Sunday, January 29, 2012

Festival of Maidens Final Run-Up & Report

You know how last week I said I was going to stop making predictions about what I was going to work on evenings, and then on Thursday I said I really really needed to make belts?

Yeah, didn't happen.

But it was a conscious decision. I decided to take all of Friday off (instead of just the afternoon), so I worked on pouches on Thursday night.


In the morning we dropped the truck off for the oil change, ran errands, and picked up the truck. Once home I finished the last small bits on a couple pouches, then we lugged leather downstairs, cut belts, then finished them.

After lunch we picked up the trailer. We stopped at Ace to get a padlock, then home to pack this, that, and the other thing.

Once Robin got home he and Ron loaded the trailer, and by the time Xap arrived we were ready to go.

I'd gotten e-mail that we could set up between 7 and 9 Friday night, so we did the drive non-stop, unloaded, and flailed around setting up. We got the gridwall, big bin, and tables into position, and a bunch of merchandise out of the bin before realizing that we were tired and hungry (note lack of mention of dinner yet), and decided to be done until morning.

Dinner, then to bed.  ZZZZ.


Got up, ate the complimentary continental breakfast, and got downstairs to set up. The space was supposed to open at 8 for setup, and the event actually start at 9, but as I suspected people were there and we could work on setup 7:30-ish. We didn't need the extra time, but it was comfortable.

The curtains I made last weekend to hang behind the belts were good, they definitely reduced visual cultter, and Xap heard several comments that people could see the belts.

The new shelves were good, as were the leather hangers I made Friday afternoon (which is what I forgot above) - they're short bits 1.5-2" wide, with holes for hanging by S-hooks from the gridwall. I need to shorten up some of them, and I'll probably also get more shelves.

Business was decent, a slowish but steady trickle all day. 

Not many belts, but another guy with lots was there, and I'm used to my belt sales sagging when we're both at an event. But that's not a complaint, he's a cool guy. There was another guy with pouches, but I think ours were more popular. We were back to back with a lady with jewelry and some purses she makes, but her stuff was very different, and she had more jewelry than leather. She was also very personable and friendly, and we chatted a lot.

The iPouches didn't sell, but one of the other new pouches (medium, landscape-format rectangular, about 4" x 6", hard front) did. As well as a little square soft pouch about a half-hour after I finished it.

Packing up was quick, even not having any experience packing the big yellow case. 

Food-ish Natter

The event was at the Illini Union, which also has hotel rooms, so that's where we stayed. It also has a food court, which the Union's website indicated was open until midnight Fridays, and had a bunch of places to choose from.

WTF? 9pm on a Friday night and most of the food court was closed?!? Especially the pizza place (Sbarro)?!? With a bunch of students right over there in the bowling alley? We were seriously confused. But Chik-Fil-A was open (only other thing was a coffee shop), so we were fed. I don't grok the cult following of Chik-Fil-A: as it was hot and fresh and my blood sugar was in the dumps it tasted really good, but once I was human again I decided it was an otherwise utterly unremarkable chicken sandwich.

Saturday lunch: half the food court was still closed. How bizzarre! 

Given the first two tries at using the food court, we elected to order delivery for dinner Saturday. Found a thoroughly adequate Chinese place.

Yellow Road Case Analysis

Putting four full caster wheels on the bin may have been not quite the wisest idea we ever had. It easily crabs, which can be good for cornering, but if you're on a side slope it'll quite happily slide off downhill while going forward. 

One of the tablecloths was big enough (IIRC it was sold as a bedspread), so the case worked well as a table, even better when Ron chocked the wheels with the hardware bins.

Coming in we'd piled the gridwall on top, which made it hard to get to the handles to pull. Going out we piled the belt, fiber, and hardware bins on top, which worked better. Until a few feet from where the trailer was parked, when the 1 of every belt bin made a bold leap for freedom - the crack is terminal, but not catastrophic.


We got up, found a Bob Evans, then came home. Where I realized I didn't have my iPad at the restaurant. Fortunately, the restaurant has it, and Xap has friends in Champaign who will pick it up and bring it to Capricon. Barring that, I frequently work with people at the State Water Survey I'd have been comfortable asking to retrieve it and either ship it or bring it next time they're coming this way.

Tired. And was very hungry. But a dinner from Tre Amici fixed that.

Now, time to finish this post, and post about the rest of today in another post!

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