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Antler

Forgot to post this before Christmas…  Just another ornament thingy I made for my handmade stall in December.  I had made a few of the baubles and wanted some less glittery versions, that could maybe serve as all-year-round decorations.  So, I found these lovely little ceramic antlers in Target and thought they would be perfect for embellishing.

I used, as always, recycled beads from old jewellery, including some rather tarnished and battered metallic ones that I really liked the look of.  There are also polished stone, clay, and wooden ones in the mix.  Strung onto some beading wire, attached to the antler and voila!  I was pretty happy with it and kept one for myself (which is now hanging on my wall next to my faux stag head). The ornament itself only cost $2.40 and I used beads I already had in my ridiculously large stash, so it was a pretty cheap creation all round.

Hope your day is a happy one – thank you for stopping in.

x

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Market Doldrums

So, my stall at the Handmade Market was a bit of a downer.  I had worked so hard getting everything ready and staying up late every night making stuff and then it was a big fat fail on the day.  I barely covered the cost of my table hire and parking.  Barely.  And then I spent my awesome $5 profit on a gift for my niece (from one of the other stalls)!

I’ve been really lucky in the past and generally have very successful market days.  Maybe this is because I have them at home and invite people I know.  But I thought if I went to a “proper” market and there were 10 times the amount of people coming in to look, that I would do even better.  So, I’m feeling a bit dejected today – it makes you feel like your stuff is rubbish and not worth anyone’s time.

I am trying to be positive about it.  I met some really nice people – the other stall-holders were lovely and so kind and friendly.  They didn’t do super well either so it wasn’t just me.  It just felt like it was only me, ha ha.  Because I’m a pouty baby 🙂

I was just looking forward to making some money for the Christmas period because I am really short this year.  But it was not to be!  I was genuinely pleased to meet the other artists – they were awesome and I think I could maybe contact some of them for creative advice and brain-picking.  And I had plenty of time to just sit and think about what I could do better, what new things I would like to tackle etc.  Maybe my “art” is too handmade and people prefer things to be more polished, more mass-produced?  Should I look at getting my designs printed up, rather than making individual cards by hand?  Do I need to think about better packaging?  Should I give up altogether and become an accountant?

Some of the other stalls included :

Little Mo & Friends
(This is the lovely lady I bought a little doll from)

Bubba Lentil

Samantha Hughes

So, all in all I am grateful for the experience, even if it didn’t turn out as I had hoped.  I enjoyed making all the cards and other items – it makes me happy to be creative so, if nothing else, I spent many (many!) hours engaged in an activity that relaxes me and helps with anxiety and stress.   Shame that didn’t translate to sales on the day – but it WAS just a day, after all – not the end of the world.  It’s just disappointing.  But I have to chalk it up to “just one of those days” and move on.  And find somewhere to put all these boxes of stuff I had to bring home again with me! 🙂

Have a happy, successful day, everyone x

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Christmas Peeps

Still doodling and drawing and colouring this week.  I’ve come up with some new designs (typical of me – at the eleventh hour) and I will include them in a future post.  I am using every spare minute to get ready for my market stall on Sunday.  It’s a bit nerve-wracking, trying to get everything ready and not really knowing how many people to expect.  I might be making a whole bunch of stuff for nothing, or not making anywhere near enough.  You just never know.  I only have one allotted table space on the day so I am also trying to figure out how to display everything so it’s easy to access and makes the most of the limited space I have.  I’m sure it will be ok on the day – I just always get nervous beforehand.  It’s very anxiety-provoking, having your own creations on display, to people other than your family and friends who will tell you everything is wonderful (even if it isn’t) and there is nothing worse than having people pick through your stuff, turn their noses up and walk away having purchased nothing.

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I’ve started pricing everything, which is always a tricky process.  How do you make something affordable but still cover costs and time taken to make the darn thing?  Some of my cards take me HOURS to make.  If I charged at some hourly rate I would be selling cards for about $83.00 each!  You have to be sensible.  The doodled cards take less materials but are all hand-coloured and drawn, so do you take into account the fact each one is an original and took some time to colour or do you just say well, it’s a more simple-looking item and charge accordingly?  It’s hard, but at the end of the day, I need the money and can’t afford to make things so expensive that no one will buy them.  I am also guilty of making things I’m not very happy with cheaper, and then pricing some items up because I really like them and don’t want them to sell, ha ha.

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Anyway, I’d be interested to hear how other crafty people market and price their wares.  Particularly if you’re just a “small concern” like me ie not super professional or running an actual business.  To be honest, I just enjoy the creative process and the money isn’t the most important thing – ordinarily anyway.  But, right now, I am struggling a bit and need the extra moolah to see me through Christmas!

