First Show Success!

Yesterday was Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe’s first time vending at a festival, and it went really well! It started off less-than-promising… with a scant 4 hours of sleep, the Fiasco and I were up at the crack-o’-dawn, loading the car in a torential downpour. But then! The skies cleared, the booth set up smoothly, and the customers were lovely.

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I felt like a ‘TA – DAAA!!!’ was in order.

I took a ridiculous amount of pleasure in arranging our table. Everything was in its place, each with its own little sign (that kept flopping over in the wind), everything was color-coordinated… so fun. We received a lot of great feedback on the booth, as well, which was so nice to hear what with being newbies and all.

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My awesome Fiasco.

The Fiasco and I made a really great team. Even though he’s generally had an aversion to lotion his entire life, he was demonstrating how to use a lotion bar like a pro. (And, it turns out, these bars are ‘not that bad’ as far as lotion goes. Ha!) I don’t know how people run a booth on their own, we definitely needed both of us there, and this wasn’t even a very big festival.

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My view for much of the day.

I couldn’t believe how quickly the day flew by. One minute we were setting up, the next we were kind of sitting-around-waiting for people to arrive, and then all of a sudden it was 5pm and we were packing up. It was kind of incredible. I barely had a chance to walk around and see the festival for myself.

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Shearing happened.

I missed all the shearing, only saw the evidence that it had happened, and heard the claps and cheers whenever a sheep was finished.

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Stinky cows.

I didn’t see this pair much since they were directly behind our booth but OH BOY did I smell them. Depending on which way the wind was blowing, it was sometimes difficult to sell the delicate floral fragrance of Sea Moss (for example) when all one could smell was Eau de Manure.

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Festival loot!

I did manage to scurry out and quickly snag a little festival loot. I would’ve liked to shop around some more and visit other booths, but there’s always next time and I love the the items I came home with. The bag is a lovely cotton/linen creation by Honey Bee Handmade. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find any sort of website for the maker. That gorgeous skein of purple yarn was dyed by Elizabeth Brown of Bay Ridge Dye Works. It’s a pretty, superwash Merino fingering-weight that will make a great scarf or shawl. It’s also really cool that a portion of each sale gets donated to a charity. For this skein, it was the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. And finally, that lovely braid of Merino/silk is Faerie Circle from June Pryce Fiber Arts. June Pryce is a team of sisters, Cheryl and Jenn, who dye gorgeous yarn and fibers and make lovely bags and stitch markers. They’re also super sweet and partially responsible for us doing this show to begin with! (Thanks for all your encouragement!)

All told, it was such a fun and exciting day, that I was in bed asleep by 8pm. Today the Fiasco and I will do a little relaxing and gallivanting before returning home to clean up the house, which looks like it’s been hit with a vengeful, crafty tornado. Later…

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IS #71: Local Happenings

I don’t know what it is about this little state, but ever since I moved to Rhode Island, I’ve felt surrounded by craft-y goodness. Last weekend was Craftopia, a nice little craft fair organized by the owner of Rhodycraft in Pawtucket. Lots of different independent vendors to discover, lots of fun handmade items to covet. (Excuse my less-than-stellar cell phone photos, please.)

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These necklaces made from real butterfly wings by Crystal Popko were a real eye-catcher. Aren’t they gorgeous?

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I also really liked the simple lines and knit-stitch-like designs on the rustic ceramics made by Elizabeth Benotti.

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This shirt from the Fraggles and Friggles shop is basically the cutest shirt in existence. (Get it? Those are cuttlefish!) I love me some science geekery, and Elizabeth’s shop is full of it, for sure.

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I absolutely adored these small leather card holders by Shara Porter. The colors, designs, and display were just so appealing. I regret that I didn’t purchase one while I was there.

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There was a surprising lack of handmade textiles at this festival.  The only artist working with something other than t-shirts or cotton bags was Heather Jeany, who took previously crocheted doilies and hand-dyed them to convert them into interesting statement jewelry.

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This display needs no words, am I right? It’s just pure awesome. But to give credit where credit is due, these adorable faux dead things were created by Jen Bennett Gubicza. She makes non-dead things, too, but I really love that narwhal taxidermy piece. SUCH A CUTE DEAD THING!

I had a lot of fun checking out so many local artists making so many interesting things. I was especially inspired and paid close attention to displays at this show because Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe will be vending its first show in a couple of weeks! The Fiasco and I will be at the Rhode Island Sheep & Fiber Festival with lotion bars galore on Saturday, May 17th. If you’ve never been, RISF is a great little festival with lots of local yarn dyers, spinners, and other makers. It’s held at the gorgeous Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol. Please let me know if you’re planning to stop by, I’d love to meet you and say hello!

What’s your favorite way to discover new artists? What’s been inspiring you, lately? Let us know in the comments below!

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