Monday, November 28, 2011

What to take?

This Saturday I'm doing my last arts and crafts show (for the year) INSIDE the County Courthouse in Lampasas. The space will be very limited, without the normal "booth" arrangment because many vendors are stationed along both sides of the wide hallway, along benches within the actual courtroom, and wherever else they can stash us. Of course, I have no idea where I'll be! Therefore, I know I won't have room for all my items. So, with this in mind, what do I take?

I sold more doll clothes for 18” dolls than anything else in the last arts and crafts show. They are going for sure.

I'm thinking, because the aprons were displayed on a garment rack & folks had to thumb through them to see, is maybe the why they didn't sell as well. I know models Ethel and Lucy won't be there Saturday to feature any aprons!

But, this is the only way I have to display them right now ~ plans are underway to create a better system for next year’s arts and crafts show in which I may participate!

Anyway, I'd like to offer my lovely aprons because stores like Dillard’s, Macy's, Sur La Table, Pier 1, Williams-Sonoma, Walmart, etc. only sell imported aprons. My prices are comparable ~ within range ~ and I’m always hoping more people will support Made in the USA – especially Handmade in Texas, by me!

Maybe this demographic area isn't the right market place for aprons... but I thoroughly enjoy creating them, so will continue!

I also have small priced items, perfect for stocking stuffers, that I don’t list in my ArtFire shop. I love it when children come into my “booth” and are able to buy something for mom or granny. Seeing their faces light up with the empowerment it brings them to buy on their own warms my heart. I must make room for these items, indeed!

Then there are my bags/totes
              and beaded bookmarks
                      and Christian Prayer Beads
                                  and the books I’ve written…

Nope, can’t take them all.

What are your thoughts? How would you decide?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Participating in an Arts and Crafts Show

A magical happening happened at the Arts and Crafts Show this past Friday and Saturday. It made the entire process so worthwhile – the getting ready, packing the pickup, unloading, setting up, waiting for the doors to open, meeting/greeting lovely people, selling Handmade in Texas by me items, packing up, driving home – all came down because of the one special woman I was there to meet. I had prayed and prayed she would visit the show and that our paths would cross.  
The primary focus of Lanetta’s Creations is creating handmade items for the women in our lives. Occasionally a chef’s apron maybe considered unisex, depending on the fabric’s print and lack of fu-fu. Anytime – upon request – special, custom made orders for men are created.
But, getting back to the woman – my handmade aprons will fit just about any body size. The apron’s neck straps and waist ties make the adjustments to fit rather nicely… most of the time. From one end of the spectrum to the other – extreme smallness or largeness – aprons are not usually found unless through special orders, or in this case, intuition.

The week before the show, I realized I did not have a Plus Size apron available. It was an “OH, NO” moment indeed! Something inside me told me to create one, NOW!

So, I did.

I didn’t know what size to make this “plus” but I knew to make it adjustable. The straps attached at the shoulders, then criss-crossed at center back, fed through loops at the waist edge area, then could tie in a bow or knot either in front or back, depending on the individual’s needs. Needless to say, the straps were extremely long and were all over the place!

Mildred the model doesn't do the apron justice...

On Saturday, as a couple of women slowly walked by my booth, one stopped and started looking through the rack of aprons I had available. The other one stayed behind, in the aisle, and just glanced around at my other items displayed on the tables. She was a lovely lady with a beautiful smile. I went over to her and asked quietly if she’d do me a favor, that I had an apron I’d designed I was trying to work out the kinks so the wearer could put it on without help!

Her first response, shaking her head, “I haven’t worn an apron in years.”

But then she graciously said she’d help me. As I put it on her, I explained how the straps went around this way and that way. She took it off, then put it on herself without help from me.

Her whole face absolutely lit up when she realized the apron fit! The other woman (I found out later was her sister) told her how lovely she looked. It was then, she left her purse and bag in my booth and ran over to a jewelry booth the next aisle over that had a mirror. In my mind, the entire place lit up with her beaming smile as she returned!

Yes! This was the woman I made the apron for and why I was at this Arts and Crafts show!

Although I’m grateful for all the doll clothes and other items that went home with happy campers, this one sale, this answer to my prayers, this woman’s happiness will always hold a special place in my heart!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Arts and Crafts Show - Changes & Challenges

When preparing for an arts and crafts show, different venues require different considerations. I’ve only participated in outdoor events over the past few years and my tent/canopy played a huge roll in how I displayed different items. For example, I had constructed a “clothes line” for my handmade doll clothes for 18” dolls - like the American Girl, Our Generations, and Springfield dolls. The tent frame made it easy to hang two 1” x 4” wooden slats (separated by a table) with holes drilled along the 4” flat side. I then would string line making rows going across. I had “doll size” clothes pins and think it was cute (and effective) for customers to see the fashions hanging out on the line!

The next three upcoming arts and crafts shows are inside = no tent. This weekend will be my first time to experience an inside show! And, it’s over two days! I’m extremely grateful, as I’m tired of fighting the Texas wind and other elements (like rain, because you never know what Texas weather will be). I’m also grateful we’re able to set up the afternoon before (another first)! Anyhoo… I’ve had a few changes/challenges to work through, to wrap my head around.

