Selling Your Wares: Set up

In the spirit of reviewing what I did right and wrong last year with craft shows and fairs I want to talk about set up. My friend Abbe and I joked that we never set up the same way twice, which is certainly a little bit true. However we did manage, on our crafting journey last to come up with several different things that worked for us. Before I talk about that I will say that with any sort of craft show or set up you have to be prepare to be fluid. Go in with an idea of how you want to set up and then don’t be shocked if you have to change it a little…or even a lot. You might forget a piece for your set up at home. You might end up in a bigger or smaller space than you originally imagined. You might have done a craft fair the night before and have less stock than you originally intended. Be prepared for changes. That is the nature of this sort of thing.

Now on to what I liked about last year:

new copy

This was probably my favorite set up the entire year. This was also a set from the very end of the year. I started setting up at  craft fairs last May and by December I was semi pleased with everything. I think I set up at roughly 20 shows in that time frame. It takes a lot of hands on experience to figure out what actually works for you.

I sell primarily hoop art. What this means is that I need stand up displays in order to properly showcase my items.  IMG_1093 IMG_1094]

For that I primarily used these cheap fruit crates that I had hand stained over the summer. I did not start out with these crates. In fact I started out with just a table and my wares. The crates are a much more effective selling tool. The other good thing about the crates is that I can and do pack things in them to cart from show to show. If possible all of your display pieces need to serve multiple functions. Here is my tutorial for the wooden crates.

For the smaller pieces I used a wooden frame to display them. Originally i just set the frame up against the back of the crate as you can see from the picture above. Eventually I added a backing fabric and put it up in an easel.

IMG_0776

 

Another display trick that I have found useful is to use pieces that people will find interesting.

IMG_0778

 

This suitcase was $2.00 originally and then I lined it and made it into a display piece. People will look at whats  inside just because the piece itself is interesting. I started putting wreaths in it, then eventually I stacked my record bowls in it.

With display pieces you want to remember function, but it is just as important to remember style and creativity. Your whole booth should reflect your ability to craft and your various skills. Some of the best display pieces are picked up form thrift stores and repurposed or yard sales. So scour Pinterest, scour the blogs, take a good hard think about what you are selling and how best to display it and go to work.

What is your favorite display piece?

 

Advertisements

Labor class part 2

images

Steven and I bundled up and headed out into the cold beyond. We actually left early enough this time that we had time for a Rivertown hot chocolate run (I was being good). That was probably the highlight of the evening. We got to the classroom first, about 10 minutes early. My sentiments haven’t changed much. I’m not sure if it is that classroom, the floor, or that hospital in general but while I am not afraid of hospitals that one is just sort of unpleasant. I think it is because the lights are always dimmed…I don’t like it. I get that they are probably going for some sort of ambience, a sort of soothing environment. It just does nothing for me. Anyway, our instructor was late, the room was unbearably warm and the really full by the time everyone came in. Somehow we had more people than last week.

The topic for the first half was support partner roles. Basically don’t piss her off mid labor and if she tells you she hates your guts she “doesn’t really mean it”. Personally I think in that moment if I say it I probably mean it, but I will shortly get over it. Always ask permission to touch your partner. Maybe that will be relevant at the time but all I could think was “Damn, I bet you did more than touching to end up in a lamaze class” so really it seems a little late. All in all we have a rather sweet natured instructor, and she is an L&D nurse on the floor. She went over massage techniques, which considering that Steven went through clinicals he is already fairly familiar with. I did get a chuckle out of one couple where instead of the husband practicing on the wife, the wife was practicing on thee husband. To each their own I suppose.

After this interesting experiment in public touching, which my husband handles so much better than me; Apparently sometime in the last few years I got over that urge, we tried out birth balls. Now I will admit to some prior skepticism about the ominous looking little ball. All I could think every time I looked at it was that I was going to feel awfully funny trying to get off the floor. After trying the round one however I think it might actually be useful for distraction up until the point I decide I’ve had enough and it is time for the epidural. My goal is to make it 6 centimeters. After that I will feel like I put up a good fight…now give me the drugs. I did not realize that there were two different types of birth balls. Apparently there is a round one, which you normally see, and an egg shaped thing. The egg shaped one is clearly only for midgets. I could sit on it fairly comfortably, but I am 5’4”. Anyone taller than this and even me to a degree is going to have a hard time.

