Top of the morning to you! I had a great weekend filled with vending at two different events. One was the Colonial Park UMC Fall Arts & Crafts Festival and the other was the 4th Annual Purple Meets Pink Affair (for Domestic Violence Survivors & Breast Cancer Survivors). Let’s get the WOES out of the way, shall we?
The Woes: I was affected by the storm and tornado that came through on Monday morning of last week. My power was out until FRIDAY evening and I had my entire week planned to finish up and prepare for both events. I had to crochet in the day and go to my parents in the evening and return home at night. It was cold at night and I have Rheumatoid Disease. I layered my quilts. I eventually got a hotel room Thursday night until Saturday morning. I crocheted all Friday night and slept for 4 hours and did the event. In the midst of this I finalized the ending of a relationship after seeing something with my own eyes. This person was also suppose to help me with both shows. I had no idea how I was going to do all of this. I was incredibly STRESSED and in so much pain. My daughter called me from college Friday and said “Mom, my classmate is coming home and I am going to ride to come and help you with your events.” She had no idea about the power being out, nor the break up. I did not want to concern her with those things because she should be focused on her classes. I was exhausted before she ever arrived. I did tell her once she got here. She was a HUGE help as she has been my helper as long as she could walk and talk lol. Anyways, I made it through both events and the last one I had to do all by myself, but she helped load everything into the car before she returned to school on Sunday. I had two very supportive phone calls from one stranger during that week about the break up, depression and anxiety. She is an in your face truth kind of person. I needed that. Plus, I realize Mercury is in Scorpio and this is the season of BOLD TRUTH AND BRUTAL HONESTY. Boy did I get a HEAP (as my granny would say) of that at the end of this relationship. A HEAP (just had to say it again).
Now on to TRIUMPH!
The rain slowed the crowd down at the Arts and Crafts festival that morning. But then as I suspected and prayed for, all of us vendors in my area were praying, the rain slacked and the people came in like a flood! I sold so much of my crocheted items and even a piece of art! I met numerous vendors, received great advice and made many connections. I also learned of more places I could vend and sell. I also learned how to get into the fairs that come to our city. I learned about a huge event in St. Louis. It was a great Saturday although I was tired, in pain, and I slept like a log when I did get home. I put on my smiling face and greeted every customer.
Sunday I was ready to go to the second event. The event itself was inspiring and once again I met some great business owners. I shopped with them and they with me. I did very well at this event for it to me a small crowd. The people there were very supportive and so were the vendors.
Here are some photos of the other amazing and gifted vendors from both events. Plus, the things I purchased!
This is my haul from the events. It’s important to support other vendors!
1. I miss the freshman that’s away at college
2. I want to go somewhere beautiful
3. It’s a challenge for strong single women. We can’t settle for less than we give or give ourselves
4. Knock and the door shall be opened Seek and you will find (I’M READY)
5. I’d like to wake up to inboxes or emails about my book being published from a legitimate publishing company. I just need that one pearl. That one opportunity.
6. I feel like I’m about to be pushed and that means I need to be prepared. But for what?
7. Should I post my legs if I’m saved and in ministry? The saints will deem it inappropriate. I think I’ll post it.
My thoughts from yesterday as I forced myself to take a break from crocheting. I am getting ready for a few vending spots. Also, I battled anxiety yesterday and I had to take 5 deep yoga breaths, put the hook down, and relax. I was thinking about all of the things I needed to make. Would I make them on time? Would I sell anything or enough? I needed to clean up. I need to pick up my meds. I need to exercise. ETC ETC and more and more. I was becoming overwhelmed. I reminded myself “I can’t do it all in one day. I am doing the very best I can. It is enough.” (No matter what others think)
A few weeks ago I tried a pattern with chunky yarn and it looked nothing like the photo. After what we call “frogging” the project and many attempts, I came up with my own way of doing it. I was pleased and so were the people I made them for. I figure sometimes this happens not only when a person creates a pattern, but also when manufacturers don’t give clear and concise instructions. I see it often in the crochet and knitting groups. We are all about making adjustments!
