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Posts Tagged ‘craft show’

Have you ever been in a position where you have to get stuff done and then, all of a sudden, something happens that prevents you from doing that stuff?  Like,  having to make a visit to the ER because of a very stupid mistake?

With Christmas upon us, I wonder if you could take a moment and travel back in time to November 27 of this year ~ the day before Thanksgiving.  Charlotte and Pinky offered to host the feast, with the help of food offerings from other members of the family.  I was to bring mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.  My grandma’s recipe for pumpkin pie.  I’d made it before and was confident I could replicate it once again.

Pie crust isn’t my forte, but with Grandma’s recipe I forged ahead and mixed the crust with the determination that it would be flakey and delicious.  Next, the gut ingredients.  Pumpkin, evaporated milk, spices, etc.  I was opening the can of pumpkin and the can opener was being stubborn.  Or was the can?  Regardless, I couldn’t open the can properly.  Frustrated, I took a fork to pry the can open and…ouch!

Dang!  I gouged the pad of my left index finger, as well as cutting my left thumb.  Oh well, I thought. A can cut is nothing to be too concerned about.  Except the blood was coming forth from my finger in a way that wasn’t quite normal.  Excessive might be a word.  I grabbed a bunch of paper towels and ran upstairs to tell Husby I needed some help.  He got some gauze and tape and wrapped my finger.  The gauze was soaked through within thirty seconds.  Husby said, “we have to go to urgent care or ER.”

 

dan aykroyd nbc GIF by Saturday Night Live

I wrapped my finger in more gauze and an old dish towel.  The bleeding wound’t stop!  Husby drove me to the ER as I texted Charlotte to tell her of my plight.  Perhaps I wouldn’t be able to make the pumpkin pie after all!

With a hand covered with a blood-soaked towel we walked into the emergency room.  Not a life-threatening injury, but luckily there weren’t too many people there.

The triage nurse was awesome and wondered if I wanted to save the bloody towel in which I’d wrapped my finger.  It was embroidered, after all (the towel, that is).  Kind of her to ask .  It was a rag towel with holes in it. “Throw it!”, I demanded.

When I was finally in one of those ER rooms a nurse’s aid came in and gave me a pail of water in which to soak my wound.  “It’s gonna sting, isn’t it?”, I asked.  “Yep,” she said.  I plunged my hand into the antibacterial soapy water.  Aaaaggggghhhhhh!  After a while it felt kind of soothing.

See the Band-Aid on the thumb.  Took care of that, cuz compared to the finger gouge it was a mere scratch. That that icky thing between the first and second knuckle of the finger? That’s a previous burn made to look horrible by the soaking in water. Pay attention to the ghastly, bloody gouge that got me to the ER! Capillaries in the fingers are a bloody mess!

When we got home three hours later, Husby checked on the half-opened can of pumpkin, which he’d put in the fridge before our trip to the ER.  There was the entire pad of my left index finger stuck to the rim of the can of pumpkin.  Ew!  It was disposed of properly.

Charlotte got Pinky to buy a pumpkin pie for the Thanksgiving dinner and I was able to make the mashed potatoes. The pumpkin pie bought by Pinky was delicious, even though it wasn’t Grandma Harriet’s recipe.

The day after Thanksgiving Husby and I did a craft show.  While I only had a Band-Aid on my finger that day, it was a struggle for me.  I had pain on pressure and worries of more bleeding.  I should have had a cast on my finger to gain more sympathy, but the Band-Aid sufficed.  As a gift from the crafting gods, I had one of the best one-day shows in my history of one-day shows!

Today, twenty-three days after my injury, I can type, I can wash dishes, I can wrap presents…I’m pretty much back to normal.  I’ll have a very interesting fingerprint.  Scars tell wonderful tales of our lives.

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What a different life I have now that I don’t go to the day job every day.  Different, as in better!  I’ve noticed it the most when I’m getting ready to take my wares on the road to craft shows and festivals.

A lot of work goes into making actual products, as any artisan knows.  Then there’s packaging the products.  I spend a huge amount of time getting my candles and drink charms retail ready ~ creating labels, protecting them with shrink wrap (candles) and bags plus hang tags (charms) and putting price tags on each and every item.  After all of the products are made and packaged they have to be displayed within a 10′ X 10′ space as efficiently and pleasingly as possible.  That requires props, tables and shelving.  When it comes time to actually head out to an event the products and displays have to be accounted for in addition to the canopy under which everything is placed.  The canopy requires assembly at every show and won’t be complete without stakes and weights.  So many things to consider and organize…and fit into a standard SUV for transport.

Husby and I have it down.  As my roadie he makes sure all of the displays and canopy are packed, as well as a huge toolbox containing everything (and then some) we’ll need for the structure.  I’m responsible for packing all of the products as efficiently as I can.

Gathering my products and shelving.

Gathering my products, props and shelving.

