The ghost of craft fairs past

My morning project (which turned out to be a LENGTHY project) was copying old private blog pages into Word, just in case the old blog got closed for some reason. It was quite an undertaking; I didn’t realize how very much I had written. It ended up being, I think, 54 pages with numerous posts per page, so, DANG, do the math. But once I got started, I didn’t want to stop and lose my place, and it was interesting and nostalgic to read little phrases here and there. When I have time to kill, I’ll poke around some more in the past few years and see what I had to say.

Also: WOO-dawgy!, but I’ve done some oversharing over the years, eh?

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Craft fair is coming up in a few days and I wanted to revisit the last couple of years of it. I’ve downsized this year and am only doing a row of crafters on the road. They’re all on the fancy/crafty side of things (no flea market this year) so I am hopeful that this will go more pleasantly than it has when I’ve tried to cram in the cheapo booths.

So, let’s look back in time to LAST year:

Sunday, October 19, 2008
day two
Craft fair is mostly over, since the Sundays have historically been for bargain shoppers (helloooo! my name is Mama Jamz!) and packing up shop and heading out of town (for both happy, money-sated crafters and growly, net-loss-for-the-weekend crafters).

We did some impressive self-gifting in our household yesterday. Daddy J bought a large modern painting from the school part of the fair and is very proud of himself that it ended up winning first prize in the fair. He knows how to pick’em, huh? It’s a checkerboard kind of pattern, with fairly muted colors and a lot of texture. I think I like it; I need to look at it again. I tend to be like a monkey at these craft fairs and be drawn to the bright, festive jewel-toned items. (Or, well, meltingly soft knitted items. I’m drawn to those, too.)

We bought together some stained glass pieces for the dining room windows which I loooove. They are rainbow colored with fused together squares. I think we’re going back to get corner pieces of the same product to put in the big living room window, and there’s some stained glass from another guy that I think I need in my life.

And that’s all we bought yesterday, except for chocolate covered strawberries (nasty paraffin tasting chocolate that I picked off – don’t buy them), candied cinnamon almonds (yum), a big gulp fruit tea (also yum), and a turkey leg that Daddy J was delighted with.

The yard sale went fairly well. Aside from selling something that the Fishmaster did NOT want me to sell(well DANG, son, why’d you put it on the pile of stuff on the front porch???) we’ve gotten rid of quite a bit.

I’ve sold a few necklaces, but have mostly learned that I don’t want to deal with it. I think you have to buy 1000 items at a time to get the price break; apparently someone a few booths down is selling pendants like mine for, like, exactly what I paid for them.

I’m mostly avoiding the crafters in my yard, because I don’t want to hear it if sales are bad or they don’t like their spots. One woman was extremely chatty as I walked by and said that her sales have been GRRRREAT! so that’s good.

The Fishmaster had a good friend who has moved closeby spend the night, so that was nice for them to spend time together. They prowled around the fair and walked down to the creek yesterday. Rockinrolla’s team won their first playoff game (wooooo!!!!!) yesterday.

and…

Adoption news: There is no adoption news.

And how about the year before?

Sunday, October 21, 2007
at least it’s over
Craft fair was kind of a bummer this year. I tried to expand into a food court and a second row of crafters, with very limited success.

I really thought the food court would work. I rented two port-a-potties to pull people in (and they sure did – people do use those port-a-potties) and bought a FOOD COURT banner that we strung it between two concrete filled tires with poles. AND moved over my picnic table and another table from the front porch to give customers somewhere to sit.

But the food vendors didn’t do so well. I don’t think the snow cone people sold a single snow cone, even though it was pretty hot in the afternoons. They left Saturday night. And the other two vendors were very disappointed, too. Sigh.

And the cheapo second row booths were a disaster. The bra guy, the purse guy, and the guy selling junk out of banana boxes all yelled at me because they didn’t have that many customers. Although, they did MUCH better than the poor food vendors. The junk seller also left Saturday night.

I ended up not collecting the town permit and parking fees from most of them because I was tired of the negative energy. I think I’ll send a refund to the snow cone people. They were pitiful. Their car had broken down twice on the way down, and they didn’t get to a hotel room (with two kids) until 1:00 am Friday, and then had to come set up at 6:30 the next morning. Maybe I’ll send a half refund to the two food vendors, too. If I do that, the cost of the port-a-potties and the banner apparatus will be a wash.

I was so depleted yesterday after having the three vendors loudly voice their discontent with me that I just napped for a long time.

So, Missy. What have we learned from this debacle?

1. Crafters are much nicer, in general, than junk selling vendors.
2. Get ALL of the money up front, including town permit and parking fees, before they have time to realize that their product isn’t selling and argue with you about paying for the spot.
3. Forget the damn food court. Keep it to the front yard.

I limited the ordinarily glorious self-gifting this year because the crabby crafters harshed my mellow. I did get a few things, in addition to nasty fried food items:

1. Two prism glass window hanging things, one Celtic cross and one four-leaved clover made of hearts. Love those rainbows in the kitchen.
2. An apron, bought from one of my pitiful crafters who was very nice, but whose aprons weren’t flying off the shelves.
3. A couple of Christmas presents.
4. A Titans jersey for Daddy J, which he wore today.
5. A pink, brown, and white pleather purse, bought from the purse vendor, who was the least crabby of the three cheapo vendors, and who paid for almost the entire agreed-upon amount for his spot without arguing too much.
6. The bra guy insisted I pick out a package of six bras as a present (obviously, *before* he determined that he hated his spot.) They’re kind of gross – thickly padded underwire pastel bras with rainbow stripe trim. But they were the least yucky ones I saw. The others had things like Hello Kitty decals, and bizarre Japanese cartoon decorations. I guess I’ll wash them and see if they’re surprisingly comfy, but I’m not holding my breath.

Yeah, that’s about it. All done until next year.

So, fingers are crossed that this will be the magical, easy, delightful craft fair of my dreams. On my wishful shopping list: large metal yard art, a silly and warm winter hat for Rainbow, and a white or dark green wooden or metal porch glider. And Christmas gifts, of course.

And maybe, just maybe, someone will bring in a little Corgi princess who can find her way home…

Dana in pastel collar

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer Jones
    Oct 13, 2009 @ 21:05:44

    Sooo hoping your princess makes it home!!

  2. Trackback: ka-thump, ka-thump, ka-thump… « love, loss, and rainbows

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