Archive | November 2013

Yesterday’s Show at the Trend-Arlington Community Centre

What an absolutely great day!   It was a really positive experience start to finish.

Friday night was a late night of course with all of the last-minute prep work that had to be done.   Throughout the week I had been making new earrings (all chain maille of course) and printing up my signs and anxiously awaiting my shipment of Swarovski to arrive from Fire Mountain Gems (which it did, on Thursday, thank you Fire Mountain Gems, excellent people).  So my earring case was packed up and all my items tagged and ready, and my excellent husband added all the hooks to the display cubes and packed up the car.  I chose a large hardcover copy of the Poetry of Robert Frost to help display my bookmark collection.  One little hitch, as I was cutting and framing my Family Pendants sign, I realized that I spelled crystals wrong in one place…crustals…oh good grief.  I wasn’t about to re-print the sign as it was getting late, or as Dick Van Patten said in Spaceballs “It’s too late, keep going”.  So I fixed it with a pen and carried on.  The idea for the family pendants is to create a little pendant of Swarovski rounds by birthstone colour on a head-pin with a bail, custom-made while you wait.

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While I didn’t sell any yesterday, People were certainly interested in them and thought them a good idea.  I will have to add them to Etsy!

My alarm went off at 6 (so early), and I hopped (ok, crawled) out of bed and got ready to go.  This included of course, the usual shower, and tooth brushing, standard stuff, but also trying on several outfits and trying to choose just the right jewellery for the day.  That was hard.  I settled on all black with silver shoes and my big sapphire crystal earrings that I made for the wedding I went to in Halifax back in September.

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These made it half-way through the day before my ear lobes began to protest.

So, we pile into the car for the 2 minute drive to the Trend Arlington Community Building, arriving at 6:58.  We were the first ones there.  The organizer arrived at 7 and opened the doors.  She and her daughter were a pleasure to work with and so helpful.  She even supplied the coffee.  My hubby helped me carry everything in (one trip) and then popped over to Tim’s to get breakfast.

So I began to set up, and it went really smoothly, I kept everything fairly simple.  So by 8 am, my table was ready to go.  The doors opened at 9, so I had some time to kick back, drink my coffee and make more chain maille.  I sent my hubby home to go back to bed and settled in.

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I am quite pleased with how the table looked and even though the room was well-lit including windows letting in the lovely bright sun, I thought the little battery tea lights were a fun addition.   My big silver Eiffel Tower was a bridal shower gift from my Dad and Step-mum who threw me an awesome Paris themed shower.  The “s” hooks fit in perfectly and hold lots of my beaded necklaces.

The doors opened at 9 and folks started to wander in.  It was fairly steady all day and I didn’t leave my table more than a few times.  My first sale was a silver bookmark with little crystal dangles, and things just got better from there on in.  Everyone I met was so nice from the volunteers who ran the show to the other vendors to the folks from the community who came in to shop.

My good friend Lian from ReeseSpeaks came in with her daughter around lunch time and hung out with me until 3, she kindly watched the booth while I did a little shopping for myself.

At 3 when the doors closed, my hubby arrived, we took down my table, and loaded up the car.

All in all a fantastic day.  I made lots of sales and met some wonderful people.  I think the show was very well-organized with a great variety of vendors, all of us offering something a little different.  There were other jewellery vendors, but they were all different.  I will certainly be at this show again next year!

My favourite!

I have to say, that the Japanese 12-2 weave is my favourite chain maille weave of all time.  There is so much fascinating variation with it that the possibilities really are endless.  So in preparation of this weekends craft show, I decided to re-think my earring offerings.  I will still have my sterling silver birthstone crystal earrings, and my fancy chandeliers, but instead of simple beaded earrings, I will be offering more chain maille.  Last night I made a number of variations of the 12-2 in various colours.  I also tried out the European 4-1 fan, which I really REALLY like!

nov 12 2 nov 12 1 All in all I made 9 pairs of earrings.

I worked almost entirely with base metals in your standard, gold and silver plate, black nickel and antique copper.  However, I also have 4mm rings in anodized aluminum that I am looking forward to trying out.  I also have my thicker anodized aluminum rings that I am going to try out the 4-1 fan with.

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Only 3 more evenings to prepare everything for the show!  Tonight my husband is going to help me set up the cubes and attach the hooks for the bracelets.  I also have to print up my sign and price and card all the new items.  I always say, there is no inspiration like last-minute panic!  (originally quoted from Calvin and Hobbes).

Craft Shows, Display Cases and Frustrating Chain Maille Weaves.

First of all, today is Remembrance Day, and though my office is open today, being downtown Ottawa I made sure to visit the Cenotaph at lunch to lay my poppy on the grave of the unknown soldier.  It is a good to reflect on the sacrifices made by our service men and women throughout history and give them our thanks.

it’s been a busy few weeks.  I made it through my first craft show on November 2nd.  What a day!   it began Friday night with taking my gear over to Meghan’s house and helping her load up her car with all the displays for the booth.  She really goes all out it is very impressive!  Meghan picked me up at 6:30am and after whipping through the Tim Horton’s drive through we made it to Kanata by 7.   We found our table and then set up.  We finished well before 9am when the doors opened. Our booth looked fantastic! As for my sales, well, certainly NOT fantastic.  I sold about 5 items, so not bad for a first showing.  Still there is something really quite demoralizing about seeing people look at something you have made, something that you are proud of, that was a lot of work, and pass it over.  I suppose it must be the same for any crafter.  I tried to stay positive but it was difficult at times.  Still, there is something equally wonderful about someone picking up one of your pieces and deciding that it is exactly what they are looking for.  That is a great feeling!  When I finally arrived home at about 5pm, I made it as far as the couch before I passed out for a couple of hours.

The other thing I am rather proud of that happened in the last few weeks is that I finally mastered Half Persian 3-1 weave.  Oh, My, Freaking, Goodness but it is frustrating!  I used to know it, but somehow had forgotten and it is one of those weaves that can very easily go wrong. It is a matter of keeping a firm hold on the rings in just the right configuration until the pattern stabilizes, and even then, ring placement can be tricky.  There are lots of different videos on YouTube with different tutorials, but I did finally manage to find one that worked for me.  Either way, I am quite pleased with the results and pretty sure I can pick it up again any time.

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This coming weekend the 16th of November I will be at another local craft fair.  This time at the Trend-Arlington Community Centre, Ottawa South.  I have the table to myself this time so I have had to give a lot of thought to how I want to display my work, given that I don’t have a large number of displays already.   What I do have is a very handy husband who made me an excellent display case for earrings out of two picture frames,  that folds up with a latch and handles so I can carry it without having to load and unload the earrings.   As for displaying bracelets, I found these cube shelves that my husband had in his condo the smallest about 6 inches square and the largest, maybe 12, and I thought, hmmmm.  I also have, that I had forgotten about, a nearly identical set in dark brown, that are just a little deeper than the black ones.  So what we have decided to do is attach a number of small brass tea-cup hooks to them and then we will use temporary two-sided mounting tape to hold them in a pattern that works with the table (which will have to wait until I see it on Saturday).  This way we can display my bracelet collection!   I also found a non-decorative use for my big (although smaller than the original) silver Eiffel Tower.  It stands about two feet high and very conveniently, I can hang a whole bunch of necklaces from it using small metal “S” hooks.  So right now my dining room table has been given over to practice set up.   I will make sure I get a picture of the booth on Saturday.

Well, till next time folks.