Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rainy Day Sale

Rainy Day Sale!

I'm having a Rainy Day Sale at my Artfire Shop

Here are a couple of sneak peeks at just a few of the beautiful designs available today at reduced prices!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Fair --- in the rain

This is my helper, James. My usual helper had to take his SAT test so James pitched in to help. He was a good sport about the rain but I felt sorry for him with no jacket! I had on pantyhose and socks, jeans, a turtleneck, a sweatshirt and a coat and sneakers. I took my coat off for the picture.

I've typed out this little narrative three times now and each time I think I'm about finished with it, something happens and I lose all the words. SIGH

Anyway --
I knew the weather forecast called for rain all day, so I almost opted out of even doing the Holiday Fair. I didn't relish dealing with all the rain and hassle but I'm glad I did. I'm sure I'll be feeling the results tomorrow. As I sit typing this, warm and dry now, my body is already beginning to ache all over. Whew!

When we first got to the place - James arrived ahead of me - it wasn't raining very hard, just a light drizzle. About the time we got the tent pitched and all the items displayed, the rain began in earnest -- as did the parade. I felt sorry for everyone out there on their floats with no umbrellas.
People didn't seem to mind, though. It was very surprising just how many people came out to support the event, even in the rain. I felt sorry for those who had no sides on their booths. I know my tarps on the sides don't exactly look that great but I'll tell you what, it sure helps keep things snug when the rain comes down!
As the day continued, the damp ground beneath our feet became saturated and eventually we were standing in about two-three inches of water. I wish this picture could show you just how deep the puddle was!

Eventually the puddle became so deep that we decided it would be a good idea to move the tent. Otherwise, we'd eventually be in water over our shoes. Luckily, a guy I know from work came by about that time so he helped us move the tent and our tables. Unfortunately, we could no longer stand behind our check-out table because of the puddle. Putting our chairs up by the front of the tent meant there was no protection from the elements.
It wasn't long after this that I decided it was time to pack it in. The crowds had thinned considerably and James was beginning to shiver from the dampness. One of the officials came by when she saw us packing up and asked if we couldn't stay awhile longer. On the check-in sheet, it said everyone was required to stay until 4 p.m. I was in no mood for a quarrel so I just said that James wasn't feeling well and I had to get him home.
"Gee, that's too bad because once one vendor leaves, they all want to start to leave."
Well, sorry about that, my dear, but I can't have this young man getting sick, I thought.
When we were just about finished loading the car, she came back again and apologized for the way things had turned out.
"You can't control the weather," I said. "But I think we did pretty well, considering. I was surprised at how many people turned out."
All in all, it wasn't a total loss. I made double my booth rent, which is what they say constitutes a "successful" show. Maybe next year, the weather will cooperate!
I don't know why I can't get all the letters to either be black or purple. I'm too whupped to worry about it right now! LOL Click on Pix for closer view

Slideshow Here

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Great Camden County Chili Cook-Off

What a day!
It was raining when my cell phone alarm woke me up yesterday a.m.
Didn't want to schlep around in the rain so I got online to see what the weather reports had to say.
Looked as if it would end "mid-morning" (whatever that means!) so I called my helper and told him to go back to sleep for an hour and I'd let him know if/when I was leaving my house.
I did lie down on the couch for awhile but sleep eluded me - which was probably for the best.
Went ahead and fixed the crockpot of chili for D - thinking all the while that I'd probably be run out of the cook-off on a rail if they ever saw my dump method of making chili, i.e. a can of diced tomatoes, a can of chili beans, and one pound of browned ground turkey to which an envelope of chili spice has been added.
Anywho - I finally called the gal who was running the event and she said they were going for it.

Met Dakota at the Post Office and at my suggestion, he rode with me. Such a good kid. Just turned 18 but in some ways, very responsible. And best of all,
We made it to the location all right, driving through a spitting rain which became heavier at various points but never turned into anything that could be described as a downpour.
Unfortunately, instead of being held on a large parking lot, this event was being held in a field. Yes, a field. A field that had been rained on for several days and as a result, was muddy and dotted with puddles.
There was only one tent set up in the craft area but I was determined not to put mine beside it because that area of the field was a mess. The guy who was calling the shots finally relented and allowed us to erect our tent between two food stations.
Okay, so far so good.

We managed to get things set up and the rain finally dissipated but it was certainly chilly! I kept asking Dakota if he didn't want to wear the extra sweatshirt I'd brought (he only had on a tee shirt and a hoodie) but he declined. Before he started eating the chili, I know he was cold. I had on a turtleneck, another pullover and my coat and I was still chilly. After awhile, I put a sweatshirt on under the coat and was finally snug. (click on pix for closer view)
A guy came around to put hay down on the ground inside the booth so all day long, I kept thinking I was in a barn. LOL
It was $5 to taste all the chili you wanted. There were supposed to be 25 chili teams and 15 crafters. I don't think there were quite that many. Dakota counted only 8 crafters, many of whom didn't have sides on their tent.
We'd put our sides on, such as they were, but all day long, the clips kept coming undone and the tarps would start sliding down.
I sold one pair of earrings, a necklace set and then another pair of earrings - just like the ones for the giveaway.
There were a number of browsers and the kids gravitated toward the candy canes, naturally.
Dakota enjoyed the chili a great deal. Every time I turned around, he was coming back with another sample. I'm glad he at least warmed up and got fed because even though the day eventually did turn sunny, the weather became increasingly destructive.
The wind picked up to the point that my displays kept falling over. Things would fall down and get lost in the hay. After awhile, I put all the stand-up displays back in the car and just left the jewelry in the gift boxes. I hate doing that because they don't look as good that way but I got tired of picking them up every time the wind blew them over.
Finally, it just go to be too much -- after one especially strong gust knocked over just about every display and threatened to uproot the tent, I said, "That's it. I've had enough. Let's pack it up and get out of here."

A little boy from the food tent next to us came over and helped us pick stuff out of the hay and off the ground outside the tent. Then he and his dad held onto two of the tent poles while Dakota and I packed it up.
I'd had everything carefully portioned out into three tubs - one for each table - but at this point, we were just grabbing and tossing so now everything's all mixed up.
But I thought it was very kind of those folks to pitch in and help us like that.
I did manage to make my booth rent but after paying my fine, very helpful helper, I ended up making about ten bucks - which went for gas.
Why do I continue to do this?
I dunno. I guess it's an addiction I cannot seem to give up.
I enjoy it such a great deal and despite everything that happened, I enjoyed this one, too. Just wish I could've sold more. SIGH.
Perhaps this was another case of
wrong venue, eh?
But I did pass along a LOT of biz cards and told folks I was offering free shipping till Christmas so who knows? Maybe I'll get some online sales out of it. One can only hope.

Of course, I was worn out when I got home. I got a shower, threw on some pjs, fed the cats and fixed myself a bowl of my soul-healing lentil soup, and climbed into my recliner to watch the SEC Championship game. Felt so sorry for Tim Tebow, bless his heart. It wasn't his day and when he was on the sidelines in tears afterward, it really tore me up.
With all three cats in my lap, I dozed a bit and was glad, after all, to be home, safe and sound.
Oh, and if you're wondering why the beach towel at the top of my chair, it's because the cats like to lie there and their fur gets all over my brown chair!