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Archive for September, 2013

One of my favorite things to do in my business is going out to festivals and shows to display and sell my wares.  There is no substitute for genuine and spontaneous responses to my products.  Responses can range from boisterous laughter at a magnet to a sneer of distaste at the sniff of a candle.  The opposite can be true too ~ some people look at the magnets with blank stares, not relating at all to my sometimes warped sense of humor, yet will ooh and ah over candle scents.  All feedback is valuable.  But there’s a new response in town, one that wasn’t around when I first started doing shows over fifteen years ago.

Picture-taking admirers. They loved the magnets but didn’t realize a real person made them and deserves the consideration of getting permission to take a picture. *

I’m not the only one who has witness people taking pictures at my craft booth.  Just last week I talked to a woman who hand-painted sayings on colorful sign boards and she said the picture-taking public is starting to get on her nerves.  I’m kind of on her side.

Could it be that I’m getting too old to appreciate the high-tech nature of our society?  In this age of Instagram is it unreasonable to expect people would refrain from taking photos of the hard work of artisans without bothering to buy that work, much less acknowledge the artisan him/herself?  Will our work serve only to fill up the boards on Pinterest while our pockets grow lighter from lack of sales?  After all, why buy something when you can just take a picture of it?

What do you think?  Is it too much to expect someone to at least ask of they can take a picture?  Do you think this photo-snapping behavior is acceptable, especially at the expense of artists’ and crafters’ livelihood?  Should it be flattering that someone wants to share our work with their hundreds of Facebook friends?  Or should we have our guard up against copy cats and cheapskates?

* For the record, the above-pictured picture taker did in fact buy a magnet, but only after I confronted him. 

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What’s going on out there?  I’ve been so into my own thing these last few weeks I’ve inadvertently cut myself off from the outside world.  Except not really.  I’ve been out to a couple of winery festivals which put me in contact with a very specific cross-section of society.  Those winos have their own little subculture going you know.  They’re my kind of people.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the first ever Dancing Dragonfly Winery Grape Stomp and Rib Fest.  There were ribs, there was stomping, and there was even some music along with the artisans selling their wares.

It was a blustery weekend; perfect for some nicely seasoned ribs, or a highly stacked pulled pork sandwich.

Some of the staff at Dancing Dragonfly took to the grapes and did a little stomping. The lady at the far end is one of the owners of the winery. I don’t think she expected the stomping experience to be so…invigorating.

A fun group of guys playing winey music.

Last weekend I was at the Chateau St. Croix for another wine festival.  This year they had lots more food than they’ve had in the past, as well as a very good selection of artisans to peruse while sipping a glass of vino.  Of course they had music.  Everything from a thirty-five-piece German oompa band to some low-down blues.

The Bavarian Musik Meisters presented me with a pin for being such a good sport. I participated in learning a couple of their dances and showed dozens of people how uncoordinated I really am.

Croix Daddy – getting better and better every year.

There’s a clear shot between my craft canopy and the wine tent at the Chateau, and Dave over there is always ready to pour me a nice glass of wine.  A nice glass.  As in big.  It’s good wine too.

No, that’s not me chatting it up with Dave, but it looks like he’s ready to give her a nice glass of wine too.

I’m still trying recuperate from all the activity. One person can take only so much fun, right?

There’s another show on the horizon. I’m heading to Deer River for some more fun at Ruttger’s Oktoberfest in a few weeks. There’s no rest for the wicked.

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There’s a little break in my Wordless Wednesday tradition today.  In fact, I’m writing this on Tuesday night because, well, I just have to.

Things went fairly well at the Dancing Dragonfly Winery last weekend.  For a first time event and considering the fact that it started to rain pretty heavily on Saturday evening it was, as a whole, a good experience.  I made a little money too!  As you might know, I have another winery show coming up this coming weekend (Chateau St. Croix) and I’m doing my best to get restocked to full capacity this week.  I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to do it.

