It’s fair day!

The day dawned beautiful and sunny. With a slight breeze. Everything was packed or stacked ready to go and all I needed was to get my bag ready with camera glasses, hat and plenty of water. It was promised to be a hot one.
Dad arrived and took my tables and gazebo in the ute and hubby and I followed in the car. Mum was already there – we have stalls next to each other – and vehicles unpacked and moved.
Gazebos set up and pegged the men left us to it, and I realised very soon on I had left my water at home. Bugger.
Set up took a little longer than usual but not by much. And from then on it was busy. About 10 I felt the need for another coffee and breakfast but between myself, the coffee van (conveniently across the road again) and Jakob’s Pantry next door it was nearer 11.30 before I got to leave and get sustenance. A unit went down very well too.
My decision to pack things differently this year paid off as it was so much easier – both at the beginning and end. I was able to leave one whole table set up til the last minute rather than having 3 tables half packed up and looking messy.

And one table – my bracelets and accessories – I’ve decided I will take to market next week. Quick and easy, but also full of fun little things available to everyone.
I did learn one thing. Friendly plastic. It melts when it gets too hot. If you were wearing a brooch or earrings like I was, provided you aren’t just standing around in the full sun, they will be ok. Where they were on my table, they were in the full sun, and while not obvious, when I went to move them, some were stuck, and are subsequently ruined. A small price, and a timely reminder for next time.

Overall my day was pretty good. I’d made back costs in the first half hour and the rest was, well, it’s what we want isn’t? Put it this way. I love full day fairs like this, and I got invited to go to another in early April. We’ll see what the email brings first. And off hand I’m pretty sure this year is the Channel art Trail, a 3 day exhibition of all kinds of artists selling their wares with some ‘working’ exhibitions included.

I am pretty happy with the layout of my gazebo, given I don’t do outside events often – jewellery tends to not like the wind – but I just love the opportunity to take lots of items and show off everything.

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One minor issue, the gazebo isn’t as big as I thought, so I can’t have the full layout and include the walls, as one of my tables was half out of the cover, but still inside the site markings. Another stall holder chatting told me about their verandah or awning you can buy to extend shade on the, but I’d be wanting to see if I can utilise it to add the wall to it as extra roof space. Did that make sense?
And after looking back at the pictures, I need a much bigger banner, and more girls to hang. The banner I would like is a vertical one that stands out the front of the stall or the biggest horizontal one, which would cover half the width of the gazebo. And more girls so I can have a whole row along one side. Small steps and investments. After all, everything I own (beading wise, gazebo included) has come from beading money. Not bad when I look at it like that.

What else? I saw heaps of people I knew, some I hadn’t seen for years, chatted with customers and had – as usual – a quick run around to see what else was happening, drank nice coffee, and ate beautiful lamb crepes and a cherry Danish.

And lastly a couple of pictures of the Fair. I know it doesn’t look much, but there were over 95 stalls plus all the other activities on show. From where I was, (my stall to my left) there are only 3 behind me, and the ground slopes downwards (south) for a couple of hundred metres.
To the right of me are more stalls, the hall, and activities for the kids.

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Looking straight out of my gazebo.

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Facing north, (my stall on my right) and across the road are where they have all the animals and any demonstrations, like shearing. The road go’s straight through the middle and our house is at the top of the hill behind all those trees. A mere 500m away.

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The year in review

What has happened this year?
In a nutshell…
– I attended the Middleton Fair for the first time ever, since visiting it years ago with small children in tow. I’m hoping the next one will be better. I have four weeks to get my act together on that front.

– I’ve been in the local newspaper as part of one of the markets I attend, albeit wrongly named.

– I bought my own domain name and started a new website – a lot of work is currently needed to tidy and fix it up.

– I bought an ad in a local newsletter – has it been successful? I’m not sure. No one has actually said they’ve seen my ad and come looking.

– I’ve done lots of markets this year. Some very good, most of it not so. Take the good with the bad, it’s all about marketing and getting your face out there.

– started this blog as a stand alone beady and craft blog after a completely un-related blog post from a friend.

– I attended an art exhibition with my very first attempt at collage and mixed media.

– I then dabbled in some painting and mixed media canvases. I sold a few early on but not much since.

– I made a few bags early on and then stopped. Not made much since. I’m going to make a few more new ones for the upcoming fair and markets in between.

– I’ve put it upon myself to help the manager of the Woodbridge Market to try and make sure it gets better. While it was hit and miss early on, I think he’s come round a little, and knows I don’t want to take over, just help. Last market he asked me if I had my camera at the ready and said well done on the FB page. Wahoo!

Next years goals?
Work on my website and get it uber organised.
Get my work area to a workable standard and try to be neater overall.
Get to work and make sure everything in my collection is worthy. There are a few at the moment that will be pulled apart. Those things that don’t get many looks or that I’m really not impressed with anymore.
Work on a few new items with clay, glass and semi precious stones, and nice chains or ribbons. Make a collection or two that is on going that become like signature pieces.
Look at a different marketing avenue maybe, or try a few more shops to get a small retail base happening.

I did start either this year or last. A goal of making less items and not rushing them out. Sometimes it worked. Other times I put too much pressure on myself and then that stuffed it all about.

Overall I’ve had a fun year beading, crafting and sewing and look forward to moving forward – onwards and upwards – in the new year.

I hope to see my followers back to share my journey.
Happy New Year!!
Jennifer 🙂