On the 3rd of feb i took a few pictures of some terracotta warrior statues I bought from China. I’m hoping to make a nice item from them for my shop.
On the 4th I took some more pictures of my products wrapping, this time showing the inside too.
The 5th saw me realise I could fit into the skirt I had made, despite it being designed for children, and so I thought I’d model it to give an idea of how it looks on. Just a shame that I had bad lighting, no tripod and no one to take it for me. I’m not the best with timers.
On the 6th I saw what a week of no work would do for my hands as my nails and skin looked lovely for the first time in years! I really cannot wait to get a new job.
On the 7th I was in the north. I thought the trees in my mums’ garden looked pretty cool silhouetted against the darkening sky.
On Saturday the 8th I took Ashley to Blacktoft Sands where we saw lots of marsh harriers hunting.
Today I took pictures of the birds in my mums garden. There were a few blue tits and great tits, it’s just a shame they didn’t come closer.
My photography is definitely improving, but I still have a long way to go!
January 6th saw me finally decide on the final packaging for my products and I took many pictures of my new, pretty packaging before sending off my parcels to their new owners!
Jan 7th I spent the whole day organising my deadlines for things I want to make, blogs I want write and other boring admin things.
Jan 8th I watched Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Zoo Quest’ from back when TVs were in black and white and David was handsomely wandering madagascar in a pair of converse. Of course i got a lot of sewing done as well.
Jan 9th I went to Alexandra Palace to try and shoot my own nature documentary of sorts, unfortunately the creatures I wanted were not to be found and so I got Ash to take a few photographs of a new product I was wearing instead. Whilst we were there we saw this man ecstatic to be feeding pigeons. His enjoyment was contagious and I couldn’t resist a few snaps of him.
On the 10th I had a horrible headache (probably from not sleeping enough) and just climbed into bed as soon as I was home from work.
On the 11th a friend who has moved to Denmark was back for the weekend and had a gathering. Unfortunately I had to leave early for work (the story of my life!) but at least my shift wasn’t too bad.
Today, Jan 12th, I have again been mainly organising and watching nature documentarys. But I did make a delicious stew type thing in my slow cooker! It’s a shame it came out extremely watery, but tasted nice enough.
Next week is horrendous shift wise at work, but hopefully I can still keep up with some daily photo’s, even if they’re just from my phone.
For a while now I’ve been stuck on how to package my products, usually just sending them off in some purple tissue paper and them, quite honestly, not being that exciting. I want even receiving and opening my items to be a good, memorable experience. I want not only my products to ‘Wow’ but the packaging it comes in to make the moment really special.
I think I’ve finally found a winner and have sent off my first two parcels with my new wrapping design!
When you open up your parcel now you will find a pretty little brown package wrapped with a bold, orange ribbon and finished with a Penguin Theory’ business card.
The package wont be sellotaped so that if it is a gift you can open it up to check the product is to your liking before wrapping it back up again to give away.
Alongside the package will be a special Penguin Theory Invoice. Inside will be the product you have purchased nestled amongst some bright orange tissue paper.
Unfortunately the two packages I sent off yesterday had purple tissue paper as the orange I ordered didn’t arrive until I was leaving the house for the post office! Doh!
I also have some good ideas on how to package my items at craft fairs, although i still need to find a way to make my vision a reality.
I am super pleased with my new wrapping and it’s making me even more excited to sell lots of amazing products this year! I’ve already made two sales before January even really started and have so many ideas already in progress and a commission in the works, not a bad start to the year at all.
Welcome to the new launch of my blog!
It even comes with some fancy new banners on mondays, thursdays and Saturdays!
Monday is now the ‘Back to work’section of my blog and will be here to help you and I learn how to do well in our careers. From finding a job, to promotions and even running your own business!
This first instalment will cover an aspect of the crafting business, that I am obviously interested in, craft fairs.
Craft fairs are essential to any maker as they seem to be the best way to make money and are able to reach a wide and local customer circle.
Yesterday was my first real craft fair and, although not a complete failure, there are definitely a lot of improvements needed to be made.
This instalment will take examples from the fair I attended yesterday and give you tips on how not to run your stall.
1. Get everything ready before hand
By everything I mean everything. Have all of it packed up and ready to go the night before at the latest. In my defence I was pretty ill and worked a 14hr shift the night before, but I ended forgetting to take a few important things (such as my info poster, carrier bags and even half my stock!).
Save yourself the panic of trying to get everything together that morning because you will definitely forget something.
2. Think about the little details.
Everything from decorations to levels and even packaging. You need to make it look and feel professional.
