|My corner of the booth|
The trickiest part were the hanging display ladders - ended up making them out of dowel rods and ropes with wrapped wire to hold it all together. And while they look great, the first one took me almost three hours to make.
|Leah setting up her workspace|
So yesterday morning we showed up bright and early, grabbed a prime spot and set up. Even with the trial run in the backyard, setting up took longer than expected. Amongst other things, my hands were shaking so badly I couldn't seem to thread my papers in between the little dowels. With help from Joe, it was finally accomplished.
And then we settled in to work. The Uptown Art Stroll was a little different from most festivals I've attended in that every artist participating was expected to be creating a piece of art work throughout the day with judging and an awards ceremony at the end.
|My piece at the end of the day (nearing completion!)|
I didn't know what the judging would involve. As it turns out, it was a lot of fun. The judges, Susan Jane Russell and Jacqueline Barnett, were fascinating women who asked a number of questions about my background, how I got into beading, etc. Jacqueline's last question threw me for a moment "what is the most technically difficult part of what you do?"
Staring at my piece I realized anew that none of the stitches, in and of themselves, are particularly difficult; in fact they're all rather simple. Its the freeform combination, the willingness to step off that path and believe that it will work that adds the complexity. So that was my answer, but it felt like a personal epiphany as well. Reminding me of why I do what I do.
Wondering about customers? Well, the attendance was light, as were sales, but it was a good chance to test out a number of things, including price points. And I truly enjoyed the chance to talk with people in person, see what they liked, which colors and designs appealed, and why. The light turn out gave me more time to talk with those who did come. A number took the Fusion Bead class calendars, so maybe I'll see some of them in my classes this fall.
|t-shirts for everyone, ribbon for me!|
Do I think festivals will become a regular thing for me? No. Do I think I'll do them again upon occasion. Almost certainly.