Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kitchenaid Makeover

I can't believe I've been out of the blogging loop for almost a month...sheesh!  To say it's been busy is an understatement!!  Things are finally starting to slow down a bit and this month is going to be awesome :o)

Thanksgiving was perfect!  I started cooking Wednesday night and finished on Thursday...I LOVE cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  It is just my favorite!  Last year, my husband gave me a Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas.  I use it often, and it just makes everything easier.  It's plain white, and rather large, so it's a little boring looking.  It's exactly what I wanted, but it needed a little makeover.

I think I may be the last person to decorate using vinyl, but now I am in love with how easy it is!  I found a great little etsy shop Mellow Yellow Decor Vinyl that designed a custom swirl pattern for me.  She was just awesome to work with!

Here she is....plain Jane :o)

Placing vinyl, and rubbing, rubbing, rubbing...this is where Dayna got involved in the rubbing process

my favorite part...peeling off the backing!

so pretty!

detail on the base

from the top

Now I cannot wait to make my next batch of cookies...just in time for Christmas!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Craft Fair ~ Tips From an Amateur

This Friday, I participated in a Holiday Shopping Spree/Craft Fair.....and I am exhausted!!  I'm pretty sure my anxiety levels were thru the roof all week, but I had some amazing support from my family and friends...they are awesome!! It took me about 3 weeks to prepare, but honestly, next time I will take much more time.  This is my 4th show in the past 2 years and I am learning some things!

My "table" ended up being 2 square-ish tables pushed together so my tablecloths just barely covered, but that's okay!  I made my banner, which I am very proud of :o)  My sister was a total graphic design rock star and made all of my order forms, business cards, price tags, etc.   She makes everything about Sweet and Sassy look good...and she's my biggest fan.  LOVE that girl!!

Close pic of the left side of my table. I found these great teal damask boxes in the dollar section at Target...love Target!!

Tips from the Craft Show Experience:

1.  Bring and assortment of items ~ It's hard to know what kind of products to make and bring...every show is different and will have a different set of clientele.  You can always take orders.

2. Come prepared ~ Bring scissors, tape (masking and clear packing tape), several pens, tablecloths, paper, cash/change box, clipboards for order forms, markers (I totally used this, too!), shopping bags

3.  Price things evenly unless you are able to take debit/charge cards and checks ~ neither you nor your customers will want to hassle with change so make it simple and keep prices even

4.  Bring $50 in change ~ 20 ones, 2 fives, and 1 ten

5.  Brand yourself ~ this is one I learned from my sister.  Everything needs to have your name or logo on it, if at all possible.  Everything about your table should scream your brand...that means the colors of the items you use for display, order forms, business cards, display cards, banner, price list, logo on the table (which I had but my frame broke).  I had so many people come up to my table and read my banner out loud.  I am going to add "Boutique" for my next show.  Of course, some people don't read at all...one man came by and misread it Sweet and Sexy...lol!!  Yeah, hairbows and headbands, very fitting!  Anyway, some of my display cards were too large so I made my own with my cricut, but all were in my colors of red and teal.  If I didn't have to sing in a wedding after, I would've worn red or teal just to match my table!  This may sound nuts, but it's what works!

6.  Be Friendly ~ I know this should be an easy one, but greet every person who looks your way, even if they just keep walking.  Smile and be genuine. Your product should "sell itself" but you will have so many more customers if you talk to them!  I had 2 girls that kept coming to my table to look and I talked to them about everything...what grade they were in, what they liked about school, what they were asking Santa for, all that good stuff.  They probably came back 5 times, and finally bought a headband.  

7.  Price your items and then hold firm ~ this isn't a yard sale, so stick with your prices!!  People might balk at spending $8 on a headband and walk away, but don't sell yourself short just to make a couple dollars. Offer items in all prices...my items went from $2 to $10...something for everyone!

8.  Don't spend all your money on display items ~ think outside the box here and utilize the Dollar Store!  I made my hairbow displays out of $1 frames, got $1 glass jars for little hairbows, found my teal damask display boxes for $1 at Target, and my headband display for $15 from Ross.  It was the most expensive display at my table but had 4 "shelves" to house the different headband types!  My riser in the middle was a cardboard box full of stuff to keep it stable.

9.  Sketch out your table ahead of time ~ this is just the best way to play with where you will put everything and how it will sit on your table...if you need risers, baskets, etc.

10.  Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (flats are just awesome!) and wear your item if possible ~ obviously if you bake cupcakes, this might be a challenge.  I make silk flowers, so I had one in my hair.  You will be standing most of the time, so be ready...I always take Advil ahead of time just to prevent soreness in my feet, legs, and back.

11.  Buying in ~ Don't pay more for the table than you think you can make back, plus more for your time and efforts.  I know this might sound pretty common sense.  While I was at this show I was invited to another craft show that is pretty exclusive and very tempting...but the table was $75.  That right there turned me off since that is a whole lot of hairbows just to make up the cost of the table.

Okay, those are my tips....I am sure I left out a lot, but I hope it's helpful to someone!  Now, I am going to bed!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Yesterday was awesome!  I love fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas...the holidays!  It is my absolute favorite time of the year.  My mom always made it so special for us when we were kids and I have great memories.  We used to watch the Charlie Brown special "The Great Pumpkin," carve pumpkins, decorate the front porch with hay bales and cob webs.  I remember all of the costumes I wore as a kid and how much fun it was to trick-or-treat!  I remember one Halloween being on a Friday night and we actually slept in our costumes with our candy bags next to us...it was awesome!  Of course there was also the year that our candy became over-run with ants and we had to throw it all away...so sad!

Even thought it was raining last night, we still got the girls all dressed up in their Halloween costumes...Emma was a pirate and Dayna was a Carebear....and went out to have a night of fun!  We went to a local burger place that always has a clown on Monday nights that makes balloon animals and stuff like that for the kids.  Normally I hate clowns...they freak me out and I don't like them at all.  But this guy was super nice to my kids, so what's not to like!!  He made them the best balloon hats and several animals...just went over and above.  After that, we did what every other parent in our town was doing....took our kids to the mall for trick-or-treating.  It was a crowded mess.  We finally decided it was too much of a mad house and left with a single piece of candy for each one.  Oh well!  We had tons from our school's fall festival...it was just fun to be out with the family having a great time together!  There were some seriously cute costumes out there and it was fun watching other little ones.  I miss my girls being that small....sigh.  But we still have several more years of fun in store...and I can't wait!

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