Thursday, March 15, 2018

In All Honesty

Hi my friends!

As promised, I'm back here on the 15th to "Hop" in and say hi!

So last month, a long time dream of mine came true! I have been attending the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival for 27 years. I have always wanted to be an instructor at this show and I finally did it! Here is my Wonderland Woods quilt.

What an honor it was and what a fun time my students and I had in class! It was so thrilling to be on stage as an instructor at the "Show and Tell." I remember dreaming of a moment like that back in the 90's. Gosh how time has flown by.

One of the stipulations, as a teacher at this show, is that you also have to be a vendor. Here is my booth. I'm incredibly grateful to my dear friends, Babs Fullerton and Molly Bigelow for helping me set it up and for taking care of it while I was teaching class.

One of my customers from last year, Kim Dillon-Cailles, stopped by to show me how she used decorator fabrics to make my "Peter's Pumpkin" design. She had velvet and embroidered pieces in it! Don't you just love how it turned out? I was so happy she stopped by to show me!

I had lots of bundles of linen in my booth.

I also brought lots of Valdani size 12 perle cotton for use in my class and to sell in my booth.

I'm super happy I accomplished yet another goal by being a teacher here, but I also came to a realization about something. You see, in all honesty... I don't enjoy vending at all. It is sooooooooooo much work to pack all that stuff up, drive it five hours, set it all up, sit in a booth for nine hours a day, pack it all back up, drive it five hours back home and unpack it all over again!! 

Not only that, but people steal. Yes, little old-lady quilters STEAL and not because they are poor! I had bunny scissors stolen and a kit stolen this year. Last year I had loads of embroidery needles stolen. Of course, there are also the "IDEA STEALERS." These are the ladies who don't purchase anything from anyone. They simply walk around the show and go booth to booth taking photos of everything so they can go home and copy it. They obviously have absolutely NO creativity or talent of their own. I think they are rather stupid though as this is the digital age and everything is on Pinterest. Since they are obviously not going to spend any money at the show, they could save themselves the $15 entrance fee and just steal the ideas from the internet. Thus, sparing all of us who paid $1200 for their booth, hotel fees for 4 nights, meals for 5 days and two tanks of gas, the agony of self restraint as we refrain from cussing them out. 

Yes... I can turn from a sweet little bunny into a Jackalope over this matter. Can you tell? hee,hee,hee. 

It is because of this that I will not apply to teach at this show again. In fact, I have one more small show for a guild to vend at the end of the month and then my days of vending are over. In all honesty, it's just too much work for sooooooo very little money and I hate it. 

I would much rather spend my time inspiring my students. Teaching and having a fun "Play Date" with them makes me super HAPPY!

These little "Bunny Bundles" of rick rack are for my classes. My students get to play with these, wool felt, Valdani and lots of other fun embellishments.

My students are special to me and I like to make them little goodies. Here are some needle keepers I make for them with my bunny logo.

My "Beekeeper" pincushion class is still everyone's favorite. They enjoy creating their own flowers in their own personal style.

I offer five flower choices in my classes. These flowers are exclusive to MY students. Here are a few samples I made from pieces I demoed on in classes. Hop on over to my website HERE if you belong to a group that would like a Play Date with the crazy bunny lady. I'm booking dates for 2019.

When I got home from Mid Atlantic, Spring had arrived in my neighborhood.

I absolutely LOVE the pink and grey combination. Mother nature is truly amazing.

Such simple gifts we are given to enjoy. I try every day to notice the simple beauty in the world. It helps me to stay focused on happier things.

Magical isn't it?

I was also blown away by this magical view from my living room window. My pear tree was in full bloom. I love the white blossoms through the window and how it looked framed out by my linen curtains. This interior decorator did a "Happy Bunny Dance." ;)

Sunday, I had a visit from my dear friend Sallieann from England. She and her husband, Mike, are in the states for a few weeks. How incredibly lucky am I to have friends who will cross an ocean to visit with me. :)  Of course, now I must do the same. I'm saving my pennies to take a trip there one day.

