In line for their final polishing
In line for their final polishing

Thanks to my pushy friend Judi, I will be a vendor at the highly anticipated Crafty Wonderland here in Portland, Oregon on May 11th. I have dreamed of having a booth at Crafty, but I wasn't expecting to submit my application for another year or two.. or three. But like I said, I've got this really wonderful friend Judi who knew I needed a little push. Her husband Thomas Webb is an old-timer at this Portland institution. Judi and I work together as Sign Language Interpreters and she gently yet firmly made sure I turned in my application when they came due.

I'll be a first-timer. In fact, this is my first time doing a show. Period. My very first time. I am out of my mind excited and anxious all at once. And I am also grateful and very honored to be part of this juried show. But I have been down playing it in my mind. "I'm just here for the experience." "This will be a great opportunity to get in-person feedback about my work." "The exposure will be really good." "It will be nice to be part of the local (and awesomely talented) creative community."

But then I read this blog post by Besty and Iya, and it was exactly the healthy dose of AWESOME I needed! What exactly is Crafty Wonderland? This post is the perfect summation of what Crafty is all about, from the artists, crafters, and makers who are the heartbeat of the show, to the founders Torie and Cathy and what they have done for the crafting community in Portland, to how shoppers are supporting small businesses. I do hope you read it.

After reading the blog post and seeing the excited anticipation of fellow Crafty vendors I follow on Facebook, my fears have waned. Participating in Crafty Wonderland is exactly what I need to be doing to grow my jewelry business. I've got plans and casting equipment I want to buy.

I suspect I will feel like a reluctant nudist during those first couple of hours on the day of the show. I might even be shaking a bit while I process my first sale... or two. As I arrange the piece of jewelry I so carefully made, in the box I adorned with ribbon, and the specially selected poem I placed inside the lid, I may fumble a little. I may even laugh that cackle of a laugh I do when I feel joyful or nervous because I will be both. Most of all, I feel grateful for this incredible opportunity, and for the support and encouragement of friends and family, in the flesh and out there on the internet.

In the mean time, here's my theme song for the next seven weeks: The Specials, Rudy. Replace "Rudy" with "Kristin". Yeah, I know rudy is not a person's name, that it refers to a rude boy. I need something to keep me focused with all the work I have to do until the big show and this seems fitting... Stop your messing around... Better think of your future... Time you straightened right out... Kristin! A message to you, Kristin!

Time to light up the torch! I'm going to Crafty Wonderland!!