Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Back At It

We got home about 9:30 last night after a long drive with less than wonderful weather and road conditions.  Unfortunately we have a tight turn around and leave again Thursday morning for a weekend workshop this weekend.  It is an almost 600 mile drive so I expect we will stop somewhere along the way, not do it in one day.   This time of year, roads can be dreadful and I'd rather not assume I can make it in one go.

Spent the morning doing bookkeeping, then errands.  This afternoon I pulled teaching stuff but will go up to the annex to pick up finished textiles as examples.  Then the guild room for a few minutes, but I won't stay long.  

With an hour or so 'spare' time, I thought I might be able to finish threading the warp I left half done.  Not sure I can get it all finished, but it will be closer than it was. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Well, Calgary's Art Market is done.  Sort of.  Doug is at the hall waiting for a turn at the loading dock.  We are hoping that he won't have to wait too long because there is a storm front moving in and we would like to get going as early as we can in the morning.  It looks like we will have 'weather' all the way home.  

The show was slow enough that there was time to talk to the neighbours and get to know them a little bit.  That's always a nice perquisite when doing shows.  The public so often has no idea what goes into being a crafts person trying to sell their work.  The other exhibitors are my 'tribe', regardless of their craft.  

I am hoping the weather isn't terrible because I would really like to get home by tomorrow night.  It is going to take a concentrated effort to get everything that needs to be done, done, before we leave again on Thursday.  I really have to learn to say no, but it always seems so...manageable...until reality sets in!

So, teaching next weekend, then the guild sale, and that is the last event of the year.   I need to take a little time off and I'm thinking that stack of jigsaw puzzles might be just the thing to tackle for a couple of weeks.  I'm pretty much caught up on the handwork until I get some more weaving done.  But I also want to dig into the writing so the weaving will slow down a bit.  And that is fine, too.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day One

Beginning to feel a wee bit like the movie Groundhog Day...except the neighbours are different.  

The craft community really is a community and the big regret as I have cut back on doing shows is losing that community.  

Tweaked the booth display.  It probably doesn't look terribly different but as things have sold...or not...my emphasis has changed.  

So, with fewer place mats and still loads of tea towels, the mats got condensed and the towels spread out more so that they can more easily be seen.  Or at least, that's the hope.  

But there is just no telling because what has sold so far today have been shawls and scarves.  Not one mat or towel.  Tomorrow could be entirely different.  

And it isn't over until it's over. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Done In

Close the Trans-Canada Hwy for 13 plus hours, stacking all the transports that drive through a mountainous,windy, twisty road into a miles long convoy, sprinkle with civilians, some of them fellow craftspeople with heavily loaded vans or trailers, sprinkle liberally with adverse weather conditions.  Let the tractors wear chains (please let them be wearing chains), chewing the compact snow into something approximating washboard, add rain, sleet, at times blowing snow and we were all shaken, not stirred.  

A drive that would, in reasonable conditions, take about five hours, took 8.5.  

We arrived at six am, Alberta time with a loading time of 10-12 noon.  We may, or may not, make it.  

Too much stress, too little decent food, way too little sleep.   I sure hope the trip home is more pleasant, not to mention the 1.5 day drive next week to teach, then home again.  I am about done in.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


We are holed up at the Revelstoke Tim Horton's because the road east is closed due to an accident.  It is snowing wet snow, the road has been slushy and/or full of broken compact snow.  We are still five hours from Calgary...when road conditions are good.  Which they are not.  

There are parking lots filled with all the regular transport traffic that routinely runs along Highway 1.  When the road opens all of the traffic that has been sitting idle since the road closed at 6 am this morning is going to be anxious to get to where they need to be.   Including us.  

I expect there are other craftspeople who are also stuck, but hopefully comfortably ensconced somewhere there is hot coffee and wifi, like we are.  

We have been doing the Calgary show for several years, always in the knowledge that the weather can be nasty.   We have been fairly lucky with driving conditions but after this trip I may decide it is just too stressful.

In spite of the time off after surgery in January I managed to get quite a lot woven.  If I do one less major show next year, I won't have to work quite so hard at the weaving, which would give me more time for writing.  Plus I'm booked to do some teaching (in western Canada) next year.  

I am going to have to think long and hard about what direction I want to go and where I need to put my attention.  Driving through the Rockies in November isn't really very high on my list right now.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Well, we are 3/4's of the way through.  This show is five days, followed by a two day drive through the mountains, then set up all over again with a four day show.   The schedule is a tad gruelling and I really don't know how many more years we can continue.  Otoh, the customers are generally appreciative, sales were ok (one always hopes for more!) and I still have way too much yarn and ideas I would like to bring into material form.  

So I have already applied to return to Circle Craft next year. 

We will leave in the morning after rush hour is mostly over (like most big cities, traffic is always heavy here) and drive as far as we can, stopping somewhere along the way.  Right now roads are not great, but hopefully by the time we get to the mountains the ploughs will have done their work and we will have a good drive.  I'm hoping to see the Rockies...the last two years the mountains were shrouded in cloud.  But it's November, and we will just have to deal with whatever Mother Nature delivers. 

Time to get ready for bed.  We aren't done, yet. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Day Four


A little different angle so that the corner display can be seen.  The mirror is on the inside of my booth.  When it was on the outside, too many people who were not customers were using it, preventing my customers from using it.  Sometimes you have to be a little 'selfish'.  You always have to bear in mind human behaviour.  

Doug had offered to set the corner rack up with four lights instead of two.   I think next year I might do that.   The rack really isn't lit well enough. Live and learn.

Usually Saturday is pretty busy at this show but there are no guarantees.  So far, today has been extremely slow.  I don't know if that is a reflection of the events in Paris or not.   There are always a million reasons for someone to NOT buy, especially something considered a 'luxury'.

But the event isn't over until it is over.