Sunday Afternoon Housewife

Handmade Crafts and Unsolicited Advice

Handmade Promenade Gets New Logo! July 9, 2010

Filed under: Craft Fairs,Handmade Promenade — sundayafternoonhousewife @ 9:02 am

Thanks so much to Cheryl Andrey for designing the new logo for the Handmade Promenade. As always, we love her work and can’t wait to start seeing this splashed all around the town!

Exciting things are transpiring on the Handmade Promenade front. We have added several new artists to our July 27th event including Vanessa Monfreda, The String Theories, Fanfare and Foofaraw, Cassandra Foxx Designs and Cordial Kitten! This great list of ladies joins the list of Handmade Promenade veterans EleanorMac, Bebito, Mother Tucker Sews, and Sunday Afternoon Housewife. Yippee!

There are still a few vendor spots left. Please email at mellenlatta@gmail.com if you are interested in getting in on the crafty fun!

The July 27th event is going to be a great day. Not only will you be able to do all your normal veggie buying at the Stadium Village Farmers’ Market, but you’ll also be able to get some great specialty foods like marshmallows, bloody mary maker, artisan oils and vinegars… and the of course there will  many fantastic crafts from all the Handmade Promenade artists! We look forward to seeing you July 27th!

More info to come on music, give-aways, and contests, so stay tuned!

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Waterloo Arts Fest Wrap Up June 28, 2010

Filed under: craft,Craft Fairs,Ohio 2010,Places to find me,Travel — sundayafternoonhousewife @ 7:20 am

Sunday Afternoon Housewife at the Waterloo Arts Fest, Cleveland, Ohio

This past weekend I participated in my first craft fair in Ohio and spent my first night in Cleveland! It was a lot of fun visiting a part of Ohio I had never been to before. My husband went with me on this trip (thank goodness because we blew a tire on the way home-don’t worry we are a-ok!) and we met up with our  friend Cheryl Andrey. She’s the wonderful person responsible for the Sunday Afternoon Housewife logo, and she and her new husband Andrew took us to a delish restaurant called Melt Bar and Grilled. This place was just featured on Food Network, and so you maybe have heard of it! It was simply amazing food.

On Saturday my husband and I headed over to set up at the Waterloo Arts Fest, which was a really great festival celebrating a wonderful little neighborhood. I met so many new people, and made some great connections with lots of awfully crafty folks! Some of the best news of all to come out of the trip is that the awesome handmade goods store Salty Not Sweet will begin carrying Sunday Afternoon Housewife goods in about 1 week! I’ll update you more about this soon, but now onto the fun photos from the Waterloo Arts Fest!

One of my fave things is the truck that you see that looks all black. This truck was painted entirely in chalkboard paint, and all the kids loved writing all over the truck with chalk.  If I ever have the time (and money!), my truckie better watch out because this is about the coolest idea ever. Another thing I enjoyed very much were the stilt creatures. I really enjoyed watching them walk by my booth and battle it out in the middle of Waterloo. What fun!

Squeaky Queen Soap

Of course there were all sorts of awesome vendors at the fair. I highly suggest you check out Squeaky Queen Soaps for some awesome soap with fantastic packaging. I scored a bar of Beer Soap made with Guinness Stout and a tube of peppermint lip balm. Both items are just fantastic!

If you’d rather your art last a little longer than a few weeks in the shower, you should check out Susan Cross Pots. Her pottery was just fantastic, and I picked up an adorable salt cellar as a bridal shower gift for a friend.

Oceanne

The lovely work of Oceanne made it’s way to Indy for the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange a couple of weeks ago, and thankfully, Anne came down and said hello. It’s always nice to see a familiar face when you are traveling and I can’t wait to see her again next weekend at Bazaar Bizarre! This time I might get a chance to chat a little longer and pick up some of her jewelry!

For a full list of vendors who were at the fair, you can click here. I really enjoyed getting to see some new stuff and meet new artists. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to see me. I’ll be back in Cleveland again this Saturday, July 3rd for the Bazaar Bizarre. I look forward to spending even more time in Cleveland, eating more awesome food, and meeting even more awesome artists.

 

Book Review: The Handmade Market Place June 22, 2010

Filed under: Book Reviews,how-to — sundayafternoonhousewife @ 7:00 am

The Handmade Market Place: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online by Kari Chapin is not a book for under-achievers. Kari Chapin has taken into account nearly every possible thing that exists which  you can do to have a successful craft business, and she writes with a sense that makes you feel required to do all of these things to be successful. I feel like I do an awful lot, but I sure am feeling the need now to do a whole lot more! It’s a motivating book and an informative book, and if you only care to do the very least you can to have a craft business, then don’t bother with this book. This book is written for those of you who want to become craft selling powerhouses.

Kari begins the book with a great introduction to what she calls her “creative collective.” These are some of the biggest crafty men and women on the scene, people like Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge, Leah Kramer of Craftster, and Megan Reardon of Not Martha,  and they provide many tips and words of experience throughout the book. She utilizes their minds all for your benefit, and probably will introduce you to some people in the craft community you may have never heard of.

