The week of wearing many hats

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The week finally came for the Textile Art Boutique and it was time to put on my retail hat and sell my stock inventory at my booth. Unfortunately for me the lack of people visiting the show this year was down 300 from 900 last year and I had to reconfigure my booth at the last minute which made me practically invisible at the show.

I really needed to be in a different location where I could display my rack without getting in the way of my neighbors – live and learn and I know for what to request for next year! Whether I will be making clothes is another thing? I really enjoy making and sharing my fun pieces but I really am in the wrong area to sell fashion – my ideal market is most likely Los Angeles or San Francisco where people are willing to dress up a bit more rather than wearing their exercise clothes everywhere they go! Still I am here in the suburbs and for now, I enjoy making what I would like to wear and I enjoy sharing these fun pieces. So on with the show and let me critique my booth below…

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For one the way the booth is aligned means people have to walk into the space to check out my wares, according to a fellow artist at the show. She mentioned she used this configuration and it is intimidating for a lot of people to walk into a booth to look and I certainly did feel that way when I was knitting away and watching the crowd go by. Being at the back of my booth behind my stock was another problem as I could not really engage in conversation. When I stood up to chat people got frightened and left – I think I wandered too deep into their personal space barrier! I find that I can talk to anyone, this is from experience as a freelancer coupled with my personality but from where I was in my booth I hardly engaged with the customers. The customers would just look at my sunglasses pouch, check out how it worked and walk off. Another problem was that on either side of me the displays of the booth were huge with using massive room divider screens to display their fabric canvases and cards on one side and on the other side lots of wooden risers to display stuffed animals and 3D textile pieces so my booth just got lost as people wandered by. Lessons learned from this year is to streamline my product line and work on my display at home before I head to the show.

Now to put on my teacher’s hat for the Halloween Goodie Bag workshop at the Mountain View Public Library. We now have a total of 8 machines for the libraries drop in sewing on Saturdays and for the Sew Sew with FabMo classes that I teach. We had about 13 students in this beginner class last Tuesday. The class made a goodie bag for Halloween from four 8″ squares and a felt stencil of a Halloween image. The class went for 2.5 hours until the library closed as some folks really enjoyed detailing their stencils. I really enjoy seeing what people create when they come to my classes, how they take my tutorial and customize it. November 15 will be the next workshop with an infinity scarf made from stretch fabric to take home all compliments of FabMo for the fabric and Friends of the Library for the machines, thread, and supplies.

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On Wednesday I took a small break and went to the hairdresser for a mom’s time out and used the Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink this time to dye my hair and I just love it! It is so vibrant on the lighter parts of my hair (the gray) and it takes so well! I love how I can change the color of my hair so often with such fun colors – I wish I knew about Manic Panic years ago as it is Vegan and a Semi Permanent!

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Sunday I put on my helmet and got on my red bicycle for a ride early in the morning. There was quite a chill in the morning with the added bonus of the trail being very quiet. I had planned on just doing my usual 30-minute ride up and down the trail but then I decided I would try and find a way to the middle school from the trail. I hopped off the trail at Crittenden right next door to one of the Google buildings and I spied this cool sculpture so I had to stop and check it out. I found the plaque and it read ‘Cast Bronze Horse – Deborah Butterfield May 2001’ and underneath it read ‘A Gift to the People of Mountain View From SGI’. SGI would have been in their heyday back then before Google had taken over the Shoreline area and I think the building (where Google is now) would have been the one my husband visited when he came to the Valley many years ago when he was working for SGI. And as my MIL mentioned, there is one of these sculptures in the lobby of the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford – I knew I had seen this before but I could not remember where.

So the week ended on a beautiful 1-hour bike ride and all was good again. I just finished Missy’s Halloween Poo Emoji costume yesterday for Trunk or Treat this Friday! With Halloween this weekend it is very exciting!

Now to wear my student hat to get to studying as my classes start November 6th, for my Bachelor of Education so I can teach when we return to Australia in a couple of years. At least it is inside weather now and I can hang out at the library and study!

The Grand Finalé

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The time has finally come with 3 days to the show I have been working towards. My inventory of stock has finally come together! This weekend is the FabMo Textile Art Boutique from 10am to 4pm at the Elks Lodge in Palo Alto. I finally completed my final piece for the day of the show which is a dress made from the cascades of colored fabric I have collected over time which I made into the skirt for the dress. As well the bodice is fabric that I found at FabMo – I love how it turned out and the skirt is a lot of fun to wear as I puffed up the hem with gathers to enhance the differences in the fabric.

My last few garments have been completed somewhat slowly in the last couple of weeks with little bits of time here and there and I finally made all the pieces that I have cut out ready to be sewn. The shift dress in the 1960s green and orange fabric has terrific hanger appeal and is very fun to wear – fancy a bloody mary anyone? The checked yoga PJs are super comfortable to wear and the feel of the fabric is wonderful, I am sure they will find a good home with someone. I know I used my fox yoga PJs all throughout my Australia holiday in the winter mornings doing my yoga sessions.

 

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Close up of the skirt above – I love the detail in this fabric

 

I found this velvet collection of cascades on my last visit to FabMo and it makes an amazing looking huge tote with denim straps – it is a mix of the luxurious and the utilitarian that will hold a heck load of stuff!

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As much as I would like to make more denim totes this is the last one as time is fleeting away and I think I have a lot in my collection and I need to have room on my table too! This beautiful butterfly fabric worked so well with this final bag for the show.

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So anyone in the Bay Area who is wanting to check out an inspiring textile show head on over to the FabMo Textile Art Boutique this Saturday, October 22, 2016 – hopefully I will see some of you there. I am looking forward to presenting my ‘Traveling Not So Light’ range inspired by my 8 weeks of travels and coming home to my sewing room.

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