It’s fair day!

The day dawned beautiful and sunny. With a slight breeze. Everything was packed or stacked ready to go and all I needed was to get my bag ready with camera glasses, hat and plenty of water. It was promised to be a hot one.
Dad arrived and took my tables and gazebo in the ute and hubby and I followed in the car. Mum was already there – we have stalls next to each other – and vehicles unpacked and moved.
Gazebos set up and pegged the men left us to it, and I realised very soon on I had left my water at home. Bugger.
Set up took a little longer than usual but not by much. And from then on it was busy. About 10 I felt the need for another coffee and breakfast but between myself, the coffee van (conveniently across the road again) and Jakob’s Pantry next door it was nearer 11.30 before I got to leave and get sustenance. A unit went down very well too.
My decision to pack things differently this year paid off as it was so much easier – both at the beginning and end. I was able to leave one whole table set up til the last minute rather than having 3 tables half packed up and looking messy.

And one table – my bracelets and accessories – I’ve decided I will take to market next week. Quick and easy, but also full of fun little things available to everyone.
I did learn one thing. Friendly plastic. It melts when it gets too hot. If you were wearing a brooch or earrings like I was, provided you aren’t just standing around in the full sun, they will be ok. Where they were on my table, they were in the full sun, and while not obvious, when I went to move them, some were stuck, and are subsequently ruined. A small price, and a timely reminder for next time.

Overall my day was pretty good. I’d made back costs in the first half hour and the rest was, well, it’s what we want isn’t? Put it this way. I love full day fairs like this, and I got invited to go to another in early April. We’ll see what the email brings first. And off hand I’m pretty sure this year is the Channel art Trail, a 3 day exhibition of all kinds of artists selling their wares with some ‘working’ exhibitions included.

I am pretty happy with the layout of my gazebo, given I don’t do outside events often – jewellery tends to not like the wind – but I just love the opportunity to take lots of items and show off everything.

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One minor issue, the gazebo isn’t as big as I thought, so I can’t have the full layout and include the walls, as one of my tables was half out of the cover, but still inside the site markings. Another stall holder chatting told me about their verandah or awning you can buy to extend shade on the, but I’d be wanting to see if I can utilise it to add the wall to it as extra roof space. Did that make sense?
And after looking back at the pictures, I need a much bigger banner, and more girls to hang. The banner I would like is a vertical one that stands out the front of the stall or the biggest horizontal one, which would cover half the width of the gazebo. And more girls so I can have a whole row along one side. Small steps and investments. After all, everything I own (beading wise, gazebo included) has come from beading money. Not bad when I look at it like that.

What else? I saw heaps of people I knew, some I hadn’t seen for years, chatted with customers and had – as usual – a quick run around to see what else was happening, drank nice coffee, and ate beautiful lamb crepes and a cherry Danish.

And lastly a couple of pictures of the Fair. I know it doesn’t look much, but there were over 95 stalls plus all the other activities on show. From where I was, (my stall to my left) there are only 3 behind me, and the ground slopes downwards (south) for a couple of hundred metres.
To the right of me are more stalls, the hall, and activities for the kids.

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Looking straight out of my gazebo.

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Facing north, (my stall on my right) and across the road are where they have all the animals and any demonstrations, like shearing. The road go’s straight through the middle and our house is at the top of the hill behind all those trees. A mere 500m away.

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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.  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.

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!

Craft room revamp, part 2

Off I troop to the shops this morning with a plan. And a piece of paper with measurements.
All works in my favour and I load up the car with two more 8-cube units and a 4-cube unit. Even though the smaller unit will be used purely for height, I decided to buy it as a future investment. I’m not going to be in this position forever and the cube thing will always be a useful storage item.

~ time lapse while I build shelves ~

I now have blisters on m hands after screwing 50 odd screws. Not happy, Jan. About the listers, happy that I now have shelves and room.
I have used a smaller table instead of the 4-cube shelf with two slabs of timber to distribute the weight better. And it looks good. The second shelf still needing to be finished, jus the back pieces, but boy in the bedroom behind the wall is trying to sleep, and I am now tired, so happy enough to give it a break.
Once it is all nailed, and placed on the boards I can start filling it.

~ more time lapse as I sleep and then get its off to school ~

A full day time lapse. Certain amply matters had to be sorted out first.
Shelves, finished, and put into place.

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And semi stocked. There is still tweaking to be done.

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Design, Perfect. Layout, perfect. Construction, average. But working within my means I am very happy with how it looks.
And there is so much more space, I can see all my props, and no mess in between markets any more.

