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We have said goodbye to spacious Nuthouse Estates and moved into even more spacious Green Acres. It’s a great little duplex and we kind of love everything about it. Needless to say, it’s been kind of a busy month.

I’m still living in boxes, mostly, but I’ve got the living room unpacked. I am happy to have my friendly art and my books around me.

Also, high speed internet has been hooked up, which does not suck one little bit. Oh Netflix, I am so happy to have you again. Look at all the series I’ve missed!

Green Acres has a fireplace!

We can’t seem to escape that 60’s era wood paneling! Fortunately it’s just one short wall.

 

 

 

Back to the sofa and my ice packs… if I don’t emerge from this pile of boxes in a few weeks, send Mounties! Lots and lots of Mounties!

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.

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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.

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This picture pretty much sums up the Monday I had.

See, I drive a 2007 Honda with one of 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.

Locksmiths might have happened. Tow trucks became involved.

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This is Tony.  He’s Italian and really friendly and he saved me. Call Tony if you ever break down in Fresno. 10/10, highly recommend!

The upshot of Monday is that the Fresno Honda dealership charges $350 for one new programmable key.

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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?

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

All of this is obviously why God invented wine.

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…

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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.

 

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

 

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.

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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.

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

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

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…

The Folsom Renaissance Faire was a blast. 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.

The new tent

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, do not fall to the ground and sob hysterically. That’s what G-d made spring clamps for.

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.

Not bad for $200 and a little elbow grease!

 

It’s been a busy few weeks and the next few will be busy too. It has all come down to one crazy push before we end our 2014 show season with the Sonora Christmas Festival in November. Applications for 2015 are already going out, if you can believe it. The wheel, it keeps on spinning…

We had SUCH a nice time at the KMVR Celtic Festival.

The weather was, alas, not so congenial all the time. It thundered, roared and rained like mad. Our booth held up pretty well overall. I was pretty amazed at the hardy Northern California festival-goers – they were total troopers and came out in droves.

On Saturday night, we ate organic crepes, drank hot sweet spice tea, and danced in the rain to the lively tunes of the Screaming Orphans. Joy was rather overflowing at times.

Also (and it is entirely possible that it was not an “also” but rather, the first thing I noticed when we arrived) there was a pie truck.

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I might have eaten six warm, freshly baked, hand pies.

Blackberry.

Actually, let’s just be real, I totally ate all those warm and fresh blackberry hand pies over the course of the festival weekend.

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It takes a lot of pie to keep smiles like this intact.

We had the best time ever!

Such a difference from when we were sitting in our booth at Crafted, waiting for crowds of shoppers who never came (though I hear that it’s a little more lively there now and that the market is really picking up steam, which is great news). A former co-vendor once said how glad she was that she had a “home” because it meant that she never had to go do an outside show again. I am genuinely glad that it has all worked out for her. Just because that particular model didn’t work out for my business doesn’t mean it isn’t a great model for hers. The model that resulted in stagnation for me was, perhaps, exactly what she needed to bloom.

I guess that’s one of the great things about small, creative businesses. It isn’t a one size fits all thing. We all have a niche, somewhere!

Well. Except, perhaps, the cat. The cat spent most of the trip in her carrier, complaining loudly. She kept it up for the entire trip to Portland.

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The cat was more like, “Yo this really sucks. This cage is small. Do I get complimentary peanuts? A soda? Anything? Are we there yet? When are we gonna get there? Guys? Did I mention THIS SUCKS?”

For like, 800 miles.

She isn’t complaining here in this shot because we put the carrier on the picnic table at the Dunsmuir rest stop and she was enjoying the fresh mountain air. We were enjoying the fresh mountain air and lack of complaining.

We risked the Vortex of Awful that is Medford, and got a motel for the night just to give everyone a break from the incessant feline yodeling. Honey didn’t mind the motel. That’s probably because she got to enjoy laptop time and free wi-fi. We did mind the motel, but that’s a story for another time and possibly a one star Yelp review. The bears were thrilled that we took them to their favorite diner chain for dinner.

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Sadly, the diner was caught in the Medford Vortex of Awful and thus became fodder for another one star Yelp review. The bears said that they didn’t mind the sand in the Captain’s salad one bit (they are, after all, bears) and they think we’re just picky. We’ve decided to skip Medford entirely next time and try our luck in Grant’s Pass instead.

 

And then… Portland. Which is a Vortex of Awesome. We had a really good time in Portland doing not much of anything at all. There was a trip to Powell’s Books, but then, there always is. You can’t go to Portland and not visit Powell’s. The bears were gratified that we made it in time for storytelling.

storytime!

The cat settled in beautifully. She was thrilled to be in Portland, obviously.

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There was epic coffee. Because, did I mention, Portland? Portland has spoiled me for coffee forever. I may not be able to survive on the swill they serve in California or really, anywhere that is Not Portland.

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And then it was a leisurely drive down the coast of Oregon to Eureka. August tends to be foggy and cold in Eureka. We didn’t do much there either except hang with my dad, take epic naps, and go out for a hot tub one afternoon. There was talk of the beach, but then naps wound up being the more popular option.
The best part about Eureka – aside from my dad and being home for a minute – was finding gluten free chocolate mud pie – also dairy, egg and nut free. I might have eaten the entire thing, sans the few slices I (grudgingly) shared.

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This pie was not from Portland. They didn’t sell this pie in Portland, which is baffling. I’m sure this is an oversight that Portland will rectify before my next visit. They do, however, have a website for this pie. If you are eating gluten free, you really should take a look.

Then, alas, it was back to reality, back to life, and back to the mountain.

Looks like my nest is about to be empty again, just in time for stacking the firewood delivery, and chopping kindling and eventual snow shoveling.

Well played, young adults. Well played.

Ongoing update, this week!

It is all about the glass this week, here at Honey&Ollie. Glass, art beads and artisan elements!

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Across the Rubicon: reminiscent of ancient silk roads – Celtic patterned bronze, sari silk, ancient Roman glass, art glass and Chinese turquoise.

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Starry Skies Over Palatine Hill: ancient Roman glass, Scorched Earth ceramic components and vintage sari silk

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Through Painted Deserts: bronze, Sleeping Beauty turquoise and poppy jasper

Roman and art glass up today… sea glass tomorrow!

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