I, like many disaffected teenage girls in the 90's, at one point or another had a poster of The Scream by artist Edvard Munch on my wall. I thought of it as I was looking at the pictures of my 2 year old niece Savannah and her many screams. Since I saw her 5 months ago she has really started to develop her own personality. And what a volatile one it is. In her short life she has lived in 3 different houses, including the latest one which is on the other side of the country. She is definitely in charge and she has the loudest and most explosive scream you've ever heard. I think the shot at the top really captures her angry scream. The fact that she's wearing little pink hearts and clutching a pink stuffed dog makes it all the more cute.
There is no one more charming when she is in a good mood however. I captured her happy scream as she ran around the circle in the living room over and over again on Christmas night. Her Mommy wasn't feeling good that day and I caught her trying to make her feel better with a pat on the back. It didn't stop her from running screaming through the house but she did slow down long enough to wish her well.
I was in need of her screaming powers this morning when Mike came back from the grocery store. I had sent him out with a list of everything that I needed for the party tonight. He had randomly decided that I didn't need anything from the bottom half of the list as the store was really busy and he wanted to get out of there. So now he will have to visit the store twice today.
I'm feeling a little better and I got some stronger medicine so hopefully I'll be able to enjoy the festivities this evening. I hope all of you have a fun and safe New Year! I'm sure I will have lots of self reflection later in the week. I tend to think of the new year as a time to reevaluate rather than celebrate but hopefully I'll be able to do a little of both this year.
So I'm finally back at my own house and can sleep in my own bed tonight. Unfortunately I brought back my Mom's germs along with my presents. She was sick throughout all of the holiday which was really sad for her. I started sniffling a bit this morning but didn't feel really bad until I dropped the kids off at their house this afternoon and was finally able to relax. Funny how the body works like that.
Mike and my family traditions work nicely together. His family has always celebrated on Christmas Eve and mine has always had Christmas morning. We drove down to the farm at the worst possible time, right in the middle of the snow showers. We had a white Christmas but it was a pain in the you know what driving in it. When I talked to Ani that evening she informed me that it was the first white Christmas since she's been here. I guess that means since she was born.
The girls had great fun opening their presents and then wondering what Santa had left for them in Texas. I thought I'd share just a few shots from the festivities that morning. I have lots of other pictures from the week and I'll post some through the rest of this week. I had fun exploring my camera but I didn't get too crazy with settings. I've stuck to a few basic settings but I can definitely tell a difference in the picture quality with my Rebel.
The top shot captures all the craziness of Christmas morning in our house with my sister Angie's entire crew including the new puppy Buttons. You can tell in this shot that Kate was not too sure of the sparkling grape juice that Dad and Uncle Jack were toasting too before Christmas dinner. Savannah enjoyed flaunting around in her new tutu and the girls enjoyed capturing it all on their new cameras, particularly getting embarrassing videos of each other to share with everyone.
Hopefully a good night's sleep will help me feel better for the rest of the week. I may be off work but I have lots to do. We also have a funeral to fit in tomorrow. Mike's Uncle passed away the day after Christmas. It really was a blessing as he had gone down hill so fast and it was brutally painful for his Mom to watch. I've agreed to host a small New Year's Eve party so I have to get things ready for that along with all the other things on my list. I really don't have time to be sick but my body could only hold the germs off for so long.
I just wanted to share a few shots from the George family celebration tonight. It was the most photographed event you can imagine, especially after Ani opened up her camera. My sister in law just bought a DSLR herself so we had to whip them out and measure them as Mike so crassly put it.
I think the shot of Graham really captures the joy of Christmas in his face. He was equally ecstatic about the camera I got him, the Gameboy his parents got him, and even the coloring books he opened.
I liked this little moment between Mike and his Mom when she was giving him a nudge for something he had teased her about. She hates getting her picture taken so I think she spent a great deal of the night uncomfortable about all the flashes going off.
This shot was of Kai trying out all the new pencils I got him with a fancy sketch pad, and of course Ani had to try them too.
I liked this shot of Ani exploring her camera as Graham climbs perilously behind her. It kind of captures the craziness of Christmas and the calm moments combined. I'm hoping for clear weather as we head out early tomorrow morning. This will probably be my last post for a few days so I hope you all the best over the holidays!
Merry Christmas everyone! We will be going over to Mike's Mom's house in a few hours to celebrate Christmas with the in laws. And then tomorrow we'll head down to the farm for a few days to celebrate with the Lenox clan. I thought I would share a few of the handmade goodies that will be under the trees this year from me.
