Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring Happenings

Hello!  I have been so busy preparing for my spring craft sales that I haven't had time to post about them!  The first one, the Jane Austen Faire, was April 4th and 5th, and it was a huge success!  It was bigger and better than last year, and though it was an exhausting couple of days, it was SO much fun!  I invested in some new props for my booth, and I was really happy with how it turned out.  I shared a 10x10 space with a fellow Salem Etsy Team member, and since we were on a corner, we opted for a L-shaped configuration, with each of us taking an arm of the L.  This is my side:

I used a 4-foot table (on the left) along with a 3-foot wicker basket, which I raised up with 2 plastic milk crates covered with a tablecloth.  Also, check out the far left- I found that great spinning card rack at my local Goodwill store for only $14.99!  I was SO excited about that find!  It really saved space, especially with the rest of my display being a bit cramped.  I got lots of great feedback on my setup though, and it was a great experience.  (By the way, the bright red backdrop was not mine- that's the canopy from the booth behind ours.)

So, next up is this:
This will be my third Salem Etsy Team spring sale- the very first REAL craft sale I did was the 2012 sale.  I am really excited for this one.  Our sale last year was a bit slow, I think because we picked a venue that was off the beaten track.  This year, we are having it at the same place we did our most recent holiday sale, which has much better foot traffic.  Our spring sales tend to be the busiest ones, probably due in large part to being so close to Mother's Day (we schedule it that way on purpose.)  We had flyers available at the Austen Faire to promote the sale, and a TON of people took them, so I have high hopes that we'll have lots of shoppers!  We have a fantastic lineup of vendors, we are buying an ad in the paper for more exposure, so I have a good feeling about it!  I will have lots of new cards, and a few exploding boxes too.  There's this one, which I still have from last year:
It has a "Happy Mother's Day" sentiment on the inside.  I also have an idea for a mum-themed exploding box.  I found this great Japanese washi paper with a colorful mum design on it, which I used in this card:
 I also have a mum embossing folder, so I think I can make something cute, and how fitting for "Mum's Day"!

I also just finished up a really neat custom exploding box order.  I had a customer at the Jane Austen Faire seek me out (she remembered me from last year- how nice is that?!) and ask me to make one for her daughter's 18th birthday.  Here's the thing though: she's not a "girly girl", so my typical floral/butterfly designs would not work.  Well, I am always up for a challenge- I find that forcing myself outside my normal "box" (pardon the pun) expands my creativity, and it's good to stretch your mind beyond your same-old-same-old every once in awhile.  So this project really intrigued me.  The birthday girl is in the military, she's very physically active, loves to read, and her favorite color is turquoise.  This was all the information I was given about her.  When I discussed design ideas with my customer at the Austen Faire, I suggested using one of the camo patterned papers to allude to her military background.  She liked the idea, so I went with it.  I just finished up the box last night, and here it is:
I uploaded photos for my customer to review, and she loved it- I am SO relieved!!  So let me break down the design.  I used a mix of turquoise, black and gray, along with the black and gray camo paper, but the use of that was subtle- the most you can see of it is along the rim of the lid.  It is used as a middle embellishment layer elsewhere, as well as on the stars in the middle, so it's not in-your-face.  I found this interesting stencil font, and I chose it to again allude to the military, though this font is not as boxy as a traditional military stencil- it's curvier and more feminine, a good mix for a young girl in the military.  I found some clip art online of a runner and a book, and used those in the middle layer to represent her love of athletics/running and reading.  Finally, I used some foil star stickers in blues and reds, which are patriotic, and some die-cut stars in the colors of the box.  I left the center blank so that my customer can write a message there.  I really like it, and am glad that I was able to come up with something that my customer is happy with, that she feels really embodies who her daughter is.  That is the highest compliment I could receive!

Here are a few new cards that I'll have available at the SET spring sale on May 3rd:

I have really enjoyed using the most recent washi papers that I have found- such great, vibrant colors, and so fun to work with.  I sold several at the Austen Faire, so will be making a few more to bulk up my inventory for the SET Spring Sale.  After that,  I will be ready for a break, and my husband will be ready to have his pool table back!

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