My First Christmas Fair

I'm quite slow when it comes to socializing. I've always had trouble when it comes to joining groups and such. It didn't seem to be such a big deal back when we were in Connecticut. But then again, in CT, we had family and friends nearby.

It's different here in Foxborough. We have no family in sight. The only people I sort of know are our next-door neighbors and even then, the relationship is more of the hi-there-how's-it-going variety. Since I work from home, most of my days are spent in my studio, either in front of the computer or on my work table.

Every morning, except for Mondays, I make my way to St. Mary's which is a really short walk from the house. I attend daily Mass. Sometimes I pay attention and sometimes my mind is off elsewhere, but being there helps me to get centered.

Because it's become a routine, it was inevitable that in time, I'd get to know some of the ladies by face. A couple have even introduced themselves. One of them, who also attends the same Sunday service as my husband and I do, has become a friend. But it wasn't until I decided to get involved in this year's Christmas Fair that I really began to make more acquaintances.

Of course I landed in the Handmade Treasures group headed by Betty. Betty, I soon found out, did practically everything I ever wanted to do as a maker! She paints, she sews and quilts, she knits, and after seeing her workroom, I suspect she can do even more.

Betty asked me to sew up some table runners and later on, I was also tasked with making signs for the tables. The runners were just straight up sewing on the machine but Betty gave me a free hand with the signs. I had a blast!

I started scouring the internet for ideas. I knew I was going to use my Cricut but I wanted a variety of signs. Then I found a post on Pinterest from the Somerset blog and I knew I needed to make at least one. The mixed media dolls were the work of Connie Fong. The link will bring you to the original article with the how-tos.


I loved how I wouldn't have to worry about the seams but I also loved the idea of painting and then adding decoupaged "clothes." I posted my version on Instagram and blogged about the process on my Paper With Everything blog but here it is again, almost all the way done.


I made two more like it for the fair and then used my Cricut to make the other signs. 

Setting up the tables and decor was done Thursday evening and most of Friday was for setting up all the items in the space assigned to us. This was how the space was by the time we were done Thursday evening.


Our space was large although I had a feeling that filling it up would be no trouble at all. I'd seen the finished pieces at Betty's and there were other ladies bringing in more!


That long stretch of tables was for the themed baskets. Every year, families picked out empty baskets, filled them up, then donated them for the raffle. In fact, everything in the fair was donated by a person, a family, or an establishment. 

When Friday rolled in, everyone started unpacking the items and setting them up with Betty's guidance.


Below are some of Betty's quilts as well as the quilts made by Father Matt Westcott's mother! The bunny and the doll were made by a lady in her early 90's!


This is view of our space from the front. The American Girl doll clothes (see her Patriots tee and skirt?) were really cute. I'm thinking of making doll clothes for next year but let's see.


Even the items for sale at the Sweet Treats tables were donations! I took this shot on the first day of the fair, Saturday. It took all I had to stay clear of those tables.


This corner was all about food for the soul.



The Kitchen and Dining sign was made using chalkboard paper. I'd always wanted to try my hand at making chalkboard signs so this was as good a time as any to do just that. The Microwave Bowl Pad sign was easily done with my Cricut. We almost sold out on those bowl pads!  





This is another sign I made for the potato bags. I thought those were really handy except I don't use microwave ovens. We sold quite a bit of those too.


A corner of our space featured plushies and little items like the Mug Rugs, pin cushions, wine bags, and Holiday decor. The lighted glass blocks were beautiful.


By Sunday, most of the wreaths were gone. That purple jar with the fairy silhouette and fairy lights disappeared too. 


I wish I had taken more photos during the fair but here's one with Betty (in blue) and Joy (in pink). Joy sewed up a lot of the microwave bowl pads as well as the runners. She also made some of the wreaths and that stuffed turkey. The gentleman that bought the turkey wanted the sign that I hung around its neck too. The sign read: A STUFFED TURKEY! I'm guessing he got a kick out of it too.


Sunday was just a half day affair with the raffle winners being announced around noon so by around one, we were packing up the unsold items. I was looking at a bunch of unsold baby bibs and said, "Maybe we should try selling them online. They're so cute!"

To which Betty replied, "Why don't you? Go ahead, take them and give it a try."

I now have 11 bibs at $2 each, 1 tiny bib for $1, and 3 larger bibs with embroidered designs for $3 
each. 



So if anyone reading this is interested, let me know! I'll be posting them on my Instagram and Facebook feeds as well.

The event was like most big events where there's so much preparation and then it's over before you know it. While you're standing there, trying not to think of your feet or back, it does cross your mind that the end of the day couldn't come quickly enough. But then you think of all the work that went into making the event happen, the behind-the-scenes footages that no one really sees, the paperwork, the handwork, the taking up and taking down (and sweeping away), the willingness of everyone to do what they can and it just blows your mind. This is community at its best.

I'm grateful to have been a part of it.

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I'm also happy to announce that the new Fox and Rabbit book by Laurel Heger is now available on Amazon! This is an affiliate link:

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