The market and a new chair.

I got my photos up on Flickr yesterday but couldn’t find the time to write a post..sorry! I’m so excited to show you my new weekend find (can I call it “thrifting” when I got it for free?). But first, some photos from Saturday’s farmer’s market.

Abby, Hannah, and Laura were gone, so Mackenzie Miller and Bethany Hicks and helped Liz and I fill out our table.

New purses.

Mackenzie’s purses, little girls’ shirts, and flopsy bunnies were a very popular addition. (One of the bunnies kept my new cards company.)

Bunny and the new birdy cards.

Many small customers stopped to inspect the merchandise.

Inspecting the merchandise.

Bethany made the dog leashes, which were quite attractive to people who owned only cats (“I’d buy one but I don’t have a dog…”). Dog owners, where were you?

New dog leashes and another bunny.

We had a good time hanging out, which somewhat compensated for the lack of buying customers. I think the Sing & Shout girls are slowly coming to conclusion that people come to the market to buy food, not handcrafts (I guess that’s why it’s called the Farmer’s Market, huh?). Quite frankly, I’m not sure it’s worth our time to go very often unless we know that there will be more people. Perhaps when the students come back in August? I’m pinning more of my hopes on the Lentil Festival or the fall Arts & Crafts Fair, where – I hope – people are really looking for gifts or souvenirs.

But enough of the market – on to my new chair!

New chair (free!).

I’ve been looking for a little midcentury chair for a while now. My criteria were that it had to be small (can’t fit a big stuffed chair in the living room), comfortable, and having a wood frame. Oh, and cheap. And no shipping costs.  That sounds easy, right?

I regularly scan the furniture on our local Craigslist, the Goodwill and couple of other thrift stores but never found the perfect chair. Until my friend Alisha and I went to Palouse, WA, last Saturday to check out the big antique store there (the “Open Eye”). As we walked up, a man was putting a couple of pieces of furniture on the sidewalk with a free sign on them. I immediately see the chair and my heart skips a beat.

[Paraphrased conversation]
Me: “Um, is this furniture really free?”
Him: “Yes, we’re moving to a new building down the street and want to get rid of it.”
Me: {Gulp} “Including the blue chair?”
Him: “Yep – do you want it?”
Me: Lots of nodding.

Hurray!! And that’s not even the best part – when I flipped the chair over to put it in the car I found an extra surprise. It’s a genuine Knoll! I don’t know the designer, but I found a chair with the exact same back on an office-style wheel base selling for $225 on ebay. I mean, it’s no Eames, but I really like it. And it’s comfortable. Ahhhh. I don’t know how anyone could think that God does not care about thrifting when He pretty regularly throws great things on the sidewalk right in front of our feet.

The surprise underneath.

Addendum: 

I almost forgot one last weekend project. (If you can’t tell, the weekend was more about house-ing than crafting, including some much-needed vacuuming and scrubbing.) After bringing the chair home on Saturday afternoon, I decided that the time had come to do something about our highly-visible and rather messy bookshelves. So, I pulled all the books off and began color-coordinating them. It’s still a work in progress and I in no way claim to be the originator of this idea, but I really like the way it turned out. Yes, it will be harder to find things, but arranging books by color instead of subject brings out new – and slightly strange – relationships between them (Complete Guide to Papillons next to True Spirituality?) and helps you to decide whether or not you really need all of them after all (Dad? Mom?). I highly recommend it.

Reorganized bookcase.

Another Farmer’s Market.

Saturday was a warm (=hot) and sunny day at the market. We were very, very grateful for our tent. There haven’t been a lot of people lately, which is leaving us a little mystified. Maybe more people will come when the vegetables are ready…everyone is kind of disappointed when there aren’t any tomatoes or squash, even though it’s too early in the season. We’re all hoping to repeat the success of our first day at the market and it just hasn’t happened yet.

That said, the Sing & Shout girls had a great time hanging out all morning.

A little fidgety.

(Note: The fish wasn’t the only one who was fidgety.)

Luxie again.

I convinced the babies to model bibs for me, and they did a stellar job.

Luxie, another sweet bib model.

