Yesterday I attended my first craft fair; it was in nearby Lincoln Park, NJ. I had been put on the waiting list and only discovered five days previously that there was space for me. Thus a hurry up and prepare week ensued. Fortunately my brother had started making a card stand, but he was focusing on a fair on November 15th. Construction and sanding and protecting started occurring morning, noon and night. I think it came out really well but Martin wants to put another coat on it – however we needed to give a couple of days of drying time so that the cards wouldn’t stick!

Next I ordered some business cards and then needed a holder. Martin whipped one up out of a piece of cherry in about ten minutes flat on Wednesday and it was waxed and tested on the business cards when they arrived on Thursday. I realised, as I was driving to work on Thursday, that I needed some little holders to hold my price list cards. By the time I got home from a dinner and drinks leaving do with the girls from work, he’d produced a dozen little blocks – still rough and ready and waiting for my approval before finishing them. I think that they are perfect! I am so fortunate to have such a handy brother as well as a basement full of tools and scraps of wood!

Whilst all the construction was going on, I was making little pyramid treat/gift boxes and gift card holders and wondering how to display my boxes. I finally remembered a cake stand which, when covered with a black napkin, would match the rest of the table. So here is what my display finally looked like:

table setup

I didn’t test it out the night before because there wasn’t time and there wasn’t much I could do about any issues at that point. So I decided to wing it. :) After I’d put my cards on the display- selecting the ones that had many multiples – I used some of the blocks to display some of the one off cards. I then put the boxes on their pedestal; in retrospect they should have been closer to the front of the table since some people’s eyes didn’t even get to them. I spread out the gift card holders and, after adding the blocks with prices and raffle announcement, just had room for a line of cards. I had previously been worried about filling the table but in the end, there wasn’t much space! Martin’s already working on the design of something to hold the gift card holders and more of the one off cards.

The show started and I’d like to say that people flooded in. But they didn’t. In fact, I don’t think we saw anyone who wasn’t another vendor for about half an hour. I thought that I had been put in a good spot – people had to go past me to get to the lunch area but I didn’t sell anything until just after 11. I know the time because I texted my brother! Not only did I sell 2 cards, I sold one of his wooden blocks; the lady mistakenly thought that they were for sale and asked to buy one so that she could display my card because she thought it was too good to send. I was happy to sell her a block under those circumstances!

The vendors around me weren’t happy – two of them were new to this show and were trying to find out if this level of traffic was normal. I was fortunate to be next to Meg who was experienced at craft fairs. She gave me tips and even jumped in and gave people ideas for using the treat boxes (hang on the tree or stuff money or a gift certificate inside) and when I’d sold four of them to one customer, whipped out a plastic bag to put them in. Thanks Meg. :)

The boxes were to my third customer, the second bought a congratulations card. I was fearing that I was going to make a loss when my final customer appeared around 3pm and bought 5 cards and two gift card holders.

So not a roaring success, but I made back the cost of my table plus a little extra and I’m guessing that there was a maximum of 40 people coming through. It was an absolutely gorgeous day here in NJ – sunny, 68 degrees and I assume that this cut down on the attendees. The slow pace definitely was a better introduction to a craft fair than a really busy one so all in all I think it was best this way.

Today I have a very simple and clean card for you. Another Christmas one admittedly, but Christmas is getting closer! It’s odd – I’m thinking about the cards but haven’t given a thought to presents or a menu!

garden green trees

Here I’m using the retired Stampin’ Up! Merry Mini Tree punch and the Trim the tree DSP stack. I’ve matted the little trees individually in Very Vanilla and put them on a very vanilla base. It’s a fairly simple looking card but it takes time because you absolutely have to get the trees perfectly set on their mats and then the mats perfectly aligned on the card. It takes a lot of time with a ruler. But, it’s worth it. :) I think it’s rather striking with all the space. And not a candy dot in sight. I know that candy dots are fairly fashionable, but I do not take to them. I’m not saying never (especially after my sister’s about face on dimensionals) but it’s unlikely. :)

I’ve been making cards most days since I started at the end of May. I recently made my 305th card in less than five months. I was concerned about needing to rent a POD or COW to store them in and my brother suggested a craft fair. I registered for one but was put on the waiting list. No worries. Until on Monday I got an email with the last minute details for the fair on October 25th. A quick email exchange confirmed that they now have space for me if I like. I checked with Martin who was building me a card stand for what I thought was my first craft fair in 3 weeks. We could rush production. So I agreed to take the spot. Only then did I realise how much there is to do!

