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Past Adventures 

  The Summer Art and Craft Shows of Texas - 2007

The sights or shows include :  The Happy Garren Production Shows of Lake Jackson and Rosenberg; The Texas Art Festival in Kerrville; the Waxahachie Tour of Homes Art Festival; the Boerne Market Days; Blanco Market Days, Kerr County Market Days; Bellville Market Days; the Spring Ho Festival in Lampasas, TX; Back to Waxahachie for the Harvest Baptist Church Art Fair; the Salado Art Festival; the Georgetown Market Days; Back to Blanco.

Forward :

Ok, ok, I guess I haven't really kept this site very current from Boyd's Big Bend Adventure from last Spring Break.  But I have been soooo busy with school and the art and craft show circuit for the Lone Star Mine Shaft !!!  Why work the art and craft shows you ask?  Why, I lost my part-time job down at the docks.

I had a good Spring school semester and my show sales with The Lone Star Mine Shaft also improved with the better shows I worked.  Although I only planned to take two courses this Summer session, I wanted to really concentrate on attending more shows throughout Texas and hopefully see sales improve.  So, the following is the good, the bad and the ugly of my experiences. 

I decided to write this piece for the benefit to those who plan to travel to the different areas and festivals that I attended and also for those crafters to give them a heads up on the show that are worth doing and the shows  that are not worth the time for.  Lastly, I had finally learned form many of the other crafters that once you think you have all the good shows figured out for your craft, then everything all turns a 180 degrees and its time to start your show planning all over again.  So, if your an artist/crafter or a Texas tourist looking for something to do for the weekend, please enjoy the following. 

 Star Date : 05/12-13/2007 :  Happy's Art Show in Lake Jackson, TX

     As I hinted earlier, I signed up with Happy Garren Productions for Happy's art and craft shows she holds throughout the Houston areas which also includes my hometown of Lake Jackson.

    

     I am sure it was due to the Mother's Day weekend, but I had my best show on this date.  In Lake Jackson, Happy's shows are held on the Randall's Grocery Store parking lot on the corner of Hwy 332 and Plantation Dr. Happy is an ole'-time painter herself who decided a number of years ago to use her connections to develop her own art and craft show circuit in the Houston areas.

Although she does not have her own website, she can be contacted at the number below for future show dates and or to participate in one of her shows if you are a crafter. 

Happy's Phone Number : (281) 482-1876

     Happy is good at trying to limit the number of the same type of artists or crafters.  Although I do work with two other jeweler's, I'm the only lapidary artist and wire art jeweler.

              The other artist/crafters who are regulars with her show circuit include bead smiths, textiles, crafty products for the home and kitchen, items for your garden, candle makers and of coarse she has the food vendors to make your tummy happy.

     One last note here, this site tends to be very windy.  For any future crafters who may think about doing this show, make sure your tent is weighted down well!!!

 Star Date : 05/19-20/2007 :  Happy's Art Show in Rosenberg, TX

    This again was another of Happy's shows and I did as well with this show as I did the week before in Lake Jackson.  Happy's show in Rosenberg is held at the Kroger's Shopping Center off of Business Hwy 90 that runs through town near the old sugar processing plant.  I really do not have too much more to add except the the Rosenberg show was good for me, especially since the Mother's Day weekend was over with.  If you live in the area, please give Happy a call for the next show date. 

     For fellow crafters thinking about doing this show, bring your own lunch/dinner.  There is a Burger King next to where the tent setup lies and the smell of the fast food will keep you hungry all day long!  At least you have a place to take care of your other business.

Star Date : 05/25-27/2007 :   The Texas Arts Festival in Kerrville

     I remember being dragged to the Texas Arts Festival by my mom and aunts as a little kid.  So that's how long its been going on.  I 'm sure me and my cousins found other things to do, probably getting in trouble with due to our lack of appreciation of the arts at the time.   I was re-introduced to this show by Evelyn back in 2002 during our Mason County Road Trip of 2002

     No, I did not work this show.  I just wanted to visit it again to see if I have what it takes to perhaps work it next year.  This is one of the biggest in Texas and quite worth visiting if you are a patron of the arts. 

