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Every Fair Has a Silver Lining

We began the fair circuit in Quechee in mid-June at the 31st Annual Balloon Festival. Everything was perfect - the weather, the crowds, the orders, the sales. It was like the mid-eighties for us all over again. We were next door to Bella and her family again and even appeared on WCAX-TV one night. The balloon launches werre magical, and I am always brought back to the years when our little girls would draw hot air balloons while their Dad took pictures, out of which came the Jennifer doll. Does it get better?

Keep in mind for all the fairs this year the weather was with us except for one windy day in Baileys Meadows this fall. Fletcher Farm is always a treat. Cynthia does a great job of organizing the July and August Saturdays and Space No. 39 is about as perfect as it gets, and we're smack in that spot year after year. We saw old friends like Diane, Cec, Fran and Doc. We ate our own healthy food and watched the fries and sodas walk by. Lew had fun taking feet pictures of the fair goers; and as is customary we heard over and over, "We drive by your house and always wondered what a Bundle was!" So now you know to stop in when the flag is out.

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Give me the Chester Green any weekend and the nostalgia runs high. Years ago vendors were all local merchants and craftsmen. The Spater boys would love to sell make believe vampire blood in little bottles from the basement of their dad's store. Our girls would set up their crafty station in our booth - mini skirts, rainbow signs, Ghost Printer cards. This time around I even saw my friend and neighbor Betsy with her daughter, and grandchildren -- all three generations are Bundle owners. I got hugs from all my little CAES friends.

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The Chester Rotarians did a splendid job and Chester was utopia. Lew split his time working at the church tag sale and with me, busy with his camera. The orders are falling in just as hoped. The lining here was not only a hug from my former Girl Scout Michelle but a box of her fudge too!

When it comes to the Peru Fair I can count on Lew to deliver me, set me up, pick me up, and off he goes to Saint-Gaudens for the Sculptural Visions day. This year he was blessed with Kara and five of our grandchildren who made sculptures of their hands. My helpers were Margie and Leah, two sweet fourteen year olds. who own and love their Bundles. I got an insight into what is important to a teenager, and they could answer anyone's question about how the dolls are made. Owen was the most popular guy that day. The veggie egg rolls sold by Burr & Burton were delish. If everyone who asked for a card follows through, I might be nervous about filling special orders.

The ninth and tenth day out was Woodstock Apples and Crafts. My sweet friend Monica was not a constant companion (she's growing up) but Lew was. Our very own Kelly showed up to help us button up and to enjoy a bit of the excitement we always experience at this fair. We connected with the granddaughter of a former famous Chester artist and will be making a Veontha doll for her great. I always respond to Nora (my legal name) and it usually means someone from my distant past. Yes, it was my high school classmate Ruth from Franklin, NJ. And I got to see Kai, Maggie and Katie and Chester friend Gladys. Lew's Canon concentrated on hats and dogs.

The canopy is stored away until next June. The deacon's bench needs a paint job, as does the knitting nook (Silvio's winter bedroom over the heat register in the doll shop). Meanwhile the Yankee Magazine ad is kicking in, our web site visitors are at all time high. The clipboard is full of face images for portrait dolls -- a new kind of commission doll. I'd say if your wish is not on the clipboard and the work in progress is not on the dining room worktable, you ought to hop to it and place your order very soon.

Your favorite person on cloth in embroidery, calico and a soft yarn can be your silver lining especially if you use our search engine search engine to find "Order Me Now" which means there are 77 dolls ready to ship just as you see it.

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