Tag Archive | craft fairs

Yesterday Was (not so) Awesome

It started off pretty well with morning tea and knitting, but after lunch I went shopping for a few new clothes. Unfortunately, I needed a bigger size and only had one pair of jeans and maybe half a dozen long-sleeve shirts that fit well. The up side was that I found a few good things, but I wasn’t thrilled about the size I had to get. So I wasn’t feeling too great about myself after that, but I was trying.

Then last night I got in trouble. I got in trouble for letting my son order a shirt in a size that ended up too big, then for getting upset when he snapped at me about it. I got in trouble for running down the hill that morning to take him the frosting he needed for a class project (“Someone was THERE, mom”) and then found out that he was letting me walk with him to school not because he liked the time, but because he didn’t know how to say he didn’t want me to. I trust him to get to school safely, but it was one of the few times I got to spend with him alone, and I liked our little chats. Guess I was the only one. Then I got in trouble for not knowing where the rubbing alcohol was (“We have all these beauty products and nothing USEFUL”) and then in trouble for getting upset by being snapped at unexpectedly.

So yeah. Yesterday was SUPER. Maybe it was just a bad day for everybody. Sigh. Today I let him walk alone, I will email the band director about ordering a smaller size, and I’ll find the darn rubbing alcohol. AND I’m going to knit! That was about the only good thing about yesterday. I now have two finished Royal blue hats to take to the craft show, and I think I can get one more done today. It’ll be a beanie in super bulky yarn so it should go quickly. IMG_3569The brim on this one came out a little bigger than I wanted, but it should work well for those with slightly bigger heads, or with lots of hair. And if it doesn’t sell at this craft show, I might see about adding a bit of elastic to snug it up some. IMG_3575And I love how this one turned out! The gray and blue is a little less common for a KC Royals hat, but I love it. And I showed the side with the joining seam because I was pleased with myself. It’s still noticeable if you look for it, but overall it came out really clean and smooth. I just have to decide whether to add a blue pom pom. Personally, I’ll always vote for a pom pom. How about you?

Craft Show Madness

It’s setting in, the frenzy of an upcoming craft show. I feel the urge to MAKE ALL THE THINGS that I think will sell because I’m convinced the stuff I’ve already made is not good enough. I know I won’t be able to put up an attractive display by myself so I’m crossing my fingers that my knitting SIL will help me out. I’m fretting about how to take essential breaks when I’m working my table by myself. So yeah, normal pre-craft show jitters.

All the broken-rib hats have buttons attached and yesterday I cast on for a new hat. It’s a simple slouch hat in stockinette but I’m doing red and white, a candy cane look for early holiday shoppers. I like it so far, and it’s going quickly. IMG_3523But this morning it hit me: WHY am I not doing blue and white?? My Kansas City Royals are heading into postseason baseball, and KC is baseball crazy this year. I’d be silly to not have some blue in my inventory this weekend, so I’m setting aside the red and white for now. Good thing I have extra circular needles!

The most exciting progress from the weekend comes from the husband. IMG_3507He got 36 of 41 fence posts installed! I am SO excited to see this taking shape. It’s going to look fantastic. Plus we’re all ready to retire these stupid chains for the dogs. The lack of running-around time is making Grace crazy, so that when I take them for a walk in the evening, she’s uncontrollable with energy. It makes walks miserable for both me and Jack, who gets tired of being pulled around when they’re on the double leash. So if the rain holds off, I’m going to see if I can handle taking both pups to the dog park to run off some of the crazy. Wish me luck!

I’m a Winner! And: Who’s that Maker?

Seriously, I won some prizes. Remember I told you about the Meet the Makers event at Ugly Glass & Company? I got to enter a drawing for a $20 gift certificate just for attending, and then I got entries for door prizes for making purchases. Well! I got a call a few days ago that I’d won the gift certificate AND a door prize! How cool is that? (Spoiler: Very.)

