Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It's About that Time...

Time to start thinking about the craft fair season! I've been a pretty pathetic blogger, but I'm ready to remedy that. Of course I don't have time for much of a post right now... haha... but I have a new craft fair item so I thought I would post a quick picture! This is a line from one of my favorite songs right now. I have been wanting to do this line on a canvas for a while and I did it last night and was happy with how it turned out. This picture is crazy dark, but you get the idea. I posted this on Facebook and it sold immediately and I have an order for another. Yay!

I will post more soon. Pinky promise ;-)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Funky Finds Spring Fling

Guess what time it is...

If you did not make it out to the last Funky Finds event, I hope you are free March 8th or 9th. It was AMAZING... if you're into craft fairs like this girl =-)

I ended up with a lot of Christmas items at the two fairs that I did before, so I am hoping to be able to fill my booth again with fun things. The list is growing...

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Well... this is Not What I had Planned

Remember when I said that I wanted to try to do two craft fairs per year? Well, I didn't mean two in one month. But it looks like that is what is going to happen in 2013.

I may be crazy, but I'm doing another little show. It's smaller than the first, and I'm not starting from scratch, so that's good news. That being said, it's 23 days away, and I have a bit of work to do before I can have a nice table.

I'm not 100% up for the work, but the entry fee for this one is only $50. It's one day, from 9 - 4, and it's in the city where I live. If it turns out to be slow and I don't make what I spend, I'll be really disappointed, but I decided to go for it. I'll either get to use up my supplies, sell my leftovers and make a little money, or I'll use up my supplies and have them ready for the next show.

I have 2 wreaths to make, some Christmas tree pencil toppers, ornament holders and ornaments to make. I bought different glue for my Scrabble tile rings - the hot glue didn't cut it - so I'll be redoing those. All in all, I need to get to work this weekend and I'll have steady work to do for a few weeks. But I'm not going to get carried away. We'll see how it goes.

I'm sorry I don't sound very enthusiastic - I am looking forward to it. If you are in the area, please come check out the craft fair on Saturday, December 14, at Jack Singley Academy in Irving. It's going to be fun!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

And Then It Was Done

Funky Finds was SO much fun!!! I learned so much and had so many familiar faces stop by. I could not have asked for a better experience for my first craft fair.

Set up was Friday, which was a HUGE blessing! We had from noon til 8:00 p.m. to set up. I originally thought that I would get there at noon and be done by 5. But Friday morning came after probably two weeks of not being in bed before 1:00 in the morning. I was a craftin' fool! So I stayed in bed until 8:30 or so. I had not put anything in boxes to take them to Fort Worth, so that is what Friday morning was for. I had a few things around the house to take care of, but mostly, it took me a few hours to get everything packed up and loaded. I left my house at about 12:30. And before I could get going, I had to stop at both banks where we have accounts to make sure that I had change for Saturday and Sunday and to pay a few bills. In the end, I didn't check in at the event until 2:30 or so. By 3:05 I was done unloading and ready to set up.

I knew how I wanted the tables configured, so I got those set up and covered and then started to assemble my "walls". In the picture above, it is the white squares with pictures hanging on them that I am referring to. This is where I ran into my first issue. My only issue actually, so it wasn't too terrible. Those squares are meant to be turned into cubes. They have little knobs to connect them and then they can be arranged any way you would like. Well we have used these cubes before, and when I opened the boxes, most of the knobs were missing. Oops.

At 4:00, I decided to run to the nearby Target to see if I could buy another set so I would have the necessary pieces. Well there were no sets to be found. I stopped into the Ross and Marshall's that were in the Target shopping center, but had no luck, so I headed back to my booth.

3 out of the 5 tables that I used for the event belong to my parents. When I went to pick them up on Thursday night, my dad also gave me a roll or plastic table cloth, and a roll of white duct tape. When I was in Marshall's, I thought of the duct tape and decided to see what I could do.

