Not fair! (A November special offer)

Pocket Notebook Collage #65
Pocket Notebook Collage #65

I have 2 more craft fairs coming up within the next 2 weeks, so I’ve had a busy few days preparing for the first of those (Saturday) – mostly packaging, packaging, packaging!  Of course, I’ve still found time to squeeze in a couple of new collages, as well (like this one, right). 😉   Continue reading Not fair! (A November special offer)

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Catching up, Craft fairs & Colours (oh my!)

At last I have time to write this long overdue catch-up post! The last month or so has been a whirlwind of non-stop activity/work for me, but in a good way. In June I re-entered the world of local craft fairs after a break of more than 2 years. I was somewhat swamped with preparation – stock was easy, but signage, packaging & presentation are a whole different kettle of fish from selling online. With a lot of work, though, I managed to get everything straight and had a really good day (including many conversations about stamp collections!).

Following on from the first craft fair, I had a busy week of collaging to replace sold stock, talks about a commission for a local independent restaurant (I’m designing & hand-binding their new drinks menu!), contact from a UK magazine about a couple of spots coming up over the next few months (more on that to follow later), plus top-up preparation for a local Vintage & Arts Market yesterday. Here I am in situ:

craft market 050714

It’s a lovely courtyard venue and we were very lucky with the weather (a fine, dry day, after very wet evening & morning preceding). Had lots of interesting conversations with customers & stallholders alike, and various possibilities have arisen from the day, so definitely another worthwhile (ad)venture. As you can see from the photo above, my display so far is largely of the make-do-and-mend variety, using display materials I already had on hand (spot the toast rack, camping plate & dishes!). It’s a work in progress, though – I’ve learned something useful and new from each fair I’ve attended so far – and having now made the decision to continue with local fairs as well as selling online, I will be continuing to work on signage, as well as swapping in a few more purpose-built props for future events (although I’m pretty sure the plate & dishes will stay!).

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Are you based anywhere near Derby/shire?  You can keep track of my upcoming events here!

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As it’s such a long time since I last posted, here is a little gallery for you of my new range of notebooks:

(Find the above notebooks & more in the TangleStore!)

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I’ve been creating ‘imaginary landscapes’ and discovering that however hard I try, there are always certain colour combinations that I’m drawn back to. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how different colours speak to us in different ways? Interesting how not only do we simply have different taste in what appeals to us, but how we can each perceive exactly the same colours from a different perspective, and draw a different inference entirely. In fact the ‘palette’ a particular artist uses is entirely a part of what makes their work recognisable.  I used to think I was somehow ‘failing’ by not catering to every possible colour preference one of my customers might have; but I’m now pretty well convinced that actually it’s more important to work with the colours that inspire you. Push yourself sometimes, of course, and try out something different just to see what happens; but mostly, I say go with the flow. 🙂

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Don’t forget to stop by the TangleStore to see what’s new!  The above is just a sampling, and although it’s a while since my last post here, there are new additions to the store regularly.   You can also follow me on Twitter – @TangleCrafts – for daily updates & other snippets that catch my eye from day to day.  And in case you missed it, be sure to check out my previous post for a special July discount coupon!

TangleCrafts on Twitter

I’ve resisted for a very long time, but I have finally launched a TangleCrafts Twitter page!  It’s all new to me, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes/grows – please stop by & follow if you are a fan of TangleCrafts, and you will be the first to hear the latest new news.  🙂  (And I won’t feel so lonely over there!)

In other news, another local craft fair has been added to my summer events list; and here is my latest collaged notebook – another one which reminds me of an abstract summer coastal scene (I think my subconscious is trying to tell me I need a holiday!):

First Class Notebook #9

Bazaar Update

It’s been a couple of years since I last tabled at a craft fair.  I planned to get back into it last summer, but circumstances prevailed and after my dad passed away I did lose creative impetus a little.  This year, though, I’m itching to get out there and get back into the fray and have already booked into two markets, with hopefully some more a little further down the line.  I love to see what other people are making, and chat with (potential) customers in person – it’s such a different experience than selling online!

