and the old addresses. I figure I’ll save myself $150 in postage over then next 12 months just by getting the duplicates out of the mail system and leaving them in the e-mail system.

K got a real job- I am very happy for her as it is more stable and more money, but I am bummed. I have been spoiled over the last few weeks, not just to have help, but to have companionship. Sometimes I forget just how lonely I get working in my basement… I hope she still helps me on the weekends…


May 24, 2007 Mayfair Festival of the Arts, Day 1

Day 1 of Mayfair was looooong. K and I went and found out booth space a little after 9 am. I am buying a new tent from a friend so we went and got it around 10. He came over and helped us/ showed us how to set it up. Man, it is a BEAR, heavy, challenging, and seems so much bigger than my old EZ up (although they are the same 10x10). This is certainly only going to be used at shows that I have a leisurely set up available.

So like most shows it started out with an idiot. Out neighbor parked his van in from of my booth and couldn’t be bothered to move it back 10 feet and park it in front of his booth when we arrived. Idiot. Now I won’t be aggressive about these types of things, especially when it is going to be a long show, but it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that it is not only making out set up harder, but everyone down the line because we are all shifted 10 feet and blocking each others booths. You’d think that people that do these things for a living would loose the idiot factor after having this stuff done to them. But they don’t. Karma will prevail….

Once we got the booth set up we left and picked up lunch, ran back to the house to get another table to work at (and a chair), and returned to finish setting up the display. I am between a wrought iron guy and a chair guy. My jury is still out as to how “handcrafted” their items are, but I am in the Garden Market, so I don’t think that counts here, I think only the Artist Market is 100% handcrafted…

As for the Garden Market. I am very happy that the show has ended the cul-de-sac way it has been set up in the past. See the main show is along a paved path, but then these half-circles of vendors would bulge out here and there (usually the culinary and the garden markets). In the rain and the dark no one ever wanted to leave the path and walk 60 feet back to see what else was there. So sales are defiantly better on the main drag, which is where I am this year... Whoo Hoo!

The show started at 4 and started picking up around 7ish. There were lots of people, just none too many buying. Sales were pretty good for a Thursday, night, at a gated event, that doesn’t charge to get in on Thursday. We left around 9:30 and it felt like it took a half hour to get through the crowd to the car. We helped B get her stuff to her van, getting her rolling cart through stones and sand is a two person job. I may have squeaked out a few more sales if I had stayed a little later (from 9-11pm is option for the artist to attend), but the crowds weren’t brisk enough to loose the sleep over, it is a long show and I need my beauty rest…


May 14-20, 2007 Week 20

The end of this week I took a few days off. By “off” I mean, not in the shop making soap, unfortunately, off didn’t mean not thinking about all I have to do, all that I want to do. It seems overwhelming the amount of things that I want to get done, above and beyond getting my inventory set, I still want to learn Spanish, take a chemistry course or two, go for my aromatherapy certification, volunteer and take the class to be a PA Master Gardener, and the list goes on and on. I always wonder if I am one of the few people that live like this, with a huge list of things to do that seems like it will take a lifetime to complete. Or maybe that is the point, to keep your life full and fulfilling until you die and I am on the right track.

In the beginning of this week I was tired. Sitting in front of my calendar I realized that I had been working for 21 days straight. It is amazing how fast the days fly by, how many “work days” I don’t think of as work while I am doing them (like a show day, or a day that I call a “short day”- only 8 hours rather than 10-12), but how these days add up and how living with your work can give you all the opportunity in the world to never take a day off. And you know, even when I decided to take four days off- I still made up a list of things to do for those days, it included some gardening, some knitting, reading, and cleaning the house some, funny how those things are usually on my list of things to do even on work days…. Hmmmmm…

Anyway…Monday: I brought C to the airport early in the morning (about 4:30 am) only to learn that we could have gone at least an hour later, since his “plane” ticket to Newark, was actually a “bus” ticket and he didn’t have any security to get through in Allentown, or any baggage to check…Once I got home I went back to bed and was glad that I got up when I did because K come to work and she cam earlier than I had expected. She labeled lip balms while I poured more (so unfair, I know). I also made a bunch of soap (4 batches), did laundry, paid bills, ran my credit cards from the weekends show, and blogged. I actually made it till about 9 pm before I fell asleep. I spent the evening watching Deadwood, Season 2. I’ve finished the show but and going back and listening to the audio commentaries (I am such a geek).

