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Craft Show Review and Observations

2018-11-23 21.06.24
Hello friends!  I just participated in my first craft show in a few years and at a larger venue (high school) than I’ve ever done before, and want to share with you my review of the day and observations!  Here I am, set up the night before and happily excited about the show!  This is an older banner with my non-married name!  If you plan to do shows more than once or twice, having a banner with your name/logo/info is an important part of your display.  I bought the one pictured above from Vistaprint about eight years ago and think I paid $35 for it.  Here’s the one that I’ve updated and just ordered today using a Black Friday discount which will make it $23!

vistaprint banner for copycatcards

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I researched craft show/display/table arrangements/sale items etc for a couple months via Pinterest and picked the brains of other stampers via my Facebook stamping groups, and one thing mentioned was to create height in your display.  So I looked for and found the blue revolving rack on the left, the little wooden shelves in the center and a wire birdcage sort of thing, all at Goodwill!  Interesting though that most people didn’t even look up at my painted canvases on the top shelf; they all were looking down at the table as they perused!
BIFOLD DOOR
We saw a wonderful setup using bi-fold doors which looked like this but hers was wider, had no gap in the center and created a fabulous back “wall” for her space.  She had a table on either side of this, creating a U shape and it was very inviting.  Tim and I both loved it so now will go search at Goodwill and reStore for bi-fold doors!
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Another thing is that many crafter’s said NOT to display every single item you have but to arrange them in a pleasing way and only add more as needed.  I ended up removing a few of the post-it note holders from the bottom shelf and moving the items closer to the front.  And none of the post-it note holders sold but all the calendars did!  I bought my little calendars from Taylored Expressions!  Today they’re $2.10 for a pack of TEN!  :O  I may create prettier packaging for my clothespin magnets, and add five to a package but still sell individual ones.  Another stamper suggested using many different styles of paper on them, including holiday designs.  I made these the day before the show but will invest more time in them!
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Here is my display of alcohol ink prints.  I was disappointed not to sell more and wonder if I’d had them all standing and arranged nicely, if they’d be more visually appealing.  I enjoyed talking about the inks and some people were quite interested.  If we build the bi-fold doors display then these would go on that.
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Many experienced craft show vendors say to give your customers a deal or a freebie with your name/business info on them .  I didn’t want to take the time to make little freebies so opted for the bowl of chocolate and little sticker dots on the bottom of some with $2 off!  This was a hit and caused some people to find something to buy in order to use the “coupon”!  And only a couple little boys dug around to find the dot!  😀  *BTW, the one alcohol ink print that sold was because the customer got a $2 off sticker and that made them go for it!  Who knew that just $2 would make the difference!?
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This is a secondhand item I purchased for craft show display and yet I don’t love how it looked.  I attached the ornaments with little clothespins but two of them dropped and shattered.  We may just buy some really small S hooks to use instead and fill in some of the empty spaces with more clip-on pointsettias and little lights.  At least for holiday shows!  It also doesn’t revolve so perhaps a lazy susan beneath it would be more convenient.
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We displayed my cards in various vintage boxes, baskets and glass dishes and although they looked pretty, customers didn’t seem to spend much time rifling through the cards.  It seems that spinning card racks are a more popular and effective way to display cards, so I’ll be on the hunt for one or two!  I took the time to type out my price signs so that they were all consistent and easy to read.  If I continue to do shows, I’ll probably laminate them so they’ll last longer.
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It was sad to realize that so many of my beautiful cards weren’t seen!
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My daughter loaned us a rug to “cozy” up our space; it also helped to define the space a little more and I’ll be searching for something prettier that matches my color scheme!
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I spent most of the day standing, walking around my area, greeting customers as they approached, engaging them in conversation and asking them if they know anything about rubber stamping.  By about 2pm I had to sit down for a few minutes!  Wear comfortable shoes, bring a chair and do take time to rest if you can!  But be available for questions and to interact with people in a warm and welcoming manner!  They may remember that the next time!
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I loved having my three girls help out at the show and in the preparation beforehand.  Many hands make light work, so the break down, packing up and getting it all back home went quickly!  We ordered Chinese and watched a movie afterward!  The support of family and friends is such a blessing to this crafter!
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My husband, Tim, is my champion and right hand man!  He is always 100% supportive and encouraging of my work, takes care of all the technical stuff for my blog, hauls my stuff around for me and does everything he can to be a help!  He stayed all day at the craft show and that meant so much to me!  I hope you got some tips and pointers from this post and that you’ll consider doing a craft show yourself!  It’s a lot of work but can be so rewarding in ways that are not just monetary!  Thanks for reading!

