I just realized it’s Wednesday-
Monday was School Day” at the Renn Faire, so it felt like another weekend day and the whole week is thrown off. Next weekend is another 3 day-er, Columbus Day (Leif Erikkson Day, Native American Day of Mourning) so I expect it’ll happen again then too.
The fair went fairly well- we did better than expected on the first day, although the second two days were not so hot- all three together were respectable. Sunday was “kids get in free” day, and of course for school day one doesn’t expect a lot of sales.
I tried to be “educational” but it seems like the only ones who were really interested in medieval art trivia were the home-schoolers. The rest were there for a “day off”. Some schools tried to counter that by telling the students not to bring money- luckily for us many did- but lets be honest, they kept hoping to get $30 stuff for $3. We’re getting rather good at telling the little bastards that the tax is required, and if they can’t find it, there’s no sale. Willow actually had some guy on Saturday tell her that he wasn’t going to buy whatever it was unless she was willing to “eat” the tax.
It’s really annoying. Can you imagine anyone trying that in a normal shop? Why would they think that people who are spending their weekends selling at faires, who (often) make the stuff themselves, have less reason to make a reasonable profit? It’s a frequent topic of conversation when vendors talk among ourselves.
We are selling a LOT of the striped socks and silver. I wish we were selling more of the handcrafted items the fair invited us in for- the people across the way sell nothing but dowels with ribbons stuck to the top for $5. How can you make a living at that, or even enough to pay for the site fee? break even would be 60 of the things! I suppose people must buy them. It’s probably wrong to judge what other people think worth buying by my own reactions.
We really wish we knew more about the plot- part of it is the story of Gawain and the Green knight- he’s got a cool smile, but there are two other characters: Famine and Bounty, and I have no idea what they have to do with anything. I’ve asked people to “shill for me”- pose so that people passing can see what I do, then let me display the pictures until the end of fair. We’ll see if that helps.
I’ve made a bunch more cookie stamps- must print out recipe cards to go with them, and a bunch of votives- actually my statues fall into that category, so I have created a flyer to go with those as well. (I’m so frikkin clever.) Cathy passed on a complement from someone on a list she’s on- they were looking for ideas for their festival and someone mentioned that they’d been to one of my workshops and recommended me. (Yay)
We have a new spot at the fair this year- we are right between the free Children’s games and the Merriment stage where the kids shows are held. I was worried, but I have to say that the kids are fairly well behaved and we haven’t had a lot of problems with them. I still haven’t seen any shows but those puppet and magick shows, but there are three more weekends. I do hope to catch the jousting. But I try to stay at the shop in case there’s a potential customer.
Saturday I put my price down to $15 per picture (opening day sale- then again for school day) and got 4 customers. (better than usual- although it did come out to 5 customers in 3 days). If I were working straight- or even frequently, it would be good money, but I don’t get it. And it really gripes me when I hear the customers walking away talking about going to get their faces painted. It’s going to wash off! I suppose a lot of it is whether you have anywhere to put a sketch of yourself. They LOVE to watch me draw (I have the other fair folk posing for me to generate interest) and there are lots of oohs and ahhs about how good I am. But do they plunk down their $15 or $20? Noooh.
What, me bitter?
This year we didn’t even bother bringing the camp stove (only partially because it broke and we threw it away- I don’t mess with propane if it isn’t working perfectly). The fair feeds us breakfasts and very nice lunches for free in the Green room.
Oatmeal is the basic fare in the morning (sadly- heavily sweetened), but at lunch there are baked potatoes, and grilled cheese sandwiches made to order (with ham or tomatoes), chili, stew and soups, – all sorts of stuff. In the evening we go out to that little diner we found (close to the Walmart where we had to pick up some forgotten items- clothes pins to hang the silks, etc.). Sunday we went down to the Chinese place we found last year- also very nice, and we managed not to over order so there weren’t leftovers. We were sad to see that the really nice comic store that had been near there has closed.
