Sunday, October 31, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fiber Arts Friday - Fiber Expo Highlights

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday! This is the place where you can share your adventures in Fiber Arts each week and meet some other great Fiber Artist.  So, what are you waiting for?  Link your blog and start sharing the Wonder of Fiber Arts!  This week I am going to share with you more great vendors at Fiber Expo, that I was a vendor at last week in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  

My camera decided to end it's wonderful life of photography when I arrived at the venue so Saturday after I worked all day, I went to Best Buy and bought a new camera.  In keeping with my love of Middle Earth, I have named this camera Legolas and on day one Legolas didn't fail me in the images he produced.
One of my favorite vendors, Jill June of Studio June, was there with her amazing yarns.  I bought two skeins of her sock yarn to have someone knit me socks with.  Squeal!  Holly and I eyed this adorable sweater and look it only takes one skein.
  There were tons of amazing felted projects.  Totally inspiring!

About 100 Vendors total and these are just some of the booths.  I have to admit, Legolas and I got off to a rocky start.  He didn't want to focus at first (I think he was in awe of all the amazing booths) but then photographic magic happened and unfortunately, that was as I got busy with sales so ...less photos than desired.  Fiber Expo also offered a variety of classes.  Since I was selling all weekend, I wasn't able to take any classes but I did manage to peek in on one of them.  Of course, it was weaving.
Saturday my friend Lisa from Spirit Within Alpacas helped me. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of her because of the Evil Dead Camera but I did get a photo of my Sunday Gal aka Holly aka Wonder Intern nka Farm Manager.  Yes, Holly came to the rescue and helped me with my Sunday Sales.
I've decided that before I schedule any more shows (yikes, I've already have a handful for 2011) that I need to have help lined up.  Yes, I could manage by myself but quite often we were both helping customers plus I need to be able to eat and take a break from the 9am-5pm sales.  I've been asked about the difference between selling at live shows -v-internet and so far my live shows have been super successful.  I do put a lot of work into them but people get to meet me, touch my product and ask questions and we all know that the question "I Wonder Why" is always a great way to start.

I'll always want Holly as my salesperson (really, she is a super awesome salesperson and a great person overall) but I know that she can't always be with me (yeah, it makes me sad to think that) so I have to consider who else will be available on those dates that is almost (equal would be hard) as awesome as my friend.  The key to a good assistant is for them to know your product and to truly love your product.  There are tons of people I could as to sit in my booth but that doesn't help with sales.  Holly helps me draw people into the booth and she loves the product which in turn helps sell my product.  Instead of bringing her spinning, she was knitting a sassy interlock scarf/cowl out of her handspun (using my roving) which is another great draw. As I walked around Fiber Expo and I've done the same at Michigan Fiber Fest too, I always note which booths have one person versus two, what kind of selection they have, their set up and the overall atmosphere of the booth.  I hope that helps, Jesse.  Now what adventures have you had in Fiber Arts this week?
Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival!

To participate:

  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit  
  1. Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  2. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zoo Boo 2010 - Have Shovel, Will Defy Gravity

I don't think I've missed a Zoo Boo at the Binder Park Zoo in over twelve years.  Yes, Grumpy and I went even before the Bears were born because we love the zoo and love Halloween.  This year, I went in full costume.  Typically I wear a cute Halloween T-Shirt  and a sassy Halloween headband but this year I went as Elphaba.  You may know her as the Wicked Witch of the West but I know her from Wicked and Elphy is who I was except for the green makeup because the wind was whipping so hard you would think that we were in Kansas but, alas, we were in Michigan under a high wind advisory.

Brother Bear was the Black Ninja from G.I. Joe and Sister Bear was a witch.  "Just a witch, Mom!  Why do I have to be a specific character?"  Geez, I guess you don't have to be as Wicked Awesome as your mother.  Just kidding!  I could never be as adorable as my Sister Bear.

We also had Piper's Pizza and Maddie the Lady Bug with us.
Of course no Zoo Boo is complete with out Pig 3 the Pirate, Pig 2 as Harry Potter and Pig 1 as, oh goodness, a storm trooper in disguise as a Jedi (yeah, I know, it wasn't Storm Trooper but one of the other bad guys) so take that complex costume wearing pig.

Holly dressed up too.  She was in disguise as a Muggle.  Yes, the anticipation for the next Harry Potter Movie is fierce around these parts.
We had a great time at the zoo enjoying everyone in their costumes.  As usual, the babies were a hit.  Did I get a photo?  No!  I have Bears to keep my camera busy.