The last part of the class….well I can really only describe it as an advertisement for an epidural and Venus razors. Basically it was a 30 minute video of all natural births…and I mean all natural. Birth tubs, no drugs, no razors, out slips the baby natural births. As I sit here and finish my breakfast the next day I have a brief moment of nausea. Frankly it was not for me. I get that some women love the idea of the feeling the whole experience. I am over that. I have had quite enough pain in my life, thanks. At one point mid video I started laughing because all I could think was “Hmm…I wonder if it is too late to adopt.”

I did learn something important from the night, they don’t put the catheter in until after the epidural.

 

If you haven’t already go click on the picture to enter the Winter 2015 giveaway!

winter image

Also if you missed the first part of my labor class adventure you can find them here.

Marco Polo: To watch or not to watch?

marco

If you haven’t had a chance to sit down and soak up some of Netflix’s original programming you definitely should. Thus far I have enjoyed House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Marco Polo. There are others I am sure I need to watch, but these are the ones that have thus far caught my attention. All of which have new season’s coming to Netflix this year. Marco Polo is a good meeting in the middle point between the afore mentioned shows. It lacks some of the sarcasm of Orange is the New Black while still finding points to be humorous. Marco Polo also brings drama and human interaction without hitting quite so close to home as House of Cards.

polo

Marco Polo was of course a rather famous explorer. His father was a merchant that went back and forth on the silk road. While I have not exhausted all historical avenues, the series does not venture too far off  the path of the believable. Really and truly it is a Netflix series that is right for more than just the desensitized 20 something’s. Marco, for all his flaws, and he does have some rather silly ones, is a likable man with integrity. Marco chooses his own path. There is a saying I see often on the tattoo’s of feminists that says “She flies with her own wings”. Well Marco isn’t female but he certainly walks to the beat of his own drum. He rarely ever does exactly what you might expect.

court of Khan

 

The other characters are just as well portrayed and have so much depth. From Kublai Khan who goes from legend to relatable in this series, to Mei Lin, a dancer in the Song Dynasty court, there is a great deal of diverse characters. Each character has their own agenda, but Marco Polo does a very good job of tying it all together. There are just 10 episodes in the first season all of which you can watch in one sitting if you wish (it is Netflix after all). I love what they do with music in this show. They use the music for dramatic effect to draw out your attention and emotion in a masterful way. Much in the same way the songs from the Hobbit draw you in so does the soundtrack for Marco Polo.

This show is at times both beautiful and brutal but definitely worth checking out.

If you haven’t had the chance to enter our Winter 2015 giveaway click on the picture below!

winter image

Winter 2015 Giveaway

The Winter 2015 giveaway is going strong! There are still a couple of days to enter. Here are the prizes!

This the the giveaway link. It can also be found on the sidebar.

Box of random crafting goodness. This box will include:

Fabric scraps, Embroidery floss, Random Buttons, Zipper, Other goodies

The other goodie I am giving away is a $10 credit to my Etsy store.

business photos

I have searched around and found few other crafters and small businesses interested in participating in a giveaway.

Jingles the Clown and Friends are giving $25 off a party. They do birthday parties, corporate parties and decor in the North Alabama area. Go check out their Facebook page.

Amy’s Bowtique and Gifts is offering up a hand painted character cutout. Go and check out her Facebook page to see her other awesome creations.

 

Abbe J Designs makes some lovely hand embroidered items. She is contributing these awesome Hair Felties.

Abbe pics

You can check her out on Facebook or her Etsy shop.

And finally Hooty Cute Couture is giving away a Pacifier clip.

