Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holiday Craft Fair 2009

Making Craft in the Woods

My heart is still a'flutter from all of yesterday's excitement. You know those days that surprise and delight you to such an extent that you are still smiling and shaking your head in amazement several days later? It was one of those. It was like my wedding reception in several ways: I smiled so much my face ached afterward; I laughed loud and talked so much that my voice is a bit scratchy today; and I did not have enough time talking to anyone because practically every single person I ran into is someone I would love to have a nice long sit-down with. I am going to attempt to devote at least a paragraph here to each milestone along Saturday's progress. But I was so busy floating around on cloud nine that I forgot to take any photos until the very end when I suddenly remembered how much I love chasing other people's toddlers around with a digital camera.

So I guess I will start with the Grace Church Holiday Craft Fair itself. Chere (my SIL) and I had our tables on either side of Jamie (also my SIL), so we were a like an armada of Mowery women in the back corner of the church basement. Which is great because I don't get to hang with my SIL's nearly enough. Kevin was there for part of the day as well. However, he refused to go down the street to Mother's to get his beautiful pregnant wife the creamed chipped beef platter that she was craving for breakfast. She was running on about three hours of sleep and was STARVING. And, dude, she's gestating your kid--she doesn't do that for just anyone, you know. Sometimes, Kevin, your inattention to Jamie's needs makes Baby Sack cry.

Making Crafts in the Woods

Getting back to the fair... Jamie and Kevin's table was all yard sale stuff. Chere was selling hand painted glass Christmas ornaments and handcrafted beaded bookmarks as a church fundraiser. George was stuck changing a flat on the side of 695. Gary and Kate stopped by with their (70 pound) puppy Hank. Charlene was flitting around from stand to stand inside like a merry bumble bee. And Robb was outside helping Ken run the sidewalk sale. It's really the best place for him to be during a yard sale because Robb undergoes a strange transformation into a used car salesman. It must be a repressed second personality buried deep in his psyche. When he wakes up in the morning, he's still regular Robb. But when he lines a bunch of junk up on a table and sees his first potential customer, Bobby MowRAY takes over. "I see that you're interested in the dented metal lamp. This particular lamp was a wedding gift from my Aunt Marilou--God rest her soul--and it has a lot of sentimental value to my wife who is bedridden and whose only joy in life is gazing upon this very lamp, but I could give it to you for five dollars. You have honest eyes, and I can tell that you would give this lamp a good home, so I think I could go as low as three fifty. What do I need to do to get you to drive home with this lamp today? Two dollars? Sold!" Customer and lamp walk away, and he reverts to Robb again. It's an impressive performance. And it frees Ken up to tend the burgers and dogs on the grill.

Making Crafts in the Woods

In my little corner of the craft fair, I was quite blown away by my sales yesterday. Here's the recap:

4 small watercolor paintings,
1 acrylic painting,
1 Moleskin journal,
2 kerchiefs (head scarves),
3 bracelets,
4 scarves,
and all 26 tea towels.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of my customers! This was, by far, my best year yet. You never can tell in advance what is going to be a hot seller, and this year it was tea towels. I probably could have made twice as many and still maybe come home with an empty basket. Last year the greeting cards were flying off my table--mostly purchased by a petite man dressed head to toe in leather. This year I arrived with 100 cards, and I came home with 100 cards. So I will be posting 3 packs of the Christmas cards in my Etsy shop in the next few days.

Making Crafts in the Woods

As I was getting my table set up in the morning, this woman walked up and called me by my maiden name, "What are you doing here?" Thus began the shock and awe of my day. It was Lesley, a Bridgewater College classmate and fellow English major. I have seen her since graduation, but we lost touch. I knew she was living in Baltimore, a fact that I keep filed in the back of my mind, so when I'm downtown there's always that tiny chance we'd run into one another on a sidewalk somewhere, but it's a big city. All the while she worked with Laura. Seriously small world. She was selling Mary Kay at the craft fair, so now I totally have a non-pushy Mary Kay hookup. (Let me know if you want to order from her, and I can put you in touch.) Between customers I visited her table, and we chit-chatted and caught up. This must be what hanging out at the VFW is like. We used to study together, especially senior year, so we are like old war veterans of English literature. And although we might not be parsing Chaucer or Hemingway together anymore, it is comforting to sit with someone who fought in those same trenches. Most importantly I discovered that Lesley is hooked on the Farmville, too.

Mid-morning in strolled Becca who had been threatening to attend. I had not seen her since the day last month we lunched at Five Guys and then visited the Sandy Spring Museum. I am really glad that she came to the fair because she just returned from her grandmother's funeral in England, and I wanted to give her a hug and an ear. And a place to sit down. She's been on the move constantly for the past two months between all the business trips, conferences, vacations, and family tragedy. Under the circumstances the funeral trip was as good as it could have been, and she cemented a fast friendship with one of her grandparents neighbors. As I mentioned before, we did not have nearly enough time to talk, so I will have to give her a phone call this week. And I need to thank her for making my table look more presentable. And get her birthday card into the mail!

Baby love

And while I was still talking with Becca, across the crowded church basement, I caught a momentary glimpse of a bearded redhead smiling at me with his wife and two tiny children in tow. "What the hell....?" James Flippin' Jackson--another BC alum--was standing in the doorway. Except that the last time I saw James might have been on his graduation day, which was only slightly later than my graduation day. And he did not tip me off that they were coming to the craft fair, which made this like the best surprise ever. I have been watching his life with Angel, Emma, and Dustin in photos on FaceBook, so it was fantastic to finally meet them all in person. I gave him a huge hug, and he was all, "Are you crying?" Well, just maybe I was. Those children are delightful! Dustin and I did some counting together using the cake walk numbers on the floor. But then Dustin left me and fell madly in love with the Rose granddaughters--and can you blame him? He was trailing Ashlyn while grinning ear to ear. And Emma wrapped herself up in one of my purple and pink scarves. Again, not nearly enough time with James and Angel. But they will be living near York, PA, so hopefully soon we can have a real visit.

So that was my super awesome yesterday. Still can't quite believe it all...holy cannoli.

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