Sunday, 12 December 2010
I have been to a few Christmas Craft fairs since mid November always hoping for that rush of customers. Its not happening. There appears to be money about but there is a reluctance to spend (worries about the economic climate). At least that was what I thought. On talking to a number of other stallholders they also hadnt made many sales and certainly less than last year, however the odd stall at different events seemed to do very well, a cushion maker, an artist, and surprisingly a jewellery stall (one of a number at the event). So as there is no rhyme nor reason to what people want I think I am going to give up analysing and enjoy today. Its last day of my last event before Christmas and as ever I hope to clear my stall.
Before I go one last request please visit my shop I could do with some ideas for improvement as so far I haven't made any sales. Thank you.
This is my last post before Christmas and possibly before New Year. So..........
Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to all.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
I have some sterling silver bits and pieces I bought before the Steam Rally and didnt use them. I really want to make some sterling silver items but I'm unsure about this move. I almost feel its too soon and I should continue experimenting to find my niche.
Are there any evening events going on around the West Midlands or Worcestershire?
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Friday, 10 September 2010
To go out and set up a stall you need a cloth cover and packaging as a minimum. but then you add boards, earring display racks, bracelet display racks, maybe signage and on it grows as you add more and more in the attempt to sell enough to cover expenses and the stall fee.
Home made card boxes (they take a long time to make) are being used for display and packaging while I work out the best sizes etc. Small home made bags for packaging and tissue paper
I feel I am still very much at the trial and error stage with my stall and venues. Each time I go to an event my display changes. My ideal would be a quick to setup and pack away display so I trawled the internet looking for display ideas. Here's a link to one site. Some are expensive others are cheap some are bulky ( I only have a small car).
So before the Shropshire Steam Rally I made some boxes as a trial for displaying my bookmarks. This seemed to work as they attracted more attention and I actually sold one for the first time. So I also made some boxes as packaging for the earrings, these also went down well. So I have been thinking up ideas for displaying the items better. I searched the internet and there are some great ideas but not all are easy to put into practice.
While tidying out a room the other week I came across a red letter box. This is now a bracelet display box with the help of some foam from some new taps.
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Great weekend. the weather was kind (we were camping). The venue was exciting lots of things to do and see. Steam engines, fairground, trade stands, falconry displays, antique prams and bicycles, plenty of food and a very large craft tent. Wide variety of crafts displayed, some demonstrating. A very friendly crowd. Lots of people wandering through and some buying. Can't wait til next year a very well organised event.
I made this at the show. Ok I had already wired the beads but didnt know what I was going to do with them and popped them in my box of beads for later and forgotten them. Then at the show I was going through the bead boxes (after deciding that the demonstration I had planned wasn't suitable ) when I saw them at the show I decided to complete this and some of the other half started projects. I added some jump rings, attached them to a snake chain and heres the result.
I wasn't going to make any jewellery today but after tidying some beads my bead boxes were a bit mixed up after the show I saw the amethyst chips and I couldn't resist. The result 2 pairs of earrings similar but so different. All items are for sale in my shop
Sunday, 22 August 2010
The sun is shining and I'm hoping for great things at the next event on Sunday/Monday. I cant help it. I'm always optimistic. I've got my plan of action ready for this week to complete everything. All those half finished jobs will be completed and that doesn't just mean craft tasks.
Heres a rough outline.
Event preparation tasks.
Jewellery - finishing touches and display improvements.
Wall hangings - 3 to complete.
Decide and try what I want to demonstrate.
Gather camping gear as we will be camping for 2 nights
Where is this event I'm so excited about.
Steam Engines Rally at Onslow Park, Shrewsbury. 29th and 30th August
I've sat in a queue most years waiting to travel on through to Wales. It was always exciting watching those massive monsters of engines so alive and ponderous chugging along. I didnt realise they had a craft marquee but there is. I feel so lucky to be going.
Saturday, 14 August 2010
My site is now working under my domain www.blossom-crafts.co.uk. Hurrah.
Just finished wall papering a second room so can put my feet up for a few minutes before thinking about the craft events up-coming to prepare for.
I have a few Craft events booked over the next month to look forward to.