They try to be stealth but they are my children so it's totally not possible to go unnoticed.
We are lucky to have a great zoo and even luckier to have great friends to share it with.

Wait!  Are you wondering where my broom went?  Well, this witch doesn't travel with a broom.  She has a Zombie Slaying Alpaca Poo Scooping Shovel.  Defying Gravity IS possible with a Zombie Slaying Alpaca Poo Scooping should try it! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Tis Halloween Season

While slowly scanning old photos into the memory manager, I found Tucker all dressed up for Halloween. This photo is from 1999 (pre-Bears).  He was my only dog to tolerate costumes.  We miss you, Tucker.  Happy Halloween!  Happy Wordless Wednesday (especially to all those dog owners who dress up their dogs)!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fiber Expo 2010

Here is my booth at Fiber Expo.  Yesterday was a great day and we have one more to go today.  10am-5pm
I don't have more pictures because my awesome Camera of Wonder decided to take a dump.  Apparently there is a limit of how many times you can throw your camera in your back pocket while scooping Alpaca poo and giving them hay.  The technician I talked to here in Ann Arbor said that it would cost more to fix the camera than a replacement camera would be.  BUT I LOVE MY CAMERA!  Yeah, of my neighboring vendors let me put my card in her camera so I could get some pics.  Gotta love Fiber People.

So, visit Ann Arbor today and check out Fiber Expo! It's the last festival of the year for me so after this weekend I'll start stocking my Etsy Store with lots of Alpaca Products.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fiber Arts Friday - Prep for Fiber Expo

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  This is your opportunity to share your adventures in Fiber Arts while learning from others as they experience their own Fiber Arts Adventures plus make some amazing blogging friends who share your passion for Fiber Arts.  So, what are you waiting for?  Read the posts that amazing Fiber Artists have linked in and share your own adventures.

This week I've been a busy gal preparing for Fiber Expo.  This is my last show of the year and it's a nice size show to be a part of plus it has some of my favorite vendors who I adore. It's always a joy to be a vendor alongside those who you buy from it's a sign that I will be in great company.
Over the last few weeks I have been creating some amazing Alpaca Batts using My Precious (Strauch Double Wide Motorized Finest Drum Carder) and loving every second of it.  The best part is that I'm also getting my groove dyeing my fiber so all of the pretty colors have been dyed by me. I have to admit that I did have way more batts created but I've been experimenting with creating roving and I've been spinning these delicious creations to see how well they work.   Let me just say, they are WONDERFUL!  My favorite is the batt with the black, green, purple and orange with a wee bit of firestar.  It is the perfect Halloween batt and when it spins up it's not an "in your face" glitter mess but a subtle amount of bling to add to any knitted creation.  Do I have a photo of the yarn?  Alas, I don't.  I actually donated one skein to State Grange for their Fiber Arts Competition that is going on right now, sold a few at Harvest Fest two weeks ago and already boxed up the yarns I will be selling at Fiber Expo so I promise to get photos once I get to Fiber Expo.

I have been also busy working on felting hats to sell and to use as gifts.  They are so much fun to make and I know a good deal of the fun is due to the amazing instructor I had at Fiber Fest, Suzanne Higgs of Hooked on Felt.  I left our class confident in the skills she instructed us with.  With anything in life, if you enjoy will do well.
 This was my newest creation.
 This was the very first hat I made.

This hat was fun.  I used Suri Locks for the design.  I have a mirror for people to use because everyone's head is different.  You can see how different the hats look when they are on me and not on the foam head.  It's addictive making those hats.

Finally, I knitted my first pair of mitts ever!  They are for Sister Bear.  She picked out the yarn and the pattern so I had to knit them.  Now, I will let you in on a little secret.  They are so gosh darn easy to knit!  Really!  I knitted up the pair in just a few days.  True, this is a very simple pattern where all you have to know is how to knit, purl and increase...oh, and pick up stitches.  Right now everything is done except the thumbs.  I sort of understand how to pick up the few stitches I need to make but I will wait until I can sit down for a few minutes with Kelly J at Your Local Yarn Shop because she's a rock star and once we walk through it then I will be done plus once I get ready to add the sleeves to my sweater (currently in time out) I will know exactly what to do.  Hooray!
Sister Bear wants to wear them now but...I explained that the scrap yarn is NOT a fashion statement but then again, Sister Bear is the trendsetter in the house. Whew! Like I said, I had a busy week! So, what wonderful adventures have you had in Fiber Arts this week?
Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival!

To participate:

  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit  
  1. Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  2. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs: