The most wonderful time of the year... when fair trade and local craft shows pop up all over the place, making my favorite kind of shopping fun and convenient(ish). A friend and I have a yearly tradition of attending The Little Craft Show in Fayetteville together, and the past two years she's gotten us tickets to the Friday night preview (they debuted that last year - it started at 5, but the line began to form at noon. We stood in the rain three blocks away for a worth-while hour before we got in, even with tickets). This year the weather was better and they had revised their system - VIP tickets for the extra early people, and normal preview ones for a reasonably limited crowd.
Stamp by Felicette
The weather was gorgeous - cool, but not unbearable (especially since I was wearing Tobin. As an aside, one thing I love about Fayetteville is the number of other people I saw also wearing babies), so we had macarons and tea from dear Alchemy as we walked the few blocks from the knitting shop where we met (we needed fortification for the possible line ;) We didn't have to wait long, though - ten minutes 'til the VIPs were finished and we were allowed in and the line stretched down a single sidewalk without making any corners, and we were in within a few minutes once we started moving.
Beautiful calendar by Kate from Little Things
Little cloud of happiness by Joy Elizabeth
Morgan and I followed a system we've tested in the past - one full lap to scout, stop and eat (Greenhouse Grille was there with soup - she had chicken gumbo with a lovely biscuit, and I had curry red lentil soup with chips instead of naan) and confer, visit the photo booth to make sure we're not taking ourselves too seriously (the operator insisted on handing Tobin a cookie prop, then he surprised me by rising to the occasion, and waving it magnanimously and pretending to take a bite without actually trying to eat it), then hold each other accountable to not making impulse purchases or going over budget. I managed to get almost only preplanned Christmas gifts (with one spontaneous gift purchase and a couple of small things for myself, one of which may yet end up being a gift), and left with money to spare (budgeters, don't rejoice too much - I was saving for two more shows ;)
Sweater weather - a cream base infused with mulling spices. Pure Joy, indeed!
Really, the sweetest thing about the evening (and the outing, every year) isn't the shopping itself, but the person I'm with. Comparing and conferring, laughing and teasing between serious conversations... the event just gives us a reasonable excuse to spend five hours together, and I'm alright with that.
2210. Everyone feeling noticeably better in the morning
2211. Finding an acceptable substitute when my original idea didn't work out - having time to execute it - and then making it to the post office to mail the finished item, ten minutes before they closed
2212. A game of Lord of the Rings Risk, over pizza and cookies