Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another Monday ready for fabulousness?

Happy Monday to you all!!

Today we have some lovely features. Let's go....

~ u n o~

Knockabout -
(Peculiar Pets)

I own a cute bunny that has a black eye and a bomb....totally reminds my of my rebellious Peanut!!

Using repurposed damaged vintage bedspreads and eco-friendly fiber fill that is 80% recycled plastic water bottles they make great gifts for kids or adults...I can attest to the adult part.

~D O S~

Jennifer Pilchak of Lilly Pea Designs - Shop Lilly Pea Designs on Etsy
(Greeting cards, invitations, stationary sets, and gifts!)

Here are just a couple of my favs from her wide selection of goodies.


~T R E S~

Buncombe Buckles -

OK. So, I am not type of person that wears a belt. Let's just say I was not blessed with the body that can pull it off like this model...but these buckles make me want to wear belts everyday and MAKE it work!! I love the variety of designs.

My favorite is this mustard yellow buckle! I love favorite shape.. and I am currently OBSESSED with this color.


Hope you enjoyed and remember:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Memories of a "victim"


Hope everyone is enjoying their evening whether you are at home snuggled in PJ's watching a movie, crafting, or out for a night on the town.

I am packing...and packing...and packing some more.....

As I dig through all of my material possessions, I am looking through old photos and thought I would share one of my all time favorite photos!!

I am sure I have mentioned my beloved Peanut before... (he even has his own blog:)

This was a photo taken for a featured article on Etsy that discussed the Sneak Attacks from the Handmade Movement.

I was supposed to look "surprised"... like I was caught working. Shhhh.. it is a little posed.. only a little. Peanut helps me make ALL of the important decisions when I work!

-The Sneak Attack-

This was such a wonderful surprise! I will give you the short story...

I had just re-opened my Etsy shop after neglecting it for a very long time, when I received this mysterious, and somewhat creepy, conversation from kitsandcaboodles:

"I know you dont know me but I'm sponsoring a sneak attack tonight and you were the chosen "victim"! Dont worry! Thats a good thing!

Go check out the thread we have going and get yourself ready! You might want to sit down!

Have a great night!

Eeeep! I should sit down?? Woah.. what is this about!

I told my boyfriend that something exciting is about to happen!!! We had a chuckle and sat there a bit confused.

I had a feeling I would enjoy being a "victim."

I read the thread that came with the conversation, understood that basically the rules were this:

-an Etsy shop sponsors your Sneak Attack
-people purchase things from your shop.

The Handmade Movement is the home of the Sneak Attack. You can participate in helping new shops get noticed and start their business. It's fun! Whether you are a victim OR a customer.

(visit the link to see the latest "victims")

I sat down to my e-mail and watched the sales come in!!! It was a wonderful way to get my shop rolling. They all had the nicest things to say and were all so supportive. I participated as a customer to help a woman get her greeting card business going.

Win. Win.

The next attack is on the 24th. Go check it out!

again------> The Handmade Movement <--------- visit for details.

Read the rest of the article and see the other victims HERE


Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday's Featured Fabulousness.....

Good Monday to you all!!

The other day I announced on my Facebook page that I am going to start my Monday's off by featuring some talented folks.

I love going to shows and seeing all this talent and creativity under one roof. Unfortunately, times are hard and when I go I can never really buy much. If you have ever been a vendor at a show, you probably know that person that collects all the business cards and says,

"I LOVE your stuff!! I can't shop today but I will be back."

GUILTY!!!!! (are you guilty too?)

BUT, when I say it, I really do mean it.

I totally support indie businesses.

I love supporting local folks doing what they love.

In an effort to keep tabs on all of this talent that I run into, I have created a little catalog of businesses and shops.

(You may have seen this photo a few posts down.)

I now have 3 of these notebooks. You can see in the photo that there is some white space around the cards. This is (sloppily) done intentionally so that I can make notes if I ever see something that would be that PERFECT gift for someone. I can mark it down and be totally prepared for birthdays, holidays, and special events. (ha! Yea right) Good intentions, right? I always deliver, not always on time. Eh...

So... here we go:


Tracey Tilly - Studio Thirty Four
(Photography - Detroit Local!! woooot!)

Fab photos that feature some portraits and Detroit hang outs like the Garden Bowl, Majestic, and Northern Lights.


Lori Brown - Lori Brown Etsy & Blog
(handcrafted curiosities)

I own one of these cute creatures. So lovely!

Plushies too!!


Gabriel Shaffer - Gabriel
(amazing paintings)
I love the colors and textures in these paintings!!!!
Visit the website to see soooo much more!

Hope you enjoyed and remember:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A little "Hump Day" funny

Thanks to a lovely friend making my day by sending this hilarious little cartoon.

I know my blog has been a little neglected lately but life has been a bit crazy with working, packing, two final shows, and now a bum knee. Hopefully things will get back to normal a little bit once I make a dent with packing all my stuff for the big move!!

I do have lots of things planned for upcoming posts! Stay posted..

Love .

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's Showtime! Gearing up for holiday shows- how-to's

Shows are personally the highlight of what I do. I am addicted to them. Finally, after 4 years, preparing for a show has become a little less crazy. I would like to share my story.

In September of 2008 I participated in my first show. When the call for vendors came out for the the first annual DIY Street Fair in Ferndale, MI I teamed up with a friend and we applied to share a booth. What did I just do? I had NO idea what doing a show meant. All I know is ever since I babysat a friends booth at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair one year, I wanted to do that. I wanted to have a booth, and sit there, with MY stuff.

The dream was about to come true. But it scared the pants off me.

