Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Good Day at Fiber Fest


This year, I went to the Michigan Fiber Festival on Friday. Last year, although I enjoyed being there on a Saturday, I found myself feeling far too crowded. Because of the huge number of people at the show, you couldn't walk two steps in a straight line, and the opportunity to talk with vendors was non-existent. So this year I went on Friday, a fairly quiet day and a good chance to really see Fiber Fest.

One of the first things I noticed is that vendors were selling. Consistently, I saw customers buying, buying, buying.
Sales were brisk at the Fiber Fest products booth.

Not just at the festival booth - though they were doing very well - but everywhere I noticed that people were buying. In this economy, that was a welcome sight. I saw a lot of vendor's bags being carried, but I also saw spinning wheels and weaving frames going home with new owners.

Friday works well as a family day. There were plenty of women with their children, and because there wasn't an overwhelming crowd, it was actually fun for kids.
These little girls were sitting on Mom's feet, playing the "I Want To Stay Here" game. It was actually pretty funny to watch .Mom was having fun teasing them, and everyone was having a good laugh. They were right in front of this booth:

Once Mom had pointed these bags out to the girls, they immediately jumped up to see them. There were a whole lot of questions, and I was laughing as I left when I heard Mom explaining why there was poo in brown paper bags. (But $5 a bag???!!)

Vendors were able to relax in-between customers. They were spinning and rug hooking, which attracted even more customers curious about their crafts.

People watching at the show was fabulous. I saw this woman in her completely knitted outfit and couldn't help but take a photo. She was knitted from head to toe, and even her bag was knitted in complimentary colors. Turns out she wears knitwear to the Fiber Fest each year, and vendors actually recognize her for her knit clothing.

Some of vendors were a bit different than what one might expect at a fiber show. I loved this watercolor artist's paintings - they were absolutely gorgeous. But the vendor that really caught my eye was the felting artist - at first glance, I thought it was a painting. Her felted scenes were astoundingly accurate; she certainly was an imaginative artist, and has taken felting to a new artistic level.

These watercolors really added to the show.

Yep - both these pictures were felted. (Sorry for the glass glare on the shepherd - there was a white pole right in front of this picture.) The photo on the left sold immediately, but the adorable kittens and puppies picture was still available.

Then there were the classes. Classes were everywhere, scattered in buildings throughout the show. I took a few shots of friends taking classes - thanks for allowing me to shoot you! :)

On the left, Karel was concentrating on her Knitting Tips class, while on the right, Terri was sitting outside in the shade, finishing her basket class.

And then there were the animals. Many of them hadn't arrived yet, and some were just being unloaded.

The photos pretty much speak for themselves. All of these guys loved attention, and although a bit shy, most of them allowed a pet or two.

The little guy at right was one of my favorites - I think he was a Pygora (cross between a Pygmy and an Angora goat). He spent much of his time literally sticking his nose into my camera lens or happily chewing on the hem of my blouse. He was a lot of fun, especially when I could get him far enough away from the lens that I could actually get a shot.

Overall, it was a great day. Very relaxing, with good food from the Allegan Band Booster concession (quite reasonable too - a Brat was only $2.50, and along with a fresh hand-cut fruit cup and large iced tea, the who bill was around $6 or so). I walked the show three times, didn't feel crowded even though there were a lot of people there, and had lots of fun wandering with my friend Gloria.

It was a good day.


Holly Bee said...

Thank you so much for all the GREAT photos and wonderful insight into the AWESOME of fiber fest!

Wish I could have seen you.


WonderWhyGal said...

I'm glad you stopped by to say hello while I was volunteering. It was an amazing event and the classes, sales, fiber artists, customers, animals and atmosphere where unbelievably wonderful. One day I will be a "real" vendor and you will find me on a Friday in the big barns.

Gloria said...

Wonderful day with Beth, excellent company, beautiful pictures!!

Barbara Marr said...

Great coverage Beth, thank you.