I first asked myself, how in the world would I display the 18” doll clothes without the clothes line I've always used? For a brief moment, I considered putting up the tent frame within the recreation center! But then decided against it! Good choice, Lanetta!

After taking a quick search around the Internet looking for ideas on garment displays, I stumbled upon this design:
I would love to have this for my aprons!

I asked my husband if he would help me create a similar design, but a wee bit shorter/smaller! He did, and now I have two! Here’s one set up how it will be:

I think the miniature “Doll Clothes Store” racks will work nicely. This time next week, I’ll know for sure (because the show will be over!)!!!

At next Friday and Saturday’s event, the venue will provide two tables: either 6’ or 8’ or maybe a combination of both, but I won’t know until I get there on Thursday afternoon to set up. I’m very grateful two tables are provided, meaning I don’t have to carry them inside (then back out)! I am taking a small table of my own just in case I need more surface space within the allotted 10’ x 10’ area. I've prepared table covering for any and all possibilities!

Anyone who knows me, this not knowing beforehand drives me crazy! It’s a challenge indeed! I, however, can/will get over it! There’s a perfectly good reason why it drives me crazy – I am an advance planner, always have been. I like to be prepared! And, I find nothing wrong with that either!

In addition, the realization hit – because it’s a two day arts and crafts show event – I’ll need to pack up my products (leaving tables & their coverings & other props) and take with me on Friday night when the show is over for the day, then re-set again on Saturday morning!
Many people highly recommend NOT leaving items overnight. I agree. I’m responsible for me, and mine, no one else.
So with that said, it will get done. I had just not realized all the ins and outs before a couple of days ago! Wake up, Lanetta!

The tent frame had also been used to display another set of items… my bags & totes! I would attach/stretch an expandable hat rack across one side of the tent & the bags would hang from the pegs. Now, what would I do, how would I showcase them?

Remember, I have no clue how much table surface I’m going to have available at this arts and crafts show! I’ve got to allow at least 4’ for my books, autographing the books, and the stand displaying the beaded bookmarks. Then at least 6’ for the girls (3 models are going with me) and the 2 clothes racks!

Here's a pic of the three models (ready to go!) and only one rack... the second rack will not fit on a 4' table!!

And then... where to put my other little items… the Christian Prayer Beads, tissue holders, card holders, and anything else I'll whip up between now and then?!?

Anyway, I decided to simply use a regular sized coat rack for the bags. I couldn’t find one I really wanted, for the price I could pay, so I’m using ours, the one my parents gave us years ago. I’m sure it will work beautifully. And, I’ll take extremely good care of it!

I think all panic attacks have been worked through now. I have a game plan for this arts and crafts show. Now I can enjoy the time meeting folks, making new friends, and visiting with friends who stop by my booth! Yes! That’s what it’s all about!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

Not just on Veteran’s Day, but every day I think of what it means to me to be an American. I hold dear to my heart the words another said: We are home of the Free because of the Brave. I am ever so grateful for the sacrifices our past, present, and future Veterans have done, and will do, to keep the peace, protect us, and defend our liberty and freedom.

Thank you to all who have served in our armed forces.
Thank you to all serving this great country now.
Thank you to all who will serve in the future.

Thank you, Daddy.
Thank you, Bud.

You all inspire me to be the best American I can be!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Online Newspaper

I recently discovered – – an online newspaper anyone can create for free. So, I thought I’d give it a try! As far as my newspaper is concerned, it’s still in the “beta” stage while I figure out what information to include (from others) and how best to get everything pooled together. The paper I created is called “Lanetta’s Creations – News Found!” and is automatically updated twice a day. (This link probably will stay on today's date, evening edition, so you'll have to click the Archives to get to the calendar to click whatever date you're looking at it!)

Anyhoo... an email is sent to me whenever the new edition is released. Others can subscribe to it as well!

To get started, I identified various #hash tags from Twitter, keywords on Facebook and Google+, and a RSS feed. Whatever is searched out and found, by their magic workings, should be included. I don’t yet know how well this will work, and if it will be of interest to others. I’m still learning from what others have figured out and will learn more as I go along, and time permits!

Bottom line if you want to give it a try & create your own newspaper, be inspired and have fun! Please share your link!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Repurposed Straight Away

The other day, my mother showed/gave me a piece of fabric. At first glance, I saw something different than what was supposed to be “the” plan. The fabric had an imprint of a Christmas vest to simply cut/sew/trim following their printed instructions along the panel’s border.

I taped the panel to my refrigerator so you can see what I’m talking about … no, I didn’t lay the frig down on the floor to take this picture!

I didn’t “see” the vest, per se, at all. Rather, I began immediately thinking of how I could turn it into “vest aprons”! Fortunately, coordinating fabric added just the right touch for the skirt part of the chef style aprons! You'll see that in a bit...

I trimmed away excess (a little at a time!) as needed to form the foundation…

Then I started putting it together!

After sewing the last of the buttons on last night, now a new, unique apron exists, ready for the unique chef!

I think the back panel for the vest turned into a nice apron, too!

I say this falls under the category of “Repurpose” – even though it had not yet been made into a vest! I repurposed the manufacturer’s intent. It was a fun challenge that I think turned out charming, if I do say so myself!!!

Think outside the box ... you'll never know what you will create when you do!

Total Pageviews