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LOL- I accidentally got my booth neighbors face in this picture, she was really nice.

My first time at the May Fair turned out similar to what I had suspected. I like to guess, like when you guess how much gas is going to cost you in total as the tank is filling up. The morning was very slow and most people wait to the last few hours to make any purchases because they want to hang out all day at this busy street festival. I really didn’t get to walk around to see a lot of the other vendors, but I had another bag and purse vendor just 2 booths away, and it seemed that every other vendor was jewelry.  I was lucky enough to have a few loyal customers stop by. This is always exciting, because I feel like such a tiny blip on the radar, and for people to see me and want more of what I have is thrilling.

I forgot how eclectic this little town could be. At the 31st annual May Fair I set up my booth  just a few yards from where I used to live on Haddon Ave., about 10 years ago. Some things about this town have changed dramatically. Like the scope of businesses, and the new available housing. Yet so much has stayed the same. As the people at this street festival started streaming past my booth I remembered the unique characters that I would be lucky enough to observe on a daily basis when I resided here. This little town really has it’s own flavor.

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The Art Star Craft Bazaar was great!

Fantastic weather and a well organized event. Megan and Erin really do an A+ job of putting this event together, great vendors, excellent advertising, helpful volunteers, and a jumbo crowd of shoppers.


Plus the people watching is probably the best of any show in the area.
I do enjoy seeing new fun eyeglass frames. I saw a pale pink pair on someone that I would like find for myself. Plenty of interesting hair-do’s to check out . Lots of tattoos, it seems women have way more ink than the men or maybe the are just much better at showing it off with the correct clothing choices. Also getting to check out the clothing and bags of real live people is great fuel for my own creative energy. I’m going to need it to get my inventory back up for the next show.

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Yeah for alcohol at craft shows! Too bad I didn’t get to drink any.
I had a wonderful day at Princeton’s Communiversity.

The morning started out slow
I had probably one of the worst spots out of over 100 spaces, at the end of a small side street, near the kids entertainment, I know…
Given that, the load-in was relatively easy because I was at the end of the block.
Parking was horrendous, my van was too tall for the near by parking garages, my husband went to park it with our friend who is 6’8″ tall, which also happens to be the height of the van, so our friend would get out and see if the van would fit by walking through the garage- too funny!

The most amusing thing about this show is that it shuts down PROMPTLY at 5pm,
the police come around and tell you you are not allowed to sell anything after 5.
Of course that’s when people who have been walking around all day
want to finally buy something. I told one woman who wanted two bags at 5:15
that we would have to do it on the “downlow”, she loved that I said that.

I’m not a fast packer-up-er, and we were only given 45 minutes to pack up,
if I didn’t have 2 people helping me I never would have made it.
It is madness to tell all visitors and vendors to leave at the same time.
It took me, and I suppose everyone else, 1 hour sitting in traffic
to drive the few blocks back to the main road to get out of town.

All and all it was an enthusiastic group of people who shopped
and gave me wonderful feedback. I really need to sew and print like a maniac
to get my inventory back up for the next event.
Wish me luck

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Update: Fabric successfully printed at spoonflower
Calendar construction completed
Now for sale on Etsy!

I tried my hand at a tea towel calendar for 2010, after deciding how much computer work I wanted to include in the initial design. The conclusion; none. I ended up just drawing the whole thing. I haven’t received the actual printed fabric yet, so I have my fingers crossed that it was a success.

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It seems if you can’t gain entry into a large well known holiday season show you are relegated to do the smaller, faith based, community shows. I love the way these little shows come together with the hard work of only one or two organizers and a slew of volunteers that fall in line and accomplish anything that needs doing. I participated in two small shows this holiday season. The first show was at a synagogue in Mt. Laurel, while the members supported this show, attendance was low. I decided to do this show even though I knew nothing about it because the organizer approached me at an earlier show (all hand made- well attended). I assumed she was looking for handmade items. When I arrived I was very disappointed  by the quality of vendors at this supposed craft show -cheap junk, leather jackets, $1 beenie babies, home show type sellers -yikes!
Vendors near me were claiming handmade, well yes, someone somewhere had to make it. I think the customers want to believe this cheap wholesale junk is something that it is not. The woman next to me who had costume jewelry had to keep telling people that it was “just costume jewelry”, her prices were so low it could not have been anything else. Come on people!

The second show was at a church in Cherry Hill. The organizers had a great mix of vendors for this show. The support and attendance was similar to the synagogue show and that’s were the similarities ended. I thought that each vendor represented a high quality version of what they made, be it chocolate candies, ceramics, knitwear, soap, etc. I did see some wholesale beads strung or hung without any craft involved. I’m so glad I don’t make jewelery, but I have in the past and can see what’s up. These people are basically resellers who charge the same prices as true jewelry artisans. This would be a really good show for a crafter/artist who would like to try a small show. Easy set up, help if you need it. Although the exit process was a little rushed, a volunteer kept vacuuming around me and my pile of stuff, each time I would take stuff to my car she would vacuum around the pile. The carpet was very clean so I’m not sure what the point was. I probably made about 6 trips to my car and she kept vacuuming whatever carpet I revealed to the point where on my last trip she was vacuuming so feverishly in front of the few things I had left I had to yell “excuse me” in order to scoop up my last bits. Not exactly what you need after a long day.

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A mostly rainy day followed by a few hours of sun. Many shoppers still came out despite the rain,  it was extra disappointing that many vendors near me were no-show. I would change how main street is set up for this show. From east to west: food, crafters and then fancy cars without the big spaces in between. Still a good show though.DSCN2628
This type of weather makes my hair crazy-like sticking out sideways.
So when I saw this picture of myself on their website I was surprised that the hair was only half crazy.

AIM2009-09

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Participated in two great shows this weekend. The first on Saturday was the Handcraft Harvest at the Promenade in Marlton.
A show with about 35 vendors. A well run, easy to do show with a lot of shoppers.

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On Sunday I participated in the Arts in Park show at Smithville, Eastampton NJ
Wow! What a great arts event this is. The live music was excellent and included a jam band, New Orleans jazz band, alternative folk rock, and straight up rock band. Tons of kids events and performances, dancers, stilt walkers, art demos, marching band, puppet theater with huge puppets, art cars (I’ve always wanted to meet the people who have the nerve to decorate and drive around in these crazy cars-true free spirits).

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Girls on Trapeze
set up right behind my booth. They were phenomenal. They had the young girls in the audience worked into a frenzy. There was so much going on I wish I could have walked around more. This show is a quality event and you can feel the time and effort that is spent in selecting everything that is involved.

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Okay, it was raining for most of the morning and it put a damper on some of the activities. I dislike setting up my stuff in the rain, as do all other artists and crafters. It’s like playing that game with a balloon where it can’t touch the ground but you have to keep it moving around the room. Exhausting. The rain definitely kept people away.
The artists are really only one aspect of the event, not the main focus so looking was big and buying was minimal -I think for all involved. That is not to say this show isn’t successful. Just maybe not for those who bring in the big bucks at shows.

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