Oh my gosh - it has been a flurry of activity since I last wrote here on the blog. I made it through the Garlic and Arts Festival the last weekend of September. It was a fun time - but a whole bunch of work organizing my booth, making the sign and getting all the pottery made and finished. You would think this would be easy for me since in my past life I did trade shows for over a decade. Truth is, I always had a great team I was working with and we helped each other. Now I am on my own to think of it all and no one to bounce anything off of.
I started making my pottery back in June working towards this festival. I've made lots and lots of pots. Some of them aren't even finished yet but I will begin decorating again soon for Holiday sales. I started an Instagram 100 day challenge which helped me to focus and really pump out the ceramics. It is called #100daysofvases. You can continue to follow it on my Instagram page @kristinnicholas. I am on Day 63/100 so still have a bit of time to go.
For the festival, I was incredibly fortunate to have some help. My sisters Laurie and Nancy came to visit on Thursday to help price and wrap everything which was awesome. I can't imagine how long it would have taken me by myself. My good friend Kay volunteered to help out in the booth for the 2 days. Mark and I went to set up the tent and bring the furniture the Friday before the event. We weren't sure what we were walking into because the Festival is on a field and so I had to be prepared for all kinds of uneven and muddy ground. Since we live only about 35 minutes away, I brought some furniture bookcases for display. I used the tables we use at the farmers markets. To keep the bookcases steady, we used leftover fence posts from our portable electric fencing and tied everything up with some jute twine. Clever huh? Good thing farmers don't throw anything away. I still wasn't sure about the wind and possible rain and all my breakable ceramics..... so I brought some incredibly heavy antique brass ecclesiastical vases and filled them with water and sunflowers to help steady everything. It worked!
Kay and I arrived early Saturday morning to bring all the ceramics and set up the display. Kay and I unwrapped it all and tried to make it look as good as it could. I had harvested lots of zinnias and sunflowers from my garden to add to the color and vases.
Here are some photos of the display. You can see the sign I painted a couple days before in the first photo on this post. The booth looked cheerful and the sign and my homegrown flowers added a lot of color and joy to the display. Kay suggested I make some little bowls for succulents and she contributed the plants and potted them up. They sold quite well.
Generally it was a good couple days and so much fun meeting all kinds of folks. I wish I had made more sales but I really think I had unrealistic expectations of the event. The people were incredibly nice and interested but most were there for the food, music, and education that the festival provided.
The bottom line was this event helped me to work towards my goal of producing more of my handpainted ceramics - ultimately to have for holiday sales on my website.
Thanks so much for being on this journey with me. The #100daysofvases continues over on Instagram. (I'm on Day 63!) I've got more ceramics in the works as I have been making some larger bowls and vases and pitchers thinking towards holiday sales. I realize many of my readers are not at all interested in what I am doing now. I keep this blog going to record what I am doing and so I can check back in on my progress.
Now for the awesome news - my sister Jenn is hosting a POP-UP POTTERY SALE at her home in Randolph NJ next Monday October 14th (Columbus Day). I'll post the specifics in a second post tomorrow but wanted to let you all know tonight if you are up for an adventure on Monday.