The Craft Show: My Display

When I was little, I always went to craft shows with my mom, and we still do, though not as much now.  I always loved going to them and always wanted to be one of the people selling stuff.  Either that or I wanted to hang out by the herb dip/fudge/pie booth for as long as I could eating samples.

Anyway, having attended so many, I had some idea of how a display is supposed to be set up, so that was a great help in trying to decide how I wanted to set up my own (very first!!) craft show table display.  Plus, I joined a craft fair team on Etsy and there was some really good advice (read here) about setting up.

All of my items were picked up at the dump.  You know my love of the dump, and I've been fortunate to find a bunch of stuff to use for display.

Remember this former silverware tray (I took the velvet divider out of it)?

Instant note card holder:

This floral arrangement basket (I think??):

Held the crayon rolls:

These boxes were actually left behind in our garage when we moved in, holding nails and things:

I used three of them, one for mini notes, one for bookmarks and magnets, and we used one as a platform upside-down:

This totally awesome cookie jar:

Held my tea towels:

These empty frames:

Became my signs (thanks to Paige for the idea!):

 Plus I used a cookie sheet to display magnets, a fishbowl vase for baker's twine, and a stack of found books for mini bookmarks.  Here's how it turned out:

I was having a little fun with Instagram, since I finally got my hands on the iphone.  Here's Kristen's side of the table (yup, she's Kristen, too):

We had a lot of stuff.  We're thinking two tables next time.

Anyone been craft-showing lately?

Craft Show Craziness

Hey everyone!  I'm sorry to have abandoned you for TWO WEEKS!  How did the time go by that fast??

In my absence, if you haven't already seen it on Twitter, I was prepping for my very first craft show.  My cousin's wife (see her shop here) got invited to a local show and we decided to team up and go together.  The past two weeks, and particularly last week, was devoted to making stuff.  And boy, did I make stuff.


45 crayon rolls, 36 sets of cards, a dozen sets of mini notes, several sets of magnets, 7 tea towels, mini bookmarks and ribbon bookmarks.  I'm still exhausted.  And unfortunately the show was a bit slow, so I have a lot of stuff left over, but that means that Milo and Molly will be packed full for the first time.  I am slowly adding the items to the shop, and I'm going to be sending a box to a coffeehouse in Georgia who is going to sell them (yay!!).  I may have to have a sale pretty soon.

Stay tuned tomorrow for my show set up, which I'm pretty proud of considering we shared a table (it was packed) and it was my first-ever setup.  Plus, all my display items were found at the dump!


Welcome, friends, to the new blog!  I had a very busy Sunday.  As of about noon yesterday, this little blog here got renamed and found a new home- its own little dot com.  My Etsy shop underwent the same transformation, causing me to re-read everything that is posted on my shop page to wipe out traces of "by the book".

I'm happy to present Milo and Molly, the shop and blog.  Hopefully you found your way here from the old blog address.  If I'm not popping up in your reader, sometimes it helps to un-follow and then re-follow again.  I don't want to lose any of you in the transition.

As I stated on Friday, I was hoping to achieve something fun and universal that any product could be a part of.  Having thought and thought and thought, I ended up at the list of names we almost used for Gus and Greta.  Milo was my choice for Gus for a long time.  It's pretty unique- you don't hear it too often- but then it didn't seem classic enough for us.  And after rolling it around on the tongue for a little but, it just started to sound funny.  Molly was an early choice for Greta.  We really had a hard time with names for her.  We were trying to find something more old-fashioned and Molly was a great choice.  The problem with it was I really wanted something a bit more formal for her and a cute nickname, which we ended up with.  But lucky me, now I get to use both of the names that I really liked in a way that is really fun.  I think Milo and Molly will represent both my current and future products.

So once the decision was made, branding went into action and new packaging materials were purchased.  I'm going to really try and be consistent with my look.  If you have a minute, wander over to the shop.  Let me know what you think!

And thanks to Paige, who is the only one of you who took a guess as to my new name (exempting Rachel who already knew)- and she was half right!  So Paige, a little something fun will be on its way to you soon for being awesome and playing along.

A New Identity

Yesterday I told you to come back and read because there are some changes afoot.  Changes I have been wanting to make for awhile, and the time has come (or will soon, when I get a little bit of time) to change my shop name and blog name and branding in general, the last of which I have not really ever had.

If you've been reading along with me awhile, you'll remember me talking about this here and here, where I was so very excited when Etsy announced the ability to change your shop name and total disappointment when I realized that "by the book," the intended new name, was already taken.  Since then I've just kind of left it floating, playing around with ideas and trying to make a decision.

In the past few weeks, a few opportunities arose, including the upcoming craft fair that I talked about yesterday, that forced me to make a decision.  I also watched this vlog by April at The Flourishing Abode- the last segment on brand packaging in particular- and I realized that I really needed to do something more consistent with my brand.  I have thought up and down about what to call my shop relating to "by the book" but getting rid of the "paper" part, since that is not the only product anymore.  I also asked your opinions, hoping for fresh ideas, and I appreciate everyone's comments.  I decided to try out "by the book handmade" and even starting putting that on my business cards, but it didn't totally sit right.  And I finally figured out that I am not "by the book" anymore, and that I'm not sure if it ever was.  I started out with the intention of making personalized bookmarks and wanted to play on the word book, though I've never been entirely happy with what I've come up with.  However, my shop is so much more now that just bookmarks and I intend to keep it that way, so a few nights ago I decided that it was time to make a total change.

