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Portsmouth Open Market

Sunday was the last beautiful day here on the Seacoast, with gorgeous 70-something weather. Now we are firmly in the 80s, and I do not like it. Luckily, the A/C was fixed at the coffee shop where I work. Unluckily, our ice maker broke at home.

But back to Sunday…I saw a poster for the Portsmouth Open Market downtown and last weekend, I checked it out. The market is a combination farmers’ market/craft fair and is connected to the New England Open Markets, who put on SoWa. Strawberry Banke, where the fair is held every Sunday, is  a

collection of colonial buildings next to Prescott Park, a waterfront hanging-out area with gardens. Basically, it’s a beautiful place. Andrew went to the Jazz Festival while I walked around–perfect scheduling, Portsmouth!

Prescott Park trial flower beds
Thanks to InAweOfGod’sCreation on Flickr for the photo!

The vendors at POM are a mix of regulars and newbies; the application process is fairly low-key. Sellers get their spots on a first-come, first-serve basis, so one vendor told me she had moved around for each of the past four weeks. Not a bad idea, I think–get to try out all the different locations.

I talked to a few friendly local crafters, including Bark from Boston; Laura from Thornton, NH; Uma Joy from Rollinsford, NH (practically neighbors!); Heather, who had an awesome screen-printed quilt backdrop; Sibel from Newburyport, MA (lovely town); and Leanne from Lowell, MA. The business cards I had made got some positive reactions, which was just lovely, having spent a couple of days sewing them.

I was impressed with the variety of crafts: there were fishing lure earrings, organic soaps, New Hampshire-roasted coffee, homemade pasta, owl-printed pillowcases, spun and knitted yarn, and hand woven scarves. I couldn’t resist some soap from Clayton’s Way or a sweet purple headband from Robinwoods Design. I’m wearing it now to keep the sweat from getting into my eyes as I sit here and type. OK, slight exaggeration…but only slight.

I hope to hit the market again in a couple weeks and see who else comes to town. In the meantime, have you taken the survey?

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Destination DIY

I found Destination DIY on Craftypod and I have literally listened to it all morning while I knit. I feel like a zen crafting goddess. A happy crafty buddha. A seriously satisfied citizen of the 21st century.

Knitting is so, sooooo relaxing to me. I do it in the car while Andrew drives, in front of the TV when I’m watching (too many) episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, in the evening instead of reading edifying tracts. I mostly knit scarves, though this year, I’m determined to knit Xmas ornaments for family members. And yes, I’m starting in July. I’ve also never planned this far ahead before, for anything.

I’m sorely tempted to make this tea cozy from Knit Simple, which is where I found the ornament pattern (in a Holiday 2007 issue), but I’ll have to dig up a teapot first:

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Day 12

Have to thank Rachel again…CBP was on OPT!

The 4th of July passed uneventfully on the Seacoast (my little region of New Hampshire), since it rained a bit and the fireworks in Portsmouth were postponed. Me and Andrew managed to get out for a walk at the newly converted pedestrian bridge that takes bikers and walkers around the Spaulding Turnpike. It was so hot! I’m not used to 85 degrees…

I found this list of tips on how to write a book from actual authors on Not Martha. It was a little overwhelming, but since I’m in the business of writing a book myself, I pushed through them all. Here’s the short version:

1. Stay organized.

2. Write often; if not every day, every scheduled day.

3. Just do it.

I often draw parallels between my running and my writing, and #2 and #3 apply very well to running. Getting out there and doing it is half the battle in many things in life, but motivation is more difficult when people think you’re a little crazy (“Why are you going running again?” or “Do you really think you can write a book?”).

I think the part that people often don’t mention–the flip side or counterpoint to “just doing it”–is that it’s equally important to evaluate. How well am I running? How well am I writing? Because a little evaluation can point you in a more productive direction. I’ve learned that it is, in fact, possible to run too much–the week I ran 5 miles a day 5 days in a row, I was really, really unhappy. I found I needed to split it up: 5 miles one day, 3 miles one day, sprints one day.

The thing is, I never would have learned that if I hadn’t tried running 5 miles a day. I had to get out there and do it before I could evaluate.

Sometimes it’s good to treat life, or major life tasks, like an experiment. It helps you take the things you want to do less seriously, and also, I think helps you actually meet your goals. In 12 years, I’ve managed to run dozens of races, including two 15k’s and three half-marathons.

Of course, there are some areas of life that should not be treated experimentally…for instance, please learn from my experience that an entire bowl of cookie dough is never a good thing, no matter how hungry you are.

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Day 5

Thanks to Rachel at One Pretty Thing for tweeting about us! We’re up to 30 responses…high five to all you crafty bloggers!

I dug up this Twitter tutorial. Check out the sewing/bird-themed slideshow! Now that I’m looking for it, the diy look, the aesthetic, is everywhere. I wonder: is this because so many crafty people use Twitter? Is it just the trend (see Anthropologie‘s store decor)? Are new media–Twitter, Facebook, Ning, and all the rest–somehow inspiring or inspired by making stuff in real life?

What do you think?