day 22: booth display~ some technical bits

The show you are going to sell at will decided the biggest determining factor about your booth display~ size. The show I am selling at, the booth space is 8 feet by 5 feet… pretty small.  Although this booth size is small, all the basic design rules still apply. What are the “rules” you ask?  Proportion and scale, balance, contrast, colors and textures, rhythm, and harmony. This is one place where my interior architecture background comes in hand, or it might hinder- not sure yet.

Rule number one: Proportion and Scale: it’s very important to take into consideration the size and space of your booth. I don’t think it would be wise to deign a booth that can not change to accommodate different booth sizes.  For this show, my booth is tiny, so I will not be using a table that takes up the entire space, I will probably use a small table, some kind a shelving unit and maybe a taller cafe type table.

Rule number two: Balance: for this I think the only way to go is asymmetrical balance. That is, balancing items for sale visually.  This is hard to explain, visually when you look at your booth, if you have balance you eye will glance over everything, and the space will feel and look “balanced.”

Rule number three: Contrast: contrast in the space creates visual interest through color, size, texture, etc. It’s important when creating a booth that this contrast is still balanced and the the contrast between your items and your booth are not that great.

Rule number four: Colors and textures: color is a bit tricky, you will want your booth space color or colors to work with your items for sale, draw attention, but not detract from your items for sale.

Rule number five: Rhythm: rhythm goes hand in hand with contrast, having a item or color helps create rhythm.  In a small booth space, I think using color to create rhythm is the way to go, but remember rule number four.

Rule number six: harmony: Harmony will occur when there is proper balance of proportion, patterns, color, textures, contrast and rhythm.  In otherwords, if you got it just right you will have harmony in your booth space.

Confused yet, you shouldn’t be.  I believe this is actually second nature to all creative types, but reading it and deciphering what is written is the tricky part.  The basic outcome of the technical bits is that when you walk into a space, booth or room, and you feel calm, your eye travels through the space and you are not focused on one object, you have created harmony.  Ta-da!

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day 21: booth display ~ inspiration

Craft show booth display seems like a science and therefore I am going to be chatting about this all week. Today some beautiful inspiration

Love the all white, always have, this is from a shop in Germany, even the thread looks cute
Vintage doors! What else can I say other than LOVE!!!
Loving the bookcase  and the burlap on the table,  this display is by Gingercake, her pieces are so cute and you can check them out here. Love the owls!
this display uses so many different heights, very smart and how cute is the lighting?
super cute way to display headbands, so going to be making this- you can find the tutorial here and here is the original post.

I could go on and on with inspiration photos of displays, or you could check out my display board on pinterest. Hopefully this has started you thinking about displays, I know my mind is swirling with ideas! And tomorrow, more about booth displays- I know you can’t wait!

click here to read all 31 days

day 20: why didn’t I know this? (another tip)

Today I learned something fantastic! I can’t believe in all my years of sewing (let’s see I think I started sewing at 12 so 25 years- holly cow!) I didn’t know this or even think of this.

After you have sewn a button hole, comes the scariest part, the slicing of the opening. Oh I have destroyed so many garments because I cut just a bit to far and destroyed the button hole.  NOT anymore!

Place a pin at one end of button hole like this (like the practice button hole, with my new sewing machine, it’s a bit different, this one is funky, but I got it down now)
Use your seam ripper to slice open the button hole… see what is going to happen here, the pin will stop the seam ripper before disaster happens

Move the pin to the other side and repeat

Perfect button hole every time!

Love it, so simple, wish I had known this before!

click here to read all 31 days

day 19: the friday tip~ cut once, sew once, repeat

A short but sweet tip this Friday, cut once, sew once, repeat.  Huh? What does that mean? Let me tell you

In normal crafting/sewing world, we make one thing at a time.  For example, find awesome piece of vintage fabric, and a pattern for a skirt.  Cut out fabric pieces, sew, done. Simple.  When preparing for a craft show, making lots of inventory, you could do it this way.  But I think it takes longer.  This is what I do (I might have mentioned this before by the way) spend a day cutting out as many skirts (or what ever) as I currently have fabric for.  All the pieces, are then grouped and stacked together in a tray.

