Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday is Tuesday

I've been feeling in a funk the last couple of days, not sure why. Could seriously just be the weather. Or this professor I don't much care for who I'm letting make me miserable... that's my own fault though.

So instead of working on things this morning like I should, I browsed through my etsy fav list. What am I realllly wanting to buy at this very second?

A super cute library bag from Emily:

I haven't decided which one I want yet, it seriously might come to me buying both and giving one to a close friend who just had a birthday not too long ago.... hmm... that seems like a good idea. She loves the library as much as I do. I think I've been thinking about it because my books are over due, hehe, so that fine's sleeve is perfect for the perpetually late with my books me.

Emily makes everything so cute and so well crafted. It seems like most of the materials she uses are vintage and vintage inspired and I really like that. I know she's sold quite a few bags (saw it on her blog) and the people who got them love them. And even though she doesn't have feedback, I can vouch that you will get what you order in a timely fashion. So you should all get a library bag too. Then we can show them off in our respective public libraries with pride. I think they are great for kids of all ages, including myself.

In the same vain, I really like these here book card/pockets from Phobe:

I got a few from her before and really want to get some more. They are just so stinking cute. I put them in all the books I loan out so I can keep track of who has what, simply because I will forget who I gave books to. She ships out really fast and is a really creative maker. She has a lot of neat pins/broaches and such. Another one I highly recommend.

Oh one last thing. The November issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly is up in my shop and will be on sale until Sunday midnight, then will be shipped out on the 29th.

They haven't been selling super fast, but fairly steadily, so I think/hope they will sell out again. If you want one, I would get it sooner rather than later to be on the safe side.

Well, I need to head to class, blah.

See you all later!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Handmade Chicago and Updates!

Hey folks! It's been too long.

I just wanted to check in and post some about things and such.

First off the Handmade Market was really fun, I broke just about even for the day, and I met a whole lot of great people! I don't think I'll be doing it again though because they allowed smoking, and well, I sell yarn and no one really wants smokey yarn so I'm going to have to air it out now. Not to mention my throat is still on fire. No thanks.

I did learn a whole lot of stuff though and I want to share it with you.

Oh and before I get into a long list, I want to let you know that I'm going to have a booth at the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival's High School Craft Show. It's on the 27th and 28th (Saturday and Sunday) from 9am - 5pm. I just got verified today and scooted in on it at the last minute (apps closed like Sept 1st, but they thankfully had a couple of booths left, they have like over 100 vendors I think). Thankfully I was able to get work off so I'm all set... kind of... I need someone to give me a bathroom brake, any takers?

And here is a picture of my table (it was dark in there):

So "what I learn at my first craft sale ever":
-Make sure the venue is non-smoking if it's in a bar/restaurant type of place

-If it's inside and darker, bring extra light bulbs in case the one in the lamp brakes in transit

-Test not just setting up your display, but collapsing it to make sure it fits nicely under the table.

-If your space is limited and you just have one table, use an extra empty container as a "table" for your cash box/credit card swiper so it's not in your lap.

-If selling kits, have items made up from them as displays with the kit (even if you have nice pictures, people will be more likely to buy it, if they can see it and hold it)

-Hand out business cards with every purchase, make up little cards (like no bigger than 3 x 4 ish) with info about you and your business and contact info, especially if you do custom work (I do custom dyeing and Craft Leftovers is more than just making stuff, it's about bringing purpose to materials that at first glance are valueless).

-If a vendor likes your stuff/you like theirs, ask about swapping! Swapping is fab! (Another vendor bought some yarn and I really wanted some of her earrings but didn't make it back up to her both and she probably thinks I blew her off, I wish I would have asked about swapping with her.... I learned my lesson).

-If you are being friendly and chatty (which you should be) with your fellow vendors, make sure to ask what shows they like and if they think you would be a good fit, write it don't, you won't remember (I didn't and wish I would have).

-Pack a lunch

-Have all your admin stuff in one box (pens, pencils, tape, scissors, project to work on while your sitting there, cash box, swipper, recipe book, etc).

-Have all your display stuff in one box (if it will fit) including extension cords and table cloth and signs.

-Make your signs when you set up your display (I totally forgot to make signs.. lame)

-If you have a 6 foot space, use a 5 foot or less table so you can get around the sides.

-Have a banner (ran out of time to make mine, but will have it finished for this next one)

-Bring chairs (I had mine by the door, but neglected to take them).

Stuff that I did right? There were some things:
-Collapsable display stuff is great (all of my shelves and such fold into themselves)
-mailing list and business cards on the table in a prominate spot where people can see it
-If you have multiples, just put one out and store the rest under the table
-Freebees because people like those (I gave out free vintage buttons and print outs of the patterns)
-There were other things too, just your standard stuff, like change, having prices at 50 cent intervals so all I had to worry about was quarters for change.

Listen to the feedback the customers as well as people who pass you by give you (even if it's a snide comment, which thankfully I didn't this time) on everything from prices, product, to display/set up.

On to other things.....

I finished my first mobile for the Junk Mail Project that I'm working on. Basically I have been collecting junk mail for the past 6 months+ and am re-purposing it into objects of aesthetic and commercial value. In it's end product it will be a site specific installation with one year's worth of junk mail from just one person, me. I'm constructing mobiles, paper pulp forms with press molds, sheets of handmade paper, and sheets of quilling.