I just got Betty's Hershfeld pendant in the mail yesterday. It is so absolutely adorable. It's in black and white and is practically a work of art. You can see examples of The Lost Earring's work in the shot above. She was so sweet to work with and made sure I got it on time even though I ordered it rather late and it was a custom job.
Speaking of amazing custom pendants, I got my Mom a Circle of Love custom family pendant in gold from Mu-Yin Jewelry. It has all of her kids and grandkids birthstones in order. It was heavy on the green and purple stones. So when I found Gray Cat Designs on a trade thread and saw these gorgeous earrings in gold with all the same colors and stones I asked for a trade. She fell in love with one of my scarves and a perfect trade was made. She was so sweet to include a pair of earrings for me in moonstone which just so happens to be my all time favorite stone.
I'm sure that my ultra conservative sister will not be thrilled with my gift to Savannah, my 3 year old niece who loves to dress up. I got her a custom made hot pink and black tutu and a matching tee shirt from Punky Monkey Kids. I choose a slightly less wild tee shirt, hers has a guitar instead of a skull but it is definitely still a very punk look.
I also got a variety of Kawaii jewelry from Fighting Dreamr Designs for the girls including this fun pendant with a real dried beetle inside for Kate. She loves insects right now, especially round ones, her words not mine. I got Jess a pendant with candy sprinkles inside and I also got Kate some cute earrings including some pink tiny koosh balls which I know she will love.
That is just a sample of the handmade goodness under my tree this year. I hope you get all the treasures you are dreaming of and more this Christmas. If not than I'm sure you can find some one perfectly willing to make it for you on Etsy!
I came across a really interesting article on the NYT's Style Page about Etsy and the myth or reality of earning a living with your craft. It's titled "That Hobby Looks Like a Lot of Work" and it describes how some crafters have been able to turn their passions into a full time income through Etsy and other venues.
They featured one knitter who described her day as including 13 hours of knitting and then multiple other hours on-line with buyers and promotional duties. She actually has a wholesale contract with Urban Outfitters to sell her handmade cowls. She claims to be earning $140,000 a year which I wonder is gross or not. But either way I don't think it's worth it. I have spent 13 hours in a row knitting on the weekends before but I honestly can't imagine doing it every day. It would drain the joy out of it real quickly and my hands just couldn't take it. As great as the dream of making a living off my craft sounds, in reality it would likely be a nightmare.
There was another feature in the summer on Slate about the fantasy of making a living and how Etsy "Peddles a False Feminist Fantasy". I was insulted by some of the ideas implied in this article but the reality is much of what she says is true. There was a lot of controversy about this article and if you go back to the first pages of comments you can read some angry reactions from Etsy sellers.
I'm happy with were my business is at the moment. I had a great craft show season and had an increase in sales over last year which not a lot of businesses can say in this economy. I've found my place in the indie shows and my target market. I'm not happy with my Etsy shop but that is a different post. Online sales are just not my priority. I'm glad that I still enjoy my hobby but I'm thankful that I don't have make a living from it.
I comment when I can and intend on spending more time on the blogs I enjoy whether they are entrecard or not in the coming year. I'm through dropping on blogs completely out of my realm or ones that haven't updated in over a month. It's affected my visitor numbers somewhat but I'd rather have 100 quality visitors a day than 250 when more than half are spending mere seconds with me.
I'm troubled by something I discovered on my Webmaster Tools from Google recently. It said that I'm in the 97% of download time and it takes an average of 20 seconds for my site to load. This is terrible. I removed a bunch of unnecessary widgets and links that it said were slowing things down but it still is dragging. I tried to run a site check last night with the new Page Speed Checker but it wouldn't install for me for some reason at home. I'll try it again later and hopefully find some more things that I can fix to speed things up. I really like my blog template that I spent money on from my graphic designer but if it is slowing my blog down that dramatically I will have to find a solution in the new year.
I've been debating about whether I should keep this blog solely for business and knitting and using Lenox Pics for personal and photography. I've been thinking about doing a form of the 365 shots in a year and reserved the blogspot name for myself. I think keeping two blogs going would be too much time and energy but I don't want this blog to get too broad. I've never been a true knitting blog and consider my cohorts to be other crafters rather knitting or otherwise. I've gotten more personal here in the past 6 months than I had originally intended but that is how things evolved for me. For those of you with two blogs do you think it is worth it or should I just focus my energy here?
