Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Naples to Boston and back.........

or lessons from the dog and pony show at Paine Falls............

Accepted to von Liebig art show in Naples I cheered knowing I would be leaving snowy Ohio in February and headed to land of sun, flip flops and rhinestone studded sunglasses. AND note to self.... DO NOT FORGET THE JEWEL ENCRUSTED KITTEN HEELS!!
This would be my warm up for Craft Boston, a month later. 
Besides, the relatives had raved about Naples for years, it's where I first heard the term......
"Gated Community"  over and over and over.  We rented the 5 x 8 UHaul, loaded the pedestals, pots, mapquest print outs, sunblock and podcasts.  We set up the canopy in the studio the night before we left;  high fiv-ing each other as this was so easy!   We dropped the dog at Kent State with Abby, hoping he would survive a week with college students and a keg....... he hid in the Abby's closet for 7 days.  We also left the Nissan for the dog and Abby so she could bring him home if got home sick for the weekend. 

Ohio usually gets a weather break in January and I thought I would be able to set the booth up in the driveway at some point, it never happened.  Snow storm after snow storm blew down from the Arctic.   I turned the house in to booth building central.  Oh Hi Honey....... what do you mean you can't get to your office?  You mean you can't commando crawl under those panels?  Christmas cookies come back to haunt you?  He is a patient man and set up shop on the kitchen table while wearing sunglasses and giddy over the fact he was days away from getting sand in his shorts.

Florida is supposed be high 60's low 70's in February......... it was low 90's, high humidity.  Coming from the deep freeze of Ohio I was having a stroke and not happy in my container.   We checked into the hotel after driving the 18 hours across the Allegheny mountains and down into Georgia.  I breathed a sigh of relief when Butch drove past Disney world and we did not stop......... he was silent as he bowed his head and tipped his hat to corporate rat world.  I whistled "Dont Worry Be Happy".  

Our check in time was 7:30 p.m. Friday night.  Yup, we set up in the dark....... who sets up a show in the dark?  We needed head lamps to get the canopy up.  Honey just put this little pin in slot "B". 
I can't see slot "B" in fact I can't see the pin.  Helen Keller could have set this canopy up faster than we did.  We stacked everything in the back of the booth and retired to the room.  Free breakfast at the La Chain-ta hotel.  Hard boiled eggs, coffee and an orange around the pool where stark white northern snow birds were already in the pool.  Where ya from I asked.......... Minnesota, isn't it great here?  At 6 am it's 50 degrees and too cold to swim but hey I bet your in the polar bear club.  You Bet! 
We stumbled to the show and begin setting up................  this is what we ended up with:
 At the time I thought this looked great!  Until I came home and loaded my pictures onto the computer.
OMG it looks like a garage sale!  Much tweeking was needed for Boston!  For anybody reading this blog that is the best tip I can give out.  Take pictures of your booth and send them to your friends, your honest friends!  Sit Back and adjust!   Oh and see the booth next to me?  That was the booth of a musician who played music all day long......... I heard it when I closed my eyes the first night.  He was selling CD's for $5 a piece or 4 for $16.  I bought 4 and light them on fire. 
The crowd was slow as I think it was just too hot, we were on asphalt, in the sun.  Butch dropped me off in the morning and spent the day at the beach, picking me up at the end of the show, 6 p.m. to do touristy things......... which I suck at.
I swear, they told me they hate it!  Leave them home, do not bring them to a blipping hot art show!  They have on a fur coat and hate burning off the pads on their little feet.  And HEY you, that's right the chubby guy riding around on the Rascal, dragging your basset hound in 90 degree heat,  I hope you come back as your dog and your dog is on the scooter dragging your butt around.  And yes I said something to Rascal Boy whereas he informed me he was good friends with the mayor....... what that has to do with dragging your chubby dog around on hot day while you sit on your chubby butt under an umbrella sipping water I just don't know but STOP IT!   
And this is why I stopped doing outdoor shows years ago........ it's all coming back to me now......

We made expenses to the dollar, tweeked the booth, revamped the inventory, lost ten pounds sweating and all in all learned more than 5 days in Florida and I turn into a royal witch.  The show ended Sunday night and I flew out Tuesday night.  Butch opted to stay an extra week and drag the UHaul around while stopping at various baseball games and cracked out on hot dogs.

As he drove me to the airport in Fort Meyers I was so happy to be going home I ran down the tarmack, buckled myself into seat 28C and realized I forgot to kiss him good bye.  I called from the plane to say how sorry I was .......... he laughed and said I had done remarkably well for my 5 days. 

and just for the record.........
He took me to the Rookery on Monday.  When I say Rookery what do you think of?  Birds?  Nesting birds?  In fact the definition of rookery: a breeding colony of rooks, typically seen as a collection of nests high in a clump of trees.
• a breeding colony of seabirds (esp. penguins), seals, or turtles.
Here is what we found........... remember it's Florida.  They had just burned the Rookery three weeks prior to our visit.  Nope no birds, nothing living whatsoever.......... it's Florida.

We left the Rookery and went to the Botanical Gardens of Naples........ yup you guessed.  Florida had such a hard winter all plants were frost burned beyond recognition.  Not much living there either.

I arrived in Ohio at 1 a.m. Abby picked me up at the airport with one happy dog.  I drove her back to Kent.  Abby got out and the dog dug in to the back seat.
The dog and I headed for home both whistling........ Don't Worry Be Happy. 
But alas sometime during our departure the furnace blower went out and the house was a balmy 38 degrees.  I found myself chopping kindling in the driveway at 2 a.m. and trying to get the house warm.  Thank goodness for woodstoves!  The blower was only another $600............ I still love it here!

By Monday morning of the following week the furnace was fixed and I had a weeks work drying in the studio...... Bring on Craft Boston!

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