Saturday, September 25, 2010

A really nasty cold

Has taken over the entire household. We suspect the kids brought it from school. Under the circumstances, they really seem to be doing great. The adults, however, are completely incapacitated. The babysitter called in sick two days in a row, the in-laws are coughing and staying away so not to make matters worse, the husband is in bed, shivering with fever, and I am walking around in a cloud, since my sinuses are so clogged, there is no oxygen getting to the brain.

Under the circumstances, we had to cancel our participation in the Bloomsbury show, however promising the location and the nice weather.

Maybe next year....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This weekend

We are going to be in Bloomsbury, NJ. Bloomsbury is located in Hunterdon County, close to the Pennsylvania border.

This year the show will be celebrating its 11th anniversary. A neighbor, and a fellow crafter recommended it to me, saying that it would be perfect for Woolly Boo. So, we're heading down tomorrow morning.

The two day juried event will feature over sixty exhibitors from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and several other states. Work to be displayed includes watercolors, glass, photography, metal, jewelry, fiber, oils, pastels, acrylics, clay, mixed media, florals, and wood.

The festival also features a wide variety of entertainment and food, including a children's activities area.

The Bloomsbury Fine Art & Fine Craft Festival provides funding for the Bloomsbury Elementary School cultural arts programs, while providing area residents and visitors the opportunity to appreciate the visual and performing arts.

The mission of the Bloomsbury Fine Art and Fine Craft Festival is to promote, cultivate and foster interest and participation in the arts.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Recap: Back to School Bash

I love being part of a great community? Don't you? And Montclair is really one such community. That was evident at the Back to School Bash.

The highlight of the event was my son - walking around in his underwear because it was too hot for clothes. And jamming to Rage Against the Machine being performed by the local School of Rock. Yes, it all sounds very "uncultured", but trust me, it was beyond adorable.

We hope this event will turn into a tradition and return next year.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Back to School Bash in Montclair

Several weeks ago, a friend invited me to participate as a sponsor in the Back to School Bash, organized by BaristaKids, the offspring of a very popular local media outlet Baristanet. I thought it was a very cool idea, so I said yes. And here are the details:

Sunday, September 19
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Soccer Domain
14 Depot Square
Montclair, NJ

* Music by Mr. Ray and School Of Rock Montclair
* Local vendors
* Bouncy houses
* Food
* Face painting
* Juggling
* Kids' yoga
* and much, much more

See you there!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

To wash or not to wash, that is the question

And the answer: go right ahead!

Every time I have a conversation about this issue in regards to Woolly Boo products, most people look at me like I have two heads. Seriously. Yes, the common wisdom is that wool should not be machine washed. And yes, you shouldn't wash any of our products with hot water with highest spin. Everything in moderation, temperature, detergent, and spin.

We recently replaced an antiquated washing machine in our laundry room with the Electrolux. My reaction, after having used it for a month now is: where have you been my whole life? Why? Well, if you remember a few weeks ago we did a show in Woodstock-New Paltz. As magnificent as that show was, the bad part was that at this point in the year there was no grass on the ground, and it was a dry day. What that meant is that there was so much dust in the air, between the foot traffic and the large fans. So, when we got home, it was clear that every single thing that was in New Paltz needed to be washed, starting with product samples.

At first, I was a little apprehensive, since the new machine was never used for this purpose. I knew it would be good, it was just a matter of finding the right setting and pressing the right button. Well, it looks like I've done, because the samples came out of the washer looking magnificent. Look at the mattress pad:

And the sample sleep sack came out looking better than I remember it. While I was on a roll, I also washed the plastic covers for the sleep sacks. Oh, a thing of beauty. And the tag said that they should never be washed. Well, proved them wrong, didn't we?

For the record, we used the following settings: "hand wash" with cold water and minimum spin. You don't have to use the spin, if you don't want to, but it will cut your drying time significantly. Air dry it flat, possibly in the sunlight.

This is by no means a scientific testing, but it was a first step. We still recommend that you don't wash your Woolly Boo products unless absolutely necessary. If you are unsure or what to do, please contact us, and we'll walk you through it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Recap: Anderson Park, NJ

Regardless what happened, this was going to be a successful show for us, since we were on home field. Woolly Boo showroom is 3 blocks away from the Anderson Park, and The Montclair Times gave us that lovely mention in the Arts section 2 weeks ago.

