Saturday, January 27, 2007

Kits for Sale!

Oh, I have some craft kits alright. Do I ever.

I love love love the idea of kits. I guess because I love to come up with craft projects, especially for those who think they are not crafty. That's what I like about teaching art ... showing folks that everyone can enjoy it, not only those who have a talent for it. It's fun and satisfying to start with a pile of stuff and end up with something pretty or useful. My approach is to have them make one item that incorporates a number of skills, pretty much foolproof but with room for creativity. So at the end of the class they go home with something cool that they feel good about.

When I prepare a new class, I write up all the instructions. Once they are done, I can just teach it over and over. The hard part is finished in planning the activity. I like to take the instructions and some supplies and make up kits to sell. Likewise, I can just sell them over and over without much more thought. Except for what the next kit will be.

So, anyway... I have been going kit crazy on ebay and so far it's going well. Here's what I have for sale right now: Bohemian Mermaid Ebay Auctions. I also have a new ebay store thingy, through my new auction manager: Auction Store. The store feature is neato cuz it shows thumbs of everything, but also shows thumbs within each of the auction listings, which rocks.

Most of what I normally sell on ebay are unused sewing patterns that I buy at thrift stores... also some craft books or supplies, if I can find them in good shape. I've been selling the crochet hat kits (featuring my own patterns) for a long time. But, now I have added the Silk Scarf kit and Kool-aid Silk kit... and also as of yesterday, the new Deluxe Hat Kit with fancy yarns. Oh yeah, and some beading kits, which I'm selling even without the instructions I was going to draw up.

I think the secret is to have lots of auctions in lots of categories around ebay. So, that's what I'm trying to do. Seems to be working. Of course, I had to start selling buttons and stickers from work. I get a good price and I can rummage through the flawed stuff for some really good deals.

I'm also going to add more Mermaid goods, maybe some T-shirts or tote bags. Now that I have a space set up in my studio to take photos, it will be easier to do so.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Argh. That time of year again...

I'm feeling scattered. Just like every year at this time.

Craft fairs are on hold until spring. The weather is cold and laying around in my jammies seems so inviting. As well as a general winter cave-dwelling tendency.

Every year at this time I try to make a good plan... like... it's really a perfect time to be working on new print designs or dye techniques. Also a good time to do some wholesaling (that's a whole other post) and improve my printed materials to that end. The web site always needs work. There are taxes to prepare, end of the year reports I like to compile (well I LIKE to have them, compiling them is a chore). Craft fairs to seek out and apply for... plenty of stuff.

But, I always have a hard time getting things done. I guess I don't really make a solid enough plan soon enough or something. I think about the stuff... do some of it. But, really I mostly do whatever I feel like doing on a particular day. I've always been a self-indulgent adult. Without a deadline, I slack lots of the time.

So, here I am. With my new little planning notebook, a fresh pack of pens and a pocket calendar. Ready to plan my time for the next few months. So many possibilities... we'll see how it goes...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Mateel Community Center

Ok, so maybe like me you have been hearing about the Mateel and Raggae drama going on lately. My understanding is that the folks now in charge of Raggae on the River (the name, or property... not sure) have outsourced it to some bay area fair management. Thus somehow removing it from its historical purpose... the main fund raiser for the Mateel Community Center.

I'm sure I'm missing many details. But whatever, the result is this email I got the other day from one of the Mateel organizers:

Dear vendor.

I hope your new year is going well.

Due to financial problems in regards to shortfalls in expected income form Reggae on the River, the mateel community center has been closed since December 14th, just after our last event of the year the Winter Arts Fair.

You may have participated in our Summer Arts and Music Festival, our Winter Arts Fair, or one of our other two outdoor festivals in 2006. Unfortunately all of our events for 2007 are now on hold. In order for these great festivals to happen, we have to start working on them in February by the latest.

But there is hope. We are going to do the only thing we can do, put on a fundraiser. We are calling it “Mateel Forever”. We are asking all who have enjoyed and who want to continue enjoying the wonderful Mateel gatherings to give their support.

On Saturday, January 27th the Mateel Community Center will open its doors again for this all important cause.

Mateel Forever is an all day event that will include live music, dance and theater, a gourmet dinner and a bar with beer and wine. There will also be a silent auction which we are currently accepting donations for. If you would like to support the Mateel Community Center please come and join the fun on the 27th of January 2007!

If you would like to donate an item to our silent auction please send to:

Mateel Community Center
P.O. Box 1910
Redway CA 95560.

Or drop by the Mateel Community Center office at 59 Rusk Lane in Redway. Please include an approximate value of the item donated so that we can determine a stating bid point. Lower value donations can also be used in our Mateel Forever benefit raffle to be held at this event.

For more information call 923-3368 or send an email to

Thank you,

Ashley Wilma
Vendor coordinator

I don't know about you, but I plan on donating something nice. A bunch of stuff. I love vending at their festivals. I like what they're about. And I guess I'm gonna go read more about what's been happening down there.

Friday, January 05, 2007

More About the Holiday Market

I know I'm a bit late with this... but I wanted to talk a little more about the Arcata Holiday Craft Market. Like I said before, it was fun.

This is my booth, right next to Paula's Puzzles just like every year at the North Country Fair. On the other side, some pretty copper hanging things... and across, the smelly wreath lady. Hahaha. I don't mean she was smelly, but her booth fulla wreaths smelled like all kinds of Holiday Goodness. Eucalyptus, pine, lavender, and I bartered for one of these pretty pepper wreaths that Barney wanted (then I faked him out so I could surprise him for Xmas, muahaha).

Joyful Dancers top on the mannequin there... I sold that top & pants outfit right off her. Love when that happens. The guy had brought his wife by, then snuck back to get it. Lots of that kind of sweetness during that weekend. Heehee.

I found a spot for all the new jewelry. I think it worked out well. People could see it walking by and I even sold some. Woo! Although, looking at it now I probably should have put a curtain up behind it for less cluttered viewing. I left it down since the puzzle booth had an open setup, folks walking by could see my goods through the wall. The food booth was on the other side of them and I wanted to be more visible to them. But even a shirt or something hanging right behind would have helped.

Just to show how crowded my booth is getting, well full at least... I added this extra upper hanging rod down the center of the booth, above the skirts, for all the kid's and baby stuff. Are these baby t-shirts cute or what??

I did a little more bartering too. I found these killer necklaces made of vintage boudoir photos, placed between little squares of soldered glass. The backs had snippets of erotic literature. So neat! I regret not thinking to get one for myself. Um, what else... oh, yes. I traded the nice Gourmet Dog Biscuit lady for a bunch of dog treats. She was fun to visit with.

The nice wood turning couple from the Trinidad Market were there as well. They rock.

The crafts as usual were very high quality. There were 4 or 5 wood booths, only 1 pottery booth (that surprised me!), quite a few jewelry booths - 3 or 4 polymer clay types, which was different. The stained glass box lady... a couple African baskets & sculpture booths. Some other stuff... a nice variety.

I'm looking forward to doing this one again next year.