Monday, March 23, 2009

The State of Craft Fairs

So, my friend Tronsgirl and I had a craft fair on March 14. It was our biggest one to date (our SECOND one together... ha ha!). It was supposed to be quite well attended, it had a good reputation. PLUS we got a corner spot, so we each got our own table!!

We had a lot of fun planning our set-up. We put our business cards in plastic Easter eggs with some candy.

That's me, at my table

WOW, was it a big disappointment! After subtracting my entry fee, I made a grand total of....

get ready for it.....


$21 stinking dollars!!!!

I chose NOT to subtract out the display items I purchased for the event, craft supplies, etc etc. That would have just been TOO depressing.

I know some craft fairs are just LIKE that (and truth be told, a lot of people are making jewelry these days!! The past two craft fairs have boasted too many jewelry booths! We even heard mumblings from the crowd about it this time!)--but I think it has more to do with the economy than anything. The good old trickle-down. And I GET it. With my low sales, I certainly didn't run around to other booths. I couldn't afford to, either.
And I think it supports me putting away the resin for a while. I can't put money into this when not much money is coming out. It is a bad time to try to start a "business" out of this. So I think I will really just try to go with the ebb, and wait for the flow. Focus on other things for a while. I have actually pulled out my first love, beadweaving, again. Those projects are more time consuming and felt like I didn't have the time to take for them--but with the low sales, I don't have to rush any product out! So in a way, that is a blessing in disguise, perhaps.

Tronsgirl and I have one more craft fair at the end of May. This one is TWO days (makes me tired to think about!!) and our first outdoor one. At a CHOCOLATE fest. I hope the air smells like chocolate (and the porta-potties, too. Urg.). If history proves, I have plenty in stock for a two-day fair. Most of my stuff is priced and ready to go from the time I put in before the last craft fair, so I shouldn't have to do too much to prepare.
Although it is juried--perhaps I am being hasty when we haven't even been accepted, yet...

Then I think it is a bit prudent to take a break from the fairs and let the economy catch up a bit.

Anybody else on the craft fair circuit with some insights?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Life Without Buster

I know it's been a while--my sis-in-law called me out on it this weekend. Said, "I only know what it going on in your life by reading your blog, and it's OLD!!" So here I am.
Truth be told, this entry is more for me than for you... and I knew it would be kinda hard to write, so I guess I have been putting it off.

Sometimes writing can be so cathartic, help one get through emotions that are difficult, help clarify thoughts, feelings and ideas.

And sometimes it can dredge up some stuff that one's been keeping down.

A little over two weeks ago, we made the difficult decision to put down our dog of 13 years. He was 14, and kind of not "all there." Incontinent. Almost blind (although he seemed to be able to see treats over amazing distances....), almost deaf. So, it was time. Anyone who has made that decision knows how difficult it is. I really struggled with wondering what RIGHT we have to end a life. But cleaning up his urine and feces at least once a day won out, I guess. And truth be told, despite the painfulness of it--there was a sense of relief that such a difficult decision had finally been made and carried out. I think perhaps we let things go on a little longer than necessary. But we had to be right in our hearts about it. And finally, finally, I was. He was no longer my happy puppy.

So my husband took him in and held him as the life went out of his body. I didn't even have the guts to go with. And with that he is gone.

My kids were very sad, of course. My son says that when a beagle and golden retriever have another baby, Buster will be born again, and be young and happy and able to play and feel good. My girl says that he is "kind of alive" in heaven--so she is ok. Although when she first heard his collar tags jingle (my son inherited the empty collar) she started to cry--she said she would have been ok if she didn't hear Buster's "noise..." Later she told me she found his footprint in the dirt, and she stamped it out. I know that was her way of dealing with that pain. I understood--I remembered the stab of seeing his pawprint in the snow a few days after he died and it sure set me off. It melted later that day.

We will miss him. Things will remind us of him, even though we are doing ok. We still make sure the gate is closed, even though there is no pooch ready to make an escape to the exciting world out there. We keep food away from table edges. I found myself staring at a pretzel on the floor--I don't know how long it has been since I have actually SEEN a pretzel on the floor. Then I realized I was going to have to bend over and pick it up--it wouldn't eventually disappear on its own!

But I've stopped hearing him bark to be let in. He doesn't seem to lurk in the corner of my eyes as he did at first. I've stopped thinking the tan blanket balled up on the couch is a dog that needs to be told to "get down!" Slowly, it is becoming normal. Life without Buster.

We are dog people without our dog.

What else can I say about it? Perhaps the thing a dog most loves to hear: He was a very good boy.

A very young Buster plays with his toy

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy March

Well, this first Monday in March I awoke to some SERIOUS lake effect snow!!! It was a surprise to even the meteorologists, apparently. Being near to a huge body of water (very near, like six city blocks) sometimes gives us weird weather anomolies. My mom, who lives about 20 minutes away from me, thought I was kidding when I said we had a foot of snow. She said they had a dusting. Hmmm. If this is winter's last hurrah, I can deal with it. Time will tell if it is or not, though...

In other news, my friend had her baby this weekend!!! She has two wonderful, active, crazy, funny, wild boys and was hoping for a little girl--and that is just what she got!! I have a pretty nasty cold, so I haven't gotten to see her--but I did run out to the car and take a peek when they picked up their boy (who is in my daughter's 4k class, and I brought home with me so they could take their time getting back from the hospital [did I mention a foot of snow?!]) with a scarf over my germy face. She was sleeping like a tiny little angel, what a beautiful little baby!! Can't wait until I am better and can hold her and check her over a little more. I said if I don't get well soon, they'll see my weird face peeking in their windows!

We have continued to work on the house. I put down my craft heat gun and picked up a hardware heat gun and stripped the paint off of the back of our front door so it would match the decorative, original 100+ year molding that my husband painstakinly stripped 9 years ago. As I did it I sang in my head to the people that will someday own this house, "I am making things pretty for you!!!" I wonder if the owners of my next house were doing the same--getting it pretty for ME! What a fun thought!

Although, ahem, I did crack the window--I think my heat gun on this side and the winter air on the other side was a little too much for it to bear. I didn't even think about it until I heard the "crrrrrrrriiiiiiick" and watched the spider cracks race through the window. Darn. Made more work...... (and I still have some work around the doorknob, but I wasn't up for removing that right then! Then the sanding, staining, etc etc!!!)

GUESS WHAT!! My resin is put away! I know you are shocked, I am as well! I still have to finish some pieces, glue on bails, etc. It does feel kinda good. Sort of freeing.

And it gave me time to work on something else! I fooled around with some wire and beads and made myself this business card holder for my craft fairs. It is pretty free form, but I think turned out nicely--it is not too crazy, is it?

Well, as the snow piles up around me, I have thoughts of newness, and accomplishment, thoughts of Spring!! Let's hope Mother Nature catches wind of my thoughts soon, and follows suit!!