Monday, 8 December 2008

Craft Fairs - I must be mad!

As you can see from my previous post, I was prepping for my 1st craft fair. Well, the day before the fair, I went for a job interview - really good timing with all my stuff everywhere, all the last minute bits running through my head and then having to be 'professional' for an hour. It seems I can multitask because I did get the job and started the next Tuesday after the fair.

Anyway, so, how did the fair go? Pretty well I think, for a 1st attempt. I managed to find Debsmuddles' house to pick her up en route which was just as well because she knew the area and got us to the Community Centre on time. We went in and found the lovely Trish from Re:form, one of the organisers of the event and a fellow Etsy seller. Set up didn't take too long because I'd done the sensible thing and had a practise at home the day before.

Then the doors opened and I pasted a smile on my face and prepared to meet my first ever face to face customers. There was a fairly constant flow and after a while, I relaxed and just chatted to anyone who stopped long enough to look. I sold about 30 cards over the course of the day which covered my table fee, fuel and snacks but it was fun so that was OK.
One thing I did discover - people didn't seem to want to rummage or flick through the prints in the basket or the cards in the card stand. But that was OK - I also worked out that neither the basket or the card stand was going to fit in my suitcase for the next craft fair in London anyway!
Photo of me at Handmade, Leigh-on-Sea, courtesy of Reform ©
So I started a new job and had to print a few more cards to replace the sold ones, ready for my next outing to We Make. This time, Debsmuddle came to me and we caught the train together. My case was fine for wheeling around but I hadn't taken into account all the stairs on the Underground and we hadn't checked on maintenance problems. It worked out OK though because the train terminated at Stratford which also has the Central Line tube station - just the one we needed - straight through to Tottenham Court Road. Ten minutes walking later, we found a Starbucks next to the American Church where the fair was being held. Grabbed a coffee and went to set-up.

We Make was organised by a lovely group of ladies who happen to be fellow Etsy sellers so it was with lots of squealing and many air kisses later that we got going. Debs was at the far end of the room from me so I just quietly got on with it. No basket or card stand meant that I had to rethink my display - luckily I had asked for a wall behind me so I blu-tacked a few of my larger prints up there and leant one very large print against the wall from the table. My magnet displays fitted in between and I laid all my cards out on the table.
The carol singing started and the doors opened and we were ready to face the public. I stayed by my stall for a fairly long while before wandering round to see/meet the other sellers. I was really strict with myself and didn't splurge on anything even though I could probably have maxed out my credit card quite easily with all the lovely stuff on sale. I'd also borrowed hubbys' little camera so dashed round to get a few shots - I can't believe I didn't take a shot of my own stall though - I'm hoping someone else may have. so here they are - just a few of the lovely ladies selling at We Make - I haven't put them all here but there are more on my flickr stream if you would like to have a look :)

All in all, a fun day out, meeting lots of lovely Etsy sellers but very tiring and boy, do I know how heavy that suitcase was - here I am two days later and I can still barely lift the kettle, my muscles are aching so bad!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Day2Day - this weeks unmissable photos! LOL

Monday - severely lacking inspiration again so delved in my weird things box and found this! Liked the colours. Answers on a postcard please :)

Tuesday - nature provided the inspiration today - the sun caught the few remaining leaves on this tree and made them glow. Not sure I've caught the glow but I like it.
Wednesday - Paper bags for my first foray into the world of craft fairs. Minimum order was 1000 for the 2 smaller sizes and 500 for the big pink bags so 2500 bags for 2 craft fairs - gosh, I hope I sell something!
Thursday - I thought I'd been seeing a little wren at the bottom of the garden but it turns out to be this little brown bird instead - a dunnock or hedge sparrow. Not very sharp - long lens through glass at 7.30am but you get the idea :)

Friday - borrowed a small-ish table top display easel from an artist friend of mine. It will form part of my craft fair table display. I really like how my framed print looks on an easel - may have to splash out and get a couple more if I continue this craft fair lark.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Twitter-ing On ...

So it seems to be the latest fashion over on Etsy to join Twitter - the forums are full of twitter-this and twitter-that threads. They say that apart from being a bit of fun, it's also possible to do a bit of promotion over there so I caved in and joined. I added the widget to my blog too so if you have a peek over there on the right --->, you should see it. If you're on Twitter, drop in say Hi :)

I don't know how long I will last but I'll give it a go and see whether I like it or not. Can't ask for much more than that really can I?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Day2Day - Bit late again!

