The Old Tattered Flag

Monday, October 26, 2015

Brandywine Hook In....and the sniffles...


Preparing for a hook-in is a lot like having a baby.  You hate every minute of it.  It's stressful, painful, exhausting, etc!!  There are patterns, patterns, patterns to be drawn and packaged.  Labels to be printed, wool to be dyed, everything to be priced.  Then you have to go through the show checklist.....there MUST be a checklist (which doesn't always work either, I'll explain), what patterns should we bring, how much wool, what size booth did we have again?  Do we have the hammer, nails, tape, bags, lights, tablecloths??  This was our final hook-in of the year and I'm not going to lie, we were tired.  Being the end of October you are right on the line of Fall/Christmas, but we decided to go with Christmas with a smattering of Halloween thrown in.  The week before the hook-in Mom had a raging cold.  I drank orange juice and tried to pull my scarf up over my face every time I went into the dye kitchen to talk to her (no offense Mom).  By the time Friday came along Mom was all better but guess what?!  I felt terrible!!  As we drove to Pennsylvania I must have sneezed 50 times, then there is the stuffy nose and runny eyes.  It was not pretty!!  My husband kept asking me, "did you grab the tablecloths, the screw gun, the nails".  I felt like crap so I nicely responded back (not!) "of course, this is not my first rodeo....geez".  Well, guess what....no The Old Tattered Flag sign, not tablecloths, no greenery for the stockings...ugh, I hate it when he's right!  Anyway,  I "soldiered on" and we got our booth set up, but never in my life have I been so excited to get to a hotel room....



I look like I had been in a fight with Mike Tyson.  I want you to know that I am proud of myself for putting this photo on.  I live by the theory that if you can't laugh at yourself then you might as well give up.  This is funny........now!



I put on my wooley socks, chugged more OJ, slathered myself with vicks, took some Nyquil...oh and yes, had some vanilla trifle........I was sick not dead!!






The next morning I could breath but was still in a Nyquil fog as we headed down to get a quick breakfast before the hook-in.  As we were waiting for our food and having that first glorious cup of coffee the fire alarm went off.  Four fire trucks later, as you can see we ate our breakfast in the truck.  Were these all signs?  Was it going to be a good day? 

I always get butterflies before a hook-in.  Will they like us?  Will we sell anything?  With the remnants of Nyquil finally leaving my body and the caffeine finally doing it's job we headed in to the building and I was suddenly at ease.  At that moment it all comes together.  Like the first time you see your baby's face you forget all the pain you went through to get there, lol!  I was in my space, my world......












...and they did like us!  We met so many of our online customers that I know by name but not face.  I really cannot tell you how much I enjoy meeting everyone in person. 


 As the day went on I was finally able to breathe out of both nostrils and the swelling in my eyes had gone down a bit so I decided to walk around the room and snap some photos.....

pattern by Heavens to Betsy

pattern by Heavens to Betsy



This pattern came home with me.  The same pattern is above and below.  I'm drawn to the darker version below.  This is not my normal style, very Magdalena-ish, but I fell in love with it.  Pattern is by the Wool n' gardener.



Then there was the rug show! My oh my!!!










...and the hook-in....ladies meeting to laugh, admire, inspire, create, share, relax....












The Wool Studio




Pat stopped by to show us her two latest rugs.  Lovely work Pat, I love the bubbles coming out of the fish's mouth...




By the end of the day I was saying..."what cold?"  There is just something about the whole environment....it's the best medicine in the world.  I can't tell you how much both Mom and I enjoy the hook-ins.  Meeting all of our online customers in person is the icing on the cake.  Talking to the other vendors "in the biz", seeing the artistry, really there is nothing better.  I'd like to thank Mary Lynn and Marian for organizing such a great hook-in.  The venue was great and we already can't wait for next year!  If you ever get a chance to attend one of the hook-ins I've written about here on my blog, please do so.  We'd love to meet you and you'll take away so much from the day.  It is "our world" where we feel most comfortable gathering with those who understand our passion.  I hope you have enjoyed the eye candy (that is...except for my beauteous photo).
Until next time......

14 comments:

  1. Julie,
    I hope you are feeling much better.
    Your booth looked amazing. You offer such wonderful items! Hope you make it to another hook in in Ohio soon.
    Hugs :)
    Lauren

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    1. Thanks Lauren, yes, we are already signed up for Ohio next year!! See you there!

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  2. I don't know how you do it! I hope you will get a little down time before you go into the Christmas season. Your space looked wonderful and I'm guessing you had a lot of shoppers. We've had snow twice in northern MN already. I'm looking forward to hooking and stitching this winter...and not looking forward to work, snow, bad roads, colds etc... Thanks for sharing the great photos.

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    1. Now it's all a faint memory, the cold that is. It was a great day. I'm looking forward to doing some hooking on the wonderful patterns I have purchased over the last year during December, that is our down time, believe it or not, just managing the shop and website! Thanks Krissy!

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  3. Thank you for sharing such great pictures of the Hook in, your booth looks beautiful!!!

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  4. I will need a year to save up money for a plane ticket and for all of the rugs I would buy if I ever get to show up. What a wonderful show!
    Someday though, this is on my list, that and visiting your shop. I hope you feel lots better now.

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    1. Thank you! You would find it well worth the price of a plane ticket. Are there any hook-ins in your area?

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  5. I enjoyed the 'eye candy' - especially your picture! (That made me laugh!!)

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    1. Lol, thank you, I"m glad I could give you a chuckle. I'm laughing now too, now that it has passed.

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  6. Oh my goodness! Looks like I missed an an awesome show! I'll have to make sure I get there next year.... so sorry you had such an awful cold throughout the whole show... but, your booth looks amazing and I can hear you are glad that you "soldiered through it all" with a smile! :-)

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  7. I'm glad you felt better the next day. I think when I come down with a cold I feel worse than when it finally hits!
    I love your setup. Not only is it beautiful but so professional! You and mom work hard and it shows. I am a watercolor artist and I do shows too so I know what it involves to set up. I smiled as I read this blog! Been there, done that!
    I'm planning on a visit to your shop as I just began teaching myself rughooking through your YouTube tutorials. They are excellent! I must say I'm doing pretty good for a beginner that's to you and Mom.
    Keep up the wonderful work....Patti

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    1. Thanks so much Patti, keep on hooking and hope you make it up here someday!

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About Me

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog. I am married and just entering the second phase of my life as a Army retiree's wife. My husband and I did 25+ years in the Army. He is now officially a retired Colonel and has just entered the civilian workforce and I am happily settled in our 1830 Stone house. I (along with my Mom) operate www.theoldtatteredflag and currently we are building a small shop in the back part of the house. We live in Northern NY, right near the Canadian border. I have two handsome sons and 2 puggles. Life is busy for us, but I wouldn't have it any other way.