Archive for August 2017

Towering Above The Snake   Leave a comment

There are few views more dramatic than the sudden elevation of the Grand Teton range beyond the Snake River. Towering 7,000 feet over the valley, the rugged mountains dominate the landscape at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Snow, storms, seasonal color or the soft glow of sunrise transform the scene, making it one of the most photogenic places in the world. Photo by Kyle Miller. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior on 7/16/17.

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Grand Teton National Park

A Stunning Sunset

Cottonwood Creek

Sunrise On The Tetons

The Oxbow Bend

Posted August 31, 2017 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Blame The Space Race   Leave a comment

In 1962, NASA acquired 140,000 acres of land, water and marshes adjacent to Cape Canaveral to establish the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Despite the massive undertaking of sending a man to the moon, not all the land was needed, so the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was established on the unused portions. Today, you can see manatees, tropical birds, turtles, otters, bobcats and yes, the occasional rocket launch. Photo by Jose Torres. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 8/29/17.

Posted August 30, 2017 by henrymowry in Photography

Summer Color   Leave a comment

Layered   Leave a comment

There are skies and then there are Blue Ridge Parkway skies. The southern end of the parkway in North Carolina winds through the highest elevations, offering dramatic mountain top views. When photographer Robert Stephens chanced upon this scene at Bear Trap Gap, he said “It almost felt like an out of body experience. You can’t believe what you’re seeing, but it’s there! I was so in awe of the light filtering over the ridges I had to remember to snap my shutter!” Photo by Robert Stephens. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 6/24/17.

Posted August 28, 2017 by henrymowry in Photography

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The Golden Prairie   Leave a comment

The sun sheds golden rays as it sets over a prairie meadow at Colorado’s Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge. Two Ponds is the smallest Refuge in the national system. Photo by Seth Beres. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 8/25/17.

Posted August 27, 2017 by henrymowry in Photography

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Find Your Path   Leave a comment

May your path be as beautiful as this one! Shenandoah National Park. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 7/9/17.

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Shenandoah National Park

Posted August 25, 2017 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Cruising   Leave a comment

2 orcas visit the Glacier Bay National Park. Photo by Nick Harrison. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 6/25/17.

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Glacier Bay National Park

Fairweather Mountains

Posted August 24, 2017 by henrymowry in Photography

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Predators   Leave a comment

Posted August 23, 2017 by henrymowry in Photography

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Rocky   Leave a comment

Posted August 22, 2017 by henrymowry in Photography

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The Board Chronicles: Tehachapi Mountain Festival 2017   2 comments

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

This is our 3rd trek to the mountains of Tehachapi for their Mountain Festival.

How good is this event? Good enough that Mrs M will brave the heat of August to serve the fine people at Mountain Fest. And neither she nor her lotions have melted yet….

This strong community event (that’s still in search of a logo!) is centered at a city park. There’s free entertainment on the stage that’s surrounded by vendors. Other events happen in surrounding areas, from a 5k to a rodeo to a car show … well, you get the idea. This is a fun community event, and it’s been very good to us. In 2015, it was our best event ever, though we’ve broken that record many times since. We did better in 2016, as well.

Tehachapi has been good for us. After a shaky beginning this year, our legacy events are now on a growth streak. Will we continue doing better this year than last?

New Ideas

  • After 5 weeks with no events, everything seems new.
  • For years, this event had the vendors on the streets on 2 sides of the Phillip J Marx Central Park, and had the food vendors on the park grass on the other 2 sides. Due to a food vendor illegally dumping their cooking oil on the grass last year, the positions were reversed, with the food vendors out on the hot asphalt streets, and the merchandise vendors on the cool grass.
  • We are back to using our new Trimline 10×20 canopy, which hasn’t been out to play since Memorial Day. Hope I remember how to put it up!

Observations

  • I did not remember how to put the Trimline up. Definitely took longer to figure out which pole went where. Unfortunately.
  • It’s no fun loading in when the temperature is above 90*. I had to push every cart up hill, and then over soft turf that had been over-watered in anticipation of a high traffic weekend.
  • For the first time ever, clipboards were my # 1 selling item. And for almost the first time ever, Velda said she was wrong and I was right … to make clipboards.
  • A guy in the booth commented, after seeing Mrs M’s offerings, that he could no longer use the phrase “uglier than homemade soap.” Never having heard that phrase, I inquired and found out that he grew up in Florida. Apparently, Floridian soap-makers don’t know what they’re doing.
  • Later, Mrs M was asked if she offers classes. And the answer was no, so there appears to be no hope for Florida.
  • Requests were for card table repair, a walking stick, a job and an RV cabinet. Tehachapi is an eclectic bunch that doesn’t play chess, apparently.
  • In our 3rd year at this event, we definitely felt the power of legacy. Lots of return purchasers for both of us. Foot traffic was high throughout the event … and I believe putting the food vendors on the streets surrounding the park was a good thing for crowd flow.
  • Velda premiered Luscious Lemon Grass soap at the event, and sold more than half of the batch. She also brought out a new batch of Olive Branch soap, and sold more than 3/4 of that batch. She’s got work to do to prepare for our next event!
  • I do love helping people, explaining what makes a good cutting board. I just wish they would come to the booth before we’re trying to load out. Velda & I both lost at least 30 minutes during load out because we were helping late customers. The event closed at 5 … but we were not loaded and on the road until 7:30.
  • We came in with moderate expectations for this event. We knew the crowd, we had good inventory. We were ready.
  • We killed it.
  • We started the year being down in sales at every event we were repeating from 2016. Now, it appears the tide has turned. This is the 3rd repeated event in a row that we’re up in 2017.
  • And thanks to some custom orders from a couple of the volunteers that help to run this event, we were way up. That’s good … Papa needs a new CNC. It’s now on order, and it will fundamentally change what I can do, and how I can to it. The Woodshop is going to be humming this fall. Stay tuned.

The Food

Saturday Breakfast: Best Western. It was “free.” Thank goodness.

Saturday Lunch: Cheese & Crackers, when we had time. We waited until too late to eat … and then got rushed. You just never know….

Saturday Snack: Nope.

Saturday Dinner: A burger with friends. The best way to do events!

Sunday Breakfast: Still worth every penny of free.

Sunday Lunch: Did it again, but earlier.

Sunday Snack: A chocolate soft serve ice cream cone from the booth right in front of us. Yum.

Sunday Dinner: A Big Carl from Carl’s Jr in Mojave. Late night sustenance, nothing more.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 183
  • Booth cost: $300
  • Food cost: $165
  • Travel cost: $459.17
  • Total sales: $3,929
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $3,005
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: several
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: several
  • Saturday alarm: 5:45a
  • Sunday alarm: Nope
  • # transactions: 112
  • # soap & lotion vendors: just Mrs M. There was a doTerra rep as well.
  • # woodworking vendors: there was a turner … couple? Co-op? In any event, they were there as well
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 18:3
  • Returning next year? Yup.

Boards sold: 21

Clipboards: 5

Cheese Boards: 3

Custom Orders: 3

Small Boards: 2

Cutting Boards: 2

Magic Bottle Openers: 2

Small Surfboards: 2

Large Cutting Board: 1

Lazy Susan: 1

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