Craft Stall Update and Review

Hello Again!

This week I thought I’d have a look back at some of the craft stalls I’ve done over the last year or so. I’ve made much more effort to get ‘out there’, although it’s quite difficult trying to balance the place to be with the costs of doing the fair. As my cards and gifts are generally low cost items to purchase, I need to sell a lot to even cover the costs of the table and there have been times in the past when that’s about all I’ve managed and that is very disheartening I can tell you.

Anyway, balancing act aside, I did a few stalls last year. I ended 2022 with a successful stall at the local primary school Christmas fair. It’s a good cause to support, the table money goes to school funds and they ask for a raffle prize for on the day. With it being after school on a Friday, it only lasts for a couple of house as well (and there’s the bonus of only having to transport my things down the road). It’s hard work but good fun and I can always nip home if someone asks for something specific! I could do with more like this.

Into 2023 and I arranged to have a small stock of special day cards in my local Post Office. I’d missed the boat for Valentine’s / Mother’s Day, but I did get a decent collection of Father’s Day cards in there. They went down quite well, so I also did some thank you teacher, Halloween and Christmas cards, and then some Valentines and Mother’s Day cards this year too. The cards don’t sell in huge numbers but as the ad says ‘every little helps…’

Back to 2023 and I discovered that my local Dunelm has a community group and they offer a table at weekends to local small businesses in exchange for a donation to their charity fund. I thought it was worth a try to see how it went, so a booked myself in for a few dates. It’s a long day (10-4) and I was on my own for a large part of it – definitely one to limit drinks! Crafty-Teen (craftykid has grown up) dis accompany me on a couple of occasions but didn’t stick it out all day. I did the weekend before Father’s Day last June in the hope I could sell some sports shirt and trophy cards. I tried to make at least one for every football team I could think of! The weather was ridiculously hot. so it wasn’t the best attended stall I’ve ever had but I did sell some things and get my name out there. I had another table in October, this time in a different location in the store. Once again the weather wasn’t on my side as it was very wet. I focused on Halloween themed items and sold a few knitted pumpkins (new for 2023) and some little tassel ghosts. All in all it was a better day than it had been in June.

At the end of the Summer term I attended the primary school Summer fete again. I always take lots of teacher thank you cards to this but hardly ever sell any which I find very strange. However, the small knitted/crochet characters went down well with the children. I guess small mascots at pocket money prices area winner. It was nice this year as we were able to have the tables outside and it was very well attended (I was starving at the end though as I was very close to the BBQ station).

I had another table at Dunelm in November with a focus on Christmas cards. I find it difficult when to pitch Christmas as lots of people don’t want to see festive things until December, but with making and selling cards I really need to get them out there well before Advent. This was the earliest stall I’ve ever done for Christmas and I launched my £1 card collection which did reasonable well , along with my regular recycled cards. I did a few bundle deals too which seem popular so I will continue those again next Christmas, It was my best stall of the three at Dunelm but it really is a very long day on your own, with long periods of nobody stopping to chat. Thank goodness for some friends dropping in to say hello!

I managed to get a table at Clark Crafts in Ramsbottom at the start of December. I was really lucky to get a last minute cancellation place as I had somehow been missed off the initial listing. I was really looking forward to this one as I had been double-booked for their first market in the Summer, so missed out and it had been really well attended. It was cold! Snow on the ground (and we didn’t get much over Winter) but the Ramsbottom Maker’s Market was on so my fellow stall-holders and I were hopeful. I think the weather must have put people off because we didn’t have lots of customers. I still managed to do ok, but it was a long day and several stall-holders didn’t make their table money back. The highlight was a lovely lady selling Thai curries and she gave us all some of her tasters – much needed on such a cold day!

I finished 2023 with another table at the school Christmas fair and again it was the little knitted characters that sold to the children. It’s a fun way to end the year, but it wasn’t as well attended as previous ones and my sales were down a bit. But it is very local and not a long stand! The time does go very quickly with lots of people to chat to.

Total sales from the stalls:

Cards – 51; Knitted/Crochet Characters – 44; Gift tags – 35; Christmas decorations – 29; Chocolate orange covers – 14; Keyrings – 6; Pumpkins – 6; Hat/Gloves – 5 Ghosts – 4 Poppies – 3

And from the Post Office: Total 20 cards (to date)

Father’s Day – 3; Teacher/Thank You – 7; Halloween – 1; Christmas – 6: Valentine – 1; Easter 2.

So those were my 2023 efforts to get out and about a bit more. It was hard work and I must thank my husband and Crafty-Teen for their help with transport, setting up, lunches and packing up. I have learned a lot about what people are prepared to buy/pay at these small local fairs and I’ve met lots of lovely people (fellow makers and customers). I will definitely continue with the school fairs and need to have plenty of pocket money characters ready for these. I shall keep taking a view on my stock before making a decision on doing Dunelm again, but I have got my name down for Clark Crafts again and I will get my Father’s Day cards back in the Post Office soon. Then it’s back to updating my Facebook page!

