Clearance Rack, Paper Pumpkin September 2018, Stampin' UP!

Paper Pumpkin Kit September 2018

Well, I had reallllly hoped to have a video recorded featuring the Paper Pumpkin kit for September, which is FABULOUS!  But as luck would have it I can’t find my video camera charger OR my tri-pod!  I’m so bummed because I’ve gotten some great products I wanted to share with you in haul videos, plus the Paper Pumpkin kits.  For now I guess the video stuff will have to wait, but I can still share the blog posts, so yay!  

So since I can’t share the kit in a video with you, I will share the video from Stampin’ UP! instead.  Check it out:

 

If you’d like to try the Paper Pumpkin kits for yourself just click here:  Paper Pumpkin

If you don’t already have a demonstrator I would love it if you chose ME when signing up for your kits.  Let me know if you have any questions! 

Also, don’t forget to check out the Clearance Rack, which was just updated and refilled with some really incredible deals!

Clearance Rack

To check out the great deals just click Clearance Rack

 

Birthday Cards, Perennial Birthday Stamp Set, Stampin' UP!

Stampin’ UP! Perennial Birthday Happy Birthday Card

PicMonkey Photo

I’ve been dying to play with my new Stampin’ UP! stuff and finally got a chance last night.  I quickly realized that I was kind of limited in what I could do though because I still am  not fully “stocked” with everything.   So the card I came up with is pretty basic and simple and I sure wish I’d had some sparkle to add, but I think despite all this it does look kind of pretty.  

I used the stamp set “Perennial Birthday” from Stampin’ UP! to create a background on Kraft cardstock (from my stash, the SU equivalent would be Crumb cake).  

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The Stampin’ UP! inks I used are Petal Pink, Mossy Meadow and Soft Suede.  I love the new ink pads!!  I just need to remember to not try to open them the old way by shoving the top back.  The pads open just like a compact, much easier!

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For the card base I actually used the note cards and envelopes from Stampin’ UP!, in Very Vanilla.  The cards measure 5″ x 3 1/2″.  If you want to create your own note cards you will need to cut a piece of cardstock measuring 7″ x 5″ and then score that at 3 1/2″.  

The other measurements are:

Petal Pink Cardstock – 4 3/4″ x 3 1/4″

Kraft (or Crumb Cake) 4 1/2″ x 3 1/8″

Mossy Meadow – 4 3/4″ x 1/2″

You will also need a scrap of Very Vanilla Cardstock for stamping the sentiment.

After stamping the images onto the Kraft cardstock, I then brought out an aqua painter brush filled with water and kind of smooshed some of the Petal Pink ink onto an acrylic block.  I then went over the flowers with the brush to add more color, making sure to keep dabbing the brush on a paper towel so it wasn’t too wet.  I did the same to the leaves using the Mossy Meadow.  

Once that panel was dry I was able to assemble the card, matting the stamped panel onto the Petal Pink piece.  I then adhered the strip of Mossy Meadow cardstock across the lower portion of the card as seen in the top photo of the card.  After that I glued the panel to the front of the notecard.

For the sentiment I stamped the image onto a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock and then used the Everyday Label Punch to punch out the sentiment, adhering it over the Mossy Meadow strip using Dimensionals.  

I also finished the inside of the card:

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I’m really pleased with how it turned out!  I can’t wait until Tuesday when another big order comes in!  

All the supplies with links to my store are listed below.  Thanks so much for stopping by and allowing me to share today’s card with you. 

Product List

Stamparatus

$49.00

Classic Macaroni and Cheese, Recipes

Classic Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

Cooking is a form of “crafting” right??  I love to cook and mac and cheese is one of my all time favorite dishes.  This is my oven recipe, I also have a crock pot version but to be honest this is my favorite one.  I originally posted this recipe on a cooking blog I had back in 2010.  I’m reposting it over here for your viewing and cooking pleasure! (My kids LOVE this dish, well, not ALL my kids.  My youngest twin will only eat Kraft mac and cheese from a box and refuses to touch this, but the other two love it!)  

