Saturday, September 06, 2008

It's That Time Again...

Calm down.  You weren't supposed to remember some Very Important Date In Sheepie History or anything.  I just like to think of my life as a series of memorable moments and that those things I do on a regular basis rank right up there with Christmas and Arbor Day.  

My world is small and I live smack in its epicenter...

Any-hoo...every September right around this time, Mommy Sheep and I head over to The United Maine Craftsmen Show in order that we might gaze upon the locally produced beauty and spend vast sums of money on the types of things you just can't find at the mall.  We also partake of a lovely lunch made by people that aren't us.  I don't eat out very often so it is a nice little treat.  And, this year, we made the occasion even more monumental by bringing Future SIL Sheep along for some girly-type bonding, shopping and noshing.  

Future SIL is also willing to chauffeur certain Sheep who prefer to ride rather that drive.  We love her for many reasons other than this and consider the transportation more of a bonus than anything else.  She also has a birthday coming up (Monday, I do believe).  Do feel free to go share birthday wishes should you be so inclined.

Braving the rains and talk of hurricane-type weather, we met up at the show bright and early.  The crowds were minimal given our timely arrival and the drizzly conditions.  This meant the perusing and browsing was ever so much easier than in years past or, as I said to FSIL, "This is great...usually by now I'm ready to commit three kinds of homicide!"

I don't think that the event is quite as well attended by the vendors as it has been in other years, although that might be more my own perception after visiting so many times.  However, I was still able to score one or two little whatnots and doo-dads for myself.  There was some holiday shopping done as well and we shan't include photos of those items.  The rest of the stuff is all fair game, though!  

When I posted about this event last year, I talked about my thoughts regarding the pricing of handmade items and my new mindset on that matter.  Having spent more time creating my own "works of art" in recent years, I've come to appreciate the investment of both time and resources in these sorts of things and am much more willing to pay the artist for both.  Hence, I will gladly share with you what I paid for my treasures.  Sometimes it is just better to shell out the cash to someone else to make the beauty happen.  I'm never in this lifetime going to get around to actually making these things myself.  I accept that.

First up, a little something for the kitties what got left behind today.  After dealing with the first week of school like little troupers (and not killing each other while I was gone) I thought that rewards were more than in order.  For this, I searched until my inner inklings told me I was close to a fellow Crazy Cat Lady.  I know when they are in my sphere.  I just know.  And I found a good one!  She has 27 cats.  

(Let me repeat that...27 cats)

As part of a rescue service she provides for feral cats, this lovely lady created Maine-ly Cats.  She uses the proceeds from the sales to help support the animals in her care, but I'd probably buy these sorts of things anyway.  Purchasing from a Crazy Cat Lady is just kind of a bonus...

I don't have individual prices, but I picked up three things at that booth for a total of $22.00.  Perhaps more than I'd have liked to shell out, but I consider the chance to chat with someone who has 27 cats to be worth the money.  

(Disclaimer:  The CCL in question is a freelancer who works with, but not for, local animal welfare agencies.  Hence, I cannot fully vouch for her animal rescue efforts.  But she really did seem like a good sort of person...)

She sells catnip toys:

Which are very hard to photograph because they are in use much of the time

Some are even sports themed!

Best of all, though, she sells these amazing Cat Nappers!  They have a nice little pocket where you can put some catnip and she even includes some very handy little handmade teabags filled with the organic nip so you can make kitty happy right away.

Ballerina Kitties...The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty is very much in touch with his feminine side.  It's OK.  

Next up, a little something for  The Kitty Mommy!  I discovered Botanical Soaps Of Maine last Christmas when I was gifted with some of their product by FSIL.  I've been meaning to order from them ever since, but now I don't need to.  And their products were mix 'n match, three for ten dollars!  A bargain, I tellya!

I'd have paid that just for the Foot Creme...

There was one little booth sort of tucked off to the side that seemed to be attracting a great deal of attention.  I normally avoid those since I have little in the way of spatial awareness and could easily knock down huge displays while trying to avoid being stepped on by eager shoppers.  But I gave it a shot.  And there I discovered that I am putty in the hands of handsome, engaging young craftsman who will laugh at my jokes.  I pretty much lose all sense of perspective in these kinds of situations.  I think it's really all about them laughing at my jokes if you want the truth...

I dropped more money at Dust Of The Earth Pottery (no website) than anywhere else, I fear.

Grater: $12.00, Batter Bowl (whisk included): $25.00, Sponge Holder: $10.00

The grater was an afterthought.  I had to have the guy re-total everything.  But that is his own fault for having one out for demonstration purposes as far as I'm concerned.  I also had to promise that I would start grating my own fresh ginger immediately.  I don't really ever use ginger, fresh, grated or otherwise.  But I am easily influenced by demonstrations...

For those of you who wander over here ever hopeful that there will, one day, be actual knitting content again, I've saved the best for last!  In one little corner booth, I stumbled upon a fellow spinner!  This was none other than the home of Hilltop Handspun!  The vendor was a lovely woman and was selling some of her own handspun along with a few of her knitting kits and other knitterly sorts of things.  We spoke briefly and she then let me browse a bit.  As I was thumbing through one of the books she had on display, she very quietly and almost shyly said, "I have a pattern in that book..."  

Well, what else could I do?  She seemed to feel that it was important that I know the book was of an older vintage, but that means little to me.  Were I to be the one published in a knitting book, I'd probably have that fact carved on my tombstone, for crying out loud!  Besides, some books are timeless and this be one of them.

The yarn just jumped into the bag with it.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

This is some of her hand dyed, commercial yarn rather than handspun, but I love it anyway.  Alpaca speaks to me sometimes.  Especially when it is pink.  The book was $12.00 (less than the cover price) and the yarn came to $25.00.

All in all, a very lovely day spent in equally lovely company.  I was home in plenty of time to squeeze in the afternoon nap and admire my new purchases.  The kitties forgave my having left them behind and are now sleeping off their respective catnip capers.  The skies are dark and the rains have begun to fall in earnest so I guess I am in for the evening.

If I top the whole thing off with a nice, big bowl of ice cream, I do believe I will have achieved perfection!



Anonymous said...

Can you share which of the patterns was hers?

Karen said...

You bought wonderful stuff and if you ask me the prices were all a bargain. I am particularly taken with the batter bowl. It is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

A batter bowl is probably the one single thing you needed to make your life complete. It will go with the (Disney?) waffle baker. The included whisk is the frosting on the waffle.

Kris said...

Looks like you got some good deals. I have to say that Homespun Handknit was my very first knitting book. Puchased by my mom for me along with The Sweater Workshop. Both are fantastic books!

Mia said...

Oh what a great day! I love that pottery!!

Now if only someone could tell me how to convince my little kitty that she's SUPPOSED to LIKE catnip toys, I'd be all set. :::sigh:::

Leigh said...

Annie, I've nominated you for a blog award. Please drop by mine when you have a chance to pick it up.

Jeanne said...

Twenty...SEVEN?!? Goodness.

I love Homespun Handknit. Good choice. Glad you had a great day!

trek said...

I LOVE the batter bowl.

We like hand thrown pottery around here, too.

crzjane said...

Oh my, you were busy. The kitties look like they enjoyed their gifts. The pottery looks nice. Lucky you, finding the yarn lady.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm not as crazy as I thought since I only have 8 kitties!

Looks like you got some great buys.

Carrie K said...

Sounds like a great day! I've got that knitting book! I tell people that, imagine what I'd do if I had a published pattern in it.