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  • Writer's pictureSandi B

Almost halfway through 2023, and...

things are starting to heat up!


Greetings to you all. Even though it has been quite some time since I last posted, I am still creating pine needle pieces and filling up my calendar. Clearly I am not very diligent in creating timely blog posts, however.


I traveled (for pleasure) more than I usually do in December and then again in March and April, so I didn't do many shows until recently. Since there are several pine needle basket coilers locally, I have been focused more on shows a bit of a distance away, where I am "new"!


Thus far in 2023 I have participated in four shows - three local and one in North Carolina. February found me at The Food Bank show at the Base Recreation Center at Market Common. Fun indoors show, but happened to be the same weekend as the Vintage Market Days show at the Myrtle Beach Sports Center. This resulted in a lot less traffic than expected. March found me and my fellow basket coiler Nancy in North Carolina, at the NC Rice Festival. It was a beautiful day with entertainment, food and plenty of visitors. It was a little buggy by a swamp, but we survived!


I was so excited for April to arrive. I had been again accepted to the Brookgreen Gardens annual Art Show, which this year was moved from the first weekend in June, to the last weekend in April. The thought was that it always seemed to rain in June, so maybe April might result in more pleasant weather (and certainly a lot less humid than June in SC!) Unfortunately that was not to be. Saturday was beautiful - sunny and pleasant temperatures. Sunday was a different story indeed. When the vendors arrive around 8:30 to prepare for the 10:00 opening, we were told to zip up our tents and find shelter inside, as there was lightning in the immediate area. We were able to return to our tents and open up after the rain and lightning passed, a little after 10:00. All was well until the skies opened up again at 2:15, bringing not only a heavy downpour, but also a microburst, which some of us discovered does as much damage as a tornado.


As we all zipped our tents back up to stay dry from the rains, the wind picked up suddenly. I found myself sitting in the center of my closed up tent, when all of a sudden the entire front of my tent lifted. I instinctively jumped up and grabbed the frame of the tent to hold it down, when I found MYSELF being lifted! Needless to say I let go immediately and in a matter of seconds the tent had flipped behind me, as all my tables and chairs and baskets soon followed. It might have been only ten or fifteen seconds, but it felt so much longer. And just as quickly as the wind had picked up, it dissipated. I was surrounded by my tent frame twisted and mangled, and all my things strewn about behind me, while I stood there in the pouring rain, soaked to the skin. Fortunately I lost nothing except my tent frame. After a few days of the baskets drying in the garage, I was ready for the next show...indoors for the time being! It may be a while before I get a new tent frame and set up in unpredictable weather. I thought that 45 pounds of weight on each tent leg was sufficient, but after seeing my tent and several others in my path get lifted up with ease, as well as several trees and large live oak trees limbs come down, 45 pounds per leg is clearly not enough to avoid disaster.


In May I participated in a new show at the Beach Family Worship Center - outside BUT under their HUGE tent that was like being under the Big Top at a circus! It was a well organized show but, similar to the Food Bank Show, coincided with the annual Blessing of the Inlet Show, thus resulting in less customers than anticipated..


In June our Blackmoor neighborhood is having a small residents only craft show and ice cream social that should be fun, at our clubhouse. I will then spend the following months getting ready for the Fall events.


I am waiting to hear if I have been accepted to two shows in September - Atalaya and Vintage Market Days. I should be hearing soon. Again I will be a vendor at Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church Annual Craft Show the end of October. But the EXCITING upcoming show is the Holly Jolly Holiday Fair in Anderson, SC - about five hours west of where I live. I tried to get in last year, but was not accepted. They provided valuable feedback at that time, and that feedback helped to improve my application this year - and I was ACCEPTED!! It is a three day show at the Anderson Civic Center, that has historically seen thousands of visitors each year. It is THE Holiday show in the area and I feel so privileged to have been accepted. I will need to produce many items for the upcoming shows, so I will be creating at every possible moment from now until then!


Well that's all for now. I hope that 2023 has been wonderful to you all thus far. I hope to see you at a future event. Take care and I will TRY to post again sooner rather than later!




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Sharon Smigel
Sharon Smigel
May 20, 2023

What perseverance! It is amazing to read what you have gone thru, and you still prevail so positively, with such passion about the future shows! Such a joy to know you, and more important, to have your friendship~ May you rock the HOLLY JOLLY festival~


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