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.