Sunday, October 30, 2011

Busy little beaver!

(Hahaha!  I couldn't resist.)


Topic on my mind today: I'm kinda concerned about my pricing for this show.  I've never even attended this particular show as a buyer so I don't know what the market is like - who my customers will be. But I hope they know and understand what goes into handmade items.  My beavers are $40.  I don't think that's high.  And I know I'm not high compared to my plushie-making peers.  But I wonder what the average shopper thinks...

It took me the better part of all day today to get to this point ^.  And that's just the fabric-choosing and cutting.  That's not counting the time that went in before - the sketching, the pattern design and tweaking, the shopping for materials.  And it's not counting, of course, any of the time after - sewing these babies up, piecing them togther and stuffing them.

I think this little guy (gal?) is my favorite for today:


LOVE the colors.  The quilted fabric.  And the funky patterns.  So bright and cheery.  This one just makes me especially happy. :)

Artists/Crafters - do you worry about your pricing?  How long did it take you to get to where you felt comfortable charging what you do?  How did you reach that "sweet spot" - charging enough where you feel happy based on the amount of time (bloodsweat&tears!) you have in, but little enough that you feel your customers will be happy paying it?

Shoppers - do you feel there's more value in handmade goods?  Enough where you feel comfortable and even happy paying more?  Sometimes I feel it can be a lost cause competing with popular, machine-made, big box store items.  I buy a lot of handmade, but I wonder how others feel...would love to hear from both/all sides of the spectrum!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Update. And my mock up!

What's been going on around here?

*cutting*sewing*creating*ordering*problem-solving*organizing* list-making*learning*brain-storming*starting*finishing*deciding*making*

What's not been going on around here?

*regular meals*house cleaning*laundry*thrifting trips*social life*sleep*

But it's all worth it!  Wanna see my booth mock up I did in the basement tonight?  Yes?  Of course, yes!







What do you think?  I mean - it's in the basement, so the lighting's not the best.  And the tables are a bit rigged.  And I need more beavers, birdies and owls.  But you get the overall feel. I'd say I'm pretty happy with it.  I have a couple more details to work in - my signage, the business card holders I'm making.  Stuff like that.  But I like it so far. (And those table clothes!  Can you believe it?!  I love 'em!)

OH!  And I was finally able to order my banner!  It's done, and I ordered it Tuesday, and it should be here in two to three weeks!  I can't wait to show you.  Super excited about it.  :)

Any seasoned crafters out there have any pointers for me?  It's getting down to the wire - and I feel pretty prepared (other than I need to beef up my inventory) but any and all advice is always welcome!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's hip to be Square!

Hoooraayy!  Look what arrived today in the mail!


My Square Up app!  I ordered this so I could use it at the show next month.  (Next month?!  Eeek!)

Have you heard of it?  It's basically a credit card accepting device that works with (some) smart phones or your Ipad.  I'm super excited about it.  Everything I'm reading about it from other artists' reviews is really positive.  I'm not usually a tech-nut, but this thing is really cool.  And look!  It even comes with its own little decal thingy I can use in my booth for my payment options sign.


This is what it looks like...


After you create an account with them online (super easy), you order it (free!) and when it arrives, you're good to go!  Just plug it into your phone (see their site for what devices are compatible) and swipe your customers' cards!  I can't wait to see it in action.

Anyone with any feedback on using this app - I'd love to hear from you!

Now if my new phone would just arrive...  *sigh*  :)

PS: I'm not affiliated with SquareUp or Apple or getting anything from this mini-review.  (But Square, if you're listening - call me! Lol. )  I'm just really excited and I think that this sounds like a great new tool for artists.  I can't wait for my (first!) show - and anything that might make sales easier or possibly bring more my way is a-ok in my book!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A couple new vintage goodies...

...just listed in the shop!

Find them here.

Find them here.
I found these ^ sets at an awesome garage sale in our neighborhood this summer.  The couple were serious collectors of many things.  Mostly though, the wife loved Pyrex and glassware.  (Hooray!)  And the hubby had a bunch of old radios and garagey stuff.  I came away from that treasure trove with the above sets for the shop, as well as an adorable coffee cup set...


...and some great bakeware...


...for myself!  :)  I'm gonna need a bigger kitchen.

Speaking of things I want to keep for myself, I completed this guy today!


Don't you just love him?!  I'm totally in love with this one.  The colors are gorgeous together.  Alas...I can't keep him.  He's destined for the show in November.  (If you love him though - you can call dibs now!)

