Friday, December 28, 2012

No More Perfect Moms Introduction

 About a month ago,  a good friend of mine suggested that I apply for the Hearts at Home opportunity to be on a launch team for founder, Jill Savage's new book, "No More Perfect Moms."  When I looked at the site and found that there were several things I had to do to qualify, I initially thought that it would take too much time to do, so I almost just clicked out of the site.  Then I hesitated, and decided, why not?  

You can imagine my surprise, when I got notified that I was chosen to be on the launch team and that I could download an advance electronic copy of the book!  I've started to read the book, and am already ecstatic about the topic for this book: to get over trying to be perfect and "learn to love your real life!"

Although it's too late to get involved in the Launch Team, never fear, there is still time for you to get involved in this great book!

  1. Sign up today for the 31 Day No More Perfect Moms Challenge daily email.  This free daily email challenge will begin on January 1, 2013 and "provides daily inspiration, encouragement and motivation directly to your inbox right when you need it most – the beginning of a new year!"
  2. Mark you calendars for February 4-9th to buy your copy of the book!  The team is asking you to consider waiting until this week to buy so that book has a chance to make the New York Bestsellers list.  If you order or buy during this week, you will get free electronic bonuses from the publishers.  You can read more about that HERE.
  3. Save the date and sign up now for the .No More Perfect Moms National Conference from March 19-20 in Normal, IL.  (I'm now almost wishing that I lived in the Midwest again.)
Hope you get as excited as I am about this new book and it's message to Moms everywhere!  Of course, as you can tell, I have received a free advance electronic copy of this book in exchange for this plug, but all opinions are mine. Oh, and if you haven't already, sign up to be a follower of my blog to stay posted on more about this book and it's call to Moms!  Comment below to let me know that you joined!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

I am sorry for the gap in my posting, I have had a ton of things on my plate over the holiday season.  I hope that you and yours have a very blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Although I've been absent from posting lately, I have been pondering and planning for the coming year!  I am really excited to be sharing new projects that I have done with my MOPS group, new books I'm reading, organizing in the new year, and I've been selected to be on the Hearts at Home Launch Team for Jill Savage's new book!  Stay tuned for more soon!

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

We are down to just moments before our craft show!  Of course, we haven't had time to even get worried or nervous, because we are trying to get as many things finished as possible!  
In an effort to get our layout down, we have a chalk outline in my friend DeAnn over at Stampin' on the Prairie.  Fortunately we did this  (and took my own advice HERE), because we discovered that our booth is really narrow!  It is 7 feet wide by 9 feet deep.  Doing a dry run has helped us think through the possibilities of what to do.  Unfortunately, our ladder shelf is going on the side of the booth instead of the back.  We are hoping to be able to go a little over our boundaries at the back of the booth, since most crafters here put their things only in the front of their area.

On to more exciting things, I am getting some of my larger furniture items done, finally!  (I always work better under pressure, which in turn makes me a huge procrastinator.  Or is it my procrastination that makes me work better under pressure?)This little table with the "pie crust" edge, I found near the end of the rummage sale season, and was shocked to actually find a piece of furniture and actually walked away from the sale with four tables!  I have been having a problem finding cheap and free furniture to fix up here in the West.  I'm not sure where all the "dead" furniture goes here.

Here she is!  I am really excited about this one.  It took me a long time to decide how to best bring out her features.  I painted the primer on it and then started the top in Antique white, and then I couldn't decided what to do.  I actually thought the legs should be white and the top something else.  So I stopped painting for over a month.   Then yesterday,  I knew what to do.  I knew she needed some special attention! I love how this turned out and in a way, hope she doesn't sell.  What do you think?

This is a really heavy and sturdy coffee table that had seen better days from a hotel.  I loved the lines, of it and knew that I would make a chalkboard coffee table from the moment that I saw it!  This is my first attempt at making my own chalkboard paint, but love the results and even more, I love the cost!

