Zola the AWD Astro Van Needs a New Job

Wren on January 14th, 2011

additional pictures will be available soonThe time has come to sell the Heathcote Earthings business. While we prepare the inventory, tents, tables, covers and displays for listing, we’re selling our ever faithful Zola, the Earthings van separately.


Here’s our craigslist text, with a link to the ad at the bottom:

RARE FIND! An All-Wheel Drive Cargo Van with Low Miles!

95 Chevy Astro Cargo Van, good condition. AWD, roof rack, some shelving, well maintained. LOW MILES: 97, 326.

Brand new tires have less than 100 mi. Includes new full-sized spare. Has a few minor rusting areas and peeling paint, appropriate for a ‘95.

We have loved this workhorse van, which we used (lightly) to transport tents, tables & inventory to monthly festivals. Getting out of the business for health reasons. “Zola” the van must move on to her next occupation.

Selling for blue book value, $2970. More recent photos coming soon.

Located in North Baltimore County area, between Maryland Line & Freeland. 20 mins from Hunt Valley MD and York PA.

write via craigslist or call, 410-458-2310. Call between 9 am and 9 pm.


***UPDATE***We’ve had a few interested parties, but the van is still available!

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Mother Earth Harvest Fair

Wren on October 3rd, 2010

Alright rain, we have a deal. You’re gonna hold off until I’m loading my last box at the end of the day.

I know I wrote extensively at the end of this year’s Fairie Festival about weather being my white whale, but we’ve made friends now, right?

C.T. Butler and I are up past midnight finishing posters and making lists for the Intentional Community info & speakers’ booth at Spoutwood Farm’s Mother Earth Harvest Fair. He will speak on Formal Consensus and I’ll do readings from the website. Sociocracy author John Buck will also be speaking, on Leading in Community. Actually, his share will be very interactive. I can’t wait!

Heathcote Earthings will be selling our fair trade wares and jewelry right next to the Community booth. Regina will be holding down the fort there. She’s going to love all the new pendants and earrings Rita Jane and I made during this year’s York Fair. Lots of natural gift ideas!

Thanks in advance to Heathcote intern Sariel and member John for helping with the booth, and to Rob, Lucy and all the Spoutwood crowd for your patience, flexibility and vision! Well, time to get a few hours’ sleep before I’m a slave to the to-do lists for another day!

Taking the Elements Personally

Wren on April 29th, 2010

“At least it’s not rain; a high wind is fine with me,” I said to Fairie Festival organizer BiBi. Famous last words. Half an hour later, after four fairie volunteers had helped me wrangle/wring/wizard my three EZUp canopies open and into place, a very focused gust of wind tossed tent number three over my van and down the hill, as I was scrambling to stake tent one. Number three lay planted, like an evil, mangled flower, upside down in the middle of the field. I’m thinking insurance claim.

“At least it’s not rain,” I had said, because last year’s Fairie Festival was epically tragic. I had planned to make the most of the weekend, hiring five helpers, renting four spaces and ordering tons of fair trade instruments and handicrafts, fun lefty buttons and bumper stickers, scarves, hats and handmade batiks. The Fairie Festival is always good to us, usually our best show of the year, bringing us the income early in the season to pay our booth rentals for the rest of the season. So I wanted to make the most of the convergence of Heathcote Earthings’ wares with our core customer base (winged people).

But an outdoor festival in the spring is a roll of the dice. And although I bet the house, last year was not my (or anyone’s) year. A steady, heavy rain for the entire festival cut attendance to a fraction and left most of our inventory ruined. The five helpers got paid but there was no surplus to cover booth fees for the rest of the season.

Sunday night after the public had gone home, vendors, volunteers, organizers and Spoutwood farm residents gathered for dinner under tents. I could tell that the rain was as devastating to Spoutwood owners Rob and Lucy Wood, and to their programs as it was to me and mine. They, too, depend on this weekend each year to finance much of their educational work. The hundred or so people at that dinner were shell shocked and grim as organizers gave speeches thanking everyone and encouraging positive thoughts. I was warmed by sentiments expressed, that nature gives and nature takes; we were due for a year like this after many blessed ones; we would all land on our feet. Wren always does, but not Heathcote Earthings. That was the beginning of the end for this project.

