Saturday, August 4, 2012

Adventures in Battling the Wind (and BSSM recap vol iii)!

After battling the woes of wind and the elements at my first two Bastion Square Sunday Markets, I was determined to master the art of outdoor craft markets for my third attempt! Sure I did a whole slew of outdoor markets last summer in Kamloops, but I had the joys of setting up on grass then and could anchor my tent down with pegs and a mallet. Fraser and I attempted using bungee cords and barbell weights for our first markets and although they worked well in the rain, they were no match for the 40km/hr gusts we experienced the next week! Eek! It was time to rethink the tent weights - and this time things were going to get serious.

Much like countless other moments throughout my lifetime my dear ol' dad came to the rescue on this one and donated four lovely bright orange old tubs (with lovely lids and handles)! Thanks pops! Then Fraser and I just had to take a little drive to the gravel mart and shovel to our hearts content:

Next we picked up some hardware, whipped out the drill, and voila! Two hundred pounds of tent holding awesomeness! Fraser even drew up some of my mustache cat designs I coloured and laminated to add a little cuteness to the weights.  I really love how they turned out and despite my original fears of giant orange eye sores, they work like a charm! Take that mother nature! Check them out:

We also ditched the bungee chords and hooked them on with the ratchet straps I bought to tie the tent down to our roof rack. That tent wasn't going anywhere and the final product looks pretty slick: 

See him hiding there in the corner? How charming! I figure the primary colours blend in with my pops of colour I have going on in my display and it is immensely stress revealing to not have to worry about my tent blowing away.

Once the tent was under control it was time to tackle the wind blowing over all the items on my table! I loved all the suggestions all many of you gave me last week in my comments and this time had ample anti-wind precautions. Yup - looks like it's time to list them:

1) I have pockets on the corners of my homemade table cloths that I put rocks into. They hold the fabric nice and tight and offer a simple (and cheap) solution!

2) I use C-clamps to hold down my bulletin board stands. Wendy actually gave me this idea two years ago and it works like a charm! Thanks Wendy!

3) I put up a few tent walls. With no fear of my tent blowing away a few walls do wonders for keeping those gusts at bay!

4) Take a feel of where the wind effects your table items the most and adjust your layout accordingly. I flipped my L shaped set up from how I had it the previous week and it made all the difference! From now on I will definitely take note of the wind direction before setting up!

5) I use a crap ton of masking tape. Nothing like a little (ok, a lot) of tape to hold down those pricing signs and fixtures! Yay!

Now check out those strategies in action:

Woo hoo! Take that wind! 

As for my experiences selling for a third time at the market - it was great! The day was lovely, loads of tourists were out wandering about, and I had my most sales yet!  It is so much fun being able to talk to people about my crafting and I love seeing what people pick out to buy! Hooray!

Of course it wasn't all kittens and sunshine, and despite the lovely forecast the shady morning was freezing and next week I'll be sure to bring some extra layers. Once the sun finally hit my table in the afternoon I started to thaw out and my goods looked extra happy in bright light:

I've also come to realize that when I leave Fraser in charge of the table when I go for an inevitable food/bathroom/networking break he never manages to sell a single item.  Ann (one of our favourite tent neighbours) told us it's because my table is, "way cuter than Fraser is" and I'm sure tons of ladies wonder why he appears to be making and selling such girly items. I'm not sure if there is really a solution to this dilemma, but Fraser did decide to sport an extra large yeti pin to fit in a bit at the last show:

Sadly, still no Fraser sales but I will remain optimistic for this week! 

In other exciting news, I got to give out one of my "thanks for reading by blog - here's a free button" prizes at the market! I do love my blog readers and even though it went to my sister (who probably reads my blog out of "you're family and you have to" guilt) I'm sure she still loved it!

Yay! What a great way to end the market and start off a nice visit with her! Here's hoping that tomorrow's market is exponentially successful and that hopefully I'll get to meet a few more blog readers too! Wish me luck!


  1. Ahhh! This is great. couldn't figure out what orange things you were talking about. I saw somebody at the market with rain boots filled with concrete and thought of you.

    Have fun with the fam!

  2. Your weights look great! I think adding the mustache cats was a brilliant idea ^_^