Well, that's it for now, I have a ton more things that I have made, but need to get more things made first, before loading them here.  Hope you enjoyed my favorite pieces (and the ones I hope don't sell, so I can use them myself.)  Don't forget to check out the blogs on the right column that I love to link up to.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Merry & Bright Hangers

I've been busy getting things finished for the Grangeville Craft Show this Saturday.  I wonder if you are every truly ready, though.  My whole kitchen table is taken over with crafts, and things are stashed everywhere.  The true test of a marriage is the week before a craft show, I am convinced!  Anyway, I just wanted to share some of the things I am getting ready this week.  I found this idea from Chipping with Charm.

 I used some of the pages of an old Children's Poetry book and found pages that had to do with winter and Christmas.  The Bright page has "The Mitten Song" on it!  I almost hope they don't sell, since I love them so much!
I love to hear your comments!  Let me know what you think.  Also, check out those blogs I love to link up to on the right column!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Free Ladder

I have this rickety old ladder that I picked up for free at a rummage sale.  I think it has great character and have been using it to hold shoes in my bedroom since moving to the prairie.  Unfortunately, as nice as this idea looks on Pinterest, it just didn't work for me.  First of all, my shoes are not all heels, so the flatter shoes fall off if bumped.  Also, the bottom rungs are accessible to little ones, so I'm not sure I will ever recover all my shoes.  So as I'm getting ready for my craft show, I know that this ladder would be key to my display.Here, she is.  Doesn't she have great lines?  I even love all the  different paint marks on it.  Mr. Right thinks I hold on to it to annoy him.  He hates it.  It doesn't work and it stands there in our room and ready to drop a shoe at him!  So, I painted her.

I have to admit, I don't miss all the markings and the bleached out color of the wood now that I dry brushed white on her.  What do you think?  Won't she make a great back drop to a craft show now that she is one color?  I've got boards and another (more stable, usable ladder) to put together a long shelving unit.  I think a few well placed nails on her will help me hang some wreaths to sell.

Stay tuned to more on my free ladder.  Also, be sure to check out all those blogs I love to link up to in the right column.

Friday, November 9, 2012

31 Days - Day 31: Ready, Set-up, Go!

We have finally made it!  Me, my final post on the 31 Days Until a Craft Show series and getting ready for my craft show this season and hopefully you, on your endeavor to be in a craft show.  This last post, I am just going to give you my last, unsolicited advice on getting ready to go and I will finish off with a link list of all my posts in this series.

As you get ready, a few things to remember to do:

  • Double check your contract to be sure the times, rules, and anything else to expect at the show.
  • Arrive at the earliest time you can to set up.  I think it's better to have time to spare after you set up than to be running late and run the chance of losing customers.  Most of the other vendors often check each other's booths out before the show and may even buy from you if you are more set up and they can see things. (In other words, don't miss a sale!)
  • Stand back and take a look - Are you pleased? Does it flow right?  Does the booth feature the right things?  Is it attractive?
  • Hey, go check out the other booths!  You might get more ideas for next time (or find something you just have to have!)
  • I hate this when people do this to me, but maybe send a reminder text to a bunch of friends to come see you at the show as you are starting out your day.  One text won't hurt (just don't do it again!).
  • Text your Mr. Right and family to thank them for giving you this opportunity and their support.  It doesn't hurt to gain support for next time!
That's about it for my advice!  Just Get Ready, Set-up, Go and HAVE FUN!

