Arriving at setup, I found I had a corner space - and decided on the fly to change my booth arrangement to take advantage of the additional open side. I also found that the person whose house I was in front of had cut his grass, kindly sweeping all of the clippings off of the sidewalk. Right into the area of my booth. Discovery #1: shopping bags, when used like miniature snow shovels, make a pretty credible grass clipping removal broom.
Usually I have my earring screens at the front of the booth, on either side of the entrance, with the tables set up along parallel to the back wall, with enough room for me to stand, handle transactions, and wrap purchases. For the corner setup I lined the earrings all along one side, used a screen for extra necklace display, and shoved the tables together to give an island o' jewelry that people could walk around.
It worked pretty well. And it led to Discovery #2: Dear Husband, who is my stalwart setup and breakdown assistant when he's in town for a show, was quite patient as I dithered around trying to figure out where things should go. He's a good guy (but I already knew that!)
I had been thinking of making some tweaks to my earring cards, and I figured this show was as good a time as any to debut the new ones. Spent several nights cutting, laminating, trimming, punching holes, writing information, and putting earrings on all the cards. When I went to add the little strip of velcro (the hook side) to the back to hang from my display screens, I remembered that I had finally used up the industrial-sized roll of velcro I had, so grabbed some little hook and loop dots that were hanging out in the craft room. I mean, hook & look is hook & loop, right?
Discovery #3: Different brands of hook and loop do not necessarily play nicely together. Saturday morning, I arrived bright and early to put all the jewelry out, and started hanging earrings on the screen, only to see each card sail, gently yet insistently, to the ground three seconds after I attached them. The hooky parts on the backs of the cards just would not attach to the loopy strips on the screen slats, no matter how hard I pressed, how nicely I pleaded, or how nastily I cursed.
After a few really frustrated minutes that included a fleeting fantasy of calling and waking Dear Husband to make an emergency run to Home Depot (it was still quite early, and even he has limits to his patience), I figured the only way to get the cards to stay was to wedge them between the slats and backing of the screens. This worked, but the cards were, by necessity, a little at an angle and off center. You'd think that someone who enjoys freeform peyote and asymmetrical design would revel in this little bit of freeform display, but having my earrings look like a bunch of drunken fraternity boys careening around after a hard night of partying made me slightly crazy all day.
|Kind of hard to see how catty-wumpus these are, but it made me crazy. Okay, crazier.|
Discovery #4: Home Depot opens at 8 am on Sunday, and you can replace the velcro tab on nearly 100 earring cards in less than two hours if you work really, really hard.
|Even harder to see in this pixellated enlargement cropped from the booth shot,|
but the cards are all nice and orderly, back in their proper arrangement.
So, while there were no divebombing bugs and flying strawberries at this show, it did have its adventures. And it's just the first show of the year!