When we first moved up to the mountains in 2013, I had three or four dream shows on my wish list. The two Fire on the Mountain shows, Twain Harte Art and Wine and the Sonora Christmas Festival, were really high up on that list. These shows were absolutely a “Congratulations, You’ve Leveled Up” kind of show for me. Imagine how gobsmacked I felt when Honey&Ollie was accepted into both! Actually, we got into all our dream shows this year. I guess that means we need to add more dreams to the list!

This past weekend of course was the Sonora Christmas Festival, and we had a wonderful time. It felt so great to wrap our 2014 show season up with a big, fun, family-oriented, local event like this. I enjoyed seeing so many of the faces that I’ve come to know over the last year and change. The FoTM community of artists is very tight-knit but friendly and we felt embraced and welcomed from the start. I feel like we made some new friends this weekend and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

There was some incredible pottery, art-to-wear clothing, great jewelry (we were proud to be included in such stellar company), and other craft categories in this show. Wood carving, photography, graphic art, weaving, great food and live music from bands like Golden Bough… there was oh-so-much to see and do! I finally caught up with a jeweler that I’ve been stalking online for a couple of years. I’ve coveted one of the sterling crescent moon necklaces from Mostly Sweet for ages. This year, I not only got one of my very own, but I got to make the acquaintance of the wonderful metalsmith who makes them. That was a real treat! Professionally she was really inspiring to me and personally she was just a really lovely person. If you like natural themes, clean lines and metalwork, you’ll definitely love her stuff too. I have a feeling I’ll be adding to my Mostly Sweet collection next year!

It rained all of Saturday and Sunday, which definitely cut down on the crowds a bit, but I’m starting to get used to that aspect of festivals in Northern California. People up here are pretty hardy and they do come out in the rain, if not in prolific numbers. Friday, the one day we had clear skies, was terrifically busy. All in all, we had fun, we made some money, we made some new friends, and we ended our 2014 festival season on a super positive note.

So what else is new in Honey&Ollie land?

Well! Let me tell you! I’m doing a small Etsy update with some of the new pieces that didn’t sell out at the Sonora show, so look for that later this week. I’ve got some fun new pieces in my patina’ed metal “Artisan” line.

We added glitter… these were such a hit that they will definitely be returning to our lineup next year!

Steampunk bridal
I’ve got some other fun one-of-a-kind pieces going up as well.

The Winter Earring Club listings are opening up for enrollment at the end of this week! The new Fairy Tale and Teahouse clubs have been getting rave reviews. Space in these clubs is limited! There are only 6 memberships for sale in each club theme. Sign up early!

Listings for 2015 One Word necklaces and bracelets will also be going up in the Etsy shop soon and we’re offering updated versions of both designs, including a new, all metal version of our One Word bracelets. This was inspired by the many requests from our friends in the healthcare and culinary industries who have to worry about germs and frequent hand-washing! You will still be able to order the old style of silk wrap bracelet, but now you have choices and that’s always nice. Have you started to think about your word for next year yet? I’ve got mine, and it’s going to be a real challenge. Definitely one I’m glad to work with, though. I look forward to hearing all about your words in the New Year!

After all the traveling about to festivals we did this year, I’m feeling very grateful and happy that the rest of my work can mostly be accomplished at home, in my pajamas. Maybe I’ll put on yoga pants if I have to drive to the Post Office, though. Pants are never a bad idea when leaving the house, right?

Preparation for the Sonora Christmas Festival is in full swing here at the Honey&Ollie Secret Mountain Lair. I am a little bit panicked because I’m pretty sure I haven’t made enough inventory for what is reportedly a Big Damn Show. The show runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week and I believe that there is a small admission fee to get in to the Fairgrounds.

We have to set up for the show on Thursday morning, so we’re having our “just the highlights” turkey dinner on Wednesday. At least, that’s what I thought we were having. We had agreed that we were doing just a few of our favorite things, a mere nod to Thanksgiving. A “Skip the Turkey” nod to Thanksgiving. And yet, somehow, our nod to Thanksgiving has since morphed to include the turkey, gravy, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry, stuffing and not one but three kinds of pie.

