While it’s never my preference to do two shows back to back, I am really glad I am doing these. The Folsom Renaissance Faire was a blast. It was my first year doing that gig, and for sure it will not be my last. I’ve been consistently impressed with the folks from Renaissance Productions all season and this Faire was probably my favorite of them all so far.
The Cap is not doing any more shows with me this year (gosh darn that need to earn a living) so I could not use our wooden market stall. It takes two people to set up, at minimum. One of those people must know how to use the power tools and how all the bits go together. Of the two of us, I am not that person. The alternative was the pop up that we use at non-Faire festivals.
One problem with using pop ups at Faire is that you have to disguise them in clever and crafty ways.
It’s a good thing that I am both clever and crafty.
It took 5 canvas painter’s tarps (in assorted sizes) from Lowes, 10 packages of baby-poop-tan bias tape (color selected because we needed a lot of packages, and that was the only one they had in any quantity), 4 large tubes of Liquid Seam “no sew” iron on adhesive, 3 bottles of Fray Check, 8 packages of iron on Velcro, 1 large piece of heavy watercolor paper, a charcoal pencil, my good fabric scissors, and an iron. I had to buy a new iron though, because our last iron “accidentally” got left at Casa Fabulous when we moved.
The end result is pretty fantastic, no? I stole our sheer kitchen curtains to use as the front leg wraps, which created a little bewilderment when Cap came home on Sunday night and found naked windows. Whoops.
It worked out so well! Set up and tear down was a breeze, and better yet, it all fits in my Honda. Survey says: “We’re just going to use the pop up for everything, from now on. Let’s repurpose the market stall wood and build a catio!”
So here are some important things that I learned when I was adapting the pop up for Faire.
1. When you dag a canvas wraparound (dags are the little scallops) that was 40 feet long to start, you are basically doubling the amount of hem around which you will have to painstakingly fold and iron those little bits of bias tape. You might want to pack a snack.
2. Did I mention you’re ironing that shit on, with your iron set on “Wool”? Buy some band-aids and burn cream.
3. When doing interesting things at 3am with fabric, toxic chemicals, and a very hot iron, it’s more than likely that you will get more help than you need, whether you asked for it or not.
4. When the iron-on Velcro that was supposed to hold the roof and back wall of your booth together fails spectacularly on the day of the Faire, do not fall to the ground and sob hysterically. That’s what G-d made spring clamps for. You can find them in the automotive section of Lowes. Trust me. They are pure metal magic.
5. This remains true when the Velcro that (in theory) anchors the wraparound to the edges of your roof fabric also fails.
6. Spilled Fray-Check will inevitably wind up dried into clumps in the long-haired cat’s tail. You will probably never get it all out.
In the end it all worked out and I spent <$200 to get it all together, if you don’t count having to replace the iron and ironing board.
The hardest part, aside from the endless ironing of what felt like 1000 feet of dags, was having to spread it all out on the deck afterwards and soak it with fire retardant. I’ve never used a deck sprayer before so there was a steep learning curve there (pro tip – there are likely not ‘extra pieces’ included in the box, so if you wind up with a surplus of pieces, you’ve left something vital out of the equation), plus my new respirator kept fogging up my safety goggles.
The baby-poop-tan bias tape isn’t bad, and I thought the color worked well with the jute detail in the kitchen curtains. At some point before next season, I’m going to be adding tassels between the dags and some 6” wide decorative sari trim to the top of the wraparound.
Not bad for $200 and a little elbow grease!
I will be doing a solo run at the All Hallows Festival this weekend. The Festival itself runs from 10am – 12midnight on Saturday and 10am – 5pm on Sunday, and it’s located at the Motherlode Fairgrounds here in Sonora. I’m doing a little jig about this, because doing local shows means I get to sleep in my own bed. If you are local, please come on out and say hi!
In the studio this week, I’m working up some sugar skull DDLM earrings for this weekend. We sold out of them at Folsom! I’m going to hold a couple of pairs back, so look for those to show up on Etsy next week. I’m also working on my designs for the October Teahouse and Fairytale clubs. Those will be going out in the last week of October.
You might want to tune into our Instagram feed this weekend for some great cosplay and costume shots – the folks at All Hallows really do it up! You can find me on Instagram as rainhannah.