Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Successful day!

Brooch Display

I have been a shade under the weather the last few days, but Sunday's fair was very successful for me and I got to hang out with friends.

This isn't a detailed posting, more one to show the pics I took!

The new cake stand for the brooches has worked well - they literally flew off! And I got lots of comments about the boxes looking like pieces of cake!

The card stand performed well again (but is falling apart - irritatingly - time for investment in a metal one).
Scarf Display

I have a new idea for the Christmas Decoration display - as it was a bit cluttered and messy on Sunday. I like the new scarf stand - shame my sign was lopsided when I took the pic!
Christmas Decorations

I also sold a few of my work colleagues goods, so she is a happy bunny, as am I.

Snoods by Lucy B
I am pleased with the pics - I think my photography course has paid off! Looking forward to the spring and taking nice pics in the daylight of my items.

I'm also in good shape for Sunday's fair - which is the biggest I have ever done, so I am quite nervous, but excited. Just a few more bits and bobs to do, but not too much, after rinsing myself last Friday and Saturday to get masses done.

My stall!
I am still in 2 minds about making more Christmas cards! It feels a bit late to be making more Christmas cards, so we'll see!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How have I managed without it?!

Yes, you guessed it, I have a new toy!

I finally relented and bought myself a 3M ATG (adhesive tape gun) - truly it is the best thing ever! How I have managed to make all the Christmas crafts without it, I don't know!

I have been using disposable tape rollers, which are great, but they have actually been costing me a fair amount of money. I was watching a tutorial on YouTube and the demonstrator had one of these 3M guns and I was like - what is that?! I want one!!

So I did some research and the 3M version got the best reviews, they had a deal, I called Hubby to sense check my logic and then I bought it.

It is superb - a bit trixsy to get the tape in first time round, but I bet the next time will be easier. You get 44metres of tape per roll and it's currently £2.61 a roll - if that's not value for money I don't know what is! The tape is so sticky that I have found I can apply it to cards and then stick buttons and glitter onto the tape and they adhere and don't fall off later (normally you'd need to use a tacky glue) - it's truly amazing.

This latest addition to my craft kit, made me think about when I first starting crafting. Basically the tools I had were very basic, but useful. I have tried to only buy things that will make my craft life a lot easier and that I will get a lot of use out of. Implulse buying as a crafter is hugely tempting! I think impulse buying paper, embellishments, stamps etc is fine - there will always be a way to use those things, but its different with tools. They are a large investment and sometimes quite bulky! So not great to have hanging around until you decide you do actually like it / need it.

From the blogs I read and from the things that my few craft buddies tell me (insert sob here, I need more craft buddies) I think everyone's tool kit is different (there are obviously lots of things that most crafters have) - depending on how you like to work, the size of your craft space and what you make. 3 years on there are definitely things that I couldn't live without and there are things I have bought that I shouldn't have, but I think I'm getting wiser!

I have struggled to think of a picture that suits today's post (possibly because I am tired from the late night crafting and an early start today), so decided to just be a bit random and show a picture of my dream craft room - from Happy Zombie - I am totally jealous, I know one day my space will be fantastic doesn't mean I can't be envious right?


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Learning can be fun!

Drain - it looks like a snowflake!
Hello there, hope everyone had a nice weekend!

I had a fun weekend, starting with my non-working Friday, I met up with a friend I haven't seen in over a year! Shopped a little and cooked dinner for the girls and Hubby.

Lemon and I went on our photography course on Saturday, it was really good, I learnt so much, some of which has popped my mind a bit, but I am sure with practise it will become second nature. We learnt all about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, framing, etc! It was fun to actually leave the classroom and try out the things we had been taught during the morning session.

Bench at Greenwich University
Today's pictures were taken during the practical part of the day and I am really pleased with them. It was a great gift from Hubby and I can't believe I waited so long to learn how to use my camera properly!

Its been nice thinking about my other interests and not just crafting and Christmas - my mind has been occupied with these 2 things recently and I needed a bit of a break, so the course and my Sunday of rest (Hubby and I ate a lot and watched 4 films - sweet!) has got me back on track and I will be hitting the craft room with a vengeance tonight.

