Middleton Fair – preperations

It’s taken me a week to write this. Which in one sense is a good thing, it means I’ve been busy. On the other, I’ve used the bits of spare time to do other things. Which does not include reading emails, except those that are vital. Blogs, I’m sorry, have had to fall by the wayside.
This week I’ve been getting ready for the Annual Middleton Fair. Those that follow me everywhere will know this, I’m like a stuck record on this one. But it’s a good thing. And it’s just down the road from me, doesn’t make the day much shorter, just easier to get to.

Last year was my first fair here since we returned to Tassie, and I looked back on my notes for last year. Well organised for sure, but something wasn’t quite right. I remembered what I was doing when it was set up and pack up time. A little disorganised and awkward.
I had boxes of jewellery. And I had boxes of props.
This year I took a different track. I was going to pack each table into it’s own box, or boxes. So I could do the set up/pack/up in a different, but hopefully more organised way.

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A box of mini busts and other props.

First up was to make my lists.
Design the layout of the gazebo to make sure there was room to move.
Figure out what goes where, and what I will be taking.
It comes down to this.
There will be a table of bracelets and other accessories, earrings, brooches etc. These, along with most of the props are all in one box.
My bags, which I’ve hardly taken anywhere this last year – are all in one box and will have the rack I use to stand at the front of the gazebo and wave in the wind…
Two tables with necklaces – one end will be shared with my canvases and a bag or two.
So there is one box with all the necklaces, and then three boxes with the props required. Busts, mirror, boxes for height…
I have a small table I’ll be using for the sale items I have. There are lots of little things I just want to get rid of, and there are always people who want to buy bits and bobs.
I bought myself a little table, smaller than the half size one, for my point of sale. I’ve not found the perfect set up yet for this, as each market has different space and layout options. I usually stack some of y boxes and use that. but its awkward and feels wrong. Looking at what others do also hasn’t helped as their stall displays are different so it’s easier for them. ย I’ll have the important items on the table and then spares in a basket on the box next to me, out of sight. Fingers crossed that works.

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3 of 5 tables. There will be 2 more of the big one.

This job also took me so long as I wanted to do a full inventory of my stock as I packed it, categorising each item (eg: each style of necklace and bags), then packing it in such a way that it was quick to get out and pack up. And making sure every item had a price tag.
As I was nearing the end I grabbed a sheet of butchers paper (thanks to a friend who did a hall clean up and asked me to pass it on, or keep it) and drew my gazebo layout. I added each section and what was needed, then ticked them off.

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Awesome sketch of gazebo layout

I was also writing a rather long list of prices to have near items or hanging on the table itself. It wouldn’t matter how many price tags/notices there are people will still ask.

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List of prices I have to get printed

There is a note for all the accessories table – listing each item, one for the necklaces – again, listing each style, one for my bracelet/earring special and the items as a single purchase…. I think you get the idea.
These were wrote, checked, printed, laminated, stuck to pink card and ready to roll.

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Pricetag notes

I took a break to get some photos of scarecrows while it was daylight then back into it.
After dinner saw me get tablecloths ironed and folded, my point of sale (POS) box re packed – making sure I had everything. Business cards, box of tape, scissors etc, tissue paper, carry bags, all those lovely sales things.

Lastly I made sure my repair basket was stocked with enough basics should anyone want something done, and some more bookmarks to make up if I get time. (These are quick and easy and don’t have to be perfect like earrings have to match..)

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Box of busts, sale basket and repair basket

Finally finished, ready for an easy day tomorrow, going to the school to organise misters 14 & 9, baking and having friends come and visit for lunch.

That is it for me now,I’m already knackered and I still have the day to happen yet. We’ll be arriving about 8.30 to get gazebos set up, and cars emptied so they be be removed by 9. The fair starts around 10 so an hour or so is fine for set up.

The finished result is 5 tables (3 large ones and the two smaller ones in the picture), 6 boxes and 3 misc baskets. A full car load with all the seats down.

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And more boxes of stock with hat rack.

Lucky it’s only a 500 metre drive to get there. My dad will be picking up the tables and gazebo on his ute as he takes mum’s as well.
Just thinking, for two market stalls there will be 3 full to the brim vehicles. A lot of stuff, yes.

See you on the other side. Hopefully over the weekend for a re cap and pictures.

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Bracelets – it’s a numbers game

When ever I make pieces of jewellery like earrings and bracelets I try to make sure there are several choices in each colour. There may not be duplicates of many, but so long as there are a few colour choices it helps.
This is why when I store my bracelets they are in their colour-ways. Returning from market and getting ready for another means laying them out and seeing what needs adding to. This is the best way to make sure there are not loads of one or two colours and only one choice for others.
On my table I can see 6 with blue (1 had red with and 1 has green and white), 4 with green, not including the one with blue, 5 red, 3 neutrals (brown, black, white) and one each of purple, pink and yellow/orange. I think I I went overboard on the greens, blue and red rather than having sold lots of the others.
I also find this is a great way to use up fiddly little beads, or what we call ‘bead soup’ – a mixup of all sorts of beads, where the quantity is not enough for one item, but perfect when mixed with others.
A selection of bead soup..

