Monday, February 08, 2010



For the past few weeks, I've been wondering if the blog as we know it has run its course. I mean, widely read blogs--even the ones that aren't about knitting!--still have their audience and that's great. And not that I plan to stop blogging. Looking back over my archives, I see that 2010 marks the fourth year of this little blog, and that gives me pause to say "wow". Four years. That's enough time for certain former Presidents of the United States to start two wars, destroy the environment and screw millions out of their money and jobs! But I digress. Now that so many of us are on Facebook, I just think that for me, blogging might seem a little repetitive. The flip side, though, is that a blog gives me more space to expound on whatever may happen to be on my mind, however random and/or silly it may be.

What's on my mind today is fiber festival season. This in itself is not a silly thing at all. On Saturday, I had a lovely time at the Newport Spin-in. There were loads of people there, and I had the best sales I've ever had at a single day fiber event. I couldn't be happier. I also got to chat with people who coordinate other fiber events, and it was an ego shot to know that Stitchjones is welcomed and sought after at these events. So, it's all good. The only problem I have is my own particular personality and temperament, when it comes to selling in public.

I think I do have some sales skills and abilities. After all, 14 years ago I was a representative for the largest cosmetics company in the United States, and their training program gave me people skills and confidence I have carried to other areas of my life. I genuinely enjoy interacting with people. The only thing is that I have always been a sensitive person, something my mother always chastised me for (as if I could change it), and my little feelings are easily hurt. I admit it, it's very hard for me to accept criticism, even when it's not really intended to hurt me.

For example, last year at a large fiber festival, a woman was browsing in my booth and she had a rather bratty opinionated daughter of about 10. The woman was just shopping like people do, she'd pick something up and look at it, then look at something else. To everything the mom picked up, the kid would say "Yuck. Ecch. Ick." OK, sure, she's a kid, and at the age where kids are establishing their personalities as separate from their parents. But I was getting kind of pissed off! Especially since the mother didn't seem to think there was anything rude about her child's behavior. As the fiber artist, however, I didn't particularly enjoy having to sit there with a smile on my face while someone was dissing my work! I certainly am not unrealistic and I would never expect everyone to like what I do. However, it took considerable restraint not to ask the girl how she would feel if I looked at something she painted and went "Yuck. Ecch. Ick." Most of that, though, is my attitude toward children in general--not my friends' kids, because they're all awesome!--I'm just trying to say that now that I've raised my own, I have little patience with strangers' kids. Please don't hate me.

I should add that this kind of outspoken-ness extends to certain adults. 99.99999% of my customers, both retail and wholesale, are absolutely wonderful. Occasionally, though, I get one who goes through my yarn like she's at a rummage sale (and I'm talking about a wholesale customer who, darn it anyhow, I just can't seem to get around to visiting very often). Throws offending skeins aside with, "Too dark." "I don't like that." It really is kind of funny, in a less-is-more kind of way.

I've gone over all that I've written and asked myself the obvious question: "Gee whiz, Sharon, you're really digging deep to find something to bitch about!" Well, yes and no. It is a minor, but nonetheless real, part of the business I'm in that I had no prior knowledge of. I just ask in my prayers for the ability to take that sort of thing in stride and with grace. And the bottom line is that the benefits of doing shows and festivals far outweigh the hassles.

Well, dear blog audience, thank you for reading my little rant. I certainly can't write stuff like that on Facebook, not that I would want to, and now you know a tiny tidbit of what's in my heart of hearts. I don't want to always be all knitting, yarn, pretty colors and everything's hunky dory--but so far, 2010 on its worst day feels better than 2009 on its best day!

I like writing on my blog- I like checking the blogs I read. Facebook doesn't do for me what blogs do but that may have something to do with the fact that I friend anyone and everyone who asks on facebook- including students and their parents. Facebook is the place where I put on the "independent artist smile." The blog is where I can say what's on my mind.
Amen to that! My mother always taught us if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. I often find myself thinking "Don't people teach their kids manners anymore?" when I run across those rude little kids with the oblivious parents who think every nasty thing their kids do or say is precious or charming. I love kids, but when they are allowed to run amok in stores and restaurants, crash into people with no apologies... I remember a couple years ago I was in a store and came down one aisle. There was a lady with her kid (who was yelling random things at everyone) at the opposite end of the aisle and as I started walking down, the kid saw me and started yelling "No!! No!!" and pointing at me...being a tolerant sort I tried to ignore it but as I got closer he got more insistent, until his idiot mother finally said "What's your problem?" to him and he said--get this--"I don't like that lady, she's too big and fat!!"

Now, everyone's entitled to their opinion, and it's not like I didn't know I was fat, and you can't really get mad a little kid (although I was embarassed and had hurt feelings if I'm honest)because he was young enough that he would only be parroting what he heard his parents saying, but what made it worse was his idiot mother just looked and me (gave me one of those 'up/down' looks), didn't even have the good grace to look embarassed, never mind reprimand the kid for being rude or apologize to me for him, and just pushed the cart around the corner to the next aisle. Well, I had had enough and followed her and called out as she turned "Way to teach your kid tolerance, that's some good parenting!!" She actually had the nerve to look back and say "What did you say to me?" and I said "You heard me, or are you deaf as well as a prejudiced bad parent?" Maybe it made her think twice, but I doubt it. Something tells me she didn't even know what prejudiced meant, because she just kept on her merry way with the kid calling out to other people, pointing out their faults too.

I thought maybe I just getting crankier as I aged, but I honestly think that like letter writing, manners are a thing of the past.

I sure wouldn't be saying "ick" or "yuck" or "too dark" at your beautiful yarn.
The mother of the 10 year old is doing a piss poor job of raising her, letting her say things like that. I could never criticize someone's art in front of them. Going to the sock summit was actually very difficult for me with the designers there and I wanted to buy something from everyone and felt bad leaving a booth not buying anything. Some people shouldn't have the priviledge of shopping at such an event!
Glad to hear that Newport was a success. You did say as we were leaving that it was good, but to hear it was really good, is excellent!

Oh and we have a plan for your fiber winnings there too. ;-)
I still enjoy reading blogs even if I don't keep up on my own. And it's entirely different than Facebook. And other peoples kids try me for the most part. I do have patience with most of my friends' kids though. :)
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