     The festival is held at the Riverside Arts and Event Park off of Riverside drive.  For better directions, see their website below :

Official Texas State Arts & Crafts Fair

          A patron can find a little bit of everything here including jewelry, the wood arts, tile works, paintings, metal work and the list goes on and on.  I highly recommend this show and hope to see you there the next time around.

      This event is held on the Memorial Day weekend.  It always seems to rain on that weekend up there or down there depending where you are reading this from.  Therefore, please be prepared

     One last thing, the folks in town also have their Market Days on the Saturday of that weekend.  Give them a visit while you are there.  Lastly, the city of Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of Texas just 30 minutes south of Kerrville, also has their art and craft show on this weekend.  Pay those good folks a visit too.

     On to the next weekend......

Star Date : 06/2-3/2007 :   Waxahachie Tour of Home Art and Craft Festival

     I can't believe it took an arts and craft show to finally get me back to my old home town again.  Every first weekend in June, Waxahachie holds it's annual tour of their Victorian homes.  I arrived on Friday afternoon to setup my tent and tables and then touched base again with some of my old friends again.

    I saw Bennie, one of the bead smiths I worked with at the Happy Garren shows and a few artists I met at the Kerrville show.  Bernie told me that he always has a good show here.  Well I hoped so, I generally do not have the best successes during regular festivals due to the "Festival Mentality" of the patrons.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the "Festival Mentality" minded patrons at all.  But they're there for the festival activities and there's only so much money that they can blow.  The money is usually allocated for the rides for the kids, food, and other entertainment.
 Additionally, I also find myself along with the rest of the crafters competing against the "Re-Sellers" who pawn off cheap junk!  The art and craft show really isn't on their radar screen.  However,  everyone here did their own work and the show was held at Getzendaner Park well away from the town square and route for the home tours.

      The show did not go so well for me or the other crafters.  First was the rain on both Saturday and Sunday.  But once the skies cleared, the patrons did come out.  However, they were holding on to their money that weekend.  I did do ok, but expected much better.  The rain can kill a good show!!   Bernie said it was his worst show ever.  At least being in a nice park, the facilities were good.  I may go back and perhaps I'll have better luck the next time around. 

     Lastly, I want to thank all those who paid me a visit.  It was good to see you all again.  For more information on this event, see the website below :

Waxahachie Tour of Victorian Homes and Craft Show

 Star Date : 06/9-10/2007 :  Boerne Market Days

 

         I have been wanting to start to hit the art and craft shows or the "Market Day" shows of the little cities in the Texas Hill Country for quite a while and try my luck with the tourist.  Of all the "Market Day" shows out there, this is the one to do!!!  So this was my first and thank God for cousin Melvin in Bulverde for free lodging!!  Thanks Melvin!!! 

     Boerne Market Days is held every second weekend of the month during their operating season and it's site is at their courthouse grounds.  I arrived very early that Saturday morning and set up my tent and wares. By 10:00 am, the patrons finally arrived and by mid-afternoon, my sales were not near as high as I expected.  What's wrong here?  I began to wonder around a bit and ask my fellow crafters how they were doing.  Finally, we all figured it out.  This was the weekend of the big Folk Festival in San Antonio and the Lavender festival in Blanco just another 45 minutes away.

     The other crafters who were regulars here told me not to put this show down too much and that it is usually one of the best out here.  After the follow day of sales, I did manage to do ok and thanks to Melvin's free lodging, I manage to come home with quite a few Benji's in my pocket.  Note to self, on this weekend next year, do the Lavender Festival in Blanco!  Please see their website below for more information :

Boerne Market Days

Star Date : 06/16/2007 :  Blanco Market Days

    The Blanco Market Days is held every third weekend of the month during their operating season and its site is at their historic courthouse grounds.