I got back to my booth at 5:00 and got to taping. Luckily, it worked just fine. After getting my little wall up, the question was how to arrange things. When I left Friday night, at 7:00, I was not feeling very confident. I felt like it was very obviously my first time to do a craft fair and that my booth was not very impressive. But I was determined to persevere and do my best!

Saturday morning, all of that changed. My mom, Brett and I headed back to Fort Worth early Saturday morning. The event opened at 10:00, but vendors could get in at 8:00. There was one final display piece that we brought with us Saturday morning, and having that piece is what brought everything together. When we opened at 10, I thought I had a happy little booth. Not necessarily impressive, but it got a lot of compliments from more experienced vendors, so it was definitely sufficient.

The event was Saturday and Sunday. Sunday was a lot slower than Saturday, but all in all, it was a great two days. I had a general idea of what Brett and I had spent paying the fees and buying supplies for the event. I was hoping to break even. At the end of the weekend, I had made about $100 over that amount. At the end of this week, I ended up with another $131 from people who bought after the event. I am thrilled with that!

I sold out of my gift card holders, ice skate ornaments, Christmas tree pencils, card sets and yarn wrapped Christmas trees. I was the most excited when a wreath sold. I sold 2 out of 3 of them and I was thrilled! I love those funky little guys =-) I thought I would sell more scrabble rings. I sold WAY more bookmarks than I expected to. Same with the twine wrapped bottles. I sold half of my felt light ornaments on Saturday and then not a single one on Sunday. Weird!

Here's what I learned/would do differently.

1) I wish that I had blogged more before hand. I wanted to use the blog to talk about the process leading up to it and display more pictures. I didn't do much of that. Partly because in the beginning, there wasn't a ton to show, and in the end, I needed to be crafting and not just talking about crafting. I signed up for this craft fair months before hand, and knew that I needed to be working on crafts all along so I had a good amount of items, but as always, I could have done better. I worked on it on the weekends for a while, but the month before, it was every day, morning, noon (my lunch hour) and night. Next time I will try to do more from the get go so the final month my husband can see me a little more. I'd really like to always be working on something so I'm ready for a craft fair any time. Or, ya know... sort of ready.

2) It's all about levels. I used cloth draped over the boxes that I brought items in to make levels on my tables. I had a lot of people compliment the layout of my booth. You probably can't tell from the picture above, but it was a cozy little nook to walk into, and I feel like the items all looked special.

3) Funky Finds is an amazing organization. They were so helpful and so organized... I would recommend doing one of their craft fairs to anyone who was interested in being a vendor. That being said... it was expensive. I paid $150 to be a vendor, then I paid $40 to put an ad in the event booklet. They had tables and chairs for rent, but I'm SO glad that I brought my own. I also spent $35 dollars or so on business cards, which I thought was too expensive, but I ordered a lot, so they will last me a while.

Now it's time to spend some time on my etsy site. I need a weekend devoted to it. Not sure when that will happen though, as the holiday season is here and I may be doing another small craft fair in a few weeks. I was NOT planning to do that, but I have some product left, and I have lots of supplies left. It's an outdoor event and it's cheap... I think I may go for it.

Here are a few more pictures. THANK YOU to everyone who made it out. Leave me a comment and let me know what you liked best about the event.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Goody Bag Experience

The Funky Finds Holiday Shopping Experience is 26 days away. AAAHHH!!! I have so much work to do! But I am LOVING working on it each day.

I wanted to get all of my frames and canvases done in September. That was my goal. Did I finish them all? No. Of course not. But nevertheless, when October got here, I made myself switch directions.

One of the fun things about this craft fair is that the first 150 shoppers get a goody bag filled with items from the vendors. Vendors are not required to put an item in the bags, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted to. I wanted to think of something cute and cheap to make that would make people want to stop by my booth. It's also a guaranteed way to get a business card into the hands of 150 shoppers. But what to make?

