Phew! Renegade was a blast - as always! Thank you *so* much to all of you who came out to the event, visited my booth, and said hello. I was touched and overjoyed by how many folks came through and let me know that they read this blog, or have purchased from my etsy shop, or were there because they'd gotten the note I'd sent out to my NYC mailing list. Honestly, I always feel a little nervous when I send those mass emails out -- I always worry that it's looked upon as spam or a nuisance. So, it was really nice to hear that people actually do read the emails and that they were glad to get the heads up about the event; thank you!
I'm pretty terrible at remembering to get booth shots. This one, I took somewhere around the middle of the second day, and I really wish I'd cleaned up my little pile of mess in the back corner before I'd snapped the shot. I do, however, like how B is lounging in the back there like a beach hunk.
I had the back wall on my tent the day before, to make it all look a little more cohesive, but it was so darned hot on Sunday that I had to take it off in an attempt to get some airflow under that tent.
Bowl covers and kits were the popular best sellers, with the little stuffed vegetables and fruits coming in right after.
This array of stuffed farm goods came as a last-minute idea. I've been making the strawberries for years; filled with lavender, they're a chez-sucre-chez constant, and I'm happy that people come back year after year to add another or two to their collection. The mushrooms started out as a project for Terrain and, since then, I've made a few more, but used them mostly as props for my market/produce bags. The carrots, too, had been a part of my set-up, solely as prop, for the past few events. Always, at those events, I'd be asked if I sold the veggies by themselves.... So, I thought this time, why not?! I really do love making these things -- it's like play-time for me; finding fabrics in just the right color and with sweet prints; colors like orange (carrots) and brown (mushrooms) that I don't usually use, and working out the logistics of how to shape and sew the fabric into realistic forms.
So -- I made up a pile of carrots. And then, Wednesday morning, I was tending my garden and harvested all of my peas. That got me thinking -- I can make peas! Originally, I was going to make them out of fabric, and I bought all of these lovely pea-green prints. Once I got home and started thinking it through, however, I realized that felt was the way to go. And then, when I had the brain-flash to sew a piece of twine with a series of knots into the fabric - making it feel like REAL PEAS - I was beside myself with excitement. So that's how the peas happened.
The next day, by buddy Dan Colby posted a photo on Instagram of his heirloom tomato harvest, and that's what set me off on deciding I needed to make heirloom tomatoes, too. I'd made some tomatoes in previous years, but now I had some greens (from the peas) and some orange-red (from the carrots) fabrics and if I made them lumpy-er, they'd be like heirlooms.
The OTHER inspiration for this expanded collection of farm veggies was the new personalized jar-cover/topper kits that I'm working on. On one of my recent wanders through the fabric shop, I stopped in front of the burlap and realized that it has a large woven grid in it -- and so, it could be used to cross-stitch upon! I know that canning and picking is having a bit of a resurgence right now, and I thought it'd be fun to make personalized labels or toppers for mason/ball jars. So, I did! These were the first two I did:
And then I played around with some other ideas. I like the idea of a label, to be tied on the front of a jar, or hanging from the neck of a bottle, too.
Of course, having made a sample that said "dill pickles" I had to make some pretend dill pickles for my display.
This cracked me up, too. (And several people asked if the pickles were for sale -- not this time!)
So -- all this lead me to wanting to create a farm-stand-like scene in my booth. I envisioned hanging signs with the names and prices of the produce, hand-painted on old charming pieces of wood. When I mentioned this to B on Friday night, when he came home from work, he helped me make it happen by finding an old wooden frame , busting it up and cutting it apart. Hooray!
It turned out pretty close to how I'd envisioned it. I was happy.
Here's Olive, one of the most adorable and fashionable babies in NYC, with a bunch of carrots that her mama, my friend Cory, put on a leash so she wouldn't lose them:
Super cute, right?
So -- Renegade was good! It was great to see so many friends from my days of living in NYC, and to recognize and chat with my chez-sucre-chez/Renegade regulars. It was great to meet so many new c-s-c supporters and to get more people interested in picking up cross-stitch.
And now, it's two days later and I'm still exhausted! It's my birthday, so I'm giving myself the day off and trying not to feel guilty about it. :) I think the most productive thing I'm going to get to is taking those peas that I harvested last week and making them into fresh ravioli for dinner tonight. Maybe....