The BIG THAW

Good morning!  Did you have a good weekend?  Mine was too short.  Oh well, that’s life!

Anyway…it’s Monday morning, time for the next installment of Monday Maine-ia, yay!

Today I’m featuring an event, and I have to say, it’s probably one of my favorites.  It’s a bi-annual craft fair…spring edition called The BIG THAW, and holiday edition called The Big Chill.

This craft fair is very near and dear to my heart for a lot of reasons.  First of all, I was part of the initial spark that got the whole idea rolling in the first place.  As I recall, the conversation went something like this…

(Etsy Maine Team Discussion Thread, January 2011)

Team member #1:  “Boy, sales are sure slow right now.  Anyone else feeling the same?”

Team member #2:  “Yup!  It’s that time of year!”

Me:  “I was thinking might be fun to have team craft fair, something like “Cabin Fever Craft Fair” or some such thing.”

Audrey of Littleeye Designs:  “That sounds like a fun idea.”

…end of discussion.

…later, in an e-mail…

Audrey:  “You got my planning gears turning and I think a craft fair would be a great idea.  Wanna help?”

Me:  “Sure!  Whatever you need!”

And so the first ever BIG THAW was conceived.  Thanks Audrey!

Audrey is amazing…she’s so creative, and she lives right in town on the edge of the arts district, practically in the middle of the action as far as the creative crowd is concerned.  She found this amazing space to hold our fair in, an old church converted into an arts center and she enlisted the skills of a couple of designer/printer  friends of hers to make us some stunning posters…

Gorgeous artwork by Meagan Anderson and Kris Johnsen.

The space we were renting was small, and we had a LOT of interested artisans, so we had to go through all the applicants and choose the very best (SOOO hard to do!  So many talented folks here!).

The end result…and AMAZING craft fair, cram-packed with unique arts, crafts, vintage goods, and, best of all, customers!  It was such a huge success that before the day was even over there was talk of a sister fair during holiday craft fair time!

I’m sad to say that I wasn’t able to continue being a part of the process, but, come late summer, Audrey was sufficiently recovered from all the hard work she put into the spring event and announced the 1st Annual Big Chill!  Same great location, same quality promoting, same fantastic showing!  Here’s the poster from that fair:

same great artists responsible for the first poster!

And now it’s spring again.  You probably know what that means…time for The BIG THAW #2!  And I expect it’s going to be as fantastic as ever!

and they've done it, once again!

If you’re going to be in the Portland, Maine area on May 12th (that’s the day before Mother’s Day…just a friendly reminder), then this is a must-see!  This is the first one I’m going to have to miss (kids are graduation from high school and college, kinda can’t skip that!), and I truly am sad to be missing out.

Audrey, you’ve pulled off an amazing event more that once, I just KNOW this one is going to be great, too!

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Crayon…I Mean, Crunch Time!

Craft fair season is in full swing, and this weekend is the big one…the only two-day event I signed up for this year.  And what am I doing during these final hours before the event?  Why, coming up with a completely new design idea, of course!  I really should have my head checked…

Anyway, I saw an idea for these great crayon wallets and thought, “I could make that in a jiffy!  And what great stocking stuffers they would make!  I simply MUST make a half-dozen or so immediately!”

A “jiffy” turned out to be a 13 hour-long process of shopping for crayons and paper (the sixth store was the charm!), designing the wallet features, cutting pattern templates, drawing a crayon applique, making prototype number 1…and number 2…and number 3, before finally nailing it down and whipping out 7, count ’em, 7 fun crayon wallets, eager to end up in some young one’s Christmas stocking!

Boy, I hope folks like these.  Late nights and I do not get along well!

I could only get a couple of pictures for you because it’s raining out.  I’ve got others… red denim, dark slate gray denim, and a couple of corduroy ones in orange and sparkly hot pink:

Here’s the inside of the wallet with the golden crayon that’s pictured at the top of the page:

Aren’t these fun?!  O.K., I think it’s time for a nap.  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Ta-Da!

What do you get when you combine a dollop of BIG THAW, a dash of Little Eye Designs, and a pinch of Hand-Me-Down Designs?

