Tuesday, September 7, 2010

SMOKE AND MIRRORS

So tomorrow marks the two week point at which this show hits the road. It's hard to believe that it's really time to head to Texas, to Marburger, to the land of all things fabulous...

I thought I would share with you what happens on the production side of whipping a booth together for us. Those of you who come to the show on opening day see the full effect or you see it in pics here on the blog. I guarantee that pics don't do it justice. It's a full four days of butt busting work to make the magic happen and we do it all for you...

DAY ONE.

We arrive at the show grounds, check in and proceed to Tent H and to our booth. After hugs, hugs and more hugs exchanged with friends we only see here we park the trailer outside the booth and get to gettin'. Step one is to set up the walls that separate our booth from our neighbors. Mr. Sweet Pea takes over here as the fence posts that the walls are wired to must be pounded into the ground with that post pounder thingy first. I take this opportunity to sneak off and nose around...

Once the posts are in place we put up the walls. Next step it to cover them with burlap or brown paper, whichever we happen to be using that show. After the walls are completed we put down the floor. Yes, we put down a "floor" at Marburger. A 20' by 20' gray tarp is anchored into the ground to keep the booth a little cleaner and more finished looking. Using the tarp has only backfired once so far when we had that little flooding problemo last fall show. Remember the soup of straw and water that sat on top of the tarp?

After the tarp is down Mr. Sweet Pea now runs all the electrical for the chandys, lamps, fans and music. Uptown huh? So of course while he's doing that I sneak off a second time... Okay I know what you're thinking. Poor Mr. SP right? Well Mr. SP has been known to sneak off after I sneak off, and well that makes for a very poor work outcome so I must be very careful to time my excursions to avoid a mutiny.

If we are lucky, and things go well we have actually gotten the large furniture off~loaded on day one as well. I'm getting tired just reading this for typos, how about you?

DAY TWO.

Day two starts with off~loading the rest of the big stuff and a few re~dos as my arrangements rarely work without a few changes. I always think I have way more space than I really do and my set~up is totally off the cuff. After we get all the main players in place we plug in the smaller pieces like suitcases, small tables and the like. Now it's starting to look like something...

We hang the chandys, well Mr. SP hangs the chandys, and I have been known to do a quick disappearing act at this time too. Must be very careful here though, as this is prime vanishing time for him...

Okay by now it's probably lunch time so we break to put the feed bag on and re~charge the batteries a bit. After lunch, we break out the totes full of smalls. I usually average twenty or so totes. This is when the look comes into focus and of course it's my favorite step. I won't get them all unloaded, but will put a major dent in them.

Quittin' time folks. Time to head to Leftover's.

DAY THREE.

Okay so today is dedicated to unpacking the rest of the smalls and finding the perfect home for them. I usually am able to place them without much fuss as I buy with a particular look in mind and it all meshes pretty seamlessly. Because we are in the home stretch, the mood of this day is much more easy~going and free~form but still with our eyes on the prize if you will. Mr. SP usually wanders about or lends a helping hand where needed as this stage is my baby.

By the end of day three we are in great shape and usually only have fluffing and zhushing to do on day four.

Off to the blogger party in Warrenton at Garden Antqs Vintage...

DAY FOUR.

Okay here it is. The day before we open... Giddy with anticipation, I primp the booth and get it ready for pics. It's a light day for sure, but we have worked our butts off to get to this point and I hope it shows. I plug in some plants and flowers to add some ambience and we call it a day.

And that's a wrap as they say...

16 comments:

Rita said...

I enjoyed that peek behind the scenes! You really have it down and your expertise shows in your always beautiful booth. I hope the weather cooperates this year, too! Tropical Storm Hermine just dumped quite a bit of water here in central Texas but with luck everything will be dry by showtime!

Jeanine Burkhardt said...

Just LoVed hearing ALL about the process!*!*! I visualized EVERY Detail you described... Your booth looked Just FaB last Fall!!! Jeanine, ChiPPy!-SHaBBy!

June said...

Shelley I am so pooped...how 'bout you??? Good grief, this is a lot of work! I wish I could come and help with the heavy lifting (or the sneaking off)hehe.
I really enjoyed this post. I know it's hard work, but you are so good at it. The best!!! I cannot wait to see the pictures of your booth.
Have a wonderful show dear friend!
Hugs

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

I loved this post. Thanks for sharing with those that don't realize the hard work that goes into this. Now, Mr. SP is a good worker bee husband, isn't he, no complaining from him, right? Shhh, I'll keep your secret, just kidding. You both make it seem so effortless and what a great job you do.

trash talk said...

Yeah and don't leave out the part about working in 90% humidity and winds! You nailed it baby cakes. It is a lot of hard work...and that's just setting up the "store". People don't know the amount of time, energy and back that goes into just getting there in the first place. Great post!
Debbie
P.S. Smoke and mirrors my hind foot...girl, you are an artiste!

Glenda said...

Wish I was right there with you. I'd help in any way I could. I know it's hard work, but for this girl in Indiana it sounds so exciting.
Have a great show! I'll be watching and waiting for any pictures that comes out of the land of treasures!
~G~

RACHELLE said...

Cannot wait for Pics! i love that you just shared that info! i never , in my wildest dreams, would guess that it took 4 days to just "set up" ...I have a new found respect for you all!

Love it! good luck!

shell

gypsylemonade.blogspot.com

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Oh Dear
I can imagine just how much work you girls put into these shows.. Just sorry I cannot visit them.. but will look forward to all your lovely pics in the coming weeks... Don't work too hard.. xxx Julie

donna reyné said...

I am totally excited! I love the setup part almost more than the actual events! Weird maybe, but that's when I am firing in all 4 cylinders as my hubby says! And I am at my most creative! I have seen your work and I think this is when you are the most creative as well!
You are awesome at your description of this! I can visualize it and it is very exciting!
I am praying for better weather and can't wait to see the whole world of Sweet Pea!
Have a blessed day my friend!
Hugs,
Donna

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

I thought you just wiggled your cute little nose like in Bewitched and it all fell into place! ;-)

Naaaaah, I knew better!

Secret Garden Cottage said...

I was exhausted just reading about it, Shelley (LOL)! Sounds like fun exhaustion, though. I'm impressed that you have electricity ran to your chande's. I can't wait to see pictures of your booth... I know it will be GORGEOUS!
Hugs ~ Jo

Debra@Common Ground said...

Well Shelley, you're a pro here and it always shows. Sounds like you've done it enough times to have worked out most of the kinks. The end product is just amazing and I'm looking forward to all the great photos! I'd love to be there for all the fun and excitement...yeah, even the hard work!
big hugs,
Debra

Miss Gracie's House said...

What a fun post...I've often wondered if going to do a show would be *easier* than the getting my barn ready for shows...i don't know...I did laugh about the sneaking off part..that would be so *me*...I'm off to go through your archives looking for inspiration for my family room make-over...Have a GREAT show...can't wait to see pics!
Rene

time-worn interiors said...

Gonna be right there with you! Can't wait!
TOT

Lauri Evans said...

OMG, I am tired just reading about it. And I spent at least an hour today, looking at Pearls new vintage line. Oh dear, I hope we make lots of moola, otherwise we are in big trouble!!!!! Can't wait, lauri

Sue (Vintage Rescue) said...

I always wondered how y'all can possibly set up for such a long show. I'm tired after just foofing my booth on a weekend. I'd love to see a sequel post on how much to BRING for these long shows. And don't think I wasn't drooling over "20 tubs" of smalls..... Wish I could be there, but I'll have to wait until spring. XOX

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