Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Illinois Shows, May 16, 2011

I was in Baraboo Wisconsin on Saturday and Woodstock Illinois for Fair Diddley on Sunday this week.  Let's just say that the weather forecast was not good--rain forecast was at 60% and the temperatures were supposed to be cool. 

On Saturday the trip up to Wisconsin was gorgeous but the rain was only spitting which happily didn't affect my set-up.  I was next to really nice couples on either side.  The show is very shoppable and I don't think there are any bad spots.  But the cool temps (in the 50's) kept peoples' hands in their pockets.  It was a much slower show than last year, but, again one I might do next year because I LOVE the area. 

I was across from the antique store below.  I had to snap a picture...I love the storefront! 

On Sunday in Woodstock I arrived to find four artists just down from my spot leaving because they could not set-up with the 20+ mile an hour prevailing winds.  So, my little gang of artists banded together, helped each other set up and then anchored down to ensure we all stayed put.  BUT, we could not put up sides, so I did a modified display that could be removed fast if the rain started. 

But the rain never came, luckily.  The wind and the cold were relentless--keeping the crowds low--as the people next to me complained.  We drank tea or coffee nonstop.  And we prayed the wind would not rip our tents from their spikes in the brick streets.  This show is one I will do next year and pray it has more temperate weather conditions. 

Last Florida Art Show and Illinois Trip 2011

My last show in Florida was a nice way to go out--temps in the mid 80's and a small but nice crowd at the Winthrop Art Festival.  The show was much smaller in size artist wise too--mainly due to a late start in finalizing the dates when the Rotary dropped out.  Maybe next year it will be better--and maybe fine craft will once again mean handmade crafts and NOT buy/sell jewelry, flip flops and China imports.  I am ever hopeful. 

A Flowering Crab Apple tree in my parent's backyard.

One of my favorite artist, glassblower Jay, told me about three shows in March that I will try to get into next year.  They all have a high percentage of true artists--so we don't have compete with buy/sell items and the customer is treated to a culteral experience and not a flea market. 

On Saturday May 7th, Bonnie and I got an early start on the trip to Illinois.  We had a very uneventful trip I am happy to report.  Traffic was flowing courteously, rest stops appeared just as my bladder was hinting at fullness and Bonnie Dog was basically well mannered. 

We stopped in Clarkesville Tennessee at a non-descript hotel--and were immediately disappointed with the room ammenities.  It was not pretty, but, the TV picked up the Kentucky Derby--so I was happy.  I got a little more cheerful when I saw the bathroom--it was awesome!  I think they are remodeling--bathrooms first.  I got downright giddy later in the evening when I laid down on what looked to be a dumpy mattress--and was surprised with how comfortable it really was!  We had a good night's sleep and hit the road for the final push to Rockford. 

                                    The White Lilacs just opening and smelling heavenly!

We made it again with no real delays but with rising gas prices.  Once we hit Illinois the gas taxes must have exploded.  We went from $3.89 to well over $4 a gallon.   I filled up at $4.19 and for the first time ever put over $70 in my gas tank.  OUCH!

My parent's yard was just starting to bloom like crazy.  The lilacs were opening and the flowering crab apple made it's here-today-gone-tomorrow appearance.  I bought Mom a hanging basket for Mother's Day and she started here purchases to fill her planters and whiskey barrels.  Hopefully we can get those all in the ground over the next week!

The Purple Lilacs--almost ready to flower!