Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Everything You Wanted to Know about The War Eagle Craft Show but Were Afraid to Ask....


An estimated 100,000 people attended the craft fair this weekend, my first time at the fall show.  What a lot of people don't know is that there are actually three shows that operate at War Eagle at the same time:  The War Eagle Fair is across the bridge from the mill and is a juried show with lots of different kinds of products.  The War Eagle Mill Craft Show is the one I was part of, and it takes place in the Mill Yard under a wooden structure called "the shed."  It is also a juried show, meaning that not just any craft can be part of it. Finally, the Sharp Show is in the Field behind the Mill and any vendor with 50 bucks and a tent can participate, not just handmade things.

I have never attended the show on the first day, and the fear and anticipation from what I had been told literally kept me awake trying to get ready.  I got about three hours sleep the night before the show and I was a total wreck.  If Robb and my parents weren't there, I think I would have completely broken down.  With 30,000 people passing through that day, I sold my first item before I had even fully opened the booth before 8 am.  I can't even remember what it was, but the lady told me to just relax, breathe, and enjoy myself.

I had customers from Oregon, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and more.  People come ever year to experience the fair with their family or sorority sisters or friends, and dress in matching hats, hunting vests, jewelry, or t-shirts so they can keep track of their groups.  And on the first day especially, they are not there just to walk around. They are there to buy.  Like crazy.

The first day, we scraped frost from the car window and it only warmed up to the low 70s in the afternoon.  I never want to be that cold again!  It took a trip to see the good Dr. Favorite to release the tension between my shoulder blades from shivering in the cold.  But it was sunny and clear and crisp all weekend long.  I don't think it would be possible for the weather to have been any better.

Friday was slower and I left early to come home and make some new pieces for the crowd that would arrive on Saturday.  It seemed a little crazy at the time, but four of those six pieces I made sold the next day.

It took awhile to get the hang of things, but when Robb ran the checkout, I did demonstrations, and my parents watched the kids and kept things at home running safely and smoothly, we seemed to be at our best.  When my mom offered to make chicken and biscuits for supper one night, I literally cried for joy.  That's the very definition of comfort food!
I don't know how we would have done it without my parents being there.  And I think the little aprons, pinafores, jackets and pillows my mom brought only made the booth so much better, with a soft texture against my sharp edged mosaics.

The crowd on Saturday was crazy.  Traffic was backed up for miles, with some visitors not even arriving until closing time after sitting in line for over an hour.  I don't think that put them in the mood to buy very much, but some of them did return on Sunday with a bigger crowd than I expected.

I was feeling pretty mellow on my drive over on Saturday morning and decided to snap some pictures while I was driving there.  They aren't great pictures, but they do give you an inkling of the beautiful scenery and the perfect weather. 

I was so grateful that Robb took Monday off from work as well, so that we could have breakfast with my parents before they headed home.  And then, to surprise the kids after all these weeks of Mom being so busy and not free to play with them, we decided to get them a basketball hoop.  I was thinking of waiting until Christmas, but getting it now lets them have so many nice days to enjoy it.  Before we had installed the last bolts and screws, an extra kid was on hand from the neighborhood and the kids were so excited. I was nervous that Charleigh wouldn't care much, but she screamed with excitement and was so cute taking a running leap to shoot the ball.

And let's be honest, it's not just for the kids.  Check out the hilarious pictures the kids took when Mom and Dad played a little one and one.

It was an amazing weekend, which humbled me greatly.  It took the whole family to pull it off, and everyone sacrificed a lot to make it happen.  From my poor Dad having to eat chicken (which he doesn't even like)  for dinner night after night, my husband using his vacation days to work like a dog beside me, the kids being patient with their fuzzy headed mom, and my own Mom being such a humble servant, taking care of us by doing the unglamorous work of cooking and cleaning. 

And today, I couldn't be more grateful to be sitting in my pajamas, getting caught back up with the rest of the world!


Sara said...

I'm so glad that everything went well. Weren't you wearing a simular skirt when you took a face dive at IBC while playing basketball with us teens? just wondering :) Good memories :)

ness said...

ha ha! it was the panty hose that took me out...

and Sheldon Ester.

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