While visiting the studio, a good friend asked me, "Where did the name come from? What does it mean?" After hearing my story, she urged me to always share it at the beginning of any event at puddletown fayre. I thought I'd start here.
In 1999-2000, I was invited (arm-twisted) to purchase a "membership" to a little scrapbooking club. It didn't cost much, and I could go every week for a whole year. I went once. I already knew that I wasn't a "scrapper". I don't like the permanent pasting of precious things and tidying-up of ephemera and flotsam. I love those treasures just as they come. I have tins and shoeboxes of that stuff. When I showed up in the home ec room after school to experience this club I hadn't participated in, the gal who offered it suggested I make a greeting card. "Here are the scraps, here are the supplies, here are the items you can purchase." I sat down, started playing, and two and a half hours later, I had four very lovely little cards. Two and a half hours. And I'd enjoyed every minute.
I never returned. I'm really not a joiner. But I did go straight to the craft store, purchase some papers and tools, and spent many happy hours at the little table in my great room. I made cards for all occasions. I gave them as gifts, I even did a few custom orders for large events. It was so much fun. My cheerleader/encourager friend, Colette, told me I should sell my cards. So I packed my portfolio and samples and brought them to Arizona where she and I made the rounds of shops that might carry my cards. I actually sold a few. To her mom. During that visit, we brainstormed names for my soon-to-be-successful card business.
We reveled in an ongoing conversation that seemed to last days and days. We suggested the silly, the meaningful, the descriptive, the boring, the oblique. Naming is a big deal. While we were sitting in a little coffee shop called Ghini's, we suddenly plucked puddletown fayre from the cloud of words hovering above us. (Even the name of the coffee shop was important. My mom's name was Ginny.) With great big smiles, we knew that was the name. Here's the process and the why.
puddletown. I live on a road that was once named Puddletown Road. Puddletown School, a one-room country school stood up on the corner. It was the local school and the gathering place for several of my aunts, uncles, second, third and fourth cousins and their friends on Sunday afternoons in the 1910's. I remember my Grandma talking about cousins that lived "down Puddletown way". When I moved into my home in 1991, I was determined to hold onto the Puddletown name, in spite of the numbering system the county used in renaming all the country roads. 850. Really. I love holding onto our history. Besides, it's such a charming word. It sounds like Peter Rabbit and friends, healthy gardens and shirts on the clothesline. And for me it's a location word, attached to family history. Puddletown.
So puddletown fayre was named. I moved from cards to books. I moved from the great room, to the spare bedroom, to the studio. Our books have moved from Indiana to Europe and Australia, and many places in between. I still find it hard to believe that puddletown fayre journals are finding homes around the world. How cool is that?