27 November 2012

Pinterest find: Free Owl cross stitch pattern

Still loving Pinterest!

Here is a cute FREE Owl cross stitch pattern from Kincavel Krosses I thought you might like...

You can find the proper link to it here where you will have to click on the owl picture to enlarge it.

Happy stitching!

P.S If you want to follow me on Pinterest you can find me here

26 November 2012

To market, to market and home again, home again dancing a jig

Wow, what a fantastic market, I am still exhausted!

We all thought it would be a quiet little Christmas market, being the first one and coinciding with sporting events and the A & P show, boy were we wrong....there were people lined up long before opening and queues out the door most of the day!

Here is my little stall, all quiet and looking as neat as I could manage...

And these are a couple of photos I snapped when I had a free moment...people everywhere from the moment the doors opened...1200 people in the first hour!

I had a wonderful day, meeting customers, chatting and of course selling lots of items - what a buzz!

I shared a table with the lovely Linda who does wonderful paintings and was selling cards made from her art.

We barely got to speak for the first four hours but finally got to have a chat as things finally wound down in the last hour. Linda brought the Sunday paper to read and needless to say it never left her handbag.

There was so much talent in the room and before the market opened it was lovely to wander around and see all the beautiful hand made items and chat to all the creators. I met many people from my local area who I didn't know existed so hopefully we can have a crafty get together one day soon.

Check out the Great Christmas Market facebook page to see more photos of the stalls (through the sea of people!) taken by Rachael. The couple of photos of my table show how 'trashed' it became. I gave up trying to pretty it up after about an hour. It is great that people want to pick up and touch the items, which is what handmade is all about.

There is also links to all the stallholders for those who missed seeing something in the great crush.

I have been hurriedly restocking my felt store with market items. So if you saw something at the market but can't see it listed in my store just contact me and let me know.

I have totally sold out of Gingerbread houses so tomorrow I will diving into the felt bag to start making more.

For any international buyers visiting my felt store I do post overseas just send me an email through Felt and I will get you an exact shipping price.

Now I need to go and catch up on a bit more sleep....

23 November 2012

Christmas Market Part 4: Top 10 tips for craft market stalls

The day of my Christmas Craft Market is nearly here so I thought I would let you know my top 10 tips that might be useful if you are just starting out.

1} A week or a few days before it is time to stop making and start organising...sort out all your packaging, make sure you have plenty of business cards and enough tags for all your products. Start labelling and pricing - I find this always takes longer than you plan so don't leave it until the night before. I print my own packaging.....
Business cards and tags printed and ready to be cut.
Cards and tags already to go. And cute note paper for quotes etc.
2} Often people don't take business cards so as well as having a pile of them on the table I also place a card in every paper bag that I pack goodies in. This is something you can do the night before, mindlessly in front of the TV or better still delegate the job to your hubby!

3} Make sure you have a decent float with lots of change related to your prices. I have a lot of items that are $8 so I take heaps of $2 coins to have for change.

4} Mark prices in pencil on the back of your items so can be easily rubbed off if it is for a gift or if you decide you what do change the price during the market.

5} Have a nice big tablecloth or white sheet to cover your table right down to the ground. This makes your table look tidy and means you can hide all your extra stock and packaging underneath.

6} Laying out your product is important. Items look better grouped, but remember to leave space around groupings so people can actually appreciate each of your hand made items. If you have ten of one item display 3 or 5 and than top up stock as it sells. Which brings me too.....

7} Design the layout of your products on your home table or floor the day before and print out a photo....that way if you get stuck in traffic or have a bad night with the kids you already have your plan to follow and you have time to drink your coffee before the market opens. Here is my kitchen table effort........

I have only been allocated half a table so my stuff is a bit more squashed than I normally like it but otherwise I have my basic layout as a starting point and then I can pretty it up if I have time.

8} Take lots of easy to eat, non-messy snacks.

9} Introduce yourself to your fellow sellers next door, if you are on the stall by yourself you are going to need someone to watch your stall while you dash for another coffee or the loo!

10} Make an effort with what you are wearing too, you want to look as presentable as your crafts and wear comfortable (yet stylish!) shoes.