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So they will be my next job. These are memory wire bracelets. They are wound in such a way that they bounce back into shape and are easy to put on and off as there is no clasp. Just rounds of beads.
How many do I need to make. Well I like to have about 4-5 of each so I can mix and match what I take to each market. And for something like the Annual Fair coming up, they will all attend. Loads of choices, overloading the basket.

I then have a selection of semi precious memory wire bracelets and I will be doing the same with these. Checking out what beads I have to make new ones.

The numbers game – the smaller the beds the more I need – the fiddlier it is – the more time consuming.

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Then will come the normal clasp bracelets. I can see already it will be pink, purple and green. I might, if I have time, get a few more rings done, but they’re not so important.

Getting productive again

The time has come again.
I have a few repairs to get done, an invoice to deliver, and an annual fair to prepare for.
Repair job 1.
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Sorting bracelets so I know what colours need making
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And working off last years plan – forgot I even had it – deciding how many tables I can squeeze into my gazebo and still have room to move
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More on the Middleton fair soon. There’s only 9 days left!

Zero to Hero update

I posted all the things I’ve done with this challenge on my blog, and short of reblogging that post, or doing a copy and paste and changing some bits, this one will be basically the same.
It’s now day 12 and I’ve done 7 of them – Changing the theme, doing the header, playing with widgets, commenting on and finding other blogs (a little bit) and doing an About page. So I’ve already got an about page, but for those of us with one (I say after the basics of theme, title etc, an about page is the most important part) to maybe change it and look at how it is presented.
I’ve re written it, made it super simple so I’d like to know what you think. Should I add more to it, or not?
I have two half days this week available to get into the bead room before the weekend and a market on Sunday, so I’m not sure what will get made, but at least it is tidy now. I can find what I want.

Have a great day and I hope to see you soon
Jen ๐Ÿ™‚

New themes..

Simply put.
This blog got its new theme last week.
My work space is getting a new theme of Clean this week.

I’ve tidied up, but just like when you move house, I’m at the part where all the fiddly annoying things are. I need to just bite the bullet and get on with it. I’ve taken photos of some old but new pieces, and I desperately have to do something about my website.
I’m still tossing up how I work it.
Is it a gallery? Is it a shop?

The website is clean and as minimalist if as possible. Just needs a revamp.
Time to get moving, catch you all on the other side.
Jen ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s on my mind…?

What’s not on my mind. This is day 3 post for the Zero to Hero challenge.
What is on your mind. When you first thought about doing this, when you first started blogging…

I can’t really remember what I was thinking when I first started this blog except that I wanted a separate space for my beads to hang out, and to have everything beady in one spot – not all over the house…. –
It’s that simple really. But is that anyway to finish a post. I don’t think so.
I had read about this challenge on the Daily Post, and was in tow minds about whether I do it. Could I do it. There is so much on in January already without adding to it by committing to a daily post or blogging activity. I had already decided that I should post here twice a week to get me back on a roll.
I was still umming and aahing when I read my sister’s post about using it to get her mojo back. She too, has 3 blogs, so the thought works for both of us.
And that was what did it. I realised that getting back to basics and telling your my story (i had seen the first two prompts before I decided) was a good thing. Make me think about what I was doing again.

That’s what was on my mind.
Tomorrow, I will be photographing and posting pictures of pretties for sale.

Jen ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s in a name?

Today’s (day 2) topic is about your blog name. After all it is the first thing readers will see, and will they like it. The tagline too. It has to draw the readers in, make them want to stop. Or at least give them the heads up on whether they want to keep reading.
My name will never change (never say never I know) but my tagline has changed many times, depending oin where I am with my craft. I think it is now at peace with itself and happy to stay.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Way back to 2007 or 2008 when I first began selling my jewellery in this funky little book shop cum bead shop. I wanted to have something that was different but catchy, and was easy to roll of the tongue. I had all sorts of crazy things written down with options and taglines, or catch phrases.
After reading many forums and articles about getting a name, and what it means, how it reflects your business, ideals, product… and finally settled on Bold Designs. As you can see when you read it, it doesn’t really sit well on the tongue. It’s all awkward and not so happy. SO off to google translate I go and see what words will pop up at me in reference to Bold.
There were lots of lovely looking words, but one must make it easy for people to say – mine still gets pronounced wrong, but is better than most of the options – and this is what I came up with.

