The 41st Annual Craft Fair at Hudson Memorial School was a fun time as usual and full of the gymnasium activity, games, squeaky sneakers and Christmas music. The vendors set up all up and down the hallways and also in the cafeteria. It is a very tight space. I don't bring all my tables (they supply a big one) or display units, etc. and I have to really downsize my items to one table with not much space behind it for me. Because of that, it really difficult to take pictures of my customers (shaky hand vs. tripod) and the tight space makes it hard to get out of. My evergreen arrangements and all the greens, containers, decorations, etc. I bring so that I can constantly refill sold arrangements takes a lot of thinking, prep work and configuration to fit it all in. I think I am pretty good at that from a job I had in the early 1990's at a branch of Heimlich's Nursery. Their main establishment is in Woburn, MA, but I worked at their small store in Derry, NH. I loved that job and I learned so much being in charge of the plants, trees, shrubs, etc. It was a small place run by Mrs. Bette Heimlich, who worked a few days a week and I, the rest. She was a wonderful person who taught me a lot. I had a chance to work at the New England Flower Show in Boston for Heimlichs and it was eye-opening!
the Heimlich's Nursery booth in the vendor area
This was their booth in the vendor area (they always had an exhibit in the show also) and it is chock/stock full of hundreds of plants that you can see and many more that you cannot see. They would have to deliver sometimes through the crowds during the day and it would be "all hands on deck!" and a fast, constant flow of bagged plants would be handed over the counters and ingeniously stuffed underneath, but to remain undamaged. They really had it down and it made me realize the potential of the planning and experience.
Also working at Heimlichs, my love for evergreens was first born. They made many different Christmas items like kissing balls and "cemetery baskets" and grew hundreds, no thousands of poinsettia plants. The "cemetery baskets" were wooden baskets with handles and really can be used in so many other ways besides for cemeteries.
fir, balsam, cedar, pine and juniper
The different types of evergreen needles, shapes, shades of green, make me LOVE creating arrangements with them. In this basket, there is fir, balsam, cedar, pine and juniper.
The beautiful, rustic look of the wood in the log basket (the cedar is incense cedar with variegation)
DiZigns makes a version of the wooden basket that is strong, heavy and sturdy, but does not have handles. My husband John makes them for me and he has gotten it down in the past few years. I make the arrangements in oasis in a plastic tray which absorbs and holds water. This way they can be kept indoors as well as outdoors. I have experimented myself with some inside my own home (faithfully watering a few times a week) and they last fresh for weeks. As time goes on, different greens will dry differently and/or better than others, so it can also last as the greens are drying out. Of course outdoors the cold temps and rain/snow moisture make it long-lasting without much work.
log with oasis block in plastic tray
I did sell a log basket at this show as well as some designer bags, wooden hearts, a boxwood cup arrangement, kissing ball and an ornament gourd (my "so adorable you have to buy" gourd ornaments that have not been so irresistible to buy). I also sold this 2-tier Zebrawood heart with Abalam heart inlay and beads. I made a 3-tier for the Art Jam Bridge Fest this summer and made this smaller version. The woman who purchased the heart was buying it for her fiance who's favorite wood is Zebrawood. I love the stories.
holiday decorated gourd ornaments
2-tier Zebrawood heart with Abalam heart inlay and beads
As I looked up Heimlich's Nursery online, I read their "about" and was reminded that Alexander Heimlich, Sr. started the business. I heard from Bette that he was a creative and prolific landscape artist with an incredible garden hill of diverse and some unique plants that he continually worked on and one who was more concerned with the plants than financial rewards. Please click on their link to find out more information http://www.heimlichs.com/index.html https://www.facebook.com/Heimlich-Nurseries-199525290069522/
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