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A little back story before I share the recipe.  My version of this recipe is based on the mac and cheese that the Michigan Cafe at the Henry Ford Museum (Greenfield Village) in Dearborn used to serve.  I – loved – that – stuff!  It was soooooo good!  For one thing they used Cellentini pasta which I’d never seen before and I thought that was mega cool.  But the best thing was all the cheese, big gooey, stretchy chunks of sharp cheddar cheese that clung to the swirly pasta.  Oh my gosh, I would go into a food coma!  

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Back home I was determined to find a copy cat recipe and quickly started searching for one.  But I couldn’t find one, so I just took an old mac and cheese recipe and gave it a nice Henry Ford Museum twist (ha ha!) and this is what I came up with!  I’m happy to say it tastes just like what I got at the Michigan Cafe.  

That’s the good news.  Now for the bad.

On my last visit to the Michigan Cafe, after years of not visiting, I eagerly ordered up a nice big bowl of that classic mac and cheese.  I could not wait to dive in again and find all that glorious cheese.  Only to find…they changed the recipe!  Apparently the folks at the Michigan Cafe caved to the health food craze (which I think mac and cheese should be exempt from!)  and reworked the recipe and made it taste like….well… like blech!  

Now some people might like it.  It does still have the Cellantini, so that’s a definite plus!  But the ooey gooey stringy cheese chunks are gone, replaced with a soupy kind of white sauce with lots of pepper.  Yuck.  Even my eight year old son, who is a mac and cheese connoisseur, would not touch the stuff.  And my Kraft girl?  You don’t even want to know what her reaction was!  

So that’s my sad mac and cheese story.  You can’t get the good stuff at the Michigan Cafe anymore, so make this instead!  I promise you’ll love it!

The Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 8 oz package of cellantani (or macaroni if you prefer) I sometimes add a bit more
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 8 oz block SHARP Cheddar cheese, shredded & divided (I actually shred a little more than 1/2 of the block, then cut the remainder in chunks.
Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain & keep warm. Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook whisking constantly for 5 minutes or until thickened. (It helps to have all your ingredients pre measured so you don’t have to keep stepping away from the stove) Remove from heat. Stir in salt & pepper and 1 cup of the shredded cheese, the chunks of cheese and the cooked pasta.
Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2 qt. baking dish, top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 2-3 main dish or 4-6 side dish servings.

* a lot of the time I double this recipe because it’s so good everyone complains that it’s gone too soon!
I hope you enjoy this classic mac and cheese recipe with a Michigan twist and will give it a try soon!
2018 Holiday Catalog, Bubble Cauldron Bundle, Halloween Stamp Sets, Stampin' UP!

Cauldron Bubble Bundle from Stampin’ UP!

CauldronBubblebundle

Believe it or not Halloween is fast approaching (my kids constantly remind me of this fact!) and this is one awesome Halloween Stamp and Die Set Bundle from Stampin’ UP!  This set is from the current Holiday Catalog (see the PDF link on the side bar or shop my online store!)  You might want to act fast on this one, I think it has the potential to sell out quickly, it’s THAT cool!  

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The bundle comes in either wood or clear mount  *Keep in mind CLEAR mount does not mean “clear” as in the stamp, it means these are red rubber cling stamps that you will need acrylic blocks to stamp with.  

You can order the items separately but if you get the bundle you will save 10% on the overall purchase.  You do need a Big Shot or some kind of manual die cutting machine to use with the framelits.  Oh and guess what?  I can sell you the Big Shot too!  😉  

Here are all the juicy details on this bundle:

Cauldron Bubble Clear-Mount Bundle149931Price$44.00

Bundle and save! Buy these two coordinating products and save 10%. 

