Monday, January 30, 2012

the acre show

this was my first foray into the american market. preparation was complex and at times frustrating but i now know a whole lot about taking goods across the border and back. i was partially sponsored by the atlantic craft alliance and by the newfoundland government. molly and austin and i were the first newfoundland craftspeople to attend acre so it was all a bit of a fact finding experiment.

the venue (the orange county conference centre) was breathtakingly beautiful. the building like an angel. the surrounding gardens - with palm trees and lagoons - inspiring. it was a joy to arrive every morning.
although it was only the 2nd year of the show in orlando (they have been running the show in los vegas for years) it ran smoothly and with ease, thanks to a very professional staff.

this show is still growing. most of the buyers are still from florida but hopefully in the years to come more buyers from the rest of north america will attend. as it stands, this is not the show for me. people from florida are not big knitters. there was a lot of appreciation from the buyers but many of them knew that my product was not the right fit for their shops. i went down to florida hoping for 5 orders, and that's what i got. (and one more since i came home). around 80 brochures were picked up, so more orders may follow. i wasn't disappointed. my first order was with the st. petersburg museum of fine art - a good order of kits. i left with the feeling that this will grow. and that from now on i will be very selective about the shows i attend.

late monday afternoon we took down the show. and went out for our last mexican dinner. and then we took a ride in a hot air balloon. a fittingly adventurous end to a wonderful trip.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

and one more day in the sun

we were able to do most of the set-up for the show on thursday. friday morning we dropped back in to the convention centre for a few finishing touches. and then were off to bok tower gardens for the day.

this was a tip from a blog reader when i asked about places to see within a couple of hours drive from orlando. and it was just what i was looking for.

a day of quiet wandering.

we drove back to orlando refreshed and ready for a 3 day trade show...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

before the show (part 2)

day three of our florida trip we went to disney world. when you're travelling with a group, you don't get to make all the decisions.
we chose epcot centre - the newest disney theme park and devoted to learning. i was impressed. (everyone i know who has ended up at disney has had the same reaction). beautiful grounds. friendly and intelligent staff. high quality displays. and of course a day wandering around in glorious warm sunshine.

we spent most of our time at the international pavilions- canada, england, japan, morocco (for lunch).

i took photos of all the disney characters i came across and again was really impressed with their professionalism - beautiful costumes and make-up, how they took poses and facial expressions right out of the movies. and especially how careful and sensitive they were with the children. so yes, i'd love to bring the grandchildren back to experience this.
the follwing day we drove into orlando, to "antique row" and spent the morning in and out of antique and thrift shops.i came home with some wonderful vintage textiles to work with.

we tried going to the ameican folk art museum but it was closed because they were changing shows. so in the afternoon, with our only rainy day of the trip, we headed to the premium outlet stores.

and on friday, we set up for the show.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

before the show

i've never travelled south in winter before. the morning we left for florida was cold and snowy. hard to imagine that in a few hours we'd be casting off our winter clothes. but we did. as soon as we arrived at the airport.
this is the message that greeted us us we drove to our rented house in kissimee outside of orlando.
our first stop was to orange world to stock up on enough citrus to last the week.

and after settling in, a trip to downtown disney for supper.

day 2 we drove east to the ocean and spent a leisurely day poking around thrift and antique shops (i came home with some wonderful vintage textiles) and on the beach - excited to be feeling warm(ish) ocean water, collecting shells,spotting new birds and plants.

and in the late afternoon we food an old ocean side bar in cocoa beach and had a beer. (one of the things i pictured us doing).

and then headed home. a picture postcard perfect sunset.

and some of us went for a swim...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

now the fun part

all my sample skeins and kits are made and packed. all the customs documentation is complete. now for the fun part. we're leaving for orlando on sunday. set up for the acre trade show isn't until thurs. morning. so we have almost 4 days in florida to sightsee. we're renting a house (yes, with a heated pool) and a car. i know exactly what i am looking for. i want to see florida's flora and fauna. and i want to see "old" florida. i want the kitchy, 1950's florida. i want the washed out colours. i want to bring back handkerchiefs with palm trees and flamingos on them. i don't want disney or bigbox stores. so, if you have any suggestions of places to see within a day trip of orlando, please leave a comment.
ps. that's my new tablecloth that just arrived. found it on etsy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

on my 1 day off

yesterday i gave myself a day off. all of my yarn orders were finished and ready to be mailed off. (abigail and i took them to the post office for our late afternoon walk).

i was waiting for the last of the paperwork for getting my product across the border for the trade show. it arrived in the afternoon and i'll take it to customs today to be activated.
so, having nothing i needed to do,i gave myself a holiday.

i cooked up a lovely dish for dinner. (things have been pretty ragged in that field lately).

i spun up some more yarn.something secret for the new baby.

i carded up some fleece for a new project.

and worked out the next few steps on the piece i'm working on now.
i loved the freedom of the day. it was a day where i felt my mind expanding and reaching out.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

keeping things in balance

next weekend i leave for orlando florida to attend the ACRE trade show. there is a whole lot of work preparing to take sample products and booth display across the border. every item must be listed and numbered and reported to ottawa and presented for inspection at customs here in corner brook. yesterday i finished the last of the 60 skeins i'm taking.

i also started teaching (i teach 1 course at the university once a year). but in keeping with my "embrace winter" resolution, i took an hour off in the morning and went snow shoeing. and loved it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

winter's gift of silence

one of the things i do appreciate about winter is the silence. yesterday as i worked - dyeing and spinning and filling out yet more paperwork for canada customs (in preparation for carrying samples across the border for the acre orlando tade show in a couple of weeks), the snow began to fall. if fell all morning.

it fell all afternoon.

and into the evening. with no wind, it quickly piled up onto every surface. abigail and i went out to shovel in late afternoon, it was like shovelling white air.