My booth was shared with a few other people with all kinds of stuff: obento and ohachi sets, Hello Kitty merchandise, CDs, books, magazines, and lots of shirts and wristbands for charity! I mostly sold very cheap accessories, $5 or less. Plenty of kimono items up for grabs, but it's a tough year. I made just under the booth fee, so actually, the day was a loss, but it was still very enjoyable. I got to show someone how to tie a yukata, and met a very cool couple who had an interest in kimono and Japanese antiques just as I do! G and E were kimono/20s-30s porcelain collectors. SO AWESOME. E has a very different kimono style than I do, but it works so well with her colouring! I'm more of a subdued, "old lady" person, more likely to be decked out in dark blues and greys. >D She's so bright and vibrant! Her buttery yellow kimono and bright purple obi worked really well together! And their daughter was awfully cute. I think maybe she was shy because there were so many people around.
Another vendor was so kind, they translated the name of some of my dishes! The ronin set is a Kutani work from the mid-80s or so, and to have a full set, each signed, is fairly rare. Kutani is a very famous, very expensive brand! The other name, Matsumise, means "pine peak", and is likely the artists' name or the house he works for. For this reason, I have raised the price on the porcelain set. Even so, it is well worth the cost.
Afterwards, it was packing up (with the help of some of the other booth members- thanks, guys! You really saved my back! <3 <3 <3) and heading out around 5PM as the festival was winding down. And then... more FOOD! OMG. I can eat quite a bit when left to my own devices. I tend to forget to eat, but when I do... dinner was SO American. >D Give me a cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard, and onions any day of the week. And then, the rest of the long drive home.
Today and tomorrow, unpacking. And today, I paid for a rather large shipment of items from Osaka, far away from any nuclear fallout that I've heard of being reported so far, so please don't worry about radiation. They gave me what I think is a very fair price on shipping. I checked by weighing similar items and ran the weight past Japan Post (the official website of Japan's post office) to calculate shipping costs. My estimate and their price were within a few dollars of each other, with my estimate being slightly more expensive. I will report again when I see my items, which can take up to 2-3 months to arrive. 6-8 weeks is standard, but sometimes SAL shows up here as much as 3 months after initial shipping date!
I can't wait to show everyone what is coming, and to list what is already here. I'm working out details locally to have a better photo location, as my apartment is very dark indoors, even with the lights on.
I'd like to give a public shout-out to fuel tanker TRL30 on I-4 towards Tampa. You wove in and out of lanes, rode up on people's bumpers, and otherwise engaged in highly risky driving behaviour. You were going about 10mph over the speed limit, judging by how fast you outstripped us, and I will be looking up your companys' phone number, as I didn't see it on your truck. It's bad enough that some people have no driving skills and yet choose to use major highways going speeds in excess of 60mph. You were driving a FUEL TANKER. You know, the kind that EXPLODES, sending burning wreckage and shrapnel everywhere. You have no business being on the highway if you're going to be doing this. I understand that you have a schedule to keep, and that companies are increasingly demanding of tighter and tighter shipping times which can sometimes be impossible (literally, impossible) to make, but don't risk people's LIVES over a whopping half hour off of your trip! /end rant