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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My "studio"

After 2 1/2 weeks in our new home and a few rainy, rainy days in a row, I finally organized my "studio."  I call it my "studio" instead of my studio because...well, you'll see.  Take a look:

 Yes, I use an exercise ball for a chair.

 Yes, I store my finished pieces in Chinese take out containers.

A close up of the pictures I have displayed.  The top one is me with my mom at a Girl Scout event when I was 12. Yes, it was a Western theme.  I didn't typically dress that way.  Neither does my mom.  Growing up, my mom and I had arts & crafts time while my baby brothers napped.  The framed picture is my great-grandmother holding me; when my family would visit, she taught me to needlepoint, crochet, and cross stitch.  Look at my cheesy smile!  Crafting has always made me happy.  The bottom picture is me in college with a friend (hi Jackie!!).  And the half of a person in the left corner is another friend (Hi Anna, I didn't crop this pic because you were half in it!)

 Yes, I also use empty egg cartons for storage.  This is an extension of my desk, aka plastic drawers stuffed to the gills with more goodies. See how the drawers are sagging??

Since this is a computer desk, it has a pull out keyboard tray.  Perfect for working on projects because when I need to leave a something half finished, I can just push the drawer in and it's hidden!  You can see a few projects in the works already.

 Across the top I have my files for receipts and invoices, a light for photographing, a decorated glass (you know how well your friends know you when they include crafts at your bachlorette dinner!), and my craft show displays, wrapped in plastic bags to prevent dust.

The hanging containers on the right side of the desk hold tools and small supplies that I use frequently.  There is also a small sign that you can read about here.  

I still dream of having a whole room for crafts, but I am thrilled to work here for the next few months.  I am pumped to have my own space for beading.  My husband will appreciate me not beading on the coffee table or kitchen table.  And of course not finding pieces of wire stuck in his shoes!  [psst don't tell him, but his desk is right behind mine, and he still might occasionally find some rogue wire].

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you are able to spend quality time with your family and friends!  Be safe!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

BIG News, short post.

Attention, attention!  I have big news!  Thanks to a lot of help from my brother (hi Joe!) I have a website.  Yes that's right- my very own website!  Please take a look and let me know what you think!  I'd love to have some feedback!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Earring Displays

A few weeks ago I posted a couple of these pictures but didn't tell you what I was creating.  Now I have pictures of the finished project and want to show you what I designed and created!  (although you might have seen the finished product in the pictures from the craft shows!!)  At my summer craft shows, I didn't have enough display space for my earrings and it was frustrating to pile them into plastic containers and sort/untangle them out on the spot while setting up my table.  What I wanted was room for lots of earrings and a way to easily transport them all so that it took minutes to set up the display.  This is what I came up with...           
I started with some mocha brown fabric.  I liked the way it feels like linen and has some texture, but no pattern to take attention away from my earrings.

Lots and lots of pinning and pressing.

The sewing- my favorite part- was quick and easy.

The finished piece! Complete with some upcycled soda can earrings.

My new earring displays are multiple rows of pockets.  When I'm traveling to an event, I can put the earring cards into the pockets like this picture.
Then when I get to the show I can quickly and easily take the earring cards out of the pockets and hang the card on the top of the pocket.  I made two of these.  They are a foot wide and 2 feet high.  Each sits on a frame stand from the craft store.

In my original design, I was going to attach the 2 displays with a hinge and then it would stand independently on the table-like a trifold posterboard with just two sides.  My plans changed though when I tried to drill into the display- the drill spun and grabbed the fabric and twisted it up and it started to crawl up the drill bit.  Not the greatest planning I've ever done.  I wasn't going to be able to drill through the fabric and I didn't want to cut holes in it. There was waaay to much pinning and measuring and pressing to start over if it didn't work out!  I'm happy with having 2 separate displays though because it gives me more flexibility with my booth display.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend Review

This weekend I did 2 shows- one Saturday and another Sunday.  Saturday was at a church in Atco, NJ.  It was successful, but different than I expected.  I thought the booths were going to be 8x6ft, and I had sketched out a table setup to take advantage of the space.  I was so surprised that there was less than 4 feet between the back of my table and the table behind me!  The vendor that was supposed to be right behind me didn't show, so I wound up being able to take up some extra space.  Here's how I used it:

This small folding table had all the needed supplies for girls to design and string their own stretch bracelet!  It was a lot of fun, but only a few girls made one.
The rest of my table was kind of cramped because I had made more soda can earrings and the table was smaller than previous shows.  The crowd was slow in general, but the shoppers were there to buy.  I didn't do quite as well as the weekend before, and all the vendors were they didn't sell much either.

Sunday's show was at a Harvest Fest at Hidden Valley Ranch in Cape May.  It was great to meet some local vendors, including Amanda from Empanada Mamas, who gave me some great tips on finding venues to sell in Cape May.

I count the weekend as a success, both in actual sales, promoting my business, and meeting new people!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Colorful Finds

Sunday I went to a small bead how to get supplies for a custom order I received.  The show was significantly smaller than the one I usually go to, but I still found some good deals.

I picked out a rainbow of beads!  Some are for custom orders, some are earmarked for rosaries, and some are going to be used at the next 2 craft shows I do.
I even won a raffle!  Here is the winning ticket.  I got $10 gift certificate to use at any of the vendors at the show!  Yes!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Success and Surprises

This past Saturday, I did my first craft show of the holiday season.  Check out my booth display!  I think it's really coming together and reflecting the attributes that I desire for Peace of Grace Designs. 

Unfortunately, none of my other pictures turned out- they came out blurry, but I think this is a good overall view.

Customer turn out was low, but I made many sales, and more importantly I passed out a ton of business cards and met some great people.  The vendors around me were fantastic, had great wares, and really made me enjoy the day.  Here are some highlights:

What the heck is that thing?  Well, it's the only thing I bought at the show and it's a marshmallow shooter!  This fun product was designed, made, and sold by a 16 year old who even offers bulk discounts for events- marshmallow tag birthday party anyone??  He will even customize colors, so you can match the shooter to the event's theme- red & green for a Christmas party, red & blue for a superhero birthday, you get the idea, right?  And since this economical toy is lung powered, you don't have to worry about constantly replacing batteries to stay in the game.  Did I mention that marshmallows are included?  When you're ready to order your party favors, you can contact Harry at

I came home from the show with this as well- but I didn't buy it!  This inspirational sign was gift from a fellow vendor, who doled out the meaningful plaques to all the handcrafting vendors.  (You'd be surprised how many booths sell goods they don't create...).  As soon as my beading "studio" is organized- more on that later- I will be putting this front and center on my work space.  The great thing about My Favorite Sign Company is that they make beautiful and memorable by recycling.  All the signs are made from old palettes and are painted with environmentally friendly paints.  The signs would make gifts, say for a hostess.  Thank you to My Favorite Sign Company for my sign, it is now my favorite!

Have you even started thinking about holiday shopping yet?  Do you buy gifts at craft shows?  If not, would you consider it?  What makes you choose to purchase at a craft show or what holds you back?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011