Monday, May 13, 2013

Music Mondays and Craft Show Woes

My post is a day late but better late than never! :)

Let me start this blog post off with something I think that could be fun to do. I'm a very open minded person and I have an addictive personality. I don't often get to share my personal life with my fans and followers and I'd like to change that a little bit.

I'm always striving to be more open. So to kick start this Monday morning I'm going to share with you one of my favorite musicians. I like a lot of music ranging from opera all the way to metal bands and Irish pub songs. I like to give everything a try at least once. This artist was introduced to me on a forum a few years ago and I was so blown away by this man's work that it inspired me in some of my story writing endeavors.

His name is Ed Alleyne-Johnson. He has a very unique instrument and it was one I had never heard of until I saw a video that was linked in the forum I belong to. I think his work is so haunting and beautiful. If you have an ear for classical pieces you may just like this musician and composer. Here is a video I found just searching for his name on Youtube. I happen to love the song he is covering!



Here he is playing live doing a song from his own CD called Ultraviolet.
I would love to see him playing live someday. I'm certain it's a life changing experience! What sort of music do you like to listen to? What music really inspires you?

Craft Shows from May

I've had two craft shows this month. Unfortunately unlike my first show back in March neither of these two worked out very well. I think the first show I attended on the 4th was just not advertised enough sign wise. There weren't any signs out on the main road leading to the venue. I also feel the crowd was just not right for what I was selling. I had more people wanting to buy my mannequin (Beverely) and her wig than I had interested in my jewelry or Vintage wares. They plan to have another show this September. I'm not certain if I'll attend again. There was very little structure to the show and it seemed a bit too much like a free-for-all. While I met some wonderful people I think a lot more planning needs to happen if future shows are to be successful. It just didn't feel like a vendor-friendly show.


My second show, on the 11th, didn't turn out well either. Unfortunately although this was the 8th year for this particular show the weather was forecast to have downpours and thunder storms for the entire day. Even though it didn't rain until the last half hour of the show I believe the potential for bad weather kept many from coming out. I am hopeful that next year will be better and I do look forward to giving this venue another chance. My only wish would be that they have a rain date for this show as it is unfair to their outdoor vendors that don't have the luxury of being located inside the main building. There was also a pet adoption held along with the craft show.

I had a lot of fun meeting all the dogs and cats looking for their forever homes. I was a little disappointed however that many of the handlers didn't seem to care where their dogs were dragging them around to or what the dogs were doing whenever they stopped to meet someone. One of the dogs happened to pee on one of the table skirts of the vendor selling across from me. Most of the handlers also would stop right in front of the vendor tents to talk with people walking by which I believe was a large deterrent to anyone who might have otherwise stopped by the vendor booths. It is difficult for people trying to shop while there are dogs jumping up their legs.

I am hoping that next year the weather is nicer and that perhaps the venue re-think where they place the pet adoption tables. While I support adopting shelter animals I think a lot more thought needs to go into keeping the dogs away from vendor booths. I certainly don't mind them walking by (I don't expect them all to be forced to sit still all day) but it certainly didn't help with sales for mine or any of the other vendors who were set up next to or between the pet adoption booths.

I did get the opportunity to snap some photos for both shows. I suppose that is the plus side to not having many shoppers coming by! lol

Here are just a handful:

These two are from my Lionshead Lake show on the 4th.

Pictured right is the jewelry half of my booth. We had it facing out toward the entrance to the parking lot where people would walk in.
 Pictured left is a front view of my booth. We had two racks of vintage clothing to each side as well as crates filled with vintage fabric. The table to the inside left of the booth had all of our other vintage items such as shoes, sewing patterns, and miscellaneous accessories like gloves and scarves.



And lastly here are two photos from my Skyline Lakes Fire Department Craft show on the 11th.

Pictured right is a front view of my table set up on Saturday May 11th. I had invested in some plastic table clothes and skirts (because of the predicted rain fall). I also acquired some green shower curtains to hang around the back and sides of the canopy. These did an excellent job of keeping the wind from knocking my displays over. I will be investing in some actual canopy curtains so that my set up looks more professional. I also plan to obtain some real table clothes and skirts as well.

