Sunday, November 1, 2009

I blame Facebook. I've got two blogs that I try to update, with varying success. The first one caused me a lot of grief after it was discovered by my work cronies. I sanitized that a little, and have been using it as my place to post about craft shows and such. However, due to my addiction to Facebook, I haven't been updating that like I should. And this poor blog has completely fallen by the wayside. No good.

Fall wasn't bad. We did 7 shows from the time I got back from the beach, (Sept 12) until October 17. Pretty much every weekend. We were graced with rain during 4 of them.

The two day show right after vacation turned into a nightmare:
I came home from the beach on 9/11, Barney was sick and had to go to the vet. As it turned out, he had a urinary infection, and was hospitalized. On 9/12, we drove to Maryland, found the site, IN THE RAIN, dragged all our stuff across a muddy football field to get to our booth site, set up (still raining) and we stood there for the day (drizzling) with me phoning the vet for hourly updates. After the show (day one) we went to our hotel, only to find that there was some snafu with the room, and we were moved to another hotel. An upgrade, but at the time, I was not amused. I slept very little that night, even in a posh hotel room. The next morning, the sun came out, and while it didn't dry up all the rain, the people came out, and we actually did okay. We got back home around 9:00 on Sunday night, went to the vet to visit Barney, then home and crashed. Barney ended up coming home two days later, and cost a fair amount of money.

As if my head wasn't already on the verge of exploding, Monday the landlady showed up, and apparently had been in the house while I was on vacation. She noted that I have too many cats (agreed) and that I need to do something about that, or I'll be evicted. I agree that there are too many cats here, and something needs done, but they've already been thrown away once, what am I going to do? Throw them away again? That's a story for another day.

The show the next weekend was okay, nice fall weather, clear, chilly and sunny. We did all right, and got interviewed by the local paper, and ended up on the front page of the Sunday edition. That's a small town festival show, and we've had a good time the last two years we've done it.

The next show was my hometown festival, and we always kick butt there. This year, it rained. But we did pretty good, despite TORRENTIAL downpours. There were a lot of mad vendors. But people have to understand, a promotor can only control so much, and the weather isn't one of them.

By now, we are into October and we had another local hometown festival. Last year, this one was very good, despite me leaving the cashbox at home (D'oh!!) This year, eh. They've torn up all the sidewalks in the town, so there were big pits along the street, with boards across the pits to get into the stores. The brains of the festival didn't think to close the streets to traffic during vendor set up, so we're putting up the popup while large semi trucks are cruising by. It wasn't a stellar day. But after the show, we had dinner and beverages with my best buddy from high school, and that made everything a little better. The next day we took a road trip to Baltimore to check out the Fells Point Fun Festival, which was an absolute BLAST. Maybe we'll try & vend there next year. My favorite beader and good pal Erin was there, and we hung out. It was all very great fun.

The second show of October was in Virginia. Another great location, and previous shows have always been fantastic. This year, RAIN, and not a great location (partially due to getting the app in late, because we were waiting for another huge festival to 'jury' us in, alas, it took them four months to say no thanks and return the check, more on that later) Anyway, it rained in Virginia.
And we were sandwiched between a guy selling bathroom renovation, and a guy hawking spaces in an assisted living community. I was afraid it was really going to suck. But we prevailed, with humor and good attitudes. We didn't do badly, but not as great as past years. The bar is set pretty high with that show because we spend at least one night in a hotel. No way I'm driving 100 miles at four in the morning to set up for a show! We did go home right after the event, however, which saved some money. Both Joe and I were ready to be home though! The day after, we went to Maryland to check out this giant festival we had heard so much about, and had tried to get into. The town closes down for two days and becomes one big festival. There are a couple venues that are 'official'; and then there are a couple venues that are craft shows put on by the fire dept or VFW or any organization with a big space. It was nuts. They shuttle bus folks in all weekend long. There is a lot of kountry krafts, and lots and LOTS of crap. We got turned down by the 'jury' for one of the official spaces, but we saw at least five buy-sell vendors, and several open spaces on our walk through on Sunday. While I'd like to do that show just for the sheer numbers of visitors, I'm put off by the tons of touristy garbage and crappy buy-sell stuff being touted as HANDCRAFTED. We have to discuss that in a staff meeting.

The last outdoor show of the year was a complete rain out. Which is a bummer, because it's a real good time, put on by classy people and is well organized. We do exceptionally well there every year. While I always say "Craft shows aren't for sissies", torrential rain, high winds and temps in the upper 30's is stretching it a little. Nobody is going to come out to shop in that slop, while should I risk pneumonia for a couple bucks?

So now we're down to three shows left. The one next weekend is huge, and I'm hoping we do well, (as always) I'm distracted with the creating of stuff, because the landlady is making a walk thru of the house this week, and the place is trashed, as it usually is after the fall show season. We're using this opportunity to do a 'deep clean' and trash a bunch of unneeded junk and redo the floor in the utility room. We've taken THREE lawn & leaf bags full of clothes to the homeless shelter, and I threw away 8 pairs of shoes. Hoard much?? Hopefully we'll be done today, and I can use the rest of the week to make jewelry. This is a good show, and I want us to look great!

Stay tuned for the recap of the last shows of the year. I promise I won't wait two months to update.

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