First up: the door prize. I got four entries. There were several door prizes to choose from, and each one had it’s own jar. I could put all my entries in one or split them up. I was torn between a lovely handsewn tote bag and a wonderful rainbow dotted cup, and ultimately decided I have a lot of tote bags (I think it’s a legitimate addiction) so I’d go for the cup. With four entries, I felt pretty good about my odds. And I won it! See how cute it is?IMG_2051I’m pretty sure each little dot is hand-painted. I can’t imagine how long that took. But I absolutely love it. It was made by PiCeramics, and she’s got a lot of beautiful cups, vases, pitchers and more.

Then it was time to spend my gift certificate. That was hard. I looked at GeekChic because I just love her nerdy handmade bags. She’s the one who made my awesome Doctor Who tote. And I looked at PiCeramics, but I needed to stay close to my budget, and her pieces had a deservedly higher price. But I kept going back to this booth of infinity scarves made with soft jersey-type fabric. I covet them every time we go to Ugly Glass, so it just seemed like destiny. I picked out two.IMG_2052 IMG_2053I love them. I put the blue one on right away, and I wore the gray/black one yesterday. I’m already trying to figure out what else I can wear them with. Sadly, I didn’t pay enough attention to the name of the booth, and the tags were removed when I bought them, so I can’t tell you the name of the maker, and I hate that.

I think more makers need to consider what goes home with their items. My cup came home with a tag that had a pi symbol on it, but I still had to go to the Ugly Glass website to get more information. For the scarves, I came home with no tags whatsoever. There are several clothing/accessory vendors listed on the website, and I have no idea which is which. I bought an adorable bag for my niece’s birthday at the craft show on Saturday, and I have no clue what her business name is.  IMG_2059I think it’s so neat how she has the little slots for crayons on the front, and it came with a Frozen coloring book. Plus there’s room for a few other things, so it’s perfect to take to church or out to dinner, things like that. I wish I could direct you to her, but I can’t because I forgot to get a business card and the tag only has a price.

So, a note to vendors: think about attaching a tag with your information on it. Or punch holes in your business cards and attach one of those. I put two tags on my items, one with a price and description, and one with my name, email, website, Facebook and Etsy. I want to make it as easy as possible for you to find me later.

Today’s puppy photo is brought to you by Grace, who seems to think she must be higher than the rest of us and therefore claims tables. IMG_1988

Just keep making, just keep making!

Well, tomorrow is craft show day! It’s a full day affair so I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s a good one. I just keep making new stuff to sell, like this red cotton tote.IMG_2042I like the shimmery gray buttons a lot. They’re just decorative of course, but they add a nice pop of style to the bag.IMG_2041Then I whipped up this mini market bag. It took all of an hour at the most, and it was a great way to use up the last ounce of Berroco Weekend left over from the slouchy hat. I have no idea what it’s good for. Little yarn bag to hang on your wrist, so you can knit while you’re out and about, I guess. Hang it in your bathroom and fill it with hair scrunchies and headbands. Put some bubble stuff and plastic sand toys in there for a child to carry to the beach. Heck, I don’t know. But it’s little and it’s cute and I like it.IMG_2044I’ve got one more hat to finish today and then I’m calling it quits on making all the things. I’ve got to get the car loaded up so I don’t have to do it early in the morning. I’m so grateful I’ve got a good friend helping me with this show! She’s got a great visual eye, so I’m thinking my table will look pretty darn good. I’ll be sure to take some photos for you.

Puppy photo: Jack loves to nap on the couch next to me, and I thought it was so cute, with his head on the pillow. See, they’re not destructive *all* the time! IMG_2037

Thrift Store Finds

Today, while I was running errands, I hit two thrift stores in search of good fixtures to use as displays for my craft shows. One was a bust, but the other yielded several goodies. Check them out:IMG_1950I don’t really know what most of them are, except the taller metal one in the back which I can tell is a candlestick. But now, they will display my handknits!IMG_1951That gold one on the left will be great for purses and scarves. I’ll set it up on a box, higher than the table, so the pieces can hang down nicely. The others aren’t perfect hat stands, but I think they’ll show the hats off better than just laying flat. I can’t wait to do my next table display now!