Tuesday: I poured Soap on a Rope, and shampoo bars, as well as the last of the lotion bars. K came and finished up the lip balms and started shrink wrapping them. I finished mowing a little section that C didn’t get done before he left and K and I emptied the van of its inventory and put everything where it belongs and restocked the rest of what can stay packed between shows. I also did the usual chores: bringing the garbage to the road, checking the hot tub chemicals, cleaning the cat pan. That night I took a class about Taxes for the sole proprietor. I learned many, many thing, the biggest of which is that I really, really, should have an accountant do my taxes…

Wednesday: I did laundry, made soap, mailed an order out, applied for my Maryland Sales Tax license so I can try and do a show there in a few weeks, sent in the show app for the Maryland show, updated my mailing list, and figured out my inventory sold from the last show. K shrink wrapped and labeled the lip balms and the started labeling soap bags (the small bags I wrap soap in at shows that have a label with contact info and the soap fragrance). I picked up C at the airport- it was supposed to be at nine, and it was close to midnight.

And here I digress….I called a promoter about a show... a promoter and show that will right now remain unnamed. I made a mistake and double booked a weekend. One promoter has many shows during the year, the other has only one. So I decided to do the show that is done once a year and try and see if the other promoter would let me do another show instead. I called right before Easter and was told they’d get right back to me after the holiday. I waited a few weeks and called again, this time leaving a detailed message. I called again on Wednesday- they told me to call back, that they couldn’t help me because they had another show over the weekend and were busy. And the kicker- that this wasn’t important because the show I was admitted into is in July and the one I want to do is in November. WELL ITS IMPORTANT TO ME YOU IDIOTS!!! I need to book shows far in advance and I am being forced to not apply for other things this same weekend in November because I am waiting for you to get off of your lazy butts and help me- you know the person who wants to pay you hundreds of dollars to be at your event, the person who wants to tell my whole mailing list to come see me. The person who wants to blog about your event, list it on my calendar, my website… Part of me will be relived if they won’t let me into their November show, because I don’t have that much respect for them right now..

Thursday: I started the morning at the grocery store. They didn’t have a few things I wanted. I went to the Post Office, cleaned all my molds, etc. K took pictures of all the things I need to list on e-bay and wrote up descriptions and weighed them so we can figure shipping. We went to lunch at Wegaman’s and I didn’t pick up the groceries I missed that morning, thinking I’d pick them up the next day at another more local grocery…

Friday: It was my first of four official “days off”. I started with Home Depot to get weed block, and edging, and some brackets to put up window boxes. Then I went to a few local garden shops and picked up flowers for some planters and some vegetables for the garden. And I tried to get those groceries at another place and they didn’t have them either. Then I got to take a nap (*smile*), I knit, cooked dinner, and did a few household chores.

Saturday: I put stuff away into the shop that needed to put away, boxed up yarn for mom, and stuff for J. C and I started working on the garden. We got most of the sod removed before we just got plain tired. We went to lunch at Red Robin and then saw Spiderman-3. Once we got home I started to watch the NASCAR race (boring)….

Sunday: We got up and went to breakfast and gardened some more. The edging I bought didn’t work and we went to Home Depot to get a different kind, and we got more soil. I got frustrated because the garden wasn’t coming along as fast as I hoped so I took a nap, calmed down, and we went back at and almost got it finished.


May 12-13, 2007 Downtown Bethlehem Fine Arts & Crafts Show

I have to say, I really enjoyed this show. I really NEEDED this show, and I am ecstatic that it was a good show. First, it was just amazing to me to be able to get up on Saturday without an alarm, puddle around the house, and still be able to go set up and take part in a show. It is so close to my house and starts at 10 am, such a reasonable time, that the morning was just enjoyable. C and I went over and got set up around 8 am, and the grabbed a bagel for breakfast. Sales started a little slow and I was nervous but they picked up in the afternoon. K came over and helped me and C went back to the house to mow the lawn and do other necessary household chores. He came back and picked me up that evening and we went for hotdogs for dinner. That is another great thing- it ends at 5 pm so you have a chance at a real life that night as well…

The next day the show started at 11am and I even had time to get grocery shopping done before going to the show. Amazing. Once again it only lasted till 5, but sales on Sunday were 2/3 of Saturday which is pretty brisk for a Sunday (typically they are about ½ of Sat.)K came to help me again and I actually got to enjoy some of my day. I got to talk with friends and eat my lunch slowly for once, and I had the opportunity to use the loo when I needed too. I learned about a few new shows that I need to look into and I got a few ideas for new fragrances.

