Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's vacation time!

This time of year things really seem to move along quickly. I participated in my second craft show this past Saturday and have a great day. It really is gratifying when people like your items enough to shell out their hard-earned money to purchase it. If you'd like to check out pictures of my display, I posted some of them in an earlier blog entry. I did make minor changes (it's all a learning experience!) but you get the idea. I have another show as soon as we return from our vacation so there's no time to waste!

This week I have been scurrying to try to replace some of the stock I sold during the show, as well as get ready for our upcoming time away from home. I'm sooooo excited to finally get some alone time with the hubby! To put it mildly, he is a workaholic - and he's not allowed to bring his computer along with us so no checking email, no checking on his team, no customer issues - all of that stuff is going to be put on the back burner so we can relax.

We are heading to Orlando - and, of course, seeing all of the touristy sites there are to see. So far, the week is looking pretty full. We are meeting up with some friends for the first weekend (yeah!!) and will be going to Epcot with them on Saturday. The International Food and Wine Festival will be in full swing so there will be lots of tempting little booths with samples of food from all over the world to tempt the taste buds.

On Sunday, it's off to Universal Studios for the day. Lots to see and do (of course!) but Rich is really looking forward to attending their Halloween Horror Nights event. His favorite holiday and we'll need to go into every ... single ... haunted house. Not too bad - unless you're a total chicken like me! I admit it - I just don't like being scared.

The rest of the week we'll be making the rounds to the rest of all that Disney has to offer. However, before all of that happens, I have to pack! So ....

Heigh ho, heigh ho - it's off to pack I go

So sorry - just couldn't resist! Have a great week blogger buddies!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New item - ear threads!

The latest item in my shop - dainty, feminine and a bit funky! Sterling silver ear threads (aka threaders and strings) with dainty little ruby red flowers.

Click on picture for more information

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Time to get organized

This past week has been quite a blur - things have been so busy (as they are for all of us crafters this time of year!). A friend of mine took some of my jewelry into her office and sold a number of pieces, as well as some custom orders - done - check. I set up my new light box for photos and experimented to get new photos in my shop before holiday - done - check. Cleaned house - done - checked. Managed to get about halfway through the fall yard checklist - done - check. Well, you get the idea.

In the midst of all of this, I decided it was time to get my jewelry tools/materials/shipping goods/displays all organized since it always feels like I can't find exactly what I want without wading through a ton of other materials. Fortunately, I have a label maker that I bought when we first moved into the house for all of the boxes we had to store (geeky I know, but I LOVE my label maker!) and decided to put it to good use.

So, I sorted and packed this last weekend and here are the results:

Beads and stringing materials sorted by color and labeled. I found this awesome little rolling rack and put all of my little boxes on it so I can roll them to and from my workspace (i.e. kitchen counter) easily. The boxes are inexpensive little tool boxes from Home Depot with moveable dividers - cheap but oh so effective! How did I manage to accumulate all of these beads?? I think they multiply on their own at night while I sleep!

I sorted my jewelry by type - earrings, bracelets, necklaces, sterling - into shoebox sized plastic bins. The bins all fit snugly into a bigger plastic tote, which I can take to home shows, craft shows, etc pretty easily. The nice thing - very lightweight.

And finally, I recycled one of those little inexpensive drawer units into a small shipping center. Each drawer holds something needed for shipping - envelopes, thank you cards, business cards, labels, packing material, jewelry boxes - and the list goes on. I couldn't bear to mark up the front with labels - LOL!

I finally feel like I'm ready for the holiday rush - bring it on!

Friday, October 12, 2007

New Infinity necklaces

I just posted two more infinity necklaces to my store this weekend. As you may be able to tell, I love lampwork beads and using them in unusual (or at least I hope so!) designs.

The first uses a beautiful deep golden brown and black focal - I called it "Bliss" just because I happen to love this color combination. The second one, "Gabriella", is designed in softer, more feminine tones.

Both use sterling silver figure eight (also known as infinity chains!) and sterling silver accents to accent the focal pendant portion of the necklace.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Craft show checklist

Craft show season is upon us and I've noticed lots of posts requesting information about what to bring in the Etsy forums. Although I am no expert, I have done a fair amount of shows during the last year or so and thought I would share my list with everyone - I hope it helps a bit.

Keep in mind that most of the supply items can be packed into a small (shoebox size) plastic bin - you don't need all you own - just a couple of tags, a small roll of tape, a couple of pens, travel-size tissues - you get the idea. When I do a craft show I only make 3 trips in and out. The first is to carry in my table and chair, the second trip is for 1 large tote with inventory and most of the display materials, and the 3rd trip is another (much lighter) tote containing my tablecloths and more display, along with my cooler (or insulated lunch bag in my case) on top.


  • Inventory - whatever you plan on displaying, along with extra items to fill in as your inventory sells down.
  • Money, receipt book, and calculator
  • Credit card imprinter and slips if accepting credit cards
  • Cell phone and 800# for credit card order (I have mine on a speed-dial so I always have it with me when needed)
  • Table/chair and tablecloths/coverings
  • Bags, packing materials and gift boxes
  • Pens and a notebook for ideas, suggestions, mailing list, etc.
  • Business cards with holder
  • Camera with spare batteries - I like to take pictures of my booth before the show starts. It allows me to make notes about space constraints, what displays worked, how items are positioned, etc.
  • Polishing cloth or lint brush - something to clean your inventory if it gets marked or dirty
  • Garbage bag
  • Directions, show application and acceptance, confirmation and copy of cancelled check
  • Cooler with snacks and drinks
  • Display materials
  • Mirrors, if applicable
  • Banner, if using one
  • Lighting and extension cords - mark your name on them, if possible
  • Credit card signage
Supply Kit
  • Scissors
  • Tissues
  • Price tags/stickers
  • Tape - include packing, duct tape and scotch tape for all emergencies
  • Safety pins
  • Paper towels
  • Baggies containing paper towel spritzed with window cleaner or damp paper towels for cleaning up fingerprints, spills, etc.
  • First aid kit - Advil, band-aids, antibiotic, hand sanitizer or baby wipes
  • Dolly, handcart, or rolling suitcase is nice to have for all of the transporting of goods

Outdoor shows

  • Tent with weights (filled water jugs or bricks will work if you can't use your tent posts)
  • Sunscreen
  • Display weights or something to make sure your displays don't fly off on you if a wind blows through the show

I'm sure there is more to add to this list, depending on what you sell - but this will get your personal list started down the right path!

Other "nice to haves" include a friend to help pass the time and watch your booth if you need to make a bathroom run, something to do during quiet periods, and an inventory list for a quick look to see what is selling and to check everything back in when you return home.

More helpful tips:

  • Pack the car the night before. The morning of the show is stressful enough without worrying about forgetting items or trying to get there on time for set-up.
  • Stay positive during the show, even it the show is slow. Nothing is more of a turn-off than to hear other vendors complaining while there is a customer nearby. You never know who is listening.
  • Make notes about the show - which items were noticed, comments on prices and displays, which items/styles sold the best, which colors appeared to be noticed the most, etc. While this won't be a hard and fast rule as to what to bring to the next show, it will give you an indication of what works in that area if you sign up for the show again.
  • Accept credit cards, if at all possible. Most people only carry a finite amount of cash and when it's gone - it's gone. It is unlikely they will make a trip to the ATM to pull out more money and drive back to the show to get your item (not impossible - just unlikely).

And finally, if you would like some display ideas, there is a flickr group with lots of pictures - check them out for great ideas!