Here you can see my best friend Michelle who spent the day with me. She was a huge help with setting up. You can also see that I've ditched all of my hang tags for my items. There was no tangled mess to sort through when it was time to pack up and leave. I also plan to update my little price signs that were placed with some of my items.


If you would like to see more photos from these and other craft shows I attend, please check out my facebook photo albums or my flickr gallery.

Facebook
Flickr


I have a ton of work to catch up on this week. Also I will be looking for more craft shows to attend. Hopefully I can get more lined up very soon!

Have a great week everyone. :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Craft Fairs + Giveaway + Threaded Chains in Fundraisers

Hey everyone! It's been my goal to try and write a new blog post every Sunday but as you can see I haven't exactly met that goal. LOL! Things were extraordinarily hectic the week leading up to my first craft show in March. Afterward I had a complete burnout for the majority of that month. But I'm working hard now at trying to get my name out there again and have been busy searching out more shows to attend. :)

Threaded Chains Giveaway

Let me first start with some big news. I reached my goal of 400 Facebook fans just two weeks ago! Since then I've gained an additional 50+ followers and as I promised on my page I am hosting a giveaway to celebrate!

The catch is that you must be a Threaded Chains FB fan in order to be eligible to win. I will award up to 3 prizes depending on the amount of entries. If there are less than 10 only one winner will be chosen. If I get 10 or more  there will be 3 prizes awarded. :)

Hop on over to the Threaded Chains FB Page to read up on the rules. The giveaway starts Monday April 29th and ends on Friday May 4th!

Auctions & Donations from Threaded Chains

Sometime before my March craft show I was contacted by the New Jersey Passaic County CASA organization. They wanted me to donate some of my jewelry to their Tricky Tray & Dinner fundraiser that will be held June 11th (a Tuesday). I gladly accepted and I will be donating about $50 worth of jewelry to the Tricky Tray. If you live in or near Passaic County in northern New Jersey and are interested in attending this fundraiser please head over to the Passaic County CASA website for information. Tickets are $40 but the money goes to a great cause. You get a full sheet of raffle tickets, a special door prize ticket, and also dinner for the admittance fee. My jewelry will be in a basket all on it's own so please be certain to check it out! :)

Rosie the Cat's Fundraiser Auction:

Lastly for fundraisers I stumbled on a post in my news feed on FB the other day. Through one of my fellow crafters I found out about a beautiful tortoiseshell 4 month old cat named Rosie. She has luxating patella (a rare condition for cats where the knee caps rotate out of place) which can cause pain and in Rosie's condition will eventually lead to her losing both of her back legs at some point in her life. To prevent this there is a surgery that costs $3,000 PER leg. Being an animal lover I am going to be donating several items to an Auction being held by Rosie's owner on a FB page made specifically for Rosie's cause. The auction will be held on Rosie's FB page Wednesday May 15th through Sunday of the same week.

Please click on the below links to donate to Rosie's cause, attend the auction, or just to get more information:

Rosie's Auction Event page

Rosie's FB Page

The Auction Folder (This is where the items will be up for you to bid on starting May 15th)

Rosie's Auction Group (This is a group ONLY for people donating items to the auction, you must join to see information on donating)

Craft Fairs

Last but not least I have been super busy trying to find new craft shows to attend in my area. I found a lot but I have to tidy up some things for my business before I can attend them. However, that hasn't stopped me from scouting out venues in the meantime. :)

Today I went to the Adorno Father's Fair in Ramsey, NJ (in Northern Jersey in Passaic County). I wasn't sure what to expect because this venue has both Crafters/Artists, Re-sellers, and Antique sellers. I met so many fellow crafters though and made a few purchases. I had so much fun doing some in person networking and exchanging my business cards when appropriate of course. ;)

Most of the handmade sellers I spoke with told me this was their first time at the show but one did tell me she was informed from other vendors that they do very well at this particular show. I hope to be a part of it in October but if not I'll at least attend as a customer and check out the tables and maybe meet some new friends again.

