If I thought any of you might ask, "Where have you been?" I would try to come up with a cogent answer. But really all I can say is, "Darned if I know." The entire summer is gone in a blur of those lovely hazy days of staying home and caring for small people. We camped in our new-to-us camper a few times, visited with family a few times, but mostly we played in the sprinkler, messed about in the garden, sat inside and read books, and generally absorbed our summer vacation like sponges. Now summer is gone and most of the fall and, in a moment of insanity, I've signed up to have a table at a bazaar in two weeks. So I ask myself, "What was I thinking???"
I was thinking crocheted cupcake pincusions. And aprons. And bibs. And divinity candy. And crayon rolls. And little knitted hats that look like pumpkins. And I was thinking I could make these things in time to sell them.
So, why? Why would I try to do this crazy thing that I do not have time for? I'm not really sure. Maybe to justify my crafting habit? Maybe to earn a little extra money for that new camera I want? Maybe because I work better under pressure and I hope to get my life better organized? Sorry but no, not any of those reasons. I thought about it a little and I know why. Those things come into it a teeny bit, but I am not fooling myself. Here it is: I am having a table at a craft show because I want to be the table that I would like to shop at.
I will explain that. I have been to a few independent seller events in this town in the two years we have lived here. I've been to the Farmer's Market, rummage sales, bazaars, the Home Show, the jazz festival, etc. I have been looking for kindred crafty spirits, and I haven't found any. I am saddened at the dirth of ol' fashioned crafty goodness. I know they're out there. I know I'm not the only one with a feed reader full of crafty posts. But I haven't found them yet.
This is definitely not meant to belittle the people who have been out there marketing their stuff. Some of the booths at these events have been full of beautiful and impressive goods. I've seen pottery, framed photographs, framed paintings, and jewelry galore - all perfectly lovely. Most of these sellers are true artisans. But I have to say it. Not once have I seen a table with a large variety of small, lower-priced but quality, handmade items. I have never seen anything that I thought was taking a little risk. Or anything craft-trendy. I've never seen ANY amigurumi, aprons, sharks, robots, gnomes or freezer-paper-stenciled anything. I've never seen any of the items that are common on the crafty blogs I visit. What I mean to say is, I have never seen tables like some I have seen (and purchased from!) at craft shows in the past two larger cities we've lived in. And I've not even seen any like those tables at the church bazaars I remember from when I was a kid. (Back then I could take the $3 Dad gave me and go buy a magnet for my mom, an ornament for my teacher, a bracelet for my best friend, and still have enough left to spin the lollipop wheel for myself.) What I also have to admit is, I don't buy those lovely things those people are selling. I really am truly sorry about it, but I don't have a place in my life for hand-thrown pottery right now no matter how beautifully hand-painted it is. I don't wear necklaces because my toddler still pulls on them. Ditto earrings. I haven't even hung up the pictures I already own, and can't justify buying more just yet. And, I'm sorry dear earnest, grandmothery-type lady, but I do not need an acrylic crocheted baby blanket for $35 - my own mother crochets and quilts.
So what I hope for my little table with its meager offerings is that it will encourage a few more people to say, "Huh. That stuff is pretty cute. I could make stuff like that. I could make stuff better than that. I bet I could have a table like that next year." I want people to see the dorky lady that is me and want to show me up. And I want to buy their cool stuff! And if a few people buy something from me so I can make back my table fee, well, that will be over and above.