Right so I have followed all (most) of my own tips, the car is packed, the alarm is set and I am ready to go to market......Yay I am very excited!

I have packed the camera too and hopefully I will remember to take photos and report back... wish me luck!

16 November 2012

My top 12 tips for using Hama beads

I love new bags of beads, they look just like candy and I want to just dive right in!!!  
But anyway here is what I have learn't from playing with Hama beads....I hope you find these tips useful.......

1} Put each colour in a zip lock bag and either keep the original packaging with it or write the colour on the outside of the bag - then you will know exactly what to order when you run out.

2} Put beads in little containers when creating it is much easier than rummaging in the bag.

3} Use a hard flat surface to work and iron on. I use my kitchen bench with a tea towel down for the ironing part.

4} You don't need to buy expensive special paper for ironing just use baking paper as it can withstand heat - but don't use wax or grease proof paper.

5} You can use the same sheet of baking paper many times but throw out when it gets too wrinkly as it will leave creases on your melted design.

6} Use a large enough piece of paper to cover your WHOLE peg board otherwise you will scratch your iron (yes I may have left a few marks on mine...sshhh don't tell hubby, he is the only one that uses it to iron clothes!)

7} When you have ironed the second side weigh your items down with phone books so they don't curl...unless of course you want them to curl!

8} Do a test first with random beads, make a square or something just to get a feel for how the beads melt as all irons and bead brands will vary. For Hama and Perler I have my iron set to wool. For cheaper melty beads I have had the iron super hot to get them to melt. So test test test.

9} It doesn't matter if you melt until the bead holes close up, for some designs this looks great.

10} If you have a random bead which is a bit shorter than the rest just use the tip of the iron to give the bead an extra few seconds to melt

11} Don't try and peel baking paper off straight after ironing...be patient and wait for it to cool down a little - it won't take long I promise......
12} Have fun but be warned it is very addictive!!
This little girl with pigtails is one of my recent designs...

I have added her and her friends to my etsy store.

06 November 2012

Fun with Hama Beads

Warning: lots of words and photos to follow...hopefully it will be inspiring so stick with me!!!

Whenever I have a stall at a craft market I like to have some items that are only a few dollars each. That way if customers wish to make purchases from many stallholders they can also take a little piece of Cupcake Cutie home with them too.

Previously I have made wee felt brooches and sold them but even a small brooch takes and hour or two to make so is not the most economical idea when I want to sell them for only $5 each.

So I have been playing with Hama beads...all I can say is 'Hama Beads where have you been all my life'. I am so addicted it is not funny. I am an instant gratification crafter and talk about about instant gratification, I can whip up about 10 or more of these brooches an hour.

Since the medium of melty beads is such a departure from my usual felt and floss I still wanted a to keep my themes so I delved into my cross stitch patterns and found suitable subjects...
Mr Hedgehog was my first pick - I knew he would translate well to beads. The thing to remember is that the beads are so much bigger than stitches so even a pattern with very few stitches can turn out quite large.

Do you remember Mr Owl from my woodland stitched house .....he made a great hama bead brooch...

Tip: if you are using cross stitch patterns you will need a square peg board where the little spikes are in a grid in line both horizontally and vertically.

Than I got really excited and experimental...I really wanted to make a doily and cameo brooch from beads...alas they just didn't seem to work, what looked great on the peg board didn't work when melted...

Then I dug into some vintage pattern books and found Mr Bunny, I altered him slightly, shortened the neck and added to the ears - I just love him. I had fun with different colour combos too...
Thought I needed another woodland creature and used bunny as a basis to make a fox...
 It took 3 attempts until I was happy with him...

Of course I had to make Bambi... I translated this one directly from a cross stitch pattern but it was just too big for a brooch (great Xmas dec though) so I designed a smaller version...

I made some little buttons and a giant bow which I have seen a lot on google and pinterest...

Because I have been in 'Hama Heaven' in the past couple of weeks I have even made enough to list some of them in my poor neglected Etsy store .

That is more than enough for now. I will share all my tips and tricks for using Hama beads soon.

I am also branching out into Hama Bead patterns which will be avaiable as pdfs soon so stay tuned!