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Getting Organized

So, if you haven’t realized by now…I have issues. A lot of them. I am borderline OCD (I say borderline because I have never been diagnosed, but I am quite sure I am fully OCD) about a lot of things when it comes to organization and planning. I will actually have full on panic attacks when plans fall through or things are not planned out. But, only when it involves work or money. I am pretty laid back when it comes to going out, vacations, food…but for my day to day work, or anything involving money – like paying bills, I am almost crazy when it comes to organization. Maybe one day I will show you my super crazy excel spreadsheet that covers all of my monthly income, expenses, when it was paid, balances…it is crazy.

Well, as I was sitting around my house yesterday, thinking about this upcoming craft fair on May 2nd, I realized that I do not have nearly as much made as I had thought. So many of my pre-made items are for adults, and adults will definitely not be my target audience at the children’s festival! And so much of my stuff is winter! I am all set and ready to kill some late fall / early winter craft shows…but May in Southern California? No one is going to buy a scarf or gloves! And adults will not be shopping for themselves when they are in an area dedicated to kids and playing! I need to focus on stuffed animals, kids clothes, dress up clothes, that sort of stuff. Which I have known all along, and I was set on the “I am doing okay there”…until I looked at the count. How I will ever be ready, I have absolutely no idea. So, after spending about 10 minutes freaking out and nearly convincing myself that I should cancel, Stacey’s voice popped into my head again…make a plan. Write it down. Get organized. Be realistic. She actually wrote an entire blog on how to do that exactly…and it is worth a read, if you are like me at all, and get easily spooked.

So, I made a plan…and it looks like this.

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My plan is actually quite flexible. My personal days are all days that I have stuff scheduled and probably would be limited on any work I could actually do. And of course, given that my shop isn’t exactly doing amazing with sales (which you could totally help fix!), all of those days that are dedicated to Etsy orders are available to help finish up work from the day before.

So, while this plan will not 100% put me where I wanted to be, there aren’t enough hours for that considering I work full time, and so much overtime, it will put me much closer. And, it quelled the panic attack some. So, now to just make sure I stick to the plan and kick out a whole bunch of really awesome stuff in the next 2 months!

Wish me luck!

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Funky Finds – My First Craft Fair

Well…my first craft fair was a bust. 😦 Unfortunately, it was really rainy and awful the days leading up to the fair, it was raining the morning of the fair until about 10 minutes before it started…so that really hurt foot traffic. Plus, there seemed to be a lot of looky-loos walking around…people not interested in buying at all. Most of the vendors I spoke with didn’t even make their booth fee back, myself included. There were a couple vendors that did really well, but for the most part, the only sales people got were to other vendors.

We had two versions of our booth set-up…our initial morning set up, and then our set up after our friends arrived with some baskets and the like…and all of her creativity and design abilities. She definitely helped more than I could dream of.

My younger daughter ran around in her Halloween costume for a few hours, but then it got to be too warm, so she changed and we stuck the costume on the carrying case for our EZ-Up. The costume definitely brought a lot of attention to the booth, with several ladies talking about getting custom clothes and costumes done for their kids and asking for cards, so here’s to hoping that pans out.

I learned a valuable lesson about set-up; do not put your most expensive items out front! People kept walking by and looking at my cashmere scarf and leaving immediately after seeing the price, so we swapped it for a  cheaper scarf and then people would actually come into the booth. However, I was definitely overpriced for the market. There was another knitter / crocheter who is definitely a hobbyist, and not running a business, that was selling hats and scarves for about half of what I was; but hers were all acrylic, made of red heart super saver and the like; mine are wool blends and made from much more expensive yarn. So yea…definitely not my crowd. Everyone loved the stuffed animals, but would scoff at paying $10 for a  stuffed animal. I heard a lot of “I could get this at Walmart for $2!” It took some effort to hold my tongue and not respond with great things like, “And just imagine the little kid who made it probably got a whole $0.02 for the entire day!” People definitely don’t seem to see the skill, time, or money involved in crochet. They just think “yarn is cheap” (which it really isn’t, depending on the yarn!) and that anyone can make this stuff. I had about 5 ladies who ‘crochet’ (they can make a blanket with a straight single crochet all the way across and back) look at my daughter’s costume and comment with “that’s not that hard, I could make that” or told a friend who was inquiring about custom orders “don’t bother getting her card, I will make it for *insertchildnamehere*”. On the plus side, no one was obviously taking pictures, so I don’t actually think anyone will be studying too hard to replicate the costume. Not that I think anyone could. There are definitely people talented enough to do it….but I am not sure I could replicate it exactly. I made it up as I went along and stupidly did not write anything down about it!

