the final countdown.

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Originally published July 12, 2012 T-minus 1 day, 10 hours, and 19 minutes. Craft shows might be tough, but the prepwork is insurmountable. It's 11:44pm on a Thursday night, and I'm still putting the final touches on my booth for my very first craft show. Wait--it's a worknight (I work a full-time day job). Shouldn't I be in bed?? YES. Yes I should be. I blame the tablecloth. That fucking tablecloth. Okay, fine, it's my super picky nature and the desire to market my brand as a cohesive entity (wow, that was jargony) that causedthe debacle over the tablecloth, but it was the tablecloth that was the bane of my existence for the past two weeks. The big things on my list since I made the fated e-mail to Cotton Babies applying for a table at their craft fair: display items to show off my wares, a banner announcing my shop name and URL to the world, and a table cover. Display items were easy-peasy. Rob was having a rare boy's night, so The Boy and I had a Friday night date at IKEA, which included their Friday Night Buffet (which was awesome!), and us whipping around corners in the wrong direction in search of cheap items that would contribue to the overall, modern look of my shop. Display items: CHECK. I did search for a tablecloth or some material that would work, but it was fruitless at IKEA. Next item: Banner. Hooray for Yelp: I typed in "custom banner" in their search, and BAM! Up came Minuteman Press, literally right down the street from my work. It had a ton of positive reviews, so I decided to get a quote, and it was totally decent. I did have a bit of a hiccup sending them the artwork for the banner, as I am at the uber beginner level for InDesign, so naturally I'm sure they thought I was a moron. Regardless, I figured it out, and they managed to print the banner within four days. It looks awesome. Tablecloth: Finally checked off at 10:38pm tonight. I had an idea of what I wanted, but I always check Freddy's first. I went thinking they would have a super basic linen tablecloth (you know, the basic white ones restaurants use?), and the ONLY thing they had was a super fancy tablecloth made from a jaquard material. I then decided I wanted a grey table cover. This is where things went South. Grey, while a very fashionable color at the moment (it's the new black!), is very hard to find in tablecloth form. Target: nada. In fact, their table coverings area was picked through. JCPenney: grey....napkins! Placemats! No matching tablecloth. Kitchen Kaboodle, Macy's, and Sears were all a bust, too. I checked Home Goods and Marshall's, too. Home Goods had a basic white tablecloth, but I was so set on the grey, I didn't buy it. I did lock it away in my memory in case I ran out of time in my grey tablecloth search. You might be asking, why the hell didn't she just buy online?! Because I had only a week left. Because while Amazon had a grey tablecloth, I couldn't get a good take on the color it was, and I hate, hate, hate paying for expedited shipping when we used to have Prime! So what was left? That place. That awful place. It has a website devoted to its gag-worthy-dressed customers. I hate going there. But the clock was ticking. As I walked into the place (it rhymes with "Ball Fart), I instantly thought of that episode of South Park where that store comes to their town, and they are immediately entranced with its good prices, end up shopping there at all hours of the night, and it nearly takes over the entire town.   No dice on the tablecloth front there. So did I end up going with the dum-dum white basic tablecloth from Home Goods? NO! I found some grey flat sheets for cheaper than I would like to admit (because then it would reveal where I bought them. Retail Gods, forgive me!). After some fighting with pins and duct tape to get them to fold over my card table just right, I decided to just cut up the bastards and SEW MY OWN TABLECLOTH TO FIT THE CARD TABLE, DAMMIT. After all, my shop has handmade goods I have sewn myself. It's not perfect, but it was worth every bit of frustration and panic. Come see the not-perfect tablecloth: Exclusively by Mommy @ Cotton Babies Vancouver, 106 Grand Boulevard, Vancouver, WA This Saturday (July 14) from 10am-2pm! Aaaand I'll bet you've had "The Final Countdown" playing in your head since reading the title, huh? You're welcome.

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