A Tie-Dye Weekend

We had our family weekend together this past weekend, and this time around we attended the Oregon Country Fair. This is a tradition for Mae's family, and she grew up in area. Her brother has a booth at the fair, and the booth has been a part of their family tradition for over 40 years.

The rest of my family had attended the fair before, but this was a first for me. We followed these people in, and their costumes were on the milder side.

Approximately 3/4 of the people attending were in some sort of wild costume. This was Matthew's look.

Some of the things we saw were eye-popping and mind-boggling. In this next image, Erik is standing to the right of characters from the Wizard of Oz who were walking on tall stilts.

The Oregon Country Fair is a huge craft fair. The things available for purchase there were truly beautifully hand-crafted. There were some quilts, mostly being used as drapes. I didn't see many for sale, although there were a few small quilts and potholders. Here's a screen shot of the map I took off the fair website.

Although the print is tiny, it was surprisingly readable when I used my fingers to enlarge it. Also, around the fairgrounds one could find more maps with the helpful "You Are Here" signs. The glittery green strip running through the map is the lazy Long Tom River.

This next image shows Mae's brother's booth where he sells tie-dye t-shirts, socks, caps, Frisbees, and lots of other tie-dyed items. That's Valerie and Mike off to the right and Matthew  with the backpack right in the middle. It was helpful knowing where the river was because this booth was right next to the river. If we just kept walking until we were alongside the river, we could navigate back to the booth. It was a nice respite from the crowds since we could go back behind and find chairs, beverages, food and Mae's family. Above is a balcony where one could watch the goings on from a safe and peaceful distance.

Here are some things that were available for purchase, and it was all beautifully crafted, and fairly expensive. This booth sold fantastic guitars.

Seemingly out of place in this booth was this antique sewing machine. This was the first day of the fair, and so maybe someone was actually using this.

Crowd control was amazing. There were hundreds of smiling volunteers who kept folks moving along and moving out of the way to allow large pieces of equipment through. It was all very organized, while seeming completely chaotic, and it was all done with good humor.

This next image shows a place where volunteers and vendors, many of whom were camping there, could get hot showers. The water was heated with a wood fire. That's Mike on the left checking it all out.

I loved this next quote. I'm showing the sign, and I wish it were more readable because I'd like to be sure to give credit to the person who said it.

If you're having trouble reading it, it says:

The value of art as a process
is sometimes more important
than art as a product.

Truer words were never spoken. How many of us will never win a big quilt show, but still gain so much gratification purely out of the act of sewing and making quilts? It's certainly true for me.

As we walked along, I noticed this pattern on the ground. (Sorry about my finger over the lens.)

Looking up, I saw this:

And then there was this: Condom Roses.

Here's a close-up...yep, they're the real thing.

It seems as good a time as any to say that clothing was optional here...I had the good sense to keep my clothes on. And, let me tell you, there are some body parts plainly visible that I would like to unsee.

Here are some sock monkeys. If you look closely, you can see some are wearing crocheted bikinis. Of course they are.

Some things just defied explanation.

There was beautiful pottery of all kinds, and I was sorely tempted by some of it. With Mike retired though, I'm learning to avoid spending money on things I really don't need....and there is almost nothing I need.

Here, you could purchase some of the wings we saw coming in.

Who says unicorns don't exist?

Read the sign carefully to catch the acronym.

Of course, I took pictures of every cat I saw.

This next one was a planter that hung on the wall. You could plant something like an asparagus fern here and give it fur on the top of its head.

This was the only thing I bought...a refrigerator magnet. I chose the rolling pin because they didn't have any cats. The squirrel was tempting.

And now we're home with lots of putting away to do. When I arrived, I found the third panel of the Girls Getaway project in the mailbox. There are six of these, still being designed. I probably won't start on this project until I have all six in my possession.

And there you go. The past week has been so incredibly busy, and I'm glad for some smooth sailing ahead, and essentially, for the rest of the summer. I've reported for my jury duty orientation, and I'll say that our county makes it as painless as it can possibly be. I've already made my first call in, and I'm not required to report. The next call-in day won't be until Tuesday evening, with the possibility that I'll report on Wednesday. I can request days off seven days in advance, and so we might try to squeeze in a camping trip at month's end. Other than that, it's back to business-as-usual tomorrow, and high time. I'm looking forward to allowing boredom to set in.

