Another Show and New Products.

On Saturday this past weekend I had a booth set up at the Hartford Hodgepodge in the middle of downtown Hartford.  It was absolutely gorgeous out this weekend, with sunny skies and temperatures hovering near 80- totally rare for late September Connecticut.  Traffic was decent, although I suspect a lot of people passing through there were going to anyway, since it's in between bus routes.  Nevertheless, I met some great people and made a few new contacts and had a lot of people take cards.

My setup was largely the same as the previous show, with the addition of trying out hanging some of the scarves (I'm not sure I like it) and adding a set of new ornaments.  After a busy day Saturday I finally sat down on Sunday and photographed my newest item- ladies' and girls' headbands.  It's really hard right now to take all the items I've been making for shows and get them online.  There are so many color options that just photographing can take forever.  Anyway, I'm trying out a different photo setup- instead of trying to achieve the perfect white background, I shot them in my workroom in natural light with a darker background, and I think the colors pop:

22 new headbands can now be found in the shop!

I have new bookmarks and baskets, too, and shot them the same way, so I'm working my way through the photos.



I like both, but the white background is more of a headache to get the right colors and I think the natural light on dark wood really makes the fabric colors stand out more true.  So it's a work in progress for now. Which do you like better?

Happy Fall.

Maybe it's because I'm a New Englander and I have a very distinct idea of what the fall season is supposed to be (apples! pretty leaves! harvest fairs!), but I get excited when the weather starts to turn cooler (but not so cold to pull out the hats and gloves- no.) and the air gets drier and the leaves start changing colors.  It's the perfect time to take advantage of all the amazing New England things- apple orchards, pumpkin patches, hayrides, and things that pop up just once a year, like apple fritters.

In honor of the official start of fall, I set off to find some lovely things to get us all in the mood.

Lovely leaf necklaces (totally awesome for fall wedding bridesmaid gifts):

The warmest-ever looking snuggle blanket:

Love pumpkins?  How about some felted ones to accent a table or shelf display?

Or the soap version, which is even more awesome since it has sprinkles on it:

Love Halloween?  Boo-yah.  Got you covered:

And let's not forget maple everything.  Copper-plated leaves:

Maple cream (yum):

And maple marshmallows!

I'm also a sucker for maple fudge and maple sugar candy, apple pie, cider, cider donuts....yes, there is a theme.

What's your favorite thing about fall?  Is maple sugar candy just a New England thing?  What are you going to be for Halloween?

10 Happy Things.

It's Friday!  I was tagged by my friend Betsy to list 10 happy things.  Apparently, this is an Instagram thing that's going around, but Betsy brought it to the blog world and I'm happy to follow.  I'll post it here and on my IG feed.  (P.S. Betsy has been doing a spousal visa for her UK-born husband for months and months and months, and after being apart more than together, he's finally arriving today.  If you have a minute, go wish her some congratulations.)

My happy things:

1. Right now there is no one home but me and the dog, and this happens 3 times a week now.  I can eat what I want without sharing, I can go to the bathroom alone, and I can work in my office uninterrupted.  It's lovely.

2. Morning dog snuggles now that it's getting cooler.  She loves being on the bed, but when it's cold she is a spooner.

3. All my Internet friends.  They are the best, and there's always someone to talk to.

4. Making new products for the shop and getting things done.  Being out of the work slump feels great.

5. Magazine subscriptions, because it's always a surprise when they come.

6. The library.

7. The sound of kids playing outside after school.

8. Sweater weather.

9. Local farm stands, which I need to visit more frequently.

10. Multiple coupons and rewards from the Gap, which got me $100 worth of clothes for $10.

What's making you happy right now?

Heidi- read hers here!

Craft Show Set-Up: The Great Outdoors.

This past weekend I took part in my first ever outdoor two-day craft show event, the Simsbury Woman's Club Arts and Crafts Festival.  First two-day event, first time outside.  Oof!  It was a ton of work.  If you follow my feed on Instagram, you've seen all the stuff I've been doing (constantly) over the past two weeks or so to prepare.

It was a combination of finding lost things in the closet, finally making use of materials that I bought and never used, fleshing out items already in my shop, and coming up with some new ideas.  I had cousins come help cut and iron, and the husband was offering help in any way he could.  Plus, I was really pushing myself to keep going and I'm so proud that I was able to come up with what I did:

This is my Day 2 setup, and as you can see from the ground, Day 1 ended in rain, which meant hauling a lot of items home that I planned to leave in the tent because the tent was dripping and everything I make is fabric.  Whomp whomp.  My mom hung out with me on the first day and we ended up packing it in with a little over an hour left to the show.  Everything that came home with me had to go in the dryer, and a ton of stuff had to be ironed.  Not to mention the fact that some things sold really well in person and I had to make more on the night of Day 1.  Not a bad problem to have.

Most of my display items were found for free at the dump: the racks for the scarves and the pillows, the peg board for the ornaments, the corkboard the earrings are pinned to, even most of the baskets and the little dish the rings are sitting in.  I had a hard time trying to decide how to display my keychains and after roaming Pinterest, figured out that I could use the inside of wire closet baskets to let them hang long.  I ended up putting them on a lazy Susan so shoppers could easily access all the colors.  (Cue Gus cackling over the name "lazy Susan".)  Headbands were a new addition and a huge hit, and having a full-length mirror in the booth was key.

Day 2 started off cold (read: 47 degrees) and breezy but broke out into a warm, sunny afternoon with lots of shoppers.  By the end of the day I was really pleased with the results, plus feeling super in awe that so many people a) complimented my work and b) wanted to buy it.  A few people were there on Day 1 and came back again on Day 2, and a few people had friends who shopped on Day 1 and they wanted to come and see what I had.  Totally awesome feeling.  It was a real validation of what I do and what I'm hoping to accomplish, and it was really nice to be out in my community.

I learned a lot about my inventory- a lot of what sits online sold like hotcakes and vice versa.  People (whether they realized I was listening that closely or not) provided instant feedback- one scarf was described as too wide enough times that I went home and cut it thinner- that I was able to take and can now use in the future.  All in all it was an awesome experience.

Next up: The Hartford Hodgepodge in downtown Hartford on September 27.  Time to get back to making, and hopefully getting new items into the online shop soon!