Hooty Cute Couture

This is my first giveaway using Rafflecopter. I am pretty excited to see if that streamlines the process any. Please enter below. All you have to do is follow my FB page, and the pages of the other businesses and leave a comment below telling me how you found the giveaway. Each of these things will grant you one entry. We are so excited to bring this to you. I hope to do another such giveaway in the Spring so please help us make this a success and get the word out about these talented ladies and their lovely products.

This is the link for the giveaway or use the Rafflecopter link in the sidebar.

There are six prizes available and therefor six winners will be selected. Winners will be selected at random using rafflecopter.  Giveaway ends at 12am Wednesday, January 21. Winners will be selected by January 22. Prizes will be mailed or emailed by January 28.

Disclaimer to follow:

“Giveaway ends January 21st at 11:59 PM CST. Open to Legal Residents (18 years of age or older) of the US only. Winner will be selected and notified by email or through Facebook. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that Creative Ginger Tree blog is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. I have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you in obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.  The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner. Giveaway is open to US Residents only.

Storm: A review

storm

I should probably preface this review by saying that I do not read much of anything set  within the tumultuous world of biker clubs. I love fantasy, but something about that world just doesn’t really appeal to me. Never the less I wanted to try out this book because it looked interesting and because it fit my criteria; it was a free to download book for the Kindle. I want to do at least one free book review a month this year. And I have a rather ambitious goal of reading 200 books this year.

Storm was not exactly what I was expecting. I honestly thought it would be more realistic and perhaps it is more realistic than I realize. Madison is the daughter of the president of the MC Storm. She is 29 years old, a recovering alcoholic, and not particularly picky about who she sleeps with. Madison moved away from her family two years prior and in that time has managed to pull herself all the way together and kick her drinking habit, surround herself with a steady circle of friends, and distance herself from club problems. All of this comes to a rather screeching halt when her old best friend is murdered by her old boyfriend who just happens to be the crazy leader of a rival MC.

From there we get embroiled in the MC once again. There are many high and low points to this book and the writing itself is actually fairly good. If you are looking for a free download that has some interesting potential as a quick read than this is a fairly good book for you. The story also concludes (for the most part) in one book. Though there are several more in her series and one more about the main characters Madison and J. J or Jason is actually a rather interesting character and one that I would have liked to explore a little more. He isn’t my kind of hero, but if you like Sons of Anarchy then this is definitely the book for you.

Overall, while I have no plans to read more from Nina Levine, this was a rather good sort of introductory book for those wanting to dabble in the world of motorcycle club fantasy. It is currently free  to download on Amazon here. 

If you read it I would love to know what you thought!

If you haven’t already entered our Winter 2015 giveaway click on the picture below!

winter image

Friday’s Inspiration Round up: Travel themed Nursery

First! If you haven’t already enter the Winter 2015 giveaway click on the picture below to enter!

winter image

I have realized in the last few weeks that the Nesting frenzy that supposedly happens to pregnant women is not a myth. It is one of the few things I can really say they speak the truth about before you get pregnant. I have a lot of ideas and I am gathering supplies and making little things and getting just generally very excited. Our theme for Carl’s Nursery is Adventure! We are incorporating maps and travel themes and general means of transportation. Its sort of a part UP!, part antique map room, part library. I think  it is  going to be the neatest Nursery any baby ever has. I’m really rather excited. This weeks round up is just a few of the ideas and projects and I am working on.

Nursery

 

 

1. I really like this Nursery from Project Nursery!

Blake's Vintage Retreat

 

2. I already have the wood for an awesome Growth Ruler.

ruler copy

 

This would be neat for a little girl. Click on the picture for the tutorial.

3. This Alpha Phonetics chart may be the neatest thing I have ever seen. The link is no longer valid but I am on the lookout for a similar one.

