Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Opinions Are Like

You know the quote, I'm sure. I got reamed for an opinion I expressed on a list I own, MMarioKKnits. A dear friend of several years' standing asked if I were attending a fiber show this coming weekend, after we crossed wires with me thinking that she was coming to one I went to on Sunday.

The show to which she's referring is about a three hour trek - admittedly through beautiful countryside - from my home. We first met face-to-face at this show two or three years ago. Anyway, I told her that DH and I would not attend that show, because we found it very disappointing. Leaving aside that there were not many vendors, there was no where to sit and eat, or just sit, porta-potties are the only amenities, and there is ZERO shade. For your fair-skinned delicate Goddess, this was hell, boys and girls. That year everything was liberally covered in dust, but rainy weather would be difficult too, because everything is in a field and tents, with no walkways.

So in response to my friend, I said no, we wouldn't be there, it was too far FOR US to travel for a show with no seating, no shade, etc...finishing with the fact that it was small. I felt this made it clear that it was the distance for small return that was the issue, and that it was a personal choice based on those factors.

Then I got hauled over the coals. Rather than paraphrase, I'll just give you the actual response I sent to her, quoting her email. Her name is redacted just so I won't get reamed for that too. The only part to which I responded that I did not quote was where she informed me that comparing two Fiber Festivals was comparing apples and oranges. No idea why, but that's what was said...

Wow, XXX. If you're going to spank me, at least buy me dinner first!
But in the interest of fairness, I will respond politely and point by point.

> SVFF is, as you mentioned, relatively new. It was fortunate to land in
> the Clarke County fairgrounds. That means: permanent buildings, a food
> preparation area, and a seating area for folks who have purchased food.

You call it fortunate, I call it good planning. I should add that I
have no affiliation with any of the fiber shows. But I can't see how
comparing two regional fiber shows is comparing apples to oranges. They
are the same thing!

> It is also quite spread out for its size, and the bathrooms are quite a
> way from the main gate (exception being the two porta-potties I found) -

Um...no. You should have looked at the map back on your program. There
are restrooms (aside from portapotties, which require desperation on my
part - rank, cramped and hot!) at five locations at SVFF, one set of
which is just off to the left after you enter, next to the sheep barn.

> Saturday was quite warm, especially
> inside the permanent buildings. We kept trying to find places where the
> air was moving (and not the stinkbugs).

Since weather is beyond the control of any festival, as are insects, I
can't see much point in this for comparison. Fortunately yesterday was
perfect weather.

> Fall Fiber Festival (Montpelier) is a bit smaller in number of vendors,
> but it is also not spread out all over the place. Once you get to the
> tents, it is easy to walk from one to the next.

Once you do get to the tents...quite a hike from where I had to park.
There were far fewer vendors, what they had was very limited, and I
reiterate, there was no where at all to sit down, not even so much as a
few hay bales. There is NO shade anywhere, and as a very fair-skinned
person, I was quickly miserable to the point of illness.

> Some vendors have been
> coming for years and obviously think it is worth it, and we look forward
> to seeing them every year.

Good for them. I'm glad they and you enjoy it. What I said was it was
not worth the trip to my husband or I, traveling the three hours there
to spend effectively maybe an hour looking at what little was there.
Then turning around and driving three hours back...however much we
enjoyed getting to meet (my friend).

> As for dust - we've been having plenty of
> rain this week and Friday promises to be dry and sunny, so the weekend
> should be quite nice.

Trouble is, there are no walkways there. If it's rained, you'll get
muddy. It it's dry, you'll get dusty. It's just not a great venue in
my opinion.

> The portapotties are quite accessible.
See above. Ick.

> There are
> honest -to-gawd sheepdog trials all weekend (not just demonstrations).

Nice, but not why I attend fiber festivals.

> I look forward to FFF every year and I hardly find it "miserable".
Good for you.

> This was my second year at SVFF (and you should have at least mentioned
> the deluges we experienced last year, btw).
I didn't go last year. The person I had planned to attend it with died,
and I hadn't the heart. At least much of the venue is undercover,
though. If it 'deluged' at FFF, I'd be afraid cars (and shoes!) would
get stuck.

> To me a fiber show with good vendors is a spiritual experience
> and I go to as many as I can.
I think spiritual experience is stretching it for me, but I do enjoy
them. I certainly have moments when I cry "O, God"...like yesterday
when I first felt the black alpaca yarn I bought.

> But I appreciate each one for what it is
> and I don't dump on another festival that obviously offers what people
> are looking for.
XXX, I spoke for myself (and my DH) about why we wouldn't be there.
After traveling so far to go, I was dreadfully disappointed. They
didn't offer what _I_ was looking for, either in product or amenities,
and I hardly purchased anything. If you feel that an honest opinion -
and facts where it wasn't opinion - is dumping, I have to disagree. I
hope you have a great time there.

So, I was polite, yes? Oh, goodie. And yes, I'm just anal-reten...I mean, desirous enough of being accurate to count vendors for both shows this year. The one I attended is has 86. The other has 55, so my perception is not off. I should add that many of those vendors are duplicates from the two shows I have already attended this year, so pretty much, I've seen their wares.

Yet again, I don't understand why people have to get all huffy over a matter of opinion. She's happy with the show? Wonderful. But that's no reason why I should think her experience trumps mine. She has not, to this point, responded to me. I'd just as soon she didn't. I have a new set of idiots to deal with at work today, but more on that later.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Know It When I See It

Art that is, not porn. Okay, that too, but that's beside the point which you don't know because you have no idea what the point is.

Maybe I should start over, but I'm too lazy after I typed all that, so onward.

For the last several years, a good client of ours has brought her young daughter's artwork to me, and asked me to create cards for various seasons for her. The first was a construction paper Christmas tree with Fruit Loop ornaments. A miniature of that became the logo for the back of all their folding holiday cards. For things like Halloween, I do 4x6 prints, she slaps on a postcard back, and sends them out.

This year, they want to use a shot from the blizzard last February for the Christmas card, but their daughter's art work was the basis for two cards, Halloween and Thanksgiving. I think you'll be able to tell what is her art, and what is my enhancements.

Her mother professes herself thrilled, and since she paid me, I guess she meant it. By the way, I'm pretty sure her spider is tap dancing. Even more impressive when you realize he has to coordinate eight legs, right?