Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Projects

Unfortunately I haven't had time to finish my new blouse yet, "real" jobs you know. Next though, I'd like to make a gypsy skirt. I've decided I'd like to focus more on bigger items for a while since I already have a fairly good stock of accessories. Bigger items seem more likely to bring people in and then they might stay and buy accessories as well.
For selling live I have to make a sort of collapsable costume rack to display apparal and such. My father is always eager to make things so we have a daddy-daughter trip to the hardware store in our future as he has put himself in charge of my displaying needs. It's very sweet.

I am still decent camera-less at this point, so here is the best photo I could take of my new necklaces. Very depressing, I know. Jewelry is very hard to photograph I've found. Harder to light and hang attractively.
I've been trying to use up the store of beads I've accumulated and I found some lovely metal pieces to use as the main pendant. I think these may appeal to young women and also those that likes something more colorful and feminine than many of my usual styles with chain maille and such.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Celtic Fling

I made the trek to the Celtic Fling in Mount Hope yesterday, held on the grounds of one of the largest Renaissance Faires in the tri-state area. The faire season begins in August, but this weekend the site contained some of the best Celtic bands in the country. Unfortunately some groups that were there previous years such as Enter the Haggis and Coyote Run were not present, but my favorite group, Scythian was there.
Although there were many vendors with wonderful displays I mostly contented myself to looking and stealing ideas.... er finding sources of inspiration. I did buy some incense and some lavender flowers which I put to good use.
On the way home my party and I stopped to get some dinner and use the bathroom before our long ride home. At the restaurant I met a very nice couple that happen to be vendors that were working the faire. They own La Wren's Nest and we had a very nice chat. They gave me some tent advise (hopefully in a year or two I'll be able to invest) and invited me to come check theirs out at an event this fall that they'll be at and I'll likely be attending.
I did see some jewelry and apparel at the festival that I found unique or attractive and might like to emulate in certain ways.
Currently I'm making new soaps, most recently Espresso and Lavender Milk, and remolding some of the brittle bars I made last week. I'm also sewing a Rustic Country Maid Blouse made from the same fabric and in the same style as the chemise. Obviously it will be shorter and I'm using different ribbon for the ties. Updates and pictures of those as well as new necklaces later.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Soap Brittle

I made new soap this weekend in longer bars instead of my usual soap cakes. The new scents are:
-Strawberry Feilds with lemon essence and slices of strawberry
-Apple Pie with real chunks of apple, baking spices and vanilla
-Ginger Bread made with spice ground ginger along with vanilla and other spices
I also made Green Tea and Aloe After the Sun soap for soothing sunburn. I was inspired by my redness inducing day at the beach.
Perhaps I'll set up a seperate Etsy just for soaps eventually, perhaps if I get myself established at some local shops it'll get me a customer base. A friend of mine bought a bar of Hot Cocoa soap as a graduation present for a friend and Sweet Peppermint for herself. She's really enjoying the peppermint, says it helps wakes her up in the morning.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Sewing Project Photos

Above: Molly Pitcher Carry All Bag, made from toile print cotton with a cream colored strap and an antique bone button closure. I just listed this one on Etsy, I love this bag, it's so cute and it's a great size.
Above: Black Satin Lady Floor Length Skirt. A simple black satin skirt with a drawstring waist, perfect for any costume or evening wardrobe. Also just listed on Etsy.
Above: Green Rose Upcycled Tote Bag. Not yet listed on Etsy, but my favorite Upcycle project so far. Every piece was harvested from one (very loud) skirt, but I think that it's much better suited to its new role as a tote.
I have been keeping busy! This weekend I will be experimenting with some new soap recipes, I'll record my progress.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Friend Amy Dragged Me Back to the Flea Market

She had never been there and asked me to go halves on a table with her today. I was reluctant after my disappointment last time, but went along with her and brought my new display board to try out (it is constructed of a cork bulletin board, part of a slat from an old futon, a hinge, some heavy brass chain, and some paint). The board worked much better than laying things out on the table and I was able to display most of the jewelry I have in stock on it. I also brought a bit of soap and some of my pouches.
The weather was hot and sunny so there were many people there. I also got sunburned on my face, forearms, shoulder, and collar bone, but not as badly as Amy was burned. The better weather actually spurred me to moderate success today. I sold three necklaces, making much more than at my last afternoon at the market. The bags and soap were fondled and smelled, but not sold today.
Poor Amy on the other hand, faint from hunger and sun exposure did not sell anything. She and her husband make leather "Holsterettes". Much like a holster used to carry weapons, her holsterettes mount on the wall and can be used to hold appliances such as hair dryers. Very cleverly, it clears out cabinet space and looks pretty sassy. They can even make them to actually hang on a belt for hairdressers that would like to keep them on hand while working. It was a case of great product, wrong venue. I believe we will both make out much better at the craft show I'm helping to organize this fall.
Visit Amy's
or Etsy Store

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Upcoming Ensemble and Shoulder Bags

I have finished the skirt portion of this new sewing project, it's a simple floor length black satin skirt with a white ribbon drawstring. Right now I am working on the bodice of the outfit. It's also made of lightweight black satin with peplums of the bottom and if I find my grommet maker, it will be lace front. If not I may turn it into a vest and make it button front. That will make it a bit more steampunk in style.
It has a decorative panel along the front and accents on the shoulders as well as peplums. it will be unboned for comfort on hot days or for those ladies that simply cannot stand constraint. Now I just need to think of a clever name for it all...
It should be finished by Monday and I will have two models wearing it for me (not at once). Then I will be posting it on Etsy.
I also made two new bags in the last week. One and Upcycle tote that is very fun and funky, probably the brightest colors and patterns I've ever worked with, and one based off a picture of a reproduction from the Revolutionary War Era, so I'm going to call it the "Molly Pitcher Bag." The body is made from a light toile print cotton and the flap closes with an antique bone button, the strap made of muslin can be worn across the body, or tied up for a single shoulder carry. Pictures of these are forthcoming.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

News from the local farmers' market...

I can't sell there since I don't actually grow all my supplies, but I was invited down to meet with one of the coordinators to bring a sample of my work and discuss the crafts fair they are planning in the fall. We had a lovely conversation, I wore some of my jewelry and brought her one of my paisely pouches with two cakes of soap; Cinnamon Spice and Peppermint.
She asked me to help head up a committee for organizing the fair and when she learned about my experience in English and journalism, asked for my help with PR and organizing a newsletter for the market and all their events. I miss my days helping out with the ren. faire and this is so close to home, it's ideal. Besides, I'm always looking to gain more experience to set me apart from the thousands of other student journalists looking for a career in the shrinking market. I'm very enthusiasic. They want to host an "Energy Fest," eco-friendly event this fall that I could help out at and possibly sell my Upcycled bags.
This could be the beginning of a beautiful collaboration.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sale on Etsy and Other News

This evening I sat down after dinner to check my email and found that I have sold my Rustic Country Maid Chemise! The buyer was so prompt in fact, that I've already recieved the payment, so I must send out the garment first thing tomorrow.
It has been, by far, my most popular item, having recieved more views in its short time on my site than any other item I've created. I enjoyed making it as well, it fits into the style of things I'd like to make and sell at the Ren Faire. I think I need to make more of this sort of item. I was very excited to see I had a sale. It was my most expensive item as well, so now I can buy more supplies.
I made two new soaps this week as well, Orange Grove and Citrus Mint. I had to mutilate several oranges for the ingredients of those.
I am also in consideration for the "Etsy Blogger" team, so I was told I would hear soon. That could be a fun project for me this summer.