My First School Fete

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from June 2015.


 

After the semi-success of my first craft fayre, I went looking for other places to sell my wares.  I came up with a nice list of places, but decided to settle only on one to start off with.  I picked the summer fete at Four Lanes School in Chineham.

And I’d learned a lot of lessons from the craft fayre. I narrowed down the stock that would work well for the venue, and didn’t take absolutely everything I’ve made. And I pre-prepped. I did the price labels, I pre-attached the magnets to the trays, I pre-strung the earrings on the display. I made sure I had a proper tool kit with everything I might need. And as a result, I was ready 30 minutes into the 2 hour set up time.

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But if you know me, you know that I’d much rather be way way way too early for something than even a second late. So I happily sat there with my crochet and watching everyone else set up.

I had a prime location, right next to a very large cake stall. And we were inside, which is just as well as it was absolutely scorching and horrible outside.

The fete opened at 2pm, and by 2.15 our room was still empty. I had bought and eaten some cakes, and knew that everyone would be caught up in all the stuff going on outside, and they’d get to us eventually.

By 2.45 though, I’d only had one or two lookers. I had a smile plastered on my face, but I was starting to fall apart in my head. Seconds after that, I had my first sale. A little boy bought one of my not-so-mini aliens.

A few minutes after that I sold another not-so-mini alien, and then all of a sudden I was having a rush of sales.  There was a queue!  A queue!!

And that triggered a great day 🙂  I made back the cost of the table, plus a LOT more.  I was coming down with a cold and not feeling all that great, but the shock and joy managed to keep me going 🙂

I will definitely be going back next year, and I’m hoping to be at their Christmas fete too 🙂

My First Craft Fayre

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from April 2015.


 

One of the things on my bucket list was to sell my wares at a craft fayre.  Yesterday I did that.

I booked the table a month or so ago, and I spent all the time since then stressing about it.  Because that’s how I roll.  I’ve been making lots and lots of stock.  I took 668 products.  And I’ve been making decorations too…

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I prepared a box with everything I would need. Notebook, custom order receipt book, blu tac, cellotape, pens, price labels, gift bags, cash tin, cash tin key (I quadruple checked that one)…

We turned up a tiny bit late. My sister Jennie was selling some of her chutneys too and she needed to be picked up from the rail station a couple of towns over because of replacement buses and things.

Vendors were allowed to arrive at 9am, an hour before the start, to set up. Turns out that is not nearly enough time. Or that I really need to streamline my process. Even with Mum and Cayden’s help, I was not ready by the time we opened. At ten o’clock I was almost at panic attack state. Not all the stock was out, there were no labels, everything was a bit of a mess, and I felt like a total failure. It took a while for me to get over that crappy feeling, but I did.

It was a success. For me at least. I sold three whole items and took a custom order too! It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was for me. And I made enough to cover my half of the table fee. My sister paid me for her half in chutney and cheesy bites. I’m happy with that.

I have a lot to learn, and some changes to make to my process, but I had a good time. And now I’m researching trying to find more fayres for us to attend.

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Desert Bus Rides Again

Two years ago I wrote about Desert Bus, a week-ish long nerdy fundraiser on Twitch.  Since then I’ve found that they’ve done a cool little “What is Desert Bus” video that explains it a whole lot better than I could…

 

In 2016 I made some place mats for their craft-along, which raised $444.44 for the Child’s Play charity.

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(Photo by the Desert Bus team)

I did submit something for the 2017 Desert Bus but they were inundated with submissions and mine didn’t get accepted.  This year though!  This year my submission was accepted and I spent a good couple of months earlier this year making this (badly photographed) TARDIS pixel quilt.

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It was supposed to have been a bit wider, but something went wrong with my math somewhere along the line.  But I’m really pleased with it, and I’m excited to see how much it’ll raise.

Here’s the description I wrote to go along with it – complete with multiple themed puns…

This Tardis won’t take you travelling through time and space, but it will keep you cosy and warm, not to mention that it will look absolutely FANTASTIC in your home.

The “Treasured (future)-Antique Represented Delicately In Stitches” is made from 100% premium acrylic yarn, and the fabric (of time) is warm and cosy.

It measures approximately 50 x 81 inches, which is plenty big enough to curl up and regenerate underneath with your companion. It could also be used to decorate the sofa in your local Torchwood office.

Now, we all know that the Tardis can get dirty. Sometimes you’ll spill your fish fingers and custard, sometimes you get bits of exploded Slitheen everywhere. No matter what gunk you get on this Tardis, it can easily be washed in the machine and tumbled dried at a cool temperature.

The Chameleon Circuit is broken, unfortunately, but the Tardis was made by hand in the Gallifreyan outpost of Hampshire, England. It took more than 120 hours to make and its construction was lovingly watched by three fluffy suPURRvisors.

