Our wonderful local craft fairs
December 13, 2016
Each year, when we have our local wonderful Christmas fairs, I'm amazed at the talent this community has in its' midst. Okay, so I'm included in this group, thank you. Please forgive my sometime less than humble thoughts, this old gal really enjoys getting sincere complements from time to time.
However, this old lady would never include herself with people like our Suzie at Jeff's whose oil paintings — so beautifully intricate — can be included with a lot of our other artists who deal in oil and watercolor painting. Viewing that type of artistic talent always has my shaking my head in wonder. The Art Council had a viewing, one I wanted to see.
Unfortunately, it occurred during the same Friday night as the one at the Middle School where my son Doug and I were in attendance. My crewel designs must be framed, and if you know anything about proper framing it's not inexpensive. If you want your work to be shown properly, Suzie does that for me every single time I take her some of my work.
During the first hour on that Friday night we found ourselves looking down at 11 of my completed pieces and a half dozen unframed ones, hoping they'd sell. About half way through that second hour along came a young woman who began to examine a small piece I had done with yellow iris. "This is nice," she said, and then pulled out her wallet and made the purchase.
The price may have seemed high, that is if you didn't know the cost of framing and the hours of handwork it entailed. She was thrilled with her purchase and I was a happy camper. At least, I thought, we paid for renting the space. That's always a good thing. About then I took the time to walk around to check the other 50 or so booths and did that shaking of my head.
There were so many beautiful items, tons of knitted pieces, handmade aprons, tons of fabulous jewelry, and lots of goodies to eat. I remember, some years ago when I had a booth, it was held on the gymnasium floor. Wisely, they decided it wasn't a good idea to have tons of people prancing that entire floor, and changed to holding the booths down the assorted halls.
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The only difference that I noticed was that back then they had a place to cook and we could buy hot dogs, other hot foods and assorted beverages. This time they only had pizza and cold drinks. Just before closing Friday night a lady at the next booth took a liking to one of my larger pieces. She said that she would "probably" buy it and one of my smaller ones the next day.
Saturday morning came and about an hour later a nice gentleman came by admiring this same item. He came and went a couple of times and then finally said he wanted it and pulled out his checkbook. Doug gave me one of those "what do we do looks?" I just smiled. However, a sale is a sale, and our gentleman friend was a very happy customer as he walked off with my large leaf design.
As it turned out, the lady from the other booth didn't come in Saturday and I hadn't lost a sale as a result. As the day wore on many more people stopped by to admire my work. I was especially amazed when they were surprised that I had designed and made each and every of the assorted pieces of crewel on that table. There were a couple Christmas ones, with Santa, etc.
A lady bought a huge crewel design with blue iris. She was taking it on a plane to Florida, if you can imagine. I later found that she'd taken it to be properly packed so that she could carry it onto the aircraft. Hope it gets there safely? Only three of my pieces weren't sold. I plan on taking those to my dealer at Richardson's Gallery in Reno.
Great things happened that weekend. I finally met my Bottom Road reader friend and another from Fernley. Other of my readers introduced themselves, saying how much they enjoy my column. We were invited and had a wonderful steak dinner at the home of one gentlemen purchaser. While having a very successful sale, meeting these fine people was the best part of that busy weekend. God bless and thank all of you.
Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org