I’m not sure what happened to my cunning plan. My, We Are Not Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner This Year Because Big Show Is Big And I Have To Prepare, Set Up, And Also Have A Panic Attack In My Studio on Thursday, plan.

I blame my mom because she’s the one who is insisting on lugging a turkey up the mountain tomorrow.

Me, two months ago: “Mom, don’t order a turkey. We’re just gonna cook a turkey breast or something.”

Mom, every week since two months ago: “Are you sure you don’t want me to order a turkey?”

Me, every week since then: “No Mom, I’ll buy a turkey breast and maybe a thigh.”

Mom: “Because, I could just order a turkey.”

Me: “Mom, really, I don’t want to cook a big meal, we’ll just do a breast.”

Mom: “How about I buy a thigh and a leg and the wings and the breast??”

Me: “Somehow I feel that you are missing my point.”

My mom: “HALF A TURKEY.”

Me, sighing: “Fine. Ok. Half a !@# turkey.”

Mom, a week later: “The butcher won’t sell me half a turkey.”

Me, burying face in palms, smacking head against dining room table: “Ok, how about I just get us a turkey breast.”


Me, giving up: “Fine. FINE! OK. Fine. We can cook the turkey. I’ll order a pie, we can make a small pan of stuffing and THAT IS IT.”

Mom: “Gravy.”

Me: “Ok. OK. Gravy. You can make gravy.

Me, later: “Actually I would like to whip up a small batch of sweet potatoes.”


Me: “…”

Mom, later: “Also I got a bag of these little Yukon potatoes. Just to toss in with the turkey.”

Me: “Giving up now.”

Mom: “Happy Dance Of Holiday Triumph.”

So… turkey.

I think that the next time we have a parley to agree on “just the highlights” I am going to get her to write down what the actual highlights are. And then I will engage a notary. Because between you and me? The list of “Thanksgiving highlights” keeps getting longer. I’m all, “Yo I thought we, like, came to an accord?” and Mom is all, “THE PIRATE’S THANKSGIVING CODE IS MORE LIKE A SET OF LOOSE GUIDELINES!”

I give up. Just hand me that pie plate, will you?

I probably won’t get back online before the holiday, so I am giving you your Black Friday Weekend Holy Cow There’s PIE! ShoppaPalooza Holiday Goodie a few days early. Just use the coupon code OLLIEFREE when you check out on our Etsy store – it’s good until Sunday night – and it will give you free domestic shipping.

Oh and hey, speaking of our NOT-Etsy store? It is now totally integrated with our Honey&Ollie Facebook page! Just click the green shopping bag under “Apps” on the left side of our page. Now you can totally surf the endless scroll and order earrings at the same time. WINNING! Unfortunately I haven’t figured out coupons there yet, so if you want the free shipping, you have to go to Etsy.

Happy Thanksgiving from the cats, the Captain, and me. We all have a lot to be thankful for this year. Not the least of which is all of y’all who have been so supportive of H&O this year. I throw you air kisses! MUAH!!

I’ve been compiling a list of events that I’d like to do next year. Some of them are a no-brainer. They were great when we did them this past year, we made good money, and of course we’re doing them again. And then… alas. There are a couple of events that we should not do again. We did not do well at them and I have no reason to think that the issues we had with them will change for the better. Yet here I am, struggling to cross them off of my master list of possibilities. Why? Well because they could potentially be awesome, if the stars aligned and reality totally reversed itself. Shutting off a possibility pains me, even when “THIS SUCKED!” is staring me right in the face, screaming.

It’s hard to say “no” to All The Things, isn’t it? I have always found it hard to connect with the idea that possibility does not equal reality. I was recently reading an article about Generation X hitting middle age (Gen X referring to those of us born who were born between 1965 and 1985 or thereabouts) and one of the points the article made was that it can be really hard for us – keep in mind that we’re talking about a very generalized characteristic of a group as a whole, here – to narrow our options down. The author’s theory was that, as children, we were told so often that anything was possible that it crippled our ability to settle on one thing. We don’t like to shut doors on possibility. We want to keep our options open.

