Being hugged back by your town

So I managed to get through two fairs in a row, Mclean Day, and ViVa Vienna! (yes it is meant to be written that way).

To summarize briefly, Mclean day was cold, soggy, and just okay as far as experiences go, and ViVa Vienna was……….AWESOME!

I love having a booth at ViVa Vienna. I live in Vienna, and it is the kind of place that always hugs you back. Even though it is a suburb of Washington DC, it feels much more like a small town – there are days when I really feel as if I have stumbled onto the set of the ‘Wonder Years’, and then I notice all the iphones around me.

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Standing at a booth at a fair can be toe curlingly boring, but not at ViVa Vienna. Every now and then, a friend would stop by to have a chat and support my little business, my daughter’s school friends yelled out “Ms Shaaaarma” whenever they passed by,  familiar faces from local shops and libraries would nod and grin at me. It was lovely. I felt so supported.

And of course, now that my fairs are done, I’m busy with other projects. I have summer camps to run, an Art party to organize, a semester of full time teaching in the Fall, and…..I might get some bits and pieces into a shop soon. Fingers crossed!

Thank you to all the people to helped me out at the fairs.

Never Run in Flip Flops

This is a blog post that I wrote last week, and never got to send off, but it seemed a shame to leave it sitting in a folder – so here you are…

“Never run in flip flops!” I have been known to say to my kids. It is common parenting wisdom that running in flip flops often leads to trips and scrapes, crying and general heartbreak.

And yet,  yesterday I found myself sprinting from the Metro station to my house in a pair of cheap rubber flip flops.

“If only my kids could see me now” I thought to myself as I overtook a group of astonished runners (I am fast – even in flip flops, and of course I looked ridiculous).  I had a good reason to be running, as I had forgotten an important appointment, but even as I justified my actions to myself in my head I kept thinking… “Just how many pieces of my own parenting wisdom have I ignored lately (cue snorts from my family)?” Hmmm, let’s see…

Never color inside the lines (one of my personal favorites – works on so many levels)
Well actually I have recently fallen in love with coloring books, and , ahem, have started making one of my own. It’s therapeutic sometimes to color inside the lines – but only if you want to.

Do not accept food from strangers – Around 5pm (the witching hour for many parents), pretty much anyone can offer me anything to eat, and I will eat it (chocolate being my preferred poison). Stress and Cookie Monster toys do strange things to a person’s appetite.

Get a good night’s sleep – Hmmpphh, I’m not even going to bother discussing that one.

Prioritize your work! – I am supposed to be getting ready for Mclean Day this Sunday, and instead I’m spending an inappropriate amount of time obsessing over a coloring book project  that is nowhere near being finished (see above).
Speaking of which…

Finish what you start – Oops. I get so excited about new projects that I have way too many pots on the boil at the same time…..which actually reminds me of a beautiful piece of advice that I have not broken…

Do what you love – See, I’m doing something right!

A Big Cheer for Small Businesses

Photo May 06, 9 56 40 PM

This post is dedicated to all you individuals slavishly hand writing prices on stickers, and loading cars with grid walls and EZ Up tents, or whatever it is you do to keep the dream alive. I’m here for you.


The great rush is on to get things ready for the Spring fairs, and things are just a little more chaotic than usual.

I have been feverishly printing and ironing shirts, writing out labels, making signs, putting things in bags, taking things out of bags, putting the bags in boxes etc, etc.  All of this is normal. What isn’t normal is where and when I am doing these things.

Since Bun has been at home, my schedule has changed dramatically. All things Noctiluna are done at night, or early in the morning, or at soccer matches, at the playground, at the waiting room in my doctor’s office,  in the hallway outside my daughter’s ballet class. – – – Everybody sing: Hotel, Motel, Ho-li-day Inn!

I think that by now I must be well known around the Vienna-Fairfax area as “that crazy lady with the sewing kit”!

Hopefully everything will work out, and I’ll actually be able to pull the fairs off with some success.
I will not lie to you though, my hope has been wearing thin. I am tired and there have been more than a few times when I have seriously thought of throwing the towel in. Being a parent of two small children and trying to get a business off the ground are not really compatible activities.

But I keep telling myself that this is something that many small kitchen-table businesses go through, and that is why I’m dedicating this blog to all those other small business owners trying to launch themselves. Next time you see one at a market or a fair, give them a big grin – they deserve it.

Speaking of fairs, here are my first two dates:

Mclean Day – Saturday 18th May

Viva Vienna – Sunday 26th May and Monday 27th May

Stop by for a chat, if you have the time!