Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jackson, Michigan (continued) I was saying:   I found this wonderful artisan at Jackson!   Picked up a dozen of her fabulous sock skeins, and she is going to send me a dozen more, once the show is over.  With small producers like Cakewalk Yarns, it's often best for the artisan to try to sell materials at full price during the festival and then to deal with people like me, who need to buy at some kind of discount.  Here she is -- we will see more of her.  She's talented.

In addition, I found a pile of gorgeous yarn made by a woman from Fort Wayne, Indiana, under the name Hippie Penguin (!), who is leaving the business.   This isn't a recession story really.  She says she can't do both -- raise a family and dye yarn.  So, really, it's a story about women's lives.  I wish her luck.  I bought a LOT of what she had left.

After a delightful lunch in the winery's newly spacious tasting rooms, a big fat egg-salad sandwich on Zingerman's fabulous rye bread with some watermelon on the side -- all for five bucks -- I took off, or at least would have liked to take off. 

The difficulty was this:  When I came west to Jackson, it was hard not to notice that the entire eastern side of Interstate 94 was completely choked with single-file traffic moving at about 10 miles an hour.  The geniuses in charge of road construction have apparently decided not to pay attention to weekends.  It used to be that, when lanes were not actively under construction, people took down the barricades and dreaded Orange Cones over the weekend so people could move about.  No more.  Now when there are no workmen anywhere, the cones remain, even though work is only prospective.  So I couldn't get home the easiest way.

The solution, of course, was Matilda:  Larry suggested that I set her (she's my GPS) for Lansing and do what she said until I ran into I-96.  So I did.  She took me through the wilds of rural Michigan for a long time.  It was gorgeous.  Finally, I ended up on state road 127, which leads to I-96, but NOT before I went through Mason, Michigan, and noticed signs that said ANTIQUE DISTRICT.  You KNOW that I can't resist that kind of sign.

So I went into Mason.  The district turned out to be a series of antique shops and 'malls' (not big enough to be malls, but never mind) occupying a square block.  The first one, which was otherwise interesting enough, had no vintage buttons.  The second one had no antiques!!!  This, too, reflects our economy.  So much of the texture of America is simply vanishing.  BUT.  This weekend the building provided a home for a craft festival.  I found some DARLING brooches made by a woman I'd never met before, Linda Maxwell, from vintage zippers, buttons, and silk neckties.  The prices were, shall we say, ridiculous (someday women will learn to value their labor, but I'm tired of delivering lectures everywhere I go, so increasingly I'm just rolling with it).  I bought about 20 of them.  They will be wondrous on hats, coats, and god knows where else....our clients have good imaginations!

Here is the porch area of the no-antiques antique mall containing the craft show -- The lovely person sitting at the table had been handing out pie samples all day and was just plain exhausted.  It was VERY hot, with humidity matching the temperature.

I forgot to mention the amazing Suri Alpaca handspun yarn that I bought from a Michigan producer at the festival, and the root beer float procured at a genuine old-fashioned A and W root beer stand (shades of childhood).  (I will never be thin, I guess).   Got home in one piece and dumped everything on the lounge coffee table, much to Lois' and Larry's astonishment.  More soon.    I'm going to be home now for awhile, the better to get some scholarship done!!!!!


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