In 2016 my friend Sam made a couple of things for the craft-along too and raised much much money.  The dice tower was a donation drive – people donated in multiples of a certain amount to go into a draw.  That raised a LOT.  And The Thorn gun thing (I don’t really know what it is but I’m told it’s from Destiny, which I’m told is a video game) raised $2200 in silent auction.  Sam tells me it was the second highest raising silent auction of the year.  The highest was the “donation of a keg for the Desert Bus wrap up party” that always raises a LOT of money, so it doesn’t count really.

 

 

 

He’s sent another massive parcel over to Canada this year containing one of these…

Here’s the equally punny description that he wrote…

There’s donations coming outta’ the bus-damned walls! If you want to have a chance to claim this film-accurate replica of the M41A Pulse Rifle from the 1986 sci-fi classic Aliens then you’d better drop a donation-nuke on it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure!

This 1:1 scale prop is made from 3D printed PLA plastic, plaster, and acrylic and measures 76x27x8cm. Electronics are powered by a PicAxe 20m2 microcontroller that lights up the working ammo counter and plays sound effects taken straight from the movie. Not only that, but the microcontroller is fully re-programmable thanks to a download port on the reverse side. Put your own code and/or sound effects onto it and make it do whatever you like! (Source code and wiring diagrams included)

Just remember, the donators mostly come out at night, mostly.

You can see more pictures of this masterpiece here, and while you’re there have a look at the rest of Sam’s brilliant work.

Desert Bus for Hope 2018 starts at 6pm GMT tonight, and will last for approximately a week. You can find all the details, including the schedule and the wonderful things in the craft-along at their website here, and you can watch the fun and games (and complete insanity) on Twitch here.

My quilt will be a donation drive, sometime between 10pm GMT November 14th and 2am GMT November 15th.  Sam’s pulse rifle will also be a donation drive, sometime between 6pm GMT and 10pm GMT November 10th.

3D Hama Attempts

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty.  I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there.  This one was from October 2015.


 

I started making pieces for a 3D Tardis…

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One of the parts fit at least.

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But after that they didn’t really go. I guess the pattern I copied from was wrong. It’s gone on the back burner for now, but I hope to continue it at some point.

I did have another 3D attempt, which went a little bit better.

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It fit together properly…

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But then it started falling apart.

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So that one needs a little bit more work too.


 

This is something that is still on my to do list.  I have quite a long to do list.  I’ll get around to it.  Maybe.

Waterbrush Experiments

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Things I have learned in the last hour..

One… do not outline in paint.

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Two… be patient and wait for one colour to dry before adding another colour right next to it.

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Three… I have one good brush and a bunch of crappy ones.

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Four… while the wide brush makes great rainbows when held sideways…

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… it does not work for details and small areas.

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Five… gradients are pretty (this is a cheat really cos I already knew this).

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Six… my unknown-brand watercolours are less pigmented than my Reeves pan.

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Seven… the cheap waterbrush I got from AliExpress leaks when you squeeze it.  I need a proper one.

 

 

Remakes Are Not Always Better

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty.  I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there.  This one was from April 2017.


 

There was a thing going around the craft forums online last year, to pick a project you made years ago and remake it. To pick something you made when first starting your craft, and see how far you’ve come.

I decided to remake this little turtle…

That little guy was first made way back in November 2009 – literally a month or two after I first started crocheting.

I had another attempt 8 months later, that came out looking a little… off.

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And then my recent remake..

I’ve always known that the plushies I make are slightly weird looking. I guess I hoped that 8 years would’ve improved my crochet skills a little better than that, but there you go.

To be honest, I haven’t crocheted many plushies in years. I knit a lot of mini aliens, but I mostly crochet blankets. Blankets I can do.

Bear With Me

I have a lot of ideas.  Hundreds of ideas.  Ideas for products, and for blog posts, and for the future of my little store.  What I don’t have is much ability to follow through on them.  It’s partly a lack of resources, and partly a lack of oomph/energy caused by my depression.

I have a long list in my notebook with plans for blog posts – and I’m always getting ideas for more from the many art/craft YouTubers that I follow.  I WILL get round to them all, I promise.  It drives me bananas that I let so long go between posts.

Every so often I’ll have a burst of energy and write a few posts, and schedule them.  But inevitably my oomph will run out before I have time to schedule any more.

Currently I have some oomph.  Currently I have energy and enthusiasm and I’m sat here at my desk with my notebook, and several hundred photos on my computer waiting to be converted into blogs.  So in theory there are some good posts coming up in the next few weeks.

Bear with me, people….

