Monday, September 22, 2008

Strange Folk Festival now a two-day extravaganza



Started three years ago as a way to give hip, young artists a creative outlet, the Strange Folk Festival has grown into a two-day extravaganza that has seen participation increase five-fold since 2006.

Organizer Autumn Wiggins said 20 vendors signed up for the first festival. This year, 120 will be there selling artwork, eclectic clothing, purses and other crafts, many of which are made out of recycled materials.

"The response, it's been just great," Wiggins said. "We have vendors signed up from all over the U.S. and Canada. The selection was juried this year, we had a lot more applicants than the 120 we approved."

The festival runs from Saturday through Sunday at O'Fallon Community Park.

Wiggins said the festival, which drew small crowds on one rain-soaked day three years ago, could draw as many as 10,000 people this year.

"When it was on Saturday only, some people had a tough time being here," Wiggins said. "Now that it has been expanded to Saturday and Sunday, it's only going to get bigger."

City Administrator Walter Denton is thrilled to hear those projections for several reasons.

"There are community benefits to festivals like this," Denton said. "First, it is an opportunity for residents to come together and enjoy a local event. Second, it is important to quality of life to support cultural events like the Strange Folk Festival. Third, these events have some economic impact in that visitors who visit the festival may stay in our hotels and shop in our stores."

In addition to a broader slate of vendors, Wiggins said a slate of musical acts are planned and food options will be greatly increased as well.

"This sort of event usually does pretty well in big cities, but I wasn't sure at first how it would go over in the suburbs," Wiggins said. "But it is one of the best-attended shows of its kind in the country. As far as local participation is concerned, it's one of the best shows there is."

This is an article that appeared in this mornings paper. When I read it I felt a little flutter of panic in my stomach. "As many as 10,000 visitors", that's enough to make me want to sew more. I struggled with sewing this weekend. Not just because my machines are worn out, I am too. Yesterday I spent the majority of the day making odds and ends, earrings, barrettes, magnets, push pins. By the end of it, I had a headache from the glue fumes and my hands were coated in sticky residue. But damned if I didn't get a lot done.

Time line to Strange Days:

Today- spend some much needed time with my son and work on displays

Tuesday- sew, sew, sew and oh yeah- sew

Wednesday- make the displays and make them portable

Thursday- last day of sewing for a good long while

Friday- pack it up and hit Oktoberfest for some family fun. My kid digs sausage and polka!

Saturday & Sunday- set up, drink coffee, hopefully not puke from nerves and then when I'm not selling my little heart out- crack jokes with Beqi. She pulled some strings and got me a booth right next to hers. Kind of makes up for the dream where while I went to get her coffee she packed up went home and the dream where she made me late and got us hopelessly lost.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Redemption through polka

Tonight Gryffin made up for the panic he caused me this morning. We took him St. Augustine's church carnival. To make a long story short because I'm exhausted:
Gryffin won a toy trumpet, sat in and jammed with the two accordionists while they played, what else, polka. He then took to dancing and noticed that it was all couples dancing so he told Mike to dance with me. Sweet, but neither one of us know how to polka so we faked it for a few seconds and quit. Then Gryffin handed Mike his trumpet and reached those little arms out to me. My kid asked me dance! And dance we did, until the rain shorted out the band and we had to run for cover.
My kid is freaking amazing, wonderful, loving and sneaky, but I wouldn't have him any other way.

The fastest (and worst) way to wake up

This morning when I got up I noticed the front door open. Then I noticed Gryffin's door open. Then my heart dropped somewhere around my knees. I ran through the house calling his name and woke Mike up. Lets just say, I've never seen him get out of bed so fast. I took off out the front door yelling for Gryffin.
I found him on the other side of our neighbors house, clutching one of the rings I made. He got scooped up and I ran him back to the house. Mike asked him why he did that and he said that he wanted to go over to his girlfriend's house. Said girlfriend would be our neighbor Sara, whom we had over (along with her husband that Gryffin calls her dad) for dinner last night. The boys three and already sneaking out of the house to see girls!
Anyway, I commented on the ring he had and he said that it was his power ring, like Green Lantern's. Mike told him that it was my ring and I promised to make him his very own power ring- in green, just like Green Lantern's. He sweetly slipped the ring on my finger and said, "Mommy, this is your power ring". I choked back tears.
I thanked God that he was OK and home and for giving me such a sweet, little boy. I think my heart is back in my chest, but its still beating pretty fast.
Needless to say, Mike is getting latches for the top of the doors today.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Update

