But no complaining! I promised!
The fair has been lovely, if rainy and somewhat slower than last year. I anticipated a year of bad sales, just because gas is $4.50, the economy is crap, the summer has been wretched (so crops are poor), and everyone is tightening their belts. The nice thing about expecting the worst is that mediocrity - and even a few GOOD days - feel pretty darn nice. It is amazing seeing some of the lovely locals that I only catch up with once a year, and it's rather fun and reassuring to talk with people who have been avidly following my progress for the 9 years I've been doing this fair - they remember my humble, humble beginnings, and comment on all the new art and items and projects I'm working on. Some of them say they come to the fair just to see me, which is beyond sweet, and it is so flattering when someone tells their friends that "this is my favorite booth in the whole fair!"
Of course, some of them ask me what new art **I've** done, and I have to hang my head and say I have nothing new. (That's not entirely true, but Tell Me a Story is not finished yet, and won't be for another month at least, and all the work for it is black and white... it doesn't feel like 'art.')
Anyway, sales haven't been wretched. I've got tubs of $5 shirts out - these are shirts I've had for five years or more, the 50-50 blend I used to carry before I switched to 100% cotton, and most of them came in a package with my heatpress and have been taking up space. I've slapped misprint transfers that I couldn't bear to throw out onto them, and at $5, they are flying. This is the last of them, and I'm so happy with the amount of space I'll be clearing out. Cap-sleeved shirts are also moving steadily. The Oracle of the Dragonfae is doing well, and the soaps, and my new display is SO much easier on everyone. Stickers and magnets have never done so well.
I have had to buy pretties at the fair, and a few fun things. I got a kleenex box cover mimicking an Easter Island head - with the kleenex coming out the nose. Very funny and quirky, and it matches our kitchen. I bought a sweater the first day of the fair - maroon with gold trim, lined with polar fleece and hooded. I haven't taken it off since I bought it, so for variety I bought another in green with no trim. Gorgeous, comfy and warm. And not that expensive, considering! I also got myself a leather-covered sketchbook. The book can be replaced - it's like a leather jacket, and it's closed with a bone and leather clasp and just gorgeous. The same vendor also made the money pouch (slots for each bill denomination and a zip pocket for quarters - PERFECT for vending) I bought four years ago that is just marvelous and holding up really well for the abuse I put it through. I also found a little carved bone fish, some bowls, a mug that I've been having spiced chai with whipped cream in every morning from the bagel place, and... I think that's it.
It's pouring outside, and the sound of rain is making me sleepy. I think I will have a bowl of salad (something not fried!!) and head for bed. Tomorrow I have more shirts to make, and an order for a wallet, and... um... other things. I forget. Tired.