May 21st Paper Bead Workshop

Here is the advert for my new paper bead workshop. Just a simple, basic introduction to making paper beads from alsorts of papers that you have around the house. So no expensive outlay.

During the session I will show you how to cut, roll and finish some paper beads. You will use your paper beads to make a bracelet with a clasp and charm to take home. I am really looking forward to this. And the beauty of holding my own workshops is that if they do get fully booked I will be able to hold more at later dates and times.

So please contact me if you are interested even if you can’t make the advertised date.

paper bead flyer

Advertisements

Thursdays Gorleston Craft Fair

It was another beautiful day weather wise, thank goodness. This is one of the reasons I keep saying ‘no more’ to craft fairs. Most of them tend to be outdoors and I absolutely hate, hate, when you have set up all of your beautiful things on your stall, including business cards and maybe a flyer or two, only for the wind to come along and blow everything away, or for it to rain and you are rushing around trying to cover everything or pack everything up that musn’t get wet! I have had to do this many a time. English weather is NEVER predictable, whatever the forecasters on TV say. But, Thursday was definitely a sun tan lotion day.

SAM_1492

Items ready for staining and decorating to add to the stall

It was a very small, quickly organised, not very well advertised, local craft fair. So small that there were only 5 stalls! We were outside, in a pub garden and semi-covered by a small marquee. We needed to be semi-covered as my partner had part of the table demonstrating how the paper woven items were stained and finished, and I could show how I made the small paper dollies. We didn’t want the marquee (that is rented out for parties and weddings) covered in wood stain. I make corn dollies from the newspaper sticks as well as the baskets and pots.

DSC_0290

Not many people attended, due to poor advertising. But this was the first craft fair that the organisors had tried to organise, so it is all down to experience and learning lessons. They are hoping to have the fair once a month, so I will see how they approach the advertising etc. for their next one before I book again. Although it is for charity, so I will see, I did make a little money afterall. Which is what it is all about, for me, at the moment.

DSC_0289

Even though not many attended I managed to get a bit of interest in my stall and I sold more there than I had at any other craft fair. And as far as I could tell I was the one that sold the most, which is a lovely feeling and gave me a much needed boost! Especially after the last one. At another, supposedly really organised, once a month craft fair, indoors, I sat there for 6 solid hours, getting alot of interest but no sales at all (also due to bad advertising). At this little fair  it was only open for 3 and a bit hours and I made my table money, and more!!!!

I also discovered, which always eludes me, how to price my stock. Unfortunately I have stock for sale on my website, at my original prices, and I can’t change them yet as Paypal are messing about with  all of their gubbins, so please keep an eye on my website as prices for my paper weaving items will be changing hopefully soon. Also, I found out that my Rag Bags were popular so I will be investing some time into making some more within the next few weeks.  I have loads of new ideas, which is one of my BIG downfalls regarding the business that I must address!

I think the little fair in Gorleston could take off in a big way if it was handled better. I am sure that the organisers will take this first one as a big lesson learnt and will make the future ones really good. They are hoping to have a craft fair once a month, so if they get more crafters to take part they can look for another venue. Hopefully an indoor one for the winter months and for crafters to have a Christmas Craft Fair. Good luck to them, and I will definitely advertise them here on my blog. Anything to help local,  fellow crafters!

In the meantime I now have more irons in the fire, regarding Tina’s Rag Bag. I ‘might’  write about it soon………………..  AND…………….I reached 1,000 views on my blog last Sunday, I am so chuffed. As far as I can tell I have 1 person in the USA frequently checking this blog. I would dearly love for them to get in touch. If  it is you could you contact me through my website ???? I promise I will reply.

But for now, to keep you in suspense, I must get on with my new Business Plan!

Not Happy!