My purchases for the day came from one lovely seller who redecorates recycled bottles with gorgeous stones, shells, and pebbeles for a nifty upcycled vase or shelf decoration. She also had these smooth, oval somewhat flat stones drawn on with stained glass paint. There were a few tiny ones that I couldn't resist snatching up. They had some inspirational things written/drawn on them that I just had to have. I also made a purchase from Soaps for a Cause, a nice girl and guy were attending the booth selling handmade all natural soaps. A portion of their proceeds goes to helping Uganda get clean water and help with sanitation issues. As well the little info card that comes with the soap is loaded with real seedlings. You just wet the paper, plant it, and herbs will grow. I love eco friendly! :D I bought a bar for my mother, who came to the event with me, as an early Mother's Day gift since she loves gardening. We have no idea what herbs will grow but we can't wait to see!

My last purchase was from two women attending a booth selling hot sauce. The one woman's son and the other's daughter started this little business called Heartbreaking Dawns. They were letting people sample the hot sauces on display and being a lover of spicy food I had to try it. I came back before I left the fair and bought their second hottest blend. It's made with ghost pepper and I can't wait to make buffalo chicken with it! Check out the Heartbreaking Dawns website for more info on their hot sauces. :)

Upcoming Fairs for Threaded Chains:

I have lined up one more show so far! I will definitely be attending the Lionshead Lake Arts/Crafts Fair in Wayne, NJ on May 4th. The show starts at 9 am and ends at 4 pm. If you live in or around Passaic County NJ please stop by and say hello! There is also going to be a Garage sale held the same day at the same location. So far there looks to be approximately 7 Crafts vendors with a total of 20 "booths" total including the garage salers. I hope to see you there! :) Checkout the Lionshead Lake website for information or directions.


That's all for now. I will keep everyone posted on any future events I attend. I also hope to be showcasing some sellers that I get to meet from these events. :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Last Minute Valentines Gifts Part 2

 Okay and here we go, part two! Please enjoy these lovely treasuries. I had so much fun looking for ones to feature. I found a bunch of new shops to watch as well!

Warning: This page is GRAPHICALLY HEAVY. There are 5 treasuries to load. Please be patient. It may take a minute or two to finish loading.







In order to feature all these great treasuries I used a Craft Cult widget maker. It was SUPER helpful in making really short codes that didn't clog up my text box when writing this blog entry and making relatively small but still easily seen Treasury images. Want to make your own treasury previews? Check out the Craft Cult Treasury Tab. It's super easy!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Craft Shows and Donations

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines Day! I meant to have part 2 of my V-Day treasuries posted but I'd never used the scheduling feature with blogspot before. Silly me didn't know I had to hit the publish button....I scheduled it to post for tomorrow, February 18th. It will be late but better late than never right?

Anyway I've been prepping very hard for a craft show I'll be attending on March 2nd. I have never been to one before so I'm working very hard to get new items made. The show was originally supposed to be in November of last year, but because of Hurricane Sandy and the destruction it wrecked in New Jersey (and the fact there were so many trees and power lines down) the show was postponed to March 2nd.

It's going to be a tiny venue with only about 20 vendors including myself. It's right here in my hometown so it will be so nice getting the chance to get my feet wet so to speak without having to be far from home or having a huge show to worry about. I've got 2 weeks left for my preparations...I'm so nervous!

If anyone lives in or around the Wayne, New Jersey area and is familiar with the Packanack Lake area of Wayne, the show is being hosted at the Packanack Lake Club House. I'll be posting up the actual address and street name on my Facebook so if anyone is interested in attending or coming by to see me please watch my Facebook page for that post.


In other news I've been contact by the New Jersey Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children organization. They'd like for me to donate some of my jewelry to their tricky tray. Once my craft show is over and I can have a chance to recuperate from that I'll be making up a nice basket for them to raffle off for their show. It is a dinner and a tricky tray so for $40 you get both dinner and a sheet of raffle tickets to put into the baskets. My shop name and web address will be printed on all the pamphlets they hand out and I've gotten permission to include a stack of my business cards for them to put on the table next to my basket. I'm going to be trying to make some jewelry sets for my basket or some one of a kind mixed pieces, maybe even a little of both, to put into my donation.