Marcato Designs.
Marcato meaning bold in Italian, or as a musical term meaning to play it strongly/loudly?
The pronunciation is what gets most people. “Mar-car-toe” Not “mar-cat-oh” or “mar-cay-toe” Even ‘mah-cay-toe” is better. THere is a slight difference n the last two.

My tagline. Some of the previous ones include:
“Be bold….and beautiful”
“it’s all about the jewellery…and how it makes you feel”
I am happy in my current one, as it encompasses all aspects of what I feel my jewellery and accessories are.
“Funky, Feminine and Eclectic”

Why the colour? At the time I wanted something that no one else had, there were lots of purple, black and gold, but the hot pink just stood out among all of that and I do really like it.

That is it for my name.
See you next time ๐Ÿ™‚

Who am I and why am I here

Over the next month there will be some extra not-so-crafty posts as I take part on the Zero to Hero (30 days to a better blog) Challenge on WordPress. Today’s post is about introducing myself, and I will also link my very post here.

This page is all about my crafty endeavours, market tips and hints, storage ideas. All crafty orientated, but the main idea is to showcase my beaded and jewellery pieces and put them out there.

A brief history is that I started beading when my youngest was just a baby back in 2004, and as we moved to another town I was able to sell my (very mediocre) jewellery in a shop and then branched out into markets. My style has changed a little over time and I have tried many new things – all the time knowing my limitations on what I can do. Sure, you can do anything, but my patience level is not where it should be for certain types of beading. And I’m happy with that.

If this sounds like you, and you might want to keep reading then I welcome you along.

My very first post here on this blog.
Interesting reading, and somewhat similar. I’m not sure how many of the links work at the moment. My apologies if they go nowhere.

Catch you for the next post. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen

A new year brings new possibilities!

It has been way too long since I have been here. Not for lack of being creative, but from lack of time and organising myself to take pictures and post here. My own slackness for sure.
But a new year is upon us. And I am taking up the challenge.
A new year means new possibilities!
My blogging resolutions for this blog are simple. Make it a routine to blog or at least post pictures twice a a week. Not hard. And considering I plan on being quite busy with creating, it should be fun.
One of the first changes I’ve made is to change the theme of the blog. I wasn’t overly happy with the last one, so I have fallen back to one of my favourite themes. Simple, but not too crowded, and showcasing all/most of the pictures on the side.

Another first for the new year will be to get baking onto a bit of sewing. A friend gave me these awesome crocheted flowers/shapes. We thought they were coasters initially, but no, they’re designed to sew onto bags. So the vintage bag book will come out and I shall see what funky things I can make.

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Have a great new year and I look forward to posting lots of fantastic new makes, and lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Jen ๐Ÿ™‚

Storage, Transport and Organising – markets.

An old post, from back in January this year. I’m going through my draft folders on all my blogs and sorting out what can stay and what needs to go.
With a couple of other storage/transport posts on the other blog to transfer I though I would copy this to a new post and publish it today (otherwise it would be stuck back in the middle of whatever I posted early in the year, when it is drafted, that’s when it publishes I’ve noticed).

I’ll be posting the others over the next few days.
Happy reading.

With only one day to go I have to have everything fully packed and ready to go, I am at the point where normally it is panic stations. Not me. Not now anyway.

As is the way with my to do lists, I write what I think and then gradually add to it as I find more things to do. Some may be obvious, but writing them down means I don’t forget even the simplest things.

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The list is slowly being crossed off, and is now at the pointy end where I have a smaller to do list at the bottom so I can clearly see what is left.
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What am taking?
The foundations and framework – 3m gazebo, tables and a chair.
The furnishings. Well that would be 2 boxes of props, 1 POS.
The accessories. Three boxes – one of bags, basket of canvases and the equivalent of one in jewellery. Jewellery can get pretty heavy, so I spread it out over two boxes, being careful that things don’t get squashed or can move around too much.
A total of 6 boxes that is my entire market display. Not bad considering I usually take 4 to a normal market. Sure this is just another market, but it’s also so much bigger and has a reputation to match. 22 years gives you time to build up a good following.

Everything has been checked and priced before I bagged and packed it, new price tags and labels printed and ready to mark the props, bags and tissue paper for wrapping and delivery, business cards… The list goes on.

My last job for tonight is to make sure all the bags are tagged and priced properly, while tomorrow I make up a few more bags. I purposely left this to the end so if I had time I would do it. If not, then I wouldn’t have missed out any of the more important items.
My bags cut and ready to sew, I’m not sure about the cream doily one. We’ll see how difficult it is to shape into a usable bag.

20130131-220024.jpgย and the one I made this evening, bright yellow with a black floral patch and white lining.

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A full post Fair report with photos (hopefully) on Sunday. I’m thinking that Saturday night I will be too tired to think straight. Pizza, wine and bed will be the order of the evening.
Have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚
Jennifer.