Military Alphabet

4. Cafe Press have several neat rugs and these are the two I have my eye on to choose between.

Vintage world map 5'x7'Area Rug

Vintage Old World Map - 1595 5'x7'Area Rug

 

5. I love vintage suitcases. I have my eye on several. And this bear is so darn cute.

travel inspired nursery

 

6. I have several Baby Mobile ideas, here are a few.

diy baby mobile kit - make your own hot air balloon cot crib mobile, pink blue turquoise

 

 

7. I have a dresser with mirror that I hope to do something like this with. The color and decor are just beautiful.

 

 

8. Globes! I want to have a ton of globes! I have a couple but I am still searching for several more.

Gorgeous hand painted globes - perfect gift for travelers! http://rstyle.me/n/uenh2nyg6

I love these painted ones as well as this

Main Ingredient Monday- Globe Projects 20 amazing DIY and crafty globe projects and ways tuse globes around your home. Collection from too-much-time.com

 

9. I have ordered some wooden letters already to decoupage with map paper like these.

Decoupage Letters. Use vintage maps and cut out letters to spell out "baby" or the baby's name for the backdrop to your baby shower.

10. And finally, I love the idea of this neat heart art. One heart is where Dad was born, one where Mom was born and one where baby was born.

Framed map of where Daddy was born, where Mommy was born, where the kid(dos) were born

Thrifty Thursday: Be on the lookout!

I am a thrift store shopper. It is part addiction, part personality trait, part survival instinct. This has been especially true in prepping for the arrival of my bundle of squirmy joy due in a little over 4 months.  My Tightwadery truly knows no bounds.

This week I found some majorly awesome things.

I got a clear plastic storage tub, which I direly needed to make putting my possessions in storage to accommodate new baby easier.

Price: $1.00

I got several baby clothing items for $0.25 a piece.

IMG_1484 IMG_1485

I’ve been keeping track of what I needed versus what I have with my handy dandy spreadsheet that I will talk more about later in a future post.

IMG_1482 IMG_1483

I got three pairs of baby shoes for the little monster to stomp around in which are in excellent shape for $1.50 a piece. My advice when buying for baby or toddler. If you are going to get it used, be sure it is something they will use, and that it is in good enough condition to withstand a few months/years worth of wear and possibly be passed down from sibling to sibling.

Thus far I have been resisting buying Maternity pants. Mostly because they are almost all ugly, overpriced, and just ew. I found these just sort of by chance in my usual glance over of the maternity section of the thrift store (which is only about 2ft of rack space sadly). They are Motherhood, which means I could consign them later if I don’t wear them to pieces like I generally do with clothes.

They were a wopping $3.00

IMG_1490

Probably the things I am most excited about are the four Baby Einstein tapes I picked up. I realize tapes are outdated and so on and so forth, but I have a VHS player and I am not above using it. Especially since they were $1.00 a piece.

Altogether I spent $15.00.

After a little research I discovered that an equivalent pair of shoes to the pair I found for $1.50 from Stride Rite are at least $40.00

I feel good about my day of shopping.

The thrifty tip of the day:

Always have a running inventory of the things you are going to need or currently need in your head or in your purse so that you can reference it when out and about. This helps to pick up on the various deals that you might otherwise miss.

If you haven’t already, click on the picture below to enter the Winter 2015 giveaway!

winter image

Winter 2015 Giveaway to Celebrate 200 followers!

I finally reached 200 followers on WordPress!!! Thank you all for being so awesome!

In honor of all my awesome followers and to help ring in this new year I want to do a giveaway. I did one last year and it was rather fun so here we go again. I am in the process of moving my crafty bits around in order to make way for baby who will be here in just a few short months. What this means is that I have a ton of crafty pieces that I am rediscovering (and wondering what on earth to do with). In that spirit I want to give away a box of random crafting goodness. This box will include:

Fabric scraps, Embroidery floss, Random Buttons, Zipper, Other goodies

The other goodie I am giving away is a $10 credit to my Etsy store.

business photos

I have searched around and found few other crafters and small businesses interested in participating in a giveaway.

Jingles the Clown and Friends are giving $25 off a party. They do birthday parties, corporate parties and decor in the North Alabama area. Go check out their Facebook page.

Amy’s Bowtique and Gifts is offering up a hand painted character cutout. Go and check out her Facebook page to see her other awesome creations.

 

Abbe J Designs makes some lovely hand embroidered items. She is contributing these awesome Hair Felties.