CAULDRON BUBBLE CLEAR-MOUNT STAMP SET 
Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn and caldron bubble. 
Fillet of a fenny snake, 
In the caldron boil and bake; 
Eye of newt and toe of frog, 
Wool of bat and tongue of dog, 
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, 
Yes, it’s Halloween, let’s sing!
(Not-Quite-Shakespeare)
Quantity: 11 rubber stamps
Suggested clear blocks (sold separately): a, b, c, e, h

CAULDRON FRAMELITS DIES
Create die-cut Halloween scenarios in record time with Thinlits dies and the Big Shot. 
* 9 dies 
* Largest die: 3-1/8″ x 1-7/8″ (7.9 x 4.8 cm)
* Use with Big Shot

Click HERE to order the Cauldron Bubble Bundle Clear Mount Set

Click HERE to order the Cauldron Bubble Bundle Wood Mount Set

 

 

 

FREE Stuff!, Products, Special Offers, Stampin' UP!, Uncategorized

The Hostess Code!

Free-stuff

Who doesn’t love FREE stuff???  I know I do and I want to share some free stuff with all of you!  That’s why I’ve introduced the Hostess Code to my Stampin’ UP! business!  (actually Stampin’ UP! introduced it long ago but I’m just now including it!)

So, how does the Hostess Code work?  Simple!  You use the Hostess Code when placing a workshop order , this allows you to earn Stampin’ Rewards, which goes towards the free stuff (merchandise of your choosing) that Stampin’ UP! offers to our customers.  When you host a workshop you earn Stampin’ Rewards on every dollar spent which enables you to do some awesome FREE shopping!  

But!  That’s only if your workshop totals $150 or more.  So if you happen to place an order that is under $150 you don’t earn Stampin’ Rewards 😦  

I hate to see anyone missing out on FREE STUFF so that’s where the Hostess Code comes in!  By using the hostess code on smaller orders that makes me the hostess and I am then able to pass the rewards on to you.  How do I do that?  By sending each and every person who uses that code on orders of $150 or LESS placed with ME a free gift.  Each month there will be a different code, so always make sure to check the top upper right of my blog’s main page (right above the shopping cart) to get the current code.  Then when you shop on my online shop you will be prompted before checkout to enter your code.  Once you’ve paid for your order I will receive a message that you used the code and will get your free gift sent out right away!  The free gift might be an ink pad, a stamp block, supplies, adhesive, and maybe even a stamp set!  PLUS all orders of any size receive a free hard copy of the current catalogs (Annual and Specials) and a handmade thank you card.  It’s just my way of saying how much I appreciate having you as a customer. 

**IMPORTANT**  You MUST enter the hostess code to be eligible for the free gift.  

**ALSO VERY IMPORTANT**  IF your order totals $150 or more do NOT enter the hostess code.  This is because ALL orders that total more than $150 will start to earn Stampin’ Rewards for themselves, so you don’t want to miss out on that!  (and you will still get the free catalog(s) and card from me, plus your free goodies from Stampin’ UP! that you earn! )  

Please let me know if I can help you when placing your order, if you are not sure where to put the hostess code or need assistance.  I am here to help you, so contact me at any time! 

Be sure to check out the current catalogs today and start earning that free stuff!!  

 

 

HOW to shop online and use the HOSTESS CODE: 

  1. Order Online Here (make sure my name Beth Fairweather shows up in the upper right corner as your demonstrator)
  2. Create your own personal account or sign in, if you already have one
  3. Start shopping by adding products to your “Shopping Bag”
  4. At anytime before checking out, you’ll need to enter and apply the HOSTESS CODE (this is usually at the bottom of the page under Special Offers)
  5. Don’t forget to click the “APPLY” button
  6. Complete your shopping
  7. Then check out!
Product Reviews, Storage Ideas

