Things I Have Been Working On

With gearing up to do another market of course I set my mind to Valentine’s Day. It still seems so far away to me …wasn’t it just Christmas? …but when I thought about it I realized it is already January 12th! How did that happen?

Anyway, yesterday was a paint day and here are the things I came up with:

She Ran Away In Her Sleep and Dreamed of Paradise

This was a custom order. I was given free reign with the font and I think this one worked perfectly.

you & me

Perfect for a Valentine’s Gift, Valentine’s decor or even year round decor.

P.S. I love you

Who has seen the movie P.S. I love you? It’s one of my favourites. Of course, it comes to mind when I think of love. Another great gift or decor.

Home is wherever I'm with you.

This was actually a shingle my husband brought home. It has a natural heart cutout. I love when nature designs things for us! I have been wanting to put these lyrics on a sign for some time and this was perfect.

XOXO blocks

Recently someone was looking for XOXO blocks so I decided I should do some. Hubby had a 4×4 lying around so I put it to use. I love the rustic well loved feel to these. I made 2 sets.

Heart Block

I had one block leftover after making my sets so a heart it became. Rustic and lovely.

LOVE blocks

And, of course, I had to do a set of LOVE blocks, too. Also, rustic and lovely

Look for these in the shop soon! (Except for the custom order …that one is spoken for. Although you can always ask and I could do another one special!)

 

My First Craft Market

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My display at the craft market. I was given the table and table cloth to work with.

 

Well, today I attended my first craft market as a vendor. I learned a few things along the way. Previously I wrote about how as a newby I missed a lot of the deadlines to apply to be a vendor at Christmas markets (If you missed that post you can read it here). Then, I applied to a couple but didn’t get in. And eventually I decided to do a market at an elementary school. The table fee was low so I figured I didn’t have a lot to lose and, if anything, it would be good to get some experience with being a vendor at a market.

I think I did pretty well in terms of getting a market checklist together and making sure I had everything I needed. Hubby woke up early with me and drove me and all the stuff (a lot of stuff!) to the school. Hubby only had to go home to get two things I forgot (luckily it wasn’t a far drive). Even so those two things I could have lived without if I had to. (Hubby also surprised me with a handmade rustic business card holder this morning. You can see it on the far right corner of the table. It’s gorgeous. Isn’t he great?)

I also think I did fairly well in terms of setup. It is difficult to set up a bunch of signs on a flat table so I brought a couple of props along, basically things I had on hand, to raise some up off the table to make them easier to look at. Linda from Cottage Living (the shop where I have some signs displayed …if you missed that post you can read it here) kindly lent me a tree from the display in her shop so I could display my ornaments (how awesome is that?!). I may need to rethink a few things for next time but overall I think it turned out okay.

So, we managed to get up early, get there and set up just in time for go time. And then …nothing happened. There were no people (except for the other vendors). Now I will say that this market was run by the PAC (parent advisory committee) of an elementary school and as I found out it was their very first year. However, I was a bit concerned when I noticed earlier in the week that the event wasn’t advertised in the craft market section of the local paper. I know I had seen other school craft fairs in there.

Also, when my son came with his girlfriend he commented that there were no signs on the street leading up to the school. From the outside you would never know there was a craft fair going on in the gym. I think that the main people who came were friends and family of the vendors. I didn’t expect a huge, huge turnout like some of the bigger craft markets get but I guess I at least expected the parents of the students to attend.

On the upside I had lots of time to visit for the friends and family who did come to see me. (Thank you so much for coming to those who did!) I also enjoyed talking to a couple of the other vendors. I got some experience in and won’t be so overwhelmed preparing for the next market. And, at the very end a lady came to ask me about a custom order and took my card. If that order follows through then it may just make the day a win. I think the biggest thing I learned is to ask what the marketing plan is before committing to my next market. That, as I found out, makes a huge difference!

On the downside I am a bit disappointed after putting in so much work to prepare for this market. And, I have lots of stock! Anybody want to buy some Christmas ornaments?

 

Wedding Date Custom Order

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I received another request for a custom order and they just picked it up today. Any time there is personal information on a sign I like to make sure that I ask if it’s okay to post it on my blog. You never know.

I had seen a couple of these signs with the Mr. & Mrs. and established date before and think they are great.  What better way to commemorate your coming together than a piece of art to hang in your home? I have a vision of the couple looking at that sign fondly many years in the future. Plus, it provides a great reminder for those prone to not remembering anniversary dates.

Paisley and Flourishes

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An idea popped into my head. It involved a flourish painted on a huge piece of wood and hung above a bed. I don’t have a huge piece of wood at the moment but I thought I could still paint a flourish on one of the boards I have hanging out in the backyard that are waiting to be transformed.

