Category Archives: Craft Fairs

Lovely weekend ahead

Lovely weekend ahead

Oh! I have a lovely weekend ahead.

Firstly, it is 3 days long, instead of the usual 2!

Saturday morning will see me at the Yorkshire Spoolettes Dewsbury meet-up, organised by the wonderful Ali, AKA Thimberlina. I’ve heard there are over 3o expected and so will have to split into groups to avoid swamping the fabric shops at the same time, en masse. Last year’s was a blast.

 

I’m going for a coffee and a chat and a catch up, more than anything. Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

Creative Stitch and Hobbycraft show

My daughter and I nipped across the M62 yesterday to the Manchester Creative Stitch and Hobbycraft show held at Event City, a venue just across from the Trafford Centre.
I had not been to one of these large craft shows before so we were looking forward to it immensely.

Creative stitches and hobby craft show

Looking back we were definitely novices in the grand craft show experience. I think there is a lot more to be gained from such a day with a little advice. Advice I wish had been given to me. Read the rest of this entry

The final showdown

Posted on

Right, that’s it, I’ve had enough, I’ve thrown in the towel.
I’ve made the decision. There’s no going back.
My precious time is better spent on my own pleasures than stood behind a craft stall.

All hopeful at the start of the day

All hopeful at the start of the day

That’s it, no more craft fairs.
I shall politely excuse myself from the 2 remaining agricultural shows I have booked. I shall happily forego my stall fees.
My time is better spent enjoying my garden in the company of my daughter and my partner.
The Emley Show was a fabulous success for the organisers; raising money for agricultural bodies and societies. The queues at the entrance (and the toilets) were huge.
The footfall through the craft tent was the best I had ever witnessed.
The sun shone, the brass band played tunes from films and the West End shows as well as Yorkshire favourites, all day.
Livestock were paraded, dogs jumped through hoops, pet rabbits were judged, and bakes and jams and crafts were awarded Golds, Silvers and Bronzes.
Very few spent money in the craft tent.
The stall cost me £50.00.
I took £56.00
After a 5.50am start, a breakfast snatched at Starbucks, an ice cream, a coffee, a coke and a water at the show; I came home with -£9.00.
I have conveniently forgotten the cost of materials (and my time).
I arrived home to my partner resigned to the fact that I had to admit that he had been right all along.
Tomorrow I shall have a lie-in.
The three of us will have a leisurely breakfast together.
I shall sit and crochet.
I shall complete this week’s CAL.
I shall progress my gecko.
I will make some biscuits.
I may mow the lawn.
I shall make a lovely roast diner.
I will relish my family.

At least I had a go.

Love, Lucie xx

p.s. A dog peed on my ‘Love, Lucie’ bunting.

Craft Fair number 6. Hit or miss?

Posted on

After a break from the craft fair scene for a couple of months, when I have throughly enjoyed creating purely for myself; I am once again putting myself out there, in front of the public.

The Emley Show is a typical Yorkshire Agricultural Show. There will be plenty of competition with hundreds of cattle, sheep, horses and pig vying for coveted trophies.

There will be dog agility classes, stone walling competitions, cakes, bakes and jams all put through their paces.

Live music, theatrical entertainment and even a tractor parade will entertain the thousands of people who flock to this annual event.

There is a food tent, a beer tent and a very large craft tent!

My very first stall

My very first craft fair, February 2013

Tomorrow’s craft fair stall, and my next two, was booked and paid for many months ago as the agricultural fair craft tents stalls are very quickly taken up once released.

Me on my stall

Me on my stall at the second(very cold) craft fair in a large engine shed

 It would be really lovely to come away with £100 in my purse. My stock has mostly been made from fabric purchased at the beginning of the year and I paid for the stall many moons ago; so £100 would feel like a real bonus.
My third stall

Disappointing craft fair number 3

My most successful fair was my first one. I came back disappointed with about £60 but that was a whole lot more than I have ever taken since!

Craft Fair number 4. Wakefield town centre

Craft Fair number 4. Wakefield town centre

Craft stall at Xscape Craft Fair May 2013

Craft stall at Xscape Craft Fair May 2013

I  have mentioned in an earlier post that these next couple of fairs will be make or break for me on the craft fair scene. After these next couple, for which I am attending purely because I have already paid and would hate to have wasted a coveted space, I may hang my stall bunting permanently above my craft space at home as a reminder that at least I had a go!

I will, of course, report back.

Love, Lucie xx

Twit Twoo!

Posted on

Having managed to do something to my neck requiring a trip to the physio on Saturday, I was unable to go anywhere near the sewing machine this weekend.
Being slightly incapacitated together with the cloudy and cooler weather in Yorkshire this weekend, I had the perfect excuse to sit inside and crochet this Sunday afternoon.
I ran up 5 of these owls bag charms. I have sold these on my stall to both young and old. When my daughter requires a present for a school friend she asks for one of these which I’m quite happy to provide as it negates the need for a trip into town for a piece of tat.

