Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Craftacular 2011

So Craftacular was this past Sunday.  It was held at the East Side Club in Madison and nobody could ask for a more beautiful setting.  What was even better was that for ONCE the weather cooperated.  Occasionally you could hear some thunder off in the distance but none of it traveled our way.  Although it was hot and sticky there was a nice breeze coming off the lake and I was in the shade of my new canopy.  It was fun.  I have a couple of these shows under my belt now so I don't get nervous anymore and I had enough merchandise for a respectable showing.  The people I met were really nice and personable and I even ran into a couple people that I had met at previous shows.  It was nice to see Sally from Night Owl Craftworks again.

Here is the view of the show from the lake.  There were also vendors inside the building on both floors.  Unfortunately I didn't get up to the second floor to check things out but I did see everything outside and on the first level.

The club has these awesome chairs sitting out by the lake so my wonderful husband got to sit and read all day.  He looked very relaxed.  He did stay within site of my space in case I needed him.  He was a great support for me, buying me food and Sangria (I was right across from the Tiki bar).

Remember this shag rug?  It was my first sale of the day.  Huzzah!  I was so happy to see it go.  I really didn't want to carry it back home.  The  lady who bought it asked if it could be washed in her washing machine.  I responded "only if you want to break your machine".  Seriously, this is one heavy piece.

Here's the other block rug that I wove.  It turned out lovely and also got sold.  In fact, almost all my rugs sold.  I think I only have 3 left.  I'm working on getting the rest of my unsold merchandise up on my etsy store this week.  It'll be pretty sporadic.  I put up some woven runners yesterday but there are purses, a quilt, and quilted runners yet to come.

So all in all, I'm glad that I did the show because I learned something.  I learned that I will stay closer to home for shows. As beautiful as the space was, as nice as the people and the weather was, it didn't make fiscal sense.  After  adding up what I spent to get into the show, the canopy, gas, getting a tax number, and food, plus the inconvenience to my in-laws with the kids and the dog....... I really didn't make enough to justify being at this venue.  I did get rid of a lot of items, which was nice but the profit margin was significantly cut down because of all that other stuff. 

On to the next endeavor: Art vs. Craft (Milwaukee)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


 This Sunday I'll be at  Craftacular in Madison.  I've been working my tail off trying to get my inventory up.  Weaving is so time intensive that it is very hard to put together enough merchandise for a booth.  Everytime I sell a piece on Etsy I'm like "WOO-HOO!" and "Oh NO!  Another empty space".  I'm feeling a little bi-polar.

I've set aside all my other projects to focus solely on weaving.  It seems to be what most people are interested in.  A few weeks ago I had a couple fails that had me down.  Some wool that I had warped on a loom started breaking as I was weaving.  There was no fixing it and I had to cut it off and throw it away.  That was a lose of 2 days work.  Another runner that I was weaving didn't turn out as nice as I hoped and a new technique that I was learning turned into a nightmare.  But I started the next week energized and hopeful.  This week went wonderfully.  2 runners and 1 rug (the blue check one from the previous post) complete and another rug should be finished this evening. 

These are the rags for the rug I'll be working on this evening.  Usually I use torn up sheets that I find at thrift stores but I couldn't find the bright colors I was looking for this time and I don't have the space to dye white ones.  Some day I hope to have a studio with a large sink.  Someday.  Sigh.  Anyway, I went to Joann Fabrics and bought this broadcloth for $1.79 a yard.  What a great deal!  They had so many wonderful colors.

This is one of the runners I finished this week.  I'm really on a yellow kick right now.  Probably because it's such a hot color.  It's a diamond twill pattern with an off white, yellow, and grey/blue warp.  The weft is primarily off white with just 2 yellow stripes.  It's 100% cotton.  It says "hello, I'm summer." Well, not literally but.. you know.  It's really pretty and I'm a little in love with it so I'll probably put a higher price on it.

This is one of the fails I was talking about earlier.  It's a rep weave runner.  Rep weave is a technique that I've never done.  My friend Susan weaves rep weave and I admire her work so I wanted to try it.  Yeah, well, I can say I tried it.  I made some mistakes but that's bound to happen when you're learning something new.  The runner turned out OK and I will try to sell it but the pattern is not balanced and it bothers me.  I pushed it to the bottom of a pile so I don't have to look at it.  It mocks me. 

Well, this is my last post until after Craftacular.  The Husband and I will be there all day Sunday.  A big shout out to my lovely in-laws for taking the kids.  They are the BEST!  Whatever doesn't sell on Sunday will be posted on my etsy site starting next week.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

currently on loom

2 large rag rugs done in a block pattern.  I just started this periwinkle and white one last night.  I'm thinking that the second one will be a big mix of colors. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wedding Flowers Part Final

I was asked to make 5 headbands for the bridesmaids and 1 flower with a birdcage veil for the bride. 

It measures a little over 4 inches wide and is made entirely of organza.  There was a different button to use in the center but when I put it in it just didn't work.  It was too white or big or something.  It looked out of place.  I ended up sewing in some pearl beads.  It looked more fitting.  The next thing to tackle is the bird cage veil which will attach to the flower with a little pin so that it can be removed if desired.  I started experimenting a little this evening.  At first I used the veiling that the bride sent over but I have to admit, I don't like it.  It's very stiff and hard to form.  I tried some other tulle that I had lying about.

(Gl is just thrilled to be modeling for me.) This is a real light weight tulle in grey.  I cut it into a bandeau style that goes across the top of the head, in front of the eyes and then attaches on the other side with either a bobby pin or an invisible comb.  Gl's hair is really thin so you can see the bobby pin falling out already.
This Tulle is just a little bit heavier (in peach) and is sewn into a much larger piece that goes all the way around the head and falls slightly slanted across the face. 
5 headbands and 1 flower are being sent to the bride tomorrow.  I am also sending over some different veiling that I would like her to play with so we can figure out how to cut it and what weight to use.   This was fun to work on and I feel privileged to have been asked.  I'm greatly looking forward to the wedding.  I love when people in love get married.  What I love most is when it's not all about the ceremony but about the joy of binding your lives together.  People get caught up in making their weddings a big performance or a statement.  It should just be about JOY!  And joy is, at it's core, very simple.