Monday, November 30, 2009

Bazaar Critique

As promised to my Etsyblogger friends, here is my own critique of my first show of the season. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, and didn't get any pictures. My granddaughter did get a picture on her phone, and I am trying to get a copy of it. I'll post it if she gets it to me!

Anyway, here goes: (maybe ya'll will get some ideas from my mistakes)

1) I should have tagged everything! A few things did not have price tags and and in the rush and push of the beginning of the day, my memory failed me in a couple of instances. Sold too low in these instances, but I will never know if I could have actually gotten the higher price or not. At least the items sold!

2) My "loss leader" $2 earrings (last year's stock) sold very well . . . but they were not located in the proper place on my table. They were in the middle of the table and thus blocked access to other items as customers rummaged thru two trays of earrings.

3) My quilts, quilted wall hangings and aprons still were not displayed well. One reason was that I had a lack of space with just one table. In the next two craft sales, I will have more space--two tables. I have purchased a rack for better display of the quilts and their patterns. Quilted wall hangings were hung too low, the rack will help.

4) Signage could have been better, i.e. two signs for each of two earring trays--not just one sign. Questions surfaced: "Is that the price for both trays?"

Observation: Most customers were 30 something and older, mostly buying for self. Since it was held at a school and just before Thanksgiving, there were a few younger customers buying Christmas gifts. A couple of older ladies bought an apron for a gift. Almost sold another 'gift' apron, but it wasn't large enough.
**Note to self for next year: Make a few more aprons for women with a larger girth!

I have a two day show beginning tomorrow, and another show on Saturday. The first sale is on a college campus and it will be interesting to see what sells. I would imagine that I will sell more coffee cup cozies and small Christmas gift items. My etsy shops will on vacation mode till next week. I will try to do another critique or "exit interview" next week on these new shows. It will be fun to compare them!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Photos!

We had an awesome time at my son's house for Thanksgiving. Just a few photos to give you a flair for the chaos of 38 people at our gathering!

all the feast:

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Carol of Thanksgiving

Charles Dickens' famous Christmas Carol is the basis for today's post.

There was once a perfect family, in my mind. It was and is my family. (Check my profile to see facts about my family.) I love them all: grand kids, grown kids and spouses. I choose to love them; I am committed to them, each one. I forgive their trespasses and don't hold them in debt to my 'shouldas'. I forgive their behaviour and love them anyway, as I hope they do for me also. Nobody's perfect! And, most of all at this time of year, I love the way they all plan to get together on holidays and make the effort to travel if needed. For us, Thanksgiving is a priority!

A few years ago, living far away, I wanted to be with them, although they were scattered across the continent. God granted my wish and I moved closer to the bulk of them in the Pacific Northwest . . . . But I have noticed of late, that attitudes are changing and a Scrooge type attitude threatens to descended on my perfect world. Each one has his/her own life. There are jobs to get to, friends to placate, schedules to keep and dogs to board. Just as Scrooge had no time for family, no time to set aside to enjoy each other's company, no penny to spare; it seems that the care of this world has been shoving and encroaching upon my family Thanksgiving tradition. Oh, I don't mean that we no longer get together, I just mean that I see family members are not looking forward to and anticipating visiting with each other like they used to. Just as Scrooge discovered things about himself, I offer the following "ghosts" for personal reflection.

Enter ghost (verse) number one: The Ghost of the Present Culture. You know, that friend that has a scrooge-like attitude about the holidays. You know him, he is a ghost of a person, you fill in the blank. You can identify them as they thumb their nose at traditions and sentiment while they say, "Oh, that's so quaint!' with an attitude of distain, belittling your experience in favor of their, probably non-existent, holiday experience. I say: Do not be influenced by a present culture of disdain with traditional values that are deemed no longer in vogue. Remember your youthful celebrations, (your grandfather's love of a certain holiday and your mother's love of this one) and agree with Timothy:

I Timothy 4:12
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the all in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

May the spirit, love and purity of the Thanksgiving holiday continue to be a prized possession in our "perfect family."

Enter ghost (verse) number two speaking wisdom. King Solomon, who is called "wiser than all men" says:

Proverbs 17:9
"He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends."

and Peter furthers that sentiment by quoting King Solomon:

I Peter 4:8
And above all things, have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins".

