7 days of crafty (28/01/13)

I’m one day late with my planned 7 days of crafty post, with good reason I think. Today was a public holiday so it is only now that I’m feeling in a Sunday frame of mind!

So today we celebrated Auckland Anniversary Day – the sun shone, there were plenty of boats on the harbour and the bush behind our house was filled with bird song. Beautiful! And way better than being at Day Job! ūüėČ

So the next 7 days of crafty goodness will not e too exciting. I’m working on a crocheted baby cardigan for a friend who has a baby due in a couple of weeks. Here is how the week is shaping up:

Monday: baby cardigan
Tuesday: baby cardigan
Wednesday: baby cardigan
Thursday: baby cardigan
Friday: crocheted ring bases
Saturday: day off (phew!)
Sunday: crocheted ring bases

Anyone game to share what they are working on this week?

All quiet on the craft front

Well after I burst onto (or perhaps off!) the Nz craft market scene, it has all gone rather quiet on the craft front around here. I had a week in (R)Adelaide for a Day Job conference, and then a weekend and week recovering from a hectic fortnight. Inspiration and activity have both been low but I can feel the creative energy regenerating. Good news!

Today I attended a baby shower for an old university friend. I received an incredibly cute Dr Zuess themed invitation and knew immediately that I could make the perfect gift – a Dr Zuess onesie with a matching(ish) beanie.

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I am really loving that lemon and grey colour way at the moment and thought it perfect for a little bubba, gender unknown. I also whipped up the wee card with the pram (perambulator – great word!) which tickled me as well. Then all wrapped up in brown paper, tied with a decadent black bow and voila! A perfect, homemade baby shower gift xox

To market we went

Well the big day has been and gone. It got incredibly hectic over the last 48 hours – nothing like the added pressure of Day Job kicking in at the worst possible time. Here’s a brief (I’ll try, honest!) diary of how it all went down:

Thursday PM – this was supposed to be baby beanie night in the production line. It was not to be. It was freezing here and my hands just couldn’t hit their hooking rhythm. I managed to make two hats in the time I was sure I would be able to knock up at least 5, and went to bed in a serious funk.

Friday AM – Woke up still feeling funky (not the good kind). Emailed the organiser asking if it would be ok for me to downgrade from the 2.4m table I originally requested, to my own 1.2m table. She said fine – I felt instantly better.

Friday PM – My plans of shirking from Day Job early were thwarted – phooey. Didn’t get home, fed and watered until 8pm – double phooey. Funky feeling starts up again – cue procrastination. 9pm I get a fire under me and the production line cranks into gear. Finally get to bed at 2am (!! never again !!) feeling satisfied with my efforts¬†– this is proven by falling asleep instantly and sleeping solidly until 6am.

Saturday – Market day – Wake up at 6 and start putting the finishing touches on everything. This means writing up the prices, packing my market box and loading the car. I cannot believe it when it’s 8.25am (market starts at 9!) and I’m about to set off. I don’t know where that 2.5 hours went.

Get to the market in a few minutes and set up – Toni-maree the market organiser is LOVELY and soothes my nerves instantly. My neighbours are also very kind and friendly, and I’m relieved to see there are others still setting up. My table comes together quickly (glad I practised!) and I’m ready to roll. So is the wind – it is absolutely howling by 10am. It helped build camaraderie I think – everytime a big gust rushed in, we all held onto our gazebos to prevent lift off, amid much hilarity. Here’s how my stand looks – note, a bit skimpy at this point because everything I couldn’t hold onto was likely to blow away in the wind!

Despite the wind, the punters roll in. I’m excited to see my ring-ins show up while it was still sunny, and my friend fell in love with the lemon and grey fingerless gloves. She buys them – my first sale!! A few other punters drifted past,¬†a couple stopping to check out my goods. They don’t buy – instantly I’m worried that I’ve got my price point wrong. The weather is steadily worsening and the flow of punters slows to a trickle. Thankfully I have had a couple of buddies show up to keep me company, and of course my lovely stall neighbours to chat to. A lady comes and buys¬†the cute-as-a-button Dr Zeuss One Fish Two Fish onesie – I’m delighted as I’ve now made back the money on the stall. My last sale is the bargain of the century waterfall crocheted scarf for $10, purchased by a lovely lady. I wonder if she felt sorry for me because of the increasingly nasty weather.

By 11am some of the other outside people are packing up – the weather is looking decidedly grumpy and the rain clouds are rolling in. Between the oncoming rain and the foul wind, a lot of the other stallholders have left and it is really just Janice (I wish I knew her company name so I could plug them), Otello’s, Cachecol,¬†Blackwoods Bakery (I think) and I left.

We finally packed it in at the scheduled closing time of 1pm. I am knackered – in fairness, definitely more because of the mad panic last night than the rigours of the market today – but really, really proud of myself. This was a huge personal goal for the year and I’m so chuffed to have ticked the box. So thanks for having me Birkenhead Artisan Market – I’m hoping to be back in November and December, and in the meantime have also applied to hit the Devonport Craft Market in early November. I am absolutely fizzing with ideas on how to better dress my stand and feel like I could even be ready to start up a Facebook page for my efforts to try and drum up a bit more business.

