December 24, 2010

Tuesday Trigger – Strictly stripes

The Tuesday Trigger for this week is this pair of mittens

and the stripes inspired me to make this card


I’m loving the CAS style cards! I like that they don’t prompt you to buy loads of supplies and a small number of elements need to make a bigger statement which exercises my mind to the fullest! The sentiment is embossed in white embossing powder.

  • Stamps: Hero Arts Frames and Messages
  • Paper: PTI
  • Others: White embossing powder

December 20, 2010

Craft fair tips

We learnt a lot during the craft fairs and here’s a summary. It doesn’t include the basics like pack pens, markers, table, etc

  1. Get bed risers. They really raise the height of the table and make it so convenient to browse the table. When I would pack up at the end of the day, it was then I would realize how low the table actually was.
  2. It you’re using the bed risers, don’t use any props that raise the height all the more. It makes it inconvenient for customers to browse the items.
  3. Your table should’ve a clean look, like when your house does after a vacuum. So that people don’t get overwhelmed.
  4. Control the variety of items you have. Again to not overwhelm the customer. I think I had too many. Instead of that I think there should be more variety of each type. Also makes it easier for you to organize your table.
  5. Myth: use black colored tablecloth. Before my first fair I too was of that opinion and got a dark blue table cloth. Though I’m very happy of my choice I realized that was not the rule. Each had their own and as long as you knew how to display it worked. For example, one lady a green table cloth and a white round one on top of it. That looked quite pretty. So arrange your items and then see what all colors can work for you. Maybe you could use a sheet from your closet rather than buying one.
  6. A full flat sheet works well with the standard table and bed risers.
  7. Keep some of the most attractive items of yours on the ends of the tables. When people start looking from an end they should be drawn to it.
  8. It’s nice to have each item packed and marked with price. Most of my stuff was packed in clear bags and had a price sticker. That made transporting as well as billing easy.
  9. If all your items are packed, then have a sampler too or one of the items unpacked so that people can open it (if it opens). In my experience people didn’t mind buying the opened item.

I think that’s all I can remember for now Smile.

December 17, 2010

Birthday card

I made this card using my new Hero Arts stamps (Frames and Messages) and my all-time-favorite Jolies Fleurs! I wanted to do this all dressed in pink and as you can see I very well succeeded at it Smile I can’t find my camera’s battery and so this photo is from my phone (and let me tell you it just does not do justice to the card! Angry smile)  (Uploaded new photo using my camera!)


  • Paper: PTI
  • Stamps: Lizzie Anne Designs Jolies Fleurs, Hero Arts Frames and Messages
  • Rhinestones, trim

December 16, 2010

Drumroll please…

…here comes my Cricut!! It was gift from my brother and sister-in-law!!

This is how it looked originally


and this is the look after I became the proud owner of SCAL and had a chance to cut vinyl!


There are some more beautifications I’ve in my mind so be prepared to see another final picture Smile I used the Damask Dings font and sized it to 3.5” in SCAL. I love that damask design! Isn’t it pretty?!?! I used 3-3-3 setting for speed, pressure and blade depth; but I think I need to lower the pressure setting all the more because the cut marks went down to the vinyl backing. With this I can see the world of opportunities open up in front of me Open-mouthed smile

December 14, 2010

What to make for craft fairs

This is more specific for the type of craft I do which is stamping and paper crafting. Being my first year of fairs there were so many things I wanted to make not to up the  variety but because I just wanted to make them! Oh and there were some that I got tempted to make because people said they were hot sellers in their area. There were a lot of first-timers for me, there were some I enjoyed making and some I didn’t. Then there were some hot sellers and some that weren’t. So here I compile a list of what I would make again and why:

