Last weekend, we went to the Centerville Pumpkin Festival, out near Richmond, Virginia. It was a show partly sponsored by Etsy, and featured a bunch of etsians along with alpacas and, of course, pumpkins. We are used to the Charlottesville City Market, which is not only early in the morning, but also definitely focused on produce and other foods. Crafts are emphatically not the focus. (It's great to have the mix, and we adore the market, for the record.)
So, it's always a bit of a shock to go to true arts and crafts shows, since everyone there is about the crafts. It's quite a different thing to have someone primarily shopping for their tomatoes and eggplants take a glance at your booth than it is to have people with a passion for their own craft come and carefully admire your work. And it's incredibly flattering to have artists whose work you admire squeal in delight over your work!
Not to mention that some of them take great photos of the show! (Thank you again to liskidder, who took this photo of us in our booth, along with some other fun photos from the festival.)
Because it was also etsy, there were some serious fringe benefits to the show! First, the organizers came around with water and snacks for all of the vendors. Nothing like bottled water and some tasty peanut butter and crackers mid-way through a show- believe me! Then, because it was etsy specifically, the lovely ladies from the Etsy labs gave each of us a pumpkin spiced lip balm. Fed, watered, and moisturized!
Finally, as an after-show perk, backwoodsophisticate has put together a Pumpkin Festival Treasury highlighting a bunch of cool items from the show. Appalachia has some truly stunning felted bags, and liskidder's work cannot be captured by photography (she does wonderful photography, but her glass needs to be seen in person to be fully appreciated!) Beeskneesstudio, along with a fantastic name, does fabulous paintings. She's one of those artists who does such precise and careful work that she makes it look easy. crvimages takes haunting and incredible photographs (and there's a special place in my heart for his airport motel image.)