PS: If you're a fan of Pooknflip on Facebook - you already know you're the first to know about all newly listed goodies (most times, even before they're listed!).  If you're not, see the sidebar on the blog if you'd like to LIKE me. <3

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dream a little dream...

...of totally awesome vintage campers.  Someday, my honey and I will own a little camper.  Large enough to be comfy. But not much bigger.  And totally adorable.  And absolutely vintage.  Then we would go anywhere we wanted on a whim.  And we'd do it in style.  :)  Wouldn't that be cool?

Found here.
Found here.
Found here.
Found here.
Found here.
What's your latest dream?  :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Artisan Interview - Pink Parchment Soaps

Hi folks!  Today I would like to share an interview with one of my favorite soap suppliers.  She's local for me, but she's also on Etsy so please check out her shop if you are in the market for some good, handmade, quality (vegan!) soaps.  She also makes lots of lotions and other goodies along those lines.  Enjoy!

"Road Trip" - patchouli & orange

1. How did you get started in the soap-making business? What sparked your interest?

It’s a rather funny story on how we got started: Several years ago, we were on vacation in North Carolina and stopped in a small soap shop. They made the most beautiful soap we had ever seen. We also thought, oh these will make wonderful gifts for both my husband’s mother and my mother – both of whom are incredibly difficult to buy for! With both Mother’s Day and birthdays right around the corner, we stocked up. Once we returned to Michigan, I happened to get a flyer from a local college and they were offering soap-making classes. I took the class, and voila, we were hooked.


2. What’s your favorite material or fragrance to use in your creating process?

Right now I am working on making essential oil blends and my favorite essential oils are peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender.

"Peppermint"

3. From talking with you on our soap-meeting-pick-ups, I know you have a lovely family. Do they help in the process at all? Or are you a one-woman operation?

Both of my daughters help in all aspects of our soap making. They both love coming up with and trying out new ideas as much as I do.


4. Do you have a personal favorite soap? Which do you use most often?

Right now my favorite soap is our Lavender Eucalyptus Rosemary and our Apple Jack and Peel. They are both wonderful fall soaps that pick me up and getting me going in the morning.   


5. Men are so hard to buy for and the holiday season is coming up. Do you have a good recommendation? What’s most popular with your male customers?

Our beer soaps! They make great gifts and men love to use them.

"Blue Moon"
6. Do you sell outside of Etsy? Do you have any websites or upcoming shows you’d like
to share with my readers?


In Michigan, we have a small booth at the Yellow Door Art Market in Berkley, and we have a website, www.PinkParchmentSoaps.com, that is getting a major overhaul in the next couple of months.

"Buttercream Cupcake Soap"

7. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Do you have any big plans for Pink Parchment?

Five years from now we are hoping to be in more stores and have an expanded selection of our line of decorative soaps and perfumes.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My favorite season...

...the food...the hoodies...the colors...the fashion...the weather.  (Actually, it's almost 80 degrees here today - but we're not gonna talk about it.)

I'm feeling very Autumnesque today.  Just wanted to share some beautiful images I found today.  I've got some DIY ideas in the works too...stay tuned. :)

This looks delicious!  From here.
Dress+sweater+belt (and anything navy for that matter) = so very me.  From here.
There are some seriously creative people out there.  LOVE this!  What are you going to carve this year?  I have no idea yet.... (from here)
This pumpkin tutorial has been on my "to do" list since last year.  *Sigh*  From an absolutely lovely blog I follow - if you haven't been - go!
This picture just conjures cozy images like mad - mmmmm. :) From here
Absolutely beautiful.  This is a "home" image for me.  100% country girl.  From here.
Love the dress.  Love the sweater (that color!).  Love the earrings.  Love the boots.  I love fall clothes! (from here)
So cool.  And spooooooky!  Don't you just love fall?!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A little help?

I've been knee deep in gift tag making for the upcoming holiday show lately.  (Ask Jon - he's making me clean up the living room tomorrow - apparently crafting is for craftrooms - who knew?)  But I'm not sure what to do here.  Which stocking do you like best?


Thoughts?

My thoughts are this: I like the stripes because it's a more fun pattern and it's more visible.  However, I think I'm leaning toward the green for a couple reasons.  The stocking and stocking top are felt - the stripes are paper but the green is also felt.  So I feel like the green is more texturally pleasing.  And it also goes very well with the background colors.  But those stripes are fun...

See?  I need you. :)