Stick a fork in me! The last show was so stellar I decided to do it again and add 2 more days. I need a shock collar!
When ever someone says; oh you're an artist you must have a fantastic life. This the blog post I will remember.
Two days before I packed up I decided I needed a new booth. This is when a shock collar would have been useful!
Old booth shot:
new booth shot
Oh ya, that was worth two days of ironing, sewing, painting, wood sawing and all around panic booth disarray. There's that Hungarian motto again: Why Do When You Can Over Do?
Tried to get out of town by 10 am Thursday morning but alas the dog needed a good long walk, I took one last walk around the studio, made a loaf of bread because Butch might starve while I was gone and by 11:30 am I was on the road. Stop by the hardware store to get a locking trailer hitch for the new cargo carrier. After 4 unsuccessful tries and the hardware guy trying valiantly to solve my problem, it started getting expensive as his solution was to replace all the pins and add a new lock for the tidy sum of over $50. Thanks I only need to get to Columbus and went to Harbor Fright. Score $4.99 and thank goodness 2 keys. Off to retrieve road money from the bank in a box. Rolled up, insert card, key in #1 for English, key in pin, ask what my first pets mothers maiden name is and THEN I pushed the desired cash needed. The machine flashed blue lights and ate my card. No amount of expletives can tell you my state of mind at this point. JUST TURN THE POD AROUND AND GO BACK TO THE MOTHER SHIP, ABORT! I had to go into the bank and talk to a real guy to get my card back and money needed for the weekend. I had my drivers license, but alas my receipt was somewhere in the van, return to van find crumbled receipt and return to the bank. Someone set off the shock collar please! By noon I was rolling down I-71 blasting WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE; thank you Guns and Roses! 3 hours later I hit the Fairgrounds filled with serious artists, crafters and the food tribe of roasted nuts and kettle corn-ers that follows us around.
Checked in, found my booth in the maze of 450 artists. The rows went up to 1,000 ...... amid the dizzying awry dancing snowflakes and Christmas tress I lost my concentration to the get the best possible parking place needed to off load in a horse paddock. Why yes, let me off load boxes of pottery and a booth in ankle deep powdered sawdust and did I mention it was an uphill push to the door. And our old friend with the handicapped hang tag had wedged his giant RV right up to the fence so you had to push your cart all the way around the titan of RV's. Huffing and puffing I wrestled my cart into the building and looked for a guy with an oxygen tank because I had a hose to pinch. Nope no hose, a service dog. I little fluffy dog with an orange vest, seriously? On my third red faced trip around the RV, he walked out. He and his little dog needed a cigarette and I'd of taken a hit on that oxygen tank if he had one. "Hey if ya moved back 3 feet, the rest of us could get past your honk'n RV and not have a black out. He scratched his head, surveyed the situation, snubbed out his cig, tossed the service mutt in the side door and moved the monumental land yacht, back just enough to squeeze through. My last trip was much easier. Set up went pretty well. Neighbors were showing up, a jovial crowd all in anticipation of throngs of shoppers with purses flush for the exchange of goods.
Then another neighbor showed up and started off loading next to me with his girlfriend. I had my head down assembling pedestals and started coughing which made me look up. A white fog that smelled of baby power descended over my booth. (I have black pedestals) So I yelled, Hey what's up. I heard a few expletives and she said; Oh sorry I accidentally set off our fire extinguisher and it hit me in the face, OMG look at me. I looked around the corner and found the pillsbury dough girl standing there........ and yes she was blonde. I returned to wiping down pedestals and coughing.
And remember that final studio walk through back at the mother ship....... well I forgot the track for my lighting system. In a bit of a quandary the pillsbury dough girl said she had never forgot their track because they leave everything packed in one place by the door. HEY! have ya looked in the mirror? No problem I can run to Lowe's right up the road and get one. That is where I bought the light fixtures and the entire system I currently own. Find Mark the very helpful lighting guy who said: Oh we don't carry that brand anymore, now we have this far superior brand. I just stared at him. Why? I dunno, company decision, we just started switching over and only got half our order. They had a track that would work but none of the connectors for the new system. Put your thumb on that shock collar because I thought I could rig something together with what they had and what I already had for a lighting system. I got the duct tape out and pieces and parts, flipped the switch and stood back. Lights were on, the booth wasn't burning down and my hair wasn't on fire. WINNING!
