I should be posting about the Craft Fair I did earlier in the month. Truth is, it was a little uneventful. And I mean that in the most positive way.
Everything went smoothly from set up to tear down. Aside from our group of 10, we had a lot of help from a few husbands which made set up all the easier. A few ladies in our group are veterans at this craft fair business, so they walked us rookies through it. We also had a great project manager who wrote up a plan of action for each of us, so we all knew what our roles were from the get go. I was a little nervous about the whole thing because well, you know how it can be to work with a group of highly creative women, each with fabulous ideas —- things can get a little tense. As a newbie to the group, this was a chance for me to get to know everyone on a more personal level. What a fantastic group of talented, intelligent, fun and funny women! We laughed, We cried! It was great. My personal sales were better than I expected and the overall experience was a positive one. I did learn I wouldn’t do that particular venue again, but I would do another event in a minute with this group. And I am. Next moth. But that is another post…..
WHEW – now that was a wordy paragraph.
Anyway, if you have specific questions about how to pull off a craft fair – ask away and I will be happy to share. (My first tip though, is to do it with a large group of awesome, motivated, experienced friends.)
I’ve been a little lazy since the fair and took some time to focus on non creative tasks. My brain needed a rest. But I’m ready to get back to work! I’ve been asked to create a couple of custom tins which I am really excited about.
My first job was to design a business card holder for a friend. She had mentioned she liked mine and asked if I would make her one. I was happy to do it, but she didn’t give me much of a hint about what style she wanted. When I asked her, she said “Oh anything.” Perhaps she was only being nice, but she’s gonna get one now, like it or not. After cyber stalking her for a couple of days, poking around Facebook and her Etsy Store, My Jealous Heart, I didn’t come up with much, so I just went way out on a limb and did my own thing.
Remember how cool it was for rock stars to start their sets with their backs turned to the audience? The crowd would wait in anticipation as the lead singer tapped his foot, or snapped his fingers through the song intro then, on cue, he’d turn around to belt out the first line of lyrics, the crowd would go wild? That is sort of what I am going for here:
I’ve been a little obsessed with old school American tattoos lately. Not getting one, but the images and how I’ve been seeing them used on everything from pot holders to diaper bags. As I kicked around a few ideas in my head about this card holder, I though, why not design one in the spirit of an old school tattoo?
I had so much fun with this because I had no idea how I would do it, so there was a lot of experimental play happening. I wanted a banner, I knew that, but it had to be durable and it had to have the name of my friends shop on it, which meant I’d have to custom make one.
I remembered a package of Polyshrink I had purchased about 20 years ago ( I did mention before that I am a hoarder right?) I had used a corner of only one sheet to make a charm once and never used it again. I retrieved it from my stash and began experimenting. Mostly I was concerned the banner would not shrink down to the desired size. My lettering skills are terrible, so I had to use stamps and stamp each letter on the Polyshrink (before baking). I was worried the lettering would be too small once the banner shrunk, but it turned out pretty good.
Stays On ink pads were perfect for stamping the letters and I used Sharpies to color and add detail to the design – all before baking.
But of course, I needed something to hold the banner up. I drew a swallow, traced two of them onto the Polyshrink with carbon paper, colored the swallows with a Sharpie, cut them out, PUNCHED THE HOLES (don’t forget to do that step) and baked it. The little birds took only about 3 minutes to shrink down to size.
Above you can see the original size of the sketch for the bird. I had forgotten how fun this was!!
I wont get into details about the trials and errors, it really wasn’t too bad, the main thing is to have patience and know, the bigger the piece, the longer it may take to shrink and it will go through some startling stages as it shrinks. Eventually it will flatten out and look normal. There are a lot of instructions online, which are far better than I can offer, but I would be happy to answer you specific questions; that is much easier than me trying to anticipate all the questions anyone MIGHT have.
The paper used in this project is all hand painted then details were added with art pens and acrylic paint, as with the heart. I also added acrylic rhinestones to give a little bling bling. I was tempted to use glitter, but thought the rhinestones were enough. (I’m trying to wean myself off glitter – ohhh the pain of glitter withdrawals….)
Here is the shot of the front along with a few detail shots: (HUGE cheers from the crowd)
In my experimenting, I found acrylic paints worked well on the Polyshrink. I attempted to use water based inks, but they smeared, even after baking. This was also true of my printer ink. Initially, I was going to create the design in a photo editing program and print it onto the Polyshrink, but my ink was not compatible with the Polyshink and it smeared after baking as well. There are other types of shrink film available made for use with inkjet printers but I wanted to use what I already had.
Well, that’s it for this week. I must get back to my room redo’s, landscaping, painting and panicking (more on that in a future post) and I still have two other tins to get to, plus a few more for the fair – SOOOOoooooo I’m outta here for now.
Hope you have a fab week,