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Friday, October 19, 2012

Craft Show News Sat. 10/20

Just a reminder that I will be at Homestead-at-Mansfield Craft Fair in Columbus, NJ tomorrow. The fair runs from 9-2. I understand there are many talented crafters at this show. My table will be next to a quilter. Can't wait to see her stuff. That is something I've always wanted to do.

The Saturday after (10/27) I will be at the Rancocas Woods outdoor craft fair from 9-2pm. There are 100+ crafters and it should be a great time.

Hope to see you!!

Happy Crafting!

Etsy Gift Cards

Etsy launched site-wide gift cards today. They offer the option to email the gift card to a friend or print it at home. With the email option you can pretty it up with a pic. So far they have a generic party option, fall theme, birthday and Etsy. I would imagine they will add more themes or other holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine's Day, etc.

The nice thing about these cards is, they can be used in any Etsy store that takes credit cards (not PayPal only shops.) Very nice! Of course, Cherishables takes both PayPal and credit cards, so Etsy gift cards can be used in my shop too.

What a great gift! AND if you purchase a gift card before November 14th you will be entered to win a $250 Etsy gift card.

Happy Crafting!

Etsy did not pay me to say this. As an Etsy shop "owner," I just think these are a neat idea. :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cashbox Makeover of Sorts (tutorial)

If you're going to sell at craft shows, you'll need a cash box. Even if you plan on wearing a crafter's apron, like me, you'll feel better knowing you can lock up some or all of your cash. At the very least any big bills or checks (if you take them.) Since I only sold at one craft show last year, and I didn't know if I would do any more, I did not buy a cash box last year. Now that I'm diving into the world of craft fairs, and I have a bunch lined up this Fall, I decided it was time to buy a cash box.

I bought a very basic cash box. It is very similar to this one:

Honestly, I would've left it alone. If only the cash drawer had more than one slot for bills. My items are priced in round dollars, so I don't need coins. What I need are slots for dollars. I don't know if you can buy an insert for a cash box that is just for bills, but I don't have time to order one. Besides, why buy what you can easily make.

I knew I needed sturdy dividers and they had to be pretty low, so it would be easy to make change. I thought about a few options -- plastic canvas, super heavy duty interfacing. But none of them were sturdy enough, so I cut up a shipping box I had laying around. It was perfect and after cutting long strips and folding them in half, it was super sturdy, if not attractive.

It works and, to be honest, who's going to see it? Really just me. But I'm a crafter. I can't just leave things alone. Not when I can make them look better.

So I started looking around for a way to make the dividers (and just the dividers) look better. Fabric? Nah. Dry time is too long. Scrapbooking paper? Perfect! If I had any, but I don't. Wrapping paper? I have tons, it doesn't have to dry, it doesn't take up space. Yes!

Here's a tutorial on how I make my dividers a bit prettier. Honestly, it's probably exactly how you think it would be and it's pretty picture-heavy, but I took all these pics and dagnabit, I'm gonna use them.

For this project you will need: wrapping paper, scissors and tape. I used packing tape because it's clear & strong.

The first thing I did was remove the dividers. I kept them as is, just folded the ugly masking tape down on to the cardboard to make them even more sturdy (and so the cardboard didn't rip.)

 Next, I cut the wrapping paper into strips & gift wrapped each divider:

I then figured out where to place each divider by making sure the bills fit into the slot. I then taped each divider into place using a long, thin, strip of clear packing tape. I taped to the box and the strip like so:

After the strips were in place, I reinforced them by taping them length-wise using the clear packing tape. This time I taped the side of the divider to the floor of the cash box:

Lastly, I used another long piece of tape to reinforce the top. This way the paper won't rip from use:

And this is what it looks like:
What? Don't you have only singles in your wallet? LOL
The very last thing I did was add a matching loop to hold my stylus. I take credit cards using Square and the stylus is better than a finger when signing for purchases. The problem is, I've lost so many of them b/c they're small. I decided the best idea was to keep it in the cash box. Hopefully, I won't lose it this time!

Here's the final pic, with ring:

Nothing fancy, but better than looking at plain cardboard. Maybe now I'll decorate the outside of the box. LOL

Just a reminder....
Tomorrow, Saturday, October 13th, I will be at a show in Branchburg, NJ. It is hosted by the Branchburg Women's Club. The craft fair (and bake sale - yum!) will be from 9-4pm and will be held at Central Middle School at 220 Baird Road, across from White Oak Park. Admissions is free! Click here for more information. If you're in the area, I hope you'll stop by.

Happy Crafting!

UPDATE:  The dividers are holding up well, but the ring to hold the stylus didn't work. Gravity took over. :-)  So, if you're contemplating, glue the ring to the box lid don't tape it. Me? I'm going going to keep it in the box on top of the moolah.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Because of Mom

I'm very lucky that I have a mother who is unbelievably talented and who loves to share her talents. Mom taught me to sew and got me on the path to crafting. She's also, basically, retired and has a lot of time on her hands and she loves to fill it with projects.

Thanks to Mom, I am going to be well outfitted during the fall craft shows because she made these!!

And to think I was going to use a painter's apron! Now I have a gorgeous apron to wear and an extra for my helper. I'm so excited!

Mom made the apron from a fabric I found that is covered with owls. Perfect! It's trimmed with quilt binding in a complimentary color. What a great, easy way to complete an apron.

