We went to the Fairhope arts festival yesterday; our first since moving here and it was awesome. I don’t believe I’ve ever been to an arts fair that large, ever.
There were artists I’ve seen before and plenty I haven’t. I gravitated toward the ones with unique products and wildlife art. The wildlife art was mostly prints of photographs of birds, alligators etc. One artist sold etchings of birds, one had miniature canvases of bird eggs. An artist that needs mention is Debbie’s Birdhouses from Lampe Missouri. These are highfired stoneware egg-shaped nests hanging by metal hooks. She also has stoneware bird bottles that hang horizontal. I found them unique and liked them because they will obviously last a longer time than traditional wood nests. They are very appealing to look at and cost about $20. I have a nice selection of wood birdhouses and nesting boxes but I really like these stoneware nests. You can find her at www.debbiesbirdhouses.etsy.com.
Lynn Reeder has beautiful, unique art. She places drywall mud on wood and then carves into it before it fully dries. She then paints the piece and coats it with a shellacking. Don’t try this at home, though, because she has a secret way of keeping the drywall mud from cracking. The process also takes a long, long time, too. She told me of teachers trying to duplicate her work in classrooms and it didn’t work out because of cracking. You’re better off buying a piece of her art. Find it at www.thecarvedpainting.com.
If you have a good idea, someone else will have that idea, too. It’s a matter of who acts on it quicker and gets it into the market place. I think that’s the story of my like. I need to start acting on all of my ideas. Anyway, I collected old discarded sails last year with the idea of making a backpack to carry my beach towel and tanning lotion while I rode my bike to the beach. I thought sail material would be great to use for these bags and wanted to make a whole bunch and sell them. Well, someone else had the idea and acted on it (I don’t have a sewing machine and I used to borrow one from our Extension office in Sarasota for some projects). Earth and Sea Gear has tote bags, wallets, dufflebags, and the exact bag I was planning to make (the exact pattern) in their collection. They use colorful sails as well and line with cotton fabric (which I wouldn’t have done, but it looks good). Well, until I buy a sewing machine and start making my own for sale, you can find these at www.earthandseagear.com.
I have to mention the food: there was plenty but we waited to eat lunch at home. We checked out the Windmill Market merchants (we’ve been there plenty of times) and I want to mention The Cake Lady, Tracie Jensen. She said she’s there each weekend so you can check out her cakes anytime.
I enjoyed the festival. In fact the whole family did, too. The boys found it sometimes boring but all you have to do is buy them a snowball or Dr Pepper and life is good again. We walked a ton (did I lose any pounds?…no) and enjoyed the exercise. If you couldn’t make it there this year, put it on your calendar for next.