Well, I had quite a weekend! The Harvest Festival was wonderful and VERY well attended. The Beekman Boys estimated that there were at least 5000 visitors to their little town in the last few days. I don't think they ALL came by my booth but I sure did have a lot of people stopping by.
So last week was totally crazy getting ready for the festival, but I managed to get almost everything finished. Julien (my son and assistant):
and I got up at the ungodly hour of 5am on a Saturday morning to get ready, finish loading up the car and get over to Sharon Springs by 7am. Set up actually went quite smoothly; he carried everything and I told him what to do. It was perfect. Heh.
I went with VERY simple for the booth. I had tried to figure out a way to build some sort of easel on the table so that I could hang all the small paintings on that, but it seemed too complicated and then time was running short so I put that idea aside. Anyway, I kept thinking that they always look so appealing in my flat file drawer:
so I thought that just laying all the paintings down flat on a table would be the best way to display them.
I had also planned to hang a few larger panels on the walls, but after
Things were kind of quiet for the first few hours so we had time to settle in and go over writing up sales receipts and things like that. Soon though, things picked up and by early afternoon it was fairly hectic. It got even busier when The Beekman Boys (Josh and Brent) came through surrounded by cameras and a crowd of people who were watching the taping.
They stopped at several booths and talked to the vendors and while they were doing that I was totally panicking. Even though I certainly wanted my work to (possibly) be seen on their show, ultimately my natural self-conscious-ness won out and although I had spruced up my make up and hair just in case, I started to wish for them to NOT come to my booth. I even had an escape route all planned out! I was both relieved and disappointed (but mostly relieved) when they didn't come by my booth.....
But. At the end of the day, Julien and I had started to pack up the paintings (didn't want to leave them there overnight) and I looked up and there was Rosie O'Donnell standing in front of my table. I squeaked out her name in surprise, even though I had heard rumors that she was up for the event, I was still completely shocked to actually see her. And suddenly there was a camera on my face. Sigh. She and her girlfriend asked me about my process (they both paint and I could tell that based on their questions) and luckily I hadn't had enough time to get nervous so I managed to do ok, no stumbling over my words and I managed to stop myself from babbling. Unfortunately though, the camera eventually got me flustered and they left before I could remember to give them a card (I had given a card to every single other person who stopped by my booth). I had no idea how I did during the exchange, but Julien said I was fine and that as they walked away, Rosie said "they are beautiful". I didn't hear her say that because I was internally flipping out by that time!
Sunday was much quieter, it was overcast, but no rain at least. There were not as many visitors so I had more time to walk around and meet some of the other vendors. The people across from us were selling logs that grow mushrooms and I heard them explaining it so many times that I am now an expert at growing mushrooms too, heh. I learned more about growing garlic from my next door neighbors and I also discussed buying my next batch of meat chicks from them as well, as they have a small chicken hatchery. I met Austin who makes the absolute best chocolate that I have ever had in my entire life and I talked to him for quite awhile. I bought some beautiful yarn from a couple who raise sheep and I made some excellent trades with Suellen a glass artist
and a and Sierra, a fiber artist who makes boiled wool accessories like hats and purses.
And a few of my real life friends came by too so there was much chatting. It was also really nice to spent both days with my son, we had fun playing pool and some strange game involving archery on his iPod. And a big thank you to Karen who loaned me her tent, it was SO nice not to have to buy one.
Oh! I also met Doug and Garth, the owners of The American Hotel who were actually very happy to meet ME! They had 'won' one of my paintings in a fundraiser in Cooperstown about a year ago and someone had stopped by my booth on Saturday and told me that they were that couple, which I had not known. Doug and Garth logged a lot of time in front of the cameras on Saturday as they play a strong supporting role in the Beekman's tv show but I was happy to be able to chat with them while the cameras were NOT around and plus I can still recall our conversations quite clearly. Heh.
I sold eleven paintings in all (certain people bought THREE, thanks Brian!) and I am very pleased with that, it definitely covered my expenses. But more than that, it was a really fun and social weekend and I was able to be involved in an event that supports local farms and craftspeople and that also brought a lot of attention, enthusiasm and revenue to a charming upstate town. Josh and Brent have done a really wonderful thing for the area and I am very happy to have been a small part of it.
PS. I think I may have lost Rosie to the alpacas. It is tough to compete with alpacas who snuggle with each other, heh.