Archive of ‘craft fair’ category

arts in the park

it was (mostly) a great day for a festival.  the sun was sunny and folks were stroll-y. I got to see tons of friends of the big and little variety.  my own kids came swooping in on their bikes. C insisted on buying something from me, a task he took on very earnestly and I had to bite my lip to stop from smiling too hard lest he think I wasn’t taking his commerce seriously.

that said, I haven’t done many festivals so I learn a lot each time I head out with my garlands, tablecloths and bins of stuff.  this time the lesson learned was “bring tarps in the case of rain!” because out of nowhere came a torrential rainfall that soaked some of my things and certainly dampened my mood.  I had to rush home to get everything dry and had to leave the fest early.  despite that, the good times were very good.

there is very little that compares to the wonderful feeling of watching others delight in and enjoy something that I have made.  look at these little faces!

other highlights include the jar of homemade nectarine-lime jam that landed in my hands as a thank you from a friend who felt inspired and the wonderful people that volunteered to tirelessly help me out (thank you sarah and jenn!).  it’s easy, when you work independently, to find self-doubt creeping in and the antidote turns out to be smiling, helpful faces at a festival.  thank you.

the penguin, ninja and owl

have you ever tried to swipe something from an owl? or a penguin? how about a ninja? how did that work out for you?

uh-huh.  that is what I thought.

because, let’s be honest, those stoic creatures wouldn’t give up anything for anyone.  and, they would certainly not give up a secret.  

and that is exactly why I have trusted them to be secret pocket pillows.  each one of these guys has a little pocket on their chest that holds secrets and only the pillow owners can get the secret.  that is, of course, unless they have been trusted with a loose tooth…then they will give over the tooth but only for cold, hard cash.

I think it is pretty clear they mean business.

[coming to see me at the festival tomorrow? I will be bringing this a-team with me, for sale!]


kettle corn, cotton candy and me

I’m so excited to have a booth at our town upcoming Arts in the Park festival at the end of the month.  it has always been one of my favorite town events because the considerable number of artists and art lovers that live in the town (and surrounding ones) seem to come out of the woodwork.  and, this year I get to be in the thick of it.  yay for me!

I’m sewing and sewing away to get it all done in time but, in the meantime, here are some teaser shots of things that I will be selling.

{brand spanking-new iPod holders, some with grandma’s vintage buttons!}

{playful marker and paper holders for artists-on-the-go…little artist or big ones, too}

{tucked and buttoned-up swing bag}

 I hope I see you there!

the fest!

I was honored to be involved in a great fest held in our town this weekend, Combatting Latent Inequality Together Fest 2012.  it was the first time it was held in New Jersey and centers around punk music and gender politics with all proceeds going to an organization in New Brunswick called Women Aware, which focuses on assisting anyone affected by domestic abuse.  there was lots of punk music and workshops on all manner of gender-related topics.  it may not surprise you to know that I was probably the oldest chic at the fest and definitely the least punk.

{my booth, photo courtesy of my husband}

but here is the thing. now that sewing is a more serious undertaking for me it means that I get the chance to say *yes* to totally new things that push me out into the world and away from my hermit-like tendencies.  this fest was one of those events.  I got to say yes to this and I’m so glad because I now know the following things:

1) the activist members of the next generation are learning how to make and do everything themselves and they rock at it.  they know how to publish books, knit, sew, embroider, silkscreen, make music, cook good food, build things and a ton more.  they are kicking butt at this and everyone is doing it….not just the girls.  it’s a real community effort.

2) silkscreening is amazing! and after one short demo I am determined to do more of it.  it’s so easy and versatile and amazing! did I mention it is amazing?

3) nice is in.  it is all about being nice in the broadest way…nice to people who are different; nice to the earth; nice to little kids and nice to people like me that are a lot the same.

4) it is totally ok to wear earplugs for the loud music. if you forgot yours you can buy them from the guy selling anti-establishment literature. he’s really nice.

5) I’m pretty certain that the world these young punk rockers are working to create is going to be great. it might not look like mine, or perhaps it might…who is to say.  but either way I’m glad I got to glance in on it.

{my fantastic friends–young and younger–at the fest.}

I am proud to say there were some signs of my light hand.  my littlest friend up above is wearing a dress her mother made in one my classes and the banner in the background was made using skills gained in another class of mine.  (maybe I fit in a little more than I suspect.)


the jar jammies

I have recently fallen in love with the mason jar as an all-purpose drink carrier.  it can handle hot or cold drinks, has a nice wide mouth for drinking.  plus,  screw on the lid and I can take my drink with me.  the best part, however, and really the essential part for me is that things taste good in a mason jar.  ice cold water tastes like ice cold water, coffee tastes like good, creamy coffee without the lingering hint of metal that accompanies some of the portable stainless steel containers out there.  this makes a huge difference for me because I just can’t get excited about drinking things that don’t taste good.  I mean, really? what is the point?  so, I’m really excited about the newest thing I’ve sewn together…pajamas for a jar or jar jammies!

using some scraps of pretty fabric and sticky foot fabric (the stuff used for the feet of pajamas) paired with thin elastic and pretty, vintage buttons and there you have it…your hands are guarded from the elements, at least those hot and cold ones tempting you from within a jar.

here are a few pictures of the details.

