Grieving the 2020 Fall Festival Season

Well I suppose it was bound to happen. All three of the craft fairs I was hoping to do this fall have been canceled. To say it’s a bummer is putting it nicely. I absolutely LOVE craft fairs. I love curating my little 10’x 10′ booth for maximum appeal. I love checking off items in my checklist app as I load my car. I love the adrenaline rush of leaving early in the morning,and I love the set up time when all the vendors are quiet and focused on perfecting their little plots. I love hearing people ohh and ahh over my products. And of course, I love the thrill that comes with the phrase,”Okay, I’ll take it.”

So now this fall is looking a lot more open and a lot more dismal at the same time. I still have my commissions, of course, and they are doing very well. But there’s something about the excitement of a craft fair that cannot be duplicated.

As organizers announce the cancellations and closures, their pain and regret is evident. But what is worse than canceling the craft fair you’ve spent months organizing? I’d say it is the vitriol that these good people have been met with as they make their sad announcements. I mean,seriously,people are being really mean towards event organizers over this. As said before, I love being a vendor at craft fairs, and I’ll miss them this fall dreadfully. But the choice to cancel them wasn’t easy, and it hurt the organizers a lot. I promise.

This is one of the craft fairs I was hoping to participate in. This is their announcement.

So as the announcements come in, please take a moment to thank your local event organizers for their work. They’re pretty heartbroken right now, too. They’re trying to look out for everyone, and people are going to be grumpy either way. If you’re really upset, please wear a mask and social distance to help ensure we can pick up where we left off as soon as may be.

Be these people!

Do NOT be these people!

And most certainly,do NOT be the random angry person in the comments yelling at everyone.

Making masks, masks, masks

Like everyone else who owns and/or has touched a sewing machine in the last decade, I’ve been making masks for folks.

I’ll admit that a lot of times when I see Call-to-Arms posts circulating, I am very cynical. I’ve seen too many follow up posts where well-meaning people have made things worse instead of helping as intended. So when my sister, a talented paramedic, messaged me that, seriously, they were in need of masks to help extend the life of their n95s at the station, I got to work. I even called on my friends and other crafters to lend a hand if they hadn’t already. I’m so proud that, between us all, they were soon in good shape. The Walking Dead fabric was a huge hit, by the way, as was the Mario and blood splatter fabric. Gotta love that paramedic dark humor.

From there, I made some more and messaged a couple of former students who are now nurses. They said that they could use them in the ER at Egleston – a large children’s hospital in Atlanta. I’m familiar with this hospital for a couple of reasons. More recently, we took my daughter there a couple of years ago for some tests, but it goes even further back. My dad had leukemia when he was young, and Egleston helped him survive that. So I was happy for a chance to give back to them. And they did NOT get the scary zombie or blood fabric if you were wondering. Nothing but cute and simple fabric patterns for the children’s nurses.

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After that, I made some and offered them to the other teachers in my school language arts department. And then my mom messaged me asking for a large order, over 40, to donate to her veterans group. I’m happy that those were finished up earlier tonight.

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All this being said, the making masks adventure continues to be both exhilarating and draining.  It’s exciting because it’s an active role in an otherwise helpless situation, so I’m happy to have some sort of control in that regard. It’s also draining because the need is so high that I can’t possibly keep up, and there’s so many conflicting articles out there about effectiveness, need, etc that one wonders why even try. Of course, this is nowhere near the amount of stress on those receiving the masks: ER nurses, paramedics, veterans. So I’ll hush on that note.