Abbe pics

You can check her out on Facebook or her Etsy shop.

And finally Hooty Cute Couture is giving away a Pacifier clip.

Hooty Cute Couture

This is my first giveaway using Rafflecopter. I am pretty excited to see if that streamlines the process any. Please enter below. All you have to do is follow my FB page, and the pages of the other businesses and leave a comment below telling me how you found the giveaway. Each of these things will grant you one entry. We are so excited to bring this to you. I hope to do another such giveaway in the Spring so please help us make this a success and get the word out about these talented ladies and their lovely products.

This is the link for the giveaway or use the Rafflecopter link in the sidebar.

There are six prizes available and therefor six winners will be selected. Winners will be selected at random using rafflecopter.  Giveaway ends at 12am Wednesday, January 21. Winners will be selected by January 22. Prizes will be mailed or emailed by January 28.

Disclaimer to follow:

“Giveaway ends January 21st at 11:59 PM CST. Open to Legal Residents (18 years of age or older) of the US only. Winner will be selected and notified by email or through Facebook. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that Creative Ginger Tree blog is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. I have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you in obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.  The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner. Giveaway is open to US Residents only.

Welcome to the Labor Class

Tonight was our first Birth/Labor/Lamaze class. I’ve read about these classes and what to expect, but I must say actually being in the class is much different than just reading about it. Steven and I are probably going to be those super involved scary parents because while there were several couples there due in March, one in February and one even at the end of this month we were the only ones due in May and there was no one due in April. I figured this was just one thing we could go ahead and get out of the way and so did he so we signed up after the first of the year according to the basic schedule we had mapped out before. Wow…that even makes us sound anal retentive. Anyway just in case you are out there and like me want to research and read about every little aspect of everything to do with labor I am going to spend the next few weeks highlighting my grand birthing class adventures.

There were about a dozen of us in the class, six or seven pregnant ladies and their various and diverse partners. As bad as this probably sounds Steven and I went into the class with a game in mind. We were looking for the “baby having a baby”, “alcoholic/meth head”, “just getting out of or going into rehab” and the “repeat offender”. I’m pretty sure we found them all. Yeah, welcome to being a cops wife. Its an absurd sense of humor. The class started out pretty standard, everyone was asked to introduce themselves and I am sure no one will remember the name of the person next to them by next week. After that we toured the L and D floor which I for some reason expected to come later, but I am really glad they went ahead and did that.

birth

When we got to the laboring room, and granted it is a fairly plain room, but one of the mothers complained about the decor….and all I could think was “who cares about the way the room looks when you are pushing a baby out of your vagina”…I mean really. Who gives a shit? Apparently this lady did. She actually asked if they could come in and redecorate the room before she gave birth. Other than that hilarious experience the instructor showed us the various rooms and the Nursery and all the fancy tricks the bed will do when you are laboring. It was good to familiarize myself with the environment before hand. That took a while and after that we got to watch a 20 minute video on birthing…a graphic video…with all sorts of lovely sights and sounds.

In order to help prepare us for writing a Birth Plan the instructor handed out about 20 cards with terms on them like Episiotomy, Episiotomy with tearing, Induction, Enema, Healthy Baby, Narcotics, Epidural, Birth Bar, Birth Ball, Walking, Laying Flat, Sitting, Crouching, Pitocin etc…She asked us to pick 5 we could live without. Mine were Episiotomy, Episiotomy with tear, Birth Ball, Induction, and Enema I think (though I will probably opt in for that one). Then we were asked to pick 5 more we could live without and I don’t even remember what I picked. Finally we were asked to pick two most important things…. Every other woman in my class picked Healthy Baby and Family Support….I’m over here in the corner with Healthy Baby and Epidural. I prefer to think of myself as just really honest. Then we got a 10 minute presentation on enema’s. All in all it answered or confirmed a few questions I had such as “Will the baby be able to stay with me in the room?” I had been told that the answer was yes but I wanted it confirmed. Next week we learned about natural birthing techniques and pain management. Woot.