 

Brutus Monroe, Christmas, Cool Penguin, Distress Oxides, Glitter Stock, Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens, Merry Words, Stampendous, Tim Holtz

Stampendous Ugly Sweater Challenge!

2018-11-13 14.09.07
It’s Ugly Sweater season again!  And just in time Stampendous offers this adorable Cool Penguin Clear Stamps & Cutting Dies setIn fact, Stampendous will give away 3 Cool Penguin sets randomly drawn from the comments on all blog posts featuring this set from November 25th-December 8th!   Check out the Stampendous blog HERE.  Now, onto my card!  I like a little bling as much as the next penguin, but this little chick is rockin’ her sequin-loaded ugly sweater!!  To create my card, I began by stamping the penguin, sweater and hat onto a piece of Bristol Smooth card stock and colored them in with Zig markers.  I forgot that the dies came with the set and fussy-cut out the images.  GAH!!  Don’t do that!
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I have a stash of plain old craft sequins so dug through and found the red, yellow and green ones to bling out the sweater and hat, gluing them over the colored images.  I added a dot of glitter glue to each one as well and a bigger blob to the pompom on the hat!  I then glued the sweater and hat onto the penguin.
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Setting that aside, I started on my background!  On another piece of Bristol Smooth I stamped and embossed the snowflakes with white powder, then sponged Lemonade and Cracked Pistachio Distress Oxide inks over it.  Using my border dies, I cut the snowy landscape from Brutus Monroe’s Fallen Snow Glitterstock, and adhered them to the pretty background, then added a little line of glitter glue beneath my penguin.  I heat-embossed the sentiment onto a scrap of green card stock, cut it down and attached that as well.
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Let’s take one last look at this Ugly Sweater before moving on to my next card!
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I confess that I don’t LIKE ugly sweaters so had to make a beautiful one too!  Again, I stamped my images onto Bristol Smooth card stock and colored with Zig markers.  Again, I forgot to use my dies and fussy-cut the pieces and then pressed each one onto my Versamark pad to coat with clear ink, then used clear embossing powder to create a glossy glaze!  I glued them onto the penguin and set it aside.
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I decided to make a beautiful night sky behind my little girl, so on another piece of Bristol Smooth card stock, I sponged Wilted Violet, Fossilized Amber and Broken China Distress Oxide inks randomly over the paper, then sponged a layer of Blueprint Sketch to cover the colors and finally a layer of Black Soot, letting some of the colors show through.  A spattering of water created “stars” and a spattering of white paint added more!
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I cut the snowy landscape from Brutus Monroe’s Fallen Snow Glitterstock, and attached it to the sponged panel.  Using a sentiment from Stampendous’ Merry Words, I heat embossed Believe in white directly onto my background layer, then the smaller sentiment onto a strip of black card stock which I adhered with adhesive.  A base card of white completed my card.  I actually love both cards and will bring them to my upcoming craft show to sell!  Thanks for visiting!!
Christmas, Florals, Jumbo Pointsettia, Kuretake Gansai Tambi Water Color Paint, Stampendous

Poinsettias on Canvas

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I don’t really consider myself an “artist” per se and I can’t draw to save my life so creating beautiful art with rubber stamps is what I do instead!  I found these little 4 X 6 canvases at the Dollar Tree and bought a bunch to play with!  They’re the perfect size for my favorite Jumbo Poinsettia stamp by Stampendous!  Sadly, it’s long retired, so you have to hunt it down on ebay or etsy.  I’ve created a series of these to sell at the holiday craft fairs this season!  I especially love the lavender and yellow background of this one!  I coated the canvas with a layer of white craft paint which made a smoother surface to work on, and heat-embossed the image in black. I used my Gansai Tambi watercolor paints to do all of these.
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I actually painted this one first and I forgot to cover the surface with white craft paint first but it still worked!  I do rather like the texture!  Of course, I had to add black and white paint spatters!
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I love the dark background on this canvas and how it makes the red blossom really stand out!  I used a white Posca paint pen to add highlights.
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Another gorgeous red poinsettia, this time on a soft golden background.

 

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This was the last canvas I painted for the craft show; I decided to try painting a white blossom which of course, is more than just white!  In hind sight, perhaps it’d be more true to life if I’d had a photograph in front of me to copy!  I’m happy with it anyway and will be interested to see if these sell at the craft show!  Thank you so much for visiting!

 


I’ve created this tutorial to help show you how I created this beautiful canvas. Be warned! I am super comfortable in the world of stamping, but this is only my second Video Creation, so please be patient with me!