One apron has a key fob for car keys or a lock box.

I wanted pockets and considered making sewn pockets. Then I decided that since I sell crocheted stuff, having crochet pockets would be better. These granny square (and one rectangle) pockets look great with the fabric.

Since the pockets have to hold stuff, they had to be lined, so I made a pocket with white fabric and backed it with interfacing. I then sewed the pockets on to the apron and whip stitched the granny square to the pocket.

For this apron, I wanted a bigger pocket and knew that a pocket that is too big would pull away from the apron. So I sewed the pocket onto the apron and then sewed through both the pocket and the apron to create a segmented pocket. This long pocket can hold my iPhone, pens, scissors and there is still a pocket for other stuff (hopefully money! LOL)

I really like how these came out and, thanks to Mom, I'll get to wear one on Saturday.

Happy crafting!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Package Deal

As I prepare for this year's Fall craft shows, I'm reflecting on the shows I've attended in the past -- both as a seller (grand total = 1! lol) and as a buyer. Attending as a buyer has brought me great experience as there are always things you would like to emulate and, possibly, things to avoid.

I'm really trying to "build my brand" and am carefully considering things like signs and, most recently, packaging.

 I still have bags from last year, and I like them, so I'm good with larger purchases like purses. Now that I have some smaller items, like jewelry, I wanted to make sure those are packaged well. I thought about printing labels and putting them on little craft bags to mimic my larger shopping bags and, until I was in the craft store last night, that was exactly what I was going to do. Then I saw this stamp...

and I just had to buy it. I mean, how perfect is this?? Handmade goodies really are something special and I think, sometimes, we forget that. Sometimes we get caught up in the mindset that handmade = cheap when, in fact, quite often the opposite is true.

My items take time. Not just time to make (which they do) but also time to find or create the right pattern. Time to try out different techniques and stitches. Time to find the right yarn. Time to finish the project so that it looks professional.

Now, I admit, I'm not one of those people who scrapbooks or makes their own cards. I don't buy stamps or use ink pads. I had no idea about what to buy or what the different inks would look like. But I jumped right in anyway and came home with the stamp and an ink pad that looked pretty close to the blue on my business cards (it's not, but that's okay!)

My idea was to stamp this on to the small kraft bags I bought for jewelry purchases. So, I got to stamping.

If you've not used a stamp and ink pad before, here's one thing I learned. Place the inked stamp on the paper, don't drag it. Resist the urge to press too hard on the stamp -- you may have ink on the handle which will transfer to the paper. Instead, gently rock the stamp to make sure the entire image has transferred.

The ink dries very quickly, so I was able to stamp & stack the envelopes. I had 100 done in no time at all!

I really like how the bags came out, but I still wanted the Cherishables name on the package. So I went through my stuff and came up with a way to package these smaller items as gifts. A little ribbon, and one of my new Cherishables tags (with To/From on the back) and instant gift! I'm really liking these.

Larger package for necklaces and felted bracelets.

Small bags for pendants and earrings.
All my bags and packaging will be, somehow, branded with the Cherishables name. Either right on the bag or on a tag.

If you sell your creations, how do you package your items? I would love to hear your ideas.

Happy crafting!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Table Games

It's countdown time -- one week before the first craft show of the fall. My Mom has been nice enough to let me store stuff at her house, in fact there would be no craft shows without Mom. She's made aprons, spray painted display pieces and sewed on more pin backs onto flower pins than I can count. She's a wonder!

Since we're a week from the first craft show, I dragged my sister and niece to Mom's house to help me figure out an arrangement for this year's table. Last year I did only one show and, even though I used vertical space, the table was much too crowded. I think it is much better this year.

The funny thing is, there is more stuff this year but I think it's a better use of space. The purses all hang, and jewelry is on a shelving unit. It took us a loooong time to get the configuration right, but it was time well spent. I now have a picture of how the table will look and working out the kinks means less time setting up on early Saturday mornings.

Now I just have a few things left to do -- print labels for the bags, make some pricing signs and buy tissue paper -- then I'm all set. Can't wait until Saturday!!

Happy Crafting!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Craft Show Added

I added another craft show to my Fall calendar -- the Craft Fair at the American Legion Post #314 in Ewing, NJ.

I won't actually be there in person, as I have another show that day, but if you're in the area stop by for some wonderful crafts and say 'Hi!' to my sister -- who will be at the Cherishables display.

Here's an updated listing. Hope to meet you at one of the shows!
Fall 2012 Craft Shows
10/13  Branchburg Woman's Club Craft Show, Branchburg, NJ
10/20  Homestead-at-Mansfield Craft Fair, Columbus, NJ
10/27  Rancocas Woods Craft Fair, Rancocas Woods, NJ
11/03  Steinert HS Craft Fair, Hamilton, NJ  canceled due to hurricane and rescheduled
11/10  St. Gregory the Great Academy Craft Fair, Hamilton, NJ
11/10  American Legion Post #314 Craft Fair, Ewing, NJ
11/11  Steinert HS Craft Fair, Hamilton, NJ (rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy)
11/17  Falls Twp. Winter Craft Fair, Falls Twp Senior Center, PA
11/24  Rancocas Woods Craft Fair, Rancocas Woods, NJ
12/15  5th Annual Holiday Craft Show, East Brunswick HS, NJ (tentative)

Happy Crafting!