Craft Show Report – Lexington, SC

Hello all,

Long time no see. Sorry it’s been a month since the last post. I’ve been extremely busy. I had to get ready for a craft show last week so I’d been sewing like a mad woman for nearly a month. It took place at Pleasant Hill Elementary School in Lexington, SC, not too far from me. It was a great set up, great location and times. The building was well lit and in great repair. The only problem was that Tropical Depression Ira came through, drenching the whole state. I mean, it rained for three days straight.

craft fair1The traffic was pretty good. There were lulls, just like any other venue so I didn’t mind. It gave me a chance to look around at all the other great items being sold. I was told that the traffic wasn’t even half of the attendance they had last year so that gives me some great hope for next years show.

I also learned a LOT from selling here. Purses weren’t a big seller, but goodness gracious, my kanzashi were. I nearly sold out of all of my cheaper, single flower designs. Everyone loved my headband with the red and beige flowers, but I don’t think anyone had an outfit to go with it. The kanzashi went mostly to mothers with daughters who took ballet. They wanted something unsual and unique for them and I was proud to be able to offer it. craft fair 2

While I shied away from craft shows in the past, I’ll definitely be doing more in the future. So many people took my card and said they would pass it on that I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear. Which reminds me, I need to finish up that website of mine!

Ciao people! I’ll be back with more news soon.

 

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A Prototype – Black Swallowtail

This is something I created over a recent gloomy day. I couldn’t sew (people were still asleep. Night shift folks.) so it was back to kanzashi for a bit.

I’ve been itching to use the peacock feathers I’d bought for over a month now, but couldn’t come up with a design that I truly liked. Then this one came to my head. I really, really like it and don’t know if I’d be willing to sell it. It’d be so classy in a bun or updo, but I don’t have the hair for it. Heh, unless I get a wig. ^_^

I may change the shape of the wings, making the top two wings the same as the bottom two. But hey, this is just a prototype so I’ll have much to work on. Can’t wait!

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Practice Makes Perfect

I’ve gotten back to sewing. It felt so good working with fabric in a different way. A non intricate way. And breaking out the sewing machine was delightful. On the other hand, when I blew off the fine layer of dust that had accumulated, I’ll admit, I was a bit ashamed. Had it really been so long since I’d sewn? Nah, can’t have been. I sewed up a new tote just last….

Oh.

Well, nevermind that. It was time to start that little engine up again. So, I’m sewing. (Gosh, I’ve gotten slow!) This is looking to be the best tote I’ve made in a while. My color coordination is getting better. And I’ve found a great new interfacing. Everything’s working well and in good time I’m almost through. Then something starts bothering me. There’s this nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something.

Oh well. Moving on. Stitch, stitch, stitch. I’m through! And realize that the tote won’t close. (HUH?) There’s no clasp. And the bag is completely sewn.

&#$%@#! My seam ripper and I got to know each other intimately for the next half an hour.

The moral of this story: Never let your skills get rusty, and if they do, apply oil first.

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On A Shoestring – Paying Yourself

When I started out with my business, I figured up the cost of my materials, thought about what I would pay for my items and there was the price.  Needless to say they were pretty low. Then, I started reading more about business, studying what other successful entrepenuers were doing to figure out their prices and saw that I was missing one vital thing. I wan’t paying myself.

It struck me dumb. All the years that I’d been working for someone else, all those years of making sure I was given every due cent on my paycheck, and when the time came to finally work for myself I forget to factor in my own labor. I wrestled with that for a while. What should I charge? Is my talent really worth that? My prices will have to rise! Then nobody will buy from me! Oh woe is me!

But I ran across a post someone made in one of the forums I frequent: Isn’t your talent worth just as much as someone with a “regular” job? Why yes, yes it is! For me, my talent/craft is sewing, something that was done regularly way back when, but not so much today.  I thought to myself that if my sewn items are just as good as a seamtresses, then why can’t I be paid like her?

Paying yourself is one of the most important things to remember when you start your business. No one started out wanting to work for free, but if you just charge for your materials that’s exactly what you’re doing. Now, don’t start comparing what you want to be paid to what other crafters are doing. Everyone has their own separate needs and goals. Also every region is different. What would be a normal wage in a small city in Georgia would be laughable in say NYC or LA.

Once you figure out what you want to be payed for your time and labor then your prices should reflect that. And your prices will show buyers what that lovely blanket that you spent all weekend knitting is really worth. When you know what you’re worth, so will they.

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Gothic Spring Kanzashi

I said that I was not going to write today and give myself a break.

I think I have found my new favorite product shot to date. It’s interesting how you can try and try to take that perfect shot but nothing will seem to come out right. Oh, but when you just say “Hey, I’m just going to give it my best shot today” and don’t worry about it, magic happens.

This truly encourages me to go to even new heights with my photography. If I can train myself to take these shots then I can certainly do even more. Which is just in time for my website remake. (Boy does that need some new photos.)

Hey, I like this new I can do attitude! 😉

P.S. I did list it in my Etsy shop if you want to see the other photos. There were a couple of good ones. I really hope these find a good home soon.

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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Ha-ha!

The Tomato TakeoverSo late spring, I started growing a few vegatables outside our backdoor. Just a few different types, mainly the ones I use most in my recipies. Bell peppers, jalapenos, green onions, and some herbs. (I mean, have you seen the price of bell peppers?! It’s crazy!) I even started some regular onions, but they died on me.  Everything was going fine. My mother even decided to ty her hand at a little gardening.

Now, her plants have taken over the backporch! I mean look at them. (She has the three large pots in front.)

She first planted her tomatoes when my peppers were just flowering. I thought I was doing well. Now hers are as tall as me and my plants are still shrimppy. Isn’t that crazy? Oh well, what’s a girl to do? ……But enjoy some delicious tomatoes when they’re finally ripe! Can you say basil and garlic tomato sauce?

To make myself feel better about my mother’s green thumb, I picked up some fall seeds in the store last week. I didn’tJalapenos even know there were plants that were specifically for fall, even into winter down here. Pretty soon we’ll be having freshly grown spinach, carrots, and a medley of lettuces. I’m so happy!

I really think more people should try growing some of their own food. You’ll know exactly where your food is coming from and you’ll have the pride in knowing that you grew it. And if you have kids, like me, they want to help and I say that anything that keeps the kids busy MUST be a good thing.

Give it a try!

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So what’s up with Facebook?

Alright.

So I’ve started a Facebook fanpage because…. Well, I guess because I’m supposed to? I mean I’m totally addicted to Facebook now (cough, and Mafia Wars) mainly because I’ve had the chance to reconect with so many people that I’ve lost track of for over a decade!! It’s great! Now if I could stay off there it’d be even better. Ha-ha.

Now, I have the fanpage for my business. I’ve been updating it, but I don’t want to spam it with every single listing  every other day. I’m trying to locate useful articles and such but can’t see to find anything relevant. Hmmm, maybe people would be interested in my geekery too….

Ah well. If anyone has any suggestions on what I can fill that blank box with I’d be very grateful. If you can’t tell, I often get writer’s block when I write off the cuff. I appreciate any help I can get.

Check it out here.

And don’t forget to become a fan!

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