I live in a craft supply wasteland.
We are the largest city between Salt Lake and Denver. We have a Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, a Jo-Ann store, and a couple small hobby stores that cater to artists and model builders. And yet, when I am in need of something, invariably, it does not exist anywhere within a 40 mile radius. On my most recent quest, I even visited craft stores in Denver. I needed something specific. I KNOW it exists because A) I finally found it online (you can find ANYthing online) and B) I used it all the time back when I was a floral designer. What is it? It is miniature fruit on wired stems.
Hobby Lobby and Michael’s had human sized faux fruit, some of it plastic and waxy and ugly…you know, the kind our grandmothers had sitting in a bowl on the coffee table when we were kids. Some of it was realistic enough, but it was too BIG. I wanted/needed tiny fruit, the kind with the hard “candy coating” on styrofoam-ish shapes, some of it with what looks like sugar sprinkles. Come on, you know what I’m talking about, don’t you? LOL We used it often in the floral business, especially during the holiday season.
However and once again, I ran into the problem that plagues what I do. What do I type into a search engine when I don’t know what other people are calling it? I know that “I” am looking for “miniature fruit picks” because that’s what we called it when I worked in the floral industry. What I found online was that the items for which I was searching were not called what I call them. First of all, I failed to understand that they are “vintage” items. (huge eye roll here from yours truly) I suppose I am vintage too. Or classic. Yeah…cuz the music of the late 70’s and early 80’s is now referred to as “Classic Rock”. Sheesh! Okay, so I am OLD. Do I really need daily reminders? The miniature fruit picks I wanted were found as “vintage millinery supplies fruit”. Millinery? I’m almost positive I wasn’t making hats in the flower shop. :::shrug::: I finally got to the point where I didn’t care what the things were called as long as I could find them at a price that wouldn’t require me selling off my first-born child. Since they were considered vintage, they were, of course, pricey. So, my next task was to find someone who didn’t know how valuable (chuckles) these vintage items are. I finally did do just that although, the fruit was certainly not as inexpensive as I remembered them being when they were simply “fruit picks” used for holiday wreath making. Apparently, age has given them cachet. Not sure why that doesn’t also pertain to classic women like myself. Here is a pic of the elusive fruit:
I had to purchase from two separate sellers, one on Ebay and one on Etsy in order to find a good variety of fruit type, sizes, and colors. As it is with most of my mini projects, it’s necessary to buy a lot more than I actually want/need in order to do what I want to do. With the ordered fruit, some other items I purchased and/or already had in OSS inventory, I was able to complete a wreath, mantel swag, and a matching table centerpiece for a customer. I was also able to make another wreath for the OSS Etsy Store. And with that, I believe I am finished with the fruit for this season. While searching for the fruit in Denver, I did find an amazing “mom and pop” craft store, but that’s fodder for another post!