And you know what the first job is? Making a plan for the next 6 weeks so I don’t end up hand stitching at 2am again next time around!

Tomorrow Day Job will take me to Adelaide, Australia¬†for a week. I’m presenting at a Tertiary Education Conference with my boss and strangely I’m really looking forward to it. Now that the market madness has subsided, I can focus my energy on something else for the next few days.

Hope you’re all well and the weather is better for you, wherever you are in the world.

From rage to anxiety

So now that I have made the committment to appear at the Birkenhead Artisan Markets on September 15th (NB: haven’t heard back from the organiser if my stall is confirmed, but I’m planning to be there so can continue to build up stock), I’m feeling a little bit of craft anxiety. And I’m not sure if it is actually better than Craft Rage!

Will people like my stuff enough to buy?

What about the price – too high, too low?

Will I have enough to sell?

All I can do for now is craft my little socks off and do my best. This is all part of the fun (I think!) and what will be will be. I’m very lucky to have had a great friend commit to spending the day at the stall to keep me company and help sell, sell, sell. Hurrah!

I’m apprehensive that I have focused too much on my cross-stitch purses – as with the crochet, they’re time consuming and I am worried I’m not going to be able to make enough to make it worthwhile. Instead should I be focusing more on my silk and linen purses? Argh – you could actually go a bit nutty overthinking this stuff. I think I will proceed as I am – here’s my list of what I hope to be selling:

  • Crocheted fingerless gloves (just in time for NZ summer – doh!).
  • Crocheted baby beanies, with flower button attachments as optional extras. Check them out here.
  • Bad ass cross stitch money pouches
  • Appliqued baby onesies
  • Silk & linen purses

I think for the crocheted items, I would be smartest to have a few samples (enough to make the stand look tempting!) made up, but have order forms so that I can give people the option of choosing their colourway. I’ve made a few two-toned gloves for my friends that have been really popular – each side being made of a different colour, so effectively you can wear one pair of gloves two ways. The yarn I use is a beautiful cotton blend and comes in DELICIOUS colours, so I’m hoping they’ll be popular on the stand.

Anyway – I’m excited and nervous about this. Need to sideline the nerves and harness the excitement, and get crafting!

x

Ted 3.0

My old favourite teddy bear (“Ted”) has recently made a comeback, and he’s back in the bed! Husband is mildly bemused but never mind – Ted deserves a bit of loving. Only problem was that his old outfit was falling to pieces so over the weekend I took it upon myself to give him a natty upgrade.¬†Staying true to his original red jacket and the heart on his chest that was cuddled off long ago, I’ve chosen a lovely large check and a wee appliqued black heart. I think he looks adorable and will be sure to stick around for another 31 years thanks to his new garb.Love you Teddy!

Ted 3.0

Ted 3.0: Looking very handsome in a natty new suit!

PS. In other news I finished the final Tiki and have added to the post Five tikis down one to go. What next?!

All about soup, and a little bit about Thai

I’ve had a couple of craft-free evenings this week, instead it has been rather social which has been a nice change. On Wednesday night I went to a cooking demonstration called “All about soup” with my Mum and sister, which was really neat. I am not a big soup drinker, and definitely not a soup cooker, but it was my sister’s suggestion for a Mother’s Day gift so I bought into it and went along. I was pleasantly surprised! It was informative, fun and YUMMY! We learnt about three varieties of soup: Avgolemono¬†(Greek lemon chicken soup), Zucchini, white bean and leek soup, and Puchero (pork, beef and chicken soup). The Puchero was my favourite and I was disappointed that I’d scoffed the first two bowls as I couldn’t finish this one!

We also learnt how to make a simple corn bread, and Pandebono (Columbian cheesy rolls). Both were also delicious – I think I’ll have a go at the Pandebono this weekend. Because it is gluten free and full of cheese, I know it will be a hit with my husband. Yummo.

Last night we were out to dinner with a bunch of his friends from architecture school – it was a really lovely evening. I have spent a bit of time with two of the couples, but there were another two couples that I’ve only met twice before so very much enjoyed getting to know them better. We went for Thai which I absolutely love and don’t get to eat often, as my husband is a bit of a fussy eater we usually opt for different cuisines when eating out.

I’m looking forward to a weekend of crafts and catchups – tomorrow morning I am going on a crafty road trip with a friend. We will go to The Bead Hold¬†first, and then make another trip to The Little Craft Store. We went there for the first time (long time blog stalker, first time store visitor!) and met Helen (I think¬†– sorry if that wasn’t you!) who instantly made us both feel very welcome. I wish I was a local – I think I would be there all the time!

Tomorrow night is a catch up with my sister, a dear friend and my cousin – we are making a Japanese banquet, which is always delicious. If I remember I will take some photos of the lovely food we will be preparing, I can’t wait!

I’m naughtily typing this at my day job, so better get back to it – looking forward to leftover Thai for lunch, and sitting at my desk working on a pair of two-toned G_loves for a colleague. Will post a pic once they’re finished.

Happy weekend to all ūüôā