Sunday, October 31, 2010

Indie Emporium 2010 in Review

I started the day taking the usual roads to Tulsa, but before I turned onto the Turnpike I realized the good ole' Route 66 was crossing my path as well. When I was younger and couldn't afford the toll, I use to drive Route 66 up to Tulsa for my Winter Guard rehearsals. Since I was in no hurry, I decided to take the scenic way this time as well. Sure enough, I spotted along the way stacked bails of hay made up to look like scarecrows, stretches of hills, and small towns full of Oklahoma charm.

Upon arriving at my friend, Kate of Lowder Colours Farms home, who is the proud owner of a stunning flock of sheep that greeted me with curious stares, she gave me the tour of all the varieties from Wensleydales and Teeswaters to Bonds and Angora goats. She owns the largest herd of fiber sheep in Oklahoma and has some of the best fleeces I've seen. I've been studying different fiber breeds in my free time, but seeing them in person is so much more refreshing. Nothing beats experiences rather than pages and photos in a book. I can pretty much now tell the difference between the actual animals on sight, though I'm going to need many more trips to "learn" all the differences between them. Maybe a trip during shearing? Hmm. . .

There was this one big guy as you can see that actually shuffled over to poke his nose through the fence to say hi. He was the only one that was slightly interested in what we were doing walking around, so I simply had to give him some scratches. He wasn't the biggest in the herd and Kate told me how she had to be careful with some of them because the sheep would actually climb the fence. Now, can you imagine that? A big ram climbing over the fence to get to his girls. I can! If I hit just the right spot, he even wagged his tail like a dog.

After having all the fun playing with the sheep, we loaded her SUV and headed over to Tulsa. It was actually a blessing we stuffed in all of her fiber and yarn with mine. Bridgette, of Farmgirl Fibers, had brought one extra tote over to add, but it absolutely wouldn't squeeze in. Fibers are light but very fluffy, and with the baskets and tables, there wasn't an inch left.

Kate and I were some of the first to arrive, and luckily were set sort of across from each other. They had a 10' by 10' booth for the four of them, and I had reserved just the 8' table space.

The place was full of all sorts of crafters from jewelers, seamstresses, and painters of every fashion. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the different ways that they approached their crafts. Everyone had their own style that set them apart.

The line started forming about an hour and a half before opening because everyone wanted to get their hands on the swag bags. To tell you the truth, I would have as well after seeing all the wonderful samples, discounts, and treats that went into them!

The evening was very pleasant with the turned down lights and calm atmosphere. That actually hindered my table a bit because one of the things that draws people in is the amount of color and texture I have. I sat and spun while entertaining the kiddos with how the wheel works. There was one child in an umbrella stroller that was upset about being belted in, but when she saw the wheel spinning, she immediately was mesmerized. I should charge a fee for calming small children! LOL!

Near the end, when we all were getting tired, there was funny gentleman down two table from be breaking out some music and dancing in the aisles. Though I didn't join in the revelry, it gave me a smile and made the night a memorable one. My friend Jane of Angora Jane's was taken aback by his two stepping, being the cowgirl that she is, and had to show him how it was done. As soon as I realized that she was dancing, I whipped out my phone for a video, but just caught them as they finished. Oh well, I still have the memory.

The second day, the lights were back on. Kate and I had arrived early and parked in the premium parking spots outside the unloading doors. I believe we deserved it for having to wait to get in. : ) I rearranged the table a bit to allow me to sit in front of it. It's very hard to see through mounds of yarn and fiber. It was much more pleasant to be out there to talk to people rather than separated by the table. I'd rather talk face to face, not face to yarn to face myself.

The crowd was different that day, but no less ecstatic to be there. I had many conversations with new knitters and spinners. I even gave a demo on spinning. Much to my chagrin, I did not anticipate having to talk into a hand held microphone while spinning. Spinning does take two hands and somehow adding in the microphone on top did not work in my favor. At one point I had taken the brake band off my wheel to unwrap a yarn that had twisted around the flyer. Well, I forgot to put it back on and the flyer literally went flying off my wheel! Safe to say, I was a bit embarrassed. Great way to make an impression! Some of those who did listen thanked me afterwards, but I felt horrible about the way it went. Next time, I swear, I'm just going to sit down at the wheel, plant the microphone stand next to me and spin for 10 minutes. Forget showing off the drop spindle and fibers!

At the end of the day, I had the joy of being superwoman breaking down and packing the car to drive back the 2 hours home to take the kiddos Halloween Trick-or-Treating. Well, I at least tried to get back home to do so. Let's just say I busted butt to get home as they dumped their haul on the floor. My 6 year old son thankfully gave me a peanut butter cup and invited me to help sort the candy with him. It really was the perfect ending to the day.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Indie Emporium 2010 in Tulsa, OK

As some of you may have seen, Dawning Dreams will be out in Tulsa, OK for Indie Emporium on October 29 & 30th. I will also demonstrate spinning yarns at 2 pm on Saturday in my demo called "Get Tangled in Handspun Yarns".

It plans to be a lot of fun with lots of unique vendors and activities. Stop on in and hang out for a while.

Event Highlights:
  • 40 Indie Craft/Artist Booths
  • Art Gallery area featuring two and three dimensional works by 10 selected artists
  • Fashion show, featuring 6-8 local apparel designers as the highlight event Saturday evening
  • Free tote bag of goodies given to the first 50 guests Friday night
  • Food booth run by local caterer of organic and natural foods
  • Live music and on stage craft demos throughout the show
  • “Make and Take” projects hosted by sponsors
  • Contests and activities
  • Event Listed in Urban Tulsa’s “Hot 100” list for 2007 & 2008
  • Attendance of 1000+ guests
  • Silent Auction with all proceeds benefitting the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
  • Canned Food drive raised 633 lbs of canned goods in 2009
  • Charity booth spaces donated to Breast Impressions of Tulsa and The Tulsa Women’s Collective
  • 2009 Press included Tulsa World (print), Urban Tulsa(print), Good Day Tulsa (television), Fox 23 News (television), Craft Magazine Blog, and others
  • Pre-Party for Vendors/Artists/Designers/Volunteers/Friends of Indie Emporium featuring local music

Friday, October 8, 2010

Phat Phamily Reunion 2010

This past weekend, I made the whirlwind trip to visit my online fiber friends in Southern Illinois. We all have known eachother for sometime online talking through fiber forums on Ravelry and Yahoo. Never have I been with a group of people so uplifting and inspiring that I feel completely refreshed, even after 20 hours of driving in one weekend. We talked, spun, dined and generally just enjoyed the company. Check out the photos for yourself!