Here's the list with links for the all the posts in this series, please enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

31 Days - Day 30: Pack the Car

Another thing that I highly recommend doing is a trial run on packing up the car. Here are some things to think about when you are packing up your car:

  • Make sure it fits!
    • If you have a large display, be sure that it fits into the car before the day of the show.  
    • Start packing up your vehicle way in advance of the show, not just hours before.  This gives you time to readjust and to rethink how you might get things into the car.
  • Don't make too many trips!
    • If you live nearby, you may have an easier time getting things to the show because you can make multiple trips, but  if you've ever tried to park at a show when it's getting set up, you will know that you don't want to make too many trips and try to find parking.
  • Have an order!
    • Think about what order you need things out of your vehicle, also.  Don't put your display tables on the bottom, or you will need to unpack the entire car in order to get the display set up.  Try to make the tables and display items the first thing out.
  • Create a Packing List ahead of time.
    • Some items to put on that list are:
      • Money bag
      • Change
      • Detailed list of all items in storage
      • Calculator
      • Bags & packing supplies
      • Chair - if you need it.
      • Display tables, shelves, etc.
      • Extra Price tags
      • Pen
      • Credit Card supplies (if needed)
  • Do Damage Control!
    • If you have breakables and fragile items, be sure to pack them so they don't get wrecked, but also, so that things don't look like they've gone through the ringer getting to the show.  You want things to look like they are in showroom condition.
Here's what you don't want to look like when you pull up to the Craft Show!
You might feel like this when you are headed to the show, but really, duck tape isn't a great way to pack things up! lol

So there it is, my advice on getting your car packed for your craft show.  Please let me know anything I left out in my advice.  Also, check out those blogs in the right column that I love to link up to!

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Twice a Bride: Book Review

When I started to read this book, I had no idea that it was a fourth book in the series!  In fact, this was so well written, that throughout the book, the author, Mona Hodgson gave me hints that there was a story before this book, but I didn't feel like I missed out, either.  Well, I have to say that I was extremely curious to know what happened in the other books.  In fact, I usually don't read books out of order in series, because it gives the other stories away, but I didn't feel this book ruined the other books.

"Twice a Bride" is based on Willow Peterson, a new widow and trying to put her life back together after an extended stay in the Glockner Sanitorium.  Willow sets about to follow her new dreams of being an artist, but of course, puts her life in the Lord.  Cripple Creek seems like a good place for Willow to put her roots down and recover from her love of her life's death.

Trenton Van Der Veer, for the first in time in his life, has decided to settle down after his life on the road as a traveling photographer, to recover from a disappointing break-up with his fiance.  His life on the road, afforded him to move one when he felt outcast by people because of his stuttering.  In his new life in Cripple Creek, can Trenton come to terms with his hurts and fears that he experienced in his past involving his walk with God?

As Willow and Trenton work together as photographer and portrait painter, will they be able to get over their pain from lost loves of the past?  Will God heal their broken hearts to give Willow a chance to be "Twice A Bride?"

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great Christian novel and is a fan of Mona Hodgson.  It is well written and a believable story.  Of course, read the first three in the series, before reading this one!  I personally will be going back to read the rest of the Sinclair Sister's saga in this Cripple Creek series.  Although I was given a copy of this book by Waterbrook Press in exchange for my review, all opinions are my own.

Please help me out by rating my review HERE.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

31 Days - Day 29: Make More and Variety!

If you have a "normal" life that has to go on, this might be more of a reminder for you, but  when you are getting ready for a craft show, you have to keep working on all of your project.  Make many more and make a variety of things.

At this point in your preparations, you house and work area probably looks like this:
Beautiful solid wood frame I'm going to paint and put a wire in to hang pictures by a clothespin.

Small run of the mill bulletin board that I am going to transfer  a  French print on.

This is my favorite.  The picture doesn't do it justice, because it is really long, about 3 feet.  I am painting this shiny black and making it a chalkboard.  

This frame is wonderful!  I'm debating keeping this one a mirror, but I think there is a scratch in the middle, so I may have to turn it into a chalkboard too.  I may go for a teal frame.
This is just a glimpse of the 8 foot table we set up just outside my front door.  In between sick kids and feeling sick myself, this last week,  I keep running outside and doing coats a paint and getting what I can done.  So these things are in varying degrees of finished.  I have a big mess around my sewing machine in my master bedroom (and yes, Mr. Right is a saint!) and also a little desk in my living room where I keep hot gluing things.

