Yea, take that title.
But seriously, I didn't know how to title this one so it kind of became word salad.
So on to the main course. (Did you see what I did there?) Quite a few years ago I was on a podcast that Debi Rodriguez of Michigan Spinning that
she recorded during one of the first fiber festivals that I vended. We won't talk about how terrible my booth was/looked but should you be curious, Debi also captured photographic evidence on her old blog that you can find here. I met a lot of
incredible people at the show (Debi included,) who have really had a big impact on my
life. I have been thinking a lot about how much that humble show did for
me and the path I have been on since then.
My friends Rick and Laura of Queso Cabeza Farm
used to organize these really great little fiber shows. The summer one
took place at a little place called Sidetrack Ice Cream in Marshall, MI.
Between 15 and 20 vendors (I may even be over estimating this!) used to
line up right next to the ice cream shop which, aptly named, was
flanked by the railroad tracks. It was the first outside "fiber show" I
ever went to and even with it's small size, I was a bit overwhelmed. I
went on to participate in the show and their Fall one (we'll get to that
in a minute) until it just became too much for them to run. It is a
small wonder they found the time to begin with, but Rick and Laura seem
to always find time to go out of their way and be kind. Like just last weekend, they had a break from showing their sheep in Wisconsin and not only came to visit me in my booth, but ran and grabbed me a coffee since I couldn't get away. Super sweet. Also, how they always come and see me when I have a booth at Kalamazoo on the Mall. They are awesome.
Anyhow, these little shows really gave me a place to experiment and grow, and figure out my displays, and that I needed a better festival tent, and that people did actually want to buy my work. It was at the Fall show that I met Kate of Omaspatch and Lynn from Smudged Textiles. They were both participating in a quilt art show that was going on in conjunction with the festival. Kate makes these really great artful stuffies and Lynn does all things fiber and they are both pretty incredible. They also were some of the first people to purchase my jewelry. I have since purchased items from both of them and Joe and I shared beers and scrumptious food with Kate and her husband at Jolly Pumpkin a shared Ann Arbor favorite of ours. I really admire both of their work and adore the fact that we have shared friends and acquaintances all across the state (and country for that matter) that have happened completely independently of our meeting and friendships. The internet is an incredible thing, but fiber and art seem to transcend even that.
I also met a close friend and collaborator at the summer show and then we vended at the fall one in question together. My dear friend Dani of Pumpkinhaus and her husband Joe are two of my favorite people. After that first damp, cold day at Cornwell's, my husband and I took them for a warm meal out at the Walldorff Brewpub in Hastings. Beer and Octoberfest fare? Can't go wrong there. Plus it seems that wool loving people also love beer. :D Dani and I collaborate and often share booths (and beers!) and might never have actually met if it hadn't been for her recognizing my business name from etsy when she wandered into my booth. Etsy has gotten so vast now, I'm not sure that is very possible anymore!
So what am I saying with all of this? Well. That I'm finally starting a podcast, so I can really dig into some heartfelt conversations with all of these amazing people who have helped shaped my path as an artist and really a person. Why? Because I think that people need to know they are appreciated, that they can make a difference, and that as artists, no matter what kind, that we are not alone in this lonely occupation. So please, check out my other blog that will be the companion to the podcast and look for the podcast, because it will be coming quite soon. It's called Bricolage Art Talk and you can find it HERE.
Also, thank you for reading this far if you have. I hope the Fiona Apple-esque length of the title would warn you enough while also getting you interested. Either you really love me, or something work.