I've been fairly poorly this week so although I did manage to scrape together enough energy to take a shot or two, I just haven't had the will to actually blog them! So here goes, although it is Sunday and the next lot start tomorrow :)

Monday - put my back out late yesterday so curled up with painkillers and the tv today.

Tuesday - made it to the back door today! Looked up and saw this lovely leaf stuck to the roof of my verandah and snapped it. End of energy!
Wednesday - woke up with a sore throat, aches and a bit of a cough which was closely followed by a runny nose and complete lack of any energy or brainpower! I even forgot to reset the white balance for this one and just couldn't be bothered to re take it!

Thursday - still feeling fairly crap but spotted this chappie stuffing his face so grabbed the camera, swapped lenses and dashed back to catch him (that all sounds fairly energetic but it was more of a slow motion dash, you know?). I needn't have worried, he was still there, intent on clearing the seeds completely so none of the other birds in the neighbourhood could get some too.
Friday - still feeling listless and no inspiration either but I was sooooo bored of daytime TV. Grabbed this shot of some incense cones just to fill the spot really. Bought them a few weeks ago to try some smoke photos but haven't got around to it yet!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

I've Been Tagged - part 2

I've been "tagged" – a great way to introduce yourself to other bloggers. Judi tagged my blog, so now it's my turn to tag a few other bloggers.Here are the rules:

Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.

Share seven facts about yourself on your blog – some random, some weird.

Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Well, there's a lot of tagging going on at the moment and many of my fav bloggers have already been tagged so if you are reading this and haven't been tagged yet - drop me a comment to let me know you're playing and I'll come be nosy and say Hello :)

1) I love dogs - all shapes, sizes and breeds but hubby is allergic so I have to fuss other peoples' dogs (usually in the street!). (The photo is my bro, me (aged 6-ish) and my dog that we grew up with).

2) I have freckles - lots of them all year and even more in summer.

3) I'm not really a chocoholic - although I do usually choose a choc based dessert - if there's cheesecake on the dessert menu (whatever flavour), the cheesecake will win everytime!

4) If my old English teacher knew I had voluntarily started a blog to write stuff, she would probably die of shock (so don't tell her please - she was quite old 25 years ago)!

5) I talk - a lot! Hubby's best friend once said that until I'd spoken to a stranger, my day wasn't complete and I think he may have been right. I also carry this over to forums and chat rooms - one or two word answers just aren't within my capabilities. LOL

6) I love maths and science - if I hadn't messed up at school between 16-18 - I would have studied toxicology at university.

7) Before I was made redundant, I used to read a book almost every day (or at least every 2 days). Since then, I've probably only read about 20 books but I now have a blog list of over 100 blogs that I read regularly and also the Etsy forums keep me reading for hours sometimes.


Better late than never, best laid plans and all that - big apologies to all my friends who played in my giveaway - but here are the results.


And who made comment number 5?

Well Done to Handicrafts - also known as JMcGuiness over on Etsy - a fellow member of POE and a very talented photographer too :)

Thank you for playing everyone - I'm sure I'll do another giveaway soon :)

Monday, 20 October 2008

Giveaway Deadline Extended

I posted my giveaway then got busy on other stuff so I haven't had chance to really promote it so I'm extending the deadline to Midnight Wednesday 22nd October (wherever you are) and I'll pull a name out of the hat on Thursday evening.

Thank you for those of you who've answered already now I'm off to drum up some more entries :)

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Darn - I'm so slow sometimes! - Giveaway Too :)

I've just popped over to the POE team blog to have a look at some of the fantastic images produced by this talented bunch and spotted this link to a video slideshow on Youtube which the lovely, generous and patient Bill (Houseofsixcats) has put together for our team. I had the email and put it in my to-do folder and then missed the deadline completely! DOH :(

Anyway, there will be more slideshows up coming so now I have to decide which ones to submit. I'm currently on a bit of an abstract/high key kick so I'm thinking Pink Blush and Delicate but my Green Ladies and Three Fishing Boats always seem to get the most reactions - what do you think my lovely readers?