I will be at the Shrewsbury Steam Engine Rally August Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday.
I have confirmation that I am going tobe at the Black Country Boating Festival in September
More details to follow in later blogs.
So please continue to visit www.blossomcrafts.weebly.com I will blog again when the site name changes.
Enough of the web back to crafts.
I seem to have been making earrings lately don't know why but they seem to be top of my list. And to brighten this blog here are some pictures.
The bracelet pictured above has been a long time in making. I had an idea of a string of pearls with the 3 strands of bugle beads twisting in and out but I couldn't get it to lie right. So I undid it and re-stung in a totally different way and this was the result - which I am very pleased with.
I have put a few of these items on my web site
Monday, 9 August 2010
On the craft front though I'm just waiting for the next craft event but thats not till the end of August. I've been toying with presentation ideas. I would like to be able to make the setup quicker and more professional. So have been trying to make some boxes to showcase idividual items. Preparing the material to make some simple bags. Presentation seem to be a very difficult thing in my case it seems to be changing each time. Maybe this is all part of a learning curve of which I am at the start.
I have a new challenge at the next event. I decided to have a demonstration table. So now I have to decide what to demonstrate. At the moment I am thinking of demonstarating chainmaille jewellery.
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Now I have to put my feet back on the ground. I have two rooms stripped for re-decorating. The one I have chosen the wallpaper for cannot be done as the floor is being replaced. The other is almost ready to paper but I can't decide which wallpaper to go for so its another trip to the shops.
Friday, 23 July 2010
Heres the list get the wallpaper for two rooms.
Start entering invoices (the tax man cometh).
Make Bags for next fair.
Fill in event forms ( I have 2 in the offing).
Check out Bracelet boxes.
Oh and most importantly take pictures of jewellery for records and new website.
See if theres time to complete my web site for launch at the weekend. If not then the week after.
I think thats enough to be going on with.
Sunday, 18 July 2010
I have decided that there is too much competition out there for jewellery but as I enjoy making it I think this will continue to feature on my stall but I am going to try a few other ideas and see what happens. Besides its good to have a change or learn new tricks. Lets see what happens.
Well, all setup and waiting for customers. (not me in the picture I'm the one behind the camera). Talked to a few stallholders. Waited for customers.....talked some more to stallholders......ooh some potential customers (2) walked in everyone to attention. Oooo a sale also some other lucky stallholders made sales. They've gone now....get to talk some more, made a few earrings, ate my lunch. Its only 11.30. A few more people walked round. 12.30 The cake stall has decided to offer all the stallholders a free slice of cake so they don't have to take it all home. 1.30 one stall holder has decided to call it a day so the raffle is held at 2 before they finished packing up. Its so quiet occasionally someone pops their head round but its usually someone checking on one of the stallholders. By the end all the stallholders were just chatting so when one gentleman came round and bought an item from most of the stalls you can imagine how pleased they felt at having made even one sale on such a quiet day. By 3.30 everyone had gone home.
Thanks everyone for making it a very enjoyable day. Hope to meet you all again at another fair hopefully one where the footfall is greater.
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Finally I remembered my camera so some pictures of the craft fair at Barton-Under -Needwood. This was a very pretty location. The day was sunny with a light breeze. And as a bonus there were lots of people browsing and some buying. One stall in particular was doing very well selling Pandora style beads bracelets and necklaces and customers created their own look. I did fairly well covered my expenses so would be happy to sell here again.
Well I've been on holiday camping since then so it seems a long time ago. We went to York to try out a new tent. Then on up to Edinburgh pleanty of places to see. And as a bonus the sun shone this year so we had a relaxing time. We then decided to skip the planned visit to mid Scotland around Canniche and go straight to Skye (not sure if this was the best idea given that it was cloudy when we arrived and it was a little breezy. However we pitched the tent and set up camp. But over night the wind became a little more persistent as did the rain. The tent collapsed so we went home. Heres a picture of the tent before we packed it away. (Packing it away took a little time)
Saturday, 19 June 2010
Well the weather was lovely cloudy with outbreaks of sun and a blustery wind (definitely needed the shelter of the marquee). The parents turned out to support their school and the children enjoyed taking part in the activities. organisation was fantastic and the organiser came round to see how we were doing. Atmosphere was great. Taking started slowly but ended very well. This summer fair only opened for 2 and a half hours and there were a number of other people selling jewellery so I felt I did very well. All expenses covered and a little pocket money.
