We have done it all this fall - all within about three weeks. We have discovered the best recipe - do it all.
Commotion on the Chester Green started us off. The promises are starting to be fulfilled as visitors to our busy booth those two perfect days in September are placing their Christmas orders.
Your journey into fall must include family fun rooting for two teenagers in soccer games, Randolph HS versus Montpelier U32 in the state capital. The little ones keep busy and make new friends, and we keep watch and wait for the right play. But that doesn't happen! However, the BBQ and sendoff hugs make up for the game scores.
Back home to begin a massive hunt in this 15-room castle for spider webs and all that goes with them. A room a day. My sister-in-law Nancy (here holding a puppy whose eyes will become a doll) is coming to visit for the first time in many years with her cousin, Lisa. We had to sparkle...plenty. Planned the menus and activities and invited the family down to partake in the festivities. What festivities? Call it the yellow weekend - Fall Vermont Crafts Council Open Studio. Prospect was beautiful foliage mixed with rain.
Saturday morning our houseguests put yarn into Calico Paper Dolls and helped Lew put together our 15 #17 Dolls signs that he promptly posted around town. I made sure theSale Dolls were tagged with their $45 off, that veggie pizza and green cake were out, and that the process table was a go. Next thing we knew our first guests arrived. What brought them? Good question.
Many came on the tour with the map booklet in their hand, attracted by the yellow wayfarer signs everywhere. Some stopped out of curiosity not even knowing what the yellow signage meant, but the real live visitors came with our beautiful brochure in their hands. Four different Vermont Visitor Centers had supplied them with "my ticket" in their racks. One Center even told a Monday visitor, when Open Studio was not an event, "that sure Bonnie would be open." We had sent our local loop map to all the centers where our brochures are displayed and that communication kept them connected to us. To top it off I got a sweet letter from a Camilla cat customer who said the Vermont Welcome Center and my brochure were the keys to her visit and for her coming back for more dolls.
Yes, there was sun. And there was rain, and even serious wind, but this Autumn Art Circle was better than spring. So it all works. In between, during the three summer months, we enjoyed fun events right here with specially connected community children and families - wheat pasting, entertaining and hearing from grammies, and finally writing doll stories. View image
But perhaps the best was the Columbus Day visit by Sasha and her family fromMassachusetts. Her Emily was in her arms. Two hours later, twin sister Sabrina had made up her mind. She wanted Pierre the Penguin. Meanwhile Sasha was stuck. Andro? Sarah? Olivia? My, she knew my whole product line and me intimately from reading my Blogs on the web. What a treasure. I will love to assist her picking and choosing, and we'll both have fun.
Weather or not, we'll do it all again next year. It all works famously together, and the web master will surely be blessed with a new camera!