Sallie brought me this GORGEOUS bunny scarf from a gift shop at Price Charles' home! How cool is that! I love the bag it came in as well!

I also received another early birthday gift from my dear friend, Jade, which came at a perfect time since Winter returned! Gosh is it cold!!! Jade crocheted this GORGEOUS afghan for me from the softest alpaca yarn. It has a fringe technique around the edge called "Rabbit Ears!" It's sooooooooooo snuggly and perfect for my TV watching chair.

Speaking of snuggly..... Sabrina loves the new bench I put under the window in my studio. She lays here like the lazy cat she is. Although I have purchased cat beds for her, she only likes laying on beach towels! LOL! She also likes to put her head on the windowsill and stare out at the world. She cracks me up how her legs are hanging over the edge. Silly putty tat!

Well my friends, that is all for now. I'll be back here on the first of the month for Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit.

Until then, Hannah sends you bunny kisses.

Light, Love and Hugs,


Karen said...

Lovely to see all your beautiful photo's. So pleased you made your goal to be an instructor! Nope, sure didn't know those old lady quiter's stole! Yikes! Horrid! Stay away from them and just enjoy your wonderful creative students! Love to Hannah xxx

Vroomans' Quilts said...

So happy you reached one of your goals. I agree with you that vending is just not worth the time, energy, theft (items and ideas), and costs of booths have sky rocketed. Sit me in a room with a bunch of smiling, laughing, creative people any day.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Congratulations on achieving your dream of being an instructor! Your booth looks beautiful, how sad that people steal from it. Lovely photos of the blossoms and Sabrina looks adorable

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

BANANA KISSES! Mmmmmm....sweet as can be! Oh Shell, good morning! HOw I agree with you about shows. We've talked about this....good for you that you know who you are, what you want and that you have the courage to move on. Don't you look comfy in the cottage, with spring coming up all around you!!!! Hugs hugs hugs to you.

Fee said...

Oh Hun, I know exactly what you mean about vending. I did that about 5 years ago, 3 big shows in a row and I came to all the same conclusions as you. Rest up and do what you love xx. Hugs,my fee X

Vesuviusmama said...

Very cool, and unexpected, to see a friend of mine (Kim) in one of your photos! I agree that vending isn't the most fun or the best use of your time. Do what you love!


Love all those spring photos-especially the one from inside your home--how beautiful that one is!!!need to print that one and frame it!!
and I took know about those 'ladies' who steal ideas from you--when I had my craft shop--they would come in in pairs and one would try to distract me while another one would take pen and paper and draw out my designs (this was before the cell phone/ camera phase we are now into!! and I did craft shows for a few years after closing my store so again I know about the packing, setting up, unpacking--and the stealing!! And other vendors who would tell customers about how they made such and such--( but I knew exactly what catalog they ordered the items from!!! I also enjoyed the teaching the most--
so I am so happy for you that you figured it out and am now on your own path!!
and I love Sabrina on that bench==how sweet is that--and to have a friend from out the country come to visit--lucky gal!!
enjoy, di

Janet said...

Great post and I absolutely understand about vending. I did so, with my own designs for a number of years and finally called it quits two years ago. I found the "craft community" had changed and I decided it was a good time to retire. Now I'm free to make baby quilts for the hospital NICU, donate one of a kind items for fund raisers, and gifts for family and friends ( I made a Minecraft quilt for my youngest grandson last year). I not only had people steal ideas and reprint my patterns to sell as their own, but actually had people buy my products and resell them the next year in their booth as their own...sheesh 😊

Jeanette said...

I'm so glad your dream came true for you. It's so sad when people see the need to steal. Beautiful flower photo's. I love when spring comes around &everything bursts into bloom. Hello Sabrina & Hannah. Hugs,xx

Rabbits' Guy said...

