School Fair

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It was lovely to see so many parents and family members at school.  The fair itself was as manic as always. being straight after school it’s always very well attended.  This was the first year they’ve really invited parents to have their own stalls and it was great to see the variety of items available.  I was next to a lovely lady from Artysan Gifts who makes bespoke framed gifts. It was her first ever stall and she did really well. I wasn’t surprised as her frames are beautiful. I wonder if I can find a reason to order one for someone?!

There were two Asian food stalls and another card maker too. Fortunately we weren’t quite next to each other and our cards were very different in style, so we appealed to different tastes.

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I decided to go with a ‘name the cat’ competition in the end. It drew in quite a few of the children (and staff). He ended up with the name ‘Garfield’ and was won by a little girl from year one. I sold quite a few cards as well and some knitted and crochet items. So all in all it was a successful fair for me, as well as for the school.

I hope they invite us all back for the next fair at Christmas!

Happy crafting
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School Summer Fair

Just as I started to see some time ahead for a weekend off, I received a text from school, asking if I would like a stall at the upcoming school summer fair. With only a weeks notice I was going to decline, however, Alice talked me into it as she loved to help set up. I’m not so sure she’ll be able to as she should be in class, but I’ve said if she’s really good all morning she can ask her teacher if she can come and help.

So it’s been all systems go again this week. I decided to make up a collection of mainly thank you cards, specially for this fair. I’ve gone back to some old favourites and there will be groups of ten cards in each design. I’ve gone with owls, birds and apples as my main ideas.

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I will also take my now dwindled stock, along with some fruit keyrings and rose brooches.

Rose Brooches

Rose Brooches

Keyrings

Keyrings

I’m also toying with the idea of running a raffle to win a collection of five ‘dangler’ cards, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time to make them beforehand, so if I do go down this route I might raffle one of my knitted cats instead. Actually I could do a ‘name the cat’ and donate the proceeds to the school. They are raising money to do some work on a rather neglected wildlife and pond area, an area I reckon my two naughty kittens (Lily and George) have begun to frequent (and the less said about that the better).

Well it’s back to my desk again for now, these apple cards are not going to make themselves!

Happy crafting
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Ramsbottom Pre-Christmas Craft Fair Review

After all the panic this last week over making sure I had enough stock for my stall, and that my stall would look ok, I can’t believe the fair’s all over! It was a fairly early start as I had to get Alice ready for her dancing class fancy dress, before loading up the car with all my items. Fortunately the venue was only 10 minutes away. We arrived, and Alice decided she wanted to stay and help me set up. I discovered that I actually had too many items for my stall space! So there was plenty left in the boxes under the table. Anyway, here we are all ready to go.

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I was in a lovely little room with six other crafters, all of us with different items and a great variety of crafts on offer. I was surprised by the variety available across the whole fair, as I’m used to finding several cardmakers and knitters, so it was refreshing to see upcyclers, candle makers, there was a lady making keepsake boxes and pictures, and we had a lovely lady who was making up creams and lotions as well as giving shoulder and hand massages.

I took plenty of crochet to do, but never got anywhere near it. The fair was pretty busy, although many of the other stallholders said that the previous two days had been busier. We all put it down to being Halloween and children having classes and parties to go to. I wish I’d realised at the time of booking the stall that it was half term, but when you’re sunning yourself by a pool, it didn’t even cross my mind!! Never mind.

I found that this was a very different and positive craft fair experience when compared to others I’ve attended. It was so nice to be able to speak to the other crafters, everyone was so very friendly and we all got on well. So much so that I think we’ll be meeting up again soon. It was a great chance to swap ideas, network and I got some other suggestions on other fairs to do in the local area. I might do Bury Light Night next year.

Back to this fair and I found that I had a lot f interest in my knitted and crochet items, but the unseasonably warm weather combined with it still being October, meant that people seemed reluctant to purchase Christmas decorations or winter gifts. However, my cards did do well. I was particularly struck by how popular the owls were.

