winding down and cooling off

Hi Everyone!  Finally, I have finished everything for my next show. Actually, I finished awhile ago, got more orders, finished again, got more orders, and at last finished AGAIN. I really don’t like special orders, but hate saying no to anyone. We always tell customers to give us two weeks if they want to order because things need to dry—and that can take up to three days–, but we always get the emails a few days before a show!  This time I finished early so there was no problem.


There is always so much to get ready for a show—product, the display, and many many items must be checked to make sure you have them or enough of them. We actually carry a box(our junk box) that holds odds and ends. We need:  zip strips, masking tape, pens, first aid kit, paper towels, record book, bungees (several sizes ), price stickers, C clamps, hooks, gripper clamps, charge card signs, charge slips, scrap wood, batteries, adding machine tape, etc.  Then, there is the display….tent, poles for sun shade, lattice, doors (walls ),cash register,cover cloths, tarps, wood planks, pins, stakes, trucker strap etc. Of course then the snacks, paper plates, plastic utensils, hand sanitizer,and on and on!! I’m sure I missed listing dozens of needfuls!!   That’s not even considering organizing product—as the shows get bigger, we need to adjust how many of what pieces we need to take to sell—of course it depends on the season also.  Our next show is a biggie—we’ll take two van loads of product—so if I took 6 of a particular piece before, I’ll take 20 to this one. Some pieces will be increased from 12 to 40. We keep meticulous records of what we sell at each show so we can look back and get an idea what was a good seller last year—and what didn’t sell well. Each show is very different and what sells well at this show may not at the next. We constantly juggle what we take to each show.  Hotel reservations must be made, clothes readied and packed, the record book must be written up ,and Ethel (our GPS ) must be programmed as well as printing out driving directions from the internet. By the time we leave, my head is swimming!!  But, this time I am ready early! How’d THAT happen!?!  We’ll be in good shape—as long as Al doesn’t forget the cell phone again!!  He needs that to authorize the charge sales. This is a fun show to do because many friends also do the show and we all stay at the same hotel. We usually end each day by going out to dinner together.  Now, I can prove I’ve been busy!!……….



All these signs are about half of what I got finished—at last count I did a little over 200 !!  I don’t do much cute country, but I do like to have some for variety—thus the santas…


Of course I did a bunch of folk art too, but didn’t get a pic of them yet—this is what I worked on today—they will be ready for the show in August……chairs…..


Hopefully the weather will be cooler for this show—my heart aches for those caught up in the fires, floods, and terrible heat. I am lucky that I can work in the cool house—I do not tolerate heat well. This show is notoriously blazing hot—so far it looks like it may be cooler than normal!

Thank you so much for visiting—I appreciate each and every one of you and enjoy every comment!  I’ll be back to show you pics of this wonderful show, so take care and stay cool!!——-Jan


16 comments on “winding down and cooling off

  1. marly says:

    It all sounds like fun and the shoppers certainly enjoy it, but we don’t see or realize the amount of time and work that is involved. Hope you have great weather and a safe trip!

    • Thanks so much Marly–it is a lot of work, but is very satisfying when the customers appreciate your work. I started my blog to show everyone what really is involved when you do shows as a living. Thanks so much for visiting!–Jan

  2. Sheila says:

    Happy Sunday Jan!
    Wow, what a pile of goodies you have there. I’d love to be close to hit this show as it should be a great one. Hope the weather is good and brings out lots of folks.
    Been hot here, but it does cool off nicely in the evening. Boys just went home after being with us for a few days. They sure keep me busy but loved every minute of it. I’m whooped…….. and ready to get back to crafting this week, I hope!
    Take care. TTYS
    hugz and blessings~

    • Hi Sheila! Yeah, but the pics only show half of what we are tripping over in the house. This is a VERY good show for us–the crowd is huge even if the weather is not the best and the economy in this area is great. How nice the little men came for a visit!! I’ll bet they are so much fun! ( I bet you’ll sleep well tonight!!) LOL! For little guys, I bet they wear you out!–hugs, Jan

  3. Wow….all I can say is….WOW!!! That’s a ton of “STUFF!” – but sounds like you two have this show thing down to an absolute science….no wonder you are so successful at it. I’ve helped my hooker (rug hooker, that is) friend do a few shows, and I am always devising “systems” so she knows what she has in “inventory”, what sold, what she needs to replace, etc. and she just laughs at me – somehow, she keeps it all in her head. Wishing you safe travels and a great, great, show! (And when you get back, and if you ever have a “breathable” moment, I’d like to talk to you about one of those Ouija board signs…… ;o) Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

    • Hi Robin–Yes, it’s a LOT of stuff–and about half is pictured! Remember–this is the NEW stuff–I already have a lot of stuff packed in boxes! I’m much like your friend–I make so many different things, but I usually know exactly what I have and in what color without checking. I can usually remember who bought what at the same show last year! THanks for the good wishes–and I’ll remember the Ouija board–had to make 3 more a couple days ago because I got a call for two.–hugs, Jan

  4. Cindy says:

    I’ve done shows for 27 years…and your check list sounds just like mine. One year, I actually left a crate full of jewelry at home! Thank goodness, the show was only 30 minutes from home and hubby went home to get it.
    Hope you have a great show.

    • Hi Cindy! We vendors are all the same–one year we were doing a show in Pittsburgh and left a basket of a very popular item at home. Al dropped me off to set up (one day show )and drove over an hour home to get it. The customers kept walking around and around the show for 2 hours til he got back! Thank goodness it was worth it for him going home ! It always seems like we forget something!! Thanks Cindy–Jan

  5. Cindi Loretz says:

    I admire all of the work you do for your shows. People that are “just” customers have no idea but I do now! I absolutely LOVE those Santas!! I wish I could come to a show to buy one, it is a little far from MN though! LOL Wishing you much luck and success on your show Jan,
    Be blessed!

    • Hi Cindi! The santas aren’t quite done–I need to drill the tip of each hat and tie on a big rusty bell tomorrow. I love them too! Yeah, I think MN is a bit of a trip! Thanks so much for visiting and your well wishes!–Jan

  6. Janet says:

    Wow! That sure is a lot of work. Made me tired just reading it. LOL

    I do love your work. I like the Santas and the ‘Be nice or go away’ sign. 🙂
    Could you tell me in an email how much they are? I might be able to get one soon. 🙂

    Hope you can get cool weather for your show.
    Take care, Janet W

  7. Karen says:

    Goodness lady you must be as busy EVERYDAY AND ALL DAY LIKE ME preparing for a show. That’s a lot of wonderful merchandise.

    • Hi Karen–I’m sure you are crazy busy now too–you have it harder because you haven’t done your show before. You have to make tons of EVERYTHING to be covered!! Keep on plugging away!!–Jan

  8. Goedele says:

    I would love to meet you on that show, but it’s a bit of a trip. I checked it out on GoogleMaps. I think we’ll have to take it easy next weekend (22hour trip from door-to-door on Thursday & jetlag). Wishing you a great show and lots of fun with your friends!


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