Thanks for sticking with me. Hopefully I can keep coming up with something worth saying for the next 300 posts.
I know that I rambled on a lot in that last post but I was really trying to organize my thoughts about whether I should or want to get more involved in the local crafting community. I would really like to hear from you about any street teams or organizations that you belong to and whether you have found them worthwhile and deserving of your time.
So the countdown is on for the start of my holiday break. I have to work Monday and Tuesday and a half day on Wed. which is our office party so it really doesn't count. Then I have off for 11 days in a row! The campus completely shuts down which I think is so amazing. It doesn't count against our vacation time and we get paid as usual. At the other college I worked at we got Christmas and New Year's Day and that was it. (I'm calling the scarf at the top Holiday Cherry Red and it's a snuggly soft wool blend)
So I've been thinking about what I want to get done on these days off. You can be sure that I will be doing lots of relaxing and sleeping in but I really want to get some productive time in there also. Here is my list of goals for the break and just to keep me honest I will report back here after the break on what I accomplished.
- Clean and organize my craft room. (Get a single bed in there for company and the kids to sleep over.)
- Go through the clothes in the basement and donate the ones that I can no longer wear.
- Have my car checked and any maintenance that is past due taken care of.
- Spend some time with my girl friends catching up. I've let myself isolate way too much this year and I need to reconnect with some people.
- Get energized creatively for the new year. I just bought three books from Amazon and I want to read all three for inspiration over the break. I got The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real to get inspired with my business, KnitKnit: Profiles + Projects from Knitting's New Wave to get inspired with my knitting, and Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally to get inspired with my life.
I was talking to a vendor at one of my shows and she asked me what groups I belonged to after finding out I had gotten into the three main indie shows of the season. I told her I was completely unaffiliated and she looked surprised. She said, "Well, I guess you don't need to be in them if you are getting into the shows on your own." I took this as a compliment but also as a word of caution.
Being a free agent, so to speak, does put me in a vulnerable position. I am known for being a very prolific knitter and I think that has gotten me into a few of the shows as they know I will be bringing a lot of inventory. I'm sure they like me as this nets them a bigger percentage of my sales than someone who doesn't have as much inventory to bring. But I can't count on this working forever. If another prolific knitter enters the scene and gets herself involved with the different groups than I could very easily be on the out list.
The big indie shows like Strange Folk, Rock N Roll Craft Show, and the Big Ass Indie Show are definitely my bread and butter. Of the three only the Big Ass Show is fully run by the Craft Mafia. After chatting with some people in the mafia at different shows I feel a little less intimidated about applying to join. I know a few people that are in it relatively well and am facebook friends with a few. They just had a membership drive and are not accepting new applicants until next year but I am definitely considering applying. They are doing a lot of good things in the community and have a much more up to date website and even a zine that they do seasonally. It could bring some good promotion opportunities and I wouldn't have to worry about getting accepted into any of their shows as members are automatically in. There are dues and meetings that I would have to attend but it would be good for me to get out there more and socialize with some like minded crafty types.
This year I participated in the Upcycle Exchange at Strange Folk and I've signed up for their new program which I talked about here. This is not so much a club although they do have a membership fee which gives you access to the donated items on certain days of the month. I'm excited to be a part of it as it will get me some cheap yarn but also will get me better known in the community. Autumn runs the Exchange and also organizes the Strange Folk Festival so it should help my chances at getting into the show next year. It's no guarantee like the Mafia gives you but than there isn't as much involved with joining so you get what you put into it.
The other possible contender for my time and devotion is the Show Me Etsy Street Team. The description on their site says that it is: "a business minded group of Etsians that have come together to promote handmade through local craft and trunk shows as well as helping each other to make our businesses grow and thrive. " This sounds most like what I'm looking for. They have dues and monthly meetings which you have to attend a certain number a year. I'm acquaintances with the current membership recruiter and talked to her for awhile at the Big Ass show. She's also a knitter and I used to consider her competition but as I've gotten to know her she's a real sweetie. They do some smaller shows and lots of other things in the community and being involved with them would help bring me more name recognition to the events I apply.
A lot of the same people are in both groups. This just isn't really an option for me. Most of them live in the city or South County so that is were the meetings tend to be. I also work full time and just can't spend multiple evenings a month driving 40 minutes to a meeting. It sounds like Show Me Etsy does the meeting in multiple areas of the county which is nice. They also don't feel as intimidating to me or as difficult to get into. You do have to apply but knowing someone inside makes it easier for me.
