Thursday, April 24, 2014

Craft Fair Countdown - 2 More Days!

Only two more days until my first Spring craft fair!  My packing list is ready.  I have small bills for change. I still need to finalize the price list, and I hope to finish a few more items, but I'm ALMOST ready. I think.

One thing I've learned from past craft fairs --- it's not Etsy.  My "ideal customer" on Etsy doesn't come to craft fairs in Lincoln, NE.  SO--I'll only take a few oven mitts--and I need to have some inexpensive impulse buy items.

This year I made a big batch of ribbon and cotton webbing key fobs.  I thought they'd be unique and useful graduation or Mother's Day gifts -- or an extra little birthday gift for a newly-licensed teen driver.

Here are a few of my favorites:

I have a nifty display rack with hooks which I'll photograph at the craft fair and share with you in a post next week.

Do any of you do Spring craft fairs?  If you could give someone one craft fair tip, what would it be?


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Craft Fair Countdown

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday, and today I'm sharing one of the gardening aprons I made for the Crestwood Christian Craft Fair this Saturday.  T minus 4  more days and counting.  Yikes!!!

It's a basic little half apron I made using some gardening fabrics I've had in my stash for quite a long time.  I added an outer pocket just the right size for a phone.

And all the pockets are fully lined:

I haven't participated in a Spring craft fair before -- many fall during tax season -- so this will be an adventure.  I don't expect to do as well as I did at the Crestwood Christian pre-holiday craft fair two years ago, but I  am hoping that by adding some items geared toward Spring activities, Mother's Day, May baskets and graduations, I'll get some sales.  We'll see how it goes!


Monday, April 21, 2014

BBA April Challenge - Color Challenge

Each month, the Blogging Business Artisans Team has a challenge.  This month's challenge came from Duni of PeriDotByDuni:

Create something, anything using a color you would rarely incorporate into your creations, i.e. I rarely use black :) It does not have to be seasonal or for your Etsy shop. Surprise yourself!

This was a difficult challenge for me, because I use LOTS of different colors in making items for my shop.  But most of my color choices are bright, saturated colors, or bold chevron patterns.  And the few pastels I have are contemporary prints.

So for this challenge, I decided to make something using a pretty Liberty of London small-scale floral print and a scrap of lilac-colored fabric.  Even though I have lilac and aqua chevron items in my shop, this look is dainty and shabby chic, and the colors are soft pastels.

I made this little fabric gift pouch based on a tutorial by Lisa and Sarah, a mother-daughter team.  Their blog is Spoonful of Sugar Designs.  It only took two 8.5" squares of fabric and 40"of perle cotton.

I was pleased with how it turned out, so I filled it with mini Cadbury Eggs and gave it to granddaughter  Erin (who attends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) for a little Easter treat.  I thought she might use the little pouch to hold jewelry or other small items (ear buds?) when the candy is gone.

It was a scrap happy little project.  I hope to make several more before the craft fair this Saturday. These little gift pouches would be cute May baskets or Mother's Day gift holders.  And I always need some cute, inexpensive items for craft fairs.  And quick and easy is an added bonus!

Yikes!!  The craft fair is only 5 days away!

Erin helped me add snaps to a BIG batch of baby bibs on Saturday, and I hope to make several key fobs before the April 26 craft fair, too -- and some sunbonnets.  So much to do, so little time!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Treasury Thanks

Each week I like to take the opportunity to extend a THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who have featured items from my Etsy shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, during the past week.

This week's treasuries tended to focus on Spring and Mother's Day.

Natashalh of StalkingTheWildSnark featured my Peeps Easter Bib in her treasury, The Critters of Spring.
Natasha has a cute little critter named Tiki, and I’m guessing Tiki was her inspiration for this cute guinea pig cuddle sack.  Natasha also makes incredible jewelry when she’s not cuddling critters or planning a wedding.

Etsy Shop-Secrets from Crafty Shop Secrets featured my BBQ oven mitt in a treasury entitled Barn Star Nourish.  This Etsy shop marketing e-book would be a great guide for someone opening an Etsy shop -- or perhaps a good back-to-basics refresher course for some of us who have been on Etsy for awhile.

Chloe B. from LaMauvaiseGraine  of Amiens,  Picardie, France, featured my aqua chevron oven mitt in her treasury, C'est l'heure du gouter!   I just love Chloe's French knitted bracelets.  Although this purple linen one is a personal fave, I ended up ordering three to give as birthday gifts for my daughter and oldest granddaughters.

Michelle of RhysandRaesCreations featured a vintage handkerchief with red roses from my vintage shop, Aunt Pheba's Vintage, in her treasury featuring pretty vintage hankies, Handkerchief.  I think this beautiful eggplant, champagne and ivory bridal sash from Michelle's shop is just stunning!

Abigail Jayne of AbigailJayneArt featured carnation china plates (which belonged to the real Aunt Pheba) from my vintage shop, Aunt Pheba's Vintage,  in her treasury, Floral Comfort.   This vine redwork hoop art by Abigail Jayne is a lovely little floral comfort, too.

Lynn of LynnsDichroicGlass (Virgin Islands) featured my pink roses oven mitts in her treasury, Bloom Where You Are Planted.  This unique dichroic glass cabochon with butterflies and flowers could be the focal point of a piece of statement jewelry -- or perhaps a classy magnet or paperweight.

In contrast to the vibrant color in many of this week's treasuries, 13ideas created a stunningly beautiful treasury in neutral shades.  I was flattered to have my black and tan chevron oven mitt included in the mix.
But if you visit 13ideas, you'll find some wonderfully whimsical and colorful sculptures, like this cute pig sculpture.  Miss Piggy isn't the only little piggy with amazing eyelashes!  And I love that cute little purple snout. And on that note, I'll sign off and "pig out" on Easter dinner. Oink!

Happy Easter!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Givin' Myself a Raise

It’s Shameless Commerce Tuesday (and the LAST day of Tax Season!!).  Today I’m officially announcing two price increases for my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations:

1.       I have revised my Etsy shop policies to include a 25% SURCHARGE for custom orders.
2.       I will be raising prices on oven mitt listings in my shop between now and May 1, 2014.

Custom Orders

Custom orders are both a blessing and a curse – and they are always a challenge!  I had considered eliminating custom orders altogether, but some of my best sellers were initially inspired by custom orders, so-o-o-o I devised a Plan B

I have found that custom orders require WAY more time and energy to complete than “regular” orders.  They often require shopping for special fabrics and supplies (rarely on sale), photographing fabric options, and then special ordering fabrics.  Some also require new design elements or construction techniques, and drafting new patterns which may only be used once.

I am hoping the 25% surcharge will reduce my number of custom orders, while not discouraging customers who realize that one of a kind (OOAK) or special designs are worth more than something off the cyber shelf.  The surcharge will provide at least SOME additional compensation for the extra time, energy, and out-of-pocket costs required to complete custom orders.

Product Price Increases

The increase in oven mitt prices is mostly due to an increase in the cost of high quality cotton fabrics coupled with an increase in postal rates.  It’s been a double whammy!  High postage rates mean I need to spend even more to get those higher cost fabrics shipped to me.    Also, some of my best sellers use fabrics that are now out of print or in very limited supply – again increasing my costs to keep them in stock. 

AND my boss (that would be ME) decided that her employee (that would also be ME), a hard worker who has honed her skills making 800+ oven mitts over the past three years, and who consistently receives positive customer feedback, deserves to be paid more than a sweatshop worker.

Bottom Line:  I’m givin’ myself a raise!