Anyway, enough venting about how horribly rude people are at fairs. I did have a good time though, I definitely feel like I got a lot of exposure, I made a few vendor friends, and I found out about a few more fairs I want to do. I did sell my ten F-Bombs to my friends for their Christmas order. I also sold an octopus finger puppet and some toddler multi-color fingerless gloves. And I got the experience I needed to feel more confident about the fair I am doing in May; it is a MUCH larger event and I was slightly terrified. I now have my “inventory goal” list and am working on that after I finish the last of my Christmas orders.

No more vending plans until May. Then I have the Soka University International Festival in Irvine, Ca on May 2, then the BrewBQue in Norco, CA on May 30-31. I am really excited, and I feel like I will be much better prepared. And realistically, after that, I am going to focus on Halloween costumes, since that was my big seller this year, and then Christmas items. I have to be a lot more prepared next year, as I want to do several Christmastime craft fairs. 🙂

Anyway, I will be photographing and listing all the inventory that wasn’t already up in the shop this weekend. So keep an eye out! There is some really awesome stuff in there! Have a fantastic day!

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Snoopy is the King of the Dogs – Amigurumi Beagle

When I was stationed in Japan, there was this ridiculously awesome mall out in Yokohama, called Queens Square. And what made it so awesome (besides being built over an old dry-dock, over a train station, huge, and constantly having live, free performances) was the GIANT Snoopy store! It was huge, and there was a 20ft Snoopy (at least!) out front. Apparently, the kids in Japan have a thing for Snoopy. I even snatched up two Snoopy bras while I was there.

So, one day, while talking to a girlfriend about what her baby was going to be for Halloween, we got on the track of Charlie Brown…so we decided it was perfect. I mean, the kid was already bald with just a few wispy hairs, why not go there?! She asked me to make a Snoopy for her, and I did. And it was fabulous. Absolutely amazing. The pattern I used can be found at Bear Buns Studio, which is unfortunately no longer active. The blog is still up, but she hasn’t posted in a couple years. It is a shame too, because she is so talented!

So, here is my friend’s darling kiddo in his Charlie Brown costume with Snoopy tagging along, from 2013 Halloween. After seeing how adorable, amazing, and so cute this kid was, my sister had to have a larger one for her newborn. They have a great dane mix that looks a lot like Snoopy (even named Snoopy, of course), and he is my niece’s absolute favorite. So, I started on making larger one. I am fairly certain hers turned out to be 18 or 20inches, and it took a long time. I knew nothing about resizing patterns at the time, and learned it all on the fly. There was a lot of unraveling to be had during this project. Well, my niece got her Snoopy for her birthday, and it all worked out fantastically. I, unfortunately, do not have any photos of her with her giant Snoopy. What I do have, however, is my younger daughter with a 15” one. 😉 Enjoy.

Charlie Brown and his loyal Snoopy dog

Charlie Brown and his loyal Snoopy dog

Charlie Brown and his loyal Snoopy dog

Charlie Brown and his loyal Snoopy dog

Charlie Brown and his loyal Snoopy dog

Charlie Brown and his loyal Snoopy dog

6" Snoopy

6″ Snoopy

6" Snoopy

6″ Snoopy

15" Snoopy

15″ Snoopy

15" Snoopy

15″ Snoopy

15" Snoopy

15″ Snoopy