Exchange Market Review

The first ever Exchange Market was on Saturday the 27th and was an amazing success (even if I do say so myself). I say amazing because everything was against us, the weather was vile, driving was treacherous and there was a gigantic anti-IMF protest on which I assumed would scare people away. It turned out to be the saving grace, because once the protest ended we have waves of people coming in and shuffling around looking at our crafty delights. 

My Dad drove me in after going out in his car to scout around and see how bad the roads were, it had to be done, but it struck me as being quite a strange way to see if it was safe. Like jumping off a bridge to see if the bungee cord is working. As a result we were somewhat late for set up, but I am becoming something of an expert at doing these lovely fairs and can set up in roughly seven minutes (including smoke break because I'm so badass).

I had a primo spot right at the front, 
My stall was the first one you saw as you walked in.

I decided to be adventurous and try to sell some 'arrrrt' as well
I'll give you two guesses as to whether I sold it or not...

My zines, laid out haphazardly next to Beata's Cookies
She had made a range of deliciousness and put them in lovely bags

To my right was the lovely Omar
Selling a range of delicious cakes
Which smelled delicious
But I am allergic to...
(they tasted delicious too. Allergies be DAMNED!)

And to my right there was a lovely couple 
selling hand crafted wallets and and notebooks and things.
I actually didn't get either of their names much to my eternal embarrassment. The problem with these things is that you set up your stall in your own little world and exchange pleasantries with the nice people around you and before you know it you've been sitting next to someone for five hours and you have no idea what their name is even though you've been talking for ages...

This was their table anyway, 
I think they do a stall every weekend at Sheeban Chic so if you like any of their stuff drop in and have a look. 

They were also burning these lovely natural incense sticks.
Though admittedly I wasn't sure what they were up to 
when they lit the first one.
I though they were doing some weird 
ritual cleansing of the table or something
Between the incense to my right 
and the lemon cake to my left 
I was positively knocked out with delicious scent.

So to give my nostrils a break I went around the stalls and admired the other wares.

Lads selling some music. 
I took about three pictures of these guys because the chap on the right kept accidentally making stupid faces 
when I was taking the photo.
When I took the first one I looked at the result on the little screen, saw the bizarre expression he was making, looked up and without even having to say anything he just sheepishly said
So out of the three attempts, this one was the best! 

Some lovely records!
Next to that...

EXPLOSION of Christmas cards!
The lady sitting at this stall was absolutely lovely, 
knitting away and chatting.

ugh, I am such a shit photographer,
Which is a pity, because this chap 
was the most fashionable person there.
I slunk off in my ill fitting black ensemble in shame...

Not before looking at what he was selling obviously,
a fan of drawing naked ladies,
much like myself in that respect. 
In terms of liking DRAWING naked ladies, 
not as in I am a naked lady...

I actually remembered to get the card of this stall 
and now I can't find it.
It was something to do with tiny pieces anyway, so if the tiny pieces lady happens to read this, leave a comment and I can put in actual details.

The tiny pieces thing is quite apt, considering that all her stuff is made from painstakingly glued down pieces of what I can only assume is shrapnel or something...

Vintage clothes and stuff at this one.
There were two girls manning this stall and the one who isn't pictured bought a few of my zines and chatted to me about Alan Moore when she spotty me nerdily reading 'Watchmen'. 

Jewelry by a lovely lady.
I very nearly ended up at the table next to her
which she had lovingly coated in tea
But I decided to go with my primo door spot

This was possibly my favourite stall of the day...

And while the cards were gorgeous,
and the biscuits you can catch a glimpse of in the corner there were lovely it was not because of those...

It was because of these.
Home. Made. Truffles. 
50c each or 5 for €2
The chocolate ones were literally glorious.
It was borderline comical when I tried one. 
I was  speechless.
I can't actually express how divine they were because the words to do so do not yet exist...

Actually I think it's a tie for 
my favourite stall between the truffles and this one.

I mean just look at this stuff!
I think that I effectively scared the shit out of the lady sitting at this stall by shouting about trades and how nice her stuff was for just long enough for it to become palpably uncomfortable.
She still traded though! 
I got one of the blue cards for two of my zines.
Happy out.

My pictures just seem to get progressively worse really...
I mean come on, this one is dark and ugh. 
Just terrible photography,
I hope it doesn't diminish how nice the stuff on the table was

Lovely knitted pin cushiony things are what jumped out at me.

...Terrible terrible photographer.
Maybe I should take classes? 
Though I would consider that almost too lame to handle.

The teacups were lovely, but wait for it...

Hand carved crochet needles.
My god. Just gorgeous.
I was holding them up, examining them, considering purchasing,
When I remembered that I don't know how to do anything other than basic crochet using my finger.
Very high tech me. But that's how nice they were. 
I literally forgot I had no actual use for them...

Sorcha and Laura live across the road 
and came over to help me out.
Or in Laura's case do some light shopping.

I should try to include at least one
picture of me in my blog posts.
To prove I was there. 
So there I am, looking tired and somewhat cross eyed...

And people actually came!
Mainly protesters who felt strange
as they left the 150,000 strong mass 
and wandered back towards reality. 

I took some pictures when the place was a little quieter as well.

There was quite a lot of artwork and photography on the walls that were of a really high standard.
My pictures of them are humiliatingly terrible...

That one isn't actually that bad

Oh but wait. The Worst Picture ever.
Blurry, over exposed. Just kill me now.
Only I could ruin photo's of such gorgeous art.

Though on a much more cheerful note, I spotted one of our signs from the exhibition closing on the wall!

Which sort of defined my general feelings on this pineapple upside down cake.

Not only am I allergic to flour, I DON'T LIKE PINEAPPLE. 
But for this beauty I would make an exception...

So, that's all the photo's there. I made fuck all money, ate so many truffles I nearly died, talked shite to anyone who came anywhere near me and got about 4 pages into my watchmen comic. And of course thoroughly, THOROUGHLY enjoyed myself.

The Exchange volunteers were amazingly helpful and there in force. I really like how adaptable the space is, and how they sort of understand that the DIY spirit can be maintained even with some mildly commercial enterprises (like markets).

I do have some mild criticism about how the tables were laid out, and the lack of chairs. I ended up perched on a stool next to my stall because there simply wasn't enough room behind my table for me to stand without being on top of my neighbours. Also they were using the stage pieces for tables which are quite low. It seemed to suit some people but since I had my boards propped up in front of the table some of my stuff was obscured unless you came right up and peered over them. 

These are more observations than criticisms because really, there wasn't much alternative to how the tables were laid out and we were warned they would be low and to bring something to put on the table to raise our stuff. And they actually offered me some wall space to hang up my boards...

Hmm... Forget I said anything...

It was a really fun day, small markets are way more fun than big ones in my opinion. And now I get to say that I was involved in the very first Exchange market, because I'm big into being able to say I did stuff yo.

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