Here I have twenty skirts cut out of vintage fabrics, with there handkerchief “apron” cut and ready.  The next steps, I will serge all the raw edges, hem the bottom, create the elastic casing at the top, put the elastic in and be done with twenty skirts all at once.  Just like that, I feel like you have created a ton of stuff, and I have.  I think it’s faster than cut one, sew one, repeat.

Here is what the Vintage Handkerchief Skirts look like when completed. This is Elle, Kennedy’s BFF, from many many moons ago.  So cute!

to read all of this series, click here, and you should!

day 18: emotions and pumpkins

Anxious- full of metal distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried

No that’s not quite right…

Stress- mental, psychical or emotional strain or tension

Worry- to torment one self with or suffer from disturbing thoughts

Apprehension- anticipation of adversity or misfortune; suspicion or fear of future trouble or evil

Maybe it’s a bit of all of these I am feeling today.  Why are there days of “I can so totally do this!” and then days of “why the hell am I doing this?”  Today is the later.

My inventory is still very minimal and I only have 5 weeks and 5 days until the show. Sewing is beginning to be a source of stress. I don’t like that. There was a study done and cited in The Journal of the American Medical Association, that found that women who sew experience a significant drop in heart rate and blood pressure, perhaps because such creative pursuits allow the body to rest from the pressures of everyday life.

I do see how that can be true, but not today.  Today was busy, but fun, but not productive.  We went to the pumpkin patch and a friend’s house.  I love these days, but then start feeling guilty that I haven’t made anything for “the” show. But then days that I spend all day sewing and Kennedy watches way too much tv, I feel guilty because I wasn’t a “good” mom. Oye, the emotional crap is so annoying!  I am sure (at least I hope) that everyone feels this way at some point in time.  There is a balance, I have found it, it’s just lost today. This isn’t my “normal” and I do NOT like it.  But I do like pumpkins…

who knew there are so many kinds of pumpkins
pumpkin love
baby goat loves Kennedy’s hair

What does all this babble, whining and pumpkins have to do preparing for a craft show? Everything! Why? Because there will be days when it feels like you will never get everything done, when you are a horrible parent, and why the hell are you doing this to yourself, but then there are days when you make eight jackets in five hours, you have been accepted to be in a show and you are just crazy enough to believe you can do it.  It’s all about emotional balance.  When you are on the negative, just have fun because tomorrow will be a productive day. Pumpkins, well they are just fun.

to read all 31 days to preparing for your first craft show, click here

day 17: hang tags…oye

Hang tags.  Like business cards (that I talked about before) hang tags are another little bit of eye candy to attach to your items so people know price, care, who made it, etc.  I have been pinning inspirational hang tags for awhile on Pinterest (oh boy is that a time waster and love) and have designed my hang tags. Happy day~ sort of.

Why my mind thinks it’s a good idea to create something that involves more cutting and sewing, I don’t know.  Probably because when I was making the few examples today it was simple and they turned out so cute.  But tonight, reality… I have to actually SEW my hang tags, hundreds of them. Really Molly.  Let’s add more sewing and cutting to the to do list.  Here we go:

Vintage fabric scraps
cut piles of scraps, cards, and business name (this photo turned out on the yuck side)
sewing, sewing, sewing (yes, you can sew card stock)
back side of hang tag, shows item & size where I will write descriptions, washing instructions and on the right side, the item number and price (this portion will but cut off when a piece is sold)
finished hang tags!

A great way to use up all those vintage scraps I can’t toss and I think they are cute, hope you like them

*day 17 is more than half way to 31 days of preparing for my first craft show, read all the days here

day 16: favorite books (of the moment)

I thought I would share a few of my favorite books.  These are the “go-to” books of the moment that are helping me get through preparing for a craft show.  They sit by the sofa, on my bedside table and one was in the kitchen, not sure why exactly, but that’s where it has been.

First up, The Handmade Marketplace, how to sell your crafts locally, globally and online by Kari Chapin.  This book is small and paperback, which I like because if I wanted to, and I have, I can toss it in my handbag for those moments when I have a few spare minutes to read when out and about (HA HA HA who am I kidding, that hasn’t happened in three and a half years).  There is a lot of information about branding, business basics, advertising and craft fairs, plus more.  Kari set up a “Creative Collective,” people who have become very successful selling their arts and crafts, who give their input too.  This should/needs to be in your collection.

