Tag Archives: Holiday market

Olio December 17, 2017

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

The second Holiday Market was yesterday.  It was biting cold when I got there to set up and it was noon before the sun came around enough to provide some warmth, never enough to remove my parka and hat, but I did finally remove my gloves.  It was a great market and I did very well.  It is the last event of the year for me.  The market manager told me that I should bring my spinning wheel and sit and spin.  It was too cold yesterday for me to even drop spindle until it warmed some.  When someone shows interest in the knitwear or yarn, I always let them know that it is hand spun and the knitwear, hand knit by me.  Two ladies were looking at the hats, sweater, and mitts when I told them that.  One of the ladies turned to me and said “What do you mean hand spun?”  Her companion said before I could answer, that it was spun on a spinning wheel.  Lady #1’s eyes got big and she said to me, “You make the yarn and then make the hats?”  She just couldn’t wrap her head around that idea even though I was standing behind my booth with a spinning drop spindle at the time and had knitting on the table.

The cold and wind when I had been fighting a cold for a couple days, left me totally voiceless today.   The week has been very cold and several days of  light snow.

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The grands missed one day of school and had a 2 hour delay the following day because of the extreme cold.  We drove across the state last weekend in the snow, but fortunately the roads were in decent shape.  We delivered Christmas gifts to our youngest and his family and enjoyed a few hours of visit and a meal out.

When we got home last weekend, we went to one of the cut your own Christmas tree farms and got our tree for the year.  It was put up in the stand and has been watered daily.  I put the lights on it and we were waiting for the grands to be able to help us decorate it, but between school, their activities, preparing for and moving stuff from storage to their new house, it hadn’t happened.  Since I am voiceless and a bit under the weather today, I built a fire, put on carols, and Jim and I put most of the ornaments on the tree, leaving a few for the kids to hang this evening.

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That finishes the decorating for this year, now we sit back and enjoy it for a couple of weeks.  Midweek, we made the Christmas dinner purchases as we will travel to visit eldest son and his family next weekend, coming home on Christmas eve.

There has been quite a bit of knitting going on with 3 little girl hats hand knit from my hand spun yarns. IMG_20171212_150448IMG_20171208_111447

 

I failed to photograph the third one, it was all pink.

Now I am working on a project for me, a Hitchhiker scarf, knit in a gradient merino commercial yarn that started with a soft salmon and has turned into a red, though several shades of reds to maroon.

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I tend to knit blues and teals for myself, so it is fun using something brighter.

The cold and snow have the chooks on strike.  Yesterday, there were only 2 eggs from 16 hens.  One of the hens doesn’t seem to be a layer.  Her body shape is more like a guinea hen, her neck longer and thin, and her comb and waddle pale.  She otherwise seems healthy enough as far as activity.  I haven’t seen any sign of parasite activity.  And unlike her Welsummer sisters, she can’t fly over the fence.  She may have to be culled from the coop.  There are too many hens for my coop right now and the coop is requiring frequent cleaning when most winters I can just use the deep litter method of keeping them clean and warm.

Hoping you and yours have a wonderful holiday season.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

 

Lucky Day

All week, I have been monitoring the weather for today.  This week has been so very cold, and today was to dawn with a very high chance of freezing rain or mixed wintry precipitation mix and a high mid afternoon only in the upper 30’s or low 40’s.  Yesterday, the forecast improved, though there was still a chance of freezing rain overnight.  Today was the second Holiday Market at the Blacksburg Farmers Market and I was prepared to set up my booth, clothed for a very cold, wet day and worrying that the foot traffic would be sparce.

When I awoke this morning, it was overcast, but the temperature was already 42ºf up here on the mountain.  I had packed the tables, weights, canopy tent, and my chair last night.  This morning, I loaded the huge plastic box of soaps, lotions, and salves, the smaller plastic totes of yarn and knitwear, bags, wraps, and all of the other items needed to set up my stall.  When I arrived at the market, it was a bit cooler and raining lightly, but like other markets, everyone chipped in and helped set up tents and tables.  I have been fortunate at all 4 Holiday Markets to have Beth and Chuck of Dashing Dogs Pottery as my neighbor and they are so helpful with my tent that I lack the strength to erect alone.

We had periods of light rain offset by sunshine during the 5 hour market, the temperature warming into the 50’s and great foot traffic.  Many folks were out looking for their weekly purchases from the market and much shopping for holiday gifts. It was a very successful day for the vendors and we were all grateful for the much improved weather situation.

Stall

 

It is interesting to see how the items sold vary from different markets.  Today was knitwear, some yarn, and lots of beard oil and moustache wax.  Handcrafted bar soap was also popular today.

This was my last show for the season.  I will wait and see what develops for spring and summer.

Daughter and grandkids dropped by after having breakfast and I was able to send them home with some pasta, sausage, and salad to help with this week’s meals.

Now it is time to finish preparation for Christmas at our household.  There are still some gifts to wrap and a few very small items to purchase, Christmas dinner to plan and a grocery run.

SHOP NOW:  https://squareup.com/store/cabin-crafted/

 

Olio 12/9/15

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

Though still coughing some and still having some sinus discomfort, I think I am finally on the mend from the virus caught from the grands.  My energy is back, fortunately, as there have been gifts to wrap, salves and lotion bars to make, wooden boxes to stain.

