Sunday, November 28, 2010

Show Time Part Two

This entry is mainly photos of our recent show and sale. I've started with the smiling face of John, one of our cashiers. He is happy because of all the people who came to see and purchase our work.

Next we have Jens who has just finished demonstrating spinning using his beautiful spinning wheel. Take a close look at it. It is the most beautiful wheel I've ever seen.

Then of course we had shoppers. There were so many craft fairs and shows in our area this week end that shoppers had a lot of choice. We appreciate those that took the time to come to our event. Many of them also took the time to leave comments in our guest book and to complement us on the display. Most found something to take home with them.

Myrtle was among the guild members who put on demonstrations of spinning and weaving while Mabel was busy at the sales desk.

Some shoppers took the time to sit for a while, have a cup of hot punch and chat with us.

Audrie check in to see the display. Her lovely colourful runner was featured in our silent auction.

Jo Swallow, weaver extraordinare, also came by to see how we were progressing and to bring us a donation of books for our library.

There were plenty of items to choose from. There were household items, unique clothing, scarves for every taste, sheep and snowmen, pillows and blankets and hats of all colours and sizes.

Amanda helped with the demonstration while her friend was busy making a warp. Amanda is weaving a scarf with some beautiful alpaca yarn.

Now the really big sale is over so we can all relax. No need to weave, spin or knit tonight. Unless of course, you made a commitment to have something finished by Christmas. You really haven't made much progress on it yet. You've got a lot of other commitments in the next few weeks. You wish you hadn't agreed to do it or you wish you had started it in October. For you there is no rest so get off the computer and get to work.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Show Time

Show time has arrived. We've had cold weather with snow off and on for the past week. Some of us have suffered through power outages, loss of phone services and no internet. Most of us have been anxiously checking the weather reports in the hopes that temperatures will rise even if it means rain.

Fallen trees and early morning ice didn't stop us. The set up crew arrived with the props and members arrived with their totes of goods.

Unpacking the totes is like opening a surprise package. Lovely, imaginative items pop out. It is a slow process as you have to admire the design of one piece, marvel at the colours in another, feel the softness of this one and ask the artisan how they made that one. You also covet some items and wish you didn't have to hand them over to the set up crew.

Every sale is different. You don't know what items will be submitted. This year we have a lot of pillows. Some years it seems everyone is inspired to make bags. Tea towels and scarves may be standard but how many will show up and what colours will they be. This makes the job of the set up crew interesting and difficult.
How do you display a wide variety of items so they don't clash?
Here is Pat setting up a display of scarves.

In this photo Sylvia is setting up a table display.

Judy is measuring up a jacket before it goes on to the display rack. It is one of many tops our members created.

Linda is about to light up the entrance to the building if she can untangle the lights or is it the warp from hell that has engulfed her?????

If you came (come) to the sale and like what you saw then thank the ladies pictured above (along with some male relatives that we shouldn't forget). They've been working since August to create the props, plan the display and promote the sale. What may look like a mad scramble at the end is really an organized scramble.

Happy shopping! We hope you found a treasure to take home and if not well, there's always next year.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Really Big Show (and Sale)

November has become the month for craft sales. All the red and green yarns disappeared from the stores sometime in October and they have been transformed into Xmas themed crafts that are soon to appear at a craft fair near you. Visions of Santa are even appearing in our weaving.

Our guild show and sale also takes place in November. This year marks our 14th annual fibre arts show and sale. The event has changed from its humble beginnings as a table in a general craft sale into a stand alone event. It is the only major show in our area devoted to fibre arts.
This year, "Elegant Threads" runs for 3 days from November 26th to November 28th.

Our annual show and sale is an opportunity for members to showcase and sell their work. It is an opportunity for members to get the affirmation we need to continue producing and improving. Like other artisans, we love to talk about our craft and to get feedback. That is almost as important as selling (but let's be realistic, the best feedback is still a cheque). Oh, we get encouragement from eachother but there is no validation like having someone purchase that special piece you made. It is even better if they have a story to go with the cold hard cash, "my daughter loves these colours", "it's a surprise for my wife",etc.

Setting a price for a piece is always a struggle. Few pieces would ever sell if the "minimum wage" was used in the calculations especially for items made of hand spun yarn. Few of us think of weaving or spinning as work but we do want people to appreciate the time and skill required. On the other hand, there is a limit as to the value any sane person would put on the "one of a kind" or "hand made" aspect. Design, workmanship, materials and uniqueness all play a part in determining the value.

We've changed the display this year to accomodate an increase in the number and variety of pieces. The 40 members of our guild have a wide variety of interests so you can expect to find elegant accessories, fine linens, whimsical felted items, wearable art, cozy blankets and items that are just plain fun. Our set up is going to take a little longer so we have delayed the opening of the show until noon on Friday but we are staying open until 8 pm that night.

What we haven't changed is the relaxed atmosphere that includes an opportunity to chat and take in demonstrations. Secretly, we are out to educate the public on the finer points of spinning and weaving and to draw those with a latent desire to play with yarn into our web.

"Elegant Threads" takes place from November 26 to 28th at Rotary House in Qualicum Beach. (See our events section) That weekend is shaping up to be the Qualicum Beach Artisan Extravaganza with several events involving about 300 artisans. The events are taking place at various venues around Qualicum Beach. There will be a shuttle bus to take people from one venue to another. We hope folks will plan to make it a day in Qualicum Beach and plan to spend part of the time visiting with us.

Rotary house is situated at the corner of Beach and Fern in downtown Qualicum Beach. It is about halfway between The Old School House and the Civic Centre. Look for our sign near the long white building.