It is hard for me to put myself out there. I am definitely an introvert but I have extrovert features with people I know well. I can be really shy in social setting that I'm unfamiliar with and with people I don't know. The whole process is intimidating to me but if I want to take my little business to the next level and keep making connections in the indie movement I feel like I will have to take the plunge.
What do you think? Do you think I should take my chances and stay a free agent, test the waters with Show Me Etsy, or I could try to get myself into the Craft Mafia sometime in the new year? Have I also mentioned I'm terrible about making decisions.
This project came at the perfect time for me. My craft shows are done and I was needing something to work on to get me inspired. I am sending in two of my first hats that I've made along with a few scarves. I've been working on the patterns to do hats in flat knitting, and figuring out how many stitches it takes with the different weights of yarn that I use on a regular basis. I used acrylic yarns that are machine washable which I think is important for charity knitting.
Two people that I love dearly have been affected by brain tumors, although thankfully they were both benign and operable. My sister and my mother in law both had tumors within 6 months of each other 5 years ago. It was a scary time because any surgery to the brain can have side effects. They both fully recovered and my MIL even got back much of the peripheral vision that she had lost allowing her to continue to drive.
Here is some information about the Foundation from their website:
"The Oklahoma Brain Tumor Foundation (OKBTF), was founded by Nancy Thomason after the death of her son Cade Thomason to a brain stem PNET tumor on February 17, 2000. She vowed to fight the disease in honor and memory of her son Cade.
OKBTF is dedicated to meeting the needs of Oklahoma families, caregivers and patients affected by primary brain or central nervous system tumors. We work to provide for needs through education, advocacy, research and service."
There is still time to send your donations in and they are due by January 5. Details are on the website here. She even has some patterns that can be used to make charity scarves and hats listed now. I hope to be able to support more of Sinclair's projects in the coming year and I hope you will too.
Have I mentioned how freaking tired I have been lately. Right up until it is time to go to bed that is. Even with the antidepressant I've been taking to help with sleep I have been having a terrible time shutting my mind down and then I've been dragging myself through the day. This morning I was rushing around to get to work relatively on time. When I got into my office I realized that I hadn't brushed my hair or put on any makeup. Luckily I keep some things in my desk for touch ups but that is truly pathetic.
I took the sunset shot a few weeks ago when I happened to catch the light just right over the lake on the farm.
I do think I finally have all my holiday shopping done. I even managed to get a few trades set up by staying up until the wee hours scouring the official trade thread on Etsy. I'd say it's about 50% handmade for my family. The reason it's not higher is because I'm giving the kids mostly gifts that they can use to create things for themselves. As I talked about in this post I got most of the kids cameras and I got Kai mostly drawing supplies and a few books.
I also got my Dad poster size prints of his favorite pictures I took on the farm this year from Snapfish. My cousin was telling me how much better another printing company was but I've always been happy with the quality and turnaround time from Snapfish. I even got myself a a photo book with all my favorite shots from the past year in it. I used a 20% off coupon which made the price very reasonable. (NO this is not a paid ad, I just really like Snapfish.)
The cleaning ladies are thankfully coming today. As much as I hate getting the house ready for them I'm so glad we started using them this year. I've never had to tip house hold help before. In addition to a small cash tip I left them a note with an explanation for them to choose a scarf for themselves and to bring one back to their office manager that I've dealt with on the phone. I left 5 very nice scarves in different colors for them to choose from. I hope this isn't considered tacky but that is just how I roll.
I have never been looking forward to the week and half holiday break as much as I am this year. I can't wait to have some time to relax and hang out with the girls. I really just need a break to regroup and get ready for the new year. I'm definitely going to be making some changes with the new year. I've let myself go in a lot of ways this year and I need to recommit to my health and happiness. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this as time goes on.
I'm so excited to be a part of my first Blog Hop today. It is being sponsored by the lovely Frugal Housewife. The theme is decorating for the holidays. There are 23 amazing blogs participating and I can't wait to read all of their ideas. If you want to see the master list check it out here.
My first thought when I agreed to participate was to go through my Etsy favorites and promote their handmade holiday items. Trust me, you can find the most unique ornaments and decorations in every theme imaginable by simply searching for Christmas on Etsy. For example one of my handmade blog buddies Selahestelle sells the most amazing embroidered balls which would be perfect on a tree or in a basket like you see above.