So, I started searching the internet to find examples of flourishes to inspire me. At the same time I came across paisley. And I thought …how could I have forgotten paisley? I love paisley. I have always loved paisley. I am drawn to anything paisley. I should paint paisley.

And so you have it, my two newest paintings.

I Found Something to Make into a Chalkboard!

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Before: The old mirror I picked up begging for a transformation.

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After: With a little paint, elbow grease, and a photo transfer you get a lovely vintage chalkboard.

 

 

I have mentioned before that I have a love for chalkboards. So, I have been on the lookout for things I can add some chalkboard paint to and convert to a fabulous chalkboard something or other (like the chalkboard I made for my daughter from an old oil painting or the chalkboard table I made out of an old table I picked up on craigslist).  I have looked and looked and haven’t been able to find anything …until a couple of weeks ago.

I was minding my own business as much as one does while looking through Facebook when I came across a post for an old mirror for sale. It was perfect. So I promptly said I’d take it and that night I drove out to get it. It ended up being twice the size as I expected but that was okay it would still do.

I initially thought I would paint the frame a teal colour but that would entail me going to buy paint. When I did finally get a chance to start my project it was after the girly was asleep and the paint store wasn’t open so I started looking at what I had on hand. I found some old sample pots of Farrow and Ball paint so I decided to give Dix Blue a try. I decided I liked it.

I had been trying to figure out what to do at the top of the chalkboard. Perhaps a word? Or a picture? Or something? But what? Well, once I had painted the Dix Blue on all I could see was flowers in my head …the sort you might see on some type of vintage wallpaper. I wasn’t confident I could paint them on myself though. So, I started to search the internet for the flowers I had in mind. I found the ones you can see in the after picture and thought they were perfect. And then I remembered a blog post I had read about photo transferring. Basically you apply a transfer medium to a laser copy of the photo you want to use and place the photo down on the wood. Then, wait 24 hours, sponge off the paper and your picture should now be on the wood. I thought I would give it a try.

I uploaded my file to Staples and later went out to pick up my copies (I ordered 2 just in case). Unfortunately, I didn’t give the correct instructions and my copies ended up being smaller than I needed width wise. I figure I could just cut a part off and put it on in two pieces. With my first try there ended up being a line where the two pieces met which I didn’t like. So I tried to sand the area to make it look aged but I only just ended up making it a big mess. There were also a couple of other spots that didn’t work out because I didn’t read the instructions correctly and applied the medium to the wood and not the photocopy. It caused a couple of lumps to happen.  So, I sanded it all off and did it again (with copy #2). This time the line was still there but I just rubbed away some more of the photo along the line and in a couple of other spots to make it looked aged and vintage-y. Then I made some really strong tea to make the white parts where I rubbed the photo away look aged, too. I also sanded some of the paint to add more aged character. And, voila, I now have a lovely vintage chalkboard ready to sell.

I haven’t put it in my Etsy shop because it is heavy (it was a mirror and is almost 4 feet by 2 1/2 feet) and would be extremely expensive to ship. I did try to put it in my shop and just have a note about picking up locally but apparently you have to put shipping in for at least one country. So, I have put an ad on craigslist for local buyers instead.

Let me know in the comments what you think of the transformation. Do you like the vintage-y feel of the rubbed away spots on the floral part or not?

www.virtualbazaar.ca, A Virtual Craft Market

The Twisted Stitcher, a fellow local (well somewhat as she is only 45 minutes from where I live) artisan has come up with the idea of having a virtual craft market. Basically, together with her techie husband, she has come up with a website where artisans can set up shop by renting a space on the page. The big difference between this and advertising on Facebook or Pinterest or other similar sites is that your items don’t get lost by all the other newer posts that get posted after yours. Also, as a buyer you can scroll quickly through the shop images to find what you are interested in quickly without having to scroll down through pages and pages of posts. The Twisted Stitcher plans to use funds received from the rent for promoting the page through google adwords and other similar paid advertising sites to get traffic through to the site. She will even put ads in newspapers under the craft market sections. I think this has some great potential for both buyers and sellers so I have had my shop added for her soft launch and plan to continue with it for her August 1 official launch.

Check out the virtual craft market at www.virtualbazaar.ca!

Three New Signs and One Restock

 

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For the musicians out there or those that host them.

 

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A sign based on the World War II Victory Gardens campaign. It is done in the same font the original posters used.

 

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I saw a photo that had this saying on a sign over the bed. I loved it and decided to make one in my own style.

 

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I made a new joy sign after my last one sold. I find it to be inspiring and it is also the name of my aunt that recently passed. I think of her every time I see it so making a new one was a must.