On the way down on Friday, we stopped at a rest area and there was a “farm stand”- a picnic table under a pop-up. I started to get three dollars worth of peaches, and he kept offering me better deals (when I’d arrived he’d been on the phone and I heard him saying that he hadn’t had a customer in an hour and a half- ah, the disadvantages of a product that goes bad quickly!) so I ended up getting a case of several varieties of apples and pears and nectarines plus a half bushel of peaches all for 20 dollars. So I gave him our comp tickets- which was stupid because Willow wanted to give them to Avi and Trevor. I asked and Brian (the Vendor Coordinator) is going to give me another pair for them, but still, I should have not done it. But the guy was being so nice!
The weather has been wonderful- which is good for the fair, and also good for the roof. I keep waiting for Wally to call and say he’s done with the other barn. I suppose large projects always run long.
I got stung by a bee (I think- Willow saw something flying away) while we were packing up. I was interested to notice that my basic reaction (other than “ow”) was that I was indignant. “How dare anything sting me! That’s not the way the world works!” How childlike I still am. It still itches a little.
This week we’ve watched some more horror, a couple of Korean horror movies: Arang and the Ghost. Those oriental movies sure have some disturbing, and at the same time rather artistic images. Their ghosts seem angrier- perhaps not angrier than western ghosts in movies, but maybe it’s because I tend to think of ghost stories people tell- in other words “I think I saw a ghost…”, but it’s not like there was much interaction, whereas in the movie, the ghost is out to get you. We saw Big Trouble in Little China finally, I’ve heard about it for years- it was funny. We also watched the more recent Children of Men which was frankly disappointing. I kept waiting for something to happen. I did like Michael Caine’s role though- an aging ex hippie.
I’ve just finished the Healing Power of Water (I think it was) it was by Masaru Emoto- the Japanese man who takes pictures of ice crystals forming after the water has been exposed to specific words or feelings. One of the odd things I noticed in the pictures was the image of the crystal not forming when exposed to microwaving was very similar to the image exposed to the Japanese word for SARS. I have no idea if that means anything, but it’s interesting. Even more interesting was the experiment where they took two jars of cooked rice and every day for a month they told one “I love you” and the other “You idiot!” (one assumes one is supposed to then extrapolate what effects on is creating on one’s family). The love rice turned golden and fermented, the insulted rice turned black and rotted. This experiment has been repeated a lot- and then they decided to take one jar and do nothing to it to use as a control. To their surprise, doing nothing resulted in the “control” rice rotting even faster than the insulted rice. The conclusion was that ignoring someone is even worse for them than yelling at them. I guess that’s not really a surprise when you think about situations like solitary confinement, shunning, and the effects of babies who aren’t cuddled.
Trevor came over with Bianca yesterday- she’s six months old now and so adorable- she loves to stand, and is nearly creeping, but I was trapped by her great smile.
I’ve been working on my votive sculptures since I got home- because of the short week, only small ones because they’ve got to be dry to fire tomorrow night. I also wrote a handout to go with them that may help sell them.
A weird thing happened tonight- someone saw my description of the New England Peasant Pagan Tradition and called to see about a training or apprenticeship program. Weird. The whole point behind it is that everyone has to figure out what is appropriate for where and when and who they are. This poor guy who is stuck in NYC wants to do peasant stuff. I would like to help him, but am not sure how. Certainly his coming up here is NOT the answer. I wonder what he’s going through that would lead him to me (via Witchvox)?
Oh- here’s a picture of my watercolor from our “art assignment” at the beach.
Star wanted to show off his artwork too.
Can someone tell me why bacon goes bad in less than a week? I’m sure it’s because they make it differently now, but really, one should be able to have four strips one day, then have nonprotein heavy breakfast the next day, and not have the bacon have gone bad the next time you want eggs!
‘ nuff until next week,
– Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument is an exchange of ignorance.