I can’t speak for anyone else in my cohort, but this has been a recurring theme in my life. It began with elementary school report cards. “Rain is not living up to her potential as a scholar of advanced mathematics.” Well… no. Because, math. I was all about the potential in reading. Sorry Mrs. Kepner. But thanks for turning me on to Babar the Elephant! Don’t you fret about those addition tables.

See also: Dating, in my teens and early 20’s. “But he has the potential to be a really nice guy! I know he’s unemployed/is named Spike*/is commitment phobic/taking hormones for a sex change but didn’t actually tell me that he identifies as F not M until we’d been dating for 3 months **/has 4 girlfriends and thinks he would like to add a 5th***. No really, this relationship is potentially amazing!”

Apropos of nothing, I have a pet theory that most people who openly identify as polyamorous were probably born on the Gen X spectrum. I’d guess that the majority of statistical outliers (age wise) are actually pretty close to the cusps on either end, too. Heinlein may have planted some conceptual seeds, our parents may have had their key parties in the era of Free Love, but we’re the ones who took our 3 and 5 parent households to PTA meetings.

College? I’ve been going to junior college off and on for the last 25 years. Graduate? Why bother? Hey, I haven’t tried statistics and I just love a challenge. Sign me up! How about another anatomy class? Library science? Nursing? Art! I’ve had a great time at the smorgasbord of higher (ish) education, and I still have no desire to declare anything major. I mean, why? Fuck it, I’ll graduate when I’m 90. Maybe. Is an actual diploma really that important? That raku pottery class does look interesting, doesn’t it?

Narrowing my creative business down to metal and stone was a challenge and I still keep trying to figure out how to add a tasteful line of knitted accessories.

Religion? I know I was born Jewish, but Buddhism looks good too. Can I just take the high points from each and still eat bacon even though Leviticus says NEIN! and the Buddha says it is fraught with suffering and crap karma?

Heck, it even bit me in the ass with Crafted, “It’s got so much potential! Never mind that it’s at the ass end of nowhere, in a lousy location with no amenities, no foot traffic, and only a 50% occupancy! It’s going to be great! I will now proceed to throw buckets of cash at all the potential that is inherent in this scheme!”

Yes! And magic elves are also going to appear before me, with glitter mai tais, ice cream, and a pony!

If we are a generation that insists on embracing the power of And, then I am a pretty good example of that. Still, the idea that maybe I can start to narrow it down is not the most horrifying thing I’ve ever contemplated. I’m starting to accept the idea that potential is all very well and good, but you can’t take it to the bank. I’m even toying with the idea of making “No” my One Word for 2015. It’s a really challenging concept for me. It isn’t that I want to spend a year as the Enemy of Possibility; it’s just that I’d like to explore the idea that I can actually shut some doors and the world won’t end. Maybe bringing a little focus to bear is not the worst idea I ever had.

In the end, I did cross those two shows off my master list. It was hard and I keep feeling this strong urge to add them back. I will hold firm in my resolve! It’s ok. I can do this.

Besides, I found six other potential options for those weekends, anyway.

* Mostly I was just in this one to fuck with my mother, who could not embrace anyone named “Spike” no matter how hard she tried to be enlightened about it.

** True story. I was only 18 at the time and the idea that gender identity might not always mesh with physiological gender characteristics had not yet crossed my reality. Until that fateful day when the difference between physiology and identity came to the door wearing a lacy black negligee and I thought we were just going out for a casual movie and some Thai food. Surprise!

*** I hear that his romantic life doesn’t look quite so much like a Cirque Du Soleil juggling act these days.

Actually it’s the day after the day after the day that went sideways and things Chez Nuthouse have calmed down a lot. My blood pressure is pretty much back to normal and I no longer feel like my head and chest are going to explode. Lemon berry pancakes were finally acquired, the car made it home and the cats were super happy to see me come in the door. Ok, they were probably just super happy that the woodstove got lit, but I cherish my illusions.