12 x 12 Paper Storage….Meh…

Storage is such an issue for me!  I have a very small craft space, literally just the corner of our master bedroom so I have to get really creative with what little space I have.  One area I am constantly struggling with is storage for my 12 x 12 paper.  Since I’ve rejoined Stampin’ UP! I KNOW I will be investing in the fabulous DSP (Designer Series Paper) because I LOVE it!  So I went in search of a way to store it.  In the past I’ve done the Vertical storage files from Cropper Hopper but I don’t really like storing my paper that way, I prefer horizontal.  So I then tried plastic storage cases with lids.  Only trouble is that the only place I had to put them was on a closet shelf, stacked on top of one another.  So every time I needed a sheet of paper, I had to pull cases out, open them up, struggle to get them back in.  Ugh, got tired of that quickly!

I finally found something I thought I would like, on Amazon for a very good price!

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Well my paper rack arrived today and I eagerly opened up the box.  

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No instructions, just a pile of wire racks.  It was pretty easy to figure out, just unfold the base and sort of hang each tray in place.

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It looks like it will hold all I need for now and I like the sea foam green color.  But I will admit, I was a bit disappointed!  While I like the color and love that the trays will slide out partially, what I don’t like is how flimsy the whole thing feels.  It’s very wobbly, maybe once I get a ton of paper in it it will feel more substantial?  

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Oh well, I guess we will need to file this one under “you get what you pay for”.  It’s not the ideal solution, but for now for my budget and space it’s okay.  In the meantime I will keep dreaming of that big huge craft room I’m sure I’ll have someday…*sigh*…..*

**I got this on Amazon.  Interesting, when I purchased it just a few days ago it was listed as $19, now it’s $28!  Way too expensive for what you get, just my opinion!  So maybe do a search and see if you can find it cheaper.  I would not pay more than $20 for this and even that feels like too much!  **

American Crafts 375798 Paper Rack Crate Paper Desktop Storage Paper Rack

Uncategorized

Changes!

Hello everyone!  Sorry it has been sooooo long since I have updated this blog!  I took some time off to regroup and think things over, trying to decide where I wanted to go with my crafting.  I have enjoyed using so many different companies and products and sharing that with you, but I will admit that over the last few months I have felt a real lack of direction.  Or maybe too many directions at once.  I realized that I wanted and needed to sort of focus a little more on one particular area, my paper crafting, while not neglecting my other crafty loves. 

Things really sort of came to a head for me when my kids headed back to school.  Suddenly I felt at a loss, sort of just wandering through my day without a real focus.  I started thinking back to when I had a better handle on my time, and that made me decide it was time for a change, to go back to my roots as it were, the place where I felt real passion and excitement for papercrafting.

You may or may not know that over about the last 6 years or so I have been a Stampin’ UP! Independent Demonstrator.  In fact, I was a demonstrator about 3 times!  I have also been a consultant for Close to My Heart AND for about five minutes, a Designer for Origami Owl!  If it sounds like I’ve sort of been floundering around, I was!  But the one constant has been SU.  It’s drawn me back time and again and finally I have decided it is where I want to be.  So, long story short (sorry!) I am going back to being an Independent Stampin’ UP! Demonstrator, starting now!  

What does that mean for you, my followers, and for this blog and for my crafting future?  Well basically things will stay the same.  I will still share my crafting with you, my sewing, my quilting, my polymer clay, jewelry, etc., all that will continue.  But I will be adding Stampin’ UP!.  I don’t want this blog to become one big commercial for the company, so I will try not to spam you with ads, etc.  I will let you know when there is a big promotion I think you might be interested in, or when a new catalog comes out.  I will be creating projects of all kinds using SU materials whenever possible and will share links to the products so that you may purchase them if you want.  I will be here if you have any questions or comments, or want to know more.  But I won’t hit you over the head with it, promise! 😉

I do understand that this change of direction might lose me some followers.  I know not everyone wants to follow a blog for a Direct Sell Company, I understand and respect that.  I do hope that most of you will stay and continue to share your crafty talents with me.  I will continue to follow all kinds of blogs, not just SU.  I think there is value, friendship and so much to learn from everyone.  