But as I gave it some thought I decided that I would take both a handmade and frugal look at holiday decorating this year, which I thought would be appropriate. I have to be honest that I haven't done much in the way of decorating yet this year. When my parents asked us to go to the farm this weekend to "watch" the farm while they took a quick trip to Dallas I brought my camera along. My Mom loves to decorate and I was sure that I would find examples of what I was looking for. The picture at the top of the page is a shot of their front entry way. The stained glass was handmade years ago by a close friend of the family and goes so nicely with the greenery Mom has put up for a simple yet striking display.
So many of us have things in our house, whether they are handmade or not that can be repurposed for the holidays. This shot of the tree is a great example of this. The handmade quilt behind the tree is usually hung in the master bedroom but is the perfect backdrop to the tree. It was given to Mom a few years ago by an aunt and has pictures of the family in each of the stars. You probably don't have this exact item but there are likely other things in your house that could be used to display and create a great visual. I have a large tin star that hangs in the living room and I have hung ornaments off the holes in it before to use what I have.
Most of us crafters have supplies in our stash that can easily and cost effectively turned into holiday decorations. I once ordered a box of mystery yarn that in addition to some great designer yarns also included over 10 balls of the wildest boa yarn. It is so rough I would never use it in a scarf to sell but I have made scarves for the nieces with it. I realized the other day that it would also make great garland. I knitted up the two on this little tree with the biggest needles I had in the time it took to watch a Law and Order. They would add some real bling to a tree or banister. I held 3 different yarns together and just cast on 3 stitches. I did all garter stitch until it reached around 40 inches, but you could make them as long or as short as you wanted. I have also used ribbon that I got on sale at Michaels on my tree instead of garland. I like that you can find it in all different colors not just the traditional holiday colors.
The last example I have of using what you have to decorate with is this sweet ornament on Mom's tree. It is a picture of the girls that they cut out and glued in place last year. It's a great handmade ornament that I know Mom will enjoy for many years.
I have really enjoyed participating in this hop. It is my pleasure to introduce the next stop on your tour. Will Oaks Studio is actually a favorite of mine. She has the most visually stunning blog and is a real inspiration to improve my photography skills. So go check her out and I'm sure that she'd be thrilled if you stopped by her etsy shop here to do some holiday shopping while you were at it.
Happy Hanukkah to all my readers who observe. It always sneaks up on me and as always I got my nieces and nephew in New York their gifts ordered too late to get there for the first day. But luckily it got me motivated so now all of my Christmas shopping is also done and everything should be here in plenty of time. I definitely got my money's worth out of my free trial of Amazon Prime. No I didn't pay anything for a free trial but I feel like I should have with all the 2 day shipping I've used in the past few weeks.
Mike's sister Julie converted to Judaism and is raising their kids in the faith. The above picture is from their family vacation to Aruba last year. We are hoping to be able to make it to Abbie's Bat Mitzvah in a year. It will be my first and I'm interested to see what it is like. We unfortunately only see the family once or twice a year whereas I often see Kai and Ani once or twice a week. It is sad that I don't have the same relationship with her kids as I do with my other nieces and nephews. I always really enjoy visiting with Julie and her whole clan. I think if we lived closer there would definitely be a good friendship between us.
Abby is the oldest and she is a little bookworm. She and Mike had a few long debates about Harry Potter and for awhile she would e-mail him quizzes to see how well he remembered the details from the book. She had every single thing memorized including the title of all the chapters. He gave her The Hobbit last year to see if he could turn her onto Tolkien and at first read she didn't get it. After the second time I think she had decided she liked it.
Cassie is the middle child and I feel a connection with her on that front. She is feisty and has a devious little grin that I find adorable. The first time I met her she had just come back from a ride with Grandma and her Mom. Betty had pointed out some flowers to her and she had said, "I don't like those fucking flowers." She was a sweet looking 3 year old at the time and I found it hilarious, especially since she had used the word in such a perfect context.
Ben is the youngest and he is the sweetest boy you will ever meet. He is so polite and friendly that it always amazes me, especially since we see them so rarely. He will crawl up on your lap and start charming you 5 minutes after you meet him. When he was 2 Mike had picked him up to reach something and he said thank you in this high pitched baby voice. Mike and I still use that voice when we say thank you to each other all the time.
I got the girls the Happily Ever Crafter kit that I had to order through Imagine Toys since it was out of stock at Amazon. I did find a 15% off coupon which helped make it more in line with Amazon's price luckily. It has 9 different projects with directions to learn the fundamentals in crocheting, embroidering, and sewing. Since they aren't here for me and their Aunt Debi to help teach them the love of crafting I'm hoping that this will inspire them to appreciate the handmade world.