Saturday, I had my first opportunity as a vendor for my crocheted items. It was an awesome opportunity to gain experience, meet new customers, and network with other vendors who are also African American. It has nothing to do with exclusion, but it has everything to do with building and creating opportunities for crafts, small businesses, exposure, and financial gains for businesses that are often overlooked or unheard of. We are also able to keep each other informed on bigger craft shows and opportunities to support each other. This is a plus for ALL women as we began to included each other and support each other’s ventures. Friendships and partnerships are often made.
My next vendor adventure will be a very big one at the Colonial Park Church in my city. It is a Fall Festival I have always known about before I began to crochet. I have never been, but it’s a family friendly event that involves the entire community. Needless to say, but saying it anyway, I am anxious about it. I was very anxious about the one I did yesterday and nervous because it was my first time. I was filled with doubt and prepared myself that if I didn’t sell one thing I had at least taken the first step. I had no idea how to set my table up so I reached out to other crafters, women from all over the world that gave me tips, shared pictures, and some that never did a craft show but wanted to wish me luck and pray that I sell boat loads as one said. I did sell some things and I was pleased with the outcome! I was pleased to network and purchase from two other vendors. I was pleased to meet new customers. I was pleased that I was offered more opportunities. I am now less anxious about next Saturday. I had to talk to myself the entire time I was on the way there. Therapy helps. I used the tools I was given and was able to calm my anxiety.
Afterwards, I had to pack up and get things back in the car. Here is where RA/RD and fibromyalgia is major factor. Well, that morning I had no help to load my car. My daughter was with her father. When I arrived, I had some help getting things out, then I had to set up on my own, break it down on my own, and I had help loading my car. But, when I got home, guess what? I had to take some things out and the other stuff is still in there. My body was so sore and achy BEFORE I even left the event or began to pack up. This was from just loading up everything to get there. Needless to say, the rest of the evening I was incredibly sore and I had to take pain medication for my pain. Sunday, was a little bit better and today is much better physically except my hands are still achy and I have been having some shoulder and back issues before all of this. BUT, I am so proud of myself to push past anxiety, my shyness (believe it or not), and put my side hobby out there. And it helped to have the support of a crafting community, friends, and family that cheered me on. This one reason I try to cheer others on. I know how important it is.
Well, the shawl epidemic all started when a package arrived for me from Italy. It was yarn my cousin sent to me as she is stationed there are is a knitter. She had no idea turquoise was my favorite color. It took me a while to figure out what you make and by the time I got around to it Summer showed up and skipped Spring here in Memphis, TN. I decided to make a shawl for the beach. The colors were appropriate! It reminded me of the ocean.
I completed it and was delighted. I then was ask to make another one. The inspiration was a poster board I had and I decided to name this one Sunrise.
The one below reminds me of Spring. Eclectic Spring. I like to name my inspirations! These are great for travel in the Spring and Summer because they are breathable shawls yet, they are able to keep you cozy and stylish on a plane, train, or automobile. Cool mornings or late nights on a breezy beach or lake.
Here are a few of the things I have crocheted for the fall and winter 2017-2018. I thought I would share! I am getting better. Above is a chain scarf/necklace with a flower.
The one on the left is a shawl I made for breast cancer survivors. The one on the right I a shell stitch scarf infinity scarf for a sorority.
The peaches and cream ear warmer headbands, the beautiful brown button up cowl, and the fall green infinity scarf.
I want to do some crafts festival this year. I hope I can sell more items. I did really well for a beginner this fall and winter. My new goal is to perfect my sewing and do what I really want to do….create fashion! Practice makes perfect and as I realize I can do it, I just have to do it differently because of my ailments, I feel more confident. I haven’t decided how I feel about that or if it’s worth it. When I feel confident, I feel optimistic. So this Spring will me more of me learning to sew. I still have some learning to do with crocheting and knitting. Here a little there a little…learn.
What have I been up to? I taught myself to crochet a few months ago. I really enjoy doing it and it may take me longer to complete a project because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. The good thing about this is that I can take my time and go as slow as I want. I can work on something when I feel like. I can do a little at a time and I sometimes I wear my braces for my carpal tunnel or my compression gloves. It’s difficult to work with those on but, it helps the pain and I do sleep in braces. Anyways, I just want those of you who have may issues with your health to be encouraged and to try the things you thought you would never be able to do. I am not a clock and I can rest my hands or go days without crocheting. Here are few things I have made. Oh and that’s my beautiful cousin modeling!