I don’t expect a high volume of sales – I know a lot of people just like to browse – but having changed focus since my last craft fair, I’m interested to see how my collage notebooks go down.  The zines & upcycled badges will still be there, too, of course!  I’m also considering branching out & making some framed collage art – something I have so far baulked at attempting on Etsy due to the extra cost and worry about potential damage when shipping bulky-but-fragile frames…

I’m looking forward to all the ‘boring’ preparation – planning different packaging, deciding on labelling etc.  There are lots of ideas bubbling around inside my head, now I just need to work on organising them into a format I can put into practice!

Are any of you out there in or near to Derbyshire (UK)?  I’d love to meet you at one of the craft fairs!  I’ll be giving away small goody bags to anybody who spends £5 or more, but if you mention this blog post, I will find a little extra something for you, too. 🙂  I have added a link to the mainpage sidebar with further details of forthcoming fairs & markets, but here’s a shortcut for you.  New dates will be added as I book them.  Hope to see you soon! 🙂  (But if you can’t make it to an event, you are always very welcome to browse the online TangleStore, instead!)

Bazaar bestsellers!

Following a week consisting almost exclusively of upcycled postage stamp badge sales, it was interesting at the (very quiet) craft fair yesterday, This is Bazaar, to find that my bestseller of the day by far was my brand new Truth-Be-Told Mirrors.  These proved very popular as stocking fillers & Secret Santa gifts, with several people unable to decide between the 2 designs, White Liar and Bold as Brass.  In celebration of this success, I have added a new twin-set of mirrors so that you don’t have to make that difficult decision (I’m so selfless!), and can explore the duality of your nature with impunity.  Or give one to a friend (with a sense of humour).  Or give one to an enemy (sense of humour optional)… 😉

One of the best things about being a vendor at This is Bazaar is seeing all the other cool stuff that local creative types are making (This is Bazaar is always very good at highlighting quirky and original makers rather than traditional/cutesy crafts).

Here are a few of my favourites:

the gorgeous mosaics of Julie Vernon.  Yes, I fell for the bird motifs again – I couldn’t find a pic online, but what I really fell in love with were some bird mosaic ‘pebbles’.  I say pebbles in inverted commas as the term feels slightly insubstantial for items which were large/heavy enough to use as very sturdy paperweights…;

the chunky and colourful resin & silver jewellery by Natonia Pickup.  We had a good long chat & I discovered Natonia also dabbles in bookbinding (amongst other things), so I’m holding out to see some unique hand-bound books at the next Bazaar… 😉

…and I also had an interesting conversation with my ‘next door’ vendor, Steve Brown of Rusty Spoons.  He writes comics(/graphic novels) by creating characters based on emotions & I felt like I got a great deal when I traded an Enchanted Times Mini for the Vanity mini comic! (In retrospect, I think my subconscious decided I should choose this one because of the mirror connection…)  The mini comic is produced on top quality glossy paper for vibrant colour reproduction, but just as importantly, it’s really a great story.  It made me laugh, but the stories are definitely on the darker side, so don’t say you haven’t been warned!  I can highly recommend the Rusty Spoons book, for a compilation of 13 tales which has rather wonderfully been reviewed as “delightfully devoid of hope”.  Love it!

Bizarre Bazaar (not really, but it was fun!)

Well, the Bazaar has finally been and gone.  I’m happy to say that although this last week has been a bit of a mad rush, essential materials didn’t arrive until the day before, and I didn’t manage to finish a lot of the things that I had planned, I had a really good day.

I had hoped to have more finished woven pieces, and a wider range of kits available, but time went against me, and I was still finishing things off as I was sitting at the stall.  It would be fair to say that I felt very much as though my stall was a work in progress!  However, I in response to what I had managed to finish, I received a lot of positive feedback from both the public and other vendors, which made me feel very positive about continuing in a similar direction, further developing the ideas I didn’t quite have time to see through this time around.

I was also approached for a potential commission piece.  It would involve working to a much larger scale than my usual work, but it could be a lot of fun, and I have had various ideas that I would like to explore, already.

All in all, I really enjoyed the Bazaar experience.  The footfall could have been higher, and I think most of the vendors felt the effects on spending of the current economic climate.  But the Bazaar visitors, as a whole, were very interested in what individual vendors were working on and with, and the conversations I had with those passing through were as valuable to me as anything else.

I’m looking forward to the next event, already!