We couldn’t even pack up at the end as it continued to rain. My partner Iuval and I came back the next day. Still raining. We put the mess in the van and headed for Heathcote. I was thinking…insurance claim!

So a couple days later, when the skies seemed like they’d had their say, I put up my canopies on the Heathcote playground to spread things out, dry them, see what could be saved and what would be written off. Ha! This was the move the rain was waiting for. It returned, and with the ground already saturated, the Heathcote valley, yes, including the streamside playground, flooded.

The Community was at dinner on the mill’s side porch. Someone mentioned that the flood waters were nearing my tents. “Oh I’m not worried. I have all the boxes up on tables,” I said, as we began to see hackey sacks and maracas floating by. Water laughs at me, “You should be writing, you fool! What are you doing playing with all these toys? I’m giving them to the bay so you won’t be burdened and distracted!”

But I wasn’t listening so Heathcoters were suddenly gone from their plates, knee deep in flood waters, carrying crates, boxes and displays to higher ground.

The five elements, water, air, fire, earth and spirit, can each be a blessing or a curse in different amounts and different moments. I realize now that community is a sixth element, and I am so often blessed with just the right amount of it. How can I ever give back enough to these wonderful people who, time and time again, are there beside me in the flood waters of my life? It is my joy to try.

So, I don’t know how many handmade, fair trade, seed filled hackey sacks are bobbing around the Chesapeake Bay because of me, but they’re biodegradable. At least I wasn’t stocked to the gills with those plastic dryer balls that reduce your drying time by forty percent. That would be ecologically unfortunate.

Now, as I set up my wares under a tent that looks like a giant bent, arthritic insect, I ponder my future. My associates and I have been on a slow track to closing out Heathcote Earthings to focus on writing projects such as the Hippie Chick Diaries book. The rain and the wind are just manifestations of my own inner Baba Yaga, torturing me, yes, but for the purpose of revealing my true potential to me. Let’s make this year a wonderful, and final year for Heathcote Earthings! See you  there!


Spoutwood Farm Center Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Educational Farm
4255 Pierceville Rd. Glen Rock, PA 17327 717-235-6610

Visit the Facebook Group page for the 2010 May Day Fairie Festival

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Smile and frown. I was Facebook messaged to put this grassroots “press release” in my status bar, but it has more characters than my status bar can swallow! So I’ll stick it in here, with some of my favorite pictures from Fairie Festivals past. I’ll be there, on the hill called Frodo’s Eye (there’s a strawbale observatory a few yards from my stand). Our booth will be mainly Heathcote Earthings, selling the jewelry I make from natural and recycled materials, and fair trade crafts from around the world. We’ll also have information about Hippie Chick Diaries and Heathcote Community. So strap on your wings and see us there! —WT


Spoutwood Farm Center, an organization dedicated to bringing people and nature together, presents…

The 19th Annual May Day Fairie Festival

This year’s May Day Fairie Festival will be held at Spoutwood Farm on April 30th from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM, and May 1st and 2nd from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM each day. The weather reports look DRY and SUNSHINE-filled!! Yay!

Admission is $15 for people over 12, $5 for people 12 and under, and free for those 2 and under. A three-day pass is available for a reduced price of $30…the three day pass can also be used to get through the gates quicker, even if you are only using it for two of the days.

Those who decide to volunteer when they arrive at the festival can request a 2-hour job assignment; upon completion, the admission fee will be refunded.

Spoutwood Farm is just outside of Glen Rock, PA, 45 minutes north of Baltimore, 30 minutes south of York, PA. Parking will be available near the farm.