If you live in the Northern New Jersey area and are interested in attending the event you can e-mail Crosby at crosby@passaiccountycasa.org. It's still very early yet so I don't think they have picked the venue but I can tell you that the date for this is June 11th of this year, a Tuesday.

That's all for now! I hope everyone is enjoying their three day weekend. :) For my next blog I think I'll do a nice little feature or something. (I love having an excuse to poke around on Etsy for neat things).

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Last Minute Valentines Gifts Part 1

I know this post is so late. ): I apologize, the week was SO busy! I didn't get much response from people when I was asking others to share their treasuries to be featured so I had to find my own. I had fun looking through all these. You can bet I tweeted each and every one! :)

Unfortunately as well blogger won't let me post all of the treasuries I chose in one post. So listed below is just the first half of this feature! I will post the next half tomorrow so as to not spam you all. Haha. :D

Anyway I tried to find a nice mix of things. Not everyone is shopping for a woman and not everyone is shopping for a guy. Some people shop for their pets and some shop for themselves. Some people love red and some people really want non-traditional gifts for holidays. Hopefully these Etsy treasuries help you to find the perfect gift for Valentines Day. You only have 6 days left!

Warning: This page is GRAPHICALLY HEAVY please give it time to load! There are 6 treasuries listed here! It may take a minute or two to load fully.













Hopefully these help you figure out some gift ideas for that crafty person or even a child in your life who deserves something sweet this V-Day. From pets to people to crafters and more.

In order to feature all these great treasuries I used a Craft Cult widget maker. It was SUPER helpful in making really short codes that didn't clog up my text box when writing this blog entry and making relatively small but still easily seen Treasury images. Want to make your own treasury previews? Check out the Craft Cult Treasury Tab. It's super easy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Valentine's Day - Show Some Love

Hi everyone! It's been awhile since my last blog post. So much has happened since then. I last updated about my craft show prep...well, when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast it changed those plans. The craft show was moved to March 2nd so I have been thankfully given a few extra months (since the hurricane anyway) for me to prep. With just over a month left to prepare I'm feeling the heat but I'm confident I can do it! :)

Also around the corner is Valentines Day. I was never too into it as a kid and I've never really had a Valentine, but now that I'm older I find myself falling in love with this holiday. It allows me to step out of my comfort zone when making jewelry. I'll be the first to admit that pink is not a color I wear and I think sometimes that bit of predjudice for the color leaks over into my creativity. But for Valentine's Day I can go nuts.

It's not just me though. I've found a bunch of nice items on Etsy that I just love. :)

I used to stay away from pink colored things like this when I was younger, but these sweet pretzel treats are just too good to pass up now. Check out TheSugarForest for these and more goodies.

I'm such a sucker for bath and body products. I covet the stuff in any color, shape, or form. These blue soap hearts are so pretty and there is plenty more where these come from at Bmbyx. And if blue isn't your thing why not check out the bubble bath, body lotion, and heart soap gift set? CarriesBerries carries that and a variety of items just like it.

 
Of course being a handmade fanatic I love handmade cards. There is nothing better than seeing such beautiful creations I once thought could only be found at a store offering mass produced things. These are some really adorable and creative designs. The kitty one is my favorite.

If you'd like to see more check out KidCardDesigns for more like the butterfly card. Love that robot? Sentimentsbydesign has many more gorgeous creations like it. And for my personal favorite, check out AnnKayGreetingCards for more.

I would love to see any V-Day creations you guys have made or have found across Etsy or Artfire. :) My shop also has some V-Day items, here are just a few:


And last just a bit of news. I fell down our basement stairs yesterday. It was so not fun. ): I am thankfully alright and nothing seems broken. I am able to walk on the leg I injured and am now just tending to some minor scrapes and a very swollen foot/leg. Hopefully there won't be any hospital trips in my near future. I also found out yesterday (just before I fell down the stairs) that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has hiked up their shipping prices again, effective starting today. I sincerely apologize for all the inconvenience this will cause to my International shoppers/fans. International rates have just about doubled. So again, I do apologize for the inconvenience this will cause. I am going to be looking into seeing whether or not UPS or Fedex offers anything cheaper but I'm not sure that they do.

Anyway, have a great Sunday night! :)

~ Remmie

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