After some thought and a chat with Jen I came up with about 15 tasks. I’m happy to report that I’ve finished labeling my boxes, ordered my business cards and Martin has made me a business card holder. We’ve been joking that I’ll come back from the fair having sold no cards but having sold my custom made stand and holders. At least, I hope it’s a joke.

Jen mentioned a couple of days ago that gift card holders would be a good idea. I found a template and started work! It’s extremely easy – take a DSP stack (or card 4.5″ by 6.5″ ) and, using the envelope punch board, punch at 3.25 inches on the short side. Turn the paper over and do the same again. Then score at the other end of the paper at 1.25″. Fold this up and glue at the edges. This creates the pocket. Then take the notched side and tuck it under the pocket – crease at the top. You’re done apart from decorating.

gift card holders

Simple and so much more fun than a plain envelope. I’m planning to find out if 4.25″ would be enough width so that I could get 3 holders out of a 8.5 by 11 piece of cardstock. So far I’ve been using the DSP stacks.

The Paper Players are playing to my preference this week – silver or gold. I can’t stop making Christmas cards and I love heat embossing so it’s an easy one! I decided to go for a sophisticated look and do black and silver.

Stampin' Up! Festive Flurries and Sassy Salutations

This is last year’s Festive Flurry stamp set – I had to buy it even though it was retiring because it’s so beautiful. So I used the embossing buddy before stamping the snowflake in versamark and sprinkling silver embossing powder over the card. A few sharp flicks to the back of the card got rid of the excess and the snowflake after heat embossing looked great. I cut it out using the festive flurry dies. Then I embossed the sentiment on the card (it’s from Sassy Salutations) and adhered the snowflake using dimensionals. I had tried just stamping the snowflake on the card but it wasn’t dramatic enough. I’m sure that some people won’t like black for Christmas but I like it.

I’m attending a crop weekend in about 3 weeks and my sister is flying over from the UK to attend it with me. We’re signed up for the Secret Pal swap which means showering someone with gifts over the weekend. We decided that packaging was important and I was assigned to create boxes. One box is certain to be using the curvy keepsake dies (when I get them) but I thought I’d explore other options.

As I was thinking about making boxes, I saw the Fab Friday challenge this week and decided to make a Halloween themed box.

I found a template for making a pyramid box but after looking at the template realised that all I have to do is make a square and then extend one side 3 times. So if the base of the box is a 3×3 square, cut a 9×3 piece of card. Then score every 3 inches and score from the 3 inch score line on each side to the middle of the edge (i.e. at 1.5 inches) and make two identical pieces.

This works fine if you have a  12 by 12 piece of cardstock, but using an 8.5 by 11,  the easiest way to do it is to cut a 1/4 inch strip from the long side so that you end up with 8.25″ by 11. Then cut 2.75″ off the long side leaving you with a 8.25″ by 8.25″ piece of card and your smaller piece is now 2.75 by 8.25 (which is what you need for half a box). Cut another 2.75″ wide piece off your square piece of card and you have what you need for your box. Incidentally, if you cut the remaining piece in half, you have what you need for a second box. Score every 2.75″. Make a little score line at 1 3/8 to give you the centre of the short edge. Now score from that to the closest score line running across the card stock creating triangles.

I don’t have Stampin’ Up!’s Simply scored scoring tool (yet) so I used my trimmer to score everything except the triangles. I found that the envelope punch board works well for the triangles.The triangles that you’ve produced will make the pyramid but there’s too much excess to pull the box together. I cut off a curved piece to make things easier to fix together. Decorate the box if you like and then stick the two pieces together. I then took a  1/8″ punch and made a hole at the top of each point on the box.

pyramid box in progress

Use your bone folder to burnish each fold line and then use about 18 inches of ribbon to pull the box together, folding the curves that you cut inside, and tie a bow. I added a tag before doing the bow – this is from the Good Greetings hostess set stamped in memento black ink on tangelo twist and cut out with the smallest oval framelit. I used the next framelit to cut out a piece of basic black and adhered the tangelo twist piece to it. I was surprised that the 3/8″ ribbon worked with the 1/8″ hole, but you can see that it was fine. This is of course the Tangelo Twist 3/8″ Satin Stitched ribbon which is totally luxurious.

blackberry bliss halloween pyramid box

I enjoyed making these so much that I made a few more. I can see that Christmas this year is going to be totally different – all about the packaging!

blackberry bliss, island indigo, real red pyramid boxes

If you have any questions, just drop me an email and I’ll be happy to help.