Have you done a big studio/craft room revamp. Did it work out,or did you have to change it again?

Jennifer 🙂

Craft room revamp, part 1

I posted the other day about a small chest of drawers I bought for my market display. They are lovely, with a pretty vintage looking flower design on them.

20130902-205813.jpg Problem. The front is solid porcelain and the back is only half the height making it front heavy. For dressing table purposes this is not a problem. For display purposes, where I want to have the drawers open a bit and jewellery draped over the edges, it is.

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After playing around with it, adding weights will make no difference as they just fall to the front and are no help at all.
What I figured out, is adding some height and a weight of some sort to the back so it doesn’t tilt forward and is kept in position with the weights. Easier said than done. Not that hard really, but tricky. When hubby gets home I’ll ask him to help me.

Yesterday at mums I as flicking through a magazine and saw the best storage system. Well, it’s pretty basic, but the idea was what got me. The ladies in question were using hardware shelving in their wedding business to store all their props. And it immediately got me thinking. I keep all mine in the boxes I take to market, and those that get left behind, are left in a mess, and there is always a mess.
The picture that started this whole mess.

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Now if I had a shelf, I could have everything in position, I could then pick just the things I need. And no mess is left behind.
I thought more about it today, decided I could do it, and as is the way I work I had to do it. Yesterday. Meaning, today, right now.
The next step is making sure I bought just the things I needed, so I searched out the shelving unit I’d like – matching the one I already have – and then putting all the props in the cubby holes – must make sure things fit – all good nice again.
Now the tricky part. I have two filing cabinets, and a heater (I don’t use) that sticks out 10cm (makes a huge difference believe me) and the only power point on that wall. That I do use.
So now I have to wangle shelving around the heater and power point.
Before.

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My idea is to have the plastic market boxes underneath ready to fill as required, so a solid table/trestle/plank of wood on bricks is needed.
Before I finish, I’m off to see what mum and dad have that might help.
Bingo!!
After some renovations early in the year there was a door frame left over. That would be perfect, mum said yes, dad said yes, so I went to it with a hammer then wrapped it in a tarp and took it home.
Now for the hard bit. Moving everything to see if I can make it work. On paper – and in my head – it works quite well – will it transfer the way I want it to? I think it does. A few minor alterations, and finding a small table or similar is all I need now.
After. Incorporating the heater and power point easily. And one of two table tops I have covered. The toner is only half this, but still needs a home.

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Part 2 soon.

Jennifer 🙂

Screen time. At the market.

It’s the end of the school holidays, and I decided to skip the felting class – I know, I missed out on learning new things, but I am happy with that, as I got to do other good things – and I have a market on Sunday.
Being the organised person I am (so totally not) I somehow left it until yesterday to sort my boxes from last month and think about what I was taking and how I would display them.
I have been on a constant lookout for a new way to arrange and display my longer necklaces so they aren’t tangled with the prop and people can see the whole piece. As the busts I like are expensive I noted something a little different.
Phase one. Google market display images and see if there is anything that takes my fancy. I want height and something visually creative but also easy to store and transport. This is key as I don’t have my own car (I never know on market day if I have to share it with my boys and not be able to take up all the room).

Something caught my eye. And from what I noticed after a separate google search. Not many people are doing it. I haven’t seen many do it at the markets I’ve attended or visited. This is good. If people see a display that has a visual difference, a points of attraction, they are more likely to come back. I hope anyway. Different = memorable = return people.

I went for a little shop and I suppose it’s my own fault, you get what you pay for. $10 is a bit cheap to expect a nice size photo frame, so they went back as they were plastic. But not before I ruined one, ah well, I can use it elsewhere.
Next shop I found some that for the price – $25 ea – means closer to the real thing.
The hinges I bought earlier will fit it, so this evenings work will be to drill holes and get them ready.
Just in case I couldn’t do this I have packed my boxes ready for display with out the screen.

~ several hours later ~

Well, the job is all done.
Measured several time, drilled, screwed, unscrewed, and turned hinges around, screwed, added hooks to the top edge, inserted necklaces and…. Looks fabulous! If I do say so myself.
I’m not useless by any means but I don’t usually wield the drill. Just give instructions.

I stuck the hooks on with blu-tack and then held the frames closed to see if they would fit together, or would I need to turn the hooks sideways. All good, they work. The space was measurement and mini holes drilled and hooks screwed in.

Then the tricky bit of getting the hinges placed evenly top to bottom without it getting twisted. All sorted, holes drilled, carefully and screws screwed. Pity I didn’t look the first time and had to turn them around, oops.

Necklaces placed on hooks and in an hour, all done.