Eight bags, five coin purses, one belt, a trip downtown for hot dogs and some shopping, a party in the middle of nowhere and a horrendous backache. That about wraps it up. My life is so exciting.
Today is back to being CEO of the house. I've been seriously neglecting my house-Frau duties. Thankfully, I must have been a saint in a previous life because I've got a great husband who hasn't complained once about having to be Mr Mom the past few weeks.
I've got the kid fed, a load of laundry in and four cups of coffee downed. Hey, its a start!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Sweatshop is open

This weekend I have to put the pedal to the floorboards. The sewing machine pedal that is. I've only got 24 bags made. I've had to reevaluate my original goal of 50 because I also need to make belts, zipper pouches and other assorted small dollar amount/high profit scrap busters. Oh, and come up with a display set up, price tags and business cards.
How did I get myself into this?! Oh yeah, Beqi. I blame her, thank her and curse her all in one breath. Thanks for being my fabric pusher, Babe!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Did anyone see that bus?

I think it ran me over. At least, that's how I feel this morning. I slept hard last night, which is good, but I had horrible dreams the whole time, which is bad. On nights like that, I would rather get no sleep.
The last dream I had I remember being so upset and crying that I actually woke up with my face wet and my head pounding. Luckily, I awoke to a little voice asking, "Mommy, can I be wake?". Of course you can, Little Man! Saved by a three year old.
My face is dry now but the headache persists. Maybe another cup of coffee or the incessant hum of my sewing machine will cure it. Doubtful, but a girl can always hope.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Shower- check
Coffee- check
Goof on the net- check

I do more before Gryffin wakes up than most people do before they wake up. Its a stretch, I know. Actually, most mornings Gryffin wakes me up. Today is different, its the first day of Day Out. Its been out for summer break for a month and my, oh my what a month. I have loved hanging out with my kid and take comfort in the fact that Day Out is only two days a week, but I need to get cracking and work.
This session Gryffin has a new teacher, Miss Holly. Yay! His summer session teacher sucked, and that is putting it nicely. Miss Jan couldn't ever spell Gryffin's name right and didn't comfort him when he cried at my leaving. She even went so far as to tell Gryffin that maybe I could stay with him and help out. What?! Uhm, no. That's why I pay you (too much, obviously). This session will be different though. Miss Holly rocks.
Uh oh, I just heard a door open so my little man is up. On to the mommy duties!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

27 - 3 = 40

Today is the third, Strange Folk is starts on the 27th and I have 40 bags left to make, not to mention headbands, belts and other assorted accessories to crank out. What does all this mean? I'm in trouble.
All of this trouble is multiplied by the fact that I cannot find black canvas for under $8 a yard. I use this to make my messenger bags. That way they are super durable and hold their shape. If I use a lighter weight material I would have to use heavy duty interfacing, which is a total pain and ain't cheap either.
I'm sure with the few brain cells the alcohol didn't kill Saturday I will come up with something brilliant.

Monday, September 01, 2008

No jail, no broken furniture- are you sure it was MY birthday?

Before y'all go wondering if I'm in jail from the confrontation with "She Who Must Not Be Named", I'm not.
My birthday started out wonderfully. Mike presented me with a card in all my morning-glory-bed-headedness, which announced that not only did I get a gift certificate to get my hair done but that my appointment was for 11:30 THAT DAY! We went to breakfast and did a little party shopping where afterward I jumped in the shower because I did not want to get my hair did in some fancy say-lon looking all homeless. About 15 minutes before my scheduled departure the dreaded doorbell rang. I opened it, told her that she had to leave now. She gave me a card and I reiterated that she had to leave and promptly shut (and locked) the door in her face. That was it, she left. I haven't opened the card and probably won't as there isn't anything she can say to make a difference. Then, I got my hair done. Three hours later I came home with the most awesome drastic swing bob with purple low-lights. Yes, I said purple!
Then it was party time! I would go into details but I don't think y'all would believe me anyway. I'll just leave it at yesterday was pronounced, Recovery Day.