Pop over to my Etsy shop and suggest your two favourites for me to submit for the next slideshow - I'll put all the names in a hat (metaphorically at least!) and the winner will get a 7x5 inch print of each of their 2 suggested prints.

Make sure to leave your contact details, either via a blog link or shop link in your comment so I can contact you if you are the winner. Deadline is midnight Sunday 19th October (wherever you are) and I will post a winner on Monday 20th.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

I've been tagged - Twice :)

I've been "tagged" – a great way to introduce yourself to other bloggers. Sakura tagged my blog a few days ago, so I'll do that one first whilst I put my thinking cap on for Judys'.

Sakuras' challenge was to reveal 6 secrets and tag 5 other bloggers so here goes

1) I have a tiny dolphin tattoo at the top of my thigh. I love tattoos on other people but wasn't brave enough to have mine on show. It hurt a fair bit too so I'm glad I didn't dive in at the deep end and start with a large one!

2) I have never wanted children and nothing has made me change my mind yet! It's not that I don't like them, I do, I'm just not maternal I guess.

3) I can talk to almost anyone, anywhere so I'm definitely not shy but I still lack confidence, no matter how I come across :(

4) I miss my grandmother so much.

5) I love nutella and peanut butter but I can't eat them on bread - I have to eat them with a spoon (but not at the same time)! Just a few spoonfuls is usually enough to satisfy any nibble cravings.

6) I have an addictive personality - I get really into something and I have to do it at every opportunity for about 6 months - then one day, I'll give it a miss for some reason and never go back to it. That's why I have a box of knitting stuff, one for ceramics, one of genealogy papers and one of part finished cross stitches. It's also why I don't gamble, play fruit machines or computer games - I just don't have time! Photography is about the only thing that has lasted - 6 years and counting :)

So who to tag?

Nodins Nest

Come on then my lovelies - let's hear some secrets :)

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Woo Hoo! I've been featured :)

You may remember me talking about We Make craft fair back in June - well, I got a bit carried away when they were discussing a Xmas Fair and signed up even though I have no stock or any clues on how to 'do' a craft fair. I'm beginning to get my act together and have ordered a couple of card display thingies and priced up various supplies but today, I'm the featured seller on their blog and oh boy, have I got a big grin on my face!

Maybe the Elves of Hyperspace have a magic wand or something! LOL

Thursday, 9 October 2008

More Shots from the Sea Wall

Just a few shots from yesterday lunch time and again today - the sun was shining brightly and I even sat there in shirtsleeves, enjoying the last (probably) of the sunshine for a while anyway.
Some of the houses along the river side, near the quay - long lens shot from my bit of sea wall.

Looking the other way and to the left, you can see the new houses in the distance and the old tyres and traffic cones stuck in the mud in the foreground.

An old, washed up bottle near the grass/reeds - I thought it looked best slightly sepia-ish toned.
More debris washed up by the tides - this time an old bike and what looks like the handle of a saw! - Again, slightly toned but this time with my texture added to darken the corners a bit.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Project 365 - Day 29 Outtakes

I took a walk lunchtime down to the seawall as the sun was shining so beautifully. I took almost 80 shots - obviously, not all good ones - I was using my zoom lens and I sometimes have trouble holding it steady enough and with a light breeze, it was giving me more trouble than usual. But I did get some really nice shots to choose from for my shot of the day on my other blog and these are the ones I decided to count as out-takes :)

I don't know what this fiery red plant is but it was lighting up the wasteground in bright autumnal patches.

This teasel was beautifully backlit against the strong sunlight - you can even see the little cobwebs in amongst the spikes.
I have some more to process so maybe I'll load them up tomorrow evening for you to see. Don't forget, I'm running a giveaway so have a look at the post below for details on how to enter - good luck :)

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Day2Day - Skies and an odd one

I started off this week with the idea of a Sky theme but I didn't fancy pointing my electronic camera upwards in the heavy rain that fell all day Friday so there's an odd one at the end!

Monday - grey all day but then the sun came out long enough to do this.

Tuesday - very grey again and this weird cloud formation.

Wednesday - More rain for most of the day but the evening had some lovely white fluffy clouds and the starlings were flying high as usual. I also shot some textures today so had a play by overlaying a dark edged texture over this and playing with blending modes in photoshop. I think this was a colour burn mode in the end.