A large sheet to cover the table is a must! Also play with arranging boxes under the sheets to create different levels and to add a bit of interest. Try and think of exciting ways to display your products, little bowls, stands or anything you can hang your items from. As you can tell from my images I forgot to pack those kinds of things and so had trouble really arranging my stall. It didn’t look the neatest it could have done but I don’t think it looked terrible. I will definitely think more about how I can really show off my items.
You also need to think about what you’re going to do if you make a sale. Customers will expect a bag at the very least. If you want to think about wrapping you products as well that’s also a good idea.
3. Take someone else with you
Craft fairs usually last a few hours and there’s not really a point when you can leave your stall unattended. You will most likely need the toilet and/or food whilst there and so will need to leave your stall at some point. Plus it’s always fun to go have a look around at the other stalls and
spend too much money see what they have for sale, maybe swap a few business cards.
If you can’t get anyone to keep you company you should definitely pack yourself some drinks and snacks. Usually you will be able to ask the stall next door to just keep an eye on your table whilst you nip to the loo at least.
Unfortunately I couldn’t take anyone with me and forgot food and so was feeling pretty rough by the end of the day, especially as I was ill as well.
4. Have a varied stock
Don’t just cater to one price bracket. Have smaller, cheaper objects as well as the larger/more expensive ones. It’s always good to have something kids can spend their pocket money on, or adults can buy without worrying about how much money they will have left. With smaller objects it will be a lot easier to make more sales, how ever you should still have some more expensive items as then one or two sales could cover the cost of the table. The table next to me had lots of little items and sold a lot of products, I had forgotten all my smaller products and didn’t make my first sale until a couple of hours before closing.
5. Be polite and engaging
If work in sales and retail has taught me anything, it’s that if you’re smiley and engage the customer in conversation they will ultimately feel welcomed and be much more open to spending money. Think about it, would you buy from a grumpy stall holder who didn’t really seem interested in your custom? Of course not! Engage the customer in conversation, ask them how their day is, if they’re enjoying the fair, talk about yourself and explain your products and what makes them special. Take an interest in the customer and they will take an interest in you.
6. Business Cards
A lot of people might not buy on the day but might want something later on. Take business cards and hand them out as often as possible. I was a little slow on the up take with mine, I just kept forgetting about them. But there were a couple of potential customers who seemed really interested in commission pieces. If they do get back to me it’s possible I can make back all the money I spent on my stall!
Plus business cards are useful to swap with other crafters. You can keep in the loop together letting each other know of upcoming craft fairs, advertising each others wares and generally giving each other support.
Always always always have a float. People will be paying money for things, if you don’t have enough change to give them you may well lose a sale. Deciding how much money to take is hard and really depends on the event and your prices. I took £30. £10 in pound coins and the rest in £5 notes.
8. Multi-buy Deals
Everyone loves a deal and, if it doesn’t mean you’re under selling yourself, there is no reason why you can’t have one on your stall. Maybe you have some little hair grips that are £3 each. Why don’t you sell 2 for £5? It shouldn’t affect your price so much that you will lose out and more people are likely to end up buying a second hair grip that they wouldn’t have necessarily have bought before! Of course these deals aren’t for every shop, but it’s a good way to get a few more sales under your belt.
9. Offer Solutions
If someone wants one of your items but isn’t sure, why don’t you offer your services to create one that suits them perfectly? I had one woman want my cupcake apron but it was too small for the child. She almost bought my pink and brown striped apron but wasn’t sure if the child would like it as much. I said I could make her the cupcake apron in a larger size if she wanted and gave her my email. I missed out on doing this with a few other people which could have resulted in more sales, if not on the day then at least in future.
10. Enjoy yourself
I was a bit mopey all day due to my insides trying to fight to get out, but sitting there and looking bored is not going to attract customers. Sure you’re sat there for a long time and it can get boring, but at least don’t let everyone else know you’re bored. Maybe take some work to do with you. The table next to me were busy sewing little ornaments whilst running their stall and got quite a few good comments about it. People like to see the artist at work and it means you can add even more stock to your table. Of course not every craft will allow you to do this in which case you’ll have to find some other way to keep yourself amused.
I have a lot to do before my next craft fair and a lot more stock to make. I did manage two sales though and handed quite a few business cards so hopefully I will see interest in my products picking up in the next few weeks.
For now though it’s time to keep sewing and planning for my next craft fair!
‘Till Next Time!
So again i’ve been a terrible blogger. I have a lot catch up with!