I want something totally generic in a shop name, something that can stand for any product I decide I want to make without me having to worry if it makes sense with that name.  Something cute and fun that works well with paper, fabric, gifts, kids items, you name it.  One day soon (maybe after this weekend?) you will come back here and wonder if you are in the wrong place.  I'm going with a whole new name, banner, colors, etc.  My business cards and packaging will reflect these colors.  I plan on keeping my avatar for a little while until people get used to the new name and then I will switch over.  I know it will be confusing at first, but I no longer want to continue on with the name I have, kinda-sorta-maybe happy with it.

So what is it?  I decided on a shop name comprised of two first names, first names that we almost gave to the kids when they were born (they were on "the list").  I momentarily considered using my kids' own names, but wanted to keep them separated from the shop name, so I started thinking about the monikers we almost gave them and a new brand was formed.

I'll let you ponder on that over the weekend.  Anyone want to take a guess?  Leave me a comment and if you're able to nail it (not you Heidi or Rachel) I'll send you a gift in the mail.  I'll even give you a hint- they both start with M.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sew Crazy

It had been building for days.  Gus would wake up too early (between 6 and 7 am) and once he's up, he's up.  One or several mini meltdowns throughout the day because he is overtired, but we can't nap him or else he won't sleep at night.  Cut to yesterday morning.  Gus came bumping down the stairs around 7:00.  The hubs was up and working in his office and told Gus to go back up and use the bathroom before coming down.  Complete.  Freakout.  He stormed up the stairs, slammed his door (he's not even 3 yet) and proceeded to cry and yell and throw a massive tantrum, until.....silence.  When I checked on him a little bit later, he was in his bed again, completely asleep.  And there he stayed until 11:15.

Greta, on the other hand, has also taken to waking up early, so around 7:30 I went and got her and fed her and let her play as much as a 6-month-old can (she's rolling over now, by the way- so cool), and so by 9 or so she was ready for a nap.  And slept until noon.

So for a portion of the morning, I was home with no kids.  Technically.  I should have been painting trim in the living room, but I didn't know how much time I'd have and that is involved, so I went to the sewing table and began cutting fabric for crayon rolls.

Little known fact: I am going to be doing a craft show in about 16 days (more on that later).  I have been procrastinating making anything for days now but realized if I don't get moving, I won't have anything to sell and I'll look stupid.  And I cannot stand looking stupid.  Anyway, the time had come to get the crayon rolls out of the way because those little pockets can take some time.  I wanted to streamline the process by having everything cut and ready to sew so I wouldn't have to keep changing the thread color.  I've had all this fabric, some from my scrap piles, some from what I've found and loved, sitting in a pile "put aside" for crayon rolls, so I decided to cut it all since that's what its purpose is going to be.

Ever wonder what fabric for 30+ crayon rolls looks like?

In case you're wondering the scale of that, here you are:

Yes, two full inches of fabric.  And that's not even all of it because some of the prints I didn't have a good solid for.  My fabric matching system:

Did I mention that I scored a bag of ribbon at a tag sale up the street for $1?  Perfect for the ties on the crayon rolls.

And you can see how neat and orderly I am as I am sorting through said ribbon:

I also had a little help later in the day.  Ok, maybe not, but he stayed busy and quiet, which is key.  By day's end I had 26 crayon roll fronts sewn (that's 208 little pockets) with ribbons attached.  Hopefully today I'll get to close them up and finish them off.  Then it's on to the next stack of things for the craft show.

Also, make sure you come back tomorrow- I've got some business-y/bloggy news to share!

Any craft show advice?  Anyone want to come help me sew?

Scrappy Towels

Awhile ago I mentioned that I was going to do fabric hoops for Greta's room (see here) and I'm happy to report that I have hoops coming out of my ears and fabric piles ready to go.  You notice that I didn't say it's done yet.  I'm going to get to it, I swear.

In the meantime, I've been trying to figure out what to do with the mounds of fabric scraps I acquired.  See, when you purchase or trade for a bag of fabric scraps, you get a lot of stuff you don't want in with the things you do want.  It's so fun to get in the mail but then sorting it out to decide what to keep and what to get rid of is a process.  I sold off a bunch on Etsy, I traded some out with members of the Trade-A-Holics team, and the rest went into a drawer system waiting to be used.

And so over the weekend, I grabbed some time and started cutting:

I have been wanting to make tea towels for a long time, and I've wanted to do this pattern for even longer.  Inspired by projects over at Maureen Cracknell's lovely blog, I was determined to put these two things together.

I've got more in the works (and plenty more fabric to go through), but I am totally loving the fabric combinations on these dresden plates.

Even though I'm late in asking, how was your weekend?  Anyone accomplish a long-time in the works project?
52 Mantels