The May Day Fairie Festival is the brainchild of Rob and Lucy Wood, owners of Spoutwood Farm, an organic farm in the Community Supported Agriculture movement. It began as a party for about 100 friends, and was has been celebrated by 16,000 “friends” of the little people from the local area, all across the US and across the Atlantic. Previously a one-day festival, a second and third day were added as a response to the festival’s rising popularity.

Once again, the festival will celebrate the beginning of spring and all of the nature spirits return to the warm world with 70 arts and crafts vendors (mostly featuring handmade art inspired by the little people), performances by musicians and dancers, storytellers, participatory maypole dancing, fairie craft activities such as wand and garland making (involves a small fee), food vendors, fairie and other nature spirit environments to explore, a Nature Place offering a place for environmental, health, animal interest and other groups to share their vision, fairie and gnome habitat tours, fairie tea parties, guest appearances by the Green Man, the Mossmen, Sweet Pea and others.
Families attending this event have discovered that this event is not just for kids!

The fairie and May Day themes go back to ancient times in almost all cultures, especially to the Celts of the British Isles who had a festival on the first of May called Beltane. It was a time of great rejoicing at the return of the earth’s abundance in spring and the impending bounty of summer. The Celts celebrated the spirits of nature by honoring not only the plants that they could see and smell but also the unseen beings of the fairie realm.

© 2010 Spoutwood Farm Center

Spoutwood Farm Center Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Educational Farm
4255 Pierceville Rd. Glen Rock, PA 17327 717-235-6610

Visit the Facebook Group page for the 2010 May Day Fairie Festival

Please join our Hippie Chick Diaries fan page on Facebook!

So our third year at Baltimore’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ Festival is history. So is our participation, I think. It seems the festival has grown larger and more corporate and louder. It was so loud I couldn’t hear myself leave my body. But when someone on one end of the hall would drop the glass  they’d been issued with admission, meaning, I assume, that their drinking was done, festival goers from one end to the other would shout a wave of mourning and sympathy through the hall. This happened a lot.

As people became tipsy, their explorations of our fair trade wares were at least amusing. One young man, regarding our onyx carvings, mused, “It’s like, turtles…only made outta ROCK!!!”

So as I look ahead to our schedule for 2009, I hope you find helpful these lessons I take with me in case we do similar shows:

  • When selling to drunk people, wear washable shoes. Sorry to start with this. I know you’re thinking vomit. In fact, the reason is that when they go to dig change out of their wallets, they don’t realize they’re pouring their drink onto their salesperson’s feet.
  • Drunk people say, “Keep the change,” with strange frequency, sometimes to statements like, “May I help you?”
  • Don’t cry over spilled crystals. Don’t cry over things spilled into your crystals. Cry over things spilled into purses.
  • Beverage-themed festivals should provide extra restroom facilities or locate my booth near tall shrubry.
  • Pretzel necklaces go with everything.
  • Five-gallon buckets of water aren’t good enough sandbags for an EZUp canopy in thirty mile-per-hour wind. If you see a row of canopies so anchored, don’t park downwind of them.
  • Drunk people sometimes want to hug their festival vendors as if we were hosting The Price Is Right and they’ve just won something. Yes. Show them what they’re won, Wren! “You’ve won a shopping spree at Heathcote Earthings! This includes a menora made from a recycled bicycle chain, all the treetop angels left over from last year, and five pounds of fancy jasper, which I think is cool but no one seems to want! Will that be cash or check?”

Not my crowd.

I’m on the road to Arkansas, to visit my partner Iuval as he searches for land to form an Intentional Community. Watch for posts on my adventures!

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Fair #2: Howard County Fair Begins

Wren on August 3rd, 2008

After a slow time at the Cecil County (Maryland) Fair, Heathcote Earthings is all set up in an extra large booth at the Howard County (Maryland) Fair. At this fair we feature a 3 table discount section, marking down damaged items and closeouts from the previous months! We’ve been to a Ten Thousand Villages sale and we got great prices on these angels and Job’s tear rattles:

Tree Topper Angel, praying; abaca/sinamay10Wx17H natural/red/gold Usual retail: $24; Heathcote Earthings price at Howard County: $10.