Thursday - I got my car back from the garage yesterday so I planned on taking my camera to work but the weather forecast was horrible so I didn't. This is a camera phone shot of the bit of estuary near my office. I just made it back before the skies opened once again.

Friday - I did take my camera with me but even though I went back down to the river estuary, the heavens opened whilst I was there so I made a run for it. Standing getting my breath back and chatting to a colleague, I spotted this angle on the arches so grabbed my camera phone again for an insurance shot! I didn't like any of the shots from my brief excursion in the rain but I did like this one - especially after I played with it a bit. Converted to mono, added a slight sepia tone then overlaid with the same texture as the blue sky shot on Wednesday. Hidden in the shadows are a couple of cars and a few bits of building site so definitely needed to do something in Photoshop! :)

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Woo Hoo - I'm in two treasuries today :)

Over in Etsyland that is - a selection of 12 items chosen by an individual (usually with a theme or colour choice) and with the added possibility of that list being chosen for the front page. Both these are gorgeous and a bit different so fingers crossed one of them makes it to the front page!

A big thank you to Flandersfield and Matchstickgirl for including my prints in their selections.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Day2Day - Flying through!

Hubby is treating me to a spa day for our anniversary so I'm just gonna post and run on this weeks shots - bit of a mixed bunch again as I've just started a new job and have run out of time to be organised every evening this week.

Monday - light tent again - this is a tiny lava pebble with peridot included.

Tuesday - light tent semi permanently set up at the moment - constant reminder to shoot some stock and really quick grab shots for project365! - This is the back side of the dried sunflower I posted last week but just as interesting in its own way.

Wednesday - the weather started to improve so I took a lunchtime walk up the road a bit - this crane is near the little quayside within a few minutes of the office.

Thursday - not quite such a nice day but the tide was out and this is the mud flats of the river estuary - not the prettiest place in the world but definitely different and interesting :)

Friday - more light tent work with the macro - a morning glory in blue - not photoshopped - it really is this gorgeous colour. I saw a kingfisher down by the river this morning - will definitely be taking my camera to work again next week - telephoto and tripod too this time :)

See you next week - wish me luck with the kingfisher!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Day2Day - restarted :)

Well, I've started on the Project365 challenge on Flickr which is 1 photo a day for a year so I thought I may as well continue with the Day2Day at the same time. This week, they are one and the same but sometimes I do want to take more than one shot so this way I can do 1 shot for D2D and one for Proj365 :) See, I'm not just a pretty face!
Monday - I set my light tent up to shoot some stock and this is one of my favs.

Tuesday - Harry, the neighbours cat sitting on my dusty car roof.
Wednesday - tea at Mum's and she pulled this out of the oven as we arrived! Mmmmmmm :)

Thursday - a little bit of traditional British street furniture - not so common these days unfortunately.

Friday - More stock to work on and upload but these are 2 of my roses from last Valentines Day from hubby.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Mum's Apple Cake - Scrummy Yummy!

Popped over to Mum's for tea this evening and arrived just as this heavenly creation was emerging from the oven. I wish you could smell this - warm appley/cinnamon - just like a Mum's kitchen should be :)So we had to eat all our tea before Mum would let us tuck in - it was still warm so very crumbly but with a dollop of creme fraiche - mmmmmmm :) Are you drooling yet? Well, here's the recipe - I snaffooed it out from under her nose! LOL

225g softened butter

400g Bramley apples, cleaned & died to about 1cm (0.5inch)

2 tablespoons raisins

1 lemon - zest and juiced

225g golden caster sugar

3 eggs

225g self raising flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

25g ground almonds (optional)

1 tablespoon demerara crystal

Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade/gas mark 4. Line the base of a 23cm (9inch) cake tin and lightly grease the sides.

Put diced apples, raisins and lemon juice in a bowl.

Cream together caster sugar, butter and lemon zest until pale & fluffy, add the eggs gradually then fold in the flour, baking power and cinnamon (and almonds if you are including them). Drain excess lemon juice from the apples and raisins and add to the cake mixture.

Tip the whole lot into the cake tin and shake gently to level, sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top.

Bake for 1 hour, cover the top with tinfoil if it starts to brown too much. Leave to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes then turn out onto a serving plate.

Enjoy :)