The last Faire of the season is done and it finally feels like there’s a quiet space to sit down and relax. Except not really, because the biggest show of my year is in very 2 short weeks! I have to resist the allure of the cozy woodstove and the recliner that sits right in front of it (The Vortex of Nap), get into my (chilly) studio and start cranking.

I was in Costco yesterday, grabbing a prescription, and it is like Christmas threw up all over the store. Guys, can we slow down? You’ve had that stuff up since before Halloween. What about Thanksgiving? How can we skip over pie like this? Won’t someone think of the children pie?

This little Sonora holiday festival we are doing on Thanksgiving weekend is so wonderful, so magical, and such a treat to participate in, but the one downer is that we have to set up on Thanksgiving Day! Mom and I have to figure out how to do our turkey dinner and a show setup. Since I am local to the show, we have that luxury – we are applying creative stratagems as “do the bulk of the cooking on Wednesday” and “order the pies from the Sugar Shack” and “no nasty green bean casserole.”

It’ll be fine. It is just a shift and I really had to think about it before I applied to the show. I guess that’s what we all have to do as shoppers, business owners, artists, whatever. Find our balance with the season.

The truth is, I really don’t know how to handle the holidays gracefully. As a consumer, I just want a little peace and quiet. As a retailer, I’m being bombarded with helpful advice from “experts” and most of that advice boils down to “email lots” and “bombard them with your awesome” and “it’s all about the money.” I am left with a over-whelming sense of, “No….” in the face of that. Does my awesome have to bombard? Is shock and awe really a viable marketing strategy? How about an expression of core values in the way we choose to comport ourselves this season?

The pressure is tremendous on everyone this time of year. I have to work hard not to buy in to it. What if I miss out? What if people forget about me? What if sales tank and I can’t pay my rent? This happens every year. The experts say, “You are doing it wrong.” but when I am quiet and listen, and can disengage from the suggestion to feel fear over losing sales, I feel like I am doing it right.

Since I am going to disappear into the studio for 2 weeks, I thought I’d get this out of the way now. Here is what’s going to happen in the land of Honey&Ollie this holiday season (hint: it’s pretty much the same thing that happens every season).

1. A fantastic, fabulous, and exciting Etsy coupon code is going out to the mailing list sometime in the next week. That coupon is good from when it goes out to the list until the end of the year. Pre holiday, post holiday, you can use it any time you want, as many times as you want, up until New Year’s Day. You can sign up for the list over to the right there on the right, see? There’s a widget.
2. I am offering free shipping on Etsy orders on Thanksgiving weekend. The coupon code will go live on the blog on Black Friday morning. You can’t double up coupons, alas.

After the coupons go out, you won’t get any more holiday-specific emails or blather from H&O. Shop updates will be on the blog. The Earring Club signup notices do go out to the mailing list in December and I’ll be posting about them here as well. And, I will probably want to wish y’all a happy holiday at some point!

And that’s it.

Important shipping and ordering info!
1. The deadline for shipping in the Continental US is December 15th. I am not shipping after that date! Both the website and the Etsy shop will be on vacation from Dec. 16th until Dec. 26th. Both shops will re-open for orders on Dec. 26th, but we will not be shipping any product until January 5th. I need a vacation!
2. We stop taking custom and double wax seal orders on Dec. 10th, so I can meet the deadline and get you your goodies in time.
3. Gift-wrapping is always free. Just ask for it when you check out – in the convo section of your order form.
4. We ship anywhere in the US for you, if you give me the address where it is going. I’ll even write out a nice tag with whatever you want it to say!
5. You can upgrade to Priority shipping more easily this year, we’ll have an Etsy listing that you can add to your order for the extra postage.

I am not just grateful for my wonderful customers during the holidays. I am grateful to you all year round. I do not want to be like the big box stores and add to your holiday stress. Whether or not you choose to shop with H&O this season or not, please know that you are oh so appreciated by me.

And those turkeys, red maple leaves and pumpkins are staying up in my windows until December, oh yes they are! Twinkle lights are pan-seasonal, but turkeys need love too!


