Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shenandoah Fiber Festival 2014

All set up and ready to go!

The weekend could not have been prettier.  Since my booth is in an outdoor pavilion, I have lots of good light, a nice level concrete floor and the ability to tarp off the outer edges (I am set up on a corner) if necessary.

This guy (I didn't get his name) was shopping with a friend at the booth next door when I saw his awesome shirt.  Get it?

And despite how crazy busy I was I managed to do a little shopping.  This is polwarth/tussah silk from Hobbledehoy Yarn and Fiber out of Pennsylvania.  Yummy!  I can't wait to spin it up.

As I was packing up to leave I met a woman who, along with her own homegrown yarns, was selling a few pots for her son.  He married a young Italian woman and moved to Italy where he makes pots.  I fell in love with this mug.  It was rather pricey but I couldn't leave with out it.  (Very reminiscent of the frechen, beardman or Bartmann jugs.)

Yesterday (Monday) I did all the necessary accounting and went to the bank.  More cash sales then usual this year I think, but credit is still where it is at.  Thank goodness for Square!  Then I relaxed the rest of the day.  I am still bushed!

The week is calling for dreary weather here.  I have my fingers crossed that this coming weekend and Fall Fiber Festival will be graced with weather similar to last weekend!

I love these festivals.  They are a ton of work and I am always exhausted afterwards, but it is worth it. Not only are they very successful shows for me, I also enjoy seeing old friends and customers and  meeting so many wonderful people.  Fiber lovers are awesome.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What do you put in your Essentials Bin?

When you are packing up for a craft show...what do you put in your Essentials Bin?

Of course you know that you will pack your goods (in my case finished pottery and woven items) your display furniture (for me it's folding tables, folding shelves, folding chairs, wooden boxes, a dressmaker dummy, ikea "valet" rack and cloths to cover the tables.) signage and a cooler of water and  snacks.  Because I never have time to grab lunch and find snacking through the day keeps the headache away.  Keeping yourself hydrated is important!  Even when the weather is cool water is important.

Oh. And of course you don't want to forget bags and wrapping for purchases.  I have been lucky the last several years.  With all of our moves I have had a TON of packing paper.  JUST this year I was in danger of running low.  But a friend moved to her new house and gifted me with ALL of her household packing paper.  Yay!

And I nearly forgot to mention painters plastic.  My shows are often under a big tent.  The condensation that gathers on the underside of the tent will drip, drip, drip!  So I always cover my work for the night with 2 or 3 $2.99 plastic sheets.  We always seem to have painting projects planned at home so they will be reused at least a few times after the shows...

My Essentials Box is the thing I pack up after day one and take to the hotel with me, while leaving my booth set up for the next day.

For me I include, the money box (of course) with my Square, for the credit card shoppers and $180 worth of change.  I'm sure that seems like a lot of cash.  But my husband is an accountant that believes in being prepared.  And you don't want to lose a sale because you can't break a $20 (or $50 or $100 for that matter!).  I will say the tides have turned and the majority of my sales are by credit card.  But I agree with Greg that I should be prepared.  (AND I have come to the rescue of fellow artists more then once when THEY were not prepared with change...)  I also bring 2 receipt books (I think positive) and extra pens and batteries for the adding machine.

Plenty of business cards.

Book for emails and or addresses for the one day mailing list.

Commission book.  I finally have realized that that slip of paper that I scrawl a commission request on is not good business smarts.  So I always enter any request in my book with all the pertinent information (request, address, deadline etc.)

Package of Wet Ones.  (We are talking porta john territory.) Antiseptic hand wash (see prior note).

Hammer, all in one tool, rope and various clips, clamps and pins (for holding down the previously mentioned plastic) and shims (in  case my tables don't sit level.)

Scissors! (As I hop up to add them right now before I forget.)

Besides this box of essentials there is usually an extra bag of last minute extra pair of socks (my shows are usually in a field and morning set up can mean wet wet feet.) A roll of TP, a towel or two and a bag for garbage.

Is there something I haven't mentioned that YOU never leave home without???

Friday, September 19, 2014


Coterie is a fun little store in Sperryville Virginia.  She has carried some of my pots for a year now.  And it was time for me to take a new batch!

The Rappahannock County Farm Tour is next weekend (I will be busy at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival) and Coterie will be open for all those curious to see the area farms.

It's a gorgeous area.  Why not make a weekend of it...Farm Tour on Saturday....Fiber Festival on Sunday?!

Friday, September 12, 2014

What a Summer

I can't believe how quickly this Summer has just flown by.  There were even very few unbearable days.  And this is Virginia!  So I can't blame the heat on my lethargy.  I tried my best to get into the studio (or update this blog), but a good book, or our spartan garden or the couch seemed to continually call my name.  While Greg has worked like a dog every day both at work and still healing from his January knee injury (thank goodness for physical therapy he is now doing stairs again!) I have been busy trying to heal my heart.  You see, I lost my dear Dad to lung cancer in May.  For some people heart break raises a need to sink into clay, or paint, or paper or whatever creative outlet does the trick.  I have now, unfortunately, discovered that my creativity abandons me all together.

(My Dad working at the archaeological field school in Popham, Maine)

But.  Life continues to swirl and race around me.  Our old dog Layla nudges me to take her for her short walk every morning...(and she sheds like crazy so vacuuming has to happen) the farmers market calls me to buy all the luscious greens and veggies of summer (so healthier cooking is happening) and finally the tears are less and the paralysis has given way to a push to get stocked up for my two big Fall shows.

So despite the lack of posting I have slowly begun weaving again.

And getting my hands dirty in clay.

Two weekend shows in a row, where I sell quite a few pots requires a lot of preparation.  So the shelves are full of  pots in all stages.  And just yesterday was my last "wet day" of work.  All I have left to do is draw and fire.  And maybe warp another loom to squeeze in one more project?

If you are near by....Shenandoah Fiber Festival is September 27 and 28 in Berryville, VA.  Fall Fiber Festival (which includes the not to be missed opportunity to see competitive sheep dog trials) is the following weekend near Orange VA October 4 and 5.

Stop by and say hi!