I made so many because I’m bringing them to the CLITfest on July 14th where I will have my own table! I’m very excited because it’s a festival put on by young feminists and I’m honored to get to be in their company and be exposed to some fantastic punk music.  it’s one of those experiences that never would have come along if I hadn’t decided to venture into sewing/teaching/pattern making in a more serious way.  so, yay for me! I’m a teeny bit nervous about being the ‘old lady who sews things’ in the crowd of awesome young women.  I might have to make myself something to wear.  but, if you are in the area COME, I will bring a big, warm smile for you.

music to sew by

I realized today that I do not remember a Christmas season that didn’t involve making things by hand.  I just simply cannot think of a time that needle didn’t meet thread in the name of Christmas.  I know it happened because I didn’t really start sewing in earnest until after college but I just don’t remember what the lead up to Christmas was like then maybe instead of sewing I was baking or making something out of paper (I’ve had lots of weird phases).  maybe I just went shopping…and that was that. maybe it just wasn’t very memorable…so I don’t remember it.


but, in the years since then they have become memorable…I mean who could forget the year I was wrestling blue flannel or decided at the last minute to make a quilt.  making is now ingrained in the tradition for me and the hum of the sewing machine is ingrained in Christmas for my family.  this week got busy on me…I thought it was all under control and then it just wasn’t.   I got a few commissions and decided to join an arts market this coming friday and KAZAAM! there went the calm and collected and in blew a frenzy.  but the good kind of frenzy.  and good music has made it even better.  so, since I can’t share what I’m making (I want surprises, damn it!) I thought I would share what has me shaking my head in my swivel sewing chair.  enjoy!!

Thao Nyugen–Bag of Hammers

Stornaway–I Saw You Blink

The Decemberists–This is Why We Fight 

Basia Bulat–In the Night 

and, if you are in town pop by and see me on friday at the artisan market off main street!!

little stitchers first craft fair

this Sunday marked my very first time selling at a craft fair.  (cue: applause!) it was so much fun.  I spent the entire time talking and standing until my heels and throat ached…and the fair was only 3 hours long. but, honestly, you could not shut me up. I was loving it (and a little bit nervous) so I just kept chattering.  the nervousness is partially a permanent fixture but also stemmed from a thought I had earlier in the week.  I will share with you this little insight into my crazy. it goes like this:

you know when you have a garage sale because you are moving really far away and you are selling stuff you actually really like? you pull it all together the week before and you are kind of sad to let it go.  you debate with yourself over a few things saying to yourself…oh, but I really like this! but, I can’t take it with me! I’ve got to purge!!  then, the day arrives and you set it all out on your lawn and all your stuff starts to look a little shabby and sad.

people come by and they pass it over with a quick, judgmental glance.  or worse, they drive slowly in front of your house; deem your previously-loved items unworthy; and then speed away.  suddenly, that stuff you actually liked begins to tarnish before your very eyes.  at the end of the day, you don’t even want to bring what remains back into your house.  you feel demoralized and low. you order takeout.

I got it into my head that it was going to go down like this at the craft fair.  the things I lovingly made working away in my studio were heading down this road of sadness.  I’d never done a sale before…I had no idea what people liked and my head just got spinning.  I had nothing to trust but my own aesthetic sense and alone in my basement studio there came some doubt…….nasty doubt.

but, guess what! it didn’t go down like this at all! it was the opposite. it was the road to happy! friends came to help out; people wanted to talk to me; to hear about classes; to touch and feel and love the things that I made! it was awesome.  little girls bought skirts and put them on immediately…then they did spins or insisted on wearing them to school the next day! baby bibs, crayon roll and bags are off in the world prepared for their very own adventure.  I met new, crafty, local friends like Jennifer and I left beaming.

{view of the table. woot. woot.}


I was so worried about how things would go that I had had my husband count buttons and put them in a jar then I held a contest to see who could come up with the closest guess. the prize was a drawstring bag.  the contest was a huge hit, particularly with the under-9-female crowd. I mean a HUGE hit, girls were begging me to tell them how many buttons and dancing around talking about buttons.  in the end, I realized that I was in no position to be the one to tell them they didn’t win so I emailed everyone later to announce a winner. cowardly, I know. I could not handle the fallout.  (by the way, congratulations Jenn and Rebecca!! enjoy the bags!)

the two girls behind the table in the picture are my friends, though.   they were excited about the buttons, too, but they were honestly back there to help.  in fact, one of them held my hand for a while and told me stories in a really animated, fake-adult voice. it was probably one of the day’s highlights.

my boys arrived late in the day, they were thrilled to be ‘at my work’ and ran around like maniacs. all in all, the day was a little bit of chaos and a lot of fun…just the way I like it.


p.s. many of you have asked and yes,  I will definitely be updated and adding to the etsy shop this week. stay tuned.

p.p.s. thanks again to everyone that came out to see me. you made me sooo happy.

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