Well, several months ago, I saw a pin on Pinterest of a bookmark that I thought was adorable and so creative! I had never thought of this before, but the person had made a heart shaped bookmark by using the corner of an envelope. The idea is to create a little pocket that the page you are holding can slide into. Genius! Your book can open and the bookmark won't immediately slide out. When I saw that pin months ago, I immediately got up and made one. It's the only pin that I've ever done that with, but it looked so easy, so I wanted to see if it would still be cute even if I made it, and guess what? It totally did!

This was also the perfect item for the goody bags because I just happen to have a lot of envelopes lying around. Working at a school, I get stationary sets as gifts a lot. Two years ago, during teacher appreciation week, a family gave me the most adorable set of 100 postcards with matching envelopes. There were 5 colors, and because I had other sets that I was going through, I had only used 15 or so. So I started there.

Now, when I say they are easy to make, they totally are... but there are a lot of steps. I had the template from the few that I made a while back. But I had to trace the heart onto to each envelope. And then because a plain envelope was too, well, plain, I wanted to put a smaller heart cut out of craft paper on top of the envelope. So I had to trace those hearts onto craft paper. And then I had to cut it all out. After doing all of that tracing and cutting, I had to glue the hearts onto the envelopes. 4 glue sticks later, they were looking cute, but then I ran into a little predicament. If you know that it's a bookmark, it's adorable. But at first site, it looks like a little paper heart. It's not obvious that it's a bookmark. So what to do? My first thought was to attach something to it that said "Enjoy this bookmark from Gypsy Rhetoric". But how to attach it? If I staple it, the recipient would have to pull the staple out in order to use it the way it is intended. That would likely tear it, and then it's just a piece of trash. So I briefly considered using a hole punch to tie a little tag onto it with that message, but nothing about that really appealed to me. I didn't want a hole in the heart, and making the tags and tying them on was more steps than I was willing to take. So I abandoned the idea of attaching something.

My next thought was to glue a quote about reading to them. I found three quotes that I loved, but when I cut them out, I didn't like they way they looked on the bookmarks. I would have had to mount them on colored paper to like the look, and because of the shape, I knew that was too much work. So I decided to try stamping. I went in search of a stamp that said something about reading. I mean stamps are everywhere, right? All three of the major craft stores around here have entire aisles dedicated to stamping. Surely I would find something to my liking. Well, in the end, all that I found was a set of two stamps - one that said "Once upon a time" and one that said "And they lived happily ever after". Well... that just didn't thrill me. I do think that both of those quotes make people thing of "stories", but would it definitely let you know that it's a bookmark? I wasn't sold. I bought them and seriously considered them, but I just didn't want there to be any confusion about what they were.

As it so happened, the stamping aisle at Joann's also had a section of clear re-sealable bags. A bag of 100 5" x 4" bags was $2.99. That is what sealed the deal. (No pun intended ;-)

What I ended up doing was still a lot of steps, but they were all very simple. I cut craft paper down to 4.875" x 3.875" rectangles. Then I designed a 3" x 3" image that had my cute little Gypsy Rhetoric bird and tree, and the original, very obvious, message of "Enjoy this bookmark from Gypsy Rhetoric". Then I cut those out and glued them onto the paper. Then, to jazz up the bookmarks a little, I put a little inspirational-ish sticker on each one. They are quotes or fun words. It's a set of stickers that I saw a month ago when I was spending a gift card at Joann's and knew that they would come in handy one day. And then finally, I put a paper with the glued on message and a bookmark into one of the baggies and bada bing, bada boom, it's a goody bag item!

I started on Saturday, October 5th and I finished on Saturday October 12th. I did NOT intend for them to take that long, but with the time that I had available, that is the best that I could do.

I have about 210 completed - I realized that I wanted to have some at my table so people could purchase them - it would make an adorable stocking stuffer or a little something to go along with a book that you're giving as a gift. I would like to make 90 more. I need 150 for the bags and I will probably sell them as 3 for a $1, so I'd like to have 150 at my table. If I have a lot left towards the end of Sunday, I will probably include them with a purchase. For now, I'm going to move on to something else, and like the frames, come back to them in a few weeks if I have time.

