Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Driftwood Christmas Wreaths and Don't Do's for a Craft Fair!

It was my Christmas Fair at the weekend. Sales weren't amazing, but were respectable. Enough to have made it financially worthwhile to have done it (the stall was very cheap to start with!), probably not enough to make it feel financially worthwhile for the hassle/stress/time on the day, but then if I take into account the fact that it made me get my act together, open up an Etsy shop and print some business cards (that was maybe the most exciting part - they make me feel quite important!) then it was definitely worthwhile.

It was also good experience in actually having a stall again - I did lots of things wrong! Like:

  1. Not taking any photos of my stall, Venetia did take a few for me.
  2. This was largely due to not being organised enough (surprise, surprise!) and frantically attaching price tags as the Fair was due to start, rather than being able to calmly check the front of my stall and take wonderful photos myself!
  3. If I had done this I would have seen that I'd managed to hitch up my table covering unevenly!
  4. I had far too much 'stuff' out on the table. Basically the table was pretty small and cushions take up lots of room. And I find it hard to 'choose' what to have out, or more accurately I find it hard to leave anything out!
  5. I kept forgetting to hand out my beautiful, new business cards! A few people either took one or asked for one, but I'd meant to give them out with every purchase and I did not remember once!
  6. Certain items need improved ways to display them - particularly pixie hats and wreaths. Not quite sure how I could have displayed them wonderfully on Sunday given the space I had, but they definitely need more thought for any future stalls.
  7. I think I'll avoid doing such a local Fair again. I really don't feel comfortable selling to people I know. I'm sure two people bought things just because they felt they ought to, and I had to stop the fruit and veg man buying something he clearly didn't want, just because I buy fruit and veg from him every week and he felt he should reciprocate!
  8. Not taking a drink with me!

Venetia's photo!
It was also interesting to see which things were the most popular. The mice got a huge number of 'ahhs' and comments, not so many sales but they did OK. And the wool generally was much admired and stroked, with the non cream backgrounds being far more successful than the paler backgrounds. From what people said I think there's a high proportion of pets locally (especially dogs), who jump up on sofas and would get mucky paw prints on cream cushions!

There was one cushion I made late the night before the Fair, and my only photos of it are Venetia's from on the day, but I have to show it to you anyway because it was such an amazing piece of embroidery.

Two gorgeous, colourful cockerels pecking for food. I found the embroidery in a Charity Shop quite a while back, I think it had originally been made as a tea towel - can you imagine spending so long creating such a wonderful piece of embroidery and then wiping crockery with it? I hate to think how many hours of work went into it. Anyway, it had been sitting there waiting for me to turn it into something more decorative than a tea towel, and late Saturday night I decided it might very well be something that would sell, so it quickly became a cushion with a simple, envelope back from wool. And it did sell, hurray!

Something that didn't sell at all was my wreaths. I'm sure that was partly because they weren't displayed brilliantly, but maybe there's more to it than that.

They're simple driftwood wreaths, with a little fabric decoration added - either holly or a robin.

Or both!

And possibly my favourite, a Partridge with a Pear. We have a lovely book of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', with really beautiful illustrations which inspired this one, Maria has to read/sing this every night at the moment with me.

So I've added all these to my Etsy shop now, and hopefully they might be more popular there.

So what about you, have you got any 'don't do's' for Craft Fairs?


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Hickory Dickory Dock Cushions

I am loving the pink and cream ones, they remind me of sugar mice that used to go into Christmas stockings.

The mice are breeding! If they carry on at this rate our house may soon be overrun! And the situation was not helped by finding this bargain old, grey, wool suit the other day in a Charity Shop - think how many mice could be made from this!

Anyway, these 3 were too squished in the basket and wanted new homes.

So I thought I'd better oblige...

Teacup cushions make perfect mouse homes.

And then my favourite mouse house - a clock.

Vintage mother of pearl buttons make the best clock digits, I think I need a real clock with them!

And once I'd made that clock, I had an urge to make a Grandfather Clock...

The proportions didn't work so well for this one, making the clock big enough to look Grandfather like took up too much of my cushion space really, but it wasn't a complete disaster.

Ignore the pencil marks still on here, I obviously took this photo before I washed it.

And I'm feeling a strong sense of achievement this week because I finally opened an Etsy Shop - hurray for me! It got done very late at night, and has not been given quite the time it deserves necessarily, but at least it's done. At the moment it's not overflowing with items (10 there!) and I've stuck with just posting to the UK, hopefully I'll get braver in time! If anyone does go and have a nose over there and spots improvements needed then please shout out. Or if any of you are experienced Etsy sellers (or buyers!) and have any top tips generally for me then they would be very welcome. 


PS Link to shop - WonkyPatchwork, which is, surprise surprise, its name! Hopefully there'll be a permanent link up on the right margin near the top too.