  1. Turkey place card holders – Loved to make them, was sold out and had LOTS of people comment on them. Most of them found them cute and many thought they could do this at home (as is true always!); but the bottom line is they sold out. So yes I would make them again – maybe in the same design or maybe something new that I can come up with. Sold them 4/$2.
  2. Cocoa packets – Fun to make and very popular! These were pouches for Swiss Miss cocoa packets with a poem on the outside and a ribbon to pull out. Their price point @ $1.25 each could have a lot to do with their popularity. Yes would definitely make them again and could try some different stuff with it too. Also need to make them more the next time.
  3. Hershey Chocolate bars – Fun to make and sold well. They were similar to the cocoa packets in concept, just that the poem was different. I found them a little expensive at $2.50 but couldn’t afford to sell them for less. I wish I could find a cheaper source for them. Yes I would make them next time; I also want to try out the Santa versions of this.
  4. Starbucks Via Coffee packs – Loved to make them and sold a little more than half of what I’d made. Loved to make them especially because it was completely my idea right from using the coffee packs to designing the box and I also wrote a special poem for it. Sold them for $5 for a pack of 3-cups of coffee. Will surely make them again!
  5. Snowman Kisses (tic tac) – Fun to make and sold out! These were tic tacs dressed up with a poem on Snowman Kisses. They were adored by one and all. They’re a definite yes for next time. They were $2.50 each.
  6. Holiday Greeting cards – Love to make them and sold well. Again their price point @$1.25 might have a lot to do with their popularity. I would like to make them again but I felt incomplete having only a few cards on the table. Cards have been my mainstay all through this hobby and at the fairs they were the least represented Confused smile. The problem is making cards takes a lot of time, so they can’t be easily produced in large quantities. Maybe next time I’ll try to do sets of holiday cards. And some singles too. So that’s a yes.
  7. Thank you card sets and/or notecard sets – Something that I didn’t have and I think it would’ve been nice to have especially for the fairs before Thanksgiving. And this is something I can start early in the year. Don’t really need to wait for the last quarter.
  8. Mini composition books with pen – Loved to make them and sold well! Yes making them again. I noticed that people like pretty colors, the dull colors were not picked. They were priced at $3.50.
  9. Post-it note holders with mini pen – Loved to make them and sold well! Surely making them again. Though undecided whether I should make the same types again or try the acrylic post-it note holders. That’s what happens with good sellers – you don’t want to risk changing them Smile. Sold at $2.75.
  10. Altered Frappuccino bottles with hugs and kisses – Loved to make them and sold half of them. Maybe next time I could make some in Fall theme too. Sold at $3.75. Yes.
  11. Purse gift card holders – Loved to make and sold out! Even though there are a couple of purse holder designs out there this was totally my original. My DH simply loved it! A big YES! I wonder if the same design would be popular next year too or would people want something new?!?! Sold for $1.50.
  12. Flower pot gift card holders – Fun to make and sold well. This is a totally unique design, all credit for which goes to yours truly Smile. Yes. Sold at $2.25.
  13. Rectangle gift card holders (sorry have no better name to describe it Embarrassed smile)– Fun to make and sold out! Yes making them again. sold at $1.
  14. Bookmarks – Fun to make and sold well. This is something I personally relate to a lot being an avid reader. So yes I’m going to make them again. Sold at $1.
  15. Decorative lunch bags – Fun to make and sold well. Again it was my idea Smile so yes making them again next time! I took some white treat bags from Michael and decorated them so that people could use them to gift home made treats. I personally believe they’re very useful! Will make some fall/thansgiving themed ones too for the fairs before thanksgiving. Sold at $1.
  16. Ornament gift card holders – Loved to make them and sold well. It’s a little difficult to design and fit the gift card so maybe not making them next year.
  17. Altered clipboards – Loved to make them but didn’t sell well. They looked so nice and were so reasonable. Dunno why people wouldn’t buy them!! Maybe not making them next year.
  18. Holiday candles – Had a blast making them but didn’t sell well Sad smile It was so much fun making these especially since I was doing this for the first time. Not sure why they didn’t sell well. They looked so cute! One of our conclusions is you should only sell what you buy and we don’t buy candles. No. Sold at $3.50.
  19. Magnetic memo boards – Nice to make and sold less than half. Definitely not making them next year. I liked making them but not as much as other things. So it’s a win-win situation to not make them again next year Smile. Sold at $3.75.
  20. Stamped onesies – Fun making them but didn’t sell at all Sad smile Again they looked sooooo cute packed up and lots of people would look at them and say it would be a wonderful gift for someone with baby; but nobody bought them. Not making them again.
  21. Binder Clip Photo Holders – Nice to make and sold well. Not making them again as I didn’t enjoy making them so much. Sold at $1.
  22. Tile Coasters – No fun to make and didn’t sell. Nope. Period.

Wow! Can’t believe I made 22 different items!! And not to forget there were multiples of each. Of course I need to acknowledge DH’s help here. He helped with a lot of cutting and punching. And of course there’s the indirect help where he too care of a lot of things so that I got more time to make this stuff.

Next time maybe I could employ my Cricut. Oh haven’t I told you about it?!?! Ok Smile then let me post a picture of it tomorrow.

