In February, my friend Christopher hosted another Long Island Vegan Extravaganza (LIVE) in Huntington, NY. It was another super successful event for him and for me.
About 600 people came to the first one in February, but this time, the event got a mention in Newsday, Long Island's largest daily newspaper. 1500 folks showed up at this thing, making it so crowded that you literally couldn't walk down the aisles. I got up to get some food during my shift and had to shove my way through throngs of participants. It was annoying, but I'm so proud of Christopher!
He's always been great at organizing (his Great Gatsby-themed wedding was a work of art), but it turns out, he has a true talent for event planning. LIVE is not only hosting these vegan festivals, but is also doing other activities, like trips to Broome Animal Sanctuary. I've known Christopher for about eight years now, so I love seeing him find his calling -- both as a vegan and organizer.
As for me, "nepotism" once again got me a vendor's table, but I did well! I didn't make quite as much as I had in the first festival, but I made my second-highest payout. Not bad! I donated 50 percent of my proceeds back to LIVE; Chris then gave the money to Broome Animal Sanctuary, Lewis Oliver Farm Sanctuary and Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION).
My friend Nancy helped me at my table and of course, we met some interesting folks -- including one woman who has 24 cats. 24! Basically, she created her own cat sanctuary and has most live in a separate home that's on her property. Still, as a cat lover, I can't imagine having two dozen. Imagine the fuss when they all want food!
There was also the lady who very bluntly asked me, "So, what the hell does jewelry have to do with veganism, anyway?" I explained that it doesn't, really, but that I do try to work small-scale and use every part of the glass so I'm not wasting materials. I then joked about nepotism since I'm friends with the host. She ended up buying a pendant from me.
I do always like to have theme-appropriate jewelry for these events, so I hand-etched these vegan-themed pendants:
The idea of my pendants was to capture the important aspects of veganism, aside from diet: love for animals, nature and the Earth. My favorite is the one I did of the tree that also looks like the veins of a heart.
I used a different sort of etching technique to create these glass pieces. Instead of painting on the design with the etching cream, I first drew a design with a permanent marker. I then covered the entire piece with cream, let it sit for a few minutes, and then washed it off. The marker acted as a temporary resist, so the cream didn't cut through the coating -- and the design was left behind, sort of like the negative of a photo.
What's nice about this technique is that I can create finer lines and more intricate designs. The cream is gloppy, so even if I use a thin brush, it's still difficult to draw smaller details. A fine-point marker allows me to do things like fill in vein-like lines in a tree.
Given the success of this event, Christopher and his crew are definitely planning future extravaganzas... but he's definitely going to need a bigger venue. He really does have the gift.
As for me, I'm looking forward to the next LIVE and am constantly updating my inventory. Check out the rest of my handmade glass and wire wrapped jewelry at Naomi's Designs.