Monday, 25 April 2011

Craft Fairs - Pain Or Pleasure?

Welcome to Handmade Monday 13 organised by Wendy of 1stuniquegifts which welcomes crafters, each week, to share their week of crafting with fellow readers.
I missed last week as was busy preparing new stock for the long awaited and most anticipated Pennine Fairs first event of the year at Sywell Aerodrome, Hangar One in Northampton.
Over 60 exhibitors travelled this weekend to this well acclaimed fair with high expectations of a successful and profitable weekend.
Run by "The Anns" these fairs promote handmade crafts and all stalls are personally vetted to maintain a high quality fair.
I arrived rather late on Sunday morning and was pleasently suprised to be next to my lovely friend CJ from Curious Cat. I set up quickly and had a quick look around the fair.

As always the stalls were of a high standard and there was a lovely variation and a few faces i hadnt seen before as well as many that i had.

My favourite stall of the day was run by Irene Campsill with her gorgeous "handbags for individualists". These photos dont really do the bags justice but believe me they are beautifully made and very individual.

Irene spent a lot of time sitting sewing and i spent a lot of time observing, fascinated by her work and such attention to detail. You can find her designs on her website

As always the fair was well attended and had a high footfall.

I found myself, quite often, people watching.

I love to sit and watch as exhibitors explain their crafts in detail and the visitors keenly listen and take in everything being said.

Crafters at work are amazing to watch.

Even in quiet moments you will see stall holders chat, laugh,share experiences and knowledge and quite often good friendships are formed. And we all share with each other joy when our goods are purchased and dismay when the day is not so good.

But there is a downside to this crafting world. As i said you have high hopes that this fair will be your success story. You are passionate about what you do, it excites you and suddenly you have a bad day, few sales, and you start to question the worthwhileness of this journey that you are on.

I have witnessed today one stall holder at such a low point after not reaching their weekend goal that they were actually reduced to tears at the sheer frustration of spending hours creating something new and original
and not reaping the rewards that they truely deserve.

So does the GOOD outweigh the BAD?

And just for your amusement let me share with you 3 ignorant public remarks from this weekend, i'm sure you have heard plenty more in your time!

"Would you give me a discount on your bag as the straps are too long and i will be adjusting them myself?"

"I know this is cheeky but if i bought 5 pen cases would you give me a discount?" "I cant really as they are only £3"" Ok i thought i would ask, i wanted to sell them in my shop"

"These tooth fairy pillows are gorgeous, bit expensive though" "You wouldnt think £8 expensive if you had sat for 3 hours making them!"

Thanks for stopping by today, hope you enjoyed the read. For more interesting craft tales pop by Wendys blog and read what other crafters have been up to this week.

And incidently the lady bought the tooth fairy pillow!!!!!!

Until Next Time

Monday, 11 April 2011

Handmade Monday Week 11 - The Kanzashi Fabric Flower

The Kanzashi Fabric Flower are the decorative hair ornaments used in traditional Japanese hairstyles. Today, they are most often worn by brides and Geisha participating in tea ceremonies.For Geisha, the style and manner in which Kanzashi is worn indicates status. Apprentice Geisha wear more elaborate Kanzashi than older Geisha do, and they progress through several hairstyles where the Kanzashi ornaments must be worn in a fixed pattern. These flowers have become quite a large part of my products just recently (as you have probably noticed!). I think they make each item just that extra bit special. Very easy to make so i thought i would record each stage in todays post. Start with cut out circles of fabric. For my large flowers i tend to have 12 petals in the flower but that is entirely your choice. Take your first circle and fold in half.
Fold in half again
And again.
Next fold down one flap
And the same on the other flap
Thread your needle and pass through all sections of your fabric at the base of the petal
. Do the same with each circle and add to your thread. When they are all threaded take your 2 cotton ends and pull all the petals together and tie a knot.
Sew a button into the center. I usually put glue on the button base also to keep in place securely.
And glue a circle of fabric on the reverse to hide all the raw edges.
And there you have it. A perfect embellishment for your new bag!
This is the next bag in my collection and can be found for sale on Folksy.
As you know i also make them with a brooch back sewn on the reverse. Inspired by Carolee Crafts black and white fabric last week i went out and purchased some for myself. Looks great as a brooch.
And on Folksy this week i was asked if i could put a flower on a hair clip or barrette as i have found out that they are called.
Of course i could!!
You can find more of my flowers for sale in my Folksy shop CottonsAndDreams.

Find out what other crafters have been up to this week by visiting 1stuniquegifts blog and clicking on the links.

Until next time.


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Handmade Monday Week 10 - Mother's Day

Welcome to week 10 of Handmade Monday organised by Wendy of 1stUniqueGifts. Well it cant have escaped anyones notice that this weekend was Mothers Day. The only day of the year that your children show just how much they appreciate what you do for them. I got bacon sandwiches, cards , bath bombs,soap and spaghetti bolognaise for tea! For my own mother i wanted to make something special using my new BigShot machine that i bought at the NEC last week. So i used my new butterfly cutter (coz she loves butterflies). The felt cuts beautifully in the machine.
There is a shop on Folksy called PantsAndPaper (my absolute favourite i have to admit) selling beautiful butterfly brooches so i used that for my inspiration.
I know it's not nice to copy others work, even though often classed as a compliment, and i couldnt print on fabric the way Sam does, so i tried to do my own thing and my own design.

I was really pleased with how it turned out. Apparently it hasnt arrived in the post yet so my mum has yet to see it!
I loved making it so much though that i decided to make a few more today. Not sure yet whether they will be brooches though, i may use them in other ways.

Also for mothers day this week i was asked to make a phone case for an i phone4.
And 2 pen cases.
And finally i had my 3rd sale in Folksy. This gorgeous Lilac and White Kanzashi Brooch will be winging it's way to Manchester in tomorrows post. What a lovely feeling!
Thank you so much for popping by. If you want to see what other crafters have been up to this week pop along to 1stUniqueGifts blog and click on the links.

And if you are interested in seeing what other beautiful items PantsAndPaper have on offer please follow the link to her folksy shop.

Until next time.