I’ve heard about the 127 Corridor Sale for years, but I’ve never gone (even though it comes right here through Cincinnati). But since I had a magazine assignment to cover a stretch of it, I finally had an excuse to check it out. And, the coolest part: I invited my two sisters and my niece to come along.

So last Friday and Saturday, we scouted the stretch from Celina, Ohio to Owenton, Kentucky. We were four ladies on the open road, perusing the junk and wonderfulness that is the World’s Longest Yard Sale.
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Here is what we learned:

1.  People will sell anything. Motorcyles. Empty Cool Whip containers. Pantyliners. Anything. A lot of it is very cool. A lot of is not.

2.  It’s the one time when you should absolutely drive far slower than the speed limit. If you stick to 55, you will miss most of the random kitsch. Don’t be in a hurry.

3.  The more cars you see piled on the side of the road, the more you know that you should stop.

4.  Don’t second-guess what you’re drawn to. If it pulls you toward it, there’s a reason. (I have two different items I regret not buying and I’m still thinking about them! I should have respected the magnetic attraction.)

5. Bring snacks. Many of the stretches are not heavily populated, and there are not a lot of restaurant options sometimes. Lots of vendors do sell water and hot dogs. But have your own stash in the car.

6. Keep your eyes open for all of the signs: there are lots of sales off of 127 too. Be ready for anything. Ask the locals for tips about what might be off the beaten path.
7. Anytime you see a diner advertising homemade pie, absolutely stop.
8. Practice your haggling skills. Never be afraid to make an offer.
9. Whatever you say on 127, stays on 127. Especially when one of your sisters is reading 50 Shades of Grey in the back of the car.

10. The whole thing will be way more fun if you pretend that a film crew is following you for some fabulous cable show about picking through junk.
Thanks for the memories and the loot, 127. I’ll be back next year!
 
 
 I’m still sifting through my notes and pictures, but I do have a few observations from the CHA show (which actually is still going on; I believe today is the last day).

So first, it dawned on me that crafting is a honkin’ big industry. I’ve reported on the industry, but haven’t really had the chance to witness the industry at work. I know it’s been hard hit (CHA veterans told me this year still looked small than years past, but better than last year). I’m so happy that people want to make things and want to spend tons of money doing it. Yes, it creates waste. Yes, it’s another form of consumerism. But nonetheless, I love to see that drive to create in action.
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Secondly—and this is what I’m most excited about—retro is huge. HUGE. I’d like to think that I invented this trend. It’s my blog, so I can say that I did. But regardless of who got the ball rolling, it is rolling and rolling fast! I saw countless retro-themed booths, from yarn to scrapbooking. My absolute favorite display was this Melissa Frances booth.
I want this pink stove for my house! And the apron too!


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another Melissa Frances display
 I also liked the retro goods at October Afternoon (somehow I forgot to take a picture, but luckily, they’ve got images on their blog, here). A sales rep told me they were in the process of doing fabric, so that’s something to keep an eye on!

There were great booths from yarn manufacturers too. Red Heart Yarns was celebrating its 75th anniversary, and had a lovely birthday tent, complete with great retro ephemera, and a dress made from a retro pattern. Their knitted cakes were luscious, too.
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Inside the Red Heart birthday tent. I vaguely recall my sister having a look like this circa 1979. Love it!
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seriously, can I eat this?
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 Lion Brand Yarn had an amazing display too, with beautiful graphic shapes wrapped in yarn, along with colorful furniture. I got the chance to talk to their creative director, and she talked about the new trend of yarn wrapping—using yarn as an art form. I’m pretty intrigued by this, even though I’m not much a knitter (though I did have a chance to brush up on my knitting skills, thanks to fellow Craftside author Elanor Lynn, who contributed to Modern Knits, Vintage Style, and was doing demos in the Craftside booth).

The Caron booth provided some lovely fashionable eye candy as well.

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 Ooh, and I loved the DMC sweet shop display!  From fabric to yarn to felt to floss, companies have finally realized the awesome marketing potential of linking their product with something sweet. Even if we can’t actually eat the product, the visual is so strong that it draws us in. Pretty genius actually.

That’s all for now. I still want to write about my new-found love for cheap craft felt (yes, really) and my crush on keynote speaker Nick Bilton, and the many lightbulbs that went off in my head as he was speaking.