Recovery Time!

This week has been a total recovery and reflection week for me. I survived the Festival show last weekend. I was and have been the organizer for this show for the past 4 years. The first two years it was in a great smaller venue but with the traffic restrictions in place for our festival weekend, especially the day of the 2 hour parade I had decided that I needed a larger venue that was closer to the festival itself. Well I secured a great venue last year at a community college and everything went as smooth as butter. There was only one glitch.. and that was the blocked off roads during the parade. I fought with myself to have it again this year but my dedication to my vendors side won out. So in February I contacted the college and confirmed that we would be using their campus again. It was basically the same price that I paid for the smaller venue but it was a larger place, better parking, more visibility, etc. Everything went smoothly, vendors were being vetted and the show was filling up to be a great show. Then all heck broke loose. the cost increase,  3 times the cost of last year, the fact that I had to provide my own insurance at a cost of $500 and it went on and on. In hindsight I should have cancelled the show in March when all this hit the fan but I figured it would be worked out, the show would be great! Issues were still being ironed out right up to two weeks before the show!.  by then it was a done deal and could not be cancelled. I could not do that to my loyal vendors, period!.

So we got through the show last weekend with double the amount of shoppers coming through our doors. the vendors were happy, the shoppers were happy but next near it is not to be. The college has refused to give us the quoted price for a non profit organization and the price sits at $1700 for the rental and $500 for the insurance. At those prices we cannot manage to do a show there since they also cut back on the allowed tables for the show due to their newly enforced fire regulations.  So. .. that’s it in a nutshell. I have tried to find a place other than the college but there are only a couple of considerations. One being back at the original venue of 4 years ago (again.. low shoppers due to traffic regulations) One or two more in the actual downtown core but the only shoppers we would get there are the people that line up hours before the parade and truthfully they are not high end craft show shoppers. Yes we would probably get a ton of people through the door but they would not be actual buyers, just tire kickers as we call them.

so This week I have been reflecting on what to do. I watched CBS Sunday morning while drinking my morning coffee and they were interviewing Carl Reiner, Dick VanDyke and Norman Lear. Listening to those gentleman reflect on life helped me let go of a lot of things , especially my past. Mr Lear stated that he has an outlook of… “It’s done… what’s next?”.. He doesn’t dwell in the past, doesn’t try to prolong something that is basically done. He accepts and moves on to whatever is next.   Mr Van Dyke plainly stated (and I have often heard it),,,find what you love doing and do it!… It was like a light bulb moment for me. So this stage of my life is done,, I will move on and go to the what’s next stage.

I am taking some time for me, doing  things that what I want to do. I need to stop worrying about other people (such as vendors) and how I shouldn’t worry about letting these vendors down by not doing another show. Honestly, I am sure that they would not give me a second thought, they will move on to other shows, as they should. I have done this for 10 years and honestly this year was the worst experience I have ever had when it came to dealing with ungrateful, berating and inconsiderate vendors. Now don’t get me wrong. 90% of the vendors are wonderful people but the 10% really wore me down this year. I have vendor chats and phone call stories that would curl your hair but I am not about to get into calling people out publicly as I am sure before long they will dig their own graves when it comes to getting into shows. Life will take care of these people and good luck to them I say.

So on that note I am getting back to what I used to do in high school. At that time my life was colourful and hippy like so I am going to try to channel that again as I move into the summer months. Not quite sure how this will play out but honestly I don’t care. I just want to be peaceful and creative. That’s not a bad thing!

so keep an eye out with what I am going to work on. I will post a picture or two here and there. This morning was spent sorting, repacking and putting all that in my cupboards. Signs and big suitcase are back into the crawl space of the basement and I can actually see my studio floor once again.

Off I go to enjoy this brisk Sunday afternoon, quietly purging at times and cleaning my studio ..maybe..(this is garbage week… yay) and watching the Blue Jays play ball. This feels like a good decision. I can take a deep breath and say “You have done well grasshopper” Time for someone else to take over, someone else with big dreams and stars in their eyes because honestly the stars have faded in my eyes this year and I am perfectly fine with that. I did my time, now I am taking a rest.

 

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DIY Greeting Card Riser

Well here I go again!. I have been going crosseyed trying to find a greeting card rack or riser for my upcoming show next week. Everyone I found was either out of stock or will not ship to Canada or.. if they do it would take almost 2 months to get here. Good GRIEF!!!!

So I have been searching online for a DIY greeting card riser and everyone I find is cut into strips and taped together. To me that will not last any longer than one show  and to me, that is way too much work. So I made it my mission to figure something out that would work for me. Off I went to the dollar store and I found 5.5″x7″ boxes. I bought 7 of them. Black boxes with really pretty covers. At the time the covers didn’t really matter but what I did at the end will surprise you. Heck I even surprised myself.. but I am getting ahead of myself so let me back up a bit.

Here is what I did with the boxes.  I took the first two boxes and taped them together lengthwise and turned them over so the bottom is now the top. Follow me?

Then I took two more boxes and did the same thing but I faced the open end up this time.

