i love astro turf. for ages now have been wanting to incorporate it into my market stall display. i finally bought a slab of the green stuff a couple of weeks ago. it is just so gorgeously fake. surprisingly i resisted the urge to cover my entire stall in astro turf. how i held back, i'll never know. went the other way actually, cut a tiny bean-shape of green and plonked my business cards on top. oh so predictable. restrained. dull.
then .. last week, stumbled on some tiny fake flowers while rumaging for something. threaded a few into a new patch of turf and OMG how happy did that make me?
smiled for days over that. with the addition of flowers came the idea for a tree. simple, white, stark.
am i missing my calling as a set designer for a flea circus? i wonder. just so love playing with the tiny details of my stall infrastructure.
i used to feature this imposing cloth tree on my stall, covered in signs or images or cloth birds on wires.
that was a few days in creation. handprinted indian woodblock pattern. the reverse is a different colour. of course. with hours of machine-stitched crisscrossed lines. of course. top half is stuffed with polyfibre, bottom half sits on a whiskey bottle carton. i don't have room on my stall any more for my cloth tree. would love to drag it out again, it has such presence.
ceramic garden gnomes also used to feature on my stall ... usually 4 different ones in a row. their purpose was to display different beanie sizes. and entertain.
but you have to wrap garden gnomes very carefully and remember not to throw your market bags on the ground when setting up. i smashed one a couple of weeks ago while packing up, Dopey i think it was, very traumatic for me. i use cardboard cut outs now.
customers always commented on the ceramic gnomes and there'd always be someone who wanted to buy them, who thought they were just the most amazing things they'd ever seen. making me wonder, how can there be people who don't know about two dollar shops? (where all gnomes are born).
last year i made myself some sandbags (having a 10 million dollar public liability insurance hasn't prevented my fear of impaling a market goer with my umbrella that has been lifted by a freak gust of wind). was i happy with a lump of sand sitting in plastic bags? oh dear me NO.
nothing short of hours of sewing up a lovely 50s fabric and adding a handle for securing rope and making the sandbag easy to carry. once, someone came up to me at the market, rather concerned that someone had left their handbag on the ground. no, not a handbag, but a rather spiffy-looking sandbag, i suggested.
like i said... throw away the key...