I also got Abby Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, which should be required reading for girls her age in my opinion. I got Cassie The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo also by Blume. I haven't read this one but it is about being a middle child which I thought was appropriate.
I got Ben a big set of Wikki Stix and some activities to do with them. They are crafty but the description and reviews made it sound like boys enjoy them just as much as girls so I hope he likes them. They are a colorful, non-toxic wax and yarn product to stimulate imagination and creativity, according to the description. Sounds like fun to me!
So Happy Holiday to you whichever holiday you choose. Yes, I do always say this rather than Merry Christmas. It just feels more right to me since you just never know. I have another in-law that identifies as Buddhist and other family members that are both atheist/agnostic so I think "Happy Holidays" covers it all. We all enjoy the season and I don't think it is a slight to Christmas or Christ in any way.
Some of them were previously listed in my 1000 Markets shop which has been unceremoniously disconnected due to lack of activity. I don't think I'm the type of person that can divide my attention like that I'm afraid. So I started listing some of them to try to get my shop back to its normal capacity of at least 50 items. If I don't have 3 pages it bothers me for some reason.
I've already listed the top scarf, the Regal Rose- Handmade Pink Lace Scarf in a hand dyed ribbon yarn. I can't believe that it didn't sell at one of my shows. It is absolutely gorgeous in person with just the right amount of sparkle and WOW factor. The red scarf I'm calling Holiday Cherry Red. It's a wool blend that is super soft and cozy. I think it would be great for the holidays and beyond. This last one is a close up for a scarf that I'm calling Tie Dye Delight. It is a Noro brand yarn that has a cool tie dye effect, and I added some speckled beads for extra fun. I'm now done pimping and tomorrow I'll get back to normal blogging!
I took these three pictures when we were all home for Thanksgiving and I was really happy with how they came out. The sun was perfect and they were all sitting in the little chairs so I got a nice angle. I particularly like the one of Kate at the top. She is my favorite niece after Ani to photograph. I think that Jess is probably going to be more attractive in person but Kate is more interesting in pictures.
I so miss having Kate around. She is just such a fun and quirky kid. She is only 7 but she has the most advanced sense of irony and sarcasm, far superior to most adults I know, including her parents. It will be nice to have all of them here for a few weeks over the Holiday and we are going to plan on going down to see them over Mike's spring break too.
One of my cousins bought the Oreo Glam scarf that she saw on my Etsy shop last month. She wore it to Thanksgiving and this is the only shot I could find of her here. She has been wearing it all around town and becoming quite the promoter of my shop. Beth is always so well put together and attractive that I couldn't ask for a better representative. She had it on at a boutique last week and the owner complimented her on it and asked her were she got it. Beth talked to her about me and got information for me to contact the woman. It's definitely something for me to consider. I really want to get into some boutiques next year and it's always nice to have someone already know of you and be interested in your work rather than going in cold. It's all about the family ties today I guess.
I took no decent pics from the Big Ass Indie Show yesterday but they have a whole photo montage on their Facebook page here if you are interested. The above was my view from my perch yesterday afternoon as I guarded the dressing room. This was a rack of mostly my scarves. I think it was a good show, not necessarily a great one for me but I really can't complain at all. I haven't seen my actual numbers yet but just reviewing what I didn't come home with I can estimate how I did.
It looks like I sold over 10 of the higher end scarves which is what I was hoping to move at this show along with the majority of my lower end scarves. I think I sold only 2 scarflettes which was surprising to me until I started thinking about it. They had the majority of them buried in a wheel barrow that they were using as a display instead of arranged on a table so I really don't think people were willing to dig through it. Not a big deal since I need something to keep my Etsy shop going until I can get more pictures taken.
I started the season with 2 large tubs and 2 medium tubs stuffed to the brim with my inventory. After my last show I could probably fit everything into the largest of the tubs if I stuffed it tight. I'm very happy with how it all went and couldn't have asked for a better 3 shows for my work. I'll do a more complete wrap up later with my thoughts on how to improve things for next year.
There were some really amazing vendors at this show including a few that I'd never seen before. I got a Flesh doll by Michael Baird that I'm absolutely in love with. Mike says it is probably the weirdest thing I've ever bought which is really saying something. It has the coolest eyes in it with a long tail that I can use to hold it while I hit Mike in the back of the head, only when he deserves it of course. The leather is so soft and smooth I actually found myself cuddling it last night while laying on the couch watching TV under my blanket.
