Monthly Archives: August 2008

I Accept Your Challenge

While setting up for the fair tonight, my sister so lovingly pointed out that an Etsy Street Team leader should have promotional items about the team. This was after we had met Chris Massingill and talked about how we should have promotional materials. I think the exact line was “Yeah, and you’re supposed to be the team leader”.

That was a challenge. She might have well pull out her glove and smacked me in the face with it, because it was on.

Well, thanks to some images that Etsy provides the world on their website here.

I was able to create the simple promotional pieces you see here. One side is all about Etsy and the other side promotes shopping with artists from Arkansas on Etsy.

I’ll set them out with my business cards and hope that they will lead someone to the wonderful items AREtsy has to offer. In fact, I’ll go one step further. Shop with the Arkansas Street Team here.

On your mark… get set…

GO!

In just about 30 minutes I shall begin my 2nd to least favorite part of the craft show hullabaloo and that is the set up process. For 6 Hands (my mom, sister and myself) that involves the following:

Wait for person with larger vehicle to come pick you up (usually my mom)
Drive to work to get the 3 tables that will make up your display area
Load those tables into the van
Get back in the van
Get stuck in Friday “getting of work early ’cause there’s a football game tomorrow” traffic
Get to the fair grounds and remember why it’s your favorite (’cause it’s beautiful)
Find the check in tent
Spend minutes upon minutes in line waiting to get your booth assignment
Go find spot #5 (yeah, we know our assignment because my sister rocks like that)
Pull out the tent and look at it for a few minutes
Spend the next hour setting up a tent that would normally take 10 minutes to set up but I live in NW Arkansas, land of many boulders just under the surface of the ground making driving stakes into the ground nothing short of impossible.
Whew.

The rest of the stuff is fun. I love making the table look nice, trying to figure out where to put things and such… LOVE IT. I just hate the stuff leading up to it. Each time I do this I think “we should just pay a tent company to come set one up”, but then I price it and change my mind. I’m sure I will think that again tonight.

Tonight will be spent finishing up the last scarf before the fair start bright and early tomorrow morning. I’ll probably finish a few more over the course of the weekend because knitting in the tent somehow leads to people buying scarves. I suppose it reassures them that yes, our booth is actually all handmade.

The picture seen above was an indoor show we did last October that we will NOT be doing again this year. Not all was lost at that show, I came up with my ladder display piece. Tacky? Yes. Fun? Of course!

Advice for an 18 year old

I live in a college town… no, not the college town I went to school in, but a very similar, albeit smaller, town. This time of year brings hoards of students back into town. New students, old students, and students who are just along for the ride. They are all back and I wish I could be with them.

I’m not sure what it was about school that I loved so much. The hardest days of my life took place during those 5 years (I’m sure I’ll have other hard days in the future). You’d think I’d be done with it and want to put it all behind me. My college days didn’t even include crafting or gardening. How on earth did I survive and why on earth do I miss them? I miss band, I miss my friends, I miss the campus life, I miss my dad sending me a rent check once a month for my apartment, I miss staying up until 2 in the morning watching Center Stage with Barbara and Cynthia only to end the night with that fateful cup and pair of pants (you two know what I’m talking about). It was fun, it was sad, I grew up a lot and I learned a lot. College was important.

In the style of a couple of those friends from school and fellow bloggers (For Once in My Life and So Mellifluous) I bring you a note that I wish I could read to my 18 year old self.

Dear Erin of 9 years ago:

Welcome to the first “real” day at UT. I’m sorry the past two weeks have sucked for you. Trust me when I say be glad that you didn’t make LHB this year, you wouldn’t have liked your section leader and the timing is not right for you. You’ll go on to show the world at PASIC next year that you make a damn fine section leader when your cymbal section brings home 1st place at the drumline floor competition. Good things come to those who wait. Anyways, your grades will rock and your bassooning will be quite impressive because you don’t have to spend your time on the football field this fall.

If you could only see the road ahead of you right now, I’m sure you’d be terrified. Please know that everything that happens, is for the best. You’ll soon feel that UT isn’t the right place for you. Don’t stress about that thought – it’s not the right place for you right now. You need to go back home, you need to have accomplishments elsewhere to prove to yourself that you are just as amazing as you were in high school. But please, do well while you are here, because, believe it or not, you’ll find your self roaming this campus again when you decide that UT is the right place for you. Confused yet?

That’s right, you’ll come back to UT after spending a few semesters elsewhere. Hey, guess what? You’ll make the cymbal line. Guess what else? You’ll meet someone pretty nifty that will rock your world for a couple of years. Guess what else? You’ll make some amazing friends in the process. Those friends will still be with you after college, traveling with you, supporting you, and making… uh… inviting you to be in their wedding. See, people at UT aren’t so bad.

Just to warn you, not all is peaches and cream for you when you venture back to Austin. Once you meet that guy that will rock your world, you’ll discover that your high school crush is not for you. Please be clean when ending that. Do not draw it out. Tell him goodbye and cut off communications. You’ll wish you had when you are sitting at his funeral wishing things hadn’t ended like they had.

Also, just to warn you, that future guy that is going to rock your world will only do so for a couple of years. So don’t plan your life around him. Galveston, TX isn’t that great of a place anyways and you’ll start to see why you’re thankful he only rocked your world for a couple of years.

Do what your heart tells you to do. It will take you far. When it says go home, go home, when it says to call your mom, call her, when it says to sit in your bed and cry, for goodness sakes, sit in your bed and cry.