December 13, 2010

A look back at the craft fairs

So I participated in three craft fairs this holiday season – it means I was there as a vendor, selling my handcrafted items. This was my first year doing this and let me just say that it was a lot of fun! Yes it was scores of hard work, hectic no-time-for-anything-else days but I would do it again. Why? You ask. For the gratification. When people buy my items I get the feeling that yes others do understand and appreciate my skill. Some people comment that it’s good because I can make some money doing what I love to do. Let me clarify – at this point if anything there’s money going into it than coming out Smile. There are so many fees – license fee, booth fee etc. to cover that I’ve some way to go before I can “make” money out of it.

My DH was there at *all* the fairs with me, right from the setup to the pack-up. A HUGE thank you to him! I wonder how he felt being there because his wife wanted a booth in a craft fair to sell the goods she’s made Sarcastic smile. Let me tell you that he was the best salesman I could’ve had and hearing him talk you wouldn’t even know that he hadn’t made them! He knew how everything was made!

The various fairs I participated in are:

  1. Woodinville Holiday Bazaar: This was the 30th year this fair was happening and my first in this fair Smile. The fair was very well attended and I met vendors who’ve been coming to this fair for years and so were the customers. I could hear customer’s telling vendors “Oh I bought from you last year…yadda yadda yadda”. Our sales were not so decent for the level of the fair but we got an order! I think that was the highlight of the show for me Smile. As my mom says the hallmark of a good crafter is the orders that he/she gets! Being my first fair there were lots of things I did right (thanks to my friends @ SCS) but there were some gotchas. The biggest issue was the display – I had bought bed risers so that it would increase the height of my table. That was good but at the same time I used a shelf and couple of three-tier stands to display my stuff. With the bed riser and the shelf I think the height was a little too much for some of the items. Then the three-tier stands that I got were probably not the best thing – they didn’t make the items easily accessible to the customers. We realized that first and foremost it was important that the items be in full view of the customer; and the customer be able to touch and flip through them. Our display was not conducive for that. Plus nothing wobbly should be on your table. If every time the customer tries to look at some item, something falls he/she will hesitate to do that again and there goes your sale. The bestsellers for me were: gift-card holders (especially the purse ones), Snowman kisses (made using Tic Tac), Cocoa packets with a poem, Turkey place card holders, Mini composition books with pen. The food – there is coffee and lunch items for sale. Not a great variety for vegetarians just a veggie sandwich which had lots of cheese and a slice of cucumber and some lettuce; but it was delicious! My DH doesn’t like cheese so much and even he loved it – we kept thinking what was in that sandwich that we loved but couldn’t figure out!
  2. Mill Creek Lion’s Club Holiday Bazaar: This was their 7th year and I must say for their short term in business they were pretty well organized. I think it was a little smaller than the Woodinville one in terms of the number of vendors. The fees was also also less; but my sales were almost double that of Woodinville. I would definitely attribute our change in display for some portion of the increase in sales. We now used a pegboard towards the back of the table to hang some of the stuff and the rest all was on the table – no stands and no shelves. It looked a lot cleaner and more shopper-friendly. The fair was well attended, it looked almost comparable to the previous. Though hard to say in terms of numbers. The bestsellers for me continued to be Snowman Kisses, Hot cocoa, mini composition books and gift card holders. Once again purse gift card holders sold like hot cakes! Post-it note holders with pen did decently well. Sold one altered clipboard, a couple of magnetic memo boards, Starbucks Via packets, 6 out of 9 greeting cards. The food – they’d a make do pantry and were selling Costco pizza for lunch which was good enough. Coffee was supposed to be available free of cost all day but it got over before noon. 
  3. Redmond Holiday Bazaar: Unlike the above shows this was for shorter duration – from 12-5pm. Not sure how long they’ve been organizing this but I should’ve known. When I asked them the table size they would be providing nobody knew and the rep told me she’d find out and call back!Surprised smileThe fair was much much smaller and there was hardly any crowd as compared to previous fairs. To be fair to them, the fees was quite low (I guess they knew about the crowd). They held it with Redmond Lights thinking that it would draw more people but we don’t think it made any difference. It did draw more people but not the ones who were interested. They were the ones who’d come early and didn’t know what to do before lighting started. As you must’ve figured out by now, the crowd – whatever there was of it – wasn’t too keen on buying hand made crafts! We’d a wonderful lady selling some of the most exquisite christmas centerpieces priced between $20-45. We were surprised that she hardly sold any till she had 50% off! Each of those centerpieces was unique and hand-crafted. Later I saw that in Big Box stores mass-produced centerpieces were more expensive than what she was selling for! So yes this fair was a disappointment. The sales were decent given the fees but it wasn’t so much fun. There were no bestsellers per se, we sold a little bit of everything. There was no arrangement for food; but there was coffee.

Phew! That was a long post! I wanted to write some more but I think I’ll put in the next post for fear of it being over-shadowed.