If you've ever heard of the small canyon where my family lives, it's because it catches on fire every year and last year's fire grew into an enormous beast that ate a good chunk of southern California. Otherwise, if you live more than 7 miles away, you most likely don't know the place exists. It's a rural spot on the edge of the forest that began as a silver mining town and is a haven admist the city life found everywhere else in Orange County for those people who don't take kindly to "city life." Which is to say, there are a bunch of bikers and weirdoes and the occassional city slicker who "wants to get away from it all." I have a whole bucket full of opinions on the place, but my family claims to love it there, and so they are involved with the community there and my mom in particular likes to do the social gathering stuff like the annual Country Fair.
So. We again got a booth at the Fair and set out our crafty wares. It was fun and pretty profitable (although, any craft seller will tell you that Fairs are dangerous because you spend 50% of your profits on roasted corn and bake sale brownies). I had a fan, which was super cool. I made some finger puppets and some needle felted animals and this little guy (who later told me he's 4 and a half) had all kinds of suggestions for what I should make next and how I should give them to him for free, since he thought of it. He was so cute and cracked me up with all his encouragement. I made a special SpongeBob finger puppet for him, at his request, and he kept leaning on my arm and cooing "you're REALLY good at this. You're doing a super good job." and when I said Thank You, he instructed me "No, you should say Super Thank You." So funny, this guy. He even let it slide when I made SpongeBob's pants blue instead of brown. "You know what? That's ok. I like blue. It's my favorite color even! So I'll just tell people that I asked you for blue pants."
The newspaper assigned a new beat reporter and the guy was a little overenthusisatic about his job. He was having such a sporting time gawking at the hillbillies and eating fried Oreos and he kept pestering me for a picture for his article. I paused for one second and he sprung into action.
So here's me, with all my chins, wearing an itsy-bitsy cowboy hat. I pray that it didn't make the print edition. (There are 185 pictures posted for the online version. Read here.)
The number one draw for kids to our booth was this little cardboard house that I used to display the needle felted animals.
I needed some way to set them out and Ryan found this box in the garage and turned it inside out and it formed itself into a 2 story house. I laid down some felt carpet and viola! Every kid in the place stopped by once, or twice, or thrice, to look at it. I had more inquiries about the house than the inhabitants and everyone wanted to know how much it cost. My mom was infatuated with my little Fan and kept egging me to give it to him. Which I wouldn't have minded giving it away for free (it says PETMEDS inside, for criminy's sake!) except it was slapped together haphazardly and was actually kind of delicate. The little toothpick window frames were just set in there (no glue or tape) and the roof had two simple pieces of masking tape holding it on. I was mostly worried that some poor kiddie would be majorly disappointed. Lay hands on the cardboard house of his/her dreams and then it would crumble. Or, worse, stab somebody with errant toothpicks.
On Sunday, I left the fair just before closing because I was bushed and my stepdad had already shown up to start help disassembling (I wasn't needed anymore) and my mom held on to the house "in case someone wants to buy something at the last minute" which I assume is code for "in case your fan comes by again, I can give it to him." I just hope it held up so that SpongeBob had someplace to live until he can get back to his underwater pineapple fortress.