I always go into a knitting funk after my last craft show of the season. It's like I get all the frantic work done and I don't know what to do with myself after it's all done. I've knitted a few Christmas gifts and I'm going to give myself 1 week to not knit and then hopefully I will get some inspiration back. I really am wanting to work on some hat designs for next year and hopefully that will get me going.
The Big Ass Indie Art and Craft Show starts tonight and if you are in the St. Louis area I hope you will come out this weekend for some Big Ass fun. There will be entertainment and refreshments to go with your shopping until 11 p.m. tonight. The Craft Mafia always puts together the coolest displays and visuals.
It is St. Louis's biggest collection of alternative art and crafts.
The Big Ass Indie Art and Craft Show showcases St. Louis's finest artists and crafters! FREE admission! Friday Saturday and Sunday.
As I was dropping my inventory off one of the girls checking me in recognized my work from the Rock N Roll Show. She asked me if the Bud Light scarf had sold as everyone had been talking about it when she was there. I told her that surprisingly it hadn't so it must be meant to be hers. The Mad Art Gallery is literally in Anheuser-Busch's backyard so hopefully the scarf with little Bud Light beads will find a home this weekend.
The Upcycle Exchange will also be there the whole weekend led by their fearless leader Autumn. If you bring items to donate you will get complimentary gift wrapping in addition to contributing to a great program. Lucky for you I chose not to volunteer at this table as my gift wrapping skills are comical.
I talked about the Upcycle Exchange as it related to the Strange Folk Festival here but there have been some interesting changes made since. Here is the new description, "a “co-op junk shop” that will now serve as our central sorting and distribution center called Finder’s Hive. The Upcycle Exchange will still be collecting at area events, in addition to new drop-off locations to be announced in January 2010." There is going to be a $15 seasonal membership fee that will allow you to be a part of the distribution of the donated supplies. I'm seriously considering becoming a part of the program and getting my hands on some cool supplies for next to nothing.
I just ordered myself the DSLR camera that I told myself that I would get in a few years today. Why, because I'm worth it. Because I have been taking lots of pictures and want to have the best equipment I can. Because my primary hobby of knitting is completely self sufficient and the money I made at this craft show was basically money in the bank. Because we will have all debt besides Mike's car and the house paid off by early next year. Because we don't have kids and can afford to treat ourselves to toys that we want but don't necessarily need. Basically because I really wanted it.
I chose the Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens. I seriously compared my options over the past few days. At first I thought about going with the entry level Rebel XS but I decided for just $100 more it just didn't make sense to not get the next one up. I couldn't really justify the T1 with my current skills as it is really a low end professional in my opinion. I think that the XSi will grow with me. It has live view which was important to me and all the bells and whistles I could ask for. I went to an electronics store last night and held them to make sure it felt right in my hands. The XS felt cheaper made to me while the XSi just felt right.
The Nikons were nice but the Canons had the nobs and buttons in the same place as my Powershot and felt more familiar to me. I'm definitely a creature of habit and didn't want to have to learn a whole new software package and system along with learning my new camera. The Rebels seem to have a very loyal and devoted following so I think I will be very happy with my purchase.
I will probably want to get a better lens before too long but the kit lens will get me started just fine. I'm going to ask for a Rebel case from Mom for Christmas with a filter and spare battery pack. I also bought the The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion in paperback which should help me get more comfortable. I should have it in 2 days since I signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime. I'm looking into some photography classes for the new year that could help me improve my skills. I just had to share my exciting news since Mike has been completely uninterested in my endless comparisons of cameras.
As I mentioned yesterday the Rock N Roll Craft Show was my best show yet. I took a few quick shots of the accessories area with my pocket camera. The table behind the two ladies in the 2nd shot was mostly my knitting and there were also scarves hanging from every available means with my scarves mixed in among other vendors. I like the department store style show for the most part. It's much easier on me and my time. I dropped my stuff off, they did the displays and I showed up on Sunday to work my shift and then took my stuff home.
Both of the shows that I've done like this I have scheduled myself for the last shift which has its pros & cons. I don't have to make another trip which is nice since these shows are mostly in the city. But it is always the hardest shift to work since it includes the breakdown and separating by vendor. I ended up working more than an hour over my shift helping them get things separated and displays broken down. This really isn't such a bad thing since it makes me look good with the organizers and they will hopefully remember me when jury time comes next year.