Kearney Park Renaissance Faire has come and gone. This was a nice site and it looked like the actors and battle re-enactors were really having a good time. The weather was quite pleasant, though it was foggy enough at night that our canvas was soaked through each morning.

We saw some familiar faces – Mr. James Fraser and Mrs. Claire Beauchamp of the Outlander saga were strolling about the village green at one point. I always enjoy the cosplay that is out at these small faires, but at every event there is one that is just a standout. These guys did a fantastic job, just fantastic.


There was a wonderful pirate ship in the middle of the green – complete with pirates! The kids were having a pretty fantastic time playing about on it.


Gate was low and our sales were disappointing, but we got some vendor leads on a few other festivals to try out next year. Time spent with family who live in the area was nice and the Captain came up for the weekend, which was also fantastic.

And then… it was Monday.


This picture pretty much sums up the Monday I had.

See, I drive a 2007 Honda Fit. It has those neato programmable car keys, the ones with the clicky buttons that unlock your door from across the parking lot. Well my fancy clicky car keys decided they were tired of mountain living and didn’t want to return to spacious Nuthouse Estates. They stowed away in the van and went to Los Angeles with Captain Sexypants this morning (at 2am), instead. This went undiscovered until Burbank, and precipitated a panicked text at around 6am, which precipitated a panicked phone call to a local roving locksmith.

Me: Hello, are you a locksmith? Can you open a car? I mean, if I lost my key, can you open my car and make a key and shut off my alarm?

Locksmith: Yes.

Me: Thank god. Help. Because my car keys are in LA and I’m not. Can you help me? I need you to unlock my car. And make me a key. A clicky key. And there’s an alarm. Did I mention the alarm? Can you make the alarm stop? Because the keys are missing. I’m stranded in Fresno and I haven’t had coffee yet. Or pancakes. Can you come soon? To the hotel? Not too soon because I want to take a shower, but like, forty minutes soon? Because my keys are in LA and I need to go to Starbucks and I want pancakes. And to then eventually go home.

Locksmith: Uh. Can you repeat that? And slow down? And, uh, stick to the salient points like what hotel and what kind of car?

Me: It’s a red car. I mean. It’s a Honda. A red Honda. It has duct tape on the bumpers.

Locksmith: ….

Me: This has never happened to me before. I don’t speak Locksmith. Please come. Save me.

Locksmith: That’ll be $265. It’s not cheap.

Me: Fine. FINE. Fine. Dude, I’ll sacrifice a goat and get you a virgin too if you can fix my car.

Locksmith: No. Just the $265.

Me: Thank god. I know this is an agricultural community but I was stumped on the goat.

Locksmith: ….

Well eventually we got things sorted and the locksmith came out and tried to make me a key. This proved to be impossible. It took him two hours and ultimately he failed to rekey my car.


We do, however, know that my car alarm totally works, because it went off for about 30 minutes nonstop while he was working. In front of a bank of hotel rooms, where nice people were trying to sleep. I guess it was harder to shut off than anticipated.

I went into my hotel room, shut the curtains and hid from the imagined pitchforks and torches.

90 minutes after that, tow trucks became involved.


This is Tony. Tony works for 1st Class Tow in Fresno, and Tony is awesome. He’s Italian and really friendly and he saved me from the FAILsmith. Call Tony if you ever break down in Fresno. 10/10, highly recommend!

The upshot of the entire day is that the Fresno Honda dealership charges $350 for one new programmable key. And they had to drive across town to another dealership, to get that key. The one key blank in all of Fresno that works in my car.


Because, fuck you, that’s why.

Thanks for that, Honda. I mean, thanks so much for having my key blank in town and for going to get it and for making my car drivable again. I’m super grateful. But really, $350? Is it made of gold? Are there tiny hobbits inside the fob? Is it run on elfin magic? Pixie dust? What is up with that?

All of this is obviously why God invented wine.