I haven't printed business cards yet, but I will definitely put one in the bags intended for the goody bags, probably inside the heart, to help people see how to use them.

Here is a slightly blurry picture - because that is apparently the only kind of picture I can take on my iPhone - of the finished product. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you are planning to come to the show!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Live Long and Sparkle

I promise I've been hard at work! Life has been busy, and I'm using all of my free moments to get my craft on! But it really is important to me to take time and blog.

The Funky Finds Holiday Shopping Experience is creeping closer! I printed monthly calendars with the intention of making daily to-do's to help me get ready for the event. I only got as far as making monthly goals. haha.

In September, I wanted to use all of the canvases and frames that I have to put some of my favorite quotes and verses on display. Well September is almost over, so I've been hard at work! A few posts ago, I showed you my "This Force is Strong in This One" frame. I found those frames for a STEAL at Michael's. I've learned where all of the super sale items are stashed in my local Michael's, so it's become one of my favorite, and most dangerous, past times to take a stroll through the aisles.

I wish I had bought a dozen of those little black frames. I bought 6, and as of this weekend, they are all crafted up. I only have good pictures of three of them, and you've already seen one, but here are the other two that I have pics of.

They say "Live Long and Sparkle - You Know You Want To!" and "Welcome to the Island of Misfit Toys - We Have Been Waiting For You". That one's my favorite. =-)

So what movie quotes or song lyrics do you think deserve to be immortalized on canvas?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

And Then There Was Etsy

One of the things that this craft fair has pushed me towards was an ETSY page. I heart ETSY. I've known about it for a long time, but only recently started enjoying it. What an amazing place for creative people to be inspired, inspire and continue the artistic circle of life. Whoa. That got deep.

My cousin Haley, who I love dearly, told me about ETSY a few years ago when I asked her where she got her cute earrings. The next time the subject came up, she told me that I should be selling on ETSY. She had recently ordered invitations for her son's upcoming birthday party through this site.

Well this struck a chord with me, big time. At the time, I was working as a graphic designer at a print shop in Dallas. One of the coolest things that I had the opportunity to do at this job was to create a line of cards. The idea was that we would create a website that had card templates, people would send us a picture, we would drop it into the design, and then we would print them in house and ship them. This was a fairly new idea at the time. We mostly did Christmas cards, but when I left the job, I was starting on invitations. Since leaving that job, I have designed a handful of invitations for friends and family, but I haven't had (or taken) a lot of time to be serious about this.

But I've wanted to. Right now, I feel like designing invitations, and other printables, is a good way for me to, first of all, get my design juices flowing again. Stretch my Photoshop legs, if you will. And also to make a little money. If I can design things that people will buy, then I will have a product that I don't have to cut, glue, jazz up, or ship - people can print them on their own. That means no one will complain about bent paper, smudges, or postal service.

Of course, most of the time, I would rather be cutting, gluing and jazzing up. But those things cost money. Do you see where I am going here? I would like to start selling on ETSY.

I'm definitely still learning the ins and outs of being an online seller, but I have a few items posted. It is a HUGE help, that my work bestie (fellow ninja and partner in crime) Michelle is a super crafty mom that has lots of ideas but, because she has two kids and limited computer software, doesn't have the time to create all of the things she would like to use. A good amount of what I plan to be posting on my ETSY site has been inspired by her comments, or in some cases, direct requests. Thank you for believing in me Michelle! You have no idea what it means to me.

I have a lot of posting to do. It takes time. I have had precious little time for Gypsy Rhetoric the last two weeks. In fact, I should be in bed right now. My sweet husband held out as long as he could, and now I will try my best, and fail, to not wake him up as I creep down the hall and climb into bed.

But I just had to do this tonight. My sanity was at risk. It has been a rough couple of weeks, and I needed to do something for myself. Cross something off of my to do list. I don't think I could have made it through tomorrow if this was left undone.

So in conclusion, please go check out my ETSY site. Feel free to buy something ;-)

Live long and sparkle my friends. Live long and sparkle!