Everything was up, priced and displayed. Exit to crash in a hotel somewhere 14 miles away. Got into my room around 8:30 pm, called the mother ship where an excited Butch remarked; I was so happy when I pulled in the driveway and your van was really gone, I thought for sure you'd bale on this one. He had no idea ........
I ripped the packages open on all the little coffee pods, jammed them in the teeny little coffee machine and drank them all, set my alarm, and crashed hard. This hotel had exercise equipment and I actually packed my jogging shoes and gym clothes. Oh my god I couldn't even remember my name at this point.
Up the next morning and out the door, hit the Starbucks drive thru. (my only guilty pleasure on the road) I would like the biggest cup of coffee, the deepest darkest roast with 2 shots of espresso please and do not make me say the word Venti or any other Starbucks speak. And what is up with barrista? anybody remember soda jerks? You sir are a coffee jerk in a very good way. Heaven in a cup thank you! The doors opened at 10 am and we were off to the races. I was slammed the first day. As I rang up sales on my iPad I kept getting messages and alerts. Finally at 2:30 pm I had a chance to see what all the alerts were about. First text: I don't want to alarm you but just to let you know Rachael is ok. I don't want to alarm you but her dog Lizzie is ok and Travis is ok too.... and on and on it went. I finally went to Rachael's facebook page and saw the pictures of the earthquake in Anchorage. Rachael lives in Anchorage. By 2:35 pm I was reading everything I could about the earthquake to find out which areas were affected in relationship to where Rachael's house, college and farm are located. Show, what show? As luck would have it, the jeweler down the my aisle was from Girdwood, Alaska and she explained the layout of the pictures on her facebook page.
What a day..... everybody was OK, I made a little money and wander out to find my van. I drank a quart of water, a quart of coffee and stood on concrete floors for 10 hours. The show closed, I had lost my voice I had talked to so many people and I needed to eat something besides my little bag of raw walnuts and an apple. Out in the parking lot was a maze of angry artists as somebody forgot to unlock the exit gate. Only one way out and we had to play dodge 'ems with the incoming cars on their way to the Dragon Lights of Columbus. We waited over an hour to get out of the parking lot. 450 artists and nobody has bolt cutters? Lemmings we are all just lemmings headed to the cliff.
I stopped at the only thing I could find open, an Aldi's. The fruit and veg section was pretty awful. Mold is not one of my food groups. I opted for a bag of multigrain chips and apples. Destination hotel! Stopped at the front desk and got 2 more coffee pods, went to my room, locking the door. I Face-timed Butch as I sat on the couch tearing open a bag of chips with my teeth and sucking down coffee. He was his jovial self; Wow you look great! How is your day, I bet it was awesome, the dog really misses you! By this time I was eating chip crumbs off my sweater and looking down my bra for crumbs. Love you, cyber air kiss, talk tomorrow. Lights out........ yup lights out but the walls were paper thin and then in the twinkling darkness I heard in the hall, a pack of curtain climbing, ankle biting, candy thiev'n rug sprites wielding sticks and screaming...... hockey kids. I sprang from bed, flung opened the door and yelled where is your father? They looked in horror as my t shirt barely covered my nether regions and yes I will take that puck! They vacated immediately and I returned to bed. No sleep for the wicked. I hate hotels I really really do. Saturday I got up and did it again. This time I managed to grab what I thought would be a yummy taco salad from Chipotle. Alas it was the $2.50 one which is not a salad but one bite and I was back to coffee, apples and mulit-grain chips. Called home and once again YOU LOOK GREAT, you're dog really misses you, one more day and you get to come home! By Saturday night after days and hours of standing on concrete I had legs cramps that would have seized up an AK47. One more day........ pack up and roll home.
Three hours driving home in the rain and wind after dark through the cornfields of Ohio during rutting season is a lot like playing the lottery. If you get home unscathed you win!
Pulling in the driveway after 10 pm and raining I had to off load the cargo carrier before I went in the house. Wet and tired I sank to the floor and was smothered with doggie kisses and I was home. After our love fest he dutifully went over and ate his dinner. He had waited all this time to eat....... me too.
This morning I woke up in my bed, with my coffee, my dog and it was good. I took a shower and turned into a boneless chicken, the water washed off Winterfair 2018.
Was it worth it? yup......... probably going for the gold next year too.
I did a lot of horse trading and met so many great artists and people. OMG I met Roger Tory Peterson's son (his wife is a jeweler and so is he). Roger Tory Peterson is the Paul McCartney of the birder world!