Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Not really! I don't care for the snow. My friend Eileen, who absolutely adores the snow, says I'm a grinch. Not really, I use to love playing in the snow as a child, but as an adult it just is an inconvenience. Especially here in Baltimore...people drive crazy on a good day!

The above 2 pictures were taken about 10 am. It had been snowing since about 10pm Friday evening. We had around 6" on the ground and still more was coming.

Yes, it is pretty to look at...but enough already! The forecast is for 20-30"! Yep, that's right! We don't even live in the mountains!

Josh is hard working, shoveling the sidewalk for the second time today. It's hard to keep up when snow is falling at 2" an hour pace.

The above pictures were taken at about 1pm. As you can see we are getting pretty much snowed in. The snow plows haven't even made it into the neighborhoods yet. They are having problems keeping the main interstate opened and plowed. The malls in the area have all closed down as traveling conditions have become too hazardous. The national weather service has declared that we are officially in a blizzard.

Ian is measuring how much snow we have gotten so far...we have 12" on the ground and no signs of it letting up. I guess we will have a white Christmas afterall. That is if we get to go to the tree farm to find our tree and I actually get to do some Christmas present isn't going to cut it!

Tomorrow is another day and the snow is suppose to be out of here...of course what's on the ground won't be leaving anytime soon but maybe we can get the tree...can you just hear the whining as I drag them from tree to tree on the farm only to go back to one of the first ones that I picked! LOL!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Howard County Crafts Spectacular

howard co 3

Last weekend we set up at the Howard County Fairgrounds. We have done this show for the past 10 years, taking off the last 2 years. The former promoter took what was once a vibrant, thriving, successful show and ran it into the ground. Two years ago, Mark Zienda of AtoZ Crafts took it over trying to turn it around. He still has a ways to go. Gone are the flea market type won't find any socks here folks. Nor the displays for windows or food plans. That's a positive step in the right direction.

I spoke with Mark prior to signing up for the show, quite extensively on the phone regarding the advertising he was doing for the show. It sure looked like he had his bases covered. Only thing, it still didn't pull in the crowds like had attended in previous years. One suggestion that should have been made was to do a postcard mailing garnered from your targeted audience of the craft show goers. Guest come to sign up to win one of the many $10 gift certificates that are given away, that are provided by the exhibitors, so why not have them sign up for the mailing list too?

Anyway, the slippery slope that this and many other craftshows are on, can't be rectified in 2 short years...afterall, I am a realist! But there is still much room for improvement. The jewelry category needs to be cleaned up...too many jewelers and alot that wasn't handmade by the exhibitor. Also some more clarification on enhanced products need to be made. Simply putting a name on a manufactured item isn't handcrafted...I know a little harsh, but truthful nonetheless!

I wish Mark much success. I hope that Howard County continues to evolve and will one day return to the wonderful craftshow that it once was.


In my continuing quest to better my booth display...yes, I am always tweaking my display, I have changed my display pieces to metal grid work...very heavy, but also very sturdy. Not to say that I have retired my old display pieces, but my new grid pieces will be used to enhance my old display, especially at my larger shows.

So some major changes were made at this show. I added shelf brackets so I could use my wood shelves to display my handpainted pieces. I changed how I hung some of my signs to make it easier to set up and I could have more on hand for customers to buy.

Let me just say that the hubby was so glad that my new display didn't entail him having to make me new display pieces...he usually runs for the hills when I say..."what do you think about this for a display". LOL!


This guy was awesome. He had a sign making press, like the one many larger department stores had to make their sale and other signs, so my friend Pat says...well she said she used one when she worked for Montgomery Wards...really way before my time, being the youngester that I am! LOL! Anyway, he had newspaper blanks and changed the headlines to customize the sign for customers.
newspaper guy

This was the sign I had made for my family. Never has there been a truer sign. And in case you are wondering just who Paulie is..he's our cock-a-tiel. I compare him to the parakeets the coal miners would take into the mines with them to check the air quality. Poor Paulie...and yes some days I do get blown away! LOL! Gotta love a family full of males!


And this picture is of my friend Pat and her husband Lou. They look like a pair of lovebirds even after all these years of marriage. Of course, this is not how they always are...some days she wants to throttle him! LOL! But isn't that they way it is with any marriage that has survived for a long time.

