On convincing neighbors they want to buy what I've made

As I mentioned in my last post, I will be running a booth for my family’s business, Flying Bulldogs, at the Tate Street Festival on September 17. 

My friends D. and G. took over command of the annual festival last year, and they truly have a knack for community event organizing!  Last year (their first year running it) was one of the best TSFs I have ever attended.  🙂

In high school, my friend N. and I had a booth at TSF selling handmade candles and tote bags, and handaltered thrift store tshirts.  We never made any money, and my dreams of ever making money from my crafts were thus smashed. 

Once the memory of that disappointment dissipated from my brains, my friend L. and I tried our hands at a shared a booth at ArtWalk, a permanent art vendor in downtown Boone.  I displayed (I hesitate to say sold) scarves, bags, skirts and aprons.  L. sold quite a few paintings and upcycled greeting cards. 

I constantly get the whole “you know, YOU COULD SELL THOSE,” from folks generally thinking they are offering me a nice piece of advice that I may have never considered, but truth be told, (of course) I am constantly thinking about how I can make money from my artskillz.  For the past several years, all my work went into school projects and crafts solely meant to be gifts, or things for myself based on need. 

So after a long hiatus from even trying, I am going to introduce my handpainted and fabriccovered coat hook rails later this month, and we’ll see.  But because I also get a booth full of commercial crafting and redecorating supplies, I have a lot less to lose (nothing, I guess) if my handiwork doesn’t sell. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately (as one does in the flailing stage after college) about what I am doing with my life and how my skills can best be put to use.  Right now I am totally satisfied with my routine of working, crafting, babysitting, and of course wasting lots of time with my pardner, Wil.  I babysit a minimum of 6 hours a week, and I love having the opportunity to work with kids outside of the classroom, with selfdirected play and art and amazing conversations.  Being with kids in this less structured way (but still without the ultimate commitment of parenthood, phwew!) is so good for my life.  I draw so much creative energy from them, and seeing how much their parents are able to accomplish in the same 24hours I have has done wonders to combat my inherent laziness.

I mean, if I was at home right now, there is no way I’d even be blogging.  I would be working on more coat hook rails or vacuuming pooplaced dirt litter from my antique hardwood floors (I use dirt in Wentworth’s litter box to transition him from outdoor to indoor cat).  Right now, I’m on the set of a music video shoot (i.e. in Wil’s room) waiting for my cue to dance like one of those rap guys’ girlfriends.  It’s going to be shot in slow motion.  Baller.

Anyway, the whole reason I started writing this post was to show you something I made for D. and G.’s WalkerFest, which took place earlier this summer.  I was working at camp, so I didn’t get to go to the actual festival, but I did make this for them before I left.  I even wrote out illustrated instructions on how to hang it.  🙂

This is a 24′ x 8′ stage backdrop, and it is by far the largest amount of fabric I’ve ever worked with!  There was no space inside large enough for me to photograph it, so I had to take it out to the parking lot to see how it looked.

This is what I had been going on:

And I was shocked to find out that my edges were this close after the potential 24 feet of shifting:

NOTE: For you nonsewers out there, it has not even shifted a bit.  I stuck out the green fabric, so you could see that I had actually stitched two fabrics together, otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to tell.  That is how perfect it was.  Shocked, I tell you.  I had no idea things could ever work that well in my favor.

Here is the money shot:

Jon Scales of the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, a fantastic percussionist who went to my same college (OMG, right?!), in front of my backdropinaction. 

Of course, I did this for free.  But I sure as hell added “WalkerFest Stage Design” to my resume.  🙂

Bless you, if you’ve read this far.  You’re a trooper.


PS – Our ad appeared on Regretsy!  I am thrilled beyond belief.  I want to be April Winchell when I grow up.

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