Just keep plugging away at more and more items to sell.  The more variety and the more items you have, the more success you are going to have.  Also, be sure to have a variety of price points in your booth as you make things.  I have a big tray of clothes pins that I am painting to make little ornaments and snowman magnets out of to sell for just a dollar, and of course I have larger pieces of furniture to sell for more.

Simple right?  Good luck and getting your family to tolerate your new obsession!  Anyway, be sure to check out the rest of this series, HERE: 31 Days Until a Craft Show.  Also, stay tuned for the finished products of these different frames!  I will be sharing soon all th things I'm doing, and of course, my craft show is just around the corner on December 1st!

Please let me know what you are working on for your craft shows!  I love to hear!  Also, check out those blogs in the right column that I love to link up to.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

31 Days - Day 28: Dry Run

I think this is one of the most important steps of the craft show (besides making all of your goodies) and that is to have a dry one of the set up.  Mark out the exact dimensions of your booth with tape and actually set up your display, before you get to the show!  In fact, if you have a place, like a shed or a garage, that you can have a Dry Run setup for an extended time, do it.

Doing a Dry Run will give you an idea of how big your booth really is and what it will look like.  I remember going to a craft show and setting up all my things the night before, which we had the option of doing and having the time to really digest what my booth would look like.

The next morning, I came in early, thankful that I wasn't rushing to get things setup and lo and behold the lady with the booth across the aisle from me was frantic.  Frantic to get her things in and extremely shocked.  She couldn't believe how small her booth was and that her display as she planned it in her head wasn't going to fit!  Because she hadn't done a dry with the measuring of the booth, she couldn't adjust at the last moment to fix it, either!

I watched her lose sales the entire show, because she had crammed everything in so tight, you couldn't see any of her things. In fact, in her panic, she had blocked people from entering her booth and had things facing the wrong direction!  To top it off, she sat in the corner and pouted, because her booth wasn't big enough for her things!  She had several friends coming to see her, and loudly complained about the size of her booth.  Here she had one day to sell everything, and she had no time or ability to edit and move on!

I felt bad in one sense for her, but really, when you are doing a craft show, you have one chance to get your audience to buy your goods.  So why wouldn't you plan ahead and do a dry run of your booth.  She could have easily downsized everything, and then restocked later in the day as things sold!  She would have made the sales, and people would've enjoyed her presence at the show!  Truth be told, her items were gorgeous and I wanted most of them myself, except she scared me off with her tantrums.

Don't be that person that is surprised by the size of your booth.  Don't lose a single sale because you overestimated the size of your booth!  It will never be big enough, no matter the size, it is just what you do with that space to market your goods.  Resist the urge to put it all out in the beginning.  Hide some under things or even in the car until some space is freed up.  And most importantly, do a dry run!

Check out the rest of my posts in this series here: 31 Days Until a Craft Show.  Also, check out those blogs that I love to link up to in the right column.  I have met some new ones along this adventure of writing 31 posts in a month(ish).

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days - Day 27: Spread the Word

As you're getting ready for your craft show, don't forget to promote yourself!  I know that the craft show organizers should be doing their share in spreading the word, you should also promote the event to your friends and family members as best you can!

The nice thing about asking your friends and family to come, and spread the word for you is that they also are great customers, especially for you!  Here are some of the places you should consider spreading the word through:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Yahoo
  • Personal Email
  • Texting
  • Blog about it!
  • Flyers - hand these out everywhere you go. (You can ask the organizers for some.)
The more people that attend the event, the better your sales will be, so don't be shy about letting people know that you'll be there.  On many of these venues, you can even include a picture of some of your items that you will be selling to bring up interest!

So here's my promotion:

Grangeville Holiday Craft Show

When:  Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 8am-4pm

Where: Grangeville Elementary/Middle School Gym, Grangeville, ID

Are you able to make it?  I realize this goes out to all over the world, but hey, if you're in my neck of the prairie, please stop by and see me!