I did an inventory last night, so I know what I really need to make ahead of Sunday's fair and the one on the 28th - which is good, it is better to be organised! I am planning 3 late craft nights this week - so watch this space for my tired, incoherent posts!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

I am addicted.... Martha Stewart!

I know I shouldn't be, but I love her website and I love her products!

On my Christmas wish list are several of her items - especially her around the page punches, they are really great to use and her website has lots of ideas of how to use them.

I find her website really useful and I get a lot of inspiration from the ideas on the site. Especially at this time of the year, when I have gifts to make and don't want to repeat what I did last year, but don't want to take on a new project that might turn out wrong!

Today's picture is of some simple bath snowballs from the Martha Stewart site - basically they are a clear plastic ball, filled with home scented epsom salts, put them in a decorative jar, add a tag and some ribbon and you have a beautiful gift.

I can't wait for tomorrow - I know I have a lot to do, but I am going to spend some of the profits I have made on a nice new winter coat and get ready for the photography course on Saturday.

I'll be back after the weekend, have a good one.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hard work pays off!

Hello - so I missed a couple of days this week - but I have been feeling quite tired, as I pulled an all nighter on Friday, so I could be ready for Saturday.

Saturday was a huge success and I am very grateful to my friend Sooze and her mum Mary for hosting the mini fair for me - it was a huge confidence boost and made all my hard work more than worth while!

Even though it was a mini fair at a house, I decided it would be good to road test some of the changes I have made to my stall / display following the Berkhamsted Market. I was pleased to see that the 3 major changes drew results / compliments.

The changes I made were -
Brooch Display - I have never really sold that many brooches and I was convinced that this was in part due to the way they were being displayed. So I bought some really beautiful boxes and put the brooches in and it worked - I sold 10 brooches on Saturday, so definite improvement - hopefully using the vintage cake stand to display them at the next 2 fairs will bring even better sales.
Price Display - I usually have my price list on one sheet, in a nice perspex holder centrally on the stall, but I realised that this is not great for everyone - so I made individual tent cards and wrote the product, price and any special deal on this and positioned them infront of the products. Once again this worked, as people didn't have to ask for prices and I think this makes them feel more comfortable.
Card Display - Normally, I display my cards in the boxes I use to transport them - they are pretty, but don't showcase the cards. I bought a decent card rack and this means you can see what the cards are like - therefore tempting you. One of the ladies on Saturday commented that this made it much easier to choose cards.

I am really pleased that I was honest enough with myself to implement changes, even though they are relatively small, they have enhanced my sales a great deal.

This is my first week of not working on a Friday - hurrah! However, there is a reason for these non-working Fridays - I need to concentrate on the next 2 craft fairs, I need to start sewing the bags for the Esher fair, finishing the painting of the Christmas Decorations and replenishing my depleted stock (cards, brooches, felt decorations, scarves) - please note I am NOT moaning, I am happy that my stock is depleted because I have sold it!

I am also busy compiling a list of what to make / buy / give people for Christmas, there have been lots of requests for cards, so once the craft fairs are out of the way, early December is going to be busy! Hubby and I have also been working on our Christmas card list - which is epic - how did it get so big?

Today's picture is from Hobbycraft - it is an advent calendar and I have modified it to make my own - which I have sold 10 of so far!! They are so cute and really easy to make and a good way of using up oddments in your stash.


Friday, November 5, 2010

A happy week

Hello there!

Firstly apologies for not writing an entry before now, but it's been a busy week!

Hubby and I had the most amazing anniversary weekend in Camber Sands, the weather was glorious, the hotel was out of this world and the food was faultless! We didn't want to come home and today's pic is from our epic beach walks!

I also sold my first batch of Christmas cards - whoo hoo!

Finally proof that I am not insane (well not in a cardmaking way!), my work colleagues were lovely and bought 180 of the 210 cards I took in - so 18 sets of 10 sold! I wasn't actually expecting this and only took so many in for there to be some variety! I am really really pleased and it bodes well for tomorrow and the 2 other craft fairs I am doing.

There is a downside though - I had to work late into the night last night and will be doing the same again tonight to replenish my stock!

It's been a pretty good week and the weekend is shaping up to be awesome too.

Have a good weekend, I'll be back on Monday.