Nobody's perfect. It seems some are "making contingency plans " for when this one does this and that one does that, etc. Maybe it's age, but young or old, we choose our attitudes. We choose to love. Hopefully, we choose to overlook a transgression.

Enter ghost (verse) number three admonishing Godliness. King David, a man after God's own heart said:

Psalm 37: 8 & 11
"Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret it only causes harm . . .
The meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."

It only causes harm to yourself. When we are old, and lonely and wondering where our family has gone; when we have not treated our family members with respect, and love; we will one day find ourselves without anyone, alone. The thought of a dysfunctional family in their old age is the worst end to a perfect start.

I really hope that this year we can enjoy each other as a perfect family, (Roy's and all :) ---family knows), and not miss the best gift of all--my perfect family--A family that chooses to love, respect and cover a fault.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pumpkin Bread Recipe!

Weather's getting cooler and my kids (grown) are asking me about my pumpkin bread recipe! They grew up eating it on cold days. They remember walking a mile up the hill, often thru snow, from the bus stop to our house (we lived in a rural mountain setting) and coming home to some warm pumpkin bread ready to eat! OK, my kids and I know that this recipe has a lot of oil in it (and eggs) but there is no better recipe for the flavor and for, obviously, for nostalgia! Try it, you'll like it!

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups sifted Flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 cup oil
2/3 cup water
2 cups Canned Pumpkin

Sift dry ingredients. Combine eggs, oil, water & Pumpkin. Stir into dry ingredients. Turn into 3 greased 8x4 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a wood toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before slicing. Tastes best slightly warm, spread with butter. (You'll just have to imagine the wonderful smell!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Jewelry!

I've been adding a few pieces to my jewelry line (also making sure I have enough product for my upcoming shows). Here are a few of my new pieces:

Visit my design shop to see the rest of the line!

Can't wait to do the first bazaar this Saturday! Hoping I've thought of everything and planned well! We'll see.

Monday, November 16, 2009

38 Shopping Days

38 Shopping Days left! I can't believe it!

I haven't even thought about making my Christmas list yet--have you? I love Christmas and I love giving gifts, but with the economy as it is, I really have to pare down my list and buy wisely. You too? Well here are a few suggestions from Etsy:

Beautiful earrings from SparklyPark

Custom order of a child's apron from HerApronStringsShop

And don't forget decorating for the season!

(This is from my handcrafts shop)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Winter brings Christmas! Yea!

With the coming winter season, we anticipate the Christmas season!

The Etsybloggers Blog Carnival asked about what seasonal movie we anticipated. The first one that comes to my mind is "It's a Wonderful Life!" I love that movie! Here's the YouTube link to the trailer:
(Also, earrings above are from Manhandled on Etsy--Click the picture to see more.)

Everyone has had those days where they think life is not worth living. This movie, although touted in the trailer as a love story, is an exploration of what would happen if you were not here! Every one of us could actually think about this and come up with some of the positive things that everyone would miss about us! Great exercise.

But the movie that I look forward to wasn't a real hit at the box office when it came out. I predict it will become a classic because of the subject matter. It's Polar Express! I love the theme about the doubt associated with believing! I love the facial expressions on the boy and on Tom Hank's face. Great stuff!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creating a New Line!

I have had a purse pattern for a couple of years and have always wanted to try it out! But you know how that goes! My daughter had some beautiful satin material remaining from a bridesmaid dress that she made for a friend. I always thought of making a purse from that fabric. I finally did it! Although I am not finished with the details on the purse and am in the process of making several others, I wanted to give you a peak of the new line.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Autumn Decorations and Halloween Clearance!

Halloween is over but Autumn is not! While I do have Halloween items at rock bottom prices in my handcrafts shop,

I still do have decorations for Thanksgiving and Autumn. It's not too late to decorate for the season!

Autumn Quilted Wall Hanging

Or how about a new apron for all of that Autumn baking and cooking?

This apron is reversible with a turkey fabric on the bib portion.

(Click on the picture to see more about this apron!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Twist 21

Check out Twist 21 and her beautiful items on Etsy! She is self taught jewelery craftsman. All items that she makes are by methods that she has invented herself! She is inspired by established crafts such as Native American Sandpainting, Quilting, and Enamel work. She takes these inspirations and "twist" them to create a brand new piece of jewelry. One of my favorites is this beautiful Milifiori Bead ring. It is so fun!

Check out her shop!