Sunday, October 11, 2009

O'Dark Thirty

My family always calls waking up before the sun, O'Dark Thirty. I don't know anyone who really enjoys getting up that early, but I do know that getting up before 8 am makes me physically ill. Chrissy and Billy are not that good at it either. But the past two Saturday mornings we have pried ourselves from our warm beds to load up our cars and head to Detroit's Eastern Market, to set up for the Cinnamon Owl Studios booth at the Artisan Village at Eastern Market.

I am always amazed at the bustling activity around me - the vendors setting out their fruits and vegetables, the little old honey man putting out his jars, the other artists around us putting the finishing touches on their tables. There is the Beading Nutritionist, the Soy Candle lady, another jewler, and a lady who makes tote bags out of recycled materials. There is the Village Manager, Brian, who also sells handmade baskets from Africa.

Last Saturday was Cinnamon Owl's first day at the Village. It was probably the worst possible day to start this part of our venture; the weather was cold, windy, and pouring down rain. Chrissy and I froze, and felt damp the whole day - not a good combination. We did sell one photo though, so that was exciting, considering not many people were attending either the market or the village. It was miserable. But from that experience, we bonded with our fellow artists, something we may not have done had the weather been a crisp fall day. We began to feel like a small family of artisans, joking around with each other, sharing our food and coffee, stories, advice and backgrounds.

Yesterday was a much nicer day- the wind was a little too chilly, but the sun was out, and the day was dry. A small band that played music you would hear at the Renaissance Fair was playing nearby; when they were finished, a saxophonist started playing. Chrissy and I were content this time to sit in the warm rays when they were out from behind the occasional cloud, listening to the music, and this time, there were actually people visiting the market and the village. We met a few cool people who stopped by our table to look at our photos; the law student from Detroit who belongs to a student animal welfare group that fundraises to change laws for the betterment of animals; the guy who is getting married soon, who brought his super soft rescue dog over to meet us; all the other people who stopped to tell us about their dogs or cats, like the English Cocker Spaniel who hunts birds, and the cat in dogs clothing. Meeting all of these people and talking to them is actually very fun. And, we sold another photo!

The day was so nice yesterday that our families came to visit too. My dad, Shellie, Brayden and Caroline came down, bringing coffee, grilled cheese and cookies, which Chrissy and I greatly appreciated. Chrissy's dad and Terri stopped by too, and purchased a few of Chrissy's photos, which was also cool. Next time, our mothers are going to come visit us, and go out to lunch together. Billy always sticks around too, for a bit after helping us to set up, and watches the booth so that Chrissy and I can do a little shopping. I always buy bread from the Amish bread lady, who has the best baked goods ever- cookies, bread, breadsticks, tarts..I could go on and on. I also buy cheese from R.J. Hirt, and Billy and I eat it for dinner, with the bread and fruit I pick out from the Michigan vendors. I try to buy from the local farmers only, not from the people who sell produce that they hauled in. So usually what I am buying is seasonal to Michigan.

All in all, the experience is a very satisfying one, on many levels - camaraderie, family, the personal satisfaction of knowing other people like your work, and simply the visual and audial feast that Eastern Market offers. The next time we are going is November 14, and while I am not looking forward to that early morning, I am looking forward to seeing my Saturday compatriots.

1 comment:

  1. I'm OK with waking up early, as long as I don't have to get ready and go anywhere. It's the hustle and bustle of the morning that I don't like. I absolutely love markets like this! Congrats on selling your pictures!


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