Phew. We’ve been really busy around here. I’m taking a break from the activity to visit this space before I get back to it. Our focus this week has been preparing for the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon. We went to it for the first time a few years back and I wrote about it in this post. I’m a fiber fanatic so having a celebration of fiber is just the place for me. Jeff loved it too. We decided to apply to sell there this year. We weren’t sure if we would get in (since what you sell is supposed to be about fiber), but hoped that buttons and shawl pins would be fiber-related enough. Much to our delight, we got in! It was a stretch for us to be able to pay to do the show and so we’re really hoping it will be a good one for us. Though we have been working really hard this week to get ready, we’ve been preparing for it for far longer, building up our stock over time. Jeff just finished sanding the last buttons for the show, on Friday last week. When we got back from market on Saturday, he oiled them. Then polished them. Then I marked the buttonholes and he drilled them. There’s been marathons of tying buttons on cards around here. I’ve also been making lots of new fabric buttons and have many more I want to finish in time. We set up our booth in our front yard the other day and have been working on the display ever since. It’s different than our usual display for Saturday Market because we’re mainly focusing on buttons and shawl pins. Jeff built some wooden display pieces and came up with some ideas for how we could have our button cards covering the walls. He didn’t want the buttons to just be in containers where people flip through them, he wanted them to be all over the place so every person who walks by our booth will know just what we have. Jeff also finished many shawl pins and wondered how we were going to display them all. Suddenly I had an idea: what about burlap? We have some burlap fabric from an old coffee bag. Then I said to Jeff, “if we had a giant wooden embroidery hoop to put the fabric in that would be perfect.” Then Jeff got a look on his face and said he thought he did have one. When I saw him again he had a huge smile on his face and was holding the most perfect embroidery hoop for the project. I had to laugh because there have been countless times when we’ve wanted something and Jeff has emerged with it. Of course sometimes I’ve
nagged mentioned that he has way too much stuff and it stresses me out (I like to be in a simple environment and keep stuff to a minimum, too much stuff stresses me out), but there have been many, many times that we’ve been very grateful for things he has saved. To his credit, he never keeps something unless he feels it will be useful for something someday. And admittedly, sometimes I’ve suggested getting rid of something, but he had a strong feeling it would be good to hold on to and we ended up using it.
As we were tying buttons on cards, I looked at all the “blooper” buttons that I’ve been setting aside for years. They were really starting to pile up. I had a fun idea to put them in a container and put them on sale. Jeff liked the idea too. With many the buttonholes were off center or there was a small crack in the edge, or whatever other reason I set them aside. We’ll be selling them for one dollar each and there’s a few in there we’ll even sell for fifty cents. I thought many of our local button lovers would have fun looking through there for deals.
Oh yeah, and I just remembered: no YarnAlong post today. I’ll plan on joining again next week. I might not be in this space as much as usual for the next few days. (Tomorrow we go to set up our booth structure.) The Black Sheep Gathering will be held this weekend, the 20th, 21st, and 22nd. The marketplace will be open Friday (9 to 6), Saturday (9 to 5:30), and Sunday (9 to 4) at the Lane County Fairgrounds. You can find us in booth 99, outside near the front entrance. It’s a big place, so having a booth outside should make it easier for you to find us. (Here’s a map, just in case.) We’re really excited to go and see all the offerings there (and Bracken is excited to see all the animals.) We’re also excited to be selling our handmade items somewhere we never have before and to have the opportunity to connect with new customers. Jeff even made us a new business card for the occasion. And I’m finishing up two handknit cowls. Are you going to the Black Sheep Gathering this year? If so, we’d love to see you there!