Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Summer Art and Craft Shows: All Work and No Play

This was from the park where we set up at the Chocolate Festival in Burlington, WI.  My booth was just to the right on the walkway facing the river/lake.  This one started off really bad as it was pouring rain and forecast at an 80% chance all day.  It was the last weekend in May.

The view out at the Chocolate Festival.  There are times I really enjoy the places I get to visit.  This was one of them.  Too bad the show was not as nice as the view!!  I did meet a crafter I just love, Michelle of Toe Jams.  You probably figured it out--she does toe rings in a dazzling array of styles.  We just hit it off and I consider her one of my Midwest crafting buddies now!

You didn't think a farm gal could miss taking a picture of a good ol' tractor do you?  I thought my Dad would appreciate this one.  We were at the Taste of the Dells at Wisconsin Dells in June.  We were in a little park and I had the historic Bowman house right out the back of my tent.  This one was a steamer...I got really sick coming home and lost the next couple of days as I stayed in bed to feel better.  Next year, we all may do this and just use it as a chance to visit the casino down the road...  

Oh, Lake Geneva!!!  This time I didn't get a picture of my waterfront property for the August weekend of the Venetian Art Festival.  Right after I snapped some pictures of the hot air balloons soaring overhead, my camera battery went dead.  It was a great weekend--even with the melt and pour soaper right next door.

A really nice room Mom and I shared in Schaumburg for Labor Day Weekend's Septemberfest!  This show continues to be the best of the summer for me. 

We are set up in Watertown WI for the Riverfest.  This was a fun one for many reasons.  Rod came for a week of vacation and helped me out.  It is much nicer traveling with someone!!!  The show has a lot of potential--lots of people, great music and food and lots of my crafter buddies attend!

The view at Watertown.  The river is off to the right.  The kids were out in force with their fishing pools trying to win the Saturday fishing contest.  This show has an easy setup--we park right behind the booth--and great views of the river. 

The view at Watertown toward my woodworking buddies Jeff and Deb Foernsler of LB's Wood Shoppe.  They are the ones who told me about this show!

All in all the shows were pretty brutal in May and June this year.  We had record heat and while many shows were well attended, no one wants to carry anything when it is so hot.  But, July and August brought buying crowds and many of the shows I have now done for six years were great.  I hope to keep adding great shows and meeting new customers up there.  I am looking forward to next summer already!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fun Things: Summer 2012

Mom and Dad took Jodie and I to a Cubs/Brewers game in Milwaukee.  We traveled there on a bus tour with other Farm Bureau members.  It was hot as blazes that day.  Jodie and maybe one other person on the bus were happy with the results--the Brew Crew won that day.  Mom and Dad got lucky to get out of the sun--some shaded seats up the way were open.

I mentioned the bonfire in my last post.  We were only six people, but, we were six very HAPPY people.  LOL  Cindy and I got there first and got things ready.   Mom and Dad arrived and we got the popcorn and smores started.  Jodie got there late--it seems some shots at the golf outing were involved--and we broke out the drinks.  Garry was last to arrive as he was racing RC cars/trucks in Monroe. 

Some shots from my one day at the Boone County Fair.  Above are my great nieces, Matt's girls.  Izzy (Isabell) on the left and Jillian on the right.  They are great kids.  Oh, and you can see Grandpa Jeff in the background on the phone. 

Jodie, Jeff and Debbie--after the auction and the rain had passed.

The girls' pigs taking a nap--they will have to remind me of their names!

Then in August Rod came on his second vacation from Florida.  Here we are on the road to Omaha to see Larry, Ellen and cousin Clee.  Sorry, the good pictures are  on his camera.  I can say that we had a fantastic time and can't wait to go back and see more.  I am just in love with the big wind turbines...