I then took the four boxes and butt them together and taped them to make one square. I used  two pieces of black duct tape to secure the boxes together.  (not done yet in the below picture)

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So then I took three more boxes and taped them together on the long side.

I then took those three boxes and centered them on the back base right up the the edge of the boxes

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I then used designer paper  to the front pieces of the boxes. I cut the paper and left 1/4″ all around the paper to make a black border. Run a strip of duct tape down the middle of the front two boxes to keep them from spreading open. (as you see in the picture below.  I didn’t do that and the boxes spread a bit. So I went back and taped them after the pictures were taken. )

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I put coordinating paper on the side to take away from the plainness.

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I was pretty pleased with my first attempt. Now I had 7 covers.. hmm what to do with them… ah ha… they will slide inside each other,, right?  so I took two covers and made a thin display box for… well.. maybe my gift card holders?  or my mini note pads with pens? I haven’t decided yet but I have the option now to have a few displayed upright and I will probably put those on my small metal rack I have here to raise it up above other items on the table.

So that was my project for the day and I am sure I will hit the store again to get more boxes so I can do a wider box set up for my larger cards probably on the weekend after I access what I have here and how I am going to display on my table.

So I hope I have given you a bit of inspiration to make your own display riser for your shows. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

And Have a wonderful and productive day!

 

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Late life allergies

Can you believe it?  I have developed allergies in my 60’s. This has been the worst winter for breathing that I have ever experienced. And on top of that I was diagnosed last spring with adult onset Eczema .. yup.. It is freaking like going through puberty all over again. This is just so darn stupid at my age. Oh well…I am on this side of the dirt so I will do some life changes and deal with all this crud. This is stupid!

The Dr asked me.. oh.. do you have animals?  …seriously???  I have had animals since I was a child so.. yes of course I have animals. I am not about to get rid of them at this point. I will get an air purifier going in the bedroom to help with sleeping and I will now have to make sure that the room is always swept and dust bunny free.. This is stupid!!  have I said that already?  lol

And now.. on top of all this I have tried to make a shawl over the past month and honest to god I can’t believe the itching and sneezing and allergy eyes that went on. I am hoping that it is just the particular yarn that I was using. I will wait for all this to settle down and pick up a different type of yarn and see how that goes. I know about 10 years ago I was tested and at the time I was allergic to red yarn!.. must be the particular type of dye used. So I had stayed away from that colour as much as I could. Now it seems I have branched out to other colours,, or maybe…hopefully just the make of the yarn I used last month. It is a slow process figuring out all this mess but once I figure out what I am allergic to I will be able to get on with my daily stuff.

In the meantime I have purged a couple of bags of yarn to a friend and honestly I don’t know if I will even venture into the yarn cupboard any time soon. Good thing I have moved on to another craft and we will see how this works out for the next craft show. This show and the one in the fall will determine if I stay with the craft I changed to. In any case I am enjoying what I am playing with in my studio and it is costing me very little since I have a lot of the supplies on hand.

So with all that being said. Allergies SUCK!!!!..

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Friday’s Thoughts

I have been busy getting some items made for the upcoming Craft Show in May. I have decided to re purpose,,,  reuse,,,name it what you will. I have started doing daily gratitude journals and prayer journals. Now this is something I decided to do because I have a lot of paper craft stock on hand and to be honest these are fun to make

I am pleasantly surprised how nice they turned out so I will continue with my gratitude journey and have a stash made for the craft show. Here is a picture of what I did this week, in between craft show organizing,,,,, calling way too many insurance companies to get insurance for the show (yes I now have to provide a certificate of liability to the venue owners)  You would think it would be a piece of cake but I have run the gauntlet trying to find a company that actually knows how to insure special events. I am about ready to pull my hair out and I have put the push on because if I can’t come up with a company that can provide the insurance by the end of this month, I will then have to forgo the show for this year. NSCC is very adamant about not allowing the venue to be rented without proof of insurance. What a conundrum. So onward I go with the insurance hunt. I will prevail!!!

so anyway.. here is what I have been doing to de-stress.

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Adorable right?

So I am out of here for the rest of the day since I have to place vendors and get back on the phone for the insurance.

Have a great weekend and prepare for the upcoming storm… ugh.. March is such an unpredictable month

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A new day a new thought

I have been busy the last week or so. As usual I have too many things on my plate at the same time. I am working on a shawl for a friend’s mother and that is slow going but I am plugging along with it. I have been working in my studio …YES!!!.. the weather is surprisingly mild the past week so I have been able to go in, open the front blinds and let some sunshine warm up my room. It had become a pit over the winter since I am able to shove things in there, close the door and leave it for another day. Well each year I say “I am not going to do that…ever again!! “.  Well you know how that goes, every year it is the same thing. Craft show season ends, I get exhausted and I just want to shove the stuff away and deal with it later on.

Well later on was this week. It has been cleaning,, purging,, cleaning some more and today I got my floor vacuumed and some boxes moved to storage in the basement. I have started a new project, NOT Knitting!  and it has a lot of graphic design to it so I am in my glory. I got the final drafts done today, ordered the rest of my supplies and by the time they all come in I will be off to the races. At that time I will list pictures and prices of the items.