You’re just 18, the road is rocky and long, but it’s worth it. See you on the other side.

Love, your 27 year old self.

Best Day for Mail EVER

After spending a day at a retreat with my coworkers, I came home to find this little jewel on my coffee table.

Denise Felton is a fellow crafter from Arkansas and a member of the AREtsy Street Team. I love her work and have kept my eye on her shop for almost a year. Because of all of the other artwork I own, wall space is hard to come by, so I was waiting for the PERFECT piece for me. I needed a piece that sang to me, that represented me, that told the world how awesome it was, and that rocked. Today Denise put that piece into my hands.

I had dared her to do a bassoon piece a while back not thinking anything would come of it (that’s not saying anything about Denise, just about the bassoon), but sure enough, here it is. My little, tiny bassoon wonder.

I think more than I love the bassoon, I love the expression on her face. Judging by the expression, I’m sure that her conductor just told her she would have to double on the contra-bassoon part for a few songs at the next concert. That’s never easy for a lady, especially a lady in a skirt.

Run over and get your own amazing piece of art from Denise’s shop here: Denise Felton

Shopping on Labor Day Weekend

I took this from the AREtsy Team blog because I wrote it and I can. That’s allowed… right?

Just when you think cooler weather and changing leaves will never get here, you turn around and there they are. The cooler weather means the start of many a fall/holiday craft fair here in Arkansas.

Northwest Arkansas provides craft fair shoppers and fans with plenty of opportunities to spend some money and time browsing. Besides the big weekend of fairs the 3rd weekend in October (does War Eagle ring a bell with anyone?), there are many other fairs that dot the calender leading up to Christmas.

The first one that comes to mind is The Clothesline Fair in Prairie Grove at the Battlefield Park (park seen above). This is a fair steeped in many, many years of tradition, 57 years, in fact. I’ve been told that artists used to display their goods on clothelines that were strung between the trees and their tents. This would make sense, seeing as how it is call The Clothesline Fair. Those days are long gone, but the fair is still going strong.

My sister, Punkinhead, my mom and I will be hanging out under our tent at The Clothesline Fair, so come on out and say hello… unless you don’t live near by, that would be a long drive.

If shopping for crafts isn’t your thing (and shame on you if it isn’t) there are plenty of other activities for you or your family members to do. You can visit the Latta Barn for some tasty turkey legs or burgers. There is a play ground for the kiddos and a short hiking trail with lots of Civil War history along its path. There is also a museum that is free to the public that has the history of the battle that took place on that very spot. So come on out, do some shopping, learn a bit of history, and enjoy Labor Day weekend in Northwest Arkansas at The Clothesline Fair.

Subu is having a give away and this one is FABU!

Hey you – do you love this bag from Apostrophy Designs as much as I do? If the answer is “yes” then head over to Subu’s blog for your chance to win it.

A Few of my Favorite Things

Whether or not you’d like to admit it, the Holidays are just around the corner. In fact, there are only 122 shopping days left until Christmas. This is music to my ears for a few reasons. I love Christmas. I love the family, the spirit of the holiday, the decorations, the baking (oh the baking), the gift giving, the cold, winters days, and the smells. I love everything about it.

My family is made up of some amazing gift givers. Thought and creativity goes into everything. However, sometimes you draw a blank on what to give someone. Because of this, I have maintained a pretty good Amazon wish list for the past 7 years or so. It’s great for the books, music and movies that I want (Sopranos season 4 – 6 is at the top of that list), but the greatness ends there.

In steps Etsy with their list of favorites. With Etsy, I’m able to add things to my favorites list, which creates a sort of “wish list” for those who know their way around Etsy. However, many people do not which is where the Etsy mini comes in handy. This is the perfect way to send your favorites list out to everyone on your Christmas giving/receiving list. I wish more people would open Etsy accounts and add things to their favorites list. I’d much rather buy from Etsy than the mall.

You can see a few of my favorite things at the right of my blog under, you guessed it, “A Few of my Favorite Things”.

Me want, me want!

Found today at Craftzine.com:

This is BRILLIANT. All I need are some shelves and guess what I’m doing to the guest room? Yup, making it into a yarn storage heaven.

I currently store my yarn in bins under the bed. Every time I pull it out to get another skein out, I gasp at the beauty the yarn hides in the bin. The colors are vivid, the textures are amazing, and it’s the loveliest thing in my crafting collection. However, would displaying my yarn leave me feeling ashamed for the amounts of acrylic yarns that I have? I do have a lot of wool, handspun yarn, but sometimes you just want something cheap… and easy.

Okay, so maybe I won’t do this project. Any other suggestions for storing yarn?

You Will Be Missed

I received a phone call this afternoon from the husband of an Etsy friend. She has been sick lately and I didn’t want to call him back because I knew what the news would be. I did call him back though, he asked me to, and the news was as expected. Julie Anne of DiamondMeenuh Creations passed away yesterday. She was one of the most spirited, bright, positve, friendly, warm, cheerful, and interesting people I have met… ever.

I had the pleasure of meeting her this past May when she had a gathering at her place for some local Etsy members. Not only did we get the chance to meet her at the gathering, but also her birds and Elsie, her cow car. It was one of those moments that really puts the word “community” into perspective. We didn’t know each other away from Etsy and the internet, but she invited us into her home and made us some of the most delicious food and some handmade goodies.

Her presence in the Etsy forums and in the AREtsy group will be greatly, greatly missed.

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