And the people came. In droves. I didn't even have time to visit the bathroom, which was only several feet away. The food was a complete science fiction. At one point I was so thirsty and hungry, I sent one of my customers to get me some refreshments. Honest.

I got a visit from a local Councilman, all the local customers, all the neighbors, all the friends from Montclair and surrounding towns, local fellow crafters and artists, and all the moms I met on the various playgrounds and during classes for kids. It was phenomenal. And tiring. But, the tiredness only came about later, as I was trying to do some work on the computer, and fell asleep sitting. I did. True story.

As far as show management is concerned, I have nothing but nicest things in the world to say about Janet and Howard Rose. They really are a pleasure to work with, and I will certainly be back next Fall.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Recap: Lyndhurst, NY Show

Has to be said, this is one of the Top 2 show experiences I've ever had. It is really a pleasure working with serious, dedicated, professional show promoters. I have been lucky to have met several in my brief craft show carrier.

The location was idyllic, the weather fantastic, staff helpful and accommodating, and everything ran as a well oiled machine. I just needed a better coffee, and it would have been perfect.

So far, it looks like this show is a collection of artists, artisans, and crafters that are in a same category as me: handcrafted heirloom quality, and priced accordingly. Depending on the layout next year, I might consider moving to a little tent set up, but that is always tricky in September, as Sunday's rain proved. Under the large tents (two tents connected with a tunnel), customers could still shop without having to worry about umbrellas and getting wet, and it was considerably warmer than outside.

And the view... Ah, the view...

Friday, September 10, 2010

This weekend

Busy doesn't describe it adequately, but it is self-inflicted, and therefore I can't really complain about it.

It all started more than six months ago when I realized that I double-booked myself for this weekend. At first it didn't seem like a bad idea, since one show started on Friday and the other on Saturday. But, that was then, and I was now left to deal with the consequences.

My weekend officially started on Thursday, when I drove to Lyndhurst Castle to set up for the Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst. I decided to take a space in the large tent, as to avoid needing two tents, but that didn't work out well on two fronts: I still needed a frame to set up the space, and the big tents at Lyndhurst are set-back, all the way in the back, and the traffic is considerably less. At least that's what we saw today, Friday. Hopefully, it will improve during the weekend.

After I finished setting up Lyndhurst, and left my partner there, I had to find another tent. My good friend Heather, from The Sewing Loft, was gracious enough to let me borrow hers. After 2 hours in accident traffic, I was at Anderson Park, setting up for Fine Art and Crafts at Anderson Park. This felt good, because it was right in our backyard, and because the press we received last week in The Montclair Times. Tiring, nonetheless.

See you on the flip side.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Recap: Woodstock-New Paltz, NY Show

It must be said, I have never seen such excitement about the art and crafts fair, as I did in New Paltz this past weekend. And, on my ride back home, I found out why. One of the local residents told me that this show is the premier event in the area, and people talk about it for months, before and after the show. This would explain the amazing crowd lining up at 9:30 am to get tickets for the 10 am opening. Most other shows I've done, nobody shows up before lunch. Well, lesson learned.

High marks go to the show organizers and promoters: they were very good at controlling the traffic, they had a very good balance of crafts, the bathrooms were clean and the garbage taken away before it was overflowing, the recycling bins were actually used and regularly emptied, and the food was tasty. My one issue: they didn't have any booth sitters, which means that people like me, with no sales help, had to either leave their display unattended, or go hungry. Not good options.

To save on costs, and to have a somewhat of a semblance of a family life this holiday weekend, I decided to drive in every day, as opposed to sleep over in New Paltz. Three tanks of gas, 1 speeding ticket, and 652 miles later, I realized that was not one of my best ideas. Another lesson.

I have to say, I am very much looking forward to the Anderson Park show this weekend. It is going to be nice selling out of my backyard.

Friday, September 3, 2010

This weekend

We are at the fantastic Woodstock-New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair. The Fair will be held at the Ulster County Fairgrounds, a mile or so from the downtown New Paltz.

The Fair website has our name and the contact information completely wrong, so be sure to look for B31 in the large B tent. We are very hard to miss.

See you there!