Pair of Christmas Owls

Pair of Christmas Owls

I came home with only 1 owl birthday card and a pack of owl Christmas cards left! So I shall be making more of those. I was also surprised at how well the gift tags were received, in particular the packs with poinsettias. It’s so nice to get some feedback on my items, and to see that other people like them was a great confidence boost.

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Right at the end of the day my daughter came back to help pack up, and she sold my last little knitted duckling! I’ve never seen anyone look so chuffed with themselves as Alice did at that moment – so much so she had to buy a sparkly blue knitted hedgehog from another stall!!

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All in all it was a great fair. I sold a few items but I’ve learnt a lot. Next time I think I will concentrate on my cards, and display them more individually rater than just having them in boxes. The ones that were out on the table for people to see where the ones that grabbed the attention. I could have done with a slightly larger table really, but that was the luck of the draw I think as some of the others did have larger spaces. I think I will also look into some more display items to bring height to the back of the stall. So there’s lots to think about, but now it’s time to get on with a couple of orders I took while there.

Happy crafting
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Christmas Cracker Cards

This year I have decided to get going with my Christmas cards a little earlier than usual. I made some poinsettia cracker cards from kraft card a couple of years ago and really loved the idea, so I thought I’d expand on it for my cards this year.

So I’ve been delving into my Christmas crafting box to see what I have in there. It’s amazing how much stuff I have accumulated and completely forgotten I have! It was nice to have a plan for a change though, so I was looking for ideas for making and decorating crackers.

I found some kraft card DL card blanks so started with those and decided to use up some of the craftwork cards kits I have purchased over the last few years.  The paper and card quality is fabulous and I loved the more muted colours in these kits. I also used some of the paper bows to add detail on the sides of the toppers, it was great to make some of them up and mix them with the papers.

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It was nice to make different cards for change, using sentiments as the main focal point of the card instead of images. Having made this I was eager to make some more in a slightly different style, so I made some little owls again. This time using some papermania Christmas papers and mixing the designs up has given some interesting effects. The colours here are a little more contemporary than the first set, but equally as stunning I think. I toyed with some options for the bows, using bakers twine or ribbon, but as I wanted to co-ordinate I decided to make the bows myself using the leftovers of the matching papers.

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This has now started a bit of a production line of different styles of cracker cards and really got my imagination going, out came the stamps, dies and papercrafting kits. I have a fairly large paper and card collection which have been saved for a ‘special occasion’, but I thought it’s time to start using some and I made some of my own card blanks as well. The patterned card makes a great backing for some handcut toppers too. I really love poinsettias at Christmas and making them up in different colours is great fun.

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I’ve been a fan of the Hunkdory cardkits for some time and have loads of them. The cardstock is so gorgeous though that I’ve always wondered what to do with it to make the most of the images. Now I’ve found a way of using some of the cardstock. So I’ve gone for some traditional images and as a compromise, there are some cute animals and some contemporary images too. There is such a great choice of colours too, ranging from very cool and crisp to the warm and cosy. I could just snuggle up by the fire with the little cat on the cushion!

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Finally I found this gorgeous Christmas kit. I have no idea where it came from but the colours are just gorgeous.

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The joy of making my own Christmas cards is that although the overall design is very similar, each one is individual. Once I’ve used up each paper design that’s it!

I will be taking all of these cards along to the Ramsbottom Pre-Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday 31st October, so they will be for sale. If you are in the area, it would be great to se you.

Happy crafting
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Pre-Christmas Craft Fair

Here’s the first details of the craft fair I will be attending in October.

It looks like a great event, lasting three days. It’s a shame I can’t attend all three days, but I have to factor in childcare and the school run, so I can’t manage Thursday and Friday as well. So I will be attending on Saturday 31st October.

It will be a unique opportunity to get hold of some handmade gifts from local craftspeople, and the library will be packed with around 50 different stalls.

Ramsbottom Flyer

I hope you can come along to say hello and let me know what you think of my blog and makes. It would be great to see you there.

