Monday, May 24, 2010

Rained Out - I need a new tent!

I should have known Saturday wasn't going to turn out quite as expected when I stopped at Burger King in Rush City for a quick breakfast on my way down to the Swede Hollow Plein Air Art Fest.  I ordered two $1 items and the bill was only $1.70. When I asked the 16 yr old clerk why it was so low, she perkily replied that she gave me the SENIOR DISCOUNT.  I know she thought she was doing me a favor so I thanked her, but it was a little disconcerting to be told in not so many words that I look like a senior citizen.  It's not that I think I look especially YOUNG, but I didn't think I looked that OLD either (she wouldn't tell me what age a person has to be to qualify for the Sr. discount - okay I'll admit that I do qualify for the discount here in Mora where it's 55).  Oh well, time to get used to looking like a granny!  For the record, when I cashiered in the deli, I never gave anyone a senior discount unless they asked for it. I don't care how old they looked.

Okay, so I saved 30 cents or whatever and I'm driving down 35 to St. Paul, it's an hour and a half drive and the forecast was for very hot sunny weather.  I noticed the overnight fog didn't seem to be burning off very quickly.  Oh well, cloudy is better than sunny if it's going to be hot out.

I brought the EZ Up tent along for shade.  The EZ Up is quite heavy and the artists were not allowed to drive into the park to unload. The path to the park included a very steep hill with a tunnel. I had not planned on bringing the tent because of having to haul all my stuff down that steep hill in the morning - not to mention having to PULL it all back up at the end of the day. But if it was going to be that hot and sunny, and my spot was in full sun, I figured I'd need the tent for shade.

I got to the festival at 8:15 and with the help of the fabulous volunteers on hand, I had all my stuff down to my site in only two trips!  They even helped me set up the tent.  That was so great!  I got things unpacked and noticed the sky was even darker now.  Oh great, regular readers of this blog know that my EZ Up tent leaks like a sieve, it's totally worthless in anything but a very light drizzle of short duration.  It seems like whenever I do a show it rains.  All week long I had watched the weather and Saturday always was forecast for sun, so I was confident the tent was just for shade this time.

As I set up, a few artists stopped in to see the felt pieces and I found the perfect home for that gray felted fedora I made last year.  Lisa Mathieson, a wonderful glass artist whom I first met while picking out my spot the week before, traded me a stunning necklace and pair of earrings for it. Woo-hoo!

I started spinning and sold a soap and lip balm and a couple skeins of handspun Shetland yarn before the rain started in earnest.  Then the lightning and thunder kicked in and I knew it was all over for me -- at only 11 a.m.  So I, along with several others, started packing up my things before they got too wet.  Unfortunately, the helpers from the morning were not scheduled to come back until 4 p.m. so I had to make about 6 or 7 trips UP that hill dragging my stuff and did I mention that tent is heavy? So is soap. I took my time between trips and eventually the rain stopped the sun came out. It is a beautiful park, the artists were all very friendly and supportive.  I hung around talking to them and had a great time!

But now my mission is to get a new waterproof tent. It would be nice if it was light weight yet sturdy and I want something easy to put up by myself.  Anyone have suggestions for a good quality tent?

I have to say I love my drying rack and got lots of comments on it.  Not only can I use it for display in my booth, it comes in handy for drying my felt pieces, bubble wrap and towels when I make the felt.  Plus, I can hang framed pieces on the ends!
 Here are the things that got wet drying at home on Sunday.  The felt painting didn't get wet, I just put that on there to show how I can hang 2-D work on the ends.  I love that!

6 comments:

  1. Ah, I'm sorry you got rained out! Can't help you on tent advice, though.

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  2. Love that rack! I might have to get me one of those...Sorry about the rain :(

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  3. Sadly, what you need is a Craft Hut or Trimline tent. I have an ez up I use for shade and use the Craft Hut for bad weather. It's heavy, harder to put together (but do-able) and pricey, but I got mine used :-).

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  4. Yup the good ones are quite expensive. Lucky you to find one used! I was considering writing a grant for a new tent complete with display panels, but then I decided to ask for a felt rolling machine instead. I found a link to Shade King Canopies on the Sunshine Artist website. Their pop up tents are supposed to be waterproof and they are about half the price of the Trimlime, ShowOff and LightDome tents. I'm tempted to give them a try.

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  5. Sorry you got rained out! I like the drying rack and will have to try to coordinate a trip to the Pine City flea market with you.

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  6. Yeah sure Terri, it would be fun to meet there some Wednesday morning. I was there again today to check with the guy who sells chicks if he had any large breed ducklings or goslings coming soon. I need to tuck some under my broody goose in about two weeks. The drying rack guy wasn't there this week. I checked in at the Wild River clinic to see if we should clip Shachah's coat. The answer is no, but they said I should bring him in 4 times a year for professional grooming at $60/time. Yikes! I bought a dog brush instead. :-)

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