 

 

Christmas, Distress Oxides, Florals, Holiday Birds Stamps and Dies, Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens, Merry Words, Pointsettia Collage, Stampendous, Tim Holtz, Water Colored Cards

Stampendous Holiday Birds

2018-11-14 09.03.06
Do you love birds?  Do you love to stamp and color birds?  Then you’ll love this set!  It’s called Holiday Birds Cling Stamps & Dies by Stampendous and it’s just beautiful!  I’m always drawn to realistic images and these were a joy to color and create with!  
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I began by inking up the fabulous Pointsettia Collage stamp (by Stampendous too!) with Forest Moss distress oxide ink, spritzed the stamp with a mist of water then stamped it onto a panel of Bristol Smooth card stock.  I set it aside to dry and stamped out both bird images onto another piece of Bristol Smooth and heat-embossed them in gold.  
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I loved coloring them with my Zig markers, using a water brush to move and blend the ink.  After coloring the image, I cut them out with the convenient dies!  
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To construct this card, I wrapped a length of gold ribbon around the watercolored background panel and taped it down on the back.  I sponged more Forest Moss oxide ink around the edges then attached it to my base card of olive green.  On a scrap of olive card stock, I heat-embossed the sentiment (from Stampendous Merry Words Clear stamps) and then die-cut the glittery pine needles from a Gina Marie Designs die.  I tucked the pine needles behind the bird then attached it to the ribbon with a couple pieces of foam tape.  The sentiment was adhered just below the Merry Christmas sentiment which is part of the background stamp!  
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This card was done exactly the same way except I used the little wren instead of the cardinal.  I think they’re both very festive and may tuck these away for personal use!  Thank you so much for visiting!  🙂  
Christmas, Distress Oxides, Florals, Pointsettia Collage, Tim Holtz, Water Colored Cards

Pointsettia’s in Watercolor

2018-11-02 14.41.26
I know!  I know!  MORE pointsettia’s, you say?!  Who wouldn’t want to create beautiful cards all day with the amazing Stampendous images?!  I fussed around a bit more to make this card and think it’s just beautiful!  Here’s what I did!  As usual, I began with a panel of Bristol Smooth card stock and embossed the Stampendous Pointsettia Collage using Brutus Monroe’s November Embossing Powder of the Month called Golden Gourd; it’s not gold, but a pretty light coppery color!  I embossed the image again onto an extra piece of Bristol Smooth so I could paint it and cut it out.
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Before doing that though, I created my background by smooshing some Fossilized Amber and Cracked Pistachio distress oxide inks onto my craft mat, then spritzed with water and tapped my panel into the ink, shifting the card stock to place the color where I wanted it.  Isn’t it so pretty?!
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I painted my blossoms with Gansai Tambi watercolor paints, adding dark red and dark pink, drying between layers for depth of color.  When they were dry, I fussy-cut them out and attached them to my background panel with a little glue.  The final touch was to add some micro-beads to the flower centers then place a few sequins around the background for accent.
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To finish my card, I cut the background down using Stitched Rectangle dies, then attached it to a layer of textured gold card stock, then to a white card base.  I stamped the envelope using the pointsettia from Tim Holtz’ Mini Holidays stamp set and Greetings is from Penny Black’s Believe set which is all Christmas sentiments.  I have so many other holiday stamps so I guess I should set aside my pointsettia’s till next year!  Thank you for your visit; I so appreciate you!

 

CTMH Stamps, Distress Oxides, Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens, Tim Holtz, Winter

Fresh Powder!

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I am not a skier, and in fact, I’ve never skied in my life!  But I’m working on building my card stash for an upcoming Holiday Craft Show, and had to pull out this amazing set from Close To My Heart called Steep & Deep!  I love the simplified images of the skier and snowboarder and I began by heat-embossing them in black onto a Bristol Smooth card stock.  
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After embossing the snowboarder in black, I heat-embossed the snowflakes with clear powder.  My next step was to sponge on a heavy layer of Faded Jeans distress oxide ink, mainly around the edges and at the top, then went over it and added color to the center with Cracked Pistachio oxide ink.  I used a baby wipe to remove the excess ink from the snowflakes so they would pop!  After setting the inks with my heat tool, I dripped water onto the panel which left behind the wonderful mottled look to depict snowflakes!  
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I colored the snowboarder with Zig markers, then stamped the trees and sentiment using Versafine Onyx Black ink.
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I repeated the process for this card, then sponged some Black Soot oxide ink around the edges.  I  trimmed down the main panel to layer onto a piece of white card stock then mounted it to a black card base.  Coordinated stamped envelopes are always a must!  
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I think these cards are pretty cool and hope they’ll sell well at the craft fair!  Vermont has many skiers, so they should snap these up!  Hmmm….maybe I’d better make more!  🙂  Thank you for visiting!