Happy Crafting


(Last week’s Parkun 44:52)

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.




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

Rose Brooches

Rose Brooches



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

Baking Therapy

Just as I was starting to feel relatively back to normal, my daughter gets sent home from school!  Coinciding with the hot weather too.  So I have spent the last few days looking after her and worrying.  It turns out she had a virus and she’s pretty much back to normal again now.  So, to cheer me up a bit, I thought I’d do some baking for a change.

With not being able to have any fat in my diet for quite a while, I haven’t done any baking in ages.  And as it’s almost time for the local community group summer fair again (this Saturday coming) I needed a baking fix.

I decided to make some scones.  As we had some cheese left over in the fridge, I used that to make these delicious little cheddar cheese scones.

Cheese Scones

Then I thought I needed a sweeter fix too, and I found some chocolate chips in the baking cupboard.

Chocolate Chip Scones

As the scones take so little time to make, I started to hunt through the recipe books and came across a recipe to use up over-ripe bananas.  I have an old recipe for a banana and bran loaf which is fabulous, but I didn’t have any bran in the cupboard, so I thought I’d try another recipe, this time for a banana and walnut loaf.  I was given this recipe by someone at Bury Council Recycling Team and it’s quite different to any other cake I’ve made.  I’ve never added bicarbonate of soda to warm milk before – great scientific experiment!

Banana and Walnut  Loaf

The loaf took only 40 minutes to bake and is so light and moist.  It may take over as my new favourite way to use over-ripe bananas.

The house smelt amazing after that little baking session, although as there’s only 3 of us at home I think I may have overdone it a bit!!  At least I have something in if I get any surprise visitors.

My husband has kindly said I will make the scones for the cream teas at the summer fair on Saturday, so it’s time to make sure I have enough ingredients in.  If you have a cream tea do you prefer plain or fruit scones?

Happy crafting

Jam Tarts

This weekend was the Summer Fair and I made plenty of scones and biscuits. I didn’t have quite enough ingredients for another batch of fruit scones so I decided to take the plunge and make some jam tarts. To most people this wouldn’t seem a particularly daunting task, however, I have managed to get into my 40’s without ever having made pastry! Watching countless cookery shows and the Great British Bakeoff has completely scared me off making pastry before.

I always remember my Mum making fruit pies when I was little, and her pastry was great. She used to make a jam tart for me and my brother with the offcuts. So no pressure at all (not..)

Anyway, I had a quick look through Delia’s Complete Cookery course and remembered the ‘half fat to flour’ regimine that had been drummed into me at some point. Out came the butter, flour and a little bit of lard (Mum always swore that lard made the best pastry). I added some water as directed and ended up with a lovely ball of pastry dough. I made a second batch and put them in the fridge to rest, while I went out on a last minute panic shopping trip to the corner shop as I didn’t have any jam to fill the tarts with.

After a half-hour rest, the pastry was cool and ready to roll. I used my new pastry cutters to make the cases and each batch made a dozen tarts.

Blackcurrant Jam Tarts

Strawberry Jam Tarts

I overfilled a few of the cases, but they looked ok I think. And oh what joy, no soggy bottoms!! They tasted good too and were very much appreciated by the kids after school and at the Summer Fair. I think next time I shall try to roll the pastry a little thinner and not overfill the cases.

Happy summer crafting


Tomorrow is the summer fair and although I’m going to be attending as a community member, I am also doing my bit by baking for the cream teas and cake stall.

So today I have a list of plain, sultana and chocolate scones for the cream teas and a batch of biscuits for the cake stall. It’s a busy morning for me in the kitchen then! I’m just hoping I don’t run out of milk, butter and flour, or I’ll be on an emergency trip to the shop.

Chocolate Raisin Scones

I love making scones and in particular the chocolate ones are so delicious. The recipe I use is on a previous blog post and I would recommend you give it a try. It’s a simple recipe and always goes down well at the local fundraiser (and at home). My only problem is that I have to give myself a talking too so I don’t eat any. What I want to know is, why, no matter how big I make the scones, do I always get left with a tiny piece of dough? Is it a subconscious decision I make so that I have to have a bit to try?

Easter biscuits

Well I ‘ve got all my ingredients out ready for the scones. I can’t decide whether to make lemon and fruit biscuits or ginger biscuits, so I’ll have to see how I feel when all the scones are made.

Time to get baking!

Happy baking

Summer Fair 2014

It’s that time of year again. All the kids activities and school are finishing this week and the local community group Summer Fair is on Saturday.

This year we are having a summer party without a major fundraising. And I’m going to be able to attend as a member of the community instead of being on a stall. I’m really looking forward to it.

So if you’re at a loose end on Saturday afternoon, pop along for a cream tea. It would be great to see you.

FOWV Summer Party

Happy Summer