From the TTV description: “…Sinamay is a natural woven fiber made from the stripped fiber of the abaca tree. The fine strands of fibers are woven into fabrics with a wooden weaving loom. The woven fabric is called sinamay. Sinamay fibers are also used for making cordage and ropes…”

This angel has earthy natural tans and a shiny red robe that will catch the lights around a Christmas tree beautifully! Get 3 or more for $8 each and give them as gifts!

Umbrella Rattle with Job’s Tears, umbrella stick/lily seed/Job’s tears 5Lx1Wx10H Usual retail: $8; Heathcote Earthings price at Howard County: $4.

Details from Ten Thousand Villages: “…This rattle from Cameroon is made from a locally grown soft wood informally referred to as ‘umbrella stick.’ Inside are lily seeds and Job’s tears seed that is produced by a tall, roadside grass that grows like a weed in tropical regions…”

Other values in our discount section include Gypsy Rose tams that got ever so slightly stained in the rain, Native Scents dream pillows and eye pillows, Super Hits incense, TTV birdhouses and much more!

Also, the gigantic order of pewter pendants we expected for Cecil County has finally arrived. We now have hundreds of new pendants in dragon, fairy, wolf, horse, eagle, bear, owl, cat, unicorn, butterfly, Kokopelli, hummingbird, pentacle, Celtic knot and other motifs, as well as many new colors and sizes of cloisonne wigglefish necklaces!

So visit us in West Friendship, Maryland, to catch discounts that won’t appear again this summer, and to get first pick of the exciting new pewter!

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Wren Tuatha & the Five Fairs

Wren on July 20th, 2008

girl_in_a_hurry_1 I have the subtle stamina of a marketing campaign. I have the tenacity of a beaver. I have the productivity of an entire bee hive. I can do this. I have Earl Grey brewed by the gallon and quinoa cooked seven different ways. Orange juice. Check. Organic corn chips. Check.

Heathcote Earthings is appearing at five county and state fairs from now till the end of September, about sixty fourteen hour days in a row without a break. In the whirlwind, I’ll be squeezing in trips to Kentucky, Virginia and California to spend time with significant others. I have a feeling I’ll be the needy one…

Why torture myself to sell crystals and smudge sticks between pig races and tractor pulls? Well, I will mention that when I scheduled this, I didn’t know that by the summer I’d have three long distance polyamorous relationships, with sweeties visiting me at Heathcote and inviting me to travel to and fro. We at Earthings have been exploring county fairs for a while. It’s wonderful to be set up in one place for eight to eleven days, almost like have our own brick and mortar! So it’s an evolution that is an outgrowth of our genesis. (Anybody else enjoying that juxtaposition?)

I’ve been working with my friends Herb and Rita Jane from Crystal Cottage in their booth at the Maryland State Fair. They’ve been in the same southeast corner of the Exhibition Hall for about twenty-five years and I’ve been having a blast helping them for maybe eight. They operate a brick and mortar in Tanglewood Mall, Roanoke, Virginia, about half the year. That allows them to travel, garden, make jewelry and do volunteer work for School of Living through the summers.

Crystal Cottage is my inspiration and model for Earthings. When I discovered tumbled gemstones and soaked up their names and meanings, when I discovered glass teardrops, gemstone donuts, Swarovski Austrian crystal prisms, etc., I knew I had the spark to sell them. And when I saw how people from all far flung walks of life were drawn to gemstones with such awe, as if gemstones made them remember something forgotten, as if all the colors, banding, mottling, inclusions and fissures were a lost language, a key to some universe, I knew there was value in putting nature’s art work in front of the public.

Earthings started with the Howard County (Maryland) Fair. Last year we added the York (Pennsylvania) Fair. This year we’re trying Cecil County (Maryland) and Bloomsburg (Pennsylvania). Crazy enough? No! While I’m visiting my mom in Kentucky I’ll help her with her Harmony Habitat booth at the Kentucky State Fair!