I haven’t finished my show paperwork, so I’ll update my best sellers later…

May 1-6, 2007 Main Line Art Center Spring Fine Art & Craft Sale

I did quite well at the show this year, better than spring last year and even better than winter last year as well, which I found surprising. I don’t feel as though I sold many soaps at the show, but I did sell TONS of bath fizzys, counting the ones in gift baskets, well over 100.

This was one of the first times that I had just about everything available to bring to the show and actually brought a little of everything. I sold soaps, fizzys, salts, lip balms, lotion bars, lip glosses, washcloths, soap savers, samplers, you name it. I was surprised how many washcloths and other knit accessories sold; I will need to remember this for the fall and bring more of a variety then.

The overall look of the show gets better and better each time with the artisans bringing great work that has a clear voice/point of view. I never wonder about what the artisan is trying to say, I never wonder if a piece is actually their work or not. And somehow I never feel like I belong, but my sales suggest that I do, so I will just continue in awe and wonderment of the others that I am lucky enough to have next to me.

May 7-13, 2007 Week 19

This week was a little frustrating. I often get a little blue around my birthday, not really because I am depressed about getting older, but because I look at it as a mark of time passing in other ways. My birthday is close to the half way point in the year, it take note of the things that I wanted to do that I haven’t done, things that I started but haven’t finished and things that I have wanted to change but haven’t. When it comes to the business, my birthday coincides with the first few weeks of show season. These two things make me very aware of things for the business that are left unfinished, and the stress of exactly what I have to get done and how little time I have left to get it done in. It also marks the true beginning of good weather and I am keenly aware of how much I would rather be outside than inside and how many things I have inside to do that are keeping me there.

Monday: The day started with the check out of Main Line. The morning went well and I was out of there a little after noon. I ran up to BJ’s and got some food and some supplies and then picked J up at the airport. Once I got back I got together stuff for a barter that I took part in, I blogged, and J and I cleaned up my inventory from MLAC- got it put away and inventoried.

Tuesday: I paid bills, checked the hot tub chems, brought out the garbage, and went to the grocery store. J and I made over 600 bath fizzys and then she made lasagna for dinner.

Wednesday: We wrapped fizzys and then made over 400 more for a total of 1085. I also got a batch of soap on a rope done and finned some sachet bags. We went for Japanese for dinner, because C was out for dinner with colleagues.

Thursday: We got the final fizzys wrapped, made another batch of soap on a rope, cleaned up the shop and finished the day knitting. Since it was my birthday we all went out for a very nice dinner at The Farmhouse in Emmaus. Dinner was wonderful.

Friday: Brought J to the airport at 4:30 am and then K came and worked for the day. She got lip balms labeled and all the fizzys labeled as well. I got a batch of soap on a rope and shampoo soap done. I also got two orders sent out, ran to the post office, picked up cat litter, etc… We also filled and packed the van with displays and inventory. That night we had dinner with B & M. She made me dinner for my birthday- chicken paprikosh and nut rolls for dessert. She made me a wonderful beaded frog as one of my presents. I also got some earrings, the little tiny ones I love so, and a beautiful blouse with embroidery and beads. I didn’t get to stay as late as I would have liked, we needed to get home and get some sleep since I had a show the next day.

Saturday & Sunday: Downtown Bethlehem Art & Crafts Show


May 5-6, 2007 Apple Blossom Festival Arendtsville, PA

9 am – 5 pm
Cool but clear weather

Set up on Friday was wonderful. When we arrived I stopped at the information tent and asked where to go. My directions not only were clear and concise, but they knew exactly where in the building my booth was (what side and where from front to back) allowing me to park and unload from the best possible place right off the bat. The show seemed like it was set up well for sure. We were lucky and out 8x10 foot space actually was a little deeper so we had more room than we figured. The building we were in was clean and laid out quite well. We also had an electrical outlet that I took advantage of and plugged in my cash register rather than having it eat batteries. Out neighbors had some beautiful, modern jewelry, and although there seemed to be quite a bit of “country crafts” it didn’t seem overwhelming.

We got finished setting up quite quickly and actually put out all the soaps and just covered everything with sheets for the night. That made set up in the morning that much easier and bought us about an extra ½ hour of sleep at least…

The hotel was about a 30 minute drive from the show, but it was located near civilization (a Cracker Barrel) and the drive was easy on some back roads and rural highways.

