It’s amazing how much preparation goes into a fiber festival that lasts simply a matter of days and is over in the blink of an eye. For every festival and market we sell at, there’s so much work behind the scenes that happens prior. For over a month before the Black Sheep Gathering came, Jeff was helping me set up our pop up booth in our yard on days when the weather was nice. I would then set up a button tying station out there. When it got too hot, I could move to the shade under our booth.
With the extra long stretch of rainy weather we had over the winter, we could hardly stand to be cooped up in the house on those days that were especially gorgeous since we’d been waiting for that beautiful weather for so long. Jeff and I looked for any work that we could bring outdoors to do, and Bracken was grateful every time we did and would be fully occupied catching lizards, finding caterpillars, and watching ants. (And most recently picking berries.)
As I sat barefoot in the grass, tying buttons on cards and listening to the birds one day, I felt that being outside on a day like that was truly the best work environment ever. Of course I couldn’t be out there every day because I had plenty of other tasks to do, but I looked forward to the button days when Bracken and I would spend hours in the garden together. I actually enjoy tying buttons on cards, I find it peaceful and relaxing, and when I can be outside while I do it, that is the best.
While I certainly do enjoy tying buttons on cards, there are only so many I can get done during a given period of time. Last year, when we were getting ready for our fall fiber festival, my friend and I had a button party and she helped me tie buttons on cards. It was so helpful and I was so grateful to her. This year some friends offered to help, and I invited a few other friends who love and use our buttons, and the button party grew. I set up our pop up booth at a park and all the kids ran around and played together while the ladies talked, laughed, and tied buttons. It was wonderful!
Not only did I enjoy the company of friends and simply being together, we got so much accomplished in the relatively short amount of time we had. When I was packing everything up afterwards and putting it back in our car to go home, I couldn’t believe how many button cards we had collectively done! I had organized all the buttons into families in muffin tins before I came that day (Jeff got me a bunch of muffin tins from the thrift store when he had gone to town a few days prior) and then one friend put the ties through all the buttons while the rest of us tied them on. We had a good system going.
My friends were all commenting on how fun it was to tie buttons on cards and we all agreed that it was satisfying to have something tangible to accomplish. (And we joked, as moms, that it was unlike cleaning the house which lasted for a few moments before it was a mess again. Ha!) Jeff and I offered to pay all our friends in buttons (or earrings or shawl pins…), but they all came simply to help us out, and we’ve had to insist they pick something out, so we’ve been setting them up with new earrings and buttons for their projects.
Any buttons we didn’t sell at the festival over the weekend, will help us build up our stock for the next fiber festival. The help is surely appreciated. It’s wonderful when you ask for help and the ones helping really enjoy it. I heard “Let’s do this again!” and “When’s the next button party?” quite a few times, and I felt the same way because we had such a great time. Thank you, thank you to our friends that helped us out this year, we’re so grateful to you all!
P.S. I’ve been asked about the online shop and when it will open again. I wanted to let you know it’s back open!