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Summer 2018 Craft Fair Schedule

Summer 2018 Craft Fair Schedule

I am feeling SO very spring-sunshine-y this week, it's glorious! And that's got me thinking about this coming summer craft fair season... yay! I've cut back on my craft fair commitments now that we've got TWO little running, climbing, wild, mischievous and delightful assistants on our little team. It was always a lot of work to pull off a big craft fair when it was just me, but now that we've got two little kids to look after, it's a HUGE undertaking! Someday the kids will be older and they'll be thrilled to spend the occasional weekend away from us and we'll get back to doing more fairs then, but for now, they're only little once and it's hard to do too many big weekend commitments. So, just a few great events lined up for this summer:

Yarmouth Clam Festival, crafts area: July 20 - 22, Yarmouth, Maine

Ossipee Valley Music Festival: July 26 - 29, Hiram, Maine

Common Ground Country Fair: September 21 - 23, Unity, Maine

Come out and see us - these are all FANTASTIC events filled with amazing handmade goods, and I'm looking forward to each of them!

Also, check out Picnic Craft Fair on August 4th in Portland - we LOVE this one and always participate, but have to miss it this year for a very special wedding in New York. And if you're in Portland, absolutely go check out the Portland Fine Craft Show on August 25th. We'll be out of town for this one too, but it was awesome last year and I'm sure it will be a great showing again this time around!

Common Ground Fair rainbow

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Morris & Essex featured in Portland Press Herald Holiday Gift Guide!

Portland Press Herald Source Gift Guide

I'm still blushing from this wonderfully flattering mention in Sunday's Portland Press Herald. The PPH Source section is focused on everything local and sustainable, and last year they featured Morris & Essex in the "Homegrown" column. This year they put together a short list of sustainable gift ideas, including Morris & Essex Hand-Printed Bamboo Scarves: Gift guide: 13 green ideas for friends, family – and maybe even you. We're in great company there, alongside Weft & Warp, Erin Flett, and Johnny's Seeds, among others. I will admit to being tickled by the Angela Adams comparison, though I'm not sure I deserve it! 

 

 

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Lacy Blue and Silver Scarf

Lacy Blue and Silver Scarf

I'm kind of proud and maybe a little bit embarrassed to admit that I've been working on this design for at least two years!! And it's finally done! 

I've always loved intricate, lacy designs and always find myself doodling these kind of starburst patterns, so it's hard to say exactly when this idea started. 

Lacy Inspiration

There was one very slow craft fair a few years ago, where I had lots of time for sketching and dreaming (that's the last time I sign up for a craft fair in May! I think it's just not the right season) and I started sketching up this idea for a scarf or bag pattern. 

Then it took months (or years?) before I had the time to start making the design for real - it's been always on my mind, and often in my sketchbook doodles, but it can be hard to find the time to sit down at the computer and translate sketches into reality. Finally I had a beautiful week of quiet in October, in between the hustle of late-summer craft shows and the start of holiday production rush, a moment of peace with no looming deadlines, when I could sit and start drawing. 

I use a pen tablet for drawing my designs on the computer. I have to wait for those quiet afternoons when the toddler is at her Nana's house for a few hours and I can sit down and plug in my laptop and tablet - otherwise the toddler can't resist grabbing cords and pounding on the keyboard. It was really meditative work, peaceful and satisfying, to sit and and draw out intricate patterns, one piece at a time, then link them together as if joining them by fine threads. It took weeks of work to do them all, sneaking in a few minutes here and there, or waiting til the toddler was asleep in bed to pour a glass of wine and sit down to work quietly. Sometimes it's hard to know when I'm done with a design, I just want to keep tweaking and adjusting it forever... I decided to try and finish it before this season's holiday craft fairs, so I had to rush to finish it up in the last few weeks of November. Once I've finished my designs, I print them out on transparent film which is used to create the stencil on the screen.

I was so excited to finally get it printed onto fabric, I had to take a picture before the ink was even dry! I had worried a bit that the details were too small and it would be difficult to print neatly, but the scale turned out just right - it looks beautifully intricate, but the lines are bold enough to print neatly. I'd gotten the blue fabric a few months earlier and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, just loved the color and wanted to work with it. Once I saw this design, it seemed like a perfect fit to print it in silver on the blue fabric. I tested out a few other combinations but the blue and silver was totally my favorite, no contest.

Super excited to have this finally complete! Out of my head and onto the fabric... and now it's up in the shop and out into the world!

http://www.morrisessex.com/collections/hand-printed-scarves/products/lacy-blue-and-silver-scarf

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