Oh while I was there I decided to make a pair of earrings pretty little crystal earrings. Sorry no picture I'd left the memory card at home and I cant take one now as I sold them 15 mins later hows that for just in time.
As we were packing up I noticed that my pendant boards were looking a little bare so, apart from making sure that I've got everything for tomorrow I now have to make some more pendants. If I can put together half a dozen then I'll be happy.
I've put my memory card in my camera so lets hope the weathers good and I can post some pictures.
Monday, 14 June 2010
I have been saying to my friend all along that I didn't think Car Boots were the place to sell handmade jewellery but the other week I decided to try and sell some of the items we no longer need and at the last minute popped in a picnic table, cloth and a few bits of jewellery and sold as much if not more than I've sold at craft fairs. Just goes to show you never can tell. I still have plenty of car boot items so will probably do another later in the year. So pleased my impulse paid off. I may have some news in my next post as a result of taking my jewellery to a car boot.
I didn't realise but these two craft events coming up at the weekend have snuck up on me and I need to make some more jewellery (thats my task for tomorrow).
Satudays' is at Oak Cottage School in Greswolde Road, Solihull 12:30 - 3:00pm and
Sunday at the Marina in Barton under Needwood 9:30 - 4:00pm.
I'm looking forward to both of these events as each event this year has been better than the last (I must be doing something right). Sunday is going to be a very long day for me but the setting should be great and lunch is included.
Monday, 24 May 2010
I can now make a couple more items. I am still looking for Craft or school fairs between now and 17th June Does anyone know of any looking for stallholders.
Friday, 21 May 2010
Later today I plan to do some gardening and get those Bizzy Lizzies in and some sunshine at the same time. Then sit and make some more chain.
Earlier this week I was pondering if there was a better way to sell the chainmaille. I have couple of copper bracelets on Folksy but although people are looking none have been tempted to buy.
a) Is my pricing too low? - it is pure copper and each link has been woven by hand
even the clasp is handmade.
b) Does my description not give enough detail?
c) Are they too plain?
d) Is it that the right person hasn't looked yet?
Your comments would be appreciated.
The reason I'm asking these questions is that I enjoy weaving the links and have come up with other designs not bracelets (although they could be replicated as bracelets) but am being a little cautious and thinking there could be a better way or should I just put them out there on the web and see what happens.
Right must get on now talk again later.
Monday, 10 May 2010
Next fair 22nd May 11am - 3pm 'May Madness at Ridgewood' its a community fun day at Ridgewood High School, Park Road West, Wollaston, Stourbridge.
5 A-side football. Lions BBQ, Wood Turner, Kids Corner, The Bridge Radio, Museum on the Move, The Soapworks, Face Painting plus community stalls inc. Guides and Scouts plus refreshments. Sounds like theres going to be a lot going on
I'm going to try and order a sunny day Its time for summer to burst forth.
Monday, 3 May 2010
On reflection 2 of those sales wouldn't have happened if I had been indoors but then maybe I would have had more sales indoors. I'll never know the answer. But having talked to those who had their stalls inside I think I did at least as well as they did.
There were plenty of people walking about and the car parks were full. Advertising for the event was poor but as lots of people coming to the garden centre and pet centre this was not a problem. My main critisisms of the site were the lack of signage on the site and the positioning of the fair. The low take up of stalls and those that didnt make it on the day meant that the event didn't attract or entice people to stay and look around.
The numbers of people visiting for the permanent shops on a normal weekend and its position on the main Wolverhampton to Bridgenorth Road gives it the potential for holding a large craft fair and with the right organisation the outcome could be very good.
So far my experience of craft fairs is not very positive. I hope the next one for Cancer Support in Dudley is better.
As you can see this is Monday morning and I'm up and raring to go. Just hope lots of people turn up. Just a couple of bags to put in the car then off to collect my helpers. I'm going to be brave and stay outside today - unless it rains :-)
Oh by the way I'm at the Garden Village on the Bridgenorth Road. Theres a Garden centre, Restaurant, Cafe, toilets, Free Parking and lots of chalets selling all sorts of wonderfull things.
