Antiques, Crafts, and Lots of Mud

This past weekend I attended my very first craft show as a vendor.  Boy oh boy, was it an experience!  It was a two day outdoor show, which posed a lot of unique challenges. muddy car It had rained the entire day on Friday, making Saturday morning a mud bath.  I was shocked at all the trucks that got stuck driving in, and I was so afraid my poor little car wouldn’t make it!  Even in the least soupy spots the mud got all over the place.

 

Saturday though the weather was gorgeous! Sunny and bright and good for business.  I do think I need to improve the display a bit to be more inviting (I’m not a huge fan of the blue), but it was a good, albeit long, day.  With Sunday the rain rolled in, and while we didn’t have to set up or tear down in the rain (thank goodness) it did keep attendance low for a large part of the day.  I did have two of the most wonderfully fun young women come in towards the end of the day–they were the big spenders of the weekend picking up a few flower pins and a scarf!  They certainly lifted my spirits on an otherwise slow day.

 

me on Saturday

 

Despite the rain and mud, I still made double my table fee and am really glad I went.  It was a learning experience on how to display and personally sell my items, what people really think of my items, and I gained a lot of great feedback.  Some of my most popular items were crocheted flower pins and small marble charms, but everyone commented on the beauty and colorfulness of my knit items as well.

 

I’m not sure the show was necessarily my target market, but as I’m learning I think I’ll gain a better understanding for what shows work for me and which aren’t really worth it.  I will say though that the people I met were wonderful, and I handed out a lot of cards…..so maybe more online sales are on the horizon for the holidays?  I can only hope so.

 
Want to more pictures from the show?  Check out my Facebook album for all the wonderful items on display.  Now back to focusing on Etsy and getting ready for my next Avant-Garde show in December.  I’ll be developing some new Christmas and winter items specifically designed for gift giving (even if the gift is just for yourself!).  Stay tuned for updates!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Munchies – Balsamic Lentil Mushroom Soup

After the craft show this weekend in the rain, mud, and chilly winds, I really needed something to warm me up from the inside out.  This deliciously hearty soup hits the spot!  I found the base recipe for this last winter on Men’s Heath of all places, and made a few tweaks to fit my taste (and what ingredients I had on hand).  If you’re looking to try a new soup this fall I definitely recommend this Balsamic Lentil Mushroom.  It should freeze well if you need to save some for the winter, but I found it so tasty I ate it all in the same week I made it.  Enjoy!

Balsamic Lentil Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of beef, vegetable, or chicken broth (I used vegetable)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 2 cups of escarole or flat leaf spinach, chopped (you can leave this out if you don’t have any around…sometimes I just garnish with parsley for some color)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 10-15 sliced white button mushrooms or baby portabella mushrooms (I prefer the baby portabella, they have great flavor)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the broth, water, tomatoes (with juice), lentils, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Stir in the escarole (or flat leaf spinach) and balsamic vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

Serve with crusty buttered bread or a small side salad.  Bon Apetit!