Crafty Bastards DC was last weekend.
This year the venerable craft show was held in a new location that proved a challenge to all who turned up toting bags and boxes of precious, hand crafted treasures.
It had rained overnight, and water had seeped into the tent, which had been pitched over a field of dirt (Yes really, let’s choose a parking lot next time, okay?).
When we turned up uncaffeinated at a ridiculously early hour on Saturday morning to set up, we were confronted with a bog situation worse than Glastonbury on a rainy day. Needless to say, I wasn’t really at my best right then, and just wanted turn around and go back home. Many people did and I fully understand that decision but, one coffee and a small panic attack later, we decided to stick it out. We started covering what was essentially marshland with a tarp, which never fully recovered from the experience. Sorry tarp. RIP.
It just wasn’t possible to set up my usual complicated display for the show. The best I could do was pile folded shirts up on two tables. My booth did NOT look one hundred percent. It looked like a school jumble sale. The mud was everywhere, on my tablecloths, my pants, the white trainers that I mistakenly thought were the ideal footwear for the event, and it looked unlikely that shoppers would be able to walk through our tent. But then…
The ingenious vendors next to me drove to Lowes and returned with a bale of hay to scatter over the mud, earning them the title of Craftiest Bastards at the show. My saintly husband, inspired, drove to Home Depot and returned panting under the weight of a huge amount of already soaked hay – yes it had started raining again, thanks weather gods. The vendors spread it everywhere, and life was a little more bearable for everyone.
Saturday was not a stellar day for any of us crafters (we all have huge expectations for Crafty Bastards). Sunday was better, with proper boots, sunny skies, more hay and happier shoppers, but still not the lucrative shopperfest we are used to. Still, what really made the weekend worthwhile was the support that the crafters gave each other. People pooled resources and helped each other keep their spaces dry. They went out of their way to cheer each other up, sharing snacks and stories of woe, while standing ankle deep in the mire. And being crafters, makers and people of a generally creative bent, we all found ways to get around our situation… to an extent. Crafty vendors really are an excellent bunch.
You really couldn’t find a better bunch of crafty bastards under one tent anywhere else!