And on that note, I'll close this post by saying, that the jury is still out on whether the Howard County craftshow will make a full return to it's former self or simply fade away into the sunset. Take care and I promise not to be so long between posts.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Catoctin Colorfest

Last weekend we had the privilege of participating in Catoctin Colorfest held in the scenic little town of Thurmont Maryland. It's a quaint little town with many gifts shoppes, antiques shoppes and a few nice eateries. On the second weekend in October this sleepy little town of 6000 is flooded with more than 150,000 visitors.

During Colorfest weekend you will find yard sales, flea market items and lots of arts & crafts located in any nook or cranny that someone can pop up a tent and set up in. Vendors even set up in the local car washes bays! It's an amazing sight to newcomers to the show. Parking is at a premium but there is regular shuttle bus service from many outlying locations into the town during the show.


This is one of the biggest shows that we do each year, and we spend many hours gearing up making product to sell. My family helps with set up, manning the cash registers, restocking and packing up, so you could say it's a family affair for me.



We see many friends each year there and make some new ones along the way. Here's Bill Anderson, who we have been friends with he and his wife Rhonda for years. Bill and Rhonda travel from the lower Eastern Shore of MD to set up and sell. We use to see Roni and Bill at many shows, but due to circumstances they have cut back on their shows and we see them 2 times a year. This year Rhonda wasn't able to come to the show due to the flu...missed seeing her.

I took this picture of Steph from Puppywear...she is quite the character as you can see from her pose. We had a good time chatting and getting to know each other this past weekend. She sells all kinds of clothing for dogs...from the little bitty ones to the oversize 2x ones.


Here is Bella one of Steph's customers modeling her new Puppywear coat. Isn't she the cutest little thing?


The weekend turned out to be beautiful and a big success. If you are ever in the vicinity of Maryland on the second weekend in October, be sure to stop and take in all the Catoctin Colorfest has to offer. You'll even have a spectacular view along the way from Mother Nature and the fall foliage.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Darlington Apple Festival

Last weekend I was able to participate in a nice little festival held in the quaint town of Darlington, Maryland. Darlington is just a little speck on the map but come the 1st Saturday in October, the little sleepy town of 700, turns into a mob scene of approx 70,000 people...yep, you read that right....70,000!

This is the first time we have ever participated in this show, but it has been around over 27 years. There is anything and everything to do with apples, including a apple pie baking contest, hay rides, pony rides and musical entertainment. An way imaginable to cook, bake or serve an apple, you could find it at Darlington. There were apple pies, apple cakes, apples with carmel and whipped topping which I can say is yummo but very, very sweet, so it's best to be shared. There was apple butter, apple dumplings, candy and caramel apples on a stick and just plain ole bushels of apples to take home.

darlington apple festival

Along with the apple fare and entertainment, there were around 200 craftsman in the town located in various parking lots, the school grounds and along the Shuresville Rd which is the main street.

The one nice feature about this show, was the food. The food vendors had to be sponsored by a non-profit group which means that the money raised there at the show, goes right back into the community. It was a very nice and well thought out plan and the food for the most part was very reasonably priced.

The weather held out and it turned out to be a beautiful day although the forecast was for scattered showers. If you are ever in the area in October be sure to make a stop to eat and shop the Darlington Apple Festival...hope to see you all there next year...and if you do come be sure to stop by and say hi!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bel Air Festival of the Arts

Last Sunday we participated in Bel Air Festival of the Arts held the 3rd Sunday in September in beautiful downtown Bel Air, Maryland. There is all day entertainment, including numerous events staged on the bandstand, arts and crafts and children activities.

Here are a few pictures that I took of my girlfriends from New Jersey...

Donna paints french country or shabby chic on tin, mirrors, glass, wood. She was busy working changing the colors on a design as a customer waits. Donna was unaware that I was taking her picture! Love candid photos!

In this picture she was telling me not to take her picture! LOL! Too late!

This is Janice...she was just sitting back and relaxing. These gals deserved it as this was their 3rd show in as many days. I did this weekend a few years ago and I can tell you by Sunday, you are wiped out!

Of course my craft shows are a family affair. Ian is in charge of running the cash register and generally helping customers. He's been going to craft shows since he was 6 days old. Of course we were just visiting at that one, but he was at his first official craft show when he was a month old. He's a big help with set up and break down too.

As you can see I still need to do some work with learning how to take pictures with my new camera...maybe someday soon I'll get it! Sigh!

Anyway, if you are in Maryland on the 3rd Sunday of September, Bel Air Festival of the Arts, is certainly worth the trip.