Saturday we arrived early to walk around. Full from a good breakfast at the hotel, we learned that there were many places that you could get good breakfast sandwiches at the show, even early in the morning before opening, and we started to plan out lunch while perusing the menu boards…however, the feel of the show took a decidedly unexpected turn…we got to take a closer look at most of the “crafts” being offered, and noticed that there was a LOT of buy sell, and a LOT of country crafts, two things that usually spell disaster for sales…Our little walk turned a quiet confidence in the show to what we call “pick a number”, or “guess our sales” for the day…This means that we have a number in mind, and if we don’t reach it, we pack up at the end of the day and go home and just cut our losses.

Well we didn’t meet our number, so at the end of the day we packed (and so did our neighbor). Sales weren’t just miserable, they bordered on non-existent. The show had a total of four soapers, and there was no way a show of this size and this number of attendees could sustain four of us. We left, ate dinner at Hoss’s and returned to the hotel to decide what we were doing the next day. I tried to watch the NASCAR race but it was rained out, and I tried to knit, but I was tired from a log day of doing nothing…

Sunday we decided to just go home rather than explore the area. About 45 minutes into the ride home I realized I left my purse in the room, so the 2 hour drive became a 3 ½ hour drive as we turned back to get it.

C and I discussed how I typically am better at picking shows than this. What an anomaly, and I think what added insult to injury I gave up a mediocre show this same weekend hoping this one would be better. But I can say, this is one of the worst in a long, long time…

April 30- May 6, 2007 Week 18

Argh… I have to tell you, most days that I work, I work HARD. I start around 7 am and go until about 5 pm, but those days mostly are flexible, and require no ghastly commute. Going from this relative freedom to the grind of worrying about what time I will be arriving somewhere, and what I will be wearing when I get there, really takes it out of me. But I think most of it is the commute. I hope as a civilization we evolve beyond the five day a week (maybe more) commute for many jobs. I understand teachers, students, nurses, doctors, etc will need to commute to get near one another, to get to their jobs, to be able to do their jobs, but I think so many can sit at home a few days a week just fine and still get things accomplished. Of course that would mean having a population happy enough with their home and home life to actually WANT to be home, rather than to escape to an office, to be able to blame their miserableness on a boss, on a commute, rather than the real reasons… but I digress….

Monday: Artist check in at MLAC. 9-4ish. The usual hour or so commute via the highway became a two hour and five minute headache via surface streets. As the major highway was closed, the traffic switched to the only major alternate, which was quickly closed as well due to an accident there. Why people who drive the highway feel the need to try and do the same on a surface street is beyond me. I know, they are stressing about traffic, about being late to work, but hey, you chose to live an hour away from your job, with only one major way to get there… are we the only people to contemplate such things? Oh, BTW, I also got some labels printed, went to the post office, paid bills, and worried about J all day since she was admitted to the hospital again for her intestinal issues….

Tuesday: MLAC set up and opening reception. I got there after the usual commute around 12 noon and got home after the reception ended about 10 pm. In the morning before leaving I printed some more labels, went through and dealt with some show apps, blogged, ran out to get cat litter and then took care of all that goes with that. J was released on her own reconnaissance from the hospital. This means they trust her to finish her round of meds and actually consult with the surgeon on having some of her intestine removed… yeah, right, she’ll do that… not….

Wednesday: MLAC 9-4ish. Before leaving I got a box for C’s sister mailed out, I have to say I LOVE the fact that USPS picks up packages at your door. It must save me 2-3 trips to the post office a week, and a line even when I do need to pick up mail from my PO Box. Its really handy at the winter holidays… no line! I also picked up groceries, finished sending in paperwork for a show, and called my mom. Unfortunately to day was also the day that one of B’s cats- Tribble- passed over to kitty Heaven.. It was a bummer that I was so busy that I couldn’t be there for her.

Thursday: MLAC 9 am-2ish…I printed flyers for my next show, e-mailed a customer about a wholesale request, and put together more stock for MLAC. It seems a few of my things were sold out (or close to) during the day….that’s a good sign….

Friday: The morning started out quite busy, I had what felt like a million things to do before C got home and we left for the craft show. I printed out directions to both the show and the hotel, dropped off my stock to A for MLAC, we met at Starbucks where she got a big cup of caffeine and I got a big cup of sugar and decaf….I printed labels for bags for soap, checked the hot tub chems, fed the cats and got them water for the weekend, folded flyers for the show, took out the garbage, packed the van with displays and inventory, packed my clothes for the trip, and did laundry. C got home about 1 and we left about 2:30… the rest is another post….

