Friday, September 28, 2012

Wood crate tabletop display for craft shows

Hello, friends. Nutfield Weaver is participating in two more artisan shows this fall and with every event I seek to "tweak" my vending space and presentation. I really need to get my items off of the table and "up" where people might have a better chance of seeing them. Here's my latest low-cost idea.

I purchased 4 wooden crates at a local craft store for about $8 each. They measure approximately 18" x 12" x 9". I raided my husband's workshop for a length of dowel (this measured 7/16" in diameter and I cut it into 8 3/4" lengths) and some metal cup hooks. The cup hooks can screw right into the body of the crate; I'll use them for hanging towels and some other things, like a hand-held mirror or a chalkboard sign or two. The only tools needed are a ruler, for placing the cup hooks in the right places and a small saw to cut the dowel. Here's what I have so far:




I really like the cup hooks. I might even place some on the inside of some of the crates to create more hanging space on the interior of the box. And it would be spiffy to paint or to stain the crates or even stencil my shop name on the sides. But I will start with this for now. And I can pack all of my wares on the inside to tote them around. Not too bad for a $35 investment.

My "weaving vacation" officially began today. Since the wedding season has come to a bit of a slow-down, I am taking two weeks to just be with the loom. How fun is that?

Be well,
Kate

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hello, Fall

Hello, friends. The calendar says that Fall is still a couple of days away, but it sure feels autumn-y here in New Hampshire. September in New England is hard to beat! Cool days and clear skies are with us today, and it is nothing short of perfect.

Here is something new that I'm taking up to the Concord Arts Market on Saturday. (Saturday, September 22, is the first day of Fall). I've made these little greeting cards before, using a heart motif in the center, but the lovely colors outside inspired me to craft something a bit more seasonal:


I have some worked up in dark red ribbon, too. This is my favorite way to use up small pieces of handwoven fabric. (I use a 2.5" square here in these).

Nutfield Weaver will be taking a short vacation from online sales during the first two weeks of October. After a busy wedding season, I've decided to spend some much needed time at the loom, pick apples, and pickle those beets that have been waiting patiently in the garden for attention. What are your plans for the season?

Be well,
Kate

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Craft Fair on a Shoestring. Part 2. Signs & jewelry display idea.

Hello, friends. Some of my readers know that I have taken a rather bold leap into the artisan show circuit this summer. I am learning the ins and outs of outdoor market vending. My second event was last weekend, and I took notes during Saturday and Sunday about how to tweak my booth for the next show. There were 2 things that I really wanted to fix.

1) Inexpensive tabletop signage.

Some of my customers weren't quite sure what my sachets and/or tissue holders were, and I was fortunate to have a couple of people who came right out and asked (made me wonder how many people DIDN'T ask for whatever reason). Some written explanation was in order! Not wishing to spend more money on my booth for this year, I came up with this visual aid/sign idea:


This is one a 1 lb. cone of cotton weaving yarn. I used a scrap of cardstock, cut it to around 3" x 4", and punched 2 small holes near the top. These Martha Stewart Home Office "chalkboard" stickers were picked up at Staples. They come in packages of 6 (or maybe 8, I can't remember). I wrote out a brief description for the item on the label. A length of the cotton yarn was threaded through the holes and into the body of the cone and knotted to stay in place. And here's the neat thing: the cone/sign does double duty as a visual aid ("What sort of yarn do you use?") AND a paperweight! (Handy on windy days when you're outside!).

2) Simple, inexpensive jewelry display.

I had my few pieces of handwoven fabric jewelry (earrings & brooches) flat on the table last weekend. For future events, I wanted to have my pieces more visible to passers-by. Again, not wanting to dip into the piggy-bank, I used what I had on hand:


This is a 6" wooden embroidery hoop holding 18 count Aida cloth (for counted cross stitch). The cloth is just rigid enough to support the weight of the earrings. You could probably use a bigger or smaller hoop, depending on your needs. The French hooks on the earrings slip right through the holes in the cloth. Easy as pie!

So, that's all for now. I'm getting ready for a trip up to Concord on Saturday, September 22, for the  Concord Arts Market and hoping for sunny skies.

Be well,
Kate K.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September weaving

Hello, friends. I had such fun exhibiting at the Apple Country Craft Fair in Londonderry, NH this past weekend. I met many lovely people and had lots of fun. (Well, putting up the canopy tent and lifting sandbags isn't all that much fun, but I suppose it goes with the territory of outdoor vending). I am looking forward to next year.

Wedding season is gradually slowing down and this allows me to spend a bit more time with the loom. I have excited about adding more tabletop items to my shop and to have available at artisan fairs. Here are some  mug rugs:


I've never been a big fan of weaving with fabric strips, but I like the canvas weave here in the mug mats. The weave structure allows you to discern bits and pieces of the calico pattern and just seems to be a bit more interesting than plain weave/tabby.

Two pearls of wisdom that I'd like to share after my outdoor show this weekend:

1) people like red!

2) consider your wardrobe carefully. I wore my new wraparound skirt on Saturday and it got rather blustery by the afternoon. Alas, I wish I had had my kilt pin available!

Be well,
Kate K.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Apple Country Craft Fair 2012

Hello, friends. Happy September. I am really looking forward to exhibiting at Londonderry's 25th annual Apple Country Craft Fair this year. We have attended for years, but this is the first year that I will have a booth of my own. I hope that you'll stop by to say hello!

While I plan to take many of Nutfield Weaver's more popular handwoven items (like the farmhouse plaid dishtowels) to display, I have made a few things that are new, most notably placemats and sachets.

Here is one of the placemats:


These are available in sets of 4. The yarn used here is a soft but sturdy mercerized cotton in sage. I made a second set in chocolate brown, too.

Here is my favorite new little thing:


This little sachet is made from spot weave lace and filled with organic flax seeds and essential oil of lavender. I made up a baker's dozen or so of these. They smell quite nice!

Hopefully the weather will hold for all of us who are out and about this weekend.

Be well,
Kate