Tag Archives: fair

Fairfax City Craft Shows……..

Many of you might recall that I have a handmade stationery business called A Reason To Write and I used to participate in a ton of craft shows. But I remember way back in the beginning that it was overwhelming trying to figure out how to get in craft shows. It was hard to even find the listings of when/where they were.

So I wanted to share this link with anyone who might be crafty…..


This is the link for 3 shows that the City of Fairfax will host in 2012. The application process is outlined. These are fairly tough shows to get in because they are very well-attended and crafters travel from pretty far away to participate. So, take the application seriously. And make sure you have a picture of your display.

Make sure you pay attention to the application deadline – it is March 15th for all three shows.

I did not get in the first year I applied. I know, boo. But I am nothing if not persistent and so I tried again. The second time I included a letter in my application explaining why I had a unique handmade craft and why I should be included. ๐Ÿ˜Ž It worked.

And for those who just want to shop, the craft show dates are…..

July 4th at the Independence Day Parade (outside in downtown Fairfax)
October 13th for the Fall Festival (outside in downtown Fairfax)
November 17th/18th at Fairfax High School for the Holiday Craft Show (held inside the high school)

Happy crafting and good luck!

It’s in the cards………

When I was in college, I went to a fortune teller. Okay, it was in a bar and I was not exactly “un”intoxicated. Not so much a good mix. Lesson learned – go to fortune teller completely sober. And maybe pick one that isn’t seated in the back of a bar. In the dark corner.

She told me that someone I cared about with dark hair who was involved in finance was going to die. What? That simply can not be.

My dad is an accountant – my then fiance (now number one hubby) was an accounting major – they both have dark hair. I had had a little bit a lot too much to drink and I momentarily forgot that everyone is going to die – at some point. So, I will take this opportunity to apologize to my friends who were with me that night. I cried for the remainder of the night. Yeah, I am sure that was a lot of fun.

Note to number one hubby – if you ever think I don’t care about you – please remember that I cried all night when I heard that you were going to die – at some point. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Many years later, when my husband won a trip to Jamaica, I went to another fortune teller. She was a little more accurate. She told me that she knew I had had a miscarriage. She told me about someone in my life – she couldn’t pull out the name – maybe it was Georgia – yeah, my mom lives in Georgia.

I had not had too much anything to drink. I do realize that she spoke mostly in generalizations – but some things were dead on.

So, now I am intrigued by all this mystical stuff. I don’t really want predictions – they might drive me mad – but I am curious about the now and when. So, when I went to a craft show a few days ago and there was a tarot card reader there – I sat down. Five hundred rupees, please. You got it.

She also spoke somewhat in generalizations – but some of it was surprising.

She said that I am still mourning a loss and cannot completely focus on what I have gained. She said my glass is half empty (rather than half-full). This surprised me. I am normally a glass half-full person. Actually I am more of a “who cares” whether it’s full or empty – it is what it is – I am lucky there is a glass. But coming to India was a sudden change and not one I was looking for. I think I am doing a pretty good job of embracing this adventure – and on many, many levels, enjoying it. But, dang it, I miss home. I have not put both feet down yet.

She went on to say that there is a big opportunity waiting for me but I need to be more open to it. And that I need to not be so introspective. That way I will be able to see it when it comes. She even went so far as to say that I will get published and it will be big. So, remember, you knew me when. She also said there is a big celebration in my near future. A wedding or a new house – it’s probably not going to be one of those – but bring on the celebration.

Mrs. Tarot also said that I need to be careful about the money side of things in this new adventure. Okay. I can do that. If there is money involved, I can pay attention to it.

Apparently great things are in store for me. Isn’t that exciting? ๐Ÿ˜Ž

WOW Science………..

Sometimes in life, your kids want to do something and you just cannot bring yourself to say yes to even though you know you really should just say yes. You know that they will grow from it, learn from it, enjoy it. But it requires adult participation. Oh bother. Such as it was with the school science fair.

Participation was voluntary (did you hear that – v.o.l.u.n.t.a.r.y.) – no grades given – no first place – no nothing. Just the love of a little science experiment. Oh yeah and you get a t-shirt. Bear and Flower had no interest whatsoever – so I am off the hook, right? Silly rabbit, that’s what I thought too. But there is Angel. With eyes full of wonder and a heart full of enthusiasm. And great hopes for a t-shirt.

Angel: Mom, can I sign up for the science fair?
Me: Honey, you realize you don’t HAVE to sign up, right?
Angel: Yeah, I know, I just WANT to.
Me: I am not sure there are any spots left (yes, I will tell my children a fib – sue me)
Angel: Then what is that table for over THERE?
Me: Flu shots.
Angel: NO it isn’t – it’s for the science fair
Me to myself: (damn, that’s right, she can read now)
Me to Angel: Yes, dear it is – but you realize you don’t HAVE to do it.
Angel: I know, I just WANT to.
Me: Fine.

So, we sign up about 6 weeks before the day of the science fair. Angel decides (with a little good old-fashioned coaxing) that she wants to do the Coke/Mentos experiment. Fine – that’s easy enough. So, little by little I buy 2 liter bottles of soda and mentos candies. We stock pile them in the kitchen. I had to go back and get extra mentos because apparently Bear and Flower “forgot” the candy was for the experiment. (Very supportive those two.)

We I get two of each kind of soda – I roll like that – even in my hesitation to agree to do the project, I must be prepared in case one of the sodas is flat. (Oh ye of little faith – it is highly probable here that a soda might be flat.) I delay her starting the project because I am trying to find Diet Coke in 2 liter bottles. Good luck with that. I am not sure why – but I could not find it. And, sadly, it works the best.