Our goal is to determine if we can find enough customers while moving and schlepping less. Some fairs and some festivals are better than others. For example, we’re missing Baltimore’s Artscape to attend Cecil County Fair. We’ll see how they compare.

I’m amused to see our goddess batiks and bumper stickers like “Come the rapture, can I have your car?” in the same hall with a Gideon Bible booth and church groups, with the Boy Scouts selling ice cream on waffle sandwiches outside.

Surviving a mission like this is all about planning, flexibility, good food and sleep. I have several vendor secrets:

  • Good shoes. Fourteen hour days on concrete floors in unairconditioned buildings can melt you from the soles up. Crocs are good. So are nursing shoes and walking or hiking shoes.
  • Rubber mats and carpeting. I carpet my booth with institutional rubber mats at the stations where staff stand for long hours. Often the isleways of my booth are carpeted to give customers and staff a break from brutal concrete.
  • Fans. I point fans where I’m stationed and customer areas. Shoppers really appreciate it!!! If you’re a vendor, pay the silly overpriced electric fee that the facility charges if the hall is unairconditioned.
  • Food. Bring your own food. Fair food is not designed to sustain life. It is designed to teach you humility when you ride the midway. Since I’m vegetarian, almost vegan, I seriously have to bring my own food. Fair fare is all fried flesh, broiled flesh, grilled flesh, flesh-on-a-stick, you get the idea. Often even the french fries have been cooked in the same vat with chicken fingers, fish things, etc., and are not strictly vegetarian. These food vendors are working from a very mysterious food pyramid. I can’t fathom it.
  • Water. Bring it. Bottled water at fairs is often three dollars and you’ll need lots of it.

I can’t wait to see what happens next. I have a sweetie arriving tomorrow. I hope he likes Ferris Wheels!

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Cecil County Fair

Wren on July 16th, 2008

I’m putting down stakes, so to speak, in Elkton, Maryland for the 2008 Cecil County Fair. This is Heathcote Earthings’ first year at this event, which has drawn 90,000 people in the past!

While I was hanging up our batiks and necklace branches today in the Commercial Building, the Deggeller carnies were assembling the midway rides and food vendors where setting up just a few feet away.

(The fairs don’t tend to be too vegetarian friendly. I’m cooking some quinoa-based dishes in advance.)

We’ve been buying for the summer–instruments, strands of beads for jewelry, bumper stickers, buttons and frog mating calls! We’re expanding our Gypsy Rose collection, adding hats (tams and applejacks) as an experiment. If headwear goes well, we may carry the Gypsy Rose clothing line!

We’re also stocking up on our highly popular gemstone heart pendants and our line of diamond etched pewter pendants–dragons, wolves, dolphins, turtles, frogs, fairies, eagles, horses, bears, butterflies, cats, owls, geckos, unicorns and more! Most are made in America and several are lead free!

So gussy up that prize pig and come on down! This is the first of five state or county fairs that we’ll do–in a row:


Fri, Jul 18-Sat, Jul 26, 2008

Fair Hill Fairgrounds, Route 273, Elkton, MD 21921



Sat, Aug 2-Sat, Aug 9, 2008

2210 Fairground Road, West Friendship, MD 21794



Fri, Aug 22-Mon, Sept 1, 2008

Timonium Fairgrounds, Exhibition Hall, Timonium, MD

www.marylandstatefair.com www.crystalcottage.com


Fri, Sept 5-Sun, Sept 14, 2008

York Expo Center/Memorial Hall 334 Carlisle Avenue, York, PA 17404



Sat, Sept 20-Sat, Sept 27, 2008


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warm porcelains I don’t get sucked in anymore. I’m an old hand at this buyer thing and when I attend a trade show for Heathcote Earthings I work from a shopping list, visit only the vendors I plan in advance, stick to a budget and go home.

