Sunday, October 19, 2008

Upstaged by a....


It's true. Here's the story.

First of all, I'm soooo tired. I'm not looking for sympathy - it's just part of the story. So after work Friday I take the somewhat hazardous trip to the expo center to get the lay of the land and do some setup for Maker Faire. We are in the show barn - oh, for you out of towners, the expo center is a large complex where we have the rodeo. And for the REAL out of towners, that means it's mostly barns where animals do amazing things and people take the credit. The animals sometimes reward this with a well placed kick. Add some barbecue and you've got yourself a rodeo.

The showbarn is a ginormous building with some asphalt walkways but mostly a dirt floor. We got one of the better spots right by the entrance, but that means we are on the edge of the building, which has no walls. It is in an extraordinarily windy area of town, so on Friday I realize that cards and wind don't mix. I can't really set anything up, but I get power going to my booth space and lay down a piece of 10x10 carpet which becomes important later.

I don't get home until late, and am really pooped from all the prep this week, but am so behind. So the first thing I do is race out back and hastily paint one large pumpkins and several teeny ones. I wanted mine to be bright and happy pumpkins - you can only do so much with black and orange - but I didn't really have time to make them pretty - so in about 9 minutes, I had slapped paint on all of them and left them outside to dry.

So yesterday morning, after the cats woke me up at their customary 3:30, I did some last minute prep and headed to the show to set up. Creative application of masking tape, double sided tape and glue dots secured my displays against the wind gusts we had all day, and did double duty punking all of my visitors who wanted to pick my cards up. It was funny every time, trust me.

The show is absolutely indescribable. The quality of things the Makers were doing was like nothing I've ever seen. There's a robot that projects stars on the ceiling (probably what the LOL cat is looking at below). Felted monster rabbits eating waffles. A colleague of mine from Mind Bites that makes Shrinky Dinks out of recycled plastic food containers. An incredible letterpress stationery company. A lady that makes knotted purses out of grocery bags. A big dragon with like ten bikes in it, that was maybe 100 feet long that snaked through the fair all day. Robots that were shooting flames into the air. A giant Human Mousetrap game that was just like the board game (see crowd pic below). A golf cart shaped like the Batmobile. A motorized skateboard. A booth that said No Meat that I noticed I was standing in front of it about halfway through my hot dog. :(

Yahoo came and brought their purple bikes, which I think mean something important because everyone was very serious about the purple bikes. I didn't catch what the big deal was. I did notice that they had solar panels on them.

Now - let me know if I've got this wrong, but bikes are moved with pedals, right? Not an engine? So... what are the solar panels for? My theory is that they are curing cancer in the little purple box with the solar panels. That's the only explanation for how serious the people with the purple bikes are. Yahoo peeps riding around curing cancer - thanks Yahoo!

There was a big store with a bazillion books on how to make stuff. I wish I had gotten more than ten seconds in there (the bathrooms are in that building). Maybe today.

Amazing jewelry from old computer parts. The guy next to me (I gave him a bellyache tossing him York Peppermint Patties all day) makes cool furniture and lighting and clocks out of bike parts.

Then there was me talking to ME, aged 8. Seriously. Love that girl - she loves art. Maybe she will come back today.

ANYHOO - by far everyone's favorite card was the bunny tree - everyone who bought cards today bought those. I didn't have a lot of card sales, but a ton of people are interested in classes. More than 500 people took my business card. I got to do a 5 minute audition for Make Television, which was a blast.

OH, BUT MY POINT... So... everyone loved the cards, but by far, what drew people in and got them asking questions was MY FIVE MINUTE PAINTED PUMPKIN PATCH!! I'm going to do sleep deprived art more often.

They also really loved the carpet in our space - it's a huge show, and walking around on rocks all day makes you appreciate a little Understand Blue. :) Thanks Cynt!

Oh, and Anonymous to Anonymous is cracking me up. For everyone who is mystified by the sketch OMG IZ FULLA STARZ - Anonymous is right. It's a LOL cat, head tipped all the way back, looking up at the sky for the first time and seeing stars - I think it's so sweet. However, the DH couldn't figure it out either. Must be a left brain/right brain thing or something.

Here - maybe this will help.

I will take better pictures today and hopefully get to see more of the show!



  1. I couldn't figure the picture out either, so I am with your hubby haha Hopefully you will get a good nights sleep tonight my friend, Have fun, Hugs n' Stuff, Lynne

  2. Great pics of the Maker Faire stuff! Everything there looks so cool, and how great is it that you got that many new contacts?!?

    I have to admit, I kept looking and looking at the sketch, but didn't see the cat until you gave me the "eye" hint. I must need more coffee.

    Hope you have another fantastic day! Talk to you soon...

  3. you EVER sleep??? Looks like you had a fun filled Faire! BTW, Susan loved the pumpkins! :)


  4. OK I admit, my brain just couldn't see what this image was until you explained it to me! LOL!

    Love the pumpkins too, very original (how could I not love them when they're blue!? :-P...) not surprised it drew people to your stand! :-)

  5. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!! NOW I SEE IT!!! LOL!!! Thank you for pointing out the eye. My brain kept seeing some sort of exotic bird with tail feathers out to the right... but I couldn't figure out what the fluffy stuff on the left side was! Now that I see the cat's eye, the cat's face is so clear I can't believe I couldn't see it to begin with! Yi yi yi... Okay, I will admit my name now that I know others couldn't see it clearly either! hahahaha

  6. Hi Lydia,
    Can I just tell you how much I enjoy your blog!! I usually scan blogs quickly and just look at pictures but yours, yours is a different story alltogether!! I absolutely can't wait to READ your blog every day! Yes, I LOVE the pictures and your projects too but you just crack me up with your stories. You are amazing. I wish I lived near you so I could actually talk to you in person. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. It's definitely a stop I must make every day. Thank you so much for your incredible talent with your artwork as well as your writing skills! You ABSOLUTELY ROCK!
    Lorraine Castellon-Rowe

  7. HEY Lydia!!!Thanks for your comment on my winning Banner! I cant believe I won! Im up there with you now!!
    OMG Your blue Punkins would go AMAZINGLY fabulous in my new painted blue kitchen!! Same color!!! Look!-

    Dontcha think?? Im gonna run with your idea and paint some! I have leftovers! HA!

  8. Now even I can like a pumpkin that's not orange :) They look awesome. I am very amused by the people not getting the cat looking up (sorry people) but I thought the *starz* would be a big hint????
    I hope your second day at the Faire goes well and am looking forward to more pictures and Lydia stories :)

  9. I just came upon your blog this weekend via Shelli's post when you were a winner in her "celebrate" challenge.

    I LOVE!!! your blog! I actually have scanned through the ENTIRE thing, and I plan to keep coming back and looking through previous posts more closely.

    The pumpkins are way cool! I definitely would have stopped at your booth because of them, and I would have loved to have watched you watercolor. I think I need to dig out my watercolor paper!


    P.S. The word verfication says "newtvbn" Are you ever inspired by the word verifications like I am?

  10. Nice and interesting blogging!

  11. Thanks for the laugh about the Yahoo bikes!

  12. Hi Lydia, thanks for all the info about Maker Faire. That's amazing you handed out so many business cards. I can hardly wait for Maker Faire to come back to the Bay Area in the Spring.

  13. O_M_DEAR_G...those pumpkins are adorable, Congrats on the successful day at the Fair! Way to go!


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