If I’m lucky, the only thing I have to do at the last minute is pack up my scented candles.  I don’t like to keep them tubbed up for too long for fear the fragrances will bleed together.  I’m paranoid that way.

The autumn and winter candles ready for travel.

The autumn and winter candles ready for travel.

With all it takes not only to create these products but to also take them on the road I’ve never been more grateful for the fact that I don’t have to squeeze it all into little snippets of time like I did when I had a day job.

This weekend I’ll be at the Baker Orchard Art Festival in Centuria, Wisconsin.  It’s just a short and beautiful drive from Minneapolis/Saint Paul and will surely get you excited about the autumn time of year in the midwest.  Plus, I’ll be relaxed as ever as the day job is gone.

Happy Days!

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I, for one, am very put off by Black Friday. Screaming, fighting crowds, door busters, making the employees work on Thanksgiving…it’s just a bad, bad thing. OK, yeah, you can get some good deals, but is it really worth it? You know the sales are all about corporate America trying to, well, get into the black.

I’m all for America and also capitalism, but the chaos of Black Friday has gotten completely out of control. I know a place where you can go and do some Christmas shopping, support local artisans, not get mauled in the process, and have a family friendly experience in Small Town, U.S.A. If you live in the nearby area I suggest the Holiday At The Depot event, which is part of the Lighting Festival in Taylors Falls, MN.

It’s a small gathering of dedicated artists and crafters who offer their wares for sale. Not only that, they also offer free cider, coffee, and treats for the shoppers! You won’t get that at Walmart. The products are original, handmade, and of the utmost quality. There are painters, seamstresses, soap makers, chandlers, jewelers and more.

The arts are available in the depot on Friday, November 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Come on by and stay for the parade and the lighting of the town at 6:00 p.m. If you aren’t in to seeing Santa after the parade you can stop by and visit with Husby and me ~ we’re both as jolly as St. Nick and will get you into the holiday spirit.

My thanks to those who make this event happen and everyone participating. It’s a marvelous way to kick off the holiday season – hope to see you there!

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It’s a busy, busy time. I’ve been pouring and gluing and cutting and beading.  Usually I’m busy like this a lot earlier in the season, but this year my first show is this weekend, about a month later than usual.  I skipped a festival or two in June, but that’s another blog post.

Right now I have my sights set on the Cannon Falls Wine and Art Festival.  I’ve shown at this festival for three years and historically it’s been lucrative and a whole lot of fun.  From a vendor’s point of view the event is impeccably organized, and from an attendee’s point of view it’s a relaxing day filled with wine tastings, food, music, and of course the wares of dozens (and dozens!) of artisans.

Also historically, this coming weekend is one of the hottest of the year. We’re anticipating temperatures in the 90s (that’s Fahrenheit), with the added excitement of a chance of hot summer rain/storm. No matter, a festival is a festival (defined as gaiety, revelry, merrymaking) despite what Mother Nature decides to dish out. Party on!

Just because I’ve been dialing it back on the shows this year don’t get the idea that I’m losing interest. Never! It’s just that I’ve got a few things going on this year that are taking up my energy and attention, things of which I’ll probably discuss in future posts. It’s a time of change at the Auntie B’s Wax World Headquarters, as well as a time for new adventures. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you’re anywhere within a 100-mile radius of Cannon Falls, Minnesota come to the Cannon Falls Wine & Art Festival on July 18-19. You’ll have a blast!

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Hello again.  It’s been a while since I’ve written on these pages.

As you may or may not know, the biggest thing that’s happened to me since I’ve been here last is…

I Wrote A Novel!

That’s right.  I successfully reached the NaNoWriMo goal of writing a 50,000-word story in thirty days.  Sounds impossible, doesn’t it?  The pressure was certainly on, and I had other things to do besides writing during November, but I did it.  I did it!  My story has a beginning, middle, and end as required by the challenge, but it’s far from finished.  Maybe during the cozy winter nights by the fire I can do some editing and rewriting, cutting and adding to the story; then who knows ~ it might just be worthy for other people to read.

Also significant, for me at least, was the last show of the craft show season for Auntie B’s Wax.  Holiday at the Depot in Taylors Falls, MN has been a one-day show in years past, but this year it went to two.  I was less than excited about the additional day, but it turned out to be one of the most fun shows I did all year.  Of course sales increased with the addition of another day of shoppers, but most fun of all was the bonding Husby and I did with the rest of the vendors.  It’s quite an intimate little show with only ten of us, so we had some extra time to get all caught up with each other.  We decided that if the show is two days again next year we’ll just have a big sleep-over in the Depot.  We’re not too sure the city officials would go for that idea though.

With a novel under my belt and the craft show season behind me I can concentrate on the Christmas season.  Husby and I cut a tree today so that’s ready to find a home in our rumpus room this week.

It just started to snow and Husby has a pot of chili simmering on the stove.  What a perfect evening.

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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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