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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Jewellery storage at home – what I did for mine.

Do you have lots of jewellery?
Is it all jumbled up in cups, and trays?
Are you missing earrings and a can’t find that special piece to dress up an outfit?

More importantly, do you have very little room, and or dislike the fancy storage items you find elsewhere?
Well it’s time to think outside the box.

My main issue is lack of space, especially for tall storage items. This is my space and my jewellery looks like this….
What a mess!

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So I have to try and find something that will accommodate all my pieces, look good, be functional (ie, not be awkward or a pain to use) and keep things clean and generally free from those pesky dust bunnies. I do have a dressing table, but it is in my foyer/entry hall and is always covered in other stuff, and not used by me at all for my things. The bedroom is not big enough to house it, otherwise it would be there. And the ensuite vanity is barely big enough for the basics we have in it as it is.

Back to storage solutions. I saw this great idea on necklace storage the other day and thought about doing it, but when I found felt covered coat hangers for trousers at $2 I decided it would be much quicker to buy those and utilise them. As I type, I am contemplating using them for the scarves and doing other things with my jewellery. We shall see.
I also bought a few other things. Small plastic containers, at $2 each. Designed for the kitchen, but perfect for what we want it for. I bought 11 of them, and the leftovers I can easily use to tidy my kitchen drawers, so nothing wasted.
Playing around with layouts of all the different pieces I had took some time. I wanted to use the wooden box for the compartments, and the clear trays as they were designed for jewellery. Not possible with what I decided on. I’ll still keep them as you never what might be available in the next house we have.
My top drawer which housed scarves and jammies and the shelf with jewellery have essentially been swapped. The jewellery tucked (further) away from the dust. To keep the scarves neat and not snagging on the timber, they went into the containers (when winter comes I’ll have to re work this slightly for bulkier items), and my Jammie’s are just on the shelf.

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In the drawer I arranged the new containers, for bracelets, some necklaces, and some earrings, two of the small baskets hold my bangles and rings, and one of my bead containers was used as compartments for smaller earrings (the lid was removed so it would fit, but can be sat on the top for protection).

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The bulk of the necklaces. I used those felt coat hangers. It works a treat. I found a way to hang them so they don’t get tangled but are still easy to get on and off. They are hung from the top rung and then alternated between each side (with a piece of material hanging from the second rung) to keep them separate and visible. I think it works. They have been hung between clothes that will not snag them, and the red hangers in the the sea of wooden ones can be easily seen. What do you think? You can see in the first the picture my testing of the idea.

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On an aside. This is the other side of my wardrobe. Hanging space for long items and room for shoes. My shoes all fit, but there is no room for the handbags I want kept handy. Another tier on there shoe rack will work perfectly.

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I bought another shoe rack expecting to just add one tier. I should have known better. It was wider than the first one. Ok, replace it and then adjust the shoes to fit. Now I have a two tier shoe rack… maybe one of the boys might want to use it their rooms for something. And the finished product.

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While I was doing this and deciding which things I’ve made that I don’t want and might clean up and sell or re fashion I did find a couple of necklaces that I will refashion for me. Just slight tweaks. I still love the colours but the style needs a little change to match the me I am here, as he compared to the me I was in Mt Isa.
So what do you do with your jewellery storage, do you have this sort of room, more or less?

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.

Before and After

Before and after my 3 day journey from mess to organised.
I am so happy, hubby is happy (with the picture at least, he is yet to see it in the flesh) and I feel so organised. There is a lot of work to do with all my beads and sorting out the bead bookcase, and those millions of misc beads and bits I want to repurpose.

But enough of that for now.
Check out what I did! (I walk into my room and can’t help but smile at how it makes me feel)

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Portable Beading, take 2

Some time ago I wrote a post about portable beading and how I made up a container with everything I needed. Well I’ve changed it. For something better.

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I found this basket in a second hand shop and thought it would be perfect for my needs. It is more than perfect, it fits my container I will be using brilliantly. And if I need to take a beading mat it is simple to take the other portable beading kit. I will also be getting one of those half size mats, perfect for bracelet sized pieces to put in my basket.
This basket has handles on the side, but I though this would upset the contents so I found an old belt and looped it through to make a handle in the top.

The storage container I was given at Christmas will work well I thought. Not just well, I sized it up, and it is exactly the right width to sit nicely on the bottom of the basket. This will then hold all the bits and pieces, findings, like pins and clasps, ear hooks and spacers. The beads and wires I want to take will go into snap lock bags. A purse I made will hold all my pliers – so they don’t get caught on anything, and I may just include a notepad and pen.

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As you can see, I haven’t fully filled it yet. The pill holder currently has some ear hooks, jump rings and crimps. The rings and crimps will stay in this set up while the bigger items will go into the other container. The loose bags are for any beads and wire, and the cute little stripy bag has my pliers in it.
Next time I take it away I will get a picture of it all packed up to show you.

I took this set up to the last market I did, well most of it. All I was doing were memory wire bracelets, but the basket worked well. It will be for any portable beading and a repair kit/boredom killer for the markets. If I am able to shorten a chain, or add a few extra loops while they are waiting it can make the sale. Especially as a lot of the visitors are from out of town.

Ideally it will be always ready to go, and I just have to add my beads and tough pliers if required.

Can your craft be portable? How do you organise it? Does it work?
I’d love to hear from you,
Jennifer ๐Ÿ™‚