As I sit here looking at my show schedule (and anxiously wait for conformation of some of those shows), I look back at the last 15 years and how I have changed and grown. I wouldn’t be where I am, enjoying my love of creating, if it weren’t for two sets of people.
The customers: Every year I see some of the same faces come back to chat or show me how their purchases are surviving or bring a friend to introduce them to my products. I smile when I see a piece walk by that I made. I laugh when I am asked silly questions about how I make things (and sometimes grimace), but most of all, I have a sense of pride that theses people have a piece of my art. A pouch or belt may not seem like art, but we crafted it.
The staff (AKA minions): I have had people come and go over the years- some by their choice, others by mine, but I can honestly say that most have become friends and family to me. I love how we work with each other, support each other, and step up when the other is faltering. If it weren’t for my minion “family” my business would have died years ago when I had the first surgery on my hand let alone the recent neck surgery. So I smile every day knowing that they are more than just workers who show up and sell stuff. They care. They are my family.
So what’s in store for 2018? Changes. Some old, some new. Some good, some disappointing to to others. Stay tuned…
Getting ready for NJRF
We’re excited to be returning to the New Jersey Renaissance Faire for 2017. Working hard to get product done for you!
Upcoming shows for 2017
Spoutwood May Day Festival May 5-7, 2017
We’ll be in our usual spot of Frodo’s!
See all the vendors and entertainment
Brew Fest at Mt Hope May 13, 2017
The booth will be open with all kind’s of leather goodies!
There are two sessions of beer tasting, food, entertainment, and vendors!
New Jersey Renaissance Faire MAY 27, 28, AND JUNE 3, 4, 10, 11, 2017
King Arthur, Shakespeare, and Blackbeard? Only in Crossford!
Action, Music, and Comedy Across 10 Stages!
Celtic Fling at Mt Hope June 24-25, 2017 with a Friday night concert
We’ll be open for the concert!
Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire weekends Aug 5- Oct 29, 2017
Our booth is located in Swashbuckler Grove
Holiday Open House
We will be vending with Beaded Chic at the Holiday Open House at Mt Hope Estate & Winery on Dec 3-4. Come check out some unique gift items, all handmade!
How to tie a halter on
People have asked us how you to tie the halter on for the best support. We’re working on a video, but for now here are instructions.
Quick and simple to do yourself:
1. Fold the halter down using the back ties as your guide for where to fold. The neck ties should drape over the front.
2. Tie the halter around your body under your breasts (about where the bottom of you bra band normally sits). I normally tie mine in front and work it slowly around until the neck pieces are in front.
3. Bring the neck ties up and around your neck. Do not “wiggle” or adjust yourself yet. Tie the ties behind your neck.
4. Bend forward and adjust the “girls.” Do not pull on the leather itself. You may have to tighten your straps after adjusting.
Cross tie the back for more support:
Follow steps 1 and 2. You’ll need help for the rest.
3. Bring the neck ties up and around you neck, but instead of tying them…
4. Take the strap on the right side and bring it down and across the back. Feed it throughout the first loop of the bottom strap before it exits the body of the halter to tie across the body. Bring it back up, pull tight, and tie a simple slip knot. Repeat for the left strap going across to the opposite side.
5. You should have an “x” on your back.
6. See step 4 in the simple version.
Your halter will stretch to your shape. The first few times you wear it, you will have to tighten and adjust but then the leather will take your shape to memory and it will just naturally fall into place.
Old is new again
So I’ve been struggling, trying to figure out what is next for the shop. I’m not saying I’m quitting anytime soon. I’m just trying to figure out what’s my niche. What do YOU want to buy next? So this year has been a year of bringing back some old designs and rediscovering my creative side. Having the flood in NJ back in June really made me look at my stock and try to figure out a plan and direction. I’m thinking people have been pleased so far. I’m hoping so. We have several more weeks of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire left so stop by the shop and see what’s new (and old).
Lemons and life
We just completed the Norman Medieval Fair. It wasn’t our best year, but it was beautiful weather, full of laughs, and a reminder why I do what I do. I love creating. I love seeing the smiles when people try on my product or find that perfect gift for someone. I love seeing people I haven’t seen in over a year, or even longer. It’s satisfying. Coming back to PA was rough. We had a few minor glitches starting out- loose lug nuts, clogged fuel filter. Easy fixes. We spent time with Jess’ family and Avery’s trip was complete. Everything was great til we hit Ohio. The burb, the vehicle I rely on to get from show to show, began acting weird. It was dropping gears and hesitating. We were pulling a trailer and about to hit some of the mountains. I had two people relying on me to get them home. I played it safe. Stopped, checked a few things, decided to find a professional. Made it to a garage. She was blowing a lot of smoke. She was fighting pulling the trailer. Prognosis: New engine and tranny needed. We were still 4 hours from home. I had a trailer. We found a rental that they said could handle the trailer (yeah, not so much). The dealership gave me a quote. They even showed me a new truck. (Truck was nice but I could not load for a show in it if I couldn’t take my trailer) They were nice and put up with our antics that resulted from stress and being tired, including a whip demo in the middle of their parking lot and locking the keys in the rental. We made it home; took 5 hours. I was tired. I hadn’t slept for more than twenty minutes at a time. I was stressed. We couldn’t find the rental drop location. A wonderful friend started a gofundme. I was overwhelmed. I am the person who will help someone else get where they need to. I am the person who will buy dinner for a fellow crafter and his crew before a show because I know he is tight on funds. I am the person who will stay an extra hour or two to help someone else set up our tear down. I will give an entire meal’s making to a friend in need. I am not the person to ask for money from someone. I figure out how to juggle things to make out work and stress. So this is my thank you. I am grateful to my friends and those I don’t know. I am grateful to John who drove out in bad weather to bring the burb here to be worked on. Normally the money from Norman helps buy the leather for the year of shows. Now I’m scrambling to cover repairs for us to get to shows. If you visit the shop, I’ll smile when you try something on. If you buy it, I might do a little dance. I do it because I love what I do. And I’ll just keep swimming to make it all work. Next up is Spoutwood’s May Day Festival (Faerie Fest). Come say hi, and maybe get a hug of thanks for supporting us.
We’re excited for the year
We’re working hard on getting product together for Norman in less than a month. The Burb is getting some maintenance work. Leather is being cut, stripped, beveled, sewn, riveted, snapped, strapped, dyed, braided, and glued (but not all at once!). We’ve got some new designs coming ( I admit I am a Star Wars fan so there may be an influence). Some new colors. Beyond that we are working on uploading videos on how to wear a halter and, how to wear our hooded short capes/cowls. So come visit us in Norman in April. If that’s too far, we will be at Spoutwood’s Festival again this year. That’s in May. Or maybe you want to sample some beer during Brewfest at Mt. Hope. Hope to see some of you!
Things are afoot for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
We open in under 2 weeks. So what are we doing…
We’ve decided after 15 years here, and thirteen in this building, it’s time to update a few things. New product lines are coming as well as some projects that may cause me to let the minions run amuck unsupervised.
We have a new face in the booth. And by the way, that is a dungeon bait pin. She’s family and has 4 big “brothers” many of you have met plus several “uncles” on grounds. Make her feel welcome and buy something from her.
So I guess you will have to wait until a week from Saturday to see what we’ve been up to. Can’t wait!