Here is a picture of the mobile (please ignore the background, i'm hoping to get professional shots of it soon), it's about 7-8' x 5-6' (i need to measure it):

And a detail:

The whole thing is less than 2 days worth of junk mail. Crazy right? The only thing I didn't like about it was the supports, the river reeds look a little, well wrong.... so in crit we worked on how I could make rods out of junkmail too. I'm going to work on replacing the supports in it. It might honestly be easier to take it apart and restring it completely. I'm not going to worry about that right now, I'm just going to try to get the new rods worked out.

I'm also working on a series of animations that will take place in a doll house that my dad built for me when I was growing up. I'm working on refinishing it (it's been in the basement for too long). I'm also working on making the figure and various props and clothing articles. I forgot to take a picture, but I have a little cardigan that I knit for the figure on size 000 dpns and a little tee shirt that has strawberries on it. I'm making little pants too, so when I get those finished up I'm make sure to post a picture of it.

Here is the doll house:

I'm working on also getting my apartment cleaned up and doing about a month's worth of laundry (I need to get rid of some clothing so I can't go that long without doing laundry).

Have a good week, hopefully I'll start posting more regularly soon, it's just been so crazy!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Oh Geeze!

In all my excitement I totally forgot to mention:

Handmade Market
Noon - 4:30pm
Saturday October 13th
@The Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western
Chicago, Illinois

Thanks Deb for reminding me about that important info!
Hope to see some of you there!

(My mom and I had a great time today picking pumpkins and gourds and squash, lots of apple cider was purchased as well, hooray!)

Friday, October 05, 2007


I just wanted to post a update for you all. I know it's been awhile since I posted. Partly because my camera battery has been dead and I've been lazy about charging it. Partly because school has kept me crazy busy.

So I'm in full swing of trying to get everything ready for Handmade Chicago which is in just one week! Ah! I'm making tons of kits and handmade goodies that will be great presents. You should come check it out.

Here is a flier:

It's Saturday, October 13th from noon to 4:30pm. It's going to be a smash. On the vendor end, all the tables have sold out and I know for a fact that super neat of people will be there. It's kind of interesting because some of them I will be meeting for the first time, and yet, I've been reading their blogs for quite some time. The Internet is amazing.

This will be my second public event for Craft Leftovers (the first being BlogHer) and I'm really excited/nervous/hoping things sell/scared they won't/what if I get lost/what if I can't find a parking spot/what if/what if/ what if/ oh heck. I'm sure it will be fine. My mom is coming up this weekend to help me cut and fold and prep. My friend Carolyn is kicking some butt and folding patterns and braiding draw strings and putting together zines. My other friend Jess is coming over on Sunday to lend her hand. And my friend and studio mate, Joanna, will be going with me to help set up, run the table, take down, fabulousness. She's really neat and does some amazing things herself. She also likes bringing purpose to cast off forgotten treasures. That's what most of her work is about, that and her personal habit of collecting and how her personality is hidden amongst and contained within those collections. She also listens to some amazing music (which is good because I swear if it weren't for my friends I would listen to the same ten bands over and over again... except recently because Jason showed me this).

Anyway, other art stuff. I'm getting close to having the first section of my mobile finished up. I was planning on it being the mock up, but I think it will actually be either the 1st of many smaller ones or the 1st part of one large one. Heck. I might even make several smaller (about 8' length x 4' circumference) and then one huge one. Honestly just doing the one took only a small fraction of my junk mail.

I have also started some other projects. One includes these drawing that I seem to do whenever I am really upset. I'll tell more about that later though. It's shaping up to be pretty neat.

I'm also working with a doll house that my dad made for me. It's the setting for some stop motion films that I'm doing. Also very neat.

Then some paintings. More paintings... and some drawings of the gulf of mexico sea shore creatures. Not really sure why. I guess they just remind me of my childhood, trips to florida, visits to my grandma... okay, so I guess I do know why they interest me.

Oh and on a side note. I have consistently done my dishes for the past week and let me tell you, I think I could get used to this clean thing. I kind of like it a whole lot. My apartment is slowly starting to go that way (Carolyn, you totally saw the disaster before the deep clean today). I've been pitching tons of stuff, moving things into my studio space (I have pictures of that on my dead camera, but they will come soon because the battery is charging), selling things so that's always a plus, and organizing! woot!

And it is so late and I'm not feeling like going to bed still, but I should, so I will, and I'm sure I will conk out in 1 min or less. It's been a busy day. I've made 6 crocheted items in the last 48 hours alone! Plus cleaning. Plus the Craft Leftovers Pattern. Plus working 9 hours today and 4 yesterday. Plus. Plus. Plus. I totally cleaned my bathroom tonight too. I do need to step it up though as far as making things goes. I'm itching to get back to my own project as is. I bought crap yarn from walmart for an afghan tonight because my fingers were just so itching to make something different. After the 6 dish cloth lets just say I get a little tired.

Hope this finds you all well, have a good week!

ps - here is a picture of all the skeins I wound for kits for the subscription this month, wow: