Yesterday we took our kits on the road to Charlottesville, VA for the Tomtober Fest. The festival showcases local bands, food, beer, and artisans. We met a lot of nice people, ate good food, enjoyed the music and sold a bunch of paint by number kits. The kits have been popular with kids and grownups. We sold three kits to a couple with three girls ages 6-12. They were so excited about their kits that they started working on them at the festival! I was super impressed by their painting skills and it was so fun to see our kits in action.
There were so many amazing vendors at this show! This week our neighbor was You're in Luck Farmstead. They make handmade hygiene products from simple recipes and carefully selected ingredients from nature.
I loved their set up and packaging. In addition to quality, natural hygiene products, they also had a few artsy items, including lovely original watercolors.
I've always loved souvenirs. When I was a little girl, I had a shadow box that I filled with little figurines that my parents brought me back from their trips abroad or that I purchased with my precious spending money when we traveled as a family. My love for souvenirs and collections grew and I have little collections of all sorts of things throughout my home.
My grandmother was also a collector and when passed away I was the lucky recipient of several of her collections including match books and boxes from her travels in Asia, never used mid century modern dish towels, bright colored mixing bowls, and election pins.
The election pins are fascinating. They go back as far as Eisenhower and they are for democrats and republicans. They are souvenirs that don't celebrate a place, but a point in time.
A few weeks ago I was in a consignment store in Williamsburg, VA and I came across this souvenir plate from the election of JFK. I almost bought it! I thought it would but cute to display my pins in, but ultimately decided against it. I think I'm going to make some sort of framed display with them. I'll be sure to post that project here.
This plate, my pins, and an oversized coloring pages of the current presidential candidates got me thinking about election souvenirs - and I thought it would be fun to design a couple of Paint by Number kits for the 2016 election.
We want to make the election colorful in a good way! Paint by numbers are proven to be relaxing and can be a great tool to help keep yourself calm when the name calling and rhetoric gets out of hand. Imagine watching the debates while you paint!
For every kit sold, we'll donate 10% to a non-partisan charity with a mission is aligned with each candidate's platform. Disclaimer: to our knowledge, neither candidate endorses or personally contributes to the charities we have selected.
For all elephants sold, 10% of each sale will go to the Fisher House. The organization is best know for its network of homes where the families of veterans can stay free of charge while a loved one is receiving medical treatment. For all donkeys sold, 10% of each sale will go to Carry the Future, an organization that provides baby carriers and other basic supports to refugee families with children.
Kits are available with or without the candidates names. Click here to purchase your kit - kits will be available until midnight on election day, Nov. 8, 2016
Yesterday we were in Orange, VA for the 41st Annual Orange Street Festival. Orange is a charming town near the blue ridge mountains. Our booth was by the town's beautifully restored train station that is now a visitors center. The train still runs through the center of town which made for some fun breaks during the festival to watch and wave at the train as it passed by. Our kids tagged along for this show and they were thrilled to find an awesome kids zone across the street from our booth. They were able to moon bounce, play with really cool blocks provided by a regional children's museum, and ride the tractor train to their hearts' content. They also had fun checking out all of the booths.
Our booth buddy this week was The Arts Center in Orange. The Arts Center is in a beautiful old building in the center of town. In addition to classes the center has a large and bright gallery space, and a retail shop that sells work by regional artists - including our paint by number kits!
If you visit Orange, you won't be able to miss the center. It's entryway is covered with tiles painting by local children. The gallery rotates exhibits and frequently hosts art competitions. They are currently accepting submissions from Virginia artists for the upcoming show, Equus IV: For The Love of Horses. The retail shop is also always changing and is filled with unique goods - too many to share! I LOVED these whale tale bowls by De Haven Pottery.
On our way home from Orange we stopped in the town of Culpeper, VA for dinner - another historic main street worth exploring! After a great meal at The Copper Fish, we wandered into Harriet's General. This adorable shop sells an eclectic assortment of cool gifts, clothes, and home goods - all made in the USA. At the moment, the store has a really clever window display that includes two oversized coloring pages of the presidential candidates. We took turns coloring and I was happy to see that the colorers who came before us were respectful - i.e. no mustaches or "colorful" language. The display also gave me an idea... details to come.