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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Crafty Apple Fest in Chilton and going to State Park Volunteer Jamboree

I have been scrambling the last few days to get all my stuff together, sorted, inventoried, tagged and packed. Our friends Jim and Norma Burkett of Pa and Ma's Rugs of Beloit, WI were coming to share a booth with me at the Crafty Apple Fest in Chilton. They came up Friday afternoon... and we had a nice visit until Steve got home from work.  They brought me some weaving goodies!!!!

Lovely old rag shuttles, stick shuttles and a temple (stretcher device) for weaving! 
How sweet was that? 

We went out for a Friday Night Fish Fry with them to the Eagles Club in Chilton, right next door to the motel Stanton Inn Best Western in Chilton where they were staying.  After full bellies, we called it a night as they headed to their motel and we headed home.  I still cranked out a couple more pairs of socks so I had a nice variety in each size on hand. By 10:30 p.m. it was time for bed... we had a busy day set for Saturday. 

We planned to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get to setup, but our alarm didn't go off!  We woke up at 6a.m. and rushed around the house, got the dogs out for potty, got coffee going and got dressed ALL in 15 minutes flat!   Luckily, we had pre-loaded the Tracker the night before with all of my inventory and supplies for the craft sale.  Out the door in 15 minutes and as we drove up to the motel entrance, Jim and Norma were just pulling out of the lot with the big trailer and all the setup supplies. We followed them to our reserved sites at the festival area in Chilton. 

Jim and Norma do a LOT of shows around the state every year... and have a perfectly arranged utility trailer with all the tables, canopy, stock and supplies to have a good sale.  We hauled and stacked, while Jim knew just what supplies, cords, and equipment was needed for the day.  We got it done so fast that there was time for Steve, Jim and Norma to go over to the nearby Seven Angels Restaurant for breakfast while I held down the fort and set up my stuff.  They brought me back a blueberry muffin to go with my thermos of coffee.  

In no time we were set up and ready for business!   

We had reserved a double wide site, so we could share the booth and have a wide section to put up the 20 foot long canopy.  I kinda spread beyond on my side to the open sunshine, which was okay because our site was longer than the canopy size (so I wasn't infringing on the neighbor's site)  I had my antique Gearhart sock knitting machine set up to demonstrate and draw in customers to my socks... so they knew we weren't selling only rugs.

The customers started coming at 9 a.m. and we had a steady stream all day long.  Lots of lookers, feelers, touchers. and "be backs"  ....  Jim calls the customers that ... ya know, the ones who look and take up a lot of time asking questions and then leave without buying anything.. promising they will "be back" !   Some do.... some don't.  LOL

It was interesting to watch people come by our booth.  
Some would look and touch and move on.  

Others would zoom in, grab a rug and pay and leave.  

Some wanted to talk about when they were kids 
how they remember that their grandma wove rugs 

(we hear that ALL the time.....
 I really don't think everyone's grandma wove rugs, 
but maybe just made rag balls to bring to a weaver 
to make the rugs for them)

I watched one woman wander up to my section of the booth.  She picked up an item, loudly voiced her disdain at my set price and tossed it down like a piece of trash! As she marched away, I wanted to loudly holler after her "Hey Lady.... I am not Wal-mart!  Go buy your crap made by some third world country slave labor at 10 cents an hour.  I am an Artist and that is my Art and you just insulted me!"

Of course, I didn't say that.... but I wanted to! 

I saw this on Facebook the other day:

Anyhow.. it was a lovely day and the weather was great, almost cool with a breeze!   Last year  at this same sale, we were hot, humid, and had a downpour halfway through the day which sent all of our potential customers rushing to their cars and left.  This year was MUCH more pleasant!

All in all, our sales were down. I did about half of what I did last year.  But I did get a few customers who were going to place orders with me once they go home and measure.... and they took my business card along.  I also met two local gals who are interested in fiber things.  One is a new person in town who is a weaver.  The other would love to buy a sockknitting machine if I can find one reasonably priced for her.  That was so nice to make contacts with new fiber people.

I had a few friends and neighbors drop by to visit in the booth, so that was fun.  Norma had a childhood friend from Beloit recognize her!  This old friend now lives in Chilton, so they had a good tongue wagging about days gone by and people they knew years ago.

At 4p.m. it was time to tear down, and head on home.  We got it all packed up in record time, 45 minutes!  Jim and Norma had to leave as they wanted to get back to Beloit before dark.  They are preparing for a Canadian Fishing Trip and wanted to get a start on their vacation time and put their rug weaving business aside for a while.

We are loading up the motorhome and heading out today for a Wisconsin State Park Volunteer Jamboree hosted down at Kettle Moraine Southern Unit, about 100 miles away today.  We will be attending for three days of activities sponsored by the park system and Friends of the Park group. We will be networking and visiting with volunteers, camp hosts, and organizers from other parks in the state of Wisconsin.  Steve and I coordinate and train the monthly positions of camp hosts for High Cliff State Park.

I will do some blog posts from the campground, it's the first time I think we ever camped at this one.

So I better get off my butt here and finish tossing stuff in the motorhome. We want to hit the road by about 10 a.m..  My second cup of coffee is gone and the blog is done.

Time to hit the road!


  1. Such a busy time - have fun


  2. I hope the weather stays nice for you two, or should I say 4. It is great here in South Dakota!

  3. Boy!! Those ten things not to say to artists or crafters is right on!!


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