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
My first is on Saturday, 8th May at Dudley Cancer Support, The White House, Ednam Road, Dudley, DY1 1JX. Sounds like a fun day with a multi-period re-enactment.
The 2nd is on 22nd May will have to post the details later as Sue arranged this one and I haven't written the details down.
Oh by the way I've put the bracelets I made last week on the folksy
Here are the earrings I decided to wear these myself to try out my hand made earhooks.
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
My previous post was right I did decide to start on the jump rings. I had ordered 3.5mm ID (internal diameter) with a 1mm wire thickness. I wanted to use them to create a copper inverted roundmaille bracelet but the jump rings are just a fraction too small. The chainmaille came out so stiff it didn't have any flexibility. However, it made a beautiful byzantine chainmaille when it was long enough for a bracelet I stopped and realised that I hadn't got any copper clasps. One incomplete project. Next thought I would try a jens pind weave as this needs a small (ID) compared to the thickness of the wire. A little fiddly to start but the rings were the right size. Created two 1" (2.5cms) lengths of chain intending to make earrings. No earring hooks. Incomplete project number two.
All that was yesterday. This morning out came the books. I needed earring hooks and clasps. I had a small length of copper wire. Reading the how to is fine but actually having the courage to start is another matter.............
Sunday, 4 April 2010
Ok following on from the good news. Absolutely great beads, findings and jump rings. Plenty to play with not sure where to start. I think the jump rings are the first port of call and maybe try to make a chainmaille bracelet.
Monday, 29 March 2010
Just returned home after a couple of days away to recoup and somehow missed the time change for BST. Very confused last night. Thought there had been a power cut as everything was an hour different from tele or the computer but that wasnt right as usually I have to set everything after a power cut. Then this morning the penny finally dropped. lol.
Right thats enough of me wittering on. Back to what I like doing best at the moment JEWELLERY. I've had quite a good run at making new items. In one morning I made 6 bracelets. Then another morning 6 pairs of earrings. Why is it some mornings everything just flows and other times nothing works?
Here are a few. I have had the millefiori beads for quite a while not knowing what to do with them and suddenly I had this idea of earrings. Very simple but also very Easterish. The green are simple wire-wrapped loops as these were oval but the blue on the right I made spring bails for the egg shaped beads. The centre blue beads are very pretty but quite large again I couldn't work out what to do with them but when I saw the tiny blue millefiori beads the penny dropped and these very pretty earrings emerged.
Oh I forgot to mention I had my first sale last week on folksy and what a thrill it was. I cant believe it has finally happened. An internet sale. Just the ticket to encourage me add a few more items. So I have added some of the recent items to my folksy shop
I've now run out of earhooks and other findings so will have to go shopping now.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Fantastic mornings work 3 pairs of earrings and a pendant.
After all that excitement I now feel very tired. The weekend is catching up with me I think its time for a nap (if only).
Sunday, 7 March 2010
A big thank you to my friends and family who have given me so much support. They put up with my lack of confidence and keep me company / help to sell at the craft fayres.
Sorry forgot my camera so no pictures this time.
While I was waiting for the craft fayre to openon Sunday morning I decided to make a pair of earrings to replace a pair that I put away in a very safe place??? I wanted to make them almost identical but after creating the queens weave chainmaille drop I discovered that the jump rings I was using were thicker than the hole in the beads. So I fashioned a triangular pendant clasp out of craft wire to attach the bead to the chainmaile. Heres the result.
The intention was that I would wear these, but the red leaf beads didn't go with my outfit lol.
Thursday, 4 March 2010
I found the patterns on http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/ each item was found on a different link so I had to make changes to co-ordinate the set. Also I didn't know that you could knit a jacket from the neck down and in one piece. That was fun. So when I looked at the pattern for the hat (which was written from the bottom up as normal) I decided to knit that from the top down as well much easier.
