It’s December, and that means the indiemade craft market, Allentown, PA, is back. This show is dear to my heart for a lot of reasons, and especially so this year. Ann and Teri started this event 10 years ago to showcase quirky and original craft. They have done much more than that – they’ve created a welcoming place for artists and crafters to exhibit, they put on a show that is a party as well, and they have become friends I value highly.
This year is the last year they will run the show; they are turning it over to a capable successor and the show will go on. But it won’t be the same without them, and I for one will miss their involvement.
So this year is special.
Come and see the show. I’ll have tiles and other clay items for sale. Don’t forget, there is a swag bag for the first 50 adult attendees. I warn you, you will need to get in line a couple of hours early if you want to get in on this last bit!
1221 S. Front Street, Allentown, PA, is the location. Hours are 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, December 2, 2017.
Yesterday, Sunday, October 15, my husband and I participated in the Bloomfield Farm Day Insider Art and Craft Show.
Bloomfield Farm is part of the Morris Arboretum, located about 15 minutes from my house. We are members, which is how I was able to participate – exhibitors are all staff or members of the Arboretum.
Bloomfield Farm is a section of the Arboretum that is not generally open to the public to wander, though it contains the education center in which classes are held. There is a historic grist mill which has been restored by volunteers on the site as well as research projects in progress on the grounds.
This event allows the public to see the site, visit the art and craft show, listen to music, and tour the ground and building. The grist mill also goes into operation and is open for tours.
OK. I’d never done this show before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I gathered that it would be a low-key day, given the location, the event’s multiple purposes, and the fact that it was to last only four hours.
We arrived – the weather was cool and gray, but not raining.
We exhibitors were arrayed near the education center. Set-up was peaceful and easy.
The show allocated a table for each of us. We brought our tent and another table. I had decided to exhibit just my small paintings today. Our set up was so pleasantly quick and easy.
Other things were happening. The 4H club from a local high school (in the city of Philadelphia but with an agricultural program) brought some of their charges to the show – 2 pigs, a calf, a black and white bunny, and 2 sheep. You can imagine how popular they were. The animals and the kids all seemed to enjoy being there.
There was music over by the barn. The barn was not open for tours – maybe in the future, as I think it is being restored. Originally it served as the dairy barn for the farm. Now the musicians had it for their backdrop.
The education center is LEED-certified and a really nice complex.
This building, and several others, had a green roof. You might not believe this, but this is a big garage housing farm and agricultural equipment. If you went on the other side, you’d see tractors and snowplows and so on through giant doors.
The weather never cleared, but then, it never rained or even threatened, either. There was a steady crowd through our area and the parking lot was full. The atmosphere was very relaxed; at any one time the people were very spread out over the grounds taking tours, viewing the trees, and so on.
I saw some really nice work and some people were also demonstrating crafts – there was a group of people weaving that caught my attention. I had a lot of visitors and yet had plenty of time to talk to each group. Unlike some shows, the visitors were paying close attention to what we were displaying and wanted to discuss it. I liked that.
Several friends came by – shout out to John G. and Penny and Rob. I also had time to talk to several exhibitors and I really enjoyed that. I guess you can tell I felt the show was a success and I look forward to coming back next year.
Well, everyone, this festival is history, and a nice memory it has turned out to be. Let me tell you about it.
The event is put on by the Community Arts Center, Wallingford, PA, but is held in the downtown section of Swarthmore, PA, just down the road. Swarthmore is a small borough and home of Swarthmore College – the downtown is not large but is enticingly full of shops and The idea is that you unload and then move the car out of the way. So we did, and got busy setting things up.
The weather was perfect, more like summer than early fall. Things at this stage of a show are quiet but everyone is moving. That’s a friend of mine carrying a painting down the street to his booth.
The raffle tent gets dressed in a purple skirt.
We got things done and ready to go.
Things always start off quietly but this show picked up speed quickly.
Here are some shots of my location. My husband is great at handling things when I am away from the booth. I am grateful for his help and his presence. Many people do not have a spouse or partner to help them and doing a show by yourself is hard work.
We were located very near the music. My favorite was a group called SwUkestra. Or – the Swarthmore Ukulele Orchestra. As the leader said, the best ukulele orchestra in Swarthmore. Well, I’m a fan. They played and sang a variety of selections, including “Unchain My Heart”, a favorite that I sang along with. Loved it.
Well, things wound down as we got near closing time.
At 5 PM we packed up. Here are a few of our possessions waiting to go into the car. The box with a couple of spaces – that’s a good thing, because it means – sales!
So that’s the report. The CAC put on a very well-organized show, pleasant to attend. They always do and it’s a pleasure to be in it. I saw several people I knew and had a lot of fun. Until next year!
I participated in the Saucon Creek Arts Festival back in early June, and I won an Honorable Mention. Included in the entry fee was a membership to the association for this historic homestead; I received a newsletter the other day and look… there I was, along with other winners, in living color.
I will show you. I think it’s nice they did this recognition.
We participated in this show on Saturday, August 26. I’ve done this show for two decades and it has been held in Memorial Park under the trees for the past 29 years. It’s a short drive, about 25 minutes, from our house.
I feel at home in this show. It was one of the first ones I did when I started in my art career. The same people run it as did back then; they are unfailingly pleasant, helpful, and genuinely love the show and their work.
The event is naturally popular, then, and they get a nice group of artists showing 2D and 3D art.
Plus, it’s a Lansdale tradition to have free doughnuts and coffee for the artists, to keep us going as we set up. Here is a photo. It is dedicated to my friend Diane, who has moved out of state but did the show with me in the past.
We arrived a little before 8 AM. Now, this show has a different way of assigning spaces – the cars line up and are given a space in the order they arrive; the park fills up in an orderly way. We used to worry about getting a “good” spot and arriving very early. Now, we have realized every spot in the park is “good” and we just show up when we show up.
Here, we’ve dropped off the equipment and art at the spot, #79. The green cone (you can barely see ours peeking over the stack of wrapped art) goes in the middle of the space. You can see we get a lot of room. Another great thing about this show.
We did our usual routine and got the booth put together. The pink tags designate the pieces that I have chosen for the judge to view. No prize this year, but I did get nice comments and encouragement. That matters, believe me.
Set-up time is focused and not social.
Once everything is done, there is time to talk. My husband is the man in the pale blue shirt, talking to a neighbor artist.
Then, things get started. It’s quiet at first:
Later in the day, it was crowded. We had a nice number of people in the park.
Sales were decent and the weather was superlative. I also had the chance to catch up with some art friends, including one man I haven’t seen in a couple of years – our schedules just haven’t coincided.
All in all, it was a perfect festival day. Thank you, Lansdale Festival of the Arts!