May 12th, 2013


Festival, Festival

Up bright (no, not actually) dark and early yesterday, loaded truck and on the road by 06:30, and about an hour to get to Windsor. Wee bit of grumpiness early, it passed. Probably shouldn't even have grumped then, oh well. Long day, and as far as Studio 318 is concerned no sales. However, the Ranch half of the booth did exceeding well with sales of goat milk fudge and goat milk soaps.

A light steady rain for a short period came along around 15:00, and whump vendors started packing up to go home despite another two hours to the festival. We stayed put; I dropped the outer walls on the two sides with art, and moved the jewelry display under the roof. Ditto for the soaps, and we weathered things fine. I saw several other vendors who obviously do weekend festivals a lot, and come with that underlying philosophy (often stated outright on the application forms) that it's rain or shine the show goes on. You paid your booth fee, you stay.
And while the crowd thinned down some from the rain, sales continued, particularly of the fudge, up to and after the end of the show. Now, by the 17:00 time slot, probably half the vendors had left already.

So we packed up, and covered the back of the pickup with a tarp and put the corrugated board boxes with framed artwork into the Subaru. Herself arrived shortly after the rain, so between 15:30 and 16:00.Good thing, too, because on the drive home we drove into the serious rain, which the forecast said would get to us around 19:00 and it arrived maybe an hour early.

We all went to Las Aviñas in Archer for dinner, not a big decision really since we all live to one side or the other of Archer and so we all were going there anyway. Good dinner, then home, left the truck covered for the more rain through the night and did a hot tub soak and crashed. Hard. Didn't wake until nearly 07:00 this morning.


Now, the Windsor Zucchini Festival is several things. Primarily it is a fundraiser for the community of Windsor to fund their volunteer fire department; besides the vendor booth space sales, they also sell chicken dinners and lunches, all involving a zucchini dish of some sort, and zucchini bread, and there are the Cook-a-Zucch contests, and of course Miss Zucchini. For these reasons alone, being a vendor (very specifically, the fact that it helps this community fund their fire department) is on the list of Things To Do again next year. Even if, again, Studio 318 doesn't make any sales. We did last year, so there.

It is also the last even we've been doing before the Summer Hiatus. Last year we did a brief stint at Bronson's first ever Fourth of July Festival; we may set up the Ranch booth this year if there is a repeat, I won't be setting up the Studio however. There is a reason for the Summer Hiatus here, and that is the combination of heat and humidity. Given time and research and experience, there may be some summer festivals we'll try our Studio booth at. Those are very likely going to be on the coast, where sea breezes help with the heat and humidity.

Here in North Central Baja Jorja, though, it's time to settle in to a more relaxed pace. There are still things to do, and get done, and outdoors, just... slower.

It's time to get moving on a couple bigger projects here on the Ranch. The back deck of Studio 318 needs to be re-planked, and the roof enlarged. That's one of them.

It's also time to review all the lessons learned in nearly two years of setting up the Studio Pavilion at weekend (and some week-day) festivals, and tune things up. During today's drying time, I made measurements of the pavilion for revamping the support system on the Art Display Walls. The walls themselves are made from shade netting fabric, purchased at Lowe's. They're holding up well enough, showing some signs of their use, and we've thought of a couple things to improve them for the next go-around. (That is, if we don't decide we are bringing in enough funds to justify purchasing the commercially available net style display walls... though I'm leaning towards the Do It Yourself variation again.)

The two side walls get the most art anyway, as that is what is most visible when people walk by. The current method of a single schedule 40 PVC tube as the weight distribution member across the top, with the primary anchors being loop and ball bungee cords, will continue to serve. However, the nearly two years of service on the current PVC tubes show a couple small problems.

The tubes are two parts, half the length of the side, so they will break down for transport inside the Subaru. Been using the slip fit which came with the tubing; this works, but it's stiff (supposed to be when using the tubing for plumbing, its primary purpose) and as the tubes aged, one broke. So I'm going to re-do these, still half the length, only with a male/female threaded coupling at the half-way point so they will thread together. Should be easier to both put together and break down for both of us, primarily Herself.

The back wall needs a revision. We knew other artists used a partial wall on the back side of their pavilions, and now from the three bigger art festivals we did we agree. Need that 'back door' to get out that side, as the place where most the extra stock and our lounging area is. So that wall will get a frame to tension the wall onto, rather than going to the poles of the pavilion itself as it has been. The tension is necessary because that's an important part of the weight distribution in our hanging display system.

I may also look at that experiment as a means to provide our own free-standing walls if we need them. So the frame will be something heavier than the 19mm (3/4”) PVC we're using for the top bar. This piece may not break down, or not the same way, so it's going to take a bit of thought. To convert it to a free-standing wall, I plan on using the same male/female threaded coupling to attach the feet.

Along with the redesign of the back wall art display, we're also figuring a means to support the back weather wall as a shade fly when we're set up at festivals. Get some rain and overnight, things move inside the main cover and the back wall comes down as the weather wall again; most of the time, however, it can provide shade for us sitting out back as needed.

Most festivals stipulate that the booth space is it, and the artists displays need to fit within the space. A lot of them, though, provide enough space behind booths for a bit of stretch. When we need to live within the space, we'll have a full wall. When we can stretch a bit, we shall.

If I call my Festival Year starting in September after the Summer Hiatus, and counting the con art shows, we've done seven shows, and sales at five of them. Counting just from New Years, we've done five shows, and sales at three. Two of those shows we made expenses, one we also made some profit, and one we didn't make expenses even with the sale. If we figure how well the Ranch Booth half of the show did at Windsor, than we made expenses and some profit at two, expenses at three, and et cetera. Not too bad, overall.

There is still a stack of prints which need mounting and matting, however tomorrow I should be clearing the decks in Studio for a session. After that session I will re-set for matting until I get that stack done. Meanwhile, in between all this I'll continue working up the greeting card ideas. May be able to offer those as a test via the blog, if anyone is interested.

Now, it's getting on evening here. Evening Rounds are done. The Bros got a flea bath today, which they tolerated because hey, it also involved several rounds of Hose! Chase the Wet! Amazing how inexpensively one may entertain themselves with a couple of Border Collies. Also useful to use their pleasure at playing a game where they chase the water coming out of a hose to tire them out.

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