Not so long ago I was worried about creating enough jewellery for a 2 day craft fayre. Between then and now, I have made quite a few new pieces of jewellery as well as a couple of scarves and sets of glass mats (I felt like a change of craft). Well the day approaches and I still don't feel I'm ready. So to give me more confidence, today, I put some of my jewellery out on a table to see what sort of display it would make. Wonders, I have enough to more than cover my table and plenty over to fill any spaces (assuming sales) and the table looks good especially when the sun shines. I'll hope for a sunny day or very good lighting.
Tomorrow I'll be getting the display boards ready then packing everything away ready for Saturday. And this is where I'll be:
Red House Glass Cone
6th & 7th March 11:00am - 4:00pm
A range of stalls including work by local designers and artists, plus children's craft activities, glass making demonstrations and open studios.
Thursday, 18 February 2010
First is a choker and a pair of drop earrings.
A set of 3 bangles made using memopry wire and coloured glass foil beads.
A break from beading. Here we have a crocheted baby blanket in peach and a skinny scarf its 6' long and 5" wide I used one of these ribbon and acrylic yarns which is quite awkward to crochet. You cant see the stitches but I do like the effect very fluffy.
I admit its not easy to create new work every day so I've taken a few days out lets the brain relax and gets the creative juices flowing again.
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Here are my choices.
1 Undo it and give up on this one.
2 Undo it and make it narrower.
3 Undo it and make something else.
4 Use it as the centre piece for something else.
5 Find a contrast and add to each end.
Well I'm dismissing 1 & 5. But I'll think about the others.
In the meantime I have another shawl on the go in a ribbon yarn (interesting texture), and I have some jewellery to make. Busy Busy Bee.
Visited my friend this morning and completed a hand created chain, elasticated bracelet with glass pearl charms that I have been working on for a few days and a pair of earings in matching pearls. Then started an elasticated shell nugget bracelet out of left over nuggets from other projects. Would have completed this if the knot and glue had held. Still that wont take long to put right.
Now I've got to go to the gym (makes a change from a swim). Got to keep fit for all this craft work.
Friday, 29 January 2010
The rules for accepting the Sunshine Award are:
- Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
- Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
- Link the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
So I have spent a few days just reading other blogs. A fantastic exercise. There are so many talented people out there writing about their crafts and lives. It has been a most interesting experience. It is so difficult to choose just 12. However, heres my list I have included my reasons for each selection.
In alphabetical order :-
Basketmaster's Weavings - an interesting, down to earth lady whose blog is a mine of information about basketweaving. Tips, patterns plus many pictures, tutorials.
Bodrighy Wood - You can see the well turned woodworking skills of this craftsman. Just from pictures you can almost touch and feel the smooth lines of the finished articles.
Busy Bees Craft Place - I'm useless trying to make anything out of paper. Therefore to see what can be done with card paper and glue etc. is so inspiring. Her bookatrix holder is something I would happily put to good use.
Craft Ideas for all - I'm expecting my first grandchild soon so these bright cheerful Ideas for baby gifts brought a smile to my face.
Fun Foods On a Budget! - I found this sit by accident. The recipes on here are mouthwatering. I just wanted to go straight to the kitchen to try one especially the Brownie Bottom Cheesecake . Just the ticket for getting those creative juices running.
Glitterbug Studios - Springtime comes to mind looking at Tracey's blog.
Needle Tatting and other Nonsense - I chose this blog because it is the one of the needlecrafts that I haven't been able to master yet so I will be returning to this site to inspire and egg me on to have another go. There are tutorials as well.
OOAK Fairy Fae Sculpture. - I couldn't believe these fairy sculptures. Ethereal I think is the word. I am again bowled over by the wealth of talent.
SEWCHRISTINE - Beautifully created bags and a lot lot more besides. Very positive outlook.I have commented on all the blogs awarded to inform them of their award.
I shall be following all my choices and a number of other sites I found on my travels. I think all these sites bring a little bit of sunshine into our world.
Sunday, 24 January 2010
I came back with just what I wanted 5 buttons and two balls of yarn. I expected to be full of enthusiam for the new yarn but no what did I do I picked up the cotton thonging that I bought about a month ago and made a choker instead.
Its surprising just how much you forget between makes. It took me some time to work out the square knot again. Sorry its only one half of the choker in the picture but it does show the square knot in all its glory.