  I had planned this show in late Spring and would have never participated in it since the Lavender Festival was held here the week before.  Well, I didn't know all of that at the time and made me wonder?  Would the patrons come back?  The woes continued as I drove into town with a light rain.  Would the skies clear up also?  All the venders met in the courthouse to receive our booth assignments and many of them left to go home not wanting to risk the rain.  Only about eleven of us decided to stick it out.
    By the time I put up my tent and finished setting up, the rain finally did subside and only a few of the patrons turned out.  Thanks to Hwy 281 running through the town square, many of my sales were by the tourists driving through.  Thank God for the tourists! Of coarse there were very few of us out there and thus very little competition.  Due to the rain, I can't complain and came home with a number of Benji's.

  I'll be back and I hope to see you out there!!!  For more information on the Blanco Market Days, please see their website below :

Blanco Market Days

Star Date : 06/23/2007 :  Kerr County Market Days

    The Kerr County Market Days is held every fourth weekend of every month during their operating season and it too is also held on the ground of the court house in Kerrville, TX.

  It rained on me again on the way up and worried about poor sales due to the weather.  I arrived at the court house grounds and was meet by an army of volunteers who would go out of their way to help you out.  I unpacked, setup and noticed that the art and craft Gods must have answered our prayers due to the skies opening back up again.
    Sales were horrible that day.  In fact, after speaking with other venders, they all experience sales less than normal.  I have to attribute it to the fact that once I left the area after the show, rain was everywhere.  It was the rain, that kept the tourist crowd away.  Damn the rain. We had a meeting and some of the other venders and artists/crafters told me they had an excellent show during the weekend of the Texas Arts and Craft Festival.  I'm not going to knock this show down, it was just the rain again.  It seems to be raining a lot out here lately. 

      For more information on the Kerr County Market Day show, please see their website below :

Kerr County Market Days

Star Date : 07/01/2007 :  Bellville Market Days

     I didn't work the weekend before due to my plans to work the Fourth of July show in Georgetown.  But the Georgetown show was canceled due to the previous rains and subsequent floods that flooded out the San Gabriel Park area where the festivities were to be held.  What's up with all this rain?  Therefore, I decided to try out the Bellville Market Day which is held every first weekend of the month just south of the courthouse grounds on Hwy 36.   

     My luck with the shows has been going downhill since Blanco and it did not stop here.  At this time of the Summer, it was just hot, probably too hot for most folks to come out.  As usual, most of my sales were the tourist and passer throughers from Hwy 36.  By this time, I am also learning that Summer sales are also far lower than those from the Spring season. 

     Although I meet a bunch of great folks here, I probably won't be back and don't recommend this site for any new crafters.  I say, leave to the locals.  However, if you are passing through on the first weekend of the month, stop by and pay those folks a visit.  For more information, please see their website below :

Bellville Market Days

 Star Date : 07/13-15/2007 : The Lampasas Spring Ho Festival

     Evelyn too has been hitting the show tours with her tie dyes and beaded jewelry.  So I was not surprised when she had contacted me about this show a few months earlier to see if we could do it together and watch each other's back when we need to take a break or grab a bite to eat and of coarse mingle around a little with the other artists/crafters and of coarse the crowd. 

    I was a little leery at first due to this being their annual festival and the "Festival Mentality Factor".  The festival is held every year at this time and it's site is at their Hancock Springs Park along the Sulfur Creek.  One couldn't ask for a nicer site to work in and the good news is that electricity is free and you will need it for lights since the show goes on past dark. 
    Oh God, when it rains it pours, especially for this show.  But although the skies did look menacing, it never did rain on us.  It was due to the "Festival Mentality" Factor.  Several major highways pass through Lampasas such as Hwy 190, Hwy 83 and of coarse my favorite, Hwy 281.  Unfortunately, there were very few tourist driving through.  I think we were just too far out in the Hill Country and at least we now know the limits of the tourist traffic.  I don't blame the locals for the Festival Mentality Factor.  Lampasas is not an area with a lot of money, its mainly an agricultural community and of coarse the soldiers from nearby Fort Hood do not have a lot of money to burn.