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

31 Days - Day 26: Storage

Now that you are getting your craft show items made, I'm sure that your house has been transformed into an interesting craft explosion, especially if you don't have a craft room just for doing crafts in.  And if you don't have a ton of storage area to put all your items to sell, you are looking for some ideas on how to store them. Of course, there is the old fashioned, box them up and put them in storage, but I try to be a little more creative with that.  (Ok, I don't alway trust that our storage is going to be dry and safe from harm.)

My best advice is to hide the items in plain sight.  Here are where some of my items are hiding being stored in plain sight:
I am using that vintage suitcase that I did Over HERE.   
 I am using this suitcase in the corner as one of my decorations in my living room.  At some point, I may have too many decorations, but hopefully that won't happen until we are closer to the craft show!
This is a chair I have redone, also being used in the living room with the express directions to all the kids not to touch it!

This one is hanging on my back door until I can find a box that it fits into.
Sometimes, things hang out in my house, just because I can't find another way to "hide" them.  In this case, this sheet music wreath, is too big for a box, so it is hanging on my back door in my laundry.  I'm the only one in danger of smushing it here!

Suitcase in my son's messy room!
I have another confession, I've even resorted to using my kid's rooms to stashing things in.  I am using this vintage suitcase for a display, so have it stuffed with items that I am getting ready for the sale. These suitcase fit nicely under beds or in a corner, or wherever I can't get them stashed.  Sorry kids!

What about you?  Where are you storing your craft show items?
Check out all the other posts in my 31 Days Until a Craft Show Series.  I promise I will eventually get all 31 Days posted here (sooner than later).   I have four out of seven sick people here and am canning around 100 quarts of apple cider for the year, in addition to trying to get ready for a craft show, so I'm doing my very best. 

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days - Day 25: Pack-up Plan

As you begin to  Make the Crafts and Make the Display, you will want to be thinking about how you will be packing your items up into your vehicle to get to the show.  Some may be fortunate enough to have a trailer or a pickup truck, but most probably will be trying to fit everything into a mini-van, or a contained vehicle.
This is similar to what I am working with.  It has a lot of space when all the seats are put down, but it still does limit me to how much I can get into it.  Some items, I just may not be able to make because they may not fit into my vehicle.  Fortunately, I am doing the show a few blocks from my house, so I could possibly make more than one trip.

If you are doing a craft show farther away, you may want to either cut back the size of the items you make, or come up with some way to bring the items to the craft show.  I've seen people pack things into a camper or into a trailer.  I would hesitate to do anything very expensive for the first few craft shows.  You don't want to spend more than you make, even at the beginning.

Start making a pack up plan, whether on paper or even just an idea in your head.  I may take my ladders out to the truck some day and just see if they may fit.  I'm a little less planned, so I'm just thinking about how things might fit.  Even though I'm only going a few blocks away, I don't want to make a bunch of trips.  We'll see.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days - Day 24: Make the Display

This post is making me stumble a little.  It's been snowing for a couple of days now, and I just can't get some of my painting done right now.  I had these great plans to have things underway for actually making my display, but the snow has put a snafu into my plans.

I have two older ladders: one I got free from a rummage sale and the other happened to be my Grandfather's.  They are nice wooden ones, the free one doesn't work too well, but I figured with boards put across the two of them, it would stabilize enough to hold my display.  I was going to just brush white paint on them, to give them a more uniform look to them.

I have four large crates, two I am leaving wood with their Chinese writing on the sides, the other two need to also get the white wash treatment that my ladders are getting.  Along with these crates, I have two old wooden saw horses that I plan to use.  I am not going to change these, they have a little bit of green to them, which I love.  I also have several vintage suitcases to display, along with a metal wash bin.    That is what I am starting with.

I am sorry that I don't have pictures of progress, but I do have to say, that when you are getting ready for a craft show, you need to get your display ready well in advance, so you know that it's going to work for you. Start trying out ways to display your items the best.  Find bins that work for your things.

