Thursday, April 29, 2010

If it's Spring, it must be Shrimp Fest

Here in Fernandina Beach, it's the annual Shrimp Festival this weekend. That means starting tomorrow, literally thousands of people will descend on our tiny burg and come Sunday evening, there will be a huge mess for the street crews to clean up.

Everywhere you look, you'll see people dressed up as Pirates. Saucy pirate wenches, pirate captains, mates, and general sailors will swagger through the crowds offering beads and saying, "Aargh!"

Of course there are craft booths. Why wouldn't there be? Vendors come from as far away as California to display their wares to the browsing throngs. I counted 23 jewelry booths on the vendor list! So why am I not among them? Could be that pesky old $300 booth rent!! That and the fact that each and every vendor must be approved by a jury. Tosh!

Perhaps one day my talent and skill will be such that I will consider such a booth rent mere pittance, but for now, I'm looking forward to...
the Fun in the Sun Expo in St. Marys, Georgia on May 29.

Now that I know for certain I'll definitely have a helper, the excitement has begun building for this event. The two shows I do in St. Marys - Fun in the Sun in the spring and the Rock Shrimp Festival in the fall - are the two biggest arts + crafts events all year for me. It's a LOT of work but it's well worth it because I usually do quite well at these. *knocks wood*

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Holy Moley!

Today's Arts + Crafts Fair at my church was absolutely fabulous. I am incredibly psyched and feel majorly validated and blessed.
Could it be because today was my BEST EVER? Whoa! Seriously! I sold $266 worth of handcrafted jewelry today!! WOO HOO!!! click on picture for close-up

I had a great spot, right in front of the stage in Maxwell Hall where our church holds the contemporary services. I was able to branch out and have and extra little table where I put my the sign up sheets for my giveaway, a bowl of individually wrapped mints and my checkout cubby.

My most exciting sale was the sale of my showstopper necklace -- which I only made yesterday--which consisted of pastel colored freshwater pearls, fire polished Czech glass beads and a beautiful antiqued silver rhinestone catch which is meant to be worn in the front.

The pink ribbon items sold exceptionally well, which means I'll be able to give a nice donation to Nassau Goes Pink. Chrissy will be pleased.

And I sold all but one or two of my bookmarks. People just loved them!

So between now and May 29, I'll be making lots more pink ribbon items and lots more bookmarks. People also seemed to like the wire wrapped glass bead bracelets so I'll make a few more of those, too.

It was great fun being next to the Blooming Bakery ladies and I was so touched when they said they hope we're next to each other at next year's event. When they made the half price announcement at 2 p.m., yours truly joined the line of folks snapping up the last of all those delicious home-baked goodies. I brought home a great haul of delicious delights to Daniel, who was delighted, of course.

Pix can be seen

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Savannah Grand Art + Craft Show

The art and craft show at Savannah Grand turned out very well.
As usual, I was the first vendor there. Can I help it if I prefer to take my time setting up?

Soon a gal came to set up beside me. Her craft was these lovely Kanzashi flower pins. So cute! I marvel at anyone with the patience to do such intricate work. It's kind of like origami only with cloth.

One of the sweetest things Robyn does is make memorial Kanzashi
A treasured keepsake to honor the memory of a loved one who is missing. What you do is give her an article of clothing from your loved one who has passed away and she uses it to make a keepsake flower pin. What a touching and splendid idea!

Robyn and I chatted throughout the day. This was her very first art and craft show and she was so excited when she made her first sale! Of course, I had to capture the moment for posterity. Shown with Robyn is the vivacious and wonderful Renee who came up with the idea of combining an open house with the craft show. The residents at this lovely assisted living facility just loved it!


click on pix to enlarge
If you're interested in one of Robyn's flower pins or memorial Kanzashi, e-mail her at

After we'd been there awhile, we received a visit from the fabulous
Raven who was also exhibiting at the show. Beautifully attired, as always, she is an incredibly talented, very elegant woman who has so many skills and facets, she's like a diamond: dancer, model, actress, writer, herbalist, and the list goes on. She brought around this marvelous jar of ointment - I forget the name of it now - but oh, it was amazing! She placed just the tiniest bit of it in our palms and said, "Rub your hands together.. now make a cup out of your hands and breathe it in." WOW! Talk about clearing mind and opening up your head! I have got to get me some of that!

