It's probably a little late to reflect on the passing of 2012, but an amazingly busy holiday season plus getting ready for two new babies has slowed me down a bit. When the babies arrive, I may slow down a bit more, but Brian (my husband, for those of you who don't know) has promised to pick up the soap-related slack.
At any rate, the highlight of December (not counting watching my daughter Robyn open her stuffed Pete the Cat and autographed picture of Yvonne Craig/Batgirl) was being a vendor at the "Inspired by Nature" Arts and Craft fair at the Cleveland Metroparks' Rocky River Nature Center. We've written a bit on the Metroparks before, as we made an appearance as a vendor at the Healthy Planet, Healthy People fair. To recap a bit, we're big fans. We can't wait for the West Creek reservation construction to be finished. It's not far from Soap Central (our house), and is about the only green space left in Parma. We're not necessarily hippies, but we do like to get out in nature every now and again. Brian more or less grew up in the woods, and has a bit of an aversion to being surrounded by asphalt on all sides.
The Inspired by Nature fair was a great event, for a number of reasons. The displays inside the center are interesting for kids and adults alike. There's a cantelevered deck that juts out high above the Rocky River, which is beautiful in December. There's a row of rustic bentwood rockers that lines a wall of windows which allow those in a mood for relaxation and protection from the cold weather to experience much the same scene as those who venture out onto the deck. Brian and Robyn took to the trails for a hike, and reached a nearby summit for an even better view of the river. Our favorite indoor feature is a replica of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's Dunkelosteus fossil, along with a life-size, lifelike model of this 20-ft-long prehistoric armored fish. Robyn was amazed to discover that fossils of similar creatures had been found nearby in the shale cliffs that tower above the river.
The Nature center makes a perfect setting for arts and craft items that have a natural or handmade theme, and there were some wonderful items to be had, including turned wooden items (bowls, candle holders, and the like), pottery, needlework, photographic art, and some awesome soap (made by yours truly). It's a truly unique experience to see Ohio as our ancestors may have seen it, and to appreciate the artistry of things made by hand, the similar to the way our ancestors may have made them.
Judging from the crowd on hand, a lot of people feel the same way. We sold so much on the first day, we didn't think we'd have enough for the second day. Thankfully, after a very late night of packaging and labeling, we were able to get enough together to satisfy shoppers on that final day. Thanks to everyone who helped make this event a great success for us and the other vendors - the great folks that work for the Metroparks, our new customers, and everyone that stopped by to chat and to enjoy the fantastic scenery. We'll be back again this year, and we hope to see you there.