And this group of three pictures, all my childhood, best friends who I am now calling the Willow Creek Gals met out at the lake one hot, hot day.  We ate, we talked, some of us kayaked and some of us barely made it up and down the hill due to a summer funky illness that left me without breath!  Tammy Pease on the far end.  Sisters Judy Krog (standing--our marathoner) and Susan Carlson (seated).   And Denise Wheeler - Temple in the front

Gail Blume, Deanna Blume --I can't remember the married name thanks to my menopause brain.  And me on the end.

Sister Jodie on the far end, Brenda Brick - Benning (I think!) in the yellow shirt.  Not shown was Penny Pease who took the pictures, and Linda Thoele who got there a bit later.  The only one missing was Diane Wheeler - Reed...hope you can make it next time!!

So much more happened this summer, but, those are all the pics I could lay my hands on for now.  More later, maybe!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Break is Over: Time to Clock Back IN!

As no one really noticed I was MIA the last couple of months, I will happily bring you up to date on what's been happening.  I made it up to my summer base (aka my parent's basement--I know, I feel like such a loser), during the first week in May.  Thereafter, you could find me at art and craft shows every weekend but one in August (when I had the good fortune to be off to enjoy a fantastic bonfire at my sister's house and the sad task to help my best friends' lay their Mom to rest).

The rest of the summer was marked by construction projects.  First was the bathroom remodel my parents were undertaking upstairs.  This led to the discovery of the sewer line break in the basement--which I was witness too up close and personal.  The remodeling was fun--Mom and I got to shop for new decor, linens and paint.  The sewer fix was not fun.  It led to a full plumbing crew coming in to replace the entire sewer line in the house and then hook up the house to the city sewer.   Do you know how thick your house's foundation is?  And do you know there is really dirt underneath all that...full of pipes and such.  I am no idiot, but, seeing all the dust, dirt and concrete chunks coming out of what used to be my bathroom was amazing.  Who knew?!   About this time an inch thick dusting was covering EVERYTHING I brought with me...and Rod was due later that day for his first visit from Florida.  Somehow my parents managed to vacuum up all the mess and get the basement into shape in the three hours it took me to get from Milwaukee's airport and back.  How they did it, I still don't know!!!

Which leads us to the outside projects.  Remember the road work last summer?  It looks great now--new pavers greeted me as I made the turn onto Roosevelt Road this year.  But, the crews were still working on the curbside improvements.  This led to at least three separate visits from the re-seeding crews with their rakes smoothing out the dirt clods, sprinkling the seed and bravely leaving all these little garden plots to the residents to water.  Then my 73 year old father, the one with the bad back, would move out the soaker hose to try to get the grass to grow.  And remember how hot it was this summer???  Approximately three days to three weeks later the road crew was back screwing up the new "grass" or weeds as we liked to call them.  Then the re-seed crew would come out again, followed once more by my Dad with the soaker hoses.  After the third time, we gave up.  Which was just as well, because by then we had a two foot hill of dirt going from the house to the street where the new sewer line was now connected to the city's line.  It looked like such a great landscape choice next to the velvet weed reaching one foot high out at the curb.

Near the end of the summer, the village government sent out a letter commiserating with the residents about the heat, mildly reprimanding those who had failed  to water their curbside plots adequately and informing everyone they would send out the reseeding crews once again when it got cooler to see if the grass seed would take before the cold weather set in.  And, no the crew didn't mix up and seed with velvet weed seeds, those were just dormant in the ground...yada, yada, yada.  This was met with relief at our house because now we had started thinking about getting a new roof put on.  Luckily my #1 nephew, Matt, is a card carrying roofer and he was able to do everything perfectly to suit Grandpa's and the building inspector's exacting standards.  I did not participate in the roofing--I was too busy making soap for my big show Labor Day weekend.

Just a week or so ago my parents finally had a landscape crew in to finish the final grading and reseeding of the front lawn.  Turns out that is another thing I learned this have to wait for the soil to settle when you dig it up.  Otherwise, it sinks in and leaves a canal-like divot in your lawn.  Isn't it amazing, the things you learn every day?!?  And yes, although it cooled off, the grass is growing just fine.  But I have a feeling the front curb is still full of velvet weeds...