Everything was well displayed and professional. RRCS is probably the most well known of all the indie shows in the area. I think my style goes pretty well with their aesthetic. My wire wrist cuffs were a big hit and I sold all but a handful of them. I had several other vendors comment to me about them and their popularity over the weekend. Making them smaller definitely helped I'm sure. I was making them between 7 or 8 inches, which fits my big wrist, but I started making them between 6 and 7 inches this time around.
The other hit was wool scarflettes. I sold 11 of them and a few other fiber ones as well. I sold a few $30 scarves and a ton of $15 ones of course. They almost cleared me out of my low end wool inventory, over half of the acrylic low end sold, and just 1 cotton. I need to time my production better for next year and have all the cotton ones ready for Strange Folk in September and then focus on wool for the later shows.
I am definitely going to make hats for next year also. The organizers said that there were many people asking for them and just a few from one of the other vendors available. They also said that the 2 sets of fingerless gloves from another vendor sold almost immediately so I will be looking into expanding into that territory.
I really need to spice things up in my knitting this year and not let myself get stagnant. I have generally avoided making hats since I don't really like knitting in the round but I did the baby hats for the shower with a flat pattern with a seam that I could adapt for adults. I can do some different embellishments to hide the seams like buttons or bobbles or who knows what all.
The main disadvantage to these kinds of shows is that you don't get the interaction with customers or the instant feedback. During the first hour of my shift I got to just hang out in the accessories section which was nice. I chatted with a few customers and get some of the compliments that make doing shows so reaffirming. My favorite customer was the woman who bought 2 of my scarves that day and then asked me if I would be doing the show next week. She said that she would be getting the coat colors down this week and then come next weekend prepared to shop for Christmas presents for all of her friends. I also enjoyed watching a group of women spend over an hour trying things on and playing with all of the accessories. They walked away with at least 4 of my items and several things from other vendors.
I'm actually looking forward to this weekend's show. I've done the Big Ass Indie Show before so I'm not as nervous about how it will go. If I do as well as I did last year at it I will definitely be able to splurge on the DSLR camera that I've been coveting.
The past week has been absolutely crazy for me, mostly in a good way. The Rock N Roll Craft Show was a great success. I'll post about it tomorrow. I have to get my inventory to the Big Ass Indie Show tonight after work.
Thanksgiving was a real Lenox reunion event. There was close to 70 in attendance which is wild enough with 70 sane people with a normal gene pool. It was great to see all the cousins and second cousins. I can't believe how grown up the second generation is getting, it's amazing how that happens. And of course, spending time with my nieces was thoroughly enjoyed. The top picture is by one of my cousins who is becoming a real photographer with his fancy Nikon DSLR. Yes, I had lots of camera envy. He took the top shot with the lake in the background as the whole immediate family stood in the backyard. Mike has his stupid sunglasses on his head which somehow no one noticed. Mom says it looks like he has a toupe on which I thought was hilarious. The next shot is one that I got of the annual spoons game. The Lenox's have a highly competitive streak and we are the only people I've ever heard of that turn the card game spoons into a contact sport. There is usually at least one all out brawl with bruises and scratches for everyone. I sat it out this year and let the second generation of cousins have their fun.
As much as I love my family they do make me crazy sometimes. This shot is me with my 2 sisters and Dad. It's so funny how easy it is to slip into our designated roles. Mine is of course the troublemaker. Even when I know I'm doing it I can't help but push people's buttons. We gang up on each other in different configurations and tease and taunt the entire time we are together as if we were still teenagers. It never used to bother me at all but I guess I'm to the point were I think we should be able to have more mature relationships, whatever that means. I was sensitive about my weight the whole week even though no one overtly referenced my weight gain from the past year. It's definitely something I will be working on but that is a whole other post.
I posted pics of my most rockin' accessories. Yes I am old. But I guess I'm still cool enough to make things that the young people like.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your families didn't drive you too crazy. We are heading home this evening and I must say I'm ready to sleep in my own bed tonight. I'll share some pics tomorrow of the weekend.
Here is the musical lineup for the rest of the weekend: Saturday: 3:00pm - Sleepy Kitty 4:00pm - Beth Bombara 5:00pm - Robb Steele 6:00pm - Via Dove
Sunday: 12:00pm - Ryne Watts and The Campfire Club 1:00pm - Paper Dolls 2:00pm - Pretty Little Empire3:00pm - Fire Dog