Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Off in search of warmer weather!

Busy, busy, busy here as per norm! The weather has been terrible, so I'm escaping England later this week for the very hot US. I figure two weeks of extreme heat will make up for the lack of summer here. So besides packing and cleaning, it is also the end of school. Here are two teacher gifts I've whipped up. I love doing book jackets!

Still plodding away on my business course. I think I've narrowed down my business idea to a manageable niche market. Next big job to tackle: making enough product to fill a craft table because ... YES! I'm going to book my first REAL show. Can you feel the sense of panic? So as soon as I get back I'll be locked in my craft room (read: guest bedroom converted into a craft room by a big sewing table). Other major source of worry -- I have to do a business presentation when I get back too. Ugh.

See you in a few weeks! I'll be back with suitcases stuffed with crafting goodness!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

As I was going through my computer and blog doing some (late) spring cleaning, I came across this chap and thought it was the perfect time to send him out. So a big, “Happy Fourth of July” to all my American friends and family! Isn’t he striking? Unfortunately, there is no note on him as to name, location or date. The backside is just a blank postcard.

Yes, this posting does mean that I intend to start blogging again with some regularity. A few weeks ago I made the decision to start selling my handiwork and actually get paid for my hard work for a change! I’ve enrolled in a business start-up course, thanks to my local council and the EU, and now I am on the rocky road to self-employment. Of course I thought I would record my trials and tribulations along the way! Have you set up a business? Do you have any pearls of wisdom for me?

So where am I starting? Market research. I guess in a nutshell that means: who sells what to whom at what price? To find out I’ve been surfing the crafty net and pounding the local craft scene.

I started at the Contemporary Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey, Devon. This was obviously as much for business as pleasure. As usual, my wish list was long. I fell in love with the following crafters and artists: Jane Booth Ceramics, Helaina Sharpley, O Golly Gosh (Elaine Hughes), Kirsty Elson, Rachel Eardley, Katie Almond Ceramics, and Sarah Culleton. A fav, Poppy Treffry was there being very cheery and chatty. I really appreciate it when exhibitors make an effort to talk to customers! Another fav, OPI (Jane Ryan), was there too. I wanted another piece to go with the one I bought last year (below), but I’ll have to save up my money a little bit longer.

A few trends did catch my eye at the fair: I saw lots of seasides, cottages, postcards, and multi-media collage art. Other trends I love at the moment: retro fabrics especially Horrockses and French Flo. Latest craft purchase: vintage snowman fabric from Donna Flower. On the nightstand: Mollie Makes -- I don't have much time for anything else at the moment, 'though one of my friends wants to force me to read "50 Shades of Grey".

Product-wise, I’ll been turning my attention towards Christmas. Gasp! Already! Yes, this year will NOT catch me unprepared! First though I have to finish three wedding gifts and four half-made items of clothing. Hah, right.