This evening I took a little time out to play some tennis with Charlotte, which was a very good thing because as it turns out I was completely depleted of endorphins.  The minute I pulled into the parking lot of the courts I saw a mist of rain on my windshield.  What?!  No way!  We decided to play anyway, at least until the balls were in danger of getting too wet.  Turns out we got in about forty-two minutes of play before the mist turned into actual rain.  I got some endorphins, which was a very good thing.  I hope Charlotte did too.

But there’s the issue of my hair.  I’m about a month past due on my quarterly hair cut, but had an appointment for tomorrow (Wednesday).  I found out tonight (Tuesday) that my stylist just went into the hospital with a nasty case of an infection and bursitis riddled arm.  I’m really sorry for her and hope she gets better, but I can’t help feeling very sorry for myself too.  I mean, my hair.  It’s enormous.  I was hoping for a very cute cut in time for the show this coming weekend (I made do last weekend because she couldn’t get me in last week) but it looks like that’s not going to happen.  Unless I go to someone else.

How horrible would that be?  I’ve been putting my hair in the hands of this woman for over twenty years.  I feel like I’d be cheating on her.  But my hair.  It’s enormous.  I can’t emphasize that enough.  Tomorrow I’ll know more regarding her condition and will have to make a decision then.  She may be back to work soon, but there’s the thing about her sculpting my hair while feeling less than 100%.  Would she be able to work her usual magic, or will my locks suffer?  The stress of the situation is nearly unbearable.

I’m trying to relax, listening to my twinkle bell station on Pandora, and sorting everything out through writing.  So much for Wordless Wednesday.

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An exciting weekend awaits many people as it will be a first for a bunch of us.  This weekend is the First Annual Grape Stomp and Rib Fest at the Dancing Dragonfly Winery in St. Croix Falls, WI.  I’m a little nervous because the events page says nothing about there being art/craft vendors at the event.  I’m almost positive I got a confirmation to attend, so I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be there.

The Dancing Dragonfly Winery is brand new and had its grand opening this spring.  Husby and I went and checked it out, finding a beautiful vineyard surrounding an equallly beautiful building.  It’s enormous!

Can you imagine sitting on this balcony with a refreshing glass of wine? *Squeal*

The tasting room. It’s gorgeous!

There will be all sorts of live music throughout the two days of the event, as well as some barbecued ribs which will most likely result in a lot of finger licking. 

There’s going to be some grape stomping going on too.  For $15 you get to stomp those grapes like crazy and you’ll also get a t-shirt out of the deal. 

Admission to the event is free.  I’ll be there, whether I’m supposed to be or not.  If I’m not selling my wares on the beautiful grounds of the Dancing Dragonfly Winery I’ll be sipping wine, eating ribs, and listening to music.  Oh, who am I kidding – I’ll be doing all that if I’m selling too! 

St. Croix Falls is only an hour from the Twin Cities, so all you city slickers can come out and spend the day in the countryside.  You won’t regret it! 

Waiting for you.

See my Events Page for festival days and times.

* All photos are via Dancing Dragonfly Winery website

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Wordless Wednesday

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See this guy?  When I saw him I wished I could do what he was doing, though what he was doing specifically I couldn’t tell you.

I like to imagine he’s working on writing a piece of historical fiction.  He looks like a historical fiction kind of guy.  Of course he could be doing the paperwork for his construction business or something, but in my mind he’s an author.  Probably because I fantasize about being an author.

The best thing about historical fiction guy is the fact that he’s having a glass of wine while he works.  What a perfectly wonderful place to work, up in the trees, and with a glass of wine.  Wine and trees can be found at Cooper’s Corner in Fish Creek, WI.

That’s exactly where this guy was when I saw him.  The bar area of Cooper’s Corner is practically en plein aire on the second floor.  Husby and I spend a little time here when we visit Door County.  We sit and talk about our dreams and aspirations over a glass of wine or two while we enjoy the cool breeze blowing through.

The last time we were there I saw historical fiction guy.  It’s pretty unlikely that I’ll be buying a get-away writing abode anytime soon, so I decided I’m going to pack up the laptop and spend my summers writing at Cooper’s Corner with an endless glass of Pinot Grigio within reaching distance.

Cooper’s Corner.  All about dreams and aspirations.

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