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Why It’s Been Six Months Since My Last Post

There are many crafts I like to do.  I find it easier to tell new people that if I don’t already do a craft, then it’s probably on my list of crafts to try.  And I do have other hobbies.  I have some experience in creative writing, I love movies, I like to read, I like to bake occasionally.  Unfortunately I also have depression.  Along with the depression I have lots of other associated issues like anxiety and some compulsive disorders.

I say this here on my crafting blog, attached to my fledgling store, instead of on my personal blog, because I want to explain why sometimes I go so very long without posting.  I’m not going to go into details.  They can be very unpleasant and I’d like to keep this a happy space.  I just want to say that my issues can leave me with very little energy or motivation to do anything.  On days when I can barely get out of bed, I still have the oomph to reach out and grab a crafting project from my bedside table.  Nothing complicated necessarily, nothing more than maybe a simple crochet stitch. But craft is always there.

One of the things I don’t often have the motivation or energy to do is to actually get out the computer, compile my thoughts, get together photographs and write a blog post.  I have so many ideas for them.  My brain never stops – even when I want it to – and the ideas are constant.  I often find myself taking photographs of the different steps of projects with the full intention of writing a blog post at some point.  It’s just that “at some point” can take a very long time to come around.

I can’t promise that I won’t have another six month gap, but I can promise that I will try.  While I’m feeling relatively normal I will write and schedule as many posts as I can.  And I will chase up the few guest bloggers I have lined up.

Iris Folding

The other day I wrote about being intrigued by two new crafts recently.  That post was about the first, and this post is about the second.  Iris Folding.

While searching Pinterest for ideas for my art journals I found this image:

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That led me to this page, where the author introduced me to Iris Folding.  Which led me to several hours on YouTube and Pinterest and Google Image Search.

Iris Folding begins with a pattern, like this one:

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In the tutorial I originally found she made her piece right on the template (without sticking it to the template), and then created an aperture for it.  Most of the other tutorials online begin with cutting your aperture from card stock, then taping it (with temporary tape like washi tape or masking tape) down over the template.

Then you lay strips of paper over the piece in line with each of the numbers on the template, using little bits of tape to keep them in place.

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When you’re finished, peel up the masking tape and flip your piece over.

With the triangle piece there, I made a few errors.  I had the pencil marks on my black card facing out instead of in…

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… and there were lots of gaps where I’d been paying attention to the lines on the template and not on the width of my paper strips.  So I had another go…

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…in which the pattern itself looked great but my horrendously cut aperture ruined the effect.  So I went again.

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This one I’m really pleased with.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty.

Those three pieces are made with strips of paper originally intended for making lucky stars, like this.

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…so the edges are nice and neat.  Many tutorials say to use folded paper strips so that you have a nice edge.  And this does work well, but there’s an issue with it.

My first attempt at Iris Folding was actually the C at the top of this image…

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…(That’s a page from my art journal by the way) but for some reason I didn’t take photos of it.  So to demonstrate the issue with folded paper (and because I really enjoy the technique) I made another one.

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I’m really really happy with this one.  I took lots of photos doing the steps so I might post a tutorial some time soon.  But the problem with using folded paper is this..

It doubles the thickness of the piece.  It’s not so bad with large images like this.  In the original C I did it was quite small, so I was essentially layering each piece directly on top of another, meaning I ended up with almost a stack of paper.

I enjoy the process, and it makes such a pretty result.  I’m definitely going to be doing more, including experimenting with ribbon and washi tapes.

Art Journal

Over on Reddit there’s a group called The Monthly Notebook.  The point, as taken from the subreddit info…

Welcome to The Monthly Notebook! This is a subreddit about the monthly notebook challenge. The goal of the challenge is to fill up an entire notebook back to back in a month! This challenge renews every month and each month you can decide whether to participate.

The first month I saw this I knew just what I wanted to do.  I’d made this hardback book while expanding my bookbinding skills, and I wanted a good use for it.

So for my first Monobo in August I did an art journal.  I’ve always been crafty with 3D things, like crochet and hama beads, but I wanted to work on my 2D art.  This seemed like a great excuse.

And I had a fantastic time.  I came up with some really good pieces.

I did a few pages I wasn’t so proud of, like this one…

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…and I ruined a couple of pages while adding new ones, like this one…

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…but I really enjoyed myself and I finished all 40 pages within the month.  Because I used card stock, it didn’t have a lot of pages.

With September looming I decided I’d finally get around to making a swatch book, so I’d have samples of all my pens and paints and inks.  I even made the notebook:

But then I found this book and decided that I’d be doing another art journal.

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That book is not only twice the size of my first art journal but it also has four times as many pages.  I didn’t complete it in September, so I carried on in October.  By the end of October I had completed exactly half the pages, so I’m still working on it and my current goal is to finish it by the end of the year.

Here are some highlights from the 90 (out of 166) I have finished so far.