Yeah, I don’t believe me, either. But I try this every time. The promoter Intergem puts on its International Gem and Jewelry Show all over the country throughout the year. In my region, the really BIG trade show is in Chantilly, Virginia, the next one there being in December, when my festival season is already over. So to get well stocked for my summer (including five county or state fairs) I decided to catch up with my favorite importers at the Timonium, Maryland show.

azurite-malachite donuts, malachite and azurite accents It is held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, where I set up for many shows each year, including the Kennedy-Krieger Festival of Trees, Maryland Brewers’ Oktoberfest, and the Maryland State Fair (with my friends at Crystal Cottage). Since I work there so often, it feels funny to visit as a buyer.

I arrived a half an hour early and a dozen people were ahead of me in line. Before the doors opened, the line behind stretched about a city block, and that was for one of two buildings the show occupied.

At each show there are two sales floors, one that’s public and one that’s wholesale only. On the public floor, some vendors price at retail levels but most sell at wholesale prices in both areas. If you’re a lapidary hobbyist, this is the way to go. If you’re willing to buy by the strand rather than by the bead, trade shows will beat the prices of your local bead or craft shop by a mile.

rhodochrosite focal and accent beads I met two women on the public floor who were there for the first time. They picked up a strand of huge grade-A turquoise that had its ends tied together. They admired the quality of the stone, even at the $250 per strand price tag. “But it would be so heavy around your neck,” one remarked, not realizing that the strings of beads she saw everywhere were strands of workable material, not finished necklaces!

I had two items at the top of my shopping list today–1) Buy thousands of gemstone heart pendants on sterling silver bails 2) Buy many strands of the multicolor “Hello Kitty” style lampwork glass cat head focal bead that sold so well after we tried it last time. You see no pictures of these items in this post because I came home without them. My importer of Chinese lampwork glass might have the “Hello Kitties” back in a couple of weeks. And I placed a large order for the gemstone heart pendants. I love this product because the quality has been consistently high. The sterling silver bails almost never fail. I have a few stones in stock now and will have my new order in by the Cecil County Fair.

boldly shaped agates are the new trend While I was not buying those, I did discover an exciting new trend in agate beads. Manufacturers are cutting dyed and natural agate into stunning, unexpected shapes. In the photo to the right, notice the flat squares, circles and twists. These and the huge funky wavy donuts really reveal the marvelous diversity of this stone–its colors. mottling and banding! Click on each picture for a more detailed view and description of the beads and my plans for them!

The first photo in this post showcases several strands of porcelain beads I was pleased to find. The warm colors and mottled finishes cause these to be mistaken for stone.

red coral fossil focals, gold and red tigereye accents Being one of the first through the door, I had a great selection and was able to put together several sets this time, pairing large focal beads with matching accent beads for earrings. This combo pictured to the left is a fun one. We’d had fossilized coral beads before. But these have been rinsed in red minerals to bring out the detail of the fossil. I found strands of gold and red tigereye for earrings and I like the compliment of the two-tone tigereye to the red washed coral.

Although we don’t carry coral or pearls or other animal products, we do carry fossils. I was very tempted to pick up several large trilobites I saw…

earthy marbled glass I also added to our cloisonne collection with dolphins and a strand with a moon and stars motif. And I expanded our selection of painted and marblized glass beads. I just love these painted glass and always pick out a few for my own personal collection!

The sky blue heart bead, in the picture to the right, has stunning marble brown on it, in delicately laid strokes that seem to suggest tumbling human forms falling around each bead! I can’t wait to see how my customers like them.

I’ll have a few of all of these made up for Common Ground on the Hill, a wonderful roots music festival I look forward to every year. It takes place at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Maryland, July 12-13. They showcase a variety of traditional forms of music, rotating on several stages around the grassy, treelined grounds. Tom Paxton is one of the headliners this year. This festival is vegetarian and vegan friendly, with lots of satisfying food choices. The event also attracts find artisans and several nice clothing vendors. I usually by some hippie duds there each year.

