At the end of June, the fam and I headed north. Our friends Tom and Anne invited us to come to Camp with them at Lake Leelanau, where her family built a wonderful 4-cabin establishment years and years ago. What a fantastic time we had! Lovely people, fun adventures near and in the water, and outstanding food: the chipotle cherry hummus is not to be missed.
Being a person who makes a lot of things out of fabric, I occasionally (or all the time) find myself with pieces and usable scraps that are too little for my projects. Being a person who is a Mennonite and a Midwesterner, I have a pretty hard time throwing away a perfectly good thing that could potentially have another use somewhere, someday.
The wonderful ladies at our church make stuff year round for MCC--bags for kits, quilts for auction, comforters for people in need. I've been able to recycle perfectly beautiful pieces of fabric, clear out some space in my workshop, and help out the sewing group with my small pieces.
And then this happened:
Of course I'm not surprised that the ladies at church can make a beautiful blanket. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Ora and her friends made this for me and my family: these are, after all, some of the same people who welcomed us so warmly into the congregation (and fed us so much non dining hall food) years ago when we were visiting college students. But you know, I was totally surprised, and in the best possible way.
The last weekend of July has meant only one thing to me for the last 6 years, and that thing takes place on Lake Erie's shore with dozens of talented vendors and thousands of visitors. It is the one and only Summer Market. And let me tell you, it was incredible as always.
In the spring of 2008, Erin contacted me via Etsy and wanted to know if I'd like to set up shop at the Market that summer. It was my first big show for sure, and maybe my first show ever. (I was also 7 months pregnant at the time, but that is another story.) It is cool to reflect on how my designs have evolved over the years, and empowering to see that indeed, I have learned some things. For instance, my first display hardware was a laundry rack with shower curtain hooks. Yes, you read that right. I regret to inform you that I have no photos of that gem.
It's a process. Even this spring--7 years into this venture!--I figured out a new way to construct my totes. The Summer Market is cool because of so many things--Erin and Kristen, the event's amazing hostesses, the never-dull venue at Veteran's Memorial Park, the Market Chicks and Market Dudes and their helpful ways, the awesome live bands, the food--my gosh, the food--the good will and the sheer talent that all comes together during this event make it an outstanding art show. The Summer Market keeps me on my toes, too, which is important: How can I improve my bags and my booth this year? I am so thankful for that.
I am also thankful for the fact that the Summer Market is a two-day date for the Husb and me every year so far. This year, the newest member of our family came along. It was a great show. Thank you, Erin and Kristen, thank you Market Chicks and Dudes, thank you visitors and friends who continue to support this endeavor.
Last week we had the great pleasure of visiting with our friends in Cincinnati. Thanks so much for hosting us. Mel, keep an eye on the mailbox! (I know, I know, it would have been a more effective surprise if I didn't post this, but I couldn't wait!)
Incidentally, this is a slightly new design for SOMP... just a little taller than the clutch and a little wider than Zippy Classic, plus the detachable handle. I'm thinking I might need to invest in a riveter for nylon webbing straps. But this works too. :)
by the Seat Of My Pants...
the stories behind the bags and beyond.