Well, actually this post begins the night before the ball, actually! I thought I'd let you see some shots as I was labelling and stacking up ready for loading into the car on the day.
I didn't get any shots of the actual venue, which I'm annoyed about, but I will take some next time, it was quite a place! I was too anxious to get in when I arrived and then it was all systems go, meeting friends who were helping out, getting to know the other traders, wondering how on earth we were going to manage without step-ladders, portable lighting systems, sheets of thick cardboard to insulate feet from cold ground etc etc etc. "Oh, you learn something new each time you do a market" said one of the traders. Fortunately we needed neither lights nor ladders, but I'll certainly be putting the lights in next time, just-in-case.
We unpacked and set up in brilliant sunshine and bitter cold. The afternoon was even colder, windy, rainy and grey. A typical British Bank Holiday, in other words! Fortunately for us the bacon butty man was just outside the barn, so we had a sizzling brunch - apart from Yvonne who is vegetarian. Unfortunately she had forgotten Arfa's lunch so he had to make do with the innards of a bacon roll. He was in Heaven!
Dear Reader, it was SLOW. Each time you spoke to one of the traders they said the same thing. "It's very slow." Apparently even the foodie people who usually do really well, did only averagely. I think the Fair organiser was a bit disappointed on the traders' behalfs, though philosophical too.
It was pretty much a wash-out, in all senses of the word! I did sell, and have two possible commisions. My first sale was this textile picture: Avocets at Titchwell
They were a couple from Yorkshire who were visiting. Their dream was to win the Lottery and retire to Norfolk, so the picture would remind them of their visits to the coast.
I also sold this cushion:
I could have sold this cushion 3 times over! A friend had already staked a claim to it (Sorry, V. I will make you another!) and the next-door-trader had her eyes on it too. I loved making it, I really enjoy working with felted wool. And no hems!
Some cards went:
Great interest expressed in this little sampler by two nice chaps from the next village to me:
I had some very positive comments, a few sales, and a good day out - barring the cold!There was great good humour and camaraderie between the stall holders. I got chatting to another trader, Hilary-Fay who sells her textiles at the Manor at Hemmingford Grey, Cambridgeshire. This is the home of the Lucy Boston patchworks you may have heard about; I've been to see them, they really are incredible. Hilary has actually done some restorative work on these textiles. Anyway, I promised I would mention her The Raggle-Taggle Gypsy, though she doesn't as yet have either a blog or website.
Ive been asked by the Organiser whether I'd do some one-day workshops in the summer up at the barns so will get cracking on getting that sorted, with plans and probably small kits - people on holiday are unlikely to have all their sewing stuff with them. (Well, ok, I often take mine but then I am a lost cause!) Also was introduced to the very nice Angela who has a shop in Dersingham selling crafts and lovely things for the home; she's just taken on one of the units at the barns and may like to carry some of my stuff.
So, all in all, perhaps not a complete wash-out after all! A huge thankyou to Yvonne, Sue and Gilly for stepping into the breach with extra things to go on the stall and willing hands to help organise it all. You certainly helped make my day.
Then in the evening J and I were taken out to dinner by a couple of old friends of ours celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. Lots of really lovely food, and some great company; I made sure I had my ventolin inhaler in my bag as I knew that I might possibly laugh myself into an asthma attack - it has been known to happen! Thanks Pat and Dave, see you soon.
But not until I have had this awful 'wedge resection' on the nail of my big toe. Yuk. Painful, I've been warned. And the aftermath. So no driving for a while. Lots of lying about looking pale and wan ......time to finish my daughter-in-law's quilt which has been on the back burner for a month or so.
Thank you everyone who sent good wishes for the event, you really kept my spirits up! You'll have to do it all again later in the year when I embark on the next one!