By the time of the Cecil County Fair, July 18-26, I’ll have made lots of earrings and pendants out of today’s finds. I’ll also have them along for the Howard County Fair. The special feature of that fair is that we set up a huge discount area and focus on closeouts there, making room for new inventory we order for the York Fair and Bloomsburg Fair.

My one regret, as I wrap up writing about this gem show, is that the items I buy there are all in the “free trade” economy. I regularly meet festival vendors who travel the world, trading directly with artisans and importing the goods for their booths themselves. I’m a homebody; I don’t travel. I buy from “fair trade” vendors as much as possible. At Heathcote Earthings, our standard is that a product must be fair trade and/OR be made of natural or recycled material. For this definition we consider glass, metals and ceramics in our jewelry “natural.” Other than dryer balls, which cut clothes drying time by 40%, saving on utilites, we carry no plastic and don’t provide plastic bags. So as I go from table to table, booth to booth, discerning quality from crap in my choices, I have no information about the chain of possession of these crafts, and whether slavery or child labor was involved. I can’t find out the environmental or labor record of the factory.

Once the strands are at home with me, I know I do good settings and make lasting pendants and earrings. I know I’m a fair alternative to “Mall Wart: your source for cheap, plastic crap,” as the bumper sticker goes. And I realize that people are drawn to the natural beauty of polished stones and art glass, as I am, while we all seek to repair our lost connection with the land itself and the energy that many believe flows through those stones we instinctively want to carry around.

I often notice that people gasp and lose their language for a few moments when they walk up to my booth and start to run their hands across a table full of tumbled stones, in every imaginable color. Even though I know these stones are mined like coal, I think it’s important for us, trapped in our bubble of urban civilization, to reconnect with something primordial–the magic of stones and, by extension, the magic of the Earth! For people of all ages and walks of life who start running their fingers through the stones like water, it seems a step in remembering something lost. Maybe, ironically, if we remember the beauty of the earth, even by possessing something torn from it, we’ll remember a humbler, less materialistic path. Maybe my stones of unknown origin help someone learn to be part of the Earth, rather than having dominion over it.

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Chelas Is a Show Off

Wren on June 28th, 2008

One festival vendor’s loss was Heathcote’s gain this week.

3 body art arms

Chelas the Instigator, a very talented, creative body painter, hung out in my Intentional Community when her scheduled gig fell through. Above, see my wombat, a dolphin and a mermaid!

Chelas was very open with her paints and her energy. I thought about the image of the spring maiden/goddess, flowers sprouting from her footsteps, leaving green in her wake. Chelas is one of those sweet people who spreads festival spirit wherever she goes.

She calls her body art business Chelas is a Show Off. She paints with makeup, as above. Or she can give you a temporary tattoo of your design, which lasts up to a week.

She was able to visit a friend here and explore community because her scheduled festival, Jambaloosa, seems to have been a scam, designed to trick vendors out of their booth fees, in this case, $300.

Chelas paints arms in the Heathcote kitchen

Chelas and I, as professional vendors, had to give the scammers points for creativity. I’ve never heard of or encountered such a scam before. I hope it doesn’t become a trend.

Discussion threads on jambase.com show chaos and confusion around some last minute cancellation of the event. I’ll have to investigate further to see if any fees have been refunded or if authorities have been notified of a possible scam. The festival’s website domain name is now up for sale and advertising porn.

Festival goers may not appreciate that my festival business, Heathcote Earthings, which occupies a double booth, pays anywhere from $70 to $1800 in booth rent, depending on the venue and duration of the event. Plus, we’re often charged extra for a corner or two. We may not take the same risks as a brick-and-mortar store, but Earthings, Chelas and other festival circuit riders do have high costs of doing business, especially with today’s gas prices!

I wish Chelas the Instigator and her sweetie, Peter, joy in their travels, spreading that festival spirit wherever they go! Stay in touch!

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