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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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There’s some busy excitement at the Auntie B’s Wax World Headquarters these days. I’ve been bustling around restocking inventory after a lucrative show last weekend ~ creating and packaging more product for the upcoming show next weekend. Husby and I are looking forward to this show because we get to make a five-day weekend of it in our beloved Door County.

That’s right, the Olde Ellison Bay Days is nearly upon us and I have lots to do to prepare. Not only do I have to get my wares ready, I also have to get myself ready because we’re expecting a very special guest at the festivities. When I received confirmation of my booth space at the craft show I was informed that the Grand Marshal of the Olde Ellison Bay Days parade will be none other than Mr. Tony Shalhoub!   (Miss Elizabeth Rose, maybe you want to rethink your plans for next weekend as I know you’ve been wanting to get in touch with Tony regarding your book.)

Tony Shalhoub in Big Night

I got a haircut this week and I’m going to do all of my ironing today so I’ll have something cute to wear, just in case Tony Shalhoub looks at me. I wouldn’t want to appear too scary or unkempt.

Tony Shalhoub in Wings

We know he’s going to be the Grand Marshal of the parade, but will he take part in the other festivities too? Like, maybe he’ll want to wander around the park and see what the artists have to offer. OMG, is it possible that Tony Shalhoub might come into my booth and actually sniff one of my candles?!

Tony Shalhoub in Men In Black

I think he’d be more inclined to look at my magnets. He’ll stand in front of the frame and read each one, slowly and deliberately, and genuinely laugh. How should I behave if he spends any amount of time at my booth? Should I gush and tell him how much I love his work, or him personally? Should I insist on taking his picture, or better yet having someone take a picture of me, Husby, and Tony by the booth banner? Should I just act nonchalant and pretend like he’s a regular customer? (If that’s the case he’d certainly get friendly service, but probably not be asked for a picture or autograph.) Then the biggest question is, if he wanted something from my booth should I make him pay for it or just give it to him with my star-struck compliments?

Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk in Monk

Then, because my magnets are so charming and funny and because my new haircut is so cute and my clothes are so neatly pressed he’ll strike up a conversation with me and Husby. He’ll find us refreshingly real and amusing, and will invite us to dine with him and his wife that evening.

Tony Shalhoub in Feed The Fish (filmed in Ellison Bay)

We’ll have cocktails on the balcony and watch the sun set over Green Bay and linger over a delightful meal of Lake Michigan white fish. Tony and his wife will be so happy to have met us we’ll all be BFFs.

*Snapping out of it*

OK, I realize none of that will probably happen, except that he might actually see me as I waive and scream at him from the side of the road as he processes down the street with the parade. It’s fun to imagine what could happen, though.

If you’re in the Ellison Bay area be sure to stop by the craft show in Ellison Bay Beach Park. You might just spot a star, even if it’s only me.

The handsome and talented Tony Shalhoub

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After the semi-disasterous first show of 2013 (Hopkins Mainstreet Days) Husby and I set up camp at the Chateau St. Croix Winery and Vineyard.  I’m a little late in keeping  you up to date on the show, but then again I’m a little behind in everything I’m undertaking these days.  The Fete des Fleurs took place on June 8th and 9th and was much more enjoyable than the first show we did in Hopkins.  For one thing it didn’t rain the entire time.  For another thing a lot of people like to visit the Chateau.  Sunny Skies + People + Wine = Respectable Sales for Auntie B.

Prior to the sunny day on Saturday the St. Croix Falls area had been having a lot of rain and the ground was completely saturated.  It was pretty squishy, but the water didn’t penetrate my shoes or threaten any of my wares.

A beautiful patch of grass became pretty muddy after a little traffic. My tennies needed a good hosing down when I got home.

Strolling along with a glass of wine, perusing the offerings by local artisans ~ a lovely way to spend a day.

One of the things that brightened our day was the fact that Dave Ybarra of the North Side Dukes came to our canopy and gave us a complimentary CD for being such an enthusiastic audience.  It’s not hard, as the band is one of the things we like best about the Chateau’s festivals.

Husby and I aren’t the only ones who like the North Side Dukes. Combine some bluesy music with good friends and good wine and you’ve got yourself a good time.

There’s another Dave at the Chateau I’ve come to adore – Dave the wine/beer guy. He teases me with the bottles of Chateau wine and thinks I should start drinking earlier than I do. Hey Dave, I’ve got a business to run! I usually have a glass about an hour before closing time. Dave likes to give me a very generous glass of wine.  He’s nice that way.

Look! Tiny little hipsters! You just never know what you’ll see at the Chateau.

It was a really good Saturday, but Sunday came around with more rain.  Despite that some brave people came out with their umbrellas to visited the artisans and listen to the music.  Good times can happen rain or shine.  Luckily the sun came out by the time we had to pack up for the weekend.  Anyone who sets up a booth at an outdoor event knows it’s a challenge to set up or tear down in the rain. 

All in all it was a good weekend and I was honored to be a part of the Chateau St. Croix’s 2013 Fete des Fleurs.  If you missed the spring festival remember there’s another festival at the Chateau St. Croix in September.  Keep in touch with my Events page for updates.

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Last week I asked you all to send put in a good word for me to the weather gods for my first show of the season.  I trust that you did.  Unfortunately the weather gods must have had their ear plugs in or else couldn’t perform their sun dance because they slept in until noon.

Roads are blocked in anticipation of hundreds and hundreds of festival goers. Vendor canopies are zipped up to protect the valuable products inside.  Except that poor woman on the right side of the picture, who has no sides to zip up.

It started to rain while we were en route to the venue. By the time we got there it was still raining…hard. When you’re in the craft show business you can be prepared all you want, but trust me, setting up a canopy and keeping products dry in the rain is a challenge. A positive note – there was no wind.

The gutter at the rear side of my canopy was a flowing river of about three inches of water.

My hair was drenched, my make-up job was streaming down my face, and my shoes and socks were squish, squish, squishing with every step I took.

The heavy rain didn’t stop for another couple of hours. We were wet and cold. Husby got me a big cup of hot chocolate and himself a big cup of coffee to take the chill off a bit while we waited for the sun.

A view down the street from under my canopy just before the festival was about to begin.

Eventually the sun did come from behind the clouds, the temperature rose and the people came out.  From 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. we watched a lot of people walking up and down the street…empty-handed.  They weren’t shopping and they weren’t buying. 

All of the vendors I talked to were having low sales, and we couldn’t blame the weather anymore.  There’s nothing we can blame.  That’s the nature of craft shows and festivals.  Sometimes sales are good, sometimes they’re not.  We as vendors take our chances with weather, disorganized event organizers, and shoppers.  Applying for a booth at a craft show in a new venue is like playing roulette ~ I’m taking a gamble with both, and with both money can either be won or lost.

All was not lost in my gamble.  I got wet but came home with a little more money than I put into the booth fee.  Husby and I made friends with our vendor neighbors and even saw a couple of vendors we knew from other shows. 

You win some, you lose some, but always put your money on black.  Or red.  Whichever is your lucky color.  No matter what, it’s always fun playing.

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Two weeks ago we had some snow flurries, but at long last the buds on the trees have morphed into actual leaves and any precipitation we’re getting isn’t frozen.  But when it comes to preciptation the kids in Minnesota are going to get soaked between now and next weekend.  As much as I love summertime thunderstorms I’m not so sure I want one this weekend, more specifically this Saturday.

Rain or shine I’ll be at the Hopkins Mainstreet Days Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday from 9:00 to 4:00, along with my trusty roadie, Husby.  Today I’m all about making sure everything is packaged, priced, and ready for sale and even took vacation time from the day job to complete the project.  This is the first show of the season for me, so I want to make sure I have all the bases covered.

You can’t miss the Auntie B’s Wax sign.

The first show of the season always makes me a little nervous, but preparing for it is also invigorating. Coming out of the studio into the outdoor air to mingle with my species as they peruse the works of artisans feels as fresh to me as the new spring air.

The always popular bobber candles.

If you can’t come to the Hopkins Mainstreet Days Arts and Crafts Show, please send a message to the weather gods to hold off on the rain until about 6:00 Saturday evening.  After that I won’t mind all the rain they have to give us.  That is, until the next show.

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

Smiling at Auntie B’s pulp fiction magnets.

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