@ the Lavender Wind Farm:

2011 Artist's Invasion

An annual art festival at the Lavender Wind Farm is too good an opportunity to pass up. A bit windy (hence Lavender Wind Farm), but end of July through middle of August is the best time for glorious summer weather. The view is simply fabulous, the purple surrounding us on the farm is true eye candy along with all the other plants and landscaping direct from the mind of the owner, Sarah. The venue is a mixed bag of plein air painters, folks seeking plants, shoppers, out-of-town tourists, browsers enjoying the sunshine and serious art connoisseurs.

When I accepted a place with the Artist's Invasion I had zero inventory. For three months I clayed and twisted wire like a madwoman. I despaired I would have enough for my tables. Fact was, I had just enough. I set my tables up in the driveway the day before to get everything placed attractively. It's been so many years since I last showed, I have no clue where half my displays are. Still, I had the essentials and gleaned several compliments on my layout at the faire. I packed the car up and went to bed.

Saturday, at 8.am, my neice, Suzi arrived at the door. I finished my morning chores and away we went. Like last year, the morning was fogged in and quite cool. Suzi caught on fast (my beautiful AND smart best friend) and we had everything set up in record time. I started out with a rug, but it was a safety hazard on the grass so we stowed it under the tables. I used two kingsize sheets on the tables so ended up weighting them with rocks to keep them from tangling in browsers' feet. I also bought myself some pvc sewer pipe, filled them with wet sand and rocks from the beach and capped them. I bunjee'd one to each leg. They are definitely heavy enough to keep the tent from launching. We had many compliments, met some interesting people, basked in the sun when the fog burned off and made a modest amount of sales. End of day we tucked things out of the wind, lowered our tent and went home. I slept like a rock.

Sunday, at 9.am, Suzi returned and we went back to the farm. We raised the tent and rearranged the inventory and started making sales before we were finished setting up. In the morning we lost several sales because our tent was in a wind tunnel. We were located at the top of a knoll where the wind sailed over the trees, across the labyrinth and between Sarah's house and her store. Poor folks were hunched and shivering. I was wearing two coats and Suzi was bundled up as well. The fog finally lifted after noon and the sun came out for an entire 20 minutes, long enough for the two of us to thaw out. By the end of the day we had made another modest amount of sales and came away from the weekend with a tidy profit. We disassembled everything, packed up the van and went home. It took me almost three days to recover, but it was well worth it. Suzi and I had a grand time.

Below are pictures of my setup and some close ups of my inventory. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger picture.

What I learned: 1) If I'm going to continue with shows I need a new canopy. I could fix this one, but - as I age - it's a nightmare to lug around and put up. 2) I must have a wall or two or three. And maybe a zippered or velcroed entry panel. This would have made all the difference in customer (and our) comfort and sales by blocking the wind. 3) I need a paint brush about 3" wide to keep the velvets clean. 4) If someone goes back to the same piece again and again, they really want it and I need to say, "Make me an offer." 5) Take kleenex. Cold days equal runny noses. 6) Take a bag for trash. 7) I need to frame my paper artwork. 8) Stow the hot pink crate out of sight. 8) Nail some fabric to the back of the window so the earrings show up.

 

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