Monday, March 30, 2009

CraftMafia was a success!

As I mentioned in my last entry, I participated in CraftMafia at Leapin Lizard Gallery this past Saturday. I did get everything packed up the night before, which took me all of 15 minutes, so I'm not sure why I put it off until after 11 pm Friday night.(I guess I'll never learn.) I think by the time I got in bed it was probably around 12:45 am, so I was not too excited when Saturday morning rolled around bringing the annoying buzz of my alarm clock. Good thing for me I have two dogs who won't let me snooze.

I got up around 7 am Saturday, got showered and ran out to grab snacks and water for the day and hit McD's drive-thru and returned home to feed myself and my groggy husband. Then it was off to the gallery. I was so glad I packed the night before. I knew I hadn't forgotten anything and that was a good feeling. I got there in plenty of time to get a decent spot on the main floor and not in the balcony. People were being directed to go upstairs to the few vendors there, but I am always unsure about upstairs or downstairs at these events. You never know if people will make the effort to travel the stairs. They had a good turn out, with people through pretty much all day long.

So it turns out signing up for ProPay on Friday evening was a good idea. My very first sale was a necklace and the lady said, "I love it! I'll take it! You do take MasterCard, right?" I was excited to be able to say yes to that. It went smoothly – although I'm sure I didn't entirely look like I knew what I was doing – and I processed the transaction as soon as I got home. My only other sale was a pair of earrings and that was to one of the gallery owners. I don't know, I was flattered by that... I was happy to be able to cover my show fee and make a bit more on top of that.

There were quite a few jewelry artists there, probably slightly more than half the total number of vendors and also quite a few fellow Etsy sellers, which was kind of funny. We all exchanged business cards and compliments. All of the vendors were quite cordial and Lizz and Jill, the owners of Leapin Lizard, really worked hard to make sure everyone was taken care of and had all they needed.

I'm still perfecting my table/booth set-up. I'll probably add a couple more necklace busts and another earring frame at some point, but I like that my pieces are the focus of my table, so I think I'll stick with the neutral backgrounds. I received a lot of compliments and a couple of the other vendors were interested in my earring frame. There are a few pics below if you're interested in seeing my set-up.

All-in-all, it was a fun show to do. I just need to make myself go to bed earlier the night before next time I'm in a show. I really should know better!

Friday, March 27, 2009

So much to do and running behind (as usual).

So, you'd think I would have learned from the weekend before last about getting everything ready to go to the craft fair in the morning. But, here I sit, goofing around, cruising the Etsy forums, chatting with my friends on facebook... Fortunately for me, I never completely unloaded my husband's car, so much of my set-up is still in there from the last show. I feel bad though, I had great organizational aspirations. I bought a couple snap-top bins that will fit everything from my new necklace busts to table linens. Who am I kidding, they're cotton-blend sheets, not linens – which, by the way, are a great and inexpensive way to cover and dress your tables. They come in many colors, a few different sizes and have finished edges. I picked up a flat black sheet and a neutral beige one from Wal-Mart for around $5 each. If something happens to them or the black begins to fade, I'm not out much and can replace them easily. (That's my money-saving tip. I'd rather spend it on pretty beads!)

So, I'm excited about this show tomorrow and tad nervous. Pre-craft show jitters is all, not too bad though. This one is called CraftMafia and takes place at Leapin Lizard Gallery in Covington, KY. It's just a short drive for me, maybe 25 minutes or so. It's a two day show, but it worked out for me that I have a family function on Sunday and they had another vendor who couldn't make it Saturday, so it seemed like a no-brainer to me and to them. I found out about it at the last minute so I was lucky to get in at all. Hopefully it will be busy.

I'm also excited because tonight I opened a ProPay account, which means I can begin accepting all four types of major credit cards tomorrow. (I know, it's very quick!) I'm curious to see how it will impact my sales, or if it will. Hard to say until I try it. At the last show I ended up having to take a check from a lady who bought one of my necklaces. I was slightly embarrassed when she went to hand me her credit card and I had to tell her I couldn't accept/process it. My stomach sank. I thought I might have blown the sale. She had been around earlier and actually came back and brought her husband to show him the necklace she was thinking of buying. She asked if I'd take a check and I agreed to and it went through just fine, I just always worry about them.

Well, I better do what I set out to do this morning and get all my stuff packed up. At least CraftMafia doesn't start until 11 am, so I won't have to be up at the crack of dawn. That does not, however, give me any guarantee that my dogs won't wake me up at 6!

Thanks for reading!

From the garden

joyous taste of spring
buried under winter's gloom
now emerge renewed

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yep, this is my new favorite tool.

I'm probably just late getting there, as usual, but I thought I'd share this handy little utensil. A few weeks ago, I was poking around a booth at the Intergalactic Bead & Jewelry Show. Along with a couple other things I was looking for, I came across this mandrel. I have been looking for one of these things for more than a year since seeing one in a beading book. I searched every bead and craft store in town and even looked for one on Etsy, but had no luck. I wasn't even really positive what to call it. 

As you can see, there are different shapes and sizes on it for your wire-wrapping and shaping needs. I was not aware of the fact that Fiskars makes craft tools, but apparently, they make several. I have always like their gardening tools. Anyway, according to their website, you can make 4 shapes in 23 sizes with this little guy. I bought it mainly for one task: handmade earwires! It's a heck of a lot easier to get the smaller curves with this than with the large knitting needle I had been using. So now I can easily make the larger, round style of wires or the smaller hook styles with one tool. I won't have to buy a stock of different sized knitting needles or wonder where my husband stashed my earwire-making-pen anymore. I think it was $6 well-spent. Below are a couple versions of earwires I've made using said wire mandrel.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Well, here goes!

So, after lots of time reading about it and thinking about it and, true to form for me, putting it off, I finally just sat down and started a blog. I have high hopes of being able to post at least a couple times a week and for my musings to be a little entertaining or maybe even helpful. We'll see what develops here. I just know that this was the biggest step and now it's done. It's out there. I'm not even panicking. It feels pretty good, actually. :)

If you have a little more time, please stop by my online shop, madison house designs on etsy. There you will find my handcrafted embellishments... lots of great pieces of jewelry, made by yours truly, of all the wonderful stones and metals I can get my hands on.

Thanks, hope to see you again soon!


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