I’m so happy to have provided Luxie with the first shots of what will undoubtedly be a long and illustrious modeling career.

Judah, my bib model.

And Judah even sat still for 5 whole seconds!

Getting it on was a little tricky.

In other news, team Gibbs is still working on the ol’ home internet connection. My poor little iBook has been stretched beyond its intended abilities, I’m afraid: too much music, too many PSDs, and too little maintenance (the battery is pretty much shot). We don’t really want to get another Mac – sorry, Mac fans – but can’t afford to replace all my software, so I think we’re looking for the least expensive PC laptop that can handle 1) iTunes and lots of music, 2) wireless, and 3) word processing. There shouldn’t be any that mess up 3), so it’s the first two that are the concern. Any suggestions? So we don’t drop-kick our Clearwire box out the window because we can’t use it?

It rained.

So, it rained on Saturday. The weather’s been lovely the last few weeks, and it was a little bit of a shock to step outside at 7 am to grey skies and a gentle sprinkling.  Fortunately, Abby’s brother lent her a tent and we decided to go for it anyway.

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I posted quite a few pictures here, so hop over and take a look if you’re interested in our setup and what we were selling. I managed finish all five oilcloth tote bags and a few new bibs.

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(Please ignore our unhappy-looking neighbors, who were quite cheerful in real life.)

In the future, I’m not sure we’ll bother to come to the market in the rain even though we have the tent. There just weren’t a whole lot of people milling around, and the ones that did show up wanted to grab their bread and vegetables and leave. Not that I blamed them.

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I’ve got a litte stash of sellable goods left over, so I think I’m going to take it a little slower over the next two weeks (our next market date is June 2) and not cram every evening with a new + complicated project. I’m thinking some new bibs, a couple of new fabric birdies, and some new printed cards ought to be about right. Oh, and I’ll have more sets of the fabric/printed bird notecards, which – randomly – have been very popular and sold out.

A note to those who’ve heard about the Moscow shooting incident: we don’t know any of the people involved, but we’re praying for their families and friends. Abby lives very close to the area where the shootings took place and we are so grateful that her family is safe. Josh and I live 8 or 10 blocks away and mysteriously did not hear the gunfire, so it was a huge shock to find out in church the next morning that a crazy man with a machine gun had been wandering around the streets of our nice little town.

Marketing.

Sing & Shout Crafts made its first market appearance on Saturday, and it went great! You can find additional photos of our wares here; we had a lot of cute things in the morning that were gone by 10 or 10:30. 

 (If you’ve never met me, I’m the one with the green Illinoise shirt and I-woke-up-early hair.)

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I decided to take a mini-vacation from my day job on Friday to make stuff, and it was a good thing I did. I finished 6 patchwork bibs, our sign, and miscellaneous display props…at 3:30 am.  It’s been a long time since I stayed up that late. I wasn’t even sure that I could do it post-college, but the fact that I was sewing instead of writing a paper helped a lot. :)

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I was really, really happy with the bibs. They’ve got a front made with small pieces from my vintage fabric collection and they’re backed with soft vintage sheets. One girl told me that the pink one (above) was the cutest bib she’d ever seen. Hooray!

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The sign was made from another thrifted sheet.

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I decided that my suitcase needed some dividers, so I spent a while fiddling with cardboard and some old wallpaper I’d had for a while. They’re not the sturdiest, but the set-up is much better than the loose stacking method I used last fall. My cards are on the left and Laura‘s on the right. (Hers sold very well, and they’re even cuter in person.)

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We’ve decided that we need to get an umbrella as we were quite toasty by midmorning (we had planned to take shifts but ended up hanging out and talking). We had two babies with us who were quite well-behaved, given the noise and heat, and contributed significant cuteness to our table.

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We’ve decided to set up a table next Saturday (May 19) but will probably take a week’s break after that. I’m going to see if I can finish a few more bibs (only 1 left!), some new quail cards, and some oilcloth tote bags before then. I don’t think any of us was prepared to be so successful, so we’re each having our own little production crisis this week. If you need me, I’ll be sitting behind my sewing machine.