Tag Archives: fair

at the fair

Last week was the bi-annual big shoe trade fair. My dad has been attending for thirty years or so with whatever brand of shoes he has been selling over the years.
I worked there for almost ten years during school and university. It’s weird not to anymore (I stopped when I finished university and got a fulltime job).
I stopped by shortly before they closed to say hi to everyone.

I worked for an italian kid’s shoe brand, having known the owners all my life and being good friends with them (heck, I even learned to speak italian just so we could chat). I did some photoshoots for them a while ago, which still shows up on their flyers and posters.

For nearly all of my life, the shoe fair fell on my birthday. Years ago, my dad introduced me to an old client of his and the client told me: “Oh, I know you, I remember the day you were born. Your father was called out for in all of the exhibition halls, telling him he had better go to the hospital now. That day, everyone on the fair knew he was going to be a daddy.”
I guess I just have a special relation to shoemaking. I loved this video about a shoemaker.

While my friends have a factory and a few dozen employees, a lot of their work is still handmade. I’ve seen them work at these old industrial sewing machines and cut leather fringes meticulously by hand one by one. Their designs are still drawn on paper and later, my dad goes through dozens of designs, picking and combining different leathers and colors to make each shoe a work of art.


kid’s council 2010

Our annual charity event at the barn took place last saturday. We always have a big kid’s camp for 3 days and on the saturday host an 1880 country fair for the public, having a rodeo and horseriding show, lots of fun games and selling homemade wares. All the money is later donated to charity, so it is all for a good cause.

All the men at the barn put an incredible amount of work into preparing for the fair, building little stands for the games and selling wares all winter.

Every little detail is tended to and of course all is handmade and handbuilt and handpainted.

I didn’t take as many photos as I would normally have, because I was helping prepare the fair and then sell stuff the whole day.

Also I am not comfortable with sharing photos of people on the internet without them knowing, so I’m sticking to still lives here.

The light at the counter was perfect in the evening and I took lots of lovely close-up portraits. As these two gals are my friends I hope they won’t mind sharing theirs:

And two more camp shots. I didn’t get many, so I hope these convey the athmosphere of the whole place:

With a tent and a fire and food and maybe a horse, what else is there to want in life? Sounds pretty damn perfect to me 🙂

patterndrafting adventures

Wow, has the weekend flown by! Can’t believe it’s already over again. I had planned to finally tackle Cal Patch’s wonderful book “Design-it-yourself-clothes” and make a top pattern for a dress. For one I am totally in love with the gorgeous dress Anna did based on that book and also I need a paririe dress for a charity event which is planned at the barn in June (1880’s country fair). I haven’t got any fabric for it yet but figured I could already draft the pattern and make a muslin on Saturday morning.

Two days and three handbasted muslins later (thank goodness for all of those old Ikea pillow cases, or I wouldn’t have had enough cheap fabric!) I was getting pretty frustrated because it just wouldn’t fit and the armhole was making me cry. My boyfriend said ‘Well, you didn’t think it was going to be easy, did you? Why did you think nobody does it anymore these days?’ to which I stammered ‘I thought people were just being lazy’.
Fast forward to a fourth draft and muslin and things are looking a whole lot better. Still not super duper perfect but good enough to be a satisfying finish to the weekend.

Totally unrelated but we’ve also been having a terrible storm today and all the way to the barn the streets were littered with branches and leaves. I took the highway on the way back but even there it was pretty scary with the sudden strong gusts of wind…I was glad to be home again and watch the rest of the storm from my cozy living room!