I promise, I will give you some updates as I get things assembled (and as soon as I can paint without it snowing!)  Here are the rest of the posts in the 31 Days Until a Craft Show.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

31 Days - Day 23: Display Ideas, Part 2

Well, are you ready for Part 2 of Display ideas?  I have them in no particular order, and also can't get everyone that's out there in this post, but I am trying to give you as many different ideas as I can.  I am doing my very best to credit the sources for these pictures, but what I find is that when people put their pictures in flicker accounts, I can't link them to the person.  Trust me, I want very much to give the person credit for their picture and their work.

Pink Lemonade (not a direct link to blog post)
I love the idea of using a dresser, but this would be large to move into a booth.  The only worthwhile use for it would be to sell the dresser, too.
Go Monkey Designs Booth
I love the hanging purse display and the buckets with the boards in the display.  Great use of height again.
Sugar Bee Crafts
What a great idea to attract people to your booth, plus you can change it because it is chalk.
Sugar Bee Crafts
This one has a great idea to vary the traditional table set up - they used a smaller table pulled out under the bigger table to make two levels of viewing items.  Also, pegboards are always great for booths because they are adjustable.  This peg board actually is hinged and folds up to easily carry it in.
Melissa Arlena Photography
This one points out so many different things that can be used to feature items.  Again with the big dressers (and Melissa isn't even selling dressers!).  She frames out things, hangs them on strings with clothespins.  Love the use of crates for height and for storage.  They are simple and cheap.  Also, the wall of ledges is great.  It's nothing really expensive and can show off a ton of things.

 I love the use of the doors across the back  here.  I would be a little hesitant to put pillows on the floor though.  It just goes against my thinking that pillows shouldn't be on the floor.  Just saying.
 Love the use of fences and benches to feature products.
 Muffin Tins work for small items to make them look neat. Be creative for storing items for sale.
Lollipops Cards shared all these pictures
Putting bookshelves up on a table can help get things at eye level.

Ok, well that was a lot of ideas to get you started.  Stay tuned while I make an effort to keep up on this 31 Days Until a Craft Show.  One of my next posts is to actually make my display, not dream about it.  (I say one of my next, because that means I need to get Mr. Right on board for his help and also get my act together to do it! lol)

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days - Day 22: Display Ideas, Part 1

I have to admit, this is probably one of the most exciting part of getting ready for a craft show - the pictures of display idea.  Go ahead and admit it, you really don't care about all the business of getting ready, but you can't wait to see the pictures of other people's craft booths!  Of course, I can't show you all the pictures out there on the internet, but I have been pinning a ton of them in expectation of this post, so I will share them with you now.  Please give a shout out to those that I am using for idea.  I will be giving a link to each of their posts so you can look closer.

Oh, I will be taking two posts for the Display Ideas.  I figured this would be more than one post worth.  Be sure to check out all my other posts that I have done in this series: 31 Days Until a Craft Show.

 Wouldn't these pallets work great for hanging things on and giving height to your booth?  Not only that, but they are free!
Sunshine and Carousels
 I love the height she gained by putting the pennants up on sticks.
Go to Day 8 of my 31 Day series to see the rest of our booth

A Quiet Curiosity from Carosello's blog

Nice use of boxes for display.
The Vintage Nest

I love the use of a ladder.  (I apologize for not  finding the exact link for this ladder, but it seems to have come off a flicker account, which won't let me get to.  Originally, I got the picture off of Pinterest, which apparently lets you use photos freely, even if you copyright them in flicker.  I linked you to the blog. )
Lynn Minnie Designs

Using a Vintage suitcase for display. (and to store the items until the craft show and carry them to the show safely.)  This one has a tutorial on how to make this.
Another Suitcase display. 
Craft Show Designs
A picture frame display with a tutorial.
Stella and Hodge
This has a great tutorial on how to make this display!  If you do jewelry, you should check this out!

Stay tuned for more tomorrow!  There are a lot more exciting thing to come.

For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.