2011 Festival of Crafts

Yesterday afternoon I went with Empyress, Miss R and Lil’ E=MC^2 to the annual Festival of Crafts.

Thinking about it, it’s been an annual event that I’ve been partaking in with Miss R and occassionallyEmpyress. If I remember correctly, this was the craft event that Miss R attended with her late mother every year as she was growing up and continued to do so until she passed away a few years ago. After her mother’s passing, she went to the craft festival on her own for a few years and then she invited me to join her about five years ago (or so).

This year was Lil E=MC^2‘s first attendance to the Festival of Crafts and it was a fantastic afternoon all around. It was a lot of fun to be honest, the four of us roaming around the Festival and Miss R with Lil’ E=MC^2 strapped to her chest in her bunting carrier. All you could see as we walked around was a tiny head with loads of spiky flouffy hair — little tufts just sticking up every which way that so many people would stop and comment on as we walked on by. It was rather adorable and I wish I had thought to take a picture, to be honest. Silly me. Oh well.

My first visit to the Festival of Crafts, yesterday, I picked up only a few items — a couple of Cherry Pitpacs (traditional square + pair of hand warmer-sized pitpacs) and a bubble light for The Hubbs to decorate the house with.

I hadn’t originally intended on returning, but last night I was thinking about a few things (ie: Christmas gifts) and realized that I really should have picked up that Udon Noodle Bowl for Dad because it’s so cool and I’m pretty sure he would love it. I was at a bit of a loss as to what I would get Mom, but then I realized that the bowl that Miss R picked up for her Dad’s girlfriend would in fact also be a perfect gift for Mom. It’s a lovely ceramic fruit bowl with feet and holes on the bottom to drain water out of when you wash fruits and sits on top of its matching saucer to catch any water drips when you place it on the table. The girl at the booth said that it’s large enough to hold a package of grapes, so it should be a generous enough size.

I had a rather interesting afternoon when we returned to a few of the booths that I stopped at yesterday that I wanted to make purchases from, but didn’t.

One of the booths we stopped at, that caught The Hubbs’ eye, we found a beautiful jacket (cardigan?). The shop’s called Precocious Boutique and they make all their designs from reclaimed sweaters, bits and bobs. After we had searched through the rack of choices, The Hubbs decided that the jacket on the display dummy was the best colour & design of all the rack choices on offer. The sweater that was used for the main body is perfectly MIL in every way and it will be her birthday & Christmas gift all rolled into one for this year. The lady that sold it to us kept gushing that The Hubbs was a wonderful son to buy such a lovely gift for his mother. After he had paid and she handed him the bag, she uhm… came up to me as I was standing there waiting (sopping up the ridiculous amounts of wetness I had going on.. so embarassing) for him to finish his purchase, out of the blue hugged me tightly, said "Be strong. Everything will be okay." and then wished me a happy Christmas.

Honestly? I have never in my life had that sort of encounter before. It was kind of weird and yet kind of touching. It was one of those "OMG! STRANGE LADY’S INVADING MY PERSONAL SPACE! GAK!!!" Yet, at the same time, because she caught me totally off-guard and what she said as she hugged me was so kind, it was totally okay. I was a little alarmed at first that she hugged me so suddenly, but for some reason I didn’t instinctively pull away which is the really weird part. Anyhow.. it was kind of nice.

Continuing along that same strange vein of surprise kindness, The Hubbs & I returned to the booth Nearly Naked Neckwear that Miss R picked up a pacifier clip for Lil’ E=MC^2 and Empyress bought a collar for her JasperDog. When we had stopped by yesterday, we had a brief conversation with the girl that makes everything and she was rather impressed that I knew how to assemble and attach the pacifier clip and said that I was the perfect demo for it. In truth, it’s not all that hard to see how it works, but I guess a lot of people don’t know how to use one?? Miss R was so thrilled with the clip because now it means she no longer has to be hyper-vigilant as to the pacifier’s whereabouts and doesn’t need to carry around two or three at a time everytime they go out lest it dropped and got dirty and she had no place to wash it. In her opinion, the clip is the greatest invention in the world! Had I known she didn’t have one or wasn’t aware of its existance, I would have bought her a couple when E=MC^2 was born.

There wasn’t originally much of interest for me at the booth, but out of the corner of my eye I saw that she was selling stethoscope covers — I think sleeve is actually a more accurate description. They’re just decorative sleeves you slide on the length of the stethoscope into to prettify it. It’s a simple tube of fabric with a snap at the top to keep it from sliding down the length of the scope. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but last night I realized that it would be perfect for my Oxygen tubing in the winter to keep it a little more protected when it gets ridiculously cold out. When we went back today, she remembered me and we chatted for a smidgen and I told her that I was looking to buy one of her scope covers. After a little bit of discussion, she said, "You know what? Instead of this, I could easily just whip you up a custom made cover. It would be so simple!"

We talked only briefly about measurements and design in the short time I was standing in her booth (I didn’t want to take her away from selling stuff to people in her booth): I decided that 1m would be best for length and I would keep the snap so it would stay fixed on the oxygen tube and make it only half the width as the scope covers. I also think that if she could put a short length of velcro, the width of the bottom opening, it would also aid in keeping the sleeve from sliding around. Even if 1m was too long, I could easily bunch it up the length of the tube and it would look cute. She told me to visit her flickr page and I could see a few more fabric sample options since practically all the stuff she had on display at the booth was Christmas/winter themed. As much as I like Christmas, I don’t exactly want to wear that year round.

I am so ridiculously thrilled and so incredibly impressed that she went out of her way to offer a custom made sleeve for my Oxygen tube. I realize that it’s not exactly rocket science to make and really, I could probably make one myself if I so choose, but it’s really kinda nice to have something skillfully made and done way better than what I could ever do. Besides, who knows, maybe this could be another product line for her that she never would have thought to make otherwise, had I not told her what my intentions were for her original product. I hope it works out, I’m pretty excited to see what I end up with.


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