      We enjoyed our stay there, but we won't ever be back to work the show again.  At least from talking to the other artists and crafters out there, they won't be back either.  At least the food was good. But, if a visitor driving by during that weekend, then please stop by and pay those good folks a visit!  For more information on Lampasas' Spring Ho Festival, please see their website below :

Lampasas's Spring Ho Festival

Star Date : 08/4-5/2007 :  The Harvest Baptist Art Festival in Waxahachie

     I'm not going to elaborate too much on this show since all the crafters did so poorly.  It was one of those in which I at least broke even with.  I guess the promoter of this show picked up my business card at the Waxahachie Tour of Homes Craft Show and gave me and invite.  I thought this group was part of the Harvest Baptist Church down the road where I used to live which had a rather large congregation, and thus perhaps a good show for me.  No such luck, they are a small splinter group from the above and the show was not promoted well at all.

     Never the less, I went and will leave it at that.  No rain, but my luck with sales continues to go for a down turn.  I'm taking the next weekend off as you will soon see why.

Star Date : 08/4-5/2007 :  The Salado Art Fair

     This was another show that I went to as another scouting adventure.  I mainly wanted to see if I had what it took to try to make it out for the next year's show.

  I was very highly impressed with the show and it reminded me of a smaller version of the Texas Art and Craft Fair in Kerrville.   I met some fellow craft venders out their and met Mr. Bob Wolf, another wire art jewelry from the Houston area.  I'll be out here next year for sure and I highly recommend it to you patrons out there. 

     As a side note, if you are into antiques, then Salado is the city for you and there are plenty of B&B's to stay at.

    For more information about the show and the area, please see their website below :

Salado, the Crown Jewel of Texas

     One last note, if it gets too hot, you can always cool your feet in the creek around back.

Star Date : 08/4-5/2007 :  Finally, the Georgetown Market Day

     Back when Boyd and I were on our Big Bend adventure, we met some ladies at La Kiva who were from Georgetown.  Through our conversations, I told them about the "Lone Star Mine Shaft and the Spring shows that I was doing and looking for new venues to try out.  They both said come to Georgetown and you can't go wrong!  So I did and they were right!

     The Georgetown Market Days is held every second weekend of their operating season around the their courthouse square.  Finally, my luck change for the better and I did rather well.  For more information on the Georgetown Market Days, please see their website below :

Georgetown Market Days

     If your a crafter, give this show a try.  If a visiting tourist or patron, I do hope to see you here again! 

Star Date : 08/4-5/2007 :  Blanco Market Days

     See, I told you I would come back.  But so did the rain.  What luck!  However, just like last time, the rain subsided and many of the venders left before it began leaving little competition.  Yes, I be back!

The Aftermath :

     It's the end of the Summer and onto the Fall semester of school and a new Fall schedule for the shows.  Fellow crafters, I did my best to give you my most honest opinion of the shows I participated in.  What works for me, may not work for you.  Unfortunately, I think the rain and the heat really did it in for many of us.  But I won't give up unless you do.  And if your a patron out their, give these shows a look over and help support your fellow artist. 

     For the Fall, I plan to hit Georgetown, the Pecan Art Festival in Austin and of coarse the Happy Garren shows in the Houston area.  Please see me and if not, then please visit :

The Lone Star Mine Shaft

      Other than that, have a nice day!

 

          So, until next time, take care and I'll  See you... on the road, or in the workshop, (which is really just my garage) !!!!

                                                     Francis                        

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 Copyright 1999 by [The Texas Road Runners - Francis Kiefel]. All rights reserved.