Everything sits in our kitchen. She is distracted by knitting practice, watching tv, fighting with her brother and sister, and that damn reading habit of hers –ย  you name it. She almost forgot about the science fair.

But, finally she remembers that she wants to participate. I think it was because she tripped over the big science fair poster board they gave her for her display. I know, rookie mistake – I should have hidden it better. Next year. But, you can be sure I am not begging her to get started. She needs to find that inner motivation – prove that she really wants to do it. Wouldn’t you know, she found it right there on the floor next to the poster.

Now, I will admit that after number one hubby disagreed over how to measure the explosion of soda and after we discussed whether the experiment should be done on the porch or in the park, we actually all had a lot of fun. (FYI, I was right on both counts – just for the record – yes that made the project more fun.) And no, we did not ask Angel how she thought we should measure the explosion – it was her project after all – we are perfectly capable of fighting over discussing a solution without her help. Thank. you. very. much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here is our line up.


Coke went the highest.


Sprite was a dud. And, yes, we tried it twice. Remember, I was prepared with reinforcements.


Fanta looked pretty cool but also did not rise to the occasion.


Afterwards we went to the park. (Better late than never.) And we found out that if you try to drink the soda while it is exploding, it will most definitely go up your nose.


And we found out that it is fun to have a coke-that-has-exploded fight in the park.


We also found out that Angel is perfectly capable of standing alone with her project for 3 hours and discussing it with anyone. Adults, children, teachers. She had no fear whatsoever. In fact, she really enjoyed it. Yes, she made her own poster.


And she got this ribbon – and a certificate – and a t-shirt. WOW Science indeed.


If you want to melt into the landscape of India and enjoy it unnoticed, I suggest you not hang out with us. Exit stage left. Immediately. There is nothing like drawing attention to yourselves by using perfectly good soda and making it explode with perfectly good candy on the porch while in the land of “we waste nothing”. Yep, we did not go unnoticed today. I wonder what our Indian neighbors really thought about our experiment and ensuing soda fight in the park. They must think us strange birds indeed.

All in all, we have survived and quite thoroughly enjoyed the science fair. But I draw the line at Girl Scouts – I am pretty sure that is an American organization that is underrepresented here – at least that will be my story and I will distract her from any sign up tables.

And by the way, Angel wore her t-shirt to school. Priceless.

Mela Mela Mela……………

You might remember the post about the Amber Fort, when I asked you if you liked my shirt. Here’s the picture… just in case you haven’t time to memorize all the little details of my blog yet.


I got it at the SurajKund Crafts Mela in Delhi. It is open from Feb. 1 – 15th every year. Holy crafts, Batman! It is awesome! I bought dolls, tablecloths, boxes, kurtas (Indian-style) shirts, marble elephants, and even a Taj Mahal snow globe. And, yes, the snow globe has already been broken. And, yes, glitter looks very pretty on a marble floor.

They also had pottery, jewelry, saris, shoes, purses, furniture, kites, umbrellas, lanterns, yard decorations (oh, if I only had a yard), and booth after booth of authentic craft items from all over India and several other Asian countries.

We were told not to bring our camera because it gets crowded and it’s just one more thing to keep track of – humpf – I blog to differ on that one. It does get very crowded – but I am not sure what is so unusual about that – India is mega crowded – why would a Mela be any different? But we listened. Bummer.

Note to self – bring camera and video camera. We got there at about 10:30am – it opens at 9:30am – next year we will get there when it opens. Nothing really starts that early in India as compared to the United States. So at 10:30am, it was not crowded and you can park pretty close to the entrance. That means you can walk around and take lots of pictures – then return your camera to the car and shop away unencumbered. Next year, we’ll do just that.

There were amazing performances from around India. The performers were dressed in gorgeous outfits doing unbelievable things like dancing with five bowls on their heads. The musicians were magical. It was culture overload and it was fabulous!

Many of the crafters were making their crafts right at their booths.

And, yes we bargained. And we got deals. This shirt was $5. And yes, I put the decimal in the right place. Not everyone gave us the deal we were hoping for – but our new haggling philosophy is “no harm, no foul.” The worst they can say is no. And this particular Mela only takes place once a year and a billion people live in this country – there is no way they will remember us next year!

We learned a new phrase at the Mela – skin tax. Are you confused – fear not – I am here to ‘splain it. It seems that we, being lighter skinned than most people here, will be charged a skin tax. Translation – the prices are higher for us. Interesting. Sure. Unfair. Sure. Good to know. You bet your arse!

So at one point, Number One Hubby found some shirts he liked. He was standing next to an Indian woman who just happened to want to know prices too.

Hubby: Go ahead, tell her the price.
Crafter: Dumbfounded. And Silent.
Hubby: Go ahead, really, go ahead
Indian Woman: Smirking and looking away
Hubby: I’ll pay what she pays
Me: smirking – that’s my man

The crafter wanted to wait until Hubby was done shopping before he would discuss prices with the Indian woman. Hubby called his bluff and it worked. I really am not saying that we are always charged more – but skin tax happens.

What are the bathrooms like you ask – horrible – but worth it. What did we have for lunch, you wonder – are you really a fan, I wonder – we had pizza – Dominoes Pizza with a Coke. And for dessert? Cotton Candy. Some fair foods are clearly universal. Act II popcorn also had a booth. Of course, there was a lot of authentic Indian food if you are braver than we are.

If you want to know a really, really good time to visit us – that would be the first two weeks of Febraury – it’s not hot – and there is the SurajKund Mela. I am going twice next year – once with my family – and once by myself. It is one of my favorite experiences so far! And, yes, next year, I will have pictures.