Yes, I still go to camp.

7:13 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Although this will probably be my last year, unfortunately. What camp? It's called Not-Back-to-School Camp. (NBTSC) As the name suggests, it's aimed at homeschoolers and unschoolers. (Unschooling is a kind of homeschooling which is very loose, and really lets the kid do what they want. It's how I was raised.) It's run by Grace Llewellyn, who's rather famous in the home- and unschooling world.

I first went to NBTSC last year. Words can't say how much I loved it. It's very, very different from any other camp I've attended. There are only three required activities: morning and evening meetings (which are fun anyway), advisee group meetings (sort of a more intimate version of the whole camp meetings), and morning and evening check-in (to make sure no one got eaten by a moose). Aside from that, you do whatever you want! There are workshops run by campers and counselors, discussion groups, spontaneous dance parties, games, henna tattoos, and anything else anybody wants to do.

That's during the day. Every evening there's some kind of special event. There are a few talent shows, where you can show off anything you're good at. No, really, anything. One counselor showed how fast he could solve a rubix cube. There's bonding night, which includes various activities to get to know people at camp. Bonding night had one of the best camp hours, in my opinion. Half the room closed their eyes and got anonymous hugs from the other half of camp! Then we switched. There's something amazing about anonymous hugs. There's the prom, a big dance with lots of fabulous outfits. There's trust circle, a very intense experience, where anyone can step forward and say something about themself, usually some kind of secret or something they've never told anyone. And the last night, where we make absolutely sure that everyone who wants to gets a hug from everyone else at camp.

As you can tell, the camp deeply values hugs and other forms of bonding.

But the most special thing about camp is the people. I arrived and checked in, and before I had even looked around for my friends, a girl came up to me, introduced herself, and asked if I needed help with my bags. I thought it was so sweet. Everyone there interacts with everyone else, regardless of age, race, background, and opinions. Because you're not allowed to go unless you want to, everyone is happy to be there. There are no real cliques, and I everybody is just so friendly and welcoming.

I'm leaving for camp on Saturday. I'll be there for a week, back for a few days (I'm not scheduling anything for then, I plan to sleep, do laundry, and spend time with non-camp friends and my boyfriend), then there for another week! I'm starting to pack now, since the only other time I have is on Friday morning. Here's advance warning, there's a good chance I won't get around to a post on Friday. And after that, I'll put my etsy store on vacation, and probably won't be heard from again until October 7th.

Back to packing!

Crazy weekend

2:54 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Sorry about missing a post again! I was at a duck party (like a regular party, but with ducks), then a friend unexpectedly crashed at my house, and that combined with preparations for Yankee Doodle Weekend to push things like blogs right out of my head.

So here's what happened at the first craft fair my mother and I sold at. (I have sold at cons, but no fairs.) Sunday we wake up... and it is raining. Yankee Doodle is outdoors. We load the cars, drive stuff over, and decide to buy a canopy at the hardware store. (We had previously considered getting one, but decided to wait.) But by the time we got it and set it up, we were very wet. The wind and rain quickly dampened our crafts, too. Luckily it was nothing that's harmed by a little water. We stayed for several hours anyway, and I was actually surprised at the moderate amount of people who showed up. No sales that day. After several hours, I was constantly shivering, and decided to go home to get warm and dry.

Saturday, though, was quite beautiful. There were even more people, and they all seemed to be in better moods. We covered expenses for the fair, and even made some more. I made $13 after expenses, and my mom made more. I think the reason I didn't sell much was because my target audience is most likely teenagers and young adults. Most of the people who attended were either older adults or small children. But you know, it was a learning experience, and we got a list of other local fairs from the sellers next to us. True, I'll be off to camp on the 19th (more about that later), and while I'm gone my mother will be going to Israel to visit my sister, so we won't be together again for three weeks to a month. But still.

Two reasons...

8:24 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
...you should go buy that item you've been eying from my etsy store right now.

As I've mentioned, my mother and I will be selling our work this weekend. This means that there are no guarantees your favorite item will still belong to me on Monday! I'll be setting my store to vacation mode early in the morning on Saturday, then all bets are off. I am, of course, hoping I'll be a smashing success, so I'm hoping I'll be nearly sold out by the end of the weekend.

Once my shop returns from vacation mode, prices will increase. In all my specific weighing and counting, I forgot to add a small profit margin so I can afford life. Prices will still be very reasonable after the increase, but in this economy every dollar counts!

~~Jen

It's officially fall

7:06 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Today we had our Not-Back-To-School picnic. That's right, I'm a homeschooler. I have been homeschooled my whole life. Our local homeschooler's group has a picnic every fall at a local farm/park. It's always a fun day to hang out in fields, talk to friends, play games, and eat ice cream. Every family is supposed to bring an ice cream topping for sundaes, but I don't think everyone did this year. It was still a great deal of fun, and as always, boiled down to me and a bunch of friends laughing.

For me, these picnics always mark the true beginning of fall, and the "school" season. What special event tells you that it's really autumn?

~~Jen

5:51 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
First, apologies for the lack of post on Friday. My first day with my driver's license was... eventful. It left me just exhausted.

This week I was interviewed by the delightful and talented moonangelnay. Read it here!

And, if any of you happen to be in the Merrimack Valley area of Massachusetts, my mom and I have a booth at Billerica's Yankee Doodle Homecoming Weekend. It's this weekend, the 12th and 13th, in Billerica center. We'll be near the Town Hall, right in the middle of everything. It's a very fun event, with craft booths (of course), a parade, historical re-enactments (I've gotten to see a friend tarred and feathered!), and more. I'm very excited. It'll the third event I've tried to sell chainmaille at, and hopefully I'll do at least as well as I did at Anime Boston. If I make a lot of money, I've got my eye on a certain supply organizer. I really need one.

Hm, guess I went a bit link-crazy in this post.

~~Jen

Thrift store finds

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The other day my mom and I went to a local thrift store. They had some medium-sized mason jars, packed with old jewelry, for $10 each! That, and a few separate jewelry purchases, gave me everything you see, for under $25. The close-up is my favorites out of what I got. Apologies for bad picture quality.