Up next, Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco.  Meg is one who started making wedding invitations in college and it became a full time business, which she recently sold to start a new business in housewares and gifts (how fun!).  This book, also, covers the basics, my favorite chapter 7: Ups, Downs, and Next Steps, which I can dream about for now, hiring help because you have too many orders to cover yourself- that will be the day! She also has artists/business owners that talk about there mistakes, we all make them, which is comforting to read.

Blogging for Bliss, crafting your own online journal by Tara Frey, is a great read for blogging how to, tips etc., it lives under my laptop. Lots of nice photo how to’s here, I have read that section many times, to not much success, but that’s my user issue. This book is fun in that there are “Meet the blogger” pages through out where there is a bio (for lack of a better word) about popular bloggers, who have made it big blogging, they give there favorite blogs, tips, success and failure stories.  If you are like me and start looking at the blogs mentioned, 4 hours later, it’s past midnight and you are not sure how that happened.

One book that is not related to business or craft shows, but is full of creative inspiration loveliness is True Colors A Palette of Collaborative Art Journals.  This one is off the shelves because I enjoy seeing how creative people are.  It makes me feel like being creative. Another reason I enjoy this book, it speaks to my need to organize by color, every chapter is based on colors. Me like!



And lastly, a book I stumbled upon, I Brake for Yard Sales and Flea Markets, Thrift Shops, Auctions and the Occasional Dumpster by Lara Spencer.  Fun! Fun! Fun! This book speaks to my heart, of late.  Lara shows items she finds and how she has made them fantastic. Beautiful photos and fun tips; I want to go thrifting every time I peak at this book.  If you are a thrifter you need to peak at this book!



Have you read any of these?  Do you have a favorite crafting business book that I haven’t read?  I would love to know what they are.

This entry is part of 31 days of preparing for my first craft show, click here to read more.

day 15: do you have any buttons?

When I was growing up on warm summer evenings, as a family, we would not go on walks, play tag in the back yard or go for a swim.  We would sit outside under the fairy lights and sort buttons.  Hours and hours of the four of us sorting buttons by color and size, laughing and chatting about who knows what.  “scrunch, scrunch, scrunch” (in my mind, this is the sound of buttons being pushed around by hands searching for the perfect one).

Many people have a button jar, but not my mom, she has vintage suitcases full.

6 vintage suitcases, full of mixed buttons
8 vintage suitcases, full of sorted buttons

Saturday evening, 11:30 at night, tired, very tired, I am getting ready to turn in for the evening, and I say to my mom, “I need to look for buttons tomorrow for the fleece jackets, do you have any?” (totally joking on the “do you have any?”)  An hour an a half later, we are done searching

We searched through unsorted buttons, like this:

unsorted button suitcase

Blue and Pink, Brown and Brights

Giggling endlessly, my mom kept saying, “Oh I think I have one more box over here,” and “I can’t find any buttons that will work.”  This is true, I need four of the same buttons for each jacket, a bit tricky believe it or not.

How does this relate to preparing for my first craft show?  I guess it is because it’s part of the process for me, more shopping at my mom’s studio, truly it’s an amazing place.

Seriously, if you need any buttons, ask me first, I think my mom could spare a few

To read all 31 days of preparing for my first craft show, click here.

day 14: garage sale finds for projects

Today I went to the flea market and a few garage sales, and boy howdy did I find some great stuff.  Almost everything I got today are materials for “the” craft show.  Garage sales and thrifting are the only way for me to find vintage fabrics for Vintage Princess by M.E., plus it’s fun.  You never know what you will find and one day you will find exactly what you are looking for.

One place was selling fabric for $2 a pound! I could not believe it, fleece for jackets and satin for super hero capes! Total score!

At the next few stops I found a bag of new embroidery floss, which was on my need to buy it list, this bag broke the bank at a dollar.  Three (two green and one pink) of the Midsummer Light designed by Tord Boontje; I was so excited! I have always loved these, a dollar each (felt like I was stealing them) I could not believe it. Also, I found an awesome vintage “towel” of a mermaid.  This will be framed and hanging in the bathroom with the other vintage mermaids.  Want to guess how much this gem was??? Fifty cents! Woo-Hoo! Love it!

Other items on todays finds list, a puppet theater with four puppets and play clothes for the kiddo, four awesome star shaped paper lanterns, a Hawaiian shirt for John and some bits and pieces for this years Halloween costume.

Grand total for the day $15! Amazing!