Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Three Days of the ChristKindl Fest

When last I wrote I was literally getting ready to go out the door to the Barrington, IL ChristKindl Fest.  This is the village's first annual ChristKindl open air German Fest. 
Mike and Susan in the Wired Lotus booth at the ChristKindl Fest in Barrington, IL (Photo courtesy of Bob Lee)

The Fest began at 3pm on Friday and ended at 5pm on Sunday.  It was a three day event for which Wired Lotus had two weeks to prepare displays and create one of a kind jewelry.  There were singers, dancers, Oompa bands, glog, open air German concession stands, a carousel, sweets, candied pecans, wooden carved nativity booth and even a pair of real reindeer.  And to make everything even more authentic, there was a constant light fluffy snow that gracefully covered the tents, ground and knit hats of children all day on Sunday.
"Tuba Christmas" headed towards the entertainment tent on Sunday

The booths (hauses) in a row. 
Haus' at night

Across from our booth was the Barrington High School students who were participating in the "Merry Meals" project where their goal was to pack 10,000 meals to send to Guatemala City to feed children and families.  They had a goal thermometer outside of their tent that we watched going up each day.  By the end of the day the nice fella who was helping the students stopped by our "hut" to tell us that they exceeded their goal of 10,000 meals for the hungry.  High five!! 
Barrington High School Students Volunteer to pack "Merry Meals."

 James, our exchange student son, came to help us out on Saturday morning.  He did a great job helping me to merchandise the jewelry on tables in front of the haus.  He talked with the people of the community and offered great support. 
James helps Susan set up tables on Saturday morning

There were two booths that were selling hand made jewelry.  One was our booth, Wired Lotus and the other was N Style Designs, whose booth was across and diagonal from our booth.  Nancy owns this booth and we made a connection talking about the rigors and excitement of preparing for such a professional event as the ChristKindl Fest. 
Nancy's N Style Designs Handmade Jewelry
As chilly as it was there wasn't much of a whiff of the lavender that filled my marquise shaped bowl that propped up our business cards.  Still, I wanted to share this new idea I had to display the cards, in case it can be of help to others seeking a similar business card solution.

So, what was the hot item at our booth?  It was the silver wraps with botanicals captured in resin, especially the spheres. Pendants were especially hot.  This necklace was one of the few remaining resin botanicals. It is now at home in Studio V at Harper College.   

In the midst of the events of the weekend, our son, Jonathan turned 18 years old.  Before going to the Fest we fussed a little bit to make his day special.  He was a very good sport about giving up his day so mom and dad could open up shop. 
Our son, Jonathan turns 18 years old on December 7

Daisy, our bichon frise was a naughty dog the first two days of the show as she had to stay at home alone for many hours.  We had wanted to bring her with us, but we were afraid that she would get cold.  On the third day of the show, we bundled her up and put a reindeer hat on her and she was very happy to be our haus mascot. 
Daisy sitting pretty for a customer

To end this post, I would like to humble myself by sharing with you the aftermath of the frenzy of preparing for the Fest.  For those of you who have that creative or artistic gene, you will understand this phenomenon I call "creative tornado."  It is as if a disaster is left in the wake of all that wire twisting and soldering.  Looking back at this photo I wonder where I had any space to actually work!!
Susan's Workshop (or should I say, disaster)
I know that this is a long post, but I want to end by giving thanks to several people who made this weekend very special:
*My husband, Mike, who worked all week, then stayed in the booth with me all weekend and held down the fort making meals and cleaning house.  He fully supported everything about this weekend.

*Jonathan, who gave his support with this event on the weekend of his special birthday.

*Artie, my stepfather in Ohio, who spent many hours in a cold garage sawing and engineering my displays and sending me the finished displays to stain.  Artie, you are a creative wonder. 

*My mother, Julie, who supported my stepfather's absenteeism while he worked for days on the displays.  

*Studio Vs, Thomas Tucker and Cheryl Turnauer for the opportunity to be introduced and chosen to represent the college and Studio V.

*Maria Coons and David Loop for orchestrating and securing the haus for Studio V.

*Andrea Russell for taking the time to prepare my jewelry for the Fest and for logging all of my jewelry back into Studio V.

*James, our exchange student son, for helping out at the haus on Saturday morning and showing great enthusiasm. 

*Bob Lee who rode his bike 6,500 miles across the nation to raise awareness and funds for this three causes: ALS, cancer and hospice. Mr. Lee took the professional photo at the beginning of this post and sent it to us that night.  Thanks for connecting with us, Mr. Lee

*The Barrington Rotary Club and the Barrington Village Association for all of your hard work volunteering to make ChristKindl Fest a wonderful Barrington event.  We especially thank the Rotary ladies who brought us hot apple cider in the evenings.  

*Thank you to all the kind people of Barrington and the surrounding communities who "connected" with us and offered us stimulating and thoughtful conversation. 

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