Saturday: Apple Blossom Festival

Sunday: Apple Blossom Festival (kinda…) groceries, Nascar (& nap), update online events calendar…


April 28, 2007 Bloomsburg Renaissance Jamboree

Grey Sky, Cool Air, Breezy

The last time I attended this show was two years ago. That day the sun was out, the people were out, and I sold a good days worth of sales…

This time it was grey, cold, and damp, and I sold less than ½ of what I did two years ago. The crowd has completely changed. Gone are the people looking for spring things, for Mother’s Day gifts, and here are the drunken college kids who can barely stand.

There were many empty booths that started the day and many more before the end of it as vendors packed up and left early. It was a simple show to get into (not the chaos and crowds that I remembered from years past) and set up was a breeze. If I had known my one neighbor wasn’t going to show up I would have displayed my stuff much differently. My other neighbor barely made any of what he was selling and didn’t have a problem telling customers as much. But the show was supposed to be all handmade and he shouldn’t have been there. But like moths to a flame, the crowd was drawn to cheap, shiny jewelry and he made out OK.

I did learn of some new shows and I got a few laughs people watching (intoxicated people golf putting is FUNNY!) and I got some unexpected questions about my merchandise (do you use bubble bags to make bubbles like a wand?).

At the end we had to drive through what was 50 cop cars from at least 5 different townships that were breaking up what we assumed was a fight at a college block party.

Best Sellers: Patchouli Soap, Black Cherry Bath Fizzys, Washcloths….

April 23-29, 2007 Week 17

Things are really ramping up around here. I have a big push of shows in the end of April/ May and then a lull, and then chaos August-December. This week really was the start of the push. You know that time when you look back at all you have done and accomplished over the last few months, and then sit sobbing, realizing that 1) it wasn’t enough, 2) for all your planning you have so much to cram into the next few weeks, and 3) you should have done things so, so different…..hindsight is 20/20 and I can only hope to learn from my mistakes…

Monday: The new blinds came… they were wrong. We suspected that at least one would be wrong, but there were at least 4 glaring mistakes (mostly size) that was just wrong. I can safely say, don’t buy blinds from Lowe’s. I mean, they ordered new ones and they are on their way, but the whole process has been one pain after another….I also made samplers, got groceries, went to Home Depot for a few things, PetCo for cat stuff, the drycleaner, paid bills, and checked the chems in the hot tub…

Tuesday: Made soap, blogged, stained and painted some new displays so the look nice and integral with the rest of my display, did dishes, printed out directions to the show, took out the garbage, and put cured soap away where it belongs..

Wednesday: B and I went to the book sale in the morning and then for lunch. After that we went to the fabric store where she bought an awesome display that she will use in her workshop. I also cleaned my crocks from the day before, cut and milled soap, cut finished soap into bars to cure, started dinner in the slow cooker, stopped at the post office, clean soap molds, and cut fabric for my display…. By 6 pm I had one of the worst migraines I have had in quite a while. The type that hurt so much you want to cry, but crying just makes them hurt more…The stress is catching up…..

Thursday: I still had remnants of my migraine so I didn’t do too much. I printed and folded flyers for the show, packed my cash register and my knitting for the show, cut some soap into bars for curing, labeled bags for the show, and went through the “grey tub”- this is a Rubbermaid container I bring to every show that I keep stocked with everything from pens, to tape, to my signs, as well as aspirin, and toilet paper… hey you never know…It always seems that at the end of my last show everything gets shoved into this box, so I needed to go through it and stock it with the things I really needed…

Friday: I spent part of the day at MLAC setting up the show with the rest of the committee. I made a detailed to do list for the next few weeks, because sometimes just getting it down on paper makes me stress so much less, I used a coupon for my local yarn shop and bought some yarn for washcloths, I ended up with a free skein because of the coupon, and I couldn’t let that go to waste. I also called a show promoter about the fact that I would like to switch what show I am doing with them, I have called twice but have not heard back, so at this rate I am not doing any show with them and will not apply again with them. I hate places that cannot return phone calls!!!

Saturday: Bloomsburg Renaissance Jamboree and dinner with B& M. The show was bad, the dinner was great (but long). More on the show in another post, but dinner was at the Powerhouse Eatery in White Haven PA. It is a cool old building (a powerhouse) that has been renovated into a groovy restaurant. The prices are a little steep, but the food is good and the company was better. The service was a little slow, it took us well over 2 hours to eat and we skipped dessert. On a non show day it would have been fine, but we were all tired and sore and well, tired…

Sunday: Spent a good part of the day at MLAC checking in artists. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would. I got to catch the end of the NASCAR race, which I fell asleep just in time to miss Jeff Gordon win.