Thank you for sticking around as long as you have, I am so excited for the future and what it will bring.  Thanks in advance for your patience as this blog undergoes a little bit of re-construction.  

And as always, Happy Crafting and I’ll be back with more crafts soon!!

Beth 🙂

Uncategorized

My First Craft Show – What I Learned

Yesterday I took part in my first craft show!  It was a lot of work, a lot of fun, and a lot of lessons learned.  I wanted to share what I discovered with you all, in case you are on the verge of doing your own craft show.  Keep in mind this was my experience and it might be different for you.  But hopefully my tips/lessons can be of some help!

#1  It’s HARD work! As in my previous post I will tell you that preparing for a craft show is really labor intensive.  One thing that I believe helped me is that as soon as I signed up, which was nearly two months prior to the show, I started working on my crafts every single day.  It helped me build up my inventory but not feel so overwhelmed by the process.  Ideally if you are doing craft shows you are prepping year round, but as a beginner you might really need to get that initial stock going.  If you start early enough you can just do a little bit everyday.

#2 It WILL cost you money.  This part sucks, but it’s a part of the craft show life I guess.  You will have your booth rental fee, in my case it was $25.  Then I had to buy table cloths, display stuff, bags, totes for carrying my things, and other supplies I hadn’t thought of.  All told, I am pretty sure I spent at least $200 in prep.  And I think that is pretty cheap for most set ups to be honest.  Granted, this was my first show so the costs would hopefully be less for subsequent shows.  But keep in mind that if you do seasonal shows you will need to change-up your display (stuff for Christmas, Fall, Spring, etc.)  Be prepared for that first show to NOT break even.  Consider it an investment in your craft show business.

#3  Load your stuff up the night before so you are ready the morning of the show.  We loaded our car up Friday night and I had everything ready which made the next morning much easier.  We had 3 hours to set up but we didn’t get to the location until one hour after set up began.  BRING A CART!!!  Oh boy, do I regret not having a cart to haul my stuff in!  It was a long walk with heavy tables and the other things from the parking lot to the high school gym.  My arms are still like rubber!

#4  Be prepared to accept whatever space you get.  I requested a space along a wall.  I got stuck in the middle of the gym.  I made the best of it but you get what you get I guess.  I also noticed my 10 x 10 space was more like 9 x 8 so the set up we had practiced in my living room ended up being a lot smaller.  You have to be flexible and make it work.  In the end I was happy with how we arranged things.

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#5  Make sure you have taken photos of your set up to make putting it all together easier.  I was so glad I had taken photos of our practice set up because on the day of the show I honestly could not remember what went where.  I guess the more shows you do the easier this will get.   After you set up go inside your booth and make sure people can see and touch everything with ease.

#6  Signage!  If you are invested in doing craft shows you will want a really good sign.  We didn’t have one, just my little home-made sign I made with stickers and a small frame from the thrift store.  It was okay but if I were going to be doing this on a regular basis I would find a company to make me a custom sign I could use each time.  Or have your shop name put on a table-cloth.  I saw some really great signs at the show that people had custom-made.  I know some of these can be pricey, but shop around for a good deal.

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#7  Business cards!  I didn’t have any.  Big mistake!  People kept asking for my card and I felt so lame admitting I didn’t have one.  I cringe when I think of the people I could have possibly gotten more business from.  These don’t cost much money, you can go through Vistaprint and get 200 cards for pretty cheap.  This is one small expense that can reap lots of benefits!!!

#8  People are awesome!  Not so much a tip as an observation.  Craft people are so sweet and wonderful!  I met so many nice folks at the show, the vendors on either side of us were super and we shared tips and stories.  I especially loved the lady next to us who made the most beautiful drift wood creations from things she found on the beach.  Let me tell you, her booth was hopping!  She had a steady stream of customers from beginning to end.  I was jealous!  LOL

 

Here are some pics I took during set up.  This was prior to opening to the public.  I wish I had taken some photos once we got going but I couldn’t leave the booth easily.  We had a steady stream of people, it was a good showing!

