Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Craft Show Countdown

I have three craft shows this month -- two big three-day affairs and one awesome one-day show. I leave on Thursday for my first, the Northern Virginia Christmas Market at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA. I've been doing this show for four years, and every year this promoter uses one of my photos on either the map given to customers, the postcards sent out, or both. I never, ever get over that giddy feeling of seeing my work in print.

Packing doesn't make me giddy, though. It makes me tense. I'm usually pretty methodical, but at some point, I realize I've forgotten to pack things on my list and they all get chucked into any box that still has room on top:

Change, change bowl, string (string? What do I need string for?), Altoids, cutters, asthma inhaler, tape measure, lip balm -- I know I'm forgetting something....

We (we being Rick and I, the Dynamic Duo of Craft Show Set Up) keep huge Rubbermaid bins packed at all times so we lessen the chance of forgetting anything. These are just two of them -- there are many. One is full of display busts, T-bars, and duct tape. Duct tape has bailed me out on more than one occasion. The other has MORE display stuff -- pretty boxes to stack, bowls to set out, silk flowers, trays -- and whatever else I think I might use at any given show.

99% of the time, we have to take Zack with us. He's a Dynamic Duo all by himself. It was a lot harder when he was younger, when he had a five-minute attention span, but now, we've got it down to a science. Either my iPod (with movies on it) or his portable DVD player (more movies) and a snack will keep him occupied JUST long enough for Rick and I to build the booth -- if we hustle like mad men and don't stop for anything.

Rick and Zack stick around long enough for the booth frame to be put up, curtains to be hung, lights to be connected, and general large pieces put at least close to their final destination. Then they take off for the hotel, a swim, and dinner, while I turn on my iPod and start decorating and making the booth a boutique.

This takes hours. No really. We get there at 3pm and I'm not out of there until they kick us out of the convention center at 8pm. Because I never quite set up my booth the same way twice, because I never know if I'll have a corner spot or not, because I never know what we may have forgotten (even with the checklist), I just take my time and Create The Space. I never really know what jewelry I'll put out on display, either, so I visit it all and pick and choose and put back and take out again.

It's one hell of a lot of work, this crafting life.

But I love it.


  1. Anonymous8:23 AM

    This post made me laugh. You captured the experience very well. Good luck with all your shows.

  2. Anonymous8:54 AM

    Every time I see photos of your booth, I'm amazed. It's just so lovely and so creative and I know that if I were at the show and saw it, I'd be immediately drawn to it.

  3. Enjoyed reading this, Lori! Your booth "boutique" looks beautiful. What a lucky girl to have such competent help. (I have me, myself and I!!)

  4. Anonymous6:17 AM

    Lori, I love your posts and blog! Gosh, it makes me want to blog too. I need to do it.

    Claire, NJ


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