Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On the Road - Smith Street Sunday Funday in Brooklyn

Last Thursday, I said goodbye to my second grade students for the summer, did a quick celebration dance, and promptly got into craft show mode. Being my first summer of doing outdoor shows, I have been prepping for the past few weeks. I got a new tent, weights, and all the doodads that go along with braving the great outdoors. Thom made me an amazing new spinning jewelry display out of an upcycled metal lampshade and patio umbrella base. He also created a lazy susan-type base for my favorite topiary display so my thimblism necklaces could really whoosh around like carnival swings. I couldn't wait to try my new set up at the Smith Street Sunday Fun Day Event.
new display
Grace Napoleon of Folk Couture and I miraculously squeezed both of our set ups into her car. We had a smooth ride into Caroll Gardens and pulled up to a fabulous neighborhood filled with interesting shops and tempting restaurants. Eight blocks of Smith Street were sectioned off for the event and there was a nice mix of handmade wares, import items, and food. Just a block away from us was a stage that hosted a great variety of music for the day and the stinky cheese eating contest. 
one car - two full set ups - pretty impressive if you ask me!
welcome to Grace's place
We were lucky to be surrounded by other great vendors. To our right was Avian and John of My Little India. You couldn't miss their colorful display of handmade pillows with bold colors, patterned recycled plastic area rugs, and tables made from upcycled wood and pipes. I would buy "one of each" from their shop if I had my way. On top of having amazing wares, they have to be the nicest couple around. They are well-loved regulars at the Brooklyn Flea. If you're ever there, make sure to check them out. I dare you NOT to leave with something from their shop!
dynamic duo
color abounds
I couldn't have been happier to be set up next to Heather of Bright Lights Little City. I had seen her clever cocktail umbrella lamps all over the internet and it was great to finally meet the artist behind the design. I enjoyed poking through all her stuff. She makes a great variety of limited edition jewelry and accessories from vintage items. Her nightlights made out of antique glass slides flew off the shelf, and I adored her headbands embellished with vintage cloth and plastic flowers. Heather had a bowl filled the the cutest tiny origami stars. Once she gave me a quick tutorial on how to make them, I had to go home with one of her star kits. Something tells me there soon will be tiny stars all over my apartment! 

Heather's treasures
oh my stars!
I enjoyed watching people "ooh and ahh" at Grace's creations all day. Many lucky ladies went home with her dresses and tunics, but one in particular literally stopped foot traffic at the fair. Sometimes the right outfit finds the right person and this was a perfect example of that. There was this one woman who tried on Grace's "Wild Thing" dress and once she stepped out of the dressing room, people stopped on the street and said she just had to take it home. Every time this attractive gal emerged from the dressing room with a different dress, the same thing would happen. She got so many compliments, she kept jokingly asking if the compliments were coming from one of Grace's sisters at the fair. Grace doesn't have any sisters...just lots of fashion panache!
wild and wonderful
great from the front and the back
Several of my "hot off the press" pieces went home with happy customers. Two of my favorites were the "Shady Lady", featuring a cameo framed by a perfectly patina-ed escutcheon, and "Steeplechase" a bold and brassy horse hurdling a protractor. The crowd really seemed to enjoy and appreciate vintage-inspired designs. I had some great conversations with people about their vintage collections at home. Meeting these folks is one of my favorite things about doing shows.
Sunday shoppers
Shady Lady
After a busy day on Smith Street, Grace and I moseyed on over to Chestnut for dinner. The restaurant had an inviting interior with warm wooden tones and a relaxed but refined atmosphere. We sat down to some lovely rosemary focaccia and a bowl of pickles that perked us up after a long day outside. A tall, beautiful woman walked by with her kids and I instantly remembered her from the street fair. She came over to say hi and it turned out that she was the owner of Chestnut. Her name was Susan and her warm and welcoming personality definitely spilled over into her restaurant. Grace ordered a delectable bowl of house-made cavatelli with goat cheese and sausage morsels. I got a lovely, perfectly-cooked chicken breast with spicy Toulouse sausage stuffing and asparagus. The clean presentation, perfectly-sized portions, and clean flavors were a such a treat and a refreshing way to end the day. 
Chestnut  - 271 Smith St. (between Sackett and Degraw)
Grace and I hopped in the car and noshed on a few delicious French pastries from Provence en Boite while on the road. With a sigh and a smile, we headed back to Connecticut with a fun day behind us.

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