#9  Be sure to visit other booths.  We had about 30 minutes or so once we’d set up so we took the opportunity to visit the other booths and visit and get to know people and their wares.  It was nice to see other set ups and we got lots of tips.  We also got to see our competition, and observe prices.  I had been worried I had under priced my items but I was pleased to see I hadn’t compared to the other crafters.

#10  Use the potty, get coffee, etc while you have the chance.  Before the doors officially open do all that stuff so you’ll be ready once the crowds get there.  You won’t want to leave your booth unattended.  Either have a locked money-box or a fanny pack (bum bag) which is what we had.  I was lucky that my oldest daughter was with me so one of us was always wearing the bag.  As vendors we got free coffee and donuts which was cool.  We did have to pay for lunch though so make sure to plan for that and count it as an expense.

#11  You should already have your change ready but be sure to have plenty of ones and fives.  To make things easier keep things to dollars and no cents (unless you enjoy dealing with lots of change!)  I had $100 in fives and ones.  Most people paid with small bills anyway but there is always that one who wants to pay with a twenty so be prepared.

#12  Keep notes!  We didn’t do this.  Big mistake.  Have a notebook or your iPad or whatever and keep track of every single sale, how much it was, what it was.  That way you can see what sells and what doesn’t.  Also keep track of any of your expenses such as lunch or items you buy.  You need to know what you actually made at the end of the day.

#13  Don’t blow your profits.  Or maybe do.  I don’t know, it’s up to you.  It IS a good idea to be a customer because if you shop the other booths maybe they’ll shop yours and you’ll foster good will, right?  Only don’t go nuts.  And maybe don’t bring your fifteen year old shop a holic daughter with you.  Or if you do, maybe insist they bring their OWN money instead of spending from your shop till.  Yeah.  Lesson learned the hard way!

#14  Don’t get discouraged!  When the doors opened and people began streaming in we sat there eagerly and then watched droves of people walk right by our booth without stopping!  Ugh!  Remember being that kid picked last for gym?  Yeah, that was us the first twenty minutes or so.  But then we noticed the same people circling back and visiting our booth.   I guess some people’s strategy at shows is to walk around first to see what is being offered then come back to take a second look.  Good strategy!  So if no one is looking at first, just be patient.  They will come back!  And if they don’t, well you have a long day ahead of you and plenty of time for others to come by.  Not everyone is going to want to stop and that’s okay.  Or at least try to tell yourself it is!

#15  Following the above tip, be sure to greet every person who approaches your booth and at least smile at those walking by.  Don’t spend time on your cell phone or talking to your partner.  Make the customer feel welcome.  We spent a lot of time smiling and saying “Hello!” like a cheery stewardess on a plane.  But we got lots of smiles in return and many potential customers entering our booth.  I can honestly say that everyone was so friendly!

#16  Be prepared for lots of  “window shoppers”.  We had a lot of people stopping by and really admiring our stuff and saying how cute it was then leaving!  It was a little bit of a let down but it is the nature of the business.  And at least they were looking, right?

#17 When the show is over take stock.  Not just of your inventory, but of what worked, what didn’t.  What would you do differently?  I will admit that when all was said and done I was discouraged.  Greatly.  We had spent way too much, both in getting ready (even though it was necessary) and from my daughter’s shopping.  Which I admit, I failed to curtail.  I didn’t have business cards, I didn’t have proper signage, I didn’t have a cart to help with set up, I didn’t have a good note taking strategy.  We had some nice things to sell I think, but what I thought would sell didn’t even get a look.  What did sell were magnets, rings, bracelets, charms, pendants and key chains.  And very few of those.  I did sell a few stamp sets but most people were not interested in any of the crafting supplies I was offering.