I mean, look. I was going to get pancakes on my way out of town. Lemon berry pancakes. I’d picked out the place, had Yelped the menu, was all set up for a nice leisurely breakfast, and… no. I waited for two hours until the locksmith was willing to admit defeat, then I had to walk a whole mile, uphill both ways, in the rain, in searing heat, barefoot, to Starbucks while I waited for the tow truck. Starbucks, for the record, does not provide lemon berry pancakes. Because fuck you, that’s why. You’ll drink your sugar frosted coffee bomb and like it, missy.

Our hotel was, naturally, located on the one street in Fresno without a Starbucks on every corner, and without a damn pancake in sight.

Oh and the wifi at the Honda dealership? Totally broken. Because, fuck you, that’s why.

I finally got my new key at about 4pm, which was too late for driving back home.

I am grateful for family, who not only put us up for most of the run of Faire, but then also came to my rescue with food and a place to sleep tonight, when it became apparent that I wasn’t going to get home before dark.

We’ll try again tomorrow.

Can All Hallows have come and gone? Yep. We had a fantastic time! I always love this fun local festival. The costumes, the kids, the music…


These parents were good sports and obviously understood that they are living props for their charming and adorable baby. Who is here, obviously WINNING at Halloween. If this picture is any indication, he is also winning at parents and at life. Be happy, little family. You are awesome.

The All Hallows Fantasy Festival is my favorite Sonora event.


There’s just something about this magical little fall festival.

I love the local color that comes out to play. Sonora is a pretty conservative area on the surface, but for AHF, all bets are off.


I love to see all the familiar faces, love the kids and the air of excitement that pervades the fairgrounds all weekend. It is just so unique out of all the events that I do. We had a deluge of rain and thunder on Saturday, but folks were in very good spirits. The local coffee roaster who had set up on our row was happy to meet the needs of the wet and shivering crowd, as did The Kitchen Witch with her amazing and magical teas.


We were so close to the stage area, we basically got a free show for two days! I am here to tell you that it is not possible to get too much of the Wicked Tinkers, they just get better and better. And yes, before you ask, that is a Tinker on the table. I’d make a joke about not looking up, but, well someone probably already made it.

So that was the end of October. It is hard to believe that it is November already. Where did the year go? Weren’t we just growing tomatoes and blueberries? I just sent out the first of the Autumn Earring club offerings.


Teahouse theme was “Russia”, and they got a gorgeous array of richly hued natural sapphires.


Fairy Tales theme was “The Firebird” and they got rubies, tanzanite, moonstone, carnelian and yellow garnets.

Both clubs got a sample of Harney & Son’s Russian Country tea, which is my favorite samovar blend and the “old reliable” tea that I drink most often during the autumn and winter months.
Not every month is sapphires and rubies of course, but I do try to spoil my earring club folks whenever possible. November’s themes are “Iceland” and “Snow White” – and I am thinking about ways to capture fire and ice, the aurora borealis, and ravens and snow in stone.

Autumn is my favorite time of year on the mountain. The oak, aspen and dogwoods are turning, their yellows and reds splashed against the evergreen sugar pine and cedar trees. Much to the delight of the cats, our daily average temperatures have dropped enough that we are using the wood stove every day. Team Woodstove is committed to outdoing last season’s synchronized napping record, and if the pre-season effort is anything to go by, I think they just might do it. I am also delighted by the woodstove and might have contributed to the synchronized napping effort once or twice…

Only two events left this season! I’ll be out at the Kearney Park Renaissance Faire in Fresno, CA this weekend, November 8th and 9th. Captain Sexypants will be all dressed up and hanging about, and so will my super awesome Booth Minion, Anna. If you’re in the area, you should stop by and say hello! Mention you saw my blog or Facebook post about the event and you’ll get a sweet 10% off your total purchase at the booth!

Upcoming Shows in November
Kearney Park Renaissance Faire, Fresno California
November 8th and 9th, Kearney Park

Sonora Christmas Festival, Sonora CA
November 28, 29, 30th, Motherlode Fairgrounds, Sonora

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 new tent

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.

Please, stop helping.

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.


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