Big disappointment about the Gt Yarmouth craft place I mentioned in my  post ‘Help For Crafters in Gt Yarmouth’.  I had booked a week starting 4th August, but visiting the place last week to have a look and see how they were doing I wasn’t impressed, and didn’t really want to show my work there.  So I have cancelled.  I have been assured that things will change, and that they should be organised in a couple of weeks, but I will wait and see.  I was so looking forward to having the opportunity of showing my baskets and bags and hopefully selling them, the ‘shop’ is in a beautiful location, lots of footfall and the building has a Dickension look (it was built around victorian times) with big round bay windows, I can see how it would look in the winter with lovely crafts, warm decoration and fairy lights.  But this doesn’t seem to be the vision that the people there at the moment have.  Such a lost opportunity to really help local crafters and inspire others.  Why can’t I find somewhere like this, I would be in there like a shot, since hearing about this place, and hopefully getting involved, I have had so many ideas and dreams.  Now I am going to be looking for somewhere of my own to make those dreams come true, I just need someone to believe in me and not just want hundreds of pounds rent!!!!!!!

Anyway, I have booked a table at a new local craft fair.  This time I will be selling my baskets and rag bags BUT I am adding a little twist.  My partner will be there also, painting paper woven dollies as part of an interactive stall.  I will write more about this tomorrow, with pictures, so keep watching.  I am not giving in that easy!!!!!

Money!!!

I actually sold some things the other day.

My grand daughter had a table top sale at her school to raise money for charity, so we had a stall together.  She sold some of her elastic band bracelets ( a new craze apparently) and I sorted out all of my original rag bags, that had just been stored with no likely chance of seeing the light of day again.

DSCF3476

I sold them cheap as chips, and managed to get rid of a few.

DSCF3340

It was a great feeling coming away with some money in my pocket.  And a little more space in my ‘studio’.

So for the next few weeks I will be concentrating on getting enough stock together for my stall at the new Gt Yarmouth craft market on the 4th August.  I have a table booked for a week so I will need quite a bit.

I know I said ‘never again’ to craft fairs, but I am expecting this one to be a bit different.  It is a permanent venue, I will have the stall for a whole week, including Saturday and Sunday, which will give me plenty of time to let people know that I will be there.  It is situated right on the edge of the town centre, opposite  St George’s Theatre Gt Yarmouth.  I will be selling my newspaper baskets, so it will give people a chance to see them and get to feel them too.

I managed to buy myself 10 pairs of ankle socks with some of the money I made this week!  Lets hope I can make a bit more next time, and maybe pay off some bills.

Help for crafters in Gt Yarmouth

A new craft market has opened up in the town of Gt Yarmouth.  It aims to help local crafters giving them space for a stall at a very reasonable cost, they are a non-profit enterprise, here is what the local newspaper reported:

Gina, of Deneside, Yarmouth, said it will be a nonprofit market to help start-up businesses get a foot on the ladder.

She said: “I want to help people on low incomes who might not be able to rent by themselves or afford a pitch on the market stall.

“I’m organising it but we’re running it together.

“We’ll have all kinds of stalls in there. It’s going to be good for the stall holders because they can keep their stock there and people will be able to see it as they go past.”

They are a very friendly lot, and of course I have booked a table.  I will be there with my baskets from the 4th August for a week.  But I will tell you about it nearer the time.  In the meantime here are a few pictures of some of the stalls that I took this morning (please excuse my photography skills).  Their website will be up and running soon so I will keep you posted.

SAM_1481

It’a a Bling Thing craft & design(on facebook): glitter wine and shot glasses. Personalised childrens hightops and t-shirts.

SAM_1485

B and T’s Crochet: hand crocheted baby boxes, blankets, hats, booties and mittens. Cardigans, dresses and jumpers. Toys and teddies.

SAM_1488

Tilly’s Craft Corner: personalised bespoke hand crafted items. Hair braid and bows.

Claire’s Party Treats: Sweet Trees, all party and hen needs.  Chocolate or sweet bouquets. Party cups, banners and plates.

There was also jewellery and lots of tea and coffee!!!