What would I do differently?  Well aside from what I’ve mentioned above, I would stream line my merchandise.  One thing I did notice from the other booths was that what sold were either expensive unique items (such as the driftwood creations I mentioned, or intricate art work), Direct Sale Company Products/Booths, and stuff like home-made soap, etc.

Having a lot of different items might seem like a good way to make money, but really your focus ends up being so scattered that in my experience at least, you are going in too many different directions.  It would be much better to focus on one or two things and go from there.  Two things you are passionate about because you’re going to be making a TON of them!

Research, research, research!  I plan to put any more shows of my own on hold for now and instead GO to some shows and see what other people have, what is selling, what are the prices like, how are the set ups.  What is working, what is not working.  Which shows are the best attended?  I want to ask some of the vendors for their experiences and stories.  What about credit cards?  How much does it cost, and what are best sites for accepting cards?  Where do they get their signage from?  Their table cloths, their tents?

And then once I have a better handle on what needs to be done, we will begin again.  Maybe we lost money, maybe we got discouraged but this is not over by a long shot.  I am looking forward to going ahead with our dream to make and sell our own creations.  And yes, you can be sure I will share what I learn on the blog with all of you!

Thanks for sticking with me for this longgggg blog post!  I hope I helped in some small way if you too are going along in this journey to craftdom!  I would love to hear about your experiences with craft shows, what you have found that works, what doesn’t.  After all, we never stop learning, right?  :

Have a great Sunday everyone!

 

Craft Shows

Craft Show Prepping=Hard Work!

Hey everyone!  So sorry I have not had a chance to update the blog recently.  I haven’t had a chance to do much crafting because I have been super busy prepping for an upcoming Craft Show this Saturday.  This is only the second craft show I’ve ever done and boy is it hard work!  I don’t know if people realize how much work really goes into doing something like this.  I have nothing but respect for the people who do this full time!

I actually started getting ready for the show back in February, when I first signed up for it.  I sent in my registration form and payment ($25) for a 10 x 10 foot space, but alas, this show you have to bring your own tables.  Luckily I do have 3 folding tables, 2 four foot ones and one six foot one, so that was good!

Aside from making items to sell, which really goes on all year long, I then visited our local thrift show to search for display items.  I really lucked out and found 3 great table cloths to use plus some beautiful table runners.  My idea for our booth was to create sort of a romantic, Victorian style thing.  I’m happy to say we achieved it and for very little money!  I was also able to find some great display items, like wicker baskets, candle holders, jewelry displays, plates, jewelry boxes, etc.  All with a vintage, romantic feel!  I didn’t keep track unfortunately but I believe everything came to well under $30!

So then came the reallllly hard work!  Yesterday my daughter and I set up the tables in the living room and brought everything out to see how it would look.  I totally underestimated how much work it is to set up a craft show booth!  We had to measure out our 10 x 10 space, bring in the tables, set them up with the covers, then bring out all the display stuff, then all the merchandise and try to organize everything so it looked nice.  That was when I discovered I had several unfinished pieces of jewelry to finish!

Next came figuring out prices.  I think I have under priced stuff unfortunately but I guess we’ll see how things go.  It’s hard to price things, there’s such a fine line between what something is worth and what people will actually pay!

Finally when everything was done I took several photos so we would know how to set it all back up then we packed everything up and have it ready for Saturday.  It took over 3 hours to do all of this and boy was I pooped!

I did take pics throughout the process to share with you, so here they all are!  I will let you all know how it goes on Saturday, if you are local stop by and say hello!  The show will be Saturday, April 28th at Corunna, Michigan High School from 10 to 3, free admission.  Let’s just hope I at least break even ha ha!

Okay, here are the pics!

 

 

Polymer Clay

Nachos Anyone? The Polymer Clay Kind!