Frames ready to be screwed.

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What I had in mind, my idea

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And the finished product

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What do you think? Have you done something like this for your markets, or seen similar?

Have a great sweetened
Jen 🙂

What a surprise! Workroom revamp again. Pt 1.

Hopefully this will be the last one.

I’ll admit it. I get bored easily. I like to move things around and keep myself on my toes. Sometimes it works, and then sometimes I can just leave things be. Like the bedroom, lounge, kitchen….. My work room, ‘studio’ creative space, is a whole different thing. I have been here before. Done posts, shown pictures, and yet here I am again, doing another. Why? Because I saw something today that resonated with me and I think it could work.
When I have a market, I have to tidy two (maybe three) tables so I can take one and organise myself on the other. Now imagine, if I could have it so that I didn’t have to do that every second week. Well organise the jewellery is a must, but having everything else properly organised so it was less fuss and bother.
Before I start, if you want to check here and here for other tidy studio posts go for it. They explain the circumstances and room space.
Ok, all read and up to date? Lets begin on this stage of my room.

While the pictures don’t quite show it properly, I saw the space around the tables and decided I really liked it. One thing was missing. The space to put everything properly. Now if only I could move just one item of ‘house’ furniture to make room for my things.

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So much stuff and not enough room. I don’t want to feel crowded. I am already am really, with it the way it is.
Something has to change.
I spent some time, several coffees and measuring bits and pieces, then I sent a text to hubby “you don’t mind if I cover the fire place do you?” And the response that came back was “…I never want to see another fire place so go for it”
Enabling the help of two boys, we moved things and the result is as follows.
Where the bookcase used to be,

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And where the bookcase lives now. A perfect fit!! Yipee.
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Next I thought I would re jig the filing cabinets and the wooden cube shelves. I figured if it didn’t look that good it wasn’t going to be a hard job to move back. And if it worked, I could actually gain 10cm on the other end near the bead shelves. And believe me, every centimetre counts.
Before the move

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And after.. I did have a little trouble finding a filler to hold the shelves at the window end. Well I do still have to, I have something but it won’t last forever.

20130619-194507.jpg I do quite like it on it’s side as the things I need are easily reachable.

To be continued……

Jen 🙂

I’ve been shopping again

While I was wandering around the city yesterday I went off to Spotlight to check out their beady section and see what was on special. A few things, nothing I wanted but I did find this gorgeous owl, and a flower pendant that I can use on my asymmetrical necklaces. Being silver they will be easy enough to bead up.

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I also found these gorgeous little ladies in another shop. Wooden and about 20cm they are small enough to place just about anywhere on my display, including in front of the large busts. They can used to display matching earrings and/or bracelets for necklace sets, or just a little something for a few pairs of similar styled/colour earrings.
I hung a memory wire bracelet on them to show the size.

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Have a great Friday and there will be pictures and more fun from the market on Sunday 🙂
Jennifer

It was a green night for market preparation.

I’m not very happy. Last night I typed up this great post and send it to publish, and it disappeared. Obviously I pressed the wrong button, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. It was well written and beautiful. Now I just have to try and recreate it.

I had been having a wonderfully productive day and my night was set with making a couple of things. Then I was interrupted, twice. Now while they were good interruptions, it still puts you out of kilt and knocks the oomph out of the flow. Ah well. It is what it is.

The first make was a remake, this one was simply the beaded dangle on the ribbon ends, which was a choker length. I’m not liking the pale green ribbon, but everyone likes different things and it matches the beads. I simply added chain to be end of the ribbon and the centre bead . Much better and prettier.

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The other was some green wooden pendants that I matched with fine silver flowers. Adding the black chain and a left over piece of ribbon that matched perfectly and a simple asymmetrical necklace is made. I love the deep colour of the green that sits nicely with the silver and black.

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I spent part of the afternoon packing my boxes for the market this weekend. Re-sorting my jewellery and taking a good collection. I will be taking my smaller table for extra display space, so I had to sort through all my props and figure out what I want to do. Then I jumped on eBay to look for more large twine busts. Woah, expensive, which I knew, but still. I want at least 3 more.

The new market has their own Facebook page, and from the looks of it they like to take pictures and show everyone off. As I do with my market FB page. It’s going to be a little scary being on the other side of the camera, but I’m a believer of the adage that any publicity is good publicity. I’ll try not to shut my eyes or pull silly faces (not on purpose mind you, it just happens).

I’m hoping to get a few more things made tonight. I’m thinking a pre website special is coming up very soon.
Have a beady weekend 🙂
Jen