Monday, October 15, 2007

Not exactly successful, but I learned a few things

Well, the craft fair on Saturday was pretty much a bust, as far as “profit” went. I made $64. Putting that with the $24 my mother and grandmother paid me for cards they bought the night before, I totaled $88 for the weekend. At this rate I’ll have my credit card debt paid off by … never. Because of that pesky “interest” thing. But it’s better than having made nothing, so I guess I won’t complain.

I think there were a couple of main problems. One was that I was in a really unfortunate location. Instead of being on one of the two main aisles, I was in a crossing between the two, and for some odd reason people just tended to ignore that area. And even odder, when people did walk through there, many of them didn’t even look at my table. I found that strange. When I go to craft fairs or scrapbook/stamp conventions or anything that has “booths” like that, I look on both sides of every aisle. I know that there are tables on BOTH sides, so I look. Anyway, this leads to the other main problem: Visibility. I didn’t have any kind of display/holder for the cards, I just laid them out flat on my table. I had a big banner across the front of my table announcing “Stacy’s Stamp Loft: Handmade Cards and Crafts” (okay, I didn’t have any “crafts” on Saturday, but I plan to have crafts in the future), but apparently that wasn’t a good location for it, either. So next time I will have some sort of display/rack for at least some of the cards. There was a guy selling pottery in the booth next to mine, really nice guy, and he suggested having some nice wooden boxes to put the cards in, by category, so I could get more cards on the table in less space. So maybe a combination of a rack and some boxes …

What made me mad was the people who would walk by, look the cards over, oooh and aaaah over how beautiful they were and what an artist I was, and then walk off and not buy anything. I mean, come on, if they’re that great, can’t you lay out $4 for one? The price didn’t really seem to be a factor, no one said, “Oh, that’s too much,” or anything. Just very few people who actually took the time to look also decided to buy. So, yep, gotta do something different “next time,” whenever that will be.

So I never did finish showing the cards I made. I’ll do that now.

This uses one of my favorite stamps, just a very simple stylized line drawing of Jesus that I've had since probably 1999, made by StampIt! (VA). I stamped it in black StazOn over a Cling-n-Scrunch background, then overlaid it with a stamp of the Names of Jesus (from about that same era, can't remember who by) on vellum. Simple but effective!

I confess to buying the stamp of the schooners (from Rubberstamp Ave.) while I was still heavily under the influence of the America's Cup. The old AC boats were these kinds of schooners (or at least similar). Anyway, I stamped the boats on acetate with StazOn, then painted the back side with Twinkling H20s and laid that over a Spritz-and-Flick background. The saying stamp is from, I think, River City Rubber Works. And, no, those aren't official sailor's knots I tied at the top -- except that they are square knots, so maybe they count?

Pretty much heavily influenced by a card on SplitcoastStampers. All Stampin' Up!

This one went into my "Bargain Basket", since I figured it was too simple to charge $4 for. The girl is from Above the Mark, the swirl is Rhonna Farrer/Autumn Leaves, and the Scripture is from Heart & Soul Rubber Stamps. If I recall correctly the background is Watercolor Distress. Or it might be Spritz-and-Flick. I'm going from the thumbnail here, so I can't tell for sure.

Well, that's it for now. There are four more to be shown, so I'll save those for another time. I don't know when my next chance to sell cards will be. I didn't do well on Etsy (too many people charging lower prices, undercutting those of us who KNOW the value of our artwork), and I'm not sure when the next craft fair is around here that I could reasonably get in on. But I haven't given up yet.

Cheers for now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Craft Fair Card Show Day 4 – I didn’t get much done yesterday toward the show, but did manage to get the Vanilla/Cream inserts put in today, as well as get cards matched to envies and put in plastic sleeves. I ran out of some and don’t have the right sizes for others so will have to make a trip to the local LSS today to see if they have the right sizes. (Darn!) I went to Archiver’s yesterday, but they didn’t have any. The lady who checked me out said, “Try” Um, yeah, did that, didn’t order enough. Too late to do that now. But I do remember that the particular LSS I’m going to today has sold the clear bags in the past, so I hope they still do, and in the sizes I need!

I also took time out last night to make that 18th birthday card I was commissioned to do, so I will show that to you first. I am MUCH happier with this one than the one I did Monday night!