So it has been a long week and even longer weekend so I am soon going to head to bed to watch some TV through my eyelids.

 

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The Joy of Listening

This is so true. Some of the acquaintances I have, treat people like a prologue to their story.  They only come to visit, wait for you to say something and off they go on their story. You never quite get to finish what you have started talking about before they break in with what happened to them, or this happened to them.. or they did it better,, or they were treated worse. I swore the next time this happened with this person I was going to stop her and say..” exactly what did I just say?”  I am sure she would have no idea as she really wasn’t listening anyway.  I know I end up nodding my head saying uh huh.. yeh.. when in reality I have gone into my special place while this person continues.. and oh.. yeh.. answering her texts in between sentences..(putting up her finger in that *one moment* gesture)  for heaven’s sake.. seriously? So I end up sitting and not saying anything while this other person goes on and on. Honestly it is difficult to be able to confide or casually have a conversation when it seems like your side of the story doesn’t matter..I am not saying that every story should be about me,, heck no.. but sometimes you just need to let it out, without being interrupted with what happened to them. When you ask someone, “how is everything?” mean it…. and if you don’t want to listen then don’t ask the question in the first place.

So with that being said, you  then you slip into the mode of. “why bother, this person is not listening. I am only a sounding board for this persons life”

So yes I see the truth in your story.. be silent and listen and be a good friend. So now that I have put my two cent spin on this….sit back and read this share from a friend. Put her words to use and listen.. bite your tongue when you feel the urge to jump in with.. oh yeh that happened to me scenario.

A Nourished Life

“You’re not listening to me.”

“You are not hearing what I am saying.”

“I feel like no one understands me.”

Have you ever said any of those things while trying to tell someone what happened to you? You’re trying to tell your story and you can see by the other person’s body language that they are not listening.

Either they are waiting to interrupt and tell you that they had a similar experience; or they want to tell you what you should do; or they are more interested in looking at their phone.

You feel unheard, invalidated and frustrated. A stranger on a plane or a psychologist might listen more. Perhaps that’s why there are so many counselors and psychologists out there; because sometimes people that are close to us don’t listen with both ears any more.

I have noticed this phenomenon for a long time. I’ve experienced it myself…

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My *New Normal*

So as my studio cleaning takes place (one day at a time) I am still with the feeling that I want to purge my yarns.No more purchases. I have my yarn that I need to make a sweater for me and I have a whole container of single skein bernat softee chunky yarn (now discontinued) You see, when a store closed in my area I would go in everyday and buy up the yarn that I loved using to make my dog sweaters with. Well I used as much as I could and then the rest got stored in my cupboard. Today as I worked moving stuff around and rearranging the cupboards in my head I realized that all that great yarn was just sitting there. So…. I grabbed 3 colours and my needles that I use with it and took them into the living room. Yup I am going to make some non thinking stuff, like headbands, maybe mittens or fingerless mittens. I only have single skeins of each colour so therefore I have to make projects that either just use one skein or use the scraps for extra colours in each project. My goal is to purge as much as I can before the end of February just to see what builds up. I will certainly be interested to see just how much I can get done with this yarn. I haven’t been taking any orders lately (with the exception of one pair of warm and wooley socks for a friend) and I don’t plan to take any orders in the near future. I just want to sit mindlessly and knit. No time frame to have to get something done,,,,,relax and enjoy knitting.

 The last 10 years have been knitting or crocheting for craft shows but my focus has changed. Doing knitwear for craft shows is certainly not a profit making venture and I was getting frustrated with people complaining about the pricing (yup they expect you to knit for $1 an hour or less), they have no concept of how long it takes each project, even making a headband takes hours. So at this time and  as far as I know I will only be doing 2 shows next year (maybe) and maybe a third smaller show in December so there is no great panic to produce items.  This is actually going to be my *new normal *. Out with the old normal that I have been living for the past many years. I am really looking forward to this. Someone wisely said “It is time you took time for yourself” so… I am!  Time to recharge…reboot..refresh…however you want to describe it. This will be a year of ME. I will be spending my time knitting what I like to knit, reflecting on life and which direction will be the best for me, breathing deep and enjoying what life has given me. 

 

This feeling of taking time for me is all new to me and I am sure I will be kicking and screaming at some point over the next month. Letting go of being in demand, letting go of things that irk me or cause me to crawl back into myself and hide for days. If I don’t want to do it, screw it..  This idea of doing something out of your comfort zone is an idea given by people that have no comfort zone, or people who are extroverts. They don’t realize what kind of a tole it takes on a person to step out and then how much longer it takes to be comfortable with your self again. I am just NOT doing that anymore. It takes too much of a tole on me. I have become very content with my life, my daily routine and I truly didn’t realize all this until I decided to step back and say NO MORE.. someone else do it.. seriously!

So on that note I am off to have a hot cup of tea on this ice laden day, maybe put on a movie (because I am so tired of all the hatred over the election being shoved down our throats) and KNIT. 

#bellLetsTalk  #takecareofyourself

 

 

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