The past 10 days have been a flurry of activities and lugging of the portable Olive Sparrow shop. I also got to meet with so many of you that have come and visited me at the fairs.
Here is a bit of a recap to share with you.
Friday and Saturday (Nov. 16 and 17) I had a large booth at the Arts and Crafts Fair of the Toronto Waldorf School in Richmond Hill. On the way there, the front wheels of our beloved, yet ancient mini-van started smoking. Taking frequent breaks to let them cool down, I was determined to make it to the fair – which I did – just. I was so lucky to have my wonderful felting buddy Jan helped me with the set-up. Car-car (don't you name your car?) stayed there overnight, while Manon of Shoe Babou gave me a ride downtown and back the next day.
Here a quick look of the booth:
This was my third year at the show and I feel blessed to have seen many of my repeat clients again. I also got to chat with many new clients.
On the Sunday after the show I took Huxley to see "the Man in red on his sled", and a visit to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). Since we didn't score even one candy cane, we treated ourselves to cake in their eatery that always makes me think of Switzerland (it's something about the layout, the colours and general feel). This time of the year is a challenge to my mothering role – my soul is torn between my duties on all fronts – as a mother, a creator of Olive Sparrow goods, a gardner, a housewife, an artist, the maker of all the baked cookies with gift clients with, taking care of me. Yet despite the challenges, I love the flurry of activities and even giggle at the state of the insides of our car – packed to the roof with show booth items.
Monday to Thursday this past week was spend sewing like a mad-woman at home and getting some painting done at the studio. I was able to finish up 3 more Olive Sparrow Children (they had still needed faces, hair and clothes) and sew shoes for all the larger dolls that didn't find their forever families at the TWS show.
On Friday just before 2 pm I got on the road to Guelph (about 100 km's east of Toronto). I was able to visit my pregnant friend Catherine and her family there for half an hour before heading to the Trillium Waldorf School for the Cranberry market.
It was so relaxing to set up there, as I had given myself ample time so I didn't need to stress and do my usual heart-pounding, adrenaline pumping spiel of racing to be ready for opening time. There was a piano in my vendor room and a group of children played piano and the recorder for me. As a thank you, I let them have a rock fight. You read right. This year I am selling wet-felted rocks, originally intended to be used for nature tables, play scapes and decoration. Through interaction with the kids I realized they had a hoot trowing "rocks" at each other in play. What fun – and there are still some bags of the rocks left for my next fairs. The children commented on how interesting it felt to hold these textile stones in their hands.
The booth set-up is different at each fair I attend – In Guelph, I had rented two tables, which is really what is needed to justly present all my goods. Luckily Catherine (not my pregnant friend, but a super-sweet and wonderful co-ordinator of the fair) was able to get me that much space.
Here some close-ups of each table:
Because I had some extra time before opening, here a few (pardon me for the blurriness) doll close-ups:
Alice 38 cm – available
Elsie – 38 cm – available
The Cranberry fair closed at 11pm. At 11:40 pm, my goodies where packed up and I drove back home to Toronto. After getting into bed at 1:15 am, I rose again at 4:30 am and was on the road at 5 am to arrive in Kingston (about 250 km's west of Toronto) by 8:30 am for set-up at the Mullberry Waldorf school for their Winterfair. (I did have a 15 minute nap at one of the rest-stops and arrived full of energy in perfect timing to walk my stuff up to the 3rd floor of a lovely old and large school house. The building reminded me strongly of my own primary school in Switzerland – must have had something to do with the size of the class rooms and the spacing of the stair steps.
Even though my attendance was confirmed only a week ago, I was still able to rent two table spaces. Lois and Patricia that coordinated the fair were absolutely lovely to work with.
All the people I met at the school were strangers to me, yet I was made to feel completely at home and welcome by everyone that came to look and/or purchase my goodies.
As promised in my earlier post, I wanted to show you the 20 cm Olive Sparrow Child that I will be giving away in a contest I am holding at all my shows this season. I know that my dolls are not attainable for everybody that visits and gives me such lovely words for my work – I wanted to give something back.
Here is quick image of "Mimi".
The contest will close on December 16. 2012, the day of my last show this year.
If you would like to put your name into the draw for a chance to win her, visit me at one of the shows I will be doing over the next two weeks and fill out a ballot:
November 30 (Friday 6 pm – 9 pm ) – Westdale Children's School – Hamilton
December 2 (Sunday 10 am – 4 pm) – Waldorf Academy (formerly Allan Howard Waldorf School) – Toronto
December 8 (Saturday 11 am – 3 pm) – London Waldorf School – London
December 16 (Sunday noon – 5 pm) – Rima and Friends – Wise Daughters Craft Market – Toronto (Junction)
Off to bed for me – I am planning on sewing more doll clothes and hopefully finish a couple more dolls until Friday.