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This is Why We Live in Florida

You've heard me bemoan the weather while doing a show often enough, haven't you? Well, for a nice change, I am praising the weather up, down, and sideways, it was that good this weekend. Perfect hardly does it justice, what with a beautiful bright blue sky overhead, a cooling river breeze, and temperatures in the middle to upper 70's all three days. Jealous yet? Seriously I can hardly believe how lovely it was.

To say that I'm grateful also doesn't do it justice because I worked for nearly two weeks getting ready for the show. Of course, not every moment of every day, but you understand. Not only does that mean the miserable ordering part, but I re-did my website, wrote all new price tags, cleaned everything, new baskets, new labels, new stuff. Well, at least some of it was new--others are those that I know usually sell because, after all, that's why we go to the trouble of doing a show--SALES!
Indeed, everything received a make-over. My worktable looks pretty good doesn't it? That was before my final paper print order came in at 4:30 in the afternoon on Thursday. Picking up about 85 prints, it took me until 10PM to finish signing and packaging. Meanwhile, Bruce changed his red-eye flight to an earlier one, arriving in Orlando long after I was fast asleep.

As you know, this is the first time I've done a show that began on Friday, and it wasn't bad at all. Leaving the house around 9, after packing it all in like a sausage, we made the easy drive to New Smyrna Beach, picked up our artist package, and found our spot which was super-duper, a lovely view of the river on the back side of the tent. Because we were there early, we took our time, making the very best display that we could. As in, more than 3 hours time!

Then, it was showtime!
I had Bruce re-hang the one wall exactly as it was at the market because I was so happy with his arrangement. Mostly it was retired folks, as pictured above, on Friday afternoon, as it was the first time ever that they extended the time to three days, and many locals were unaware of the change. Proves that retirees have more time on their hands to mosey any day of the week. Soon it will be us doing the moseying! Stay tuned.

We had great neighbors on either side, Mark and Wendy from Springfield, IL,
who make very intricate jewelry, and Terri from Manhattan, also a jeweler with a very interesting life, that's for sure!
Using that tool in her lap, she twists wire into fantastical shapes and designs. That's one of the nice things about doing a show, if you are lucky, you can wile away some of the downtime with your neighbors. I said Terri has an interesting life, so much so, that when selling jewelry on the streets of SOHO, she was once arrested for not having a license. There's more to that story, but that's the most dramatic part.

Out of 700 entrants, our friend, Mrs. Rachel Whited-Smith was the winner of the $500 drawing on Friday! Amazing right? Saturday, returning to the show with her mom and dad, sister, and new adorable husband Will, she shared the wealth between them. Too much!

Overnight, a local Boy Scout troop patrolled the grounds, sleeping when they could in pup tents.
Because we stayed in NSB, we went to the Saturday night artist dinner which is when they announce the prizes and there were a bunch, none of which were given to me. No worries, I never expect one.  Mark and Wendy decided not to go, and missed hearing their name called out for a $250 prize.

Using Bruce's motel points, we stayed at a brand new Hampton Inn on Flagler Street, about five minutes from the show site, just across the North Causeway bridge. What a great spot with many restaurants within walking distance, as well as the beach if you are so inclined. It is so nice, both Bruce and I can't wait to return when we are not working!

Shows always tire me out so we kept to our early bedtime which in turn means an early rising. Waking up around 6, I dressed and drove the few blocks to the beach for the sunrise. Drove? Yup! It was pretty chilly that early in the morning and I knew I was ahead of the sun's schedule!
Still pitch dark when I arrived. My sunrise photos were sadly, unremarkable.
What was super cool though is after parking in front of the motel, I saw the full moon setting over the river.
On the left is the drawbridge tower.  Neat, huh?

Aside from some nice sales on Sunday, the highlight was a group of drummers in terrific costumes. Before they appeared I thought surely there was a parade underway somewhere nearby, and I guess it was a parade of sorts,
because, as you can see, they had a full crowd dancing behind them!
Phone cameras everywhere! Later in the day, they came back by my booth, this time with two pint-sized drummers leading the way:
What do you think the chances are of me taking a crowd photograph and having not one, but two men wearing camouflage clothing? With stripes no less!

Bruce, after checking out of the motel, came to both work on his computer, and help me when needed. I was mighty glad he was there when I sold a big canvas and was doing my best to wrap it up quickly! Just as we were packing up, a woman came in to our booth, began looking at the vegetable prints, and told us she owns Casey's, and a new restaurant off Flager, called Cafe Verde where she would soon be displaying the five new prints she purchased from me. :)

Although I had a small amount of anxiety over how we could get the car to our space for loading, it all went perfect. Packed and ready to go just after 6, we arrived home an hour or so later, leaving the unpacking until today!

To tell you the truth, I'm a little tired this afternoon, but would I do it again if I'm accepted? You bet! All that product I was signing to sell? Check! 97 items for the show. :) I'm a lucky gal, aren't I?
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