Today I wanted to share a polymer clay project with you.  I love playing with polymer clay.  One of my favorite things to make are little cute charms you can use on a corded necklace, or a key chain, or whatever you like!  In this post I’m going to share my process of making nacho chips!

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For the nachos I used FIMO clay in a light yellow shade.  I like to put a small amount of corn starch on my work surface to keep the clay from sticking.  You want to “condition” the clay first and by this I mean you want to knead it and work it with your fingers until it is very supple and shows no cracks.  (good hand exercise!) *when purchasing your clay be sure to pick FIMO Soft which will make this process easier.  You can also use Sculpy clay which is often not only less expensive but much softer.

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Form your piece of clay into a triangle shape, like above.

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It helps to use a blade like the one above to help shape your triangle.  You can find this and many other polymer clay tools at Walmart, or craft stores such as Michaels (or online).

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As you continue to shape your triangle, slowly start to “smoosh” it down to make it larger.  Keep using your blade to maintain the triangle shape.

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Once you’re finished shaping it should look something like this.

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Next you want to add some texture to your nacho!  For this you can just use an old toothbrush, it’s the perfect tool to add texture.  You don’t always need “Specialty” tools to work with polymer clay!  🙂

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Now we’re “cookin’!”  Looks almost good enough to eat, right????

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Next you get to add a face!  You don’t have to do this but I like to make my charms cute! For this you want to roll out a very thin bit of brown clay (or black if you prefer)  Using a blade (I used an exacto knife, some people like to use a straight razor blade but be careful!!!)  cut 2 even small pieces of clay.

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Roll the bits of clay into 2 small balls such as above.  (alternatively you can bake the piece then paint the eyes in using a dotting tool OR use small seed beads for the eyes instead).

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Using a dotting tool such as the one above (which is actually an old scoring tool I had in my stash!)  form 2 small eye “holes”.  You can make these as deep or as shallow as you like.  Place the balls of clay into the holes and press gently using the dotting tool.

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The mouth can be a bit tricky, it’s still something I really struggle with.  So don’t be discouraged if you have trouble with this at first.  Remember you can always bake first then paint the mouth in if you prefer.  For this piece I rolled the brown clay out in a very thin strip, then cut a very small piece from this.  Using a tool (I like to use a long embroidery needle) pick up the mouth and try to curve it into a U shape.  Mine usually ends up like a smarmy smirk, only because I’m still learning, LOL

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Next you want to add some pink cheeks!  For this I took 2 tiny balls of light pink clay and pressed them next to the eyes as shown.  Again, you can alternately paint these in.

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Once your piece is finished, if you are going to make it into a charm, you want to add an eye pin.  For this I just use the same eye pins I use for jewelry making and trim them down to fit the charm (using wire cutters).  To ensure a good hold I use Sculpy Bake and Bond, dipping the eye pin into the nozzle then inserting it into the top of the charm.

This type of polymer clay must be baked to finish.  For this I use a toaster oven but you can also use a standard oven.  Follow the directions on your polymer clay package for baking times and temperature.  In the pic above you can see some other pieces I made at the same time.  I like to make my items in batches!

Be sure to let your items cool completely once they are finished baking.  This will complete the “curing” process.  If you try to handle your items before they cool not only will you get burned you risk damaging your piece.

Once your piece is completely cooled you want to seal it using some varnish.  There are many types of varnish to use and you can find a list on line of the different ones to use.  I use Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Gloss and that works great.  Be sure to use in a well ventilated area, though the odor is really not that strong.  I sometimes use a cheap paintbrush to apply the gloss and then just toss it away.  Or sometimes I dip the piece into the Minwax and then hang it up on a rack with a large paper clip to dry (this is my preferred method!)

Give your piece 24-48 hours to dry and you are done!  Here’s another pic of the finished charms:

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I hope you enjoyed this pictorial, they really are fun to make!!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Now I want to go grab some nachos!  😛

Hugs, Beth