I also stopped by the LYS to get some yarn. I had a good reason, I promise! My sister has commissioned a lined project bag with wooden handles, and I needed to get the yarn for it. I have the perfect handles and the perfect closure and now I have the perfect yarn! I wish I could show them off, but she reads my blog (I think) and I want it to be a surprise, so you’ll have to wait along with her. I’ll do my best to knit fast, but it won’t go as fast as these hats:IMG_1953I have two more I want to make, a red and a blue, and then I’ll be ready to move on to something else. This is the first pattern I’ve made so many times. Guess it must be a good one!

Another Craft Show Done

Yesterday I had a little craft show, another Etsy at the Exchange for local Etsy vendors. Here’s my little table display:IMG_1928I want to start hunting for display options at some thrift stores. I need some height variation, some visual interest, and if I could find a good way to hang purses, I’d be thrilled. These shows are short, just four hours, but they’re free and I think it’s going to keep growing into something big and cool. I sold a couple of things, gave out several business cards, met some interesting fellow vendors, and the local paper was there taking photos, so that could lead to some good exposure. Both my Etsy traffic and blog traffic were up yesterday evening. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I also bought something. I just can’t resist Wonder Woman.IMG_1938This was made by Rosete’s Thread, and she had a ton of neat stuff made with pop culture fabrics: potholders, dish towels, baby sets, dog bandanas. There was Walking Dead, TMNT, lots of superheroes, and some other stuff I didn’t recognize. She also had really cute ruffled scarfs and fleecy shawls. If you’re interested, you can find her on Facebook or on Etsy.

After the show, I found some solitude and worked on a hat, a custom order from Etsy, and this morning I finished it, except for closing the top and weaving in tails.IMG_1935 IMG_1937This is a pattern I’ve made before, and I found it much easier this time around. I even managed to do some of the cabling without a cable needle! It was a little scary, but it sure made it simpler.

But the best thing about yesterday’s show was it helped me find my short-term focus. I need to build my inventory of warm-weather knits. I think a lot of people walked past my table because it was 70 degrees and sunny, and they didn’t want to think about hats or cowls. My next show is in two weeks, so that’s how long I’ve got to make some spring hats, skinny mesh scarves, a market bag or two, maybe another purse. I’ll display fewer items and make sure they’re all perfect for higher temperatures. I better get busy!

Etsy, Again

Wow, my post yesterday about Etsy generated some great conversation! I got some solid feedback and have already made some changes: I updated my profile, filled out the Policies page and de-activated all promoted listings. Best of all, I figured out how to add an Etsy widget to my blog page. I’d been waiting, thinking I’d get my techie hubby to help me, but decided I could do it myself, by golly. I’m not sure I did it exactly right, but hey, it works and that’s what matters.

I have more changes in mind: I want to update the photographs by using my daughter as a model, outside with better lighting and interesting backgrounds. Once I get those done, I’ll be adding more pieces to my shop. I have several things made but don’t want to list them until I have great photos for the listing. Once I get more pieces online, I want to create categories so people can just look at Hats, or Bags, or whatever.

But I’m still pretty sure that Etsy won’t be my main focus. I want to be more active in craft fairs, where I can talk to people about what makes each piece special, where they can actually *feel* what makes each piece special. With that in mind, I know I’ll be participating in the monthly Etsy at the Exchange events at our local downtown. I’ve got the big 2-day Oktoberfest coming up, and I’m hoping to be a part of a craft show held by my husband’s company this fall too. So I have options, and I have time to make more pieces.

Some of the comments made me realize how important it is to be patient. I need to put myself out there as much as possible, and then keep it going. So I’ll keep on trucking, trying to get my name out there a little at a time. I’m so grateful for everyone who chimed in; thank you for the kind words and encouragement and advice and suggestions. This is partly why I love the creative community so much: we support each other. We want each other to succeed, and we’ll do what we can to help. I love that. Thank you.