Crochet owl key rings

Crochet owl bag charms

Crochet owl bag charms

Crochet owl bag charms

These will sell (hopefully;)) alongside my cat bag charms

Crochet cat bag charms

Crochet cat bag charms

Crochet cat bag charms

Crochet cat bag charms

And if not, there are several hundred pupils in Freya’s class

Crochet bag charms ready for the Emley Moor agricultural show craft fair tent.

Crochet bag charms ready for the Emley Moor agricultural show craft fair tent.

I’m now off to Handmade Monday to see what others have been up to this weekend.

No more crafting deadlines!

Posted on

Do you prefer to work to a crafting deadline or would you rather pick up and put down various projects as the feeling takes you?
Does crafting become a chore when you have to meet a birthday or due date? Or do you find you are more likely to finish a project if you have an event to work towards?
Do you enjoy making a commission or do you prefer not to be restricted by someone else’s colour way?

Hmmm. Interesting questions.
We all took to whatever craft we enjoy, initially for pleasure. But when does the pleasure and relaxation that it brings just becomes another chore on a list of things to be completed?

Take my upcoming craft fairs in August and September. Having written off doing local sales and markets through appalling sales I have stuck to my decision to sell at these three popular agricultural fairs over the summer; apparently the ‘cash cows’ of the craft selling year.

Me on my stall

Me on my stall

These sales have added draw that all items have to be homemade so I will not be competing against all those ‘distressed’ fakes that are bought in bulk at a gift shop wholesalers.

After these three fairs I shall decide whether to continue to restock (that’s a joke after the past sales) or just run down my stock through giving my makes away as Christmas presents and other gifts.

My third stall

My third stall

I always secretly hope that the next fair will be the turning point, the time when I cover my stall fee, the cost of my materials and something for the time I have invested. I work hard for many evenings in advance of the sale to ensure that all my stock levels are high just in case I sell out and miss an amazing opportunity. ( Ha, ha!)

The problem is that for the 4 weeks before a sale, crafting suddenly becomes one of those things on my to do list. It is not as pleasurable as it should be or once was.

So why do I bother with the sales at all? I could never replace the wage the day job brings in, and neither would I want to give it up (most of the time!).

My fourth stall

My fourth stall

Well, I think we all like that affirmation that someone else ( not biased by being a family member or a friend) likes the things that we have created. We all like to puff out our chests and feel that warm glow that other folk will pay actual money for our makes, rather than buy a much cheaper version available off the shelf.

The funny thing is, I initially started to blog to promote my sales. But now through sharing and appreciating each others projects by blogging I no longer feel I need to sell but can just create for myself, to share with you, my fellow bloggers, and as gifts for appreciative friends.

I enjoy working on a commission and will do so even more if I don’t have a crafting to do list to work through at the same time.

So the decision has been made. I will sell at the three sales this summer and then draw a line under it all. I may even give up my Christmas fair in November which would have entailed an additional amount of Christmas makes as well. I will keep my appliquéd card selection topped up and fresh as I’m regularly called upon to provide these quick pleasurable makes. I will continue my drive to replace all my ugly household items with handmade lovelies.

I want to improve and develop my dress making, try some quilting, and get back to my bread making ( when I can bear to put the oven on again).

So no more deadlines! Apart from those I inadvertently  create for myself!

Love, Lucie xx

Another day, another craft fair

Posted on
Craft stall at Xscape Craft Fair May 2013

Craft stall at Xscape Craft Fair May 2013

On this gorgeous Bank Holiday Monday, the warmest and by far the sunniest day so far, where was I?

I was daft enough to be selling at a craft fair within a leisure facility centred around an indoor snow slope. Well selling is probably exaggerating somewhat.

In recent times it seems a rare thing to have good weather coinciding within a bank holiday here in Blighty.

Which is why barely a soul turned up to the craft fair. And it also didn’t help that the ones that did come had difficulty in finding the conference suite we were squeezed into.

The place was dead. The hundreds of folks that had spent all winter visiting the venue had chosen the park and the sunshine over snow boarding, the cinema and tin pin bowling.

This was my fifth fair and on a craft stall value basis (it was a very expensive stall price) it was my poorest. A loss was made.

I get the feeling that the only ones making any money from these fairs are the ones organising them. I feel a bit of a mug.

At least the tables were sandwiched together so tight it was more trouble than it was worth to have a wander over to grab a coffee from the adjacent bar or peruse the other stalls. I didn’t fancy a Lego key ring or a flyer about holding a skincare/candle/clothing party at my house anyway.

However, on a positive note, I did sell 2 of my new crochet baskets!

Crochet basket No.2

Crochet basket No.2

Crochet Basket No3

Crochet Basket No.3

My partner’s thoughts on continuing this quest are far from positive, to say the least. I daren’t even consider putting any value to my time spent stood behind my stall, which is how he looks at it.

I came home and did a quick 12 miles on my bike to bash out my frustration.

Back to the day job tomorrow.