Anyways, I thought a good way to get back into blogging again would be to search around Folksy for the best christmassy items I can find. Partly to enter an awesome competition, partly to give myself ideas for what to make.
I have tried to look through a lot of different categories to try and get a nice range of things to inspire me.
These are in no particular order of preferance, but here are 18 quirky and fun christmassy things I felt deserved to be on Folksy’s front page! (This took me far longer to do than I care to admit)
1. Decorative Ball
I have always loved this shop (thepicapica), it’s always full of really unusual things and this ‘Decorative Ball’ is no exception. It’s just so intricate and pretty, I would love to have this hanging up no matter what time of year!
2. Penguin Decorations
Not only are these ridiculously cute, but I really love penguins (and the penguin theory!). And as a plus they are all unique as they are cut separately! I can already see different personality in each of these in the picture. You can find these penguins here.
3. Paper Decoration
I love the hint of festive colour in this ‘Eco-Friendly’ paper decoration. The intricate patterns really make this look unique and, in my point of view, a big statement piece. But don’t worry, you don’t need to hammer nails into your wall, they do come with a thread to hang it on, as well as a variety of colours and styles to match your christmas theme.
4. Snowman Kit
When I first saw this Snowman kit I was thinking ‘What is wrong with just using a real carrot and stones?’, but the more I thought about it the better this seemed. I mean the amount of hats and scarfs that have been ruined from being left out until the muddy sludge saturated them beyond repair in my own family alone is pretty high, and having a special outfit set aside for the snowman to be dressed in just seems to make the moment even more special.
5. Snowflake Necklace
Again I’m attracted to the modern look of this snowflake necklace. I think even the little dot of silver adds to the look, and don’t even get me started on the cute ‘WivWuv’ heart at the end letting you know where you got it from, I think I need to figure out how to make those tags for my own shop…
6. Personalised Letter from Santa
If anything will keep the kids believing for a little longer it would be a personalised letter from santa, and, for the kids still fully convinced, what a way to add a little extra magic! I know I would have loved one of these as a kid in amongst my stocking presents, I doubt my mum would have appreciated the glitter though…
7. Rudolf Card
Not only is this handmade/hand-drawn Rudolf Card ridiculously cute, but it’s also recycled for all you environmentally friendly out there! It’s even got a cute story of how she made Rudolf’s nose red. Everything about this just makes me get a little warm feeling inside. I didn’t think that was possible from a christmas card…
8. Noel Glass Bunting
If you’re a fan of glass work and quirky little items, then RedBrickGlass is just perfect for you. They have a range of glass work, including this Noel Bunting. Who knew you could make bunting look so classy? They also do an amazing range of fairy lights which I am dying to buy for my room! Shame I have no money. I really recommend checking them out for unusual glass decorations.
9. Metal Stamped Baubles
Again i’ve gone for the unusual. I think these metal baubles would look amazing glinting in-between the branches of a tree.
10. Christmas Tree Tote Bag
Not only does this Tote Bag come with a Jingly bell, but it can also double up as stocking or a giftbag (as well as being fair trade). I don’t know about you, but, now I think about it, I’d love a festive bag to match my festive outfits.
11. Christmas Tree Wrapping Paper
If you’re anything like me, you will be obsessive about making your presents looking that little bit extra special. I love this christmas tree paper and think it would make my gifts stand out amongst the rest. It is also available in different colours.
12. Reindeer Gift Tags
Once you’ve got your wrapping paper you will need name tags so you don’t forget which is which. How about these cute reindeer ones? Simple, cute, pretty. All you need from a gift tag!
Once you’ve bought
13. Christmas Pudding Apron
Obviously food is a big thing at christmas and any festive cook needs a festive apron to match! This cute apron just seems perfect for the job! Yum indeed!
14. Robin Napkins
Want to add a bit of festive fun to your table? These handprinted linen napkins with a cute little robin are the perfect addition! Matching place mats are also available.
15. Snowfall Soap
Not only is this soap quite stunning to look at but so is its box! The only problem is I think i’d be too scared to even use it…
16. Glass Blown Baubles
Who wouldn’t want these show stoppers hanging on their christmas tree? All I can say is that these look stunning.
17. Christmas Robins
How can you not want something as cute as this robin? I can already see it perching on top of my fireplace.
18. Christmas Rag Wreath
I’ve never really been a fan of the christmas wreath, they just seemed a bit pointless and not very pretty to me, but this one seems to have changed my mind. It’s cute, pretty and reusable! A nice modern twist on the traditional wreath.
Now go do some christmas shopping.
Till next time! Stay Happy!