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Tuesday, August 26

elmwood ave festival of the arts

This is our favorite show for several reasons. It is in our neighborhood, a neighborhood we love. It encompasses all the, dance,visual, craft, theater. It has a family component that introduces kids to creative arts in a hands-on way. As a result, the atmosphere is easy, happy, celebratory. The customers as well as the artists comment on the ambience. And that results in better sales for many of us. It's all good.

Now, there are some, uh, issues, when setting up a show on a city street. You will have assorted "street people" bending your ear about love and art, looking for cigarettes, preaching their specific gospel. The locals will not understand that just this weekend it might be smart not to ride your bike or push your stroller down the middle of the street while the artists are trying to set up or take down their booths. I almost beheaded a cyclist who was weaving in and out of the chaos of tear down Sunday night. Most of the merchants on the street will love exposing their shops to the 100,000 visitors, but some will consider us an annoyance to be dealt with while they try to capitalize on the influx of people with money to spend.

But, in the end, it is about the people who come into your little 10X10 corner of the world and buy your stuff and give you props and share a story or 2. There was a woman who came in wearing a t-shirt with a grainy photo of a man ironed on to the front. She had sad, tired eyes and her face seemed almost frozen into a mask that would shatter if she smiled. She told me her husband had died 2 weeks before and she was getting the frame for his picture. I touched her hand and said I was so sorry for her loss and her composure slipped for just a moment. The frame she selected read "The most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or heard but must be felt with the heart". I still choke up thinking of her.

On a lighter note, so many friends stopped by. People I see all the time, some I only see a few times a year. Co-workers from the theater and from my old government job. Return customers who love to tell me what they already bought of mine and what they think of my new stuff.

Sunday was supposed to be cloudy with a passing shower. Turned out to be a passing typhoon. The opening salvo had customers hanging with me under the canopy waiting for the "shower" to pass.

It did pass, but every time it came back, the rain was harder, the thunder louder. I was sad to think they might cancel the kid's parade that marks the end of the festival every year, but they toughed it out, taking advantage of a short respite from the storm. I love this parade for so many reasons. It is festive and chaotic and colorful and joyful. It usually marks the end of the outdoor season for us since we have been taking September to travel. I'm not sure who loves it most, the kids or the adults, but here are some pictures. You can decide for yourself.

And on we go. The Central Library called about putting my miniature book pins in the gift shop again. I have a wedding guest book to finish today. I need to get some books ready to sell in Oregon if I get a spot at the Portland Saturday Market or the one in Eugene

Just a few days before we leave on vacation. But first, the attic calls.

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