In the upcoming weeks of the show, I remember having some freak outs that consisted of the following:
* do I have enough stuff?
* how do I display it?
* what do I charge?
* do I make business cards?
* do I have stuff for all types of people?

and the biggest.....
* will they like me?

My friend was kind enough to share some of her display items for my part of the tent. I had no branding so I had the worst generic tags...ever. My boyfriend designed some amazing cards which were so great so I was at least covered in that area. But, what if they didn't like my stuff?

I remember forgetting about my display and I went into this production frenzy. I made a list of everyone that may come and shop. I wanted something for EVERYONE. It was a bit overzealous, but I didn't care. I wasn't thinking rationally! I had turned into a mad woman that was overcome with excitement, fear, insecurity, greediness, anxiety, and exhaustion.

Then I remembered. This is my first show. It won't be perfect. I have to accept that.

It was also my birthday weekend. I was turning 26 and I decided that if it went horribly, then at least I would be celebrating something.

TIP 1: Relax. It will never be perfect.

This was my side of the booth. Notice the horrible white tags. They were handwritten, ugly, and frankly a pain in the butt to use. That large black hanging thing is a really old and ugly cork board covered in black felt, hung up with wire. I then used velcro to attach Ikea hot pads and stuck push pins in to hold the tags that earrings hung from. To add to the ugliness, I had a handwritten tag that stated the price of the earrings.


Fortunately...this turned out to be an amazing show. Both fun and very profitable, it started my addiction to showing my work.

TIP 2: Some type of "dig through" bin on your table

* Whether it is a bin of pinback buttons, clearance items, bowl of candy, who knows.......people want to "find" something. When my stock is low on key chains for a show, I will throw a bowl of buttons on my table and they are touched by everyone...and usually gone by the end of the show too.
My second show was the Detroit Urban Craft Fair that was hosted by Handmade Detroit. This is a pretty huge show for the area so my acceptance was exciting! The stress soon surfaced and the pressure of the reputation of this show began to weigh on me. Since DIY was throwing it's first fair, no one knew what to expect! But the DUCF is known for amazing vendors, lovely displays, and LOTS of shoppers! AHHH

Here I am at the DUCF in December of 2008. This time I had to condense my stuff down to one table and no space to hang.

One think that I learned is that people like to dig through things. Here is a tray full of keychains I made. They were basically gone at the end of the show. People loved to find that perfect one! It allowed them to feel and see them all, and possibly fall in love with a couple. These were at my first show and they went FAST!!

TIP 3: Packing display items - think HEIGHT and LAYERS

I have learned that having HEIGHT is important when displaying. To have some options when I set up, I usually invest in a ton of those cheap photo boxes that they sell at Michaels. Not only can I use the boxes to prop stuff but I can pack all of my stuff in them when I pack! Having options without a lot of extra clutter has proven to be very helpful. As you will see with the rest of the photos, no two set ups are the same.

Also, invest in a set of bed risers. This brings the table closer to people. I think I brought this up a couple of posts ago, but I think this makes a HUGE difference!

For this show I added some height with my earrings. In the past they were pretty low and unattractive. Now this big gold frame will attract some people.

Recently, I have been displaying my earrings on branches.

I created this tree-like structure for my earrings and have been told that people notice it from across the room. They zoom over to see what it is and if I am lucky, I sell a pair of earrings to them!

Layer display items and merch! It peaks interest and maximizes space on a table. If you sell jewelry, a mirror is a MUST! Once people see something on, they usually must have it!

TIP 4: Portable office

Some essentials you may need and should always have:
-notebook with blank paper. (I always have my notebook from Chicalookate. Mine is polka!)
-scissors - I got these Fiskars for a gift one year. All in one!!!
-calculator (I use Square on my phone or iPad)
-tape - scotch, duct, clear
-pins (safety pins or straight pins - I use these a lot when outdoors in the wind. Keeps my tablecloth from whipping around)
-pencils, pens, highlighters, SOMETHING! - ALWAYS have a red one for markdowns. (I like to mark some things down at the end of a show. Special "last hour deals". If you don't mark on the tag, you can create a sign! Great for last minute sales)
-extra tags
-camera - to snap a shots of your display and customers in your goods... for a blog recap perhaps?
-cooler - with nutritious snacks, water, lunch, etc. My fav. - AVOCADOS!
-tools - (Hammer, pliers, wire, nails, wire cutters, screwdriver with various heads) My table collapsed once at a show and thankfully, the fabulous Janna Bisset of Lilacpop had her handy hammer and nail which saved the day!!!
-something to work on! - bring some of your items to work on. People always come over to see what I am doing and I have even got custom orders at shows because I had my stuff there! It gives you something to work on during the slow times and also attracts people. It's fun too.. duh.
-extension chords
-table cloth(s) - Not office supplies but definitely important! Layer these for a fun look too!
-CHANGE - $1, $5, maybe some 10$
-receipt book

There are lots of great blogs that supply their ideal list of "Must have items." I am preparing for one of my last two shows in Michigan that happens tomorrow and thought I would share some of the things I have learned that have made shows even more fun to do. The key is to be prepared, be organized, eat a good breakfast with a good cup of coffee (or 2, or 3, or 4), get there early to set up, and HAVE FUN!!!

Some of the things I LOVE about shows:
- The giggles I get with some of the pieces. Nothing is more fun than hearing the giggles. I WANT GIGGLES!
- Face-to-Face interaction with customers.
- The chance to tell them personal stories about the pieces.
- Listening to their stories about memories that are triggered when they look at some of my work.
- Meeting other crafty people and making friends with so many talented folks.
- Networking and finding out about new shows and MORE opportunities for the future.
- Buying new goodies with my profits from the show and supporting other artists!

Let's face it. With the joy comes some pain. I hope this helps you prepare for a show in the future and makes things a little easier.