Thursday, 12 January 2012

Preparing for pampering

Due to Christmas and getting ready to return to work after maternity leave, I've not found any time for crafting. I've also decided to get rid of most of my card making supplies as I've concentrated on jewellery now and have little time for that let alone anything else.  Hopefully it'll clear some room to tidy up my jewellery supplies into some decent storage and tidy up the utility room a bit, which my OH is always complaining about.

Quite a few things I've managed to sell online (just love those Facebook craft selling pages, and of course ebay), and the things I've had which probably wouldn't sell due to either being free/half used/too heavy to post, I shall be donating to the local nursery and/or school.  Hopefully they'll be able to use a lot of it.

I have got a stall at a pamper evening in a couple of weeks time.  It's come round really quickly, so I must use some of my gemstones and make a couple more bracelets.  Hopefully this will give me a chance to see whether pamper evenings are better for selling than Christmas and Summer fetes given my previous experience.  Let's hope so.


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Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy 2012

Just a quite post to say Happy New Year to everyone.   Hope 2012 brings you everything you hope for.

I'm hoping to manage still to make my jewellery and try other new crafts even though I'll be starting back at work in a week or so.  It's going to be a tough work life balance to manage as well as making sure my baby settles in well as nursery and adjusts to the change of not having his mum with him all day every day.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Merry christmas and thanks

Just wanted to say, while I remember and have the chance, many thanks for visiting my blog over the past year.  Special thanks for those who've taken the time to leave comments - most have been very lovely and supportive, and that's what's great about blogging.  The opportunity to find lots of like minded souls, get crafty ideas and have fun!

Hope everyone has a very merry christmas and a wonderful new year.  Hope 2012 is better than this year for everyone.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Handmade Monday: Christmas wreath

Looks like we won't be having our tree up this year as OH's refusing to get it out of the roof...too unsafe with a nearly one year old (boo hiss to the pantomime villain).  However, a few weeks ago he did produce lots of holly for me in case I wanted to make decorations.

So i decided to try and make a wreath.  The hardest part was finding a frame (we seemed to have no wire coathangers to use).  In hindsight I should have paid the extra and got hold of a moss-type frame, but instead eventually found a wire circular wreath frame.

As well as the holly (I used 24gauge craft wire to attach), I had some silver fir cones and coloured bells which I filled in some gaps.  Then hung it over the door using one of those brilliant hangers (discount shops rule!).  I'm really pleased with it for a first attempt...looks great from a distance, although there's a lot of gaps and wire showing up close.

I have to say I don't think I'll make another one in the future - shredded my hands far too much, and I'm not sure how long it will last.
Check out the other Handmade Monday posts here, the last until the new year.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Pearly queen

I am so loving pearls at the moment.  Any really...rice, potato, round, coin, but particularly the potato (especially when they're the little nuggety shape).  I also love the coldness when you first pick them up...proper ones obviously, and that applies to gemstones. It's a gorgeous thought to feel them getting warmer in your hands.

I've got quite a few different colours of pearls in my stash at the moment and that's the beauty of them.  You can mix and match to any outfit.  Classic off white or ivory, or rich chocolate, or funky peacock blue.  I love them all.

My favourite makes are simple single strand necklaces or bracelets, although I do fancy getting round to making an assymetric multistrand necklace.  I have to plan for that though as usually I only buy a strand at a time so would need to buy more than one to get hold of enough beads if I just wanted one colour/shape.  Although I do have a current bugbear - why are gemstone/pearl strands just that little bit too short to make a necklace?  Or do I just have a fat neck?!!!  Sometimes you just want to use a strand and restring it to make the most of the gems, but I never seem to have quite enough beads.  Grrr.

Anyway, here's a couple of my recent pearl makes.  I've glitzed them up a bit for Christmas because it's nice to have a bit of sparkle.
Ivory potato pearls & green/blue Swarovski crystals - necklace
Ivory rice pearls with crystal rondelles - bracelet
Blue potato pearls with blue lace agate tumble chips - necklace

I definitely think I'm a bit of a pearl convert...or maybe I'm just getting older.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas bazaar completed

Phew, the Christmas Bazaar was yesterday, and yet again was a good experience with lots of tips & ideas for the next one.  Realised that the organiser and myself had worked together at the NCT Nearly New sale (small world), and also recognised a few people on stalls as well.

I was pleased with my displays, although I do think maybe next time I'd not put so many things out.  Although I put price tags on items, there are a few (like earrings) which are harder unless you put them on earring holders. This time I put earrings on display stands in price rows, but think I'd put stickers on the displays so people wouldn't have to ask (and I wouldn't have to remember which was what price!).  Oh, and note to self, put up my banner!  Durr

I was quite surprised at what sold - I was expecting to sell similar items to those I'd sold at a school fete in the summer (afternoon event, in aid of local school/pre-school) ie earrings, memory wire bracelets etc, but no earrings went at all.  Yes, it was bracelets again that were more popular (relatively so, as didn't sell very much - thankfully stall was 10% of takings for fees, so I still made a profit after all the expenses/cost of items sold (quite a few other stall holders said they'd not done as well as most of their other fairs so I didn't feel quite so bad).  I had decided after the summer event that as it was kids there who liked the sparkly jewellery, but couldn't find items in their price bracket, that for anything where there'd be children, I would make some more child friendly items.  So my miracle bead elasticated bracelets at 2 were great.  They looked really amazing with their shine & 3D-ness against the black holder they were in, and people were definitely interested and drawn to them.  Obviously when they sell, as they're cheap I need to sell a lot compared to gemstone necklaces or the charm bracelets, but it does get people looking.

I'm relieved I made a profit, and I did enjoy it (although it was only 2 hours), but I do think there were a couple of things that went against it...too many jewellery sellers (although most were different, at a small event having 3 jewellery stalls plus another mixed stall which also sold jewellery was a bit too much for people to spread their money around).  The layout had stalls round the outside and then on the inside old style fayre games like tombola - people were going straight for the tombola opposite me to speak to the stall person they knew and spend 25p.  Maybe having more of a zig zag layout with fun game stalls at the end so people need to talk past the 'shop' stalls to get to them?

Oh, and the hardest one to change...people attending need to take cash with them and have a facility to get rid of their children!  So many people said they didn't have enough cash (although one lady made me laugh as she scrounged money off her husband to buy a bracelet off me, and then more money off her stepdad to pay for something on the next door stall!), but they advertised the bazaar as having Christmas gift buying opportunities; the sort of stalls going to a local pre-school bazaar I would alway presume would only take cash.  And children do inconvenience selling opportunities.

Note to self if I do any more local christmassy fayres next year - only do them in November, as they seem to go better than December ones according to several people I spoke to at on Sunday.  Makes sense as that's when people are planning more for Christmas, by December they're all spent out.