Tuesday, May 19, 2009

University Street Fair

Well, the event could have been better all around. The short summary is that the weekend started with a bum stealing my coffee cup and straw, 3 streams of water running through the back of my booth intermittently, a bundle of stationary went for a 5-finger discount and for the finale, my booth was crushed and caved in on Saturday night, irrepairably, by some unknown assailant. I was a wreck of tears on Sunday, filing police reports and trying to salvage what I could so that I could at least open for the day, and eventually managed. It was a painful weekend but the U-dist Chamber did reimburse me for the damages to my booth so that's at least a bright spot. I was SO stressed.
There was some silver lining though, as there always is. I got my new booth banner and put it up for the first time and thought that it looked rather smashing hanging inthe back of the booth. I also got to use my sidewalls for the first time on the outside of the booth and wow, what a difference that makes! I'm thinking that I'll ask my friend Wendy Prather at Sterling Stiches to make me up some curtains for the outside that are Faerie Grotto themed, maybe with leaves for epplets (sp?) around the top in a sort of medieval style. Ideas coalesce....

Miscon is up next and we're leaving Thursday to go on out there. I have been busy making new product (but saddly won't have time to make more stationary, though I wish I did). My inks will now be packaged in clear dram vials instead of the ones that I was using with rubber stoppers. I think that the screw on lids are just safer and cleaner, plus this will enable me to let people test the inks as well as smell them.

Once I'm back from Miscon, I'll have to get the car all cleaned up and registered and tagged so that I can start driving to shows - I'm really excited about this prospect. Lately I've been very retrospective on this new life avenue and slowly I am embracing it fully and loving it. I feel lucky that when so many people are being laid off, I can still go to the market on Sundays or out to Fairs and Cons, pop up the booth and do business - that is a great feeling, and comforting.

The more I am able to tear away from consumerism and corporate living, the more I get in to upcycling and recycling materials into new and useful things (such as metamorphing my junk mail into stationary, huzzah!) the better I feel about my own work. Increasingly I feel as though I have actual skills that produce real results, not that I didn't before, but pushing paper and shuffling numbers doesn't yield that tangiblity at the end of the day. You go home feeling like you wasted ten hours of your day in a digital virtual world, moving imaginary stuff or producing fleeting reports and projects for some other guy.

Now, there isn't a 'go-between-or-a-million' between myself and my customers. The products of my very own labor go straight from my hands into theirs and there is a grand sense of satisfaction in that, as though I've done something real. And I cannot be found in Evil-mart or Barnes and Noble. I can only be found online and in my magical little booth that appears and disappears at shows like a sudden whirling dervish of leaves whips up and scatters back down.

Time to spin on out to Missoula!

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