Robyn and I will both be doing the art + craft show next weekend at
my church. It's always a fine event with good crowds and folks usually buy pretty well, too. So--two down, one to go! Next weekend should be fun. I'm really looking forward to it, my third year there.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Nassau Goes Pink!

click on pix to enlarge

Yesterday's First Annual Nassau Goes Pink Festival , while somewhat disappointing in various ways, was nonetheless a fun and uplifting event.
Always mindful of how long it takes to completely set up a booth and prepare my wares for display, I was the first vendor on the scene at 8 a.m. No one else was there when I first arrived, but soon one of the "official" ladies from NGP arrived and said she'd be picking up the founder Chrissy Branch soon.

I hung out in my car, enjoying the sea breeze from the nearby Atlantic Ocean at Main Beach Park until Chrissy arrived to show me where to set up.
Unfortunately, my good helper Dakota got a "real" job and was unavailable to help me. Try as I might, I never could find anyone to replace him so I went into this alone, with assurances from Chrissy that there would be folks around who could help me set up my tent.

The guys who were inflating the bouncy house lent a hand and soon my tent was pitched and I began preparing my booth for what I hoped would be a good crowd.
There were supposed to be 12 vendors but only 7 showed up. Now, I don't know about you, but to me, letting someone down at an event like this is tantamount to a slap in the face. C'mon, people, we're raising funds for charity here---raising funds for folks who have cancer. How could you back out at the last minute like that? It boggles the mind, I tell you!

Anywho -- I'll climb down off my soap box and relate the day's events.

Despite a vast army of biting gnats during the early hours, the rest of the day went very well. Entering my third year doing craft booths, I think I've about got it down to a science now. Of course, I usually manage to forget at least one major thing and yesterday was no exception. I had to call home and wake my sleeping spouse to ask him to bring me several items. Among them, my other cell phone and the 800 number for ProPay in case someone wanted to spend over $100. Hey, I was thinking BIG, okay?!

My phone had full charge the night before but by 10 a.m. yesterday, I was down to one bar. Weird, that, because my little phone usually holds a charge very well.

I've often said I'd like to have a dollar for every compliment I receive from non-purchasers and again, yesterday was no exception in that department either. It's lovely to hear praise for my work but I'm even happier when folks buy it!
I'd committed to donating 50% of my sales to Nassau Goes Pink and by day's end, I had rung up a commendable amount.

One table was set up with nothing but Pink Ribbon Items.

I sold almost all of my pink ribbon bookmarks-both large and small- so I'm going to have to re-order those silverplated shepherd's staffs and get busy making more.
Only sold two of the purse charms so I'll hold off making any more of those for awhile. It's amazing how people balk at paying $10 for something that takes that much work. I've seen items made the same way with regular beads and no pink ribbon charm selling for twice that. SIGH

Anywho -- of the booths that did show up, two which caught my attention were the tie dye lady
and the haircutting booth. One fellow with a ponytail donated his hair to Locks of Love. Check out the before and after:

I always hold a drawing at every event to give away a pair of earrings. Nothing like FREE in big red letters to draw people to your booth. My drawing slips have a place for people to check to join the mailing list. This is a great way to build a clientele base. I held the drawing at 5 p.m. and wouldn't you know, the name I pulled was one of the NGP gals. She was thrilled with the earrings and danced back over to their tables across the field wearing them to show the other girls.

As the hour grew later, I knew the doggone biting gnats would return and I wanted to exit before their arrival. Once again, experience has taught me the best way to break down a booth methodically so I was ready to leave in record time.

With almost everything in the car, I walked across the field to give Chrissy my donation. At first she didn't want to accept half my profits but I insisted and she hugged me and said a hearty thank you. She enlisted her son and another fellow to help me take down my tent and they thanked me for showing up and sticking with it.

Check out video HERE.

On the way home, exhausted and sunburned, I felt good. There's nothing like being part of something larger than yourself to bring on a warm fuzzy feeling.

My next two events - back to back the next two Saturdays - are both indoors so I won't have to contend with sunburn and bug bites, thank goodness, but they're just regular arts + crafts fairs and don't have the added incentive of raising funds. Still, it was my first show of the year and I was happy with it. Here we go again!!