Sunday, 29 April 2007

Having fun at Craft Fairs

Not sure what you've been up to with your Sunday, but I spent mine at a craft fair in Glasgow - selling (with a wee bit of buying as well).

As anyone who has sold at a fair will know, they can be interesting experiences. This was my second time with Alcraft and fortunately it was marginally more successful than my first fair with them. The venue is fantastic - an inside venue in a courtyard space with bars and restaurants all round, and (apparently) one of the best coffee shops in Glasgow right on the corner! Needless to say my meagre profits made their way quite quickly into Coffee Merchant's tills.

So back to my stall. I really must make it look more professional. There are (inevitably) lots of jewellery sellers and in comparison my stall looked decidedly amateur. On the plus side, I was selling distinctive items - unfortunately not many people wanted to buy them. Everyone says
how much they like it, but very few people actually buy.

But I did manage to sell this rather extravagant gothic black wire crochet choker, which I was very pleased about. It's been starring in my Etsy shop ever since I made it for an Etsy creative challenge - lots of views but no buyers - until today!!! Success.

I also sold this wrapped stone as a pendant necklace. I'd added a celtic knot as another focal piece to the thong but unfortunately I didn't get round to photographing it before it sold. Ironically, I sold it to someone I see every week in one of the local cafes. She just happened to be in Glasgow and had popped in for a coffee before meeting her friends.

This is quite a family effort in fact. My sister taught me to wire wrap. My mum polished the stone. And I put it all together!!

My final sale was a custom order for the woman who organises the craft fair. All in all, not a bad day.

Besides selling, it also let me get to know some other crafters, all of whom were very friendly. And also very talented. So promotion time is here ....

I was sat next to a lovely woman from In-House Arts who was selling personalised children's pictures, cards and notelets. Guess what my nephew will be getting when I go to visit him in the summer?!!! Unfortunately, I neglected to ask her what her name was - but she was great company all day.

Opposite me were the couple from Allan Topen Photography. I'd met them before at previous craft fairs and they were also responsible for encouraging me to give Alcraft a try. Allan is a very talented photographer, with an eye for classic (and not so classic) Scottish views.

I also met retired teacher Dona - who used to teach music and is now making her living selling traditional pomander jewellery. Pomanders date from the 16th century and were used to ward off infection and surround the wearer with a beautiful smell instead. Dona makes hers by infusing pomander beads with essential oils - lavender, rosemary and rose for example - and then capturing them inside silver filigrees. I was so envious - she even has her own hallmark! As you'll see from her website, her jewellery is really lovely.

So that was my Sunday - how was yours?

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Challenges and opportunities

Let me introduce you to some of the other UK Etsy crafters and what we get up to in our spare time and in the name of craft!

We have been challenging ourselves for the last couple of months to come up with handcrafted items on a theme. Mistress of the suggestions box is the awesome Kezzaroo

She makes a variety of things but in particular some fantastic little 80's TV stars like this one - the dreamy (if you like that kind of thing!) Hoff from Baywatch

Information on our challenges can be found in our Flickr photo pool.

The first challenge coincided with UK Red Nose Day and our challenge was to create 'pants' in our various crafting media. And that's pants in the UK knickers sense, not pants in the US trousers sense. We had lots of entries but the winning one was from Bunny. And here it is - a beautiful print full of knickers!

The next challenge was on Ninjas. Again, lots of entries with the winning one from Kezzaroo. And here it is - a fluffy pink ninja - not something you see everyday!

The third challenge was to create something inspired by a Movie Star. And the winner of that challenge was Memake. And here's her winning entry - a Cary Grant carry bag - truly masterful.

Our next 2 challenge titles are flowers (in May) and fairy tales (in June). So watch out for more inspired creativity from the UK Etsy crafters.

And just for the record, these were my attempts

Red Wire crocheted pants
Red coated copper wire crocheted using a normal crochet hook with beads added to the wire before crocheting and then finished off with a pink satin ribbon cord around the waist. Not to be recommended for wearing - except by people who like scratchy pain and draughts!!

Beadwoven Ninja cuff bracelet
Hundreds and hundreds of tiny tiny seed beads have been woven together in a pattern to pick out the staring eyes of a ninja warrior. Not sure about the ninja's staring eyes, but mine were just about crossed by the time I finished this.

Brangelina copper initial necklace - unisex on a braided leather thong.
Two different coloured pieces of leather thong have been braided or plaited together to make up the necklace part of this jewellery. Then a handshaped letter 'A' was made from copper wire and attached to the necklace.

Not quite as dramatic as a vial of blood but a much more romantic way for Brad to show his love for Angelina.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Yet more ways to waste time

Oh dear, I think I'm about to get as addicted to blogging as I already am to my Etsy shop, Flickr and various online forums!

I've just spent the last hour playing around with layout - when I really should be doing something more productive with my time. Plenty of gardening to be done for example!

For the blog addicted amongst you, I've added links to some other blogs that you might want to have a look at. Most are other UK etsy sellers. But one is by/for a friend of mine who is currently on expedition in Nepal - go Kristine. An amazing woman, she has opted to spend a month away from her husband and 3 lovely children to climb Mera Peak in the Himalayas and take part in a community project after that. Keep up with her adventures on the WomenwithAltitude blog for the next few weeks.

I've also added a link for you to my sister's amazing Ebbandflo Etsy shop

Have fun looking. And check back soon to see what else I've managed to waste my time on!

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Blogging baby steps

At last I've decided to start my own blog. Not sure what I'll do with it but here we go!

Instead of crafting, unfortunately I've had to spend the day doing real work stuff - boo! But any evening of crafting awaits.

At the moment I'm mostly working on my Celtic connections range for my Etsy shop (

For example, this is one of my necklaces. Celtic knotting in shades of pink satin cord.

Keep checking back for more items and works in progress - if I remember to keep blogging that is!!