Only the best looking hand-bag in Southern Maine!

I recently ordered a set of special BIG THAW edition bottle caps from Little Eye Designs.  They arrived in the mail today, and I couldn’t be happier!  That iconic fox is a fantastic accent to my personal piece of HMDD fashion.  Now I can advertise for The BIG THAW, Little Eye, and HMDD all at the same time!

Busy, Busy!

It’s been an interesting few days, and it all started with a snow storm.

Image by Kristy Hall, licensed by Creative Commons

Last Friday we had a BIG snow storm, huge, like 8-10 inches of heavy, wet snow.  It was crazy!  But there was a bright side…my wonderful hubby, Gerard, had no work for the day and agreed to help me out a bit.  I brought down all my material, set up a work area for him and handed him my rotary cutter.  By the end of the day he had cut out so many projects for me that I can’t even begin to guess how long it will take me to make them all!  He is definitely my hero; he saved me hours upon hours of work!  He’s even got them all sorted into labeled plastic freezer bags.  He truly is a blessing from the Lord!  We decided that he was going to be my official business/warehouse manager.  It’s so nice to have his support.

And I’m going to have to get busy sewing all those projects.  I’ve got three selling events coming up within the next 7 weeks, and one of them is a biggie!

The first event will be at the end of March.  I’ve had this idea percolating in the back of my mind for some time now…home parties.  You know, the type were you have the hostess invite all her friends, make some yummy goodies, and let you set up your wares to sell in her home.  While I like the idea, I didn’t like the feel of intruding into someone else’s home just so I could peddle my wares.  Then I remembered my friends, Jeff and Donna Hebert, who are trying to raise money to adopt.  I called Donna up and talked to her about my idea.  I’d like to hold this event and donate a portion of the proceeds to their adoption fund.  She was enthusiastic about the idea, so we decided to give it a try.  If it goes well, I think I’ll need to pray about offering this to other folks as a fund rasing idea.

Then, mid April, there’s The BIG THAW!  We’re working on finalizing the list of vendors…boy, was that hard!  So many great folks to choose from and just not enough space.  More details to come, I promise.  This event is going to be crazy great!  I’m so excited…it’s going to be in a great venue and be full of fantastic products.  Maine really has some very talented people!

Two weeks later is the big one…the USM Craft Fair.  This is my biggest show yet.  For a reasonable price I will be given a roomy 12×12 foot space to fill with all my denim delights.  I must admit, I’m a bit nervous about this one.  That’s A LOT of space!  In true business manager style, Gerard’s input on this was,  “GET TO WORK!  You’ve got a lot of sewing to do!  Did you see how big those spaces are?  You need to be able to fill that!”  He’s right, and I’m feeling up to the challenge…I think…  How does the scripture go?  “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  Guess I’ll just do what I always try to do…do my best and let the Lord take care of the rest!

In other news…the saga of ‘The Special Order’ continues!  I am very happy to report that the proud, new owner of the big bag is very happy with her purchase (whew!).  I took the liberty of posting pictures of my creation on my Facebook page and in my Etsy Maine Team group and it garnered some interest.  The mother of a friend of mine contacted me and asked me to make her a bag.  Now, there’s something I need you to understand about this particular bag…it’s big, I mean, really BIG.  Bigger than most pairs of pants.  That means that I have to be very creative and careful about piecing together panels of denim when I’m making it.  It’s a great bag, but it’s time and material consuming.  But I can’t say no to a special request, especially for a friend.  So, yesterday, I completed another Special Order:

 

I didn’t post this one anywhere but my Etsy shop so that my friend could pay for it, but somehow one of my Maine Teamers spotted it…can you guess what’s next?  Yup, I’ve got another Special Order!  I had told Gerard that I wasn’t going to add this bag as standard item to my shop because of how labor-intensive it is, but I’ve had more interest in this bag in the past three weeks than any other product I sell!  Kinda cool!

All that being said, I suppose I ought to get to my sewing machine.  In the eloquent words of my loving hubby, “GET TO WORK!”

Be blessed!

m