Sunday, 25 October 2009

Lazy blogger!

Hello! It's been a while! After lots of work and a hectic month of August I put behind me my experiences of large craft events and all the preparations leading up to them and allowed myself to slow down a bit - to have some free time to do - nothing very much really! Great! But where on earth did the month of August go? What happened to Summer? Suddenly we are nearing the end of October and three months have passed!!

We had fantastic weather in June and life couldn't have been better. The garden was looking good, the flowers were in full bloom, the fruit bushes and the apple tree were doing their thing and all was well. Then I got busy preparing for the upcoming events. Mid-July arrived, followed by August and all I can remember is dreich, drab and dreary weather on almost a daily basis. The lovely flowers in the garden that had been so healthy and vibrant became sopping wet, bedraggled and good for nothing! The blackcurrants and raspberries were left for the birds. The apples grew in abundance and presumably were very juicy as they hung very low on the tree ready to drop - and still it rained. So there was no incentive to get into the garden for the autumn clear up. Most of the apples are still hanging on the now leafless tree - I had no time to pick and make with them - so they are now an autumn feast for the birds!

After much hard work, many late nights and early rises and virtually no social life over weeks and months I attended two of the biggest craft events for me so far. First, the Ayr Flower Show and just a week later Edinburgh's West End Art, Craft and Design Fair. Although really tiring both were very rewarding experiences for me. I had finally put myself out there, to my biggest audience thus far, over three days, then seven days, and I coped - yeh! Lots of people bought lots of things and I was really heartened by the comments and kind words of encouragement that came my way. Many people asked if I would be attending the Country Living Christmas Fair in Glasgow this year and where I would previously have shrieked at the very idea, the comments gave me food for thought. Certainly not this year, probably not even next year, but if I work really hard perhaps it is not beyond the realms of possibility that maybe one day.... Who knows? But let's not get too carried away! I was on a high after the events and not really thinking straight!

West End Craft Fair, Edinburgh

Before this event, I was very nervous about attending Edinburgh's West End Craft & Design Fair. However, having had the experience of the Ayr Flower Show the weekend before, put me at my ease, as I had coped well there and people seemed to like my wares. In addition, and fortunately for me Suzanne had been at the WECF during the first week of the Fair and her advice was invaluable in preparing me for what was to come - thanks Suzanne! I set up on Sunday evening and was definitely excited about the coming week. The location couldn't have been better. There was I in the centre of Edinburgh! On Princes Street in Edinburgh! With Edinburgh Castle as our backdrop! I was thrilled! I travelled each day from Glasgow and although tiring it didn't trouble me one bit.

Edinburgh is a terrific city - and there was I selling my wares in the heart of it! It felt pretty unbelievable really. On leaving Waverly train station, as you rise to street level you are greeted by a vibrant, beautiful and interesting city. The architecture, the Castle, the gardens, the monuments......... and in August, the Festival! Virtually every day it rained at some point, if not most of the day, but each day I would walk with pleasure through Princes Street Gardens to and from the train station, taking photographs; enjoying the flowers, particularly the thistles; the people; the busy-ness; the street theatre; pretty much everything really! So much going on but not a great deal of time to experience it. I was located in the Marquee, on The Terrace, which was the area where you could set up your wares and leave them each night as the place was under lock and key and was made secure. The only way I could have done it really given my daily commute. Each day it was like arriving at my own little shop. We didn't open the doors until 11.00 am so it was an easy start to the day. It is difficult to know how many visitors came - on a couple of days there weren't that many, but I decided to reserve my judgement until the end of the week rather than on a day by day basis which, as it turned out, was the best way to look at it. Some days were pretty quite but on the Saturday it was extremely busy and more than made up for the quite times. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I felt that my products were well received and any inferiority complex I had given myself prior to the event by the end of my week was washed away.

The West End Craft Fair is great event and the people of Edinburgh are so lucky to have it on their doorstep on an annual basis. The standard of craft and design is very high and the setting is hard to beat. There must have been around 70 stallholders so lots of interest for everyone.

Before heading for home, finally, and after years of promising myself to do so, I climbed all 287 of the stairs to the top of the Sir Walter Scott monument on Princes Street and took in some of the sights over Edinburgh. I will post some pics next time.