Each day, the postal service, UPS, and or FedEx drive down our long gravel road and drop off boxes and envelopes of goods ordered online, by us or by daughter and SIL. Some of these goods are gifts, some supplies for this weekend’s Holiday Market and the etsy shop.

These packages have required attention and some have made more work.  There are still a few expected items that will have to be wrapped and later put under the tree. One of the packages was a new shipment of tins and bottles needed to finish getting items ready for the Holiday Market.  After waiting so long for the prior shipment, I changed suppliers and they got the items to me in only 4 business days.  One of the items purchased from them was a package of shrink bands to make the tins of salves, lotion bars, and balms tamper resistant.

A few days ago, I purchased three more of the boxes that I am making into the Body and Beard Kits.  These boxes are purchased unfinished and it take a couple of days to finish with stain and urethane.

Today, I made more Moustache Waxes and Comfrey Salves.  I sat at the table and burned my hand more than once learning to secure the shrink bands on all of the tins, but all are done and I feel better about presenting them in the public without having to worry about one being opened and handled then not purchased.  There will be testers of most of the salves and lotion bars that are available.  Tonight, the last 3 Bath and Beard Kits were assembled and boxed up for this weekend.

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The weather this weekend is looking stellar and for that I am glad.  It will hopefully bring out more people and I won’t freeze standing outdoors for 6 hours.

On the farm front, my chickens seem to be on strike.  I haven’t gotten an egg in a week.  When I decided to raise chickens, I selected Buff Orpingtons as they lay year round and are a dual purpose bird.  The plan has been for some of the chicks from last spring to replace some of the hens, so that we would not have a flock that all molted at once.  That plan didn’t work out with all but 1 of the spring chicks being taken by predators or the neighbor’s dog.  The 1 is our young rooster and he still hasn’t even developed his crow.  The 2 Americauna’s though young, don’t lay in the winter.  All 7 mature Buffy hens are molting.  Once done, egg production will resume and the chooks will all have pretty plumage again.

Since finishing my Coopsworth spinning project, I haven’t been spinning or knitting.  My Coopsworth ended up being more than 950 yards of yarn.  Not quite as much as I had hoped, but there are a couple of sweater ideas in the works. But I have gone through a couple of books. The Midwife’s Revolt by Jodi Daynard was a very good Revolutionary War Historical Novel.  I recommend it if you like historical novels.

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Tomorrow is the Big Day

The wind is howling, wind advisories are in effect.  The temperature has dropped from the balmy upper 60’s we’ve had most all week to the upper 40’s and low 50’s.  Because of requirements to weight the canopy, I purchased a set of leg weights for the tent, but they won’t be enough if this wind continues.  It is supposed to calm by early morning tomorrow.  I sure hope so.  We have some exercise weights that I think I will also take and lash to two of the canopy legs and put double weights on the other two.  The weights will be half again the weight of the tent, but if the wind continues, I will be hard pressed to keep it on the ground.  We can’t stake them down as we will be set up on a parking lot made of pavers.

Early this week, K and I set it up in the garage to figure out arrangement and made a few minor adjustments, like removing the small price signs and putting an A-style chalkboard with all of the prices on it in the corner of the tables.  I’m hopeful and anxious as the huge annual Y Craft Show begins today in town and continues through Sunday and the local toy shop is having their holiday unveiling event tomorrow as well, so lots of events going on the same day.

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More than two weeks ago, I ordered more of the screw lid tins that I use for the solid lotion bars, the Biker Bum Balm, Comfrey Salve, and Brigand’s Oil Salve.  Having ordered from this company before and receiving my order in a week or less, I figured, I was going to have them in plenty of time to finish packing some of my products.  I have tracked this package that was shipped from California on November 3rd.  It only took a day and a half to get to New Jersey.  From there, FedEx sent it to West Virginia, only a couple of hours west of us, then to North Caroline, a few hours south.  Then, it hopped over Virginia and went north again to Maryland where it sat for 5 days.  Two days ago, it was an hour west of us in Virginia and with any luck, it is out for delivery today by USPS as they turned it over to them.  Ten days it has been in transit, a smallish box that would easily have fit in the medium flat rate USPS box and would have been here in 3 days at most.  I have contacted them, but received no reply.  I guess I will be up tonight finishing what I had hoped to have all packed and ready to go early tomorrow morning, I have to be at the market for final instructions by 8 a.m.

Mid week, I received an email from a reporter at the local newspaper.  She wants to include the local crafters that are on Etsy in the Holiday Craft market section of the newspaper.  K took a photo of a representation of my products, I wrote up the brief blurb that she wanted and a listing of my products and sent them on.  The next day she asked for a profile photo so K took that as well and that too was sent on.  This should be a nice little boost of publicity.

Products

If you are one of my local readers, come on to Blacksburg tomorrow and visit all of the events going on, buy some local produce and meat while you are at it.  I am not the only craft vendor tomorrow, so you can browse for holiday gifts for your friends and family.

I hope the tins arrive and the wind dies down, then maybe my anxiety will lessen.