The only stamping done on this card is behind the "18" -- it's the Birthday roller wheel from the Level 3 Hostess set in the current SU catalog, just done with Versamark. PP is all Basic Grey (surfer collection), CS is Archivers, "18" is Basic Grey chipboard embossed with SU copper EP. I don't remember where the mesh came from.

Okay, on to the Craft Fair cards for today:

Another Colorwash Batik. Can't remember which stamp company this is -- I think it's Above the Mark. CW spray is Terra Cotta Walnut Ink (Tsukineko? See, I'm hopeless!) I really like the way this one turned out!

This is just a larger (5-1/4" square) version of a card I did for a class awhile back, and is as close to CASEing as I will come. Which in this case is almost too close. And I hope it's not a direct CASE -- my memory isn't all that great on the original. SU "Outlaw" PP and stamp from "Wanted" set.

I was in Archivers a few weeks ago and found an Autumn themed scrapbook kit on sale in the back with great paper in it, so I bought it for cards. Now I've thrown away the wrapper and can't remember who it was by, but that's where this paper came from. The top paper is actually Very Vanilla cardstock that I pounced Chalk Ink onto with a wadded up piece of plastic wrap. Stamps are from Clear Dollar Stamps.

Hee hee -- no, this isn't a card. I've just been listening to the Newsboys all morning, so thought I'd throw in a Phil Joel pic for fun! Aren't you glad -- I'm sure this just abso-flamin'-lutely made the rest of your day!

Catch ya later, mates!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Even more craft fair cards

Okay, Day Three of my Craft Fair Cards Show. I’ve been busy matching cards to envelopes, sticking white inserts into the cards that are too dark to write on (gotta get some cream-colored letter paper for the cards with a more vanilla/cream tone on the front), and slipping the ready-to-sell cards into clear plastic sleeves. I’m so mad, though – I bought clear sleeves big enough for 5”x5” cards, only to discover that the cards I’d made were 5-1/2” square! That’s what I get for not paying attention! The SU envies I’d ordered were the right size, so at least that was okay. I also didn’t order any clear sleeves for my 5”x7” cards. Don’t know where my brain was when I placed that order! So now I’ve gotta try to track some down locally. I just think it’s nicer when the cards are in their own little sleeves like that. Keeps them nicer when people are pawing through them, too.

I made this card using PP I got from Archiver's just for buying a ton of stuff. The silhouette image is from Crazy Mountain Stamps, and the sentiment is from SU. I love the silhouette look, it's kinda homey and vintage, which I think works well with the Autumn/Thanksgiving theme. IMHO :-)

A card highly inspired by a design from Splitcoast. Unfortunately, the scan of the background paper on this just refused to cooperate fully. It's a beautiful shimmery paper from Club Scrap (September's kit) that came on the day I wanted to play with this stamp (an SU stamp). I used a stamp from the Rhonna Farrer/Autumn Leaves "Flourish" set to stamp just a minimal pattern on the paper (I think I used pink Staz-On).

Again, another "inspired by" design, but it turned out quite different from the original. I used "Far East Stack" PP by DCWV, and the only stampin was on the medallion, which was made using UTEE, Not Quite Navy Craft Ink and the "Serenity" stamp from the retired SU set "Kanji". I loved this particular sheet of PP (the pink one with butterflies). I made several of these, and the butterflies were randomly placed on the paper, so there are really only two of each that are closely similar.

I have to confess that I LOVE this card. I made the original of this for a friend who needed a card to send to her real estate agent. I liked it so much I made several more, substituting stems in the oval for the "Thank You" I had used on hers. This uses the Colorwash Batik technique (one of my favs), and the stamp set is Artfully Asian from SU. I used Ranger Adirondack "Stream" colorwash -- again, I really like the way this color works for the Colorwash Batik tech!

So I hope you had fun looking at these cards. And I hope people at the fair will have fun buying them. Lots of fun. Buying lots of them.

Until next time ...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

More craft fair cards

Okay, as promised, here are four more of the cards I made for the upcoming craft fair. I’ve been spending time going through and putting copyright info on the backs of the cards, so hopefully now I can remember enough to put that information in this post. I still can’t promise you I can remember any techniques used, and the last several cards I did were pretty much technique-free. I had purchased some Thanksgiving/Fall-ish patterned paper and was needing to use that, so some of them are mostly PP.