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Hope you are having a successful, stress-free week.  Thank you for reading 🙂

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Frosty Greetings

Following on from my previous post, I am on a bit of a snowman vibe at the moment.  I used to draw this particular little guy about 15-20 years ago, and had forgotten all about him.  I don’t know why, because he is so quick and easy to draw and enables me to get lots of cards done in a short amount of time.  Better still, he is of course white so I don’t have to do lots of colouring!  Just black for his hat, a bit of red or blue for his scarf and a tiny swipe of cool grey (Oh I do love my Copic Markers!) for some shadowing, and I’m done.  I’ve tried him with and without a carrot nose – I prefer him without – and he doesn’t even have the customary black-dotted mouth (I’ve always found them a bit creepy).

A quick stamped sentiment and a card is done and dusted in no time.  And I enjoy doing them.  He makes me smile.  I think I also like the fact that he is all mine – my design and idea (although, how hard was it to come up with a snowman?). He’s not exactly a very Australian concept though – perhaps I should try him with a bush hat (the kind with corks hanging from it) and some gum leaves sticking out of it.  Actually, that’s an idea…

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Simple Stamped Snowmen

This is a quick and easy card idea that would be fun to do with kids (or adults!) and produces some lovely, quirky little characters.  I made a whole stack of these in one evening – perfect for when you are time poor and need to make a lot of cards in one go.

There’s lots of examples of stamped snowmen on various websites, using potatoes or sponges cut to shape.  I didn’t have any potatoes (my cupboards were a bit bare this week) so I carved a little roughly-circular-ovalish shape from a leftover piece of rubber from my printing class earlier in the year. I dabbed the stamp into a moistened sponge that had white paint on it and stamped onto some mini brown card stock.  It doesn’t matter if the stamped image doesn’t come out completely perfect – it adds to the design and makes it a bit more rustic and handmade.  But you can fix it up with some more paint if you want to.  The extra details were cut out of coloured card stock and drawn on with a Pigma Micron pen (they’re my go-to for doodling and adding details to things, especially when I don’t want any bleeding of ink or smudges).

I stamped a Christmas greeting on each card to finish, and voila!  So simple and quick!  They’re really cute and you can make each snowman quite individual, just by adding different details.  Try a scarf, or some holly on his hat, or no hat at all.  I also added a bit of glitter to them to help the white shine (you can’t see it in the photo…) but you can do anything you like to make them your own.

Hope your festive season is shaping up to be happy and heart-warming 🙂

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Beaded Bauble

Every surface in my house is currently buried under a pile of card, paper, bottles of glue, mounting tape, marker pens and ink.  So what would any sensible person do?  Tidy up?  Sort some things into neat piles?  Put everything away before starting something new?  Ha!  I scoff at your suggestions!  I am not sensible in any shape or form, so yesterday I decided to add to the mess by doing some beaded decorations inspired by some I had seen on Kelly Rae Roberts’ Instagram account.  I thought they were really lovely, and easy to do (the hardest part is choosing the beads) and wouldn’t take much time.

I bought some pretty glass baubles last week (they were on sale – bargain!) and chose some beads from my ridiculously large supply at home.  I went with blues, silvers and pearls for this one.  You simply bead a length of jewellery wire (the end looped and crimped through the loop on the bauble) and then loop and crimp the other end so it can be hung from whatever you want to hang it from!

KRR had hers hanging from a chandelier, but you could dangle one of these from a curtain rod (hanging in the window, catching the light) or from your Christmas tree, or decorating the banisters of a staircase.  I’ve seen them hooked on to drawer knobs on a dresser and hanging outside a front door from porch lights.  Lots of options.  They would make a quick and easy gift too.  I’m going to try and get some more finished before I move on to another messy project (might as well cover the entire house is chaos!).

Hope your day is shiny and bright 🙂

 

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That’s That

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just say “Everything is ok and that’s all there is to it…” and then everything would just miraculously be fine and dandy?  If only!

This little birdie is standing defiant and saying “No, I will not let things get to me – everything’s ok and I won’t hear any negativity today!”  She’s even pulled her crown down over her earholes, just in case.  Might as well block out the naysayers and the party-poopers (there are lots of party poopers in the bird world, I’ve heard), and anyone who starts their conversations with “You can’t” or “Yes, but..” will be summarily banished from the nesting box.  It’s that simple.

Hope your world is full of positive people today and that your mind is free from worries.  If not, just pull your crown on tighter and ignore the heck out of anyone or anything that threatens to rain on your parade.

Take care of yourselves x

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