You have time to watch TV?

Spring is just beginning to peek in here ..

Laura Bullinger said...

Congratulations Michelle! Glad that you have achieved a dream of yours! Love all those "Spring has Arrived" pics that you've posted! We're all ready for that!
As for the downside issues of vending, you're better off doing what you love, which is teaching; really, which is why you set up as a vendor to begin with right? Sell during class time, you will probably come out ahead in the long run.
Wishing you much success with this dedicated commitment, and all the best! Warm Hugs to you!!

Createology said...

Hello Sweet Shell. I am so sorry you have now experienced the “ugly” side of humans who feel it is okay to steal...ideas and/or product. You are very smart to realize the intense amount of labor and the lack of reward involved in being a vendor. Your friends who helped are true treasures. Keep focused and stay true to what you enjoy...teaching and sharing your bubbly self with students who are excited to learn and experience your amazing Folk Art Fusion techniques. Love to Sabrina and Hannah. <3

JudyCinNC said...

Dreams are our greatest treasures and gathering them all around you as each one becomes true is the warmth and depth of love of your heart. We llive our lives in order to understand our truth and, unfortunately, this is sometimes painfulI. You go gather your pixie dust ... And be the best - you - ever.

Beyond my comprehension why MEAN SPIRITED people must be among us and I do not deal well with them at all.

Shell, I am so thankful for the gift of you in my life. You have enriched my life and all the people you come in contact with daily. Once we all sort out what we do not like in our lives, we will excell in what we do. You have the gifts of a beautiful smile, a tender spirit, the ability to love truthfully and the fascination of inspiration. Carry on with "Light, love and pixie dust" JC

heartsease54 said...

I know exactly what you mean about vending. When I was teaching and vending at the CATS shows, they let the teachers ship with the show from venue to venue, which REALLY helped us out (we did have to pay a small fee). After the first year, I teamed up with another teacher and we shared a booth, that was a great help and we remain great friends to this day. We also shared hotel rooms. That being said, I'm glad I'm not still doing it. Loved teaching but now am getting to the age where I'm not as agile as I once was so can look back and remember all of the great times without having to put out any effort anymore. And yes, people steal, sometimes those that you would not expect it from.

Elizabeth P said...

Hi Michelle, it's lovely to see all your beautiful creations. I hear you on the vendor/show thing! Several years ago I went out to Colorado to do five shows in two weeks with a lady I had met online. OMGosh! I have never been so exhausted when it was all finished. I had done it to learn the techniques behind selling at shows thinking it was something I wanted to do... ha! Not so much! I am still planning on doing some small local craft shows but the bigger shows are going to be left to those not so feint of heart! lol! I think teaching is a much more gratifying process and expect you fit right in to that world! I wish I lived closer to you, I would certainly be taking classes with you! Isn't it interesting how we evolve over the years?! Well, see you on the first!
Hugs to you, Sabrina and Hannah from still way too snowy New Hampshire...

Erica said...

I am so happy for you achieving and checking your goals off. I should imagine that play dates are loads of fun. Wish you could come and give one here in France! Xxxxx

Susie Q said...

I am so glad you had a lovely time teaching but awful that you will not be vending any more but I do know what you mean. In a very small way I had a stall at our village Carnival for one day and no body bought anything except our friends. which was very kind of them but not really what it was about. I am sure it will be much more appreciated for you to take things to your classes. I cannot believe that people steal but sad to say that there is that element where ever!!!

Love the pictures of Spring and you are doing better than we are, our daffodils have only just appeared with no sign of blooming any day soon.

Have a lovely Easter

Susie x

Alice said...

I love all of your photos. I know it must really be a lot of work to get ready for a show. I missed your class this year, but I did drop by and buy lots of goodies. More projects. Hope I can make mine look as nice as yours. I do hope the good parts of the show outweighed the bad and that you will be back next year!