Sunday, November 16, 2008


Yesterday was Holiday Faire at Cascade College, their, oh, I don't know, forty-somethingth annual sale, and my third at the college. It may be the last one for both, all, of us. The college will close at the end of the spring semester. Feels weird, to think the college I attended won't exist anymore.

This being my third year, I knew one very important thing: The gym, where they hold the sale, is large, but quite dark. The first year I did it, it felt like having my booth set up in a garage. Off-putting atmosphere for shopping, and I didn't want to repeat that.

Last year I brought an LED light strip and a couple of battery-operated LED spot lights. It wasn't enough, and the batteries died before the end of the day.

This year I was prepared. At every estate sale I went to for weeks this summer, I kept my eyes open for those clamp-on work lights. I now have five, and paid a dollar each for them, and when I set up my booth Friday, one went in each upper corner of the booth, and then a string of mini-lights went the length of the two tables, the red bulbs surrounded by "silk" poinsettia petals. That was a Goodwill score--$2.99, and really pretty! Oh, and I didn't put the canopy on, to let even more light in. The organizers like you to set up an actual booth, to create sort of a "village" look, so I put up just the frame, and wrapped tinsel garland on the front and open side.

I was glad I took my camera, to get pictures. Here's the booth:

Long shot of my booth

A stand of China and Mega Blossoms

The Gift Bags table

Gift Bags, closer

They really do encourage decorated booths at this event, to the extent that they give awards for the best three. Guess what? Mine took First Prize! No actual prize attached to that, but the ego stroke works nicely for me.

The last shot shown here is of the new gift bags. They're lying flat in big flat baskets (another Goodwill find, and again, just $2.99 each. Yay!), but I put items in all three bag types to show how the gift bags looked when you did them up. I was a little surprised to see how many people still needed an explanation/demonstration, but was happy to give it, of course, and later one of the other vendors came by to tell me that a woman who'd bought several of the bags was so enthusiastic about her purchase that she pulled them out to show off and demonstrate herself! Cool!

Now all I have to do is get them photographed and up on Etsy.

The sale went well, and three of Mama's aprons sold (YES!!) as well as a goodly amount of my own stuff. It took several hours on Friday to set up, and I had an unexpected VERY late night, got up early and was at the venue by eight am, without benefit of breakfast or coffee (thank goodness they had coffee there!). I subsisted on coffee and cheese sticks until the show ended at four, with tear-down afterwards, but enjoyed the day.

Three of my grandkids were there, which was wonderful, and we got to visit for a while. Justin cracked up when he saw the tag line for the Coffee Pot People--"Inside every coffee pot is some poor soul standing on its head"--and I turned one of the little guys upside down for Adrienne, because at eight years of age she wasn't quite getting the joke.

"If this coffee pot were in someone's kitchen," I explained to Adrienne, "it would be like this." And there was this "person", coffee pot now right side up, but face and body upside down, standing on its head. "Imagine spending your whole life like that!" I said, eliciting a delighted exclamation from her.

There were other people there from my student days, which was sweet, and we visited. In the background of each conversation was the knowledge that we usually see each other only once a year, at this sale. The school is closing. Will this be the last visit in a long while?

By the time I got home, I was too tired to fix dinner, but Bob wasn't hungry, so I ate reheated soup, wine and cookies, and was so tired I went to bed before seven. What a day!


T.Allen-Mercado said...

Congratulations on a well-deserved award. Your booth looks fabulous as does your work-I'm an Etsy shop fan!

Lilly's Life said...

Congratulations, that is fantastic. I love your booth. That is a lot of work you have done there!

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