Monday, September 21, 2009

OFG Fall Celebration Kick Off

Make sure to drop by and check out all that the OFG group on etsy has to offer. The celebration started yesterday and runs to October 31. Just click on the link.

Check Out This Giveaway...Firecracker Kid

Be sure to stop by The Firecracker Kid's blog and enter for a chance to win Carol's giveaway. She is giving everyone 4 chances...yep that's 4 to win a great Rolling Pin Dough Bowl Keep.

firecrackerkid giveaway
Carol hasn't had her blog up and running that long but it looks like she's off to a wonderful start here in blogland. So be sure to stop by her blog to enter(secretly I'm wishing you won't since I'd have a better chance at winning) and while you are out surfing the net, why not stop and check out her etsy shoppe too?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What a Great Giveaway At Painting Thyme Needfuls Blog

Be sure to check out Painting Thyme Needfuls giveaway...It's so cool. You get a primitive witch hat, magic potion bottle and a witch sign. Drawing for the winner is September 28 so get on your brooms and fly over to enter. Just click on the link.

Fall Celebration OFG on etsy

The Old Farmhouse Gathering is having a Fall Celebration on Etsy. The member have brewed up some cool Halloween and Fall decorations just in time for your autumn decorating. Members are allowed to enter up to 4 items which will be showcased in treasuries and on blogs.

They are also having a basket giveaway, chock full of items handmade and donated by various members. So be sure to wander over to etsy to check out all that the members have to offer and be sure to be on the look out for the basket giveaway announcement. Here's a sneak peak at my enteries....

Isn't this just the cutest little sign? My hubby doesn't pay attention too well and he cut the wrong size sign blank. Off I went searching for the perfect stencil to use on his oops. Sure wish all his screw ups turned out so well...

A Halloween celebration wouldn't be complete without a coven of witches practicing their craft...or in this case...conspiring.

A warm witchy welcome sign for your pleasure...

As always you can find my signs on etsy....enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Duct Tape 101 Uses

I was talking with my friend Pat about the duct tape sign I made last week and of course there my mind to research about duct tape for some new sayings for a series of duct tape signs. Anyway, after spending Friday night googling duct tape, I found the history fascinating. The things people use duct tape for are also very creative. So I decided to share with you some of the history and uses of duct tape since it's creation...

According to Wikipedia, duct tape is a vinyl, fabric reinforced tape, that was first developed during WW II as a water resistant, sealing tape for ammunition cases. It has many other names including "Riggers Tape", "100 MPH tape" and "Hurricane Tape".

Post WW II, people starting using this wonder tape on heating and cooling applications, that's where it's current name has derived from. But alas, it fails miserably after time with sealing duct work for which it has been named. Many local building code prohibit the use of duct tape on duct work due to it becoming brittle.

But given that it failed miserably in the heating and cooling world, apparently it is a mainstay staple in many homes and even on the Apollo missions to the moon. Even in outer space, you never know when you would need some duct tape.

In fact, during the 1970, Apollo 13 mission, duct tape played a critical role in getting our astronauts home safely. It helped when the CO2 modules had to be retrofitted while the astronauts were orbiting the Earth after an explosion aboard the spacecraft. It also was used on the Apollo 17 mission to extend the fender on the moon rover. Boy those boys at NASA think of everything...Wonder what their emergency tool kit looks like for when they go traveling in space!

In the medical world, duct tape was thought to be able to remove warts, but conflicting studies have revealed that duct tape isn't any more effective than conventional treatment for warts. But hey, if you have a piece of duct tape and a can't hurt to try.

As has been depicted in many television and action movies, duct tape is an a must have. It is commonly thought of as a quick and cheap fix and is usually associated with men. I guess no self-respecting man would be caught without a roll or two of duct tape. Just ask MacGyver!

Duck Products, annually sponsors a yearly competition for the most stylish prom outfit created from duct tape. The winner receives a college scholarship....not bad for being a little creative! Other fashion items that have been created out of duct tape are wallets, handbags, belts and Halloween costumes. There have also been a few street rods that have been tricked out using duct tape! Who knew? LOL!

Duct tape comes in many colors. I guess to color coordinate with our home decor? And like any women with her favorite shoes in every color, I guess you just have to have a roll of each. So next time your in Walmart, pick up a few rolls.

As always these as well as many other signs can be found on my etsy. Til next time.