Happy crafting
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Craft Fair

It’s always difficult to find the time to craft during the school holidays, with my little one running around and needing entertaining, I hardly have a minute to myself. This summer holiday has been no exception, organising playdays with friends visiting us and going to visit others, as well as looking for low cost activities not too far from home.

However, in amongst the hive of activity that is our home and a sneaky few days away in Menorca, I have managed to book myself a stall at a new local craft fair. It’s being held at Ramsbottom Library on October 31st, so just the right time for people starting their Christmas shopping, or for the more organised, the ones looking for some unique gifts. So I am trying to find some time to work on my stock.

It’s looking like a great fair, and it’s on for three days. I’m just doing the Saturday. It’s being held in the adult learning centre attached to the library and will be full of local crafters with all types of products. I’m really looking forward to meeting some more local makers and to see what fantastic wares they bring. There will be locally produced refreshments available too!

I hope to post more information as soon as I have it, but in the meantime, get the date in your diary as I would love to see you there.

Happy crafting
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St Anne’s Craft Fair

This week I have been busy preparing for my first craft fair in over a year!  I shall be at St Anne’s Craft Fair on Saturday and have literally been taking stock.

Craft Fair flyer

I will be taking a selection of cards for all occasions, in particular for Mother’s Day and Easter.  In addition I will have a number of knitted and crochet items, ideal for spring – some baby gifts, brooches and keyrings that would make lovely pocket money gifts for Mum.

It would be lovely to see you there, so pop along and say hello.

Happy crafting
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Craft Fair

I will be attending a craft fair in Swinton next month. It’s a new one and hopefully will lead to many more around the Swinton/Worsley and Bolton areas. So check your diaries and pop along to find some lovely unique handmade cards, gifts and accessories. There will also be a café offering tea and cake.

The fair is on Saturday March 14th 2015, at St Anne’s Hall, Manchester Road, Near Clifton Marina, and will be open to the public from 11 – 4pm.

More details will follow. Get the date in your diary and pop along to say hello.

Happy Crafting
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Newsflash

I have had to cancel my stall at the Bolton School Christmas Market this Saturday (29th November).

If you were planning to pop in to say hi, I’m afraid I won’t be there this time, however, please contact me to place an order and I shall get all stock orders out this week for you.

Thank You Card

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Christmas Market Review

Saturday was the Christmas Market and after a day to recover, I can now objectively reflect on the day.

As anticipated the venue was amazing. The market was held in the Arts Centre at Bolton School. This building wasn’t there when I was at school, but it is truly stunning. The main hall would make a fabulous wedding venue. We had plenty of room and it was very well attended.

Inital stall set up

My lovely new crafter friend Jill shared my stall for her very first craft market.  She makes the loveliest hairslides, hairbands, badges and bookmarks.  Great stocking filler ideas for girls (and boys) who are into Hello Kitty, Peppa Pig, One Direction, Minecraft and Monster High (to name a few).  Contact me for more details of her stock.

Jill selling her hairslides

The Santa Raffle proved a draw to the stall, as did all the hairbands.  It was a fairly successful day for both of us.  A shame I wasn’t able to display my cards as I think they would have sold well.  My gift tags, little stockings and knitted characters were popular.

Of course, I ran into an old school friend at the fair.  Nice to get the opportunity to look round the old place in a less formal situation than the organised reunions.  Can it really be 23 years since we left?

Me and EmmaThe market was a fun day and again I have learnt a lot about displaying on the stall, and what items are popular.  There is definitely something in the theory of appealing to small children, and I think Santa and Jill’s hairband characters helped a lot!

Time now to get back to the orders and think about another stall in the next couple of weeks.  I’d like to have an opportunity to show my card collections.  But there’s the local community group Christmas Fair and a couple of visits to friends and family to fit in as well before the Big Day!

Thanks to Jill for coming along and keeping me company for the day, and huge thanks go to Hubby and daughter for being so patient, helping out and driving!    Here’s to the next one and a Happy Christmas for all.

Me and Jill

Happy crafting
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