This one I did with the Level 3 Hostess Set from the Fall/Winter SU catalog. It’s heavily inspired by a card I saw on Splitcoast, but I used different paper and changed a few things. A very easy card.

The town where I live (and where the craft fair is) has several golf courses, so golf is a huge deal around here. I made several of these cards, hoping people will buy them for retirement or birthday cards for the golf fanatic. All the stamps are from the retired SU set “Fore”, except for the word “GOLF”, which is a Stampabilities stamp. I do know that I used the Gamsol Pearls technique, minus the pearls.

I saw a very gorgeous Christmas card about a year ago on Splitcoast (I think) that was done with beautiful baroque-ish PP, and I’ve been wanting to try it since then but just have been to busy playing with techniques to do something as simple as “slapping” three pieces of PP together – you have to use just the right PP, though, or else it doesn’t work right! I was happy to come up with this combination of (I think) Basic Grey and SU papers that work well together, in my opinion, for a harvest-themed card. The only thing I stamped was the sentiment, which is from a retired SU set (from last year’s Holiday Mini, if I recall correctly). I made the photo turns with copper cardstock, a QuicKutz die and my Cuttlebug. The ribbon is just some random copper stuff I had hanging around.

Last one for today. Another “Autumnal” looking card, done with SU double-sided PP from the Holiday mini (I think it’s called “Spiced Apple” but I’m not sure, since I lost my only copy of the Holiday mini and I don’t want to go look it up on the internet) and the medallion stamp from the SU “friends-something” set from that same catalog. I used the Rock-n-Roll technique on the medallion. Again, super easy, just have to do some measuring and a lot of cutting, but you can crank out several of these without a whole lot of hard work, and they look great (again, in my humble opinion).

So, I hope you enjoyed today’s selection. There’ll be more to come soon!


Friday, October 05, 2007

FINALLY off hiatus -- at least for now.

What a hiatus this has been! Between migraines and migraine management, taking 95-year-old grandmothers to the ER for skin infections, staying with a mother (mine) who is none too keen on staying alone in the house (when my dad was staying with my grandmother at the hospital), doing physical therapy twice a week for a repetitive motion injury in my shoulder caused by STAMPING (yes, this can happen to you!) – I did actually manage to get a few cards made for the craft fair that is next Saturday.

I managed to get them all scanned over the last couple of days, so will be posting them here bit by bit. I’ll put four of them up today. If you like them and want recipes (or at least ingredients), e-mail me and I’ll try to dig them up for you. I’m nursing a stress headache at the moment and the meds have me a bit loopy, so I know I can remember details well tonight. Some of the cards I made were totally my own ideas, and others were inspired by other cards I’ve seen, but I never (at least I don’t think I did) totally CASEd anyone’s cards. I hate doing that. I want each card design to be my own, even if it’s just by a change of stamp set or rearranging things, whatever. So I hope you’ll enjoy looking at them over the next several days!

These first two were done for a Stampsmith card exchange. So, okay Clark Gable had a nice smile, but Errol Flynn's gets my pulse rate up, despite the cheesy mustache! Hubba hubba!



"Hot Card" Technique (Image is a paper napkin)

(This last one is one of my favorites! Simple but elegant.)

On an NSR topic, DH and I just got through watching on DVD a great movie that came out about a year or so ago, Second Chances with Michael W. Smith. It was fantastic! Of course, the whole message of the movie was that God wants us OUT of our comfort zones, and I am SO comfort-oriented, so it really kinda kicked me in the behind there, but that’s one of the reasons it was good. I highly recommend it. We got it from Netflix.

Okay, gotta go off to bed. Aidan has Monday off, so that means an extra “sleep in” day this weekend – woo hoo! I’m going to try to sing on Sunday morning (first time in two months), but it really depends on how I’m doing on Sunday morning. I’m past taking things nanosecond by nanosecond, but moment by moment is still the order of the day.

Peace out. (I’m really too “old” to say that, but I needed a way to end this, and that’s the way our thirty-something totally hip “in the know with the culture” former worship minister used to sign all his e-mails.)