17 comments from clever and witty friends:

allthingzsewn said...

Thanks for the fair tour. Different and interesting. Where those real guitars and do you remember about how much any of them were. I have got to show this to my husband. He will wish he had one about 30 yrs ago.
The first cat is unique, I really like it. Hope it doesn't take too long to transition back to ....life.

Kate said...

Looks like a very fun fair with lots to see and do. Enjoy what's left of your weekend.

WoolenSails said...

That would be a fun fair to go to, I need to get out to more in our area.
This weekend was the art festival, but it was hot and I would have had to go alone, so skipped it this year.


Brown Family said...

There was a lot to see and experience at the Fair! Some of it reminds me of Scarborough fair, in our area. It is a Renaissance fair where you can see a lot of strange people in costumes. I will say I never saw a condom rose! That one cracked me up! Sock Monkeys in bikinis! What a hoot! The pottery was beautiful and the cats cute. It was a hard lesson for me to learn that if I did not NEED it, I should not buy it! Now I can take friends to quilt shops and enjoy watching and encouraging them to spend money. I always tell them since I am the designated driver, I have to stay sober and we all know fabric can be intoxicating!

Celtic Thistle said...

What a fascinating Fair Barbara it must have been an interesting day out :)

liniecat said...

What a great folk and fun fest fair, we used to have alotblikecthat over here but they have evolved into more commercially inclined events now. A shame really. I do a stall at a Green Fair in November and that's the closest we see locally. Hand made goods, WWF stalls, stray musicians pop in and play folk music or hill billy music, veggie foods and home made jams. Thankfully all are clothed!!
Of course there were once unicorns, Guess bikini clad monkeys are new tho lolol

Gretchen Weaver said...

You all must have had a lovely day at the fair, sounded lovely. Enjoy some peace and quiet this week. Hope the squirrels at home haven't caused havoc while you were gone. Happy stitching!

Sandra W said...

Glad you're back. I missed your daily musings.
That fair sound amazing. More and more I am learning that Oregon is a fascinating and beautiful place. While I've travelled extensively in the U.S.--including 5 presidential libraries--haven't yet made it to your state.
Do people still buy tie dye?

Dana Gaffney said...

That fair looks like so much fun, good craft fairs are inspirational. Fantasy Fest in Key West has lots of naked people or body painted people and too often they're not anyone you would want to see, some of them are burned in my memory. When I taught art I can't tell you how many times I said "it's the process not the product" to parents.

Doreen Auger said...

Well written....I felt like I was walking along the conjested aisles of items too numerous to account for! Sometimes the people watching is the highlight, hmmmm? The month of July is our crazy busy month with family birthdays and finishing with our local annual "Hoedown" celebration (an event that makes me very thankful we live 5 miles outside the burg!!!!)

piecefulwendy said...

Sounds like an interesting fait, to say the least. Glad you had a fun time visiting with Mae's family and enjoying the fair. I've missed your posts, so it's been fun to see what you've been up to. Hope you have a restful, quiet week of sewing and cuddling those kitties!

gpc said...

What a remarkable fair -- not like any county fair I've been to around here!

Beth said...

This reminds me of the arts fair in Laguna Canyon...the name of which escapes me. Thanks for the travelogue, as it's unlikely we'll make it down there anytime soon. I loved the photo of Mike checking out the workings of the water-heating apparatus. Once an engineer, always an engineer, eh?

claudia said...

I have yet to make it to any fair since being in the PNW! I wanted to go to the county fair here by us last year, and my kids were going to go, but they ditched me to go with their friends and I didn't want to go alone...this year I am going no matter what. I enjoy the people watching most of all, but I like the animals as well. And the food...mmmmm.

Goofin' Off Around the Block said...

What a fantastic looking fair. I think it'll be getting added to my "crafting" bucket list...although, clothing is never optional for me. It looks like it was so much fun. Thanks for sharing all of those great pictures. --Andrea

Vroomans' Quilts said...

That is a huge fair! And how awesome a theme, too. I think optional clothing at a fair with young children about is a little disconcerting - and thank you for not sharing any of those photos.

quiltzyx said...

So Mae is from a family of tie-dyers, eh? What fun! The Fair looks very fun & loved the cool balcony over her brother's booth. I must say, I don't think I've ever heard of a 'clothing optional' fair though.
Lots of cool artsy stuff there indeed. Glad you had a good family get-away weekend!