I first want to say 'wow!' The entire week that the 16th Century Spanish tall ship, El Galeón was here in Newburyport was not just exciting for our city, but it ended up being an incredibly magical experience for me. Through the Custom House Maritime Museum, I had the opportunity to meet with the captain of the ship - the only female captain of a tall ship in the world! I presented Captain Rosario Fernandez Rodriguez with a copy of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and from that moment, time melted away as we spoke for over two hours. I've written an article about this interview and you can read about it here.
With that experience of meeting Captain Rosario Fernandez Rodriguez coupled with the backdrop of a tall ship in our port, I went into the 3-day event beaming - and I couldn't be more thrilled with how it unfolded! Although the weather was rather finicky, one day being 90 degrees and the next being cold and windy, the overall reception was incredible.
People whole-heartedly loved the entire concept of Piratess Tilly - the haiku, the art, the girl-empowerment, the conservationism. They loved the dolls and the blank greeting cards - all of the add-ons I've created. And lastly, but in no small way, they seemed to love meeting me - the author and publisher. I always offered to sign the book and the look of excitement the children got was not just meaningful - it was magical.
I started prepping for this 3 day event a few weeks before. As it was my first outdoor event, I was starting from scratch. I bought an E-Z UP Envoy Instant Shelter Canopy and it truly was easy to set-up. I scouted Marshalls for baskets to hold the books and plushies, picture frames for prices, industry reviews and awards, and a tray to hold the blank greeting cards I ordered from Moo that featured Karen Watson's artwork from the book.
The second line of business was all of the signage and extra add-ons. I used one of the images from the book to create a tapestry through Society6. The tapestry made a perfect, eye-catching table cloth!
I designed a 2.5'x4' banner through VistaPrint and kept my fingers crossed I'd be able to easily hang it up. ;) I then employed Kendra Shedenhelm to create a coloring poster with her doll and tool illustrations, with the idea that kids would stop and color it on their way to the ship. Inspired by the poster design, I created coloring postcards to hand out to kids who stopped by my table. Although the coloring poster didn't work out, the postcards did! One side featured either Piratess Tilly or Yuki, while the other was a collage of her tools. I ran out of the 100 postcards by the middle of day 2 so started to pass out Piratess Tilly and Yuki stickers instead.
Just a few days before the event, I felt inspired to create a small, double-sided card to enclose with each purchase. One side featured the Australian Koala Foundation, of which a portion of sales go towards, and the other had a condensed definition of a "Piratess." These I printed myself on my laser printer and cut by hand.
I also had information displayed about the other artists and crafters who have helped to create the Piratess Tilly and Yuki plushies and the custom-made Piratess Tilly rag doll by Phoebe&Egg. A special thank you to Gretchen Joy for her work as local seamstress and a big thank you to Kendra Shedenhelm who worked with me for a year to design the plushies!
Thank you to everyone who came out and stopped by the Piratess Tilly tent! It won't be our last event, that is for sure. So please, stay tuned!
Come join Elizabeth Lorayne this Memorial Day weekend in Newburyport, MA at her booth exhibiting The Adventures of Piratess Tilly books, handmade plushies & peg dolls and more! White Wave Press is one of 50 local artisans and vendors featured in The Newburyport Collection on the Custom House Waterfront Lawn in downtown Newburyport. This portion of the festival is open Saturday through Monday 9am to 5pm. It is a part of the week long Newburyport Maritime Days, a celebration of visiting Spanish Tall Ship, El Galeón! For more information on all of the awesome events and for tickets to take a tour of the 17th century replica Tall Ship, El Galeón please visit here. I hope to see you this weekend!
I am so excited to announce that The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and the author, Elizabeth Lorayne, were mentioned in the local newspaper, Eagle-Tribune. Elizabeth was quoted about her experience reading to the children at the American Training, Inc. book event last week. From the printed paper:
"... 'I couldn't be more honored to have read my children's picture book to this group of enthusiastic and involved children. Hearing them excitedly respond when asked interactive questions throughout the book reading, was beyond words.' said Elizabeth.
She handed out signed copies of her book to each of the young students which as met with a sea of 'thank you's.'
'That's my new favorite book,' said Disnelson. The others students agreed.
'Any event that encourages literacy and love of reading is a great event or our kids. They're like little sponges. It was real bonus for the author herself to be here to read to them and talk to them,' said Marice DiLorenze, Academic Coach for the elementary school..."
This was a truly incredible experience! I am so thankful I was asked to participate. Please read the entire story below. It's quite heart-warming! ;)
I had my very first book reading event today! It was part of a larger cause -- a book drive for a school that has little to no library. Until now!