The remainder of the book is split into 12 very informative chapters in 3 parts. Part 1 covers goal setting, branding, and pricing, among other topics. Most of the information covered in Part 1 is similar to information you might have already read if you have read Craft, Inc. or Crafty Superstar. One idea Kari covers in Part 1 is something fairly new to me, an “inspiration wire” as she calls it, and how you can use it to get “unstuck” when you are feeling a little uncreative. When it comes to branding, she writes a lot about really developing you name and your brand to represent who you are. This may be a very beneficial chapter if you have a hard time making people remember who you are and what you do. When discussing basic business practices, Kari provides pretty detailed explanations of setting up businesses (are you a sole proprietor, in a partnership, or a LLC?), as well as the always helpful details about pricing your own products.

Part 2 covers all you need to know about how to market yourself online and face-to-face. Part 2 is certainly the part of the book that is going to open your eyes to all the marketing possibilities out there that you may not be utilizing to the fullest. Kari discusses photography, making online connections, blogging, online newsletters, advertising (including creating press kits and press releases), as well as podcasting and social media, and much more. I have to say that this is probably the first book of its kind that really spends time focusing on how beneficial Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can be to your business, as well as how to use it to make connections with other crafters. As far as the section on podcasting goes, I have to say that to me it was really inspiring, and really does make me want to make a crafty podcast (though don’t hold your breath– I only have so many hours in my day!).

Part 3 is probably the most important chapter of all because here is where Kari discusses getting ready for craft fairs- including filling out applications correctly, and also how to start your own fair (fun!). She also covers every other sale making opportunity like selling in online stores, brick and mortar stores, trunk shows, house parties, and more.

I can promise that taking the time to read this book means that when you are done you are going to come out on the other end as a better crafty business person. It might make you moan at all there is to do that you don’t have the time for, but in the end it is going to make you consider all the options out there and give the motivation to sit down and make the most of yourself.

If you have read The Handmade Market Place already, what were your impressions of the book? If you haven’t read it, do you plan to now? Please let me know what you think now, or after you read. I always welcome your comments!

 

INDIEana Handicraft Exchange Wrap Up June 18, 2010

Filed under: craft,Craft Fairs,Favorites,giveaway — sundayafternoonhousewife @ 10:23 am

Last Saturday was the most awesome ever INDIEana Handicraft Exchange.  If you didn’t get to make it to the event, you’re probably regretting it already. With over 100 booths and vendors from all across the continent, the biggest problem I had all day was trying not to spend every last cent of my own hard earned money!

I was happy to be set up again in Gallery #2. I played a little with my booth space this time around, trying something a bit different, and I really like the way it worked for me. In case you didn’t get to see my booth, it looked a little something like this:

My Booth at the IHE

Sunday Afternoon Housewife Booth!

This was the first time I did any type of “L” shape table display, and it really did work out for me! I’d love to hear what you thought of the new display- was it easier for you on the other side of the table?

Of course, all the time I show you what my stuff looks like, so I won’t share anymore about my stuf today. Let’s talk about all the awesome that I bought and loved at the IHE instead! With so many new vendors this summer, I wanted to make checking them out a major priority, and I’m way glad I did!

One booth that had me at first glance was 16 Sparrows. I went back to the booth twice after the initial visit trying to decide because I have always, as long as I can remember, been a sucker for cool stationary, and the ladies at 16 Sparrows have everything one needs to write beautiful letters, keep addresses, label goodies, and all while showing a bit of tounge-in-cheek humor. I couldn’t decide exactly what I wanted most, but I ended up with this (P.S. dear husband don’t look if you are reading, I’m trying to hide this from you until September):

One Bad Ass Card from 16 Sparrows

Down in the Underground, which on second thought really seemed kind of appropriate for this vendor, was Spellbound Soapworks. Much like stationary, I love a good soap. Sometimes I like my soap for the smell or ingredients, but this may be the first time I have ever bought a soap based solely on the fact that it made me laugh out loud with joy and giggle all the way back to my booth, and then made me decide I had to go back for another. While most of the Spellbound Soapworks soap was more sci-fi than anything, this was my two bar purchase (yes, I got the one pictured and one purple with sparkles for my neighbors ):

Gay Bar

While I still have a lovely bar of moustache soap from GEEKSOAP in my guest bathroom, as soon as it is gone, I’ll be putting out the Gay Bar!

No explanation required

I think you would be hard pressed to call RAR RAR Press, anything but pretty fucking awesome. A table full of fun prints and postcards, all made using hand set type left me standing there for eternity trying to decide what I couldn’t live without. I settled on the above post card. I’ll be saving it for a very special occasion.

Uncommon: Things for the Home was yet another booth that really caught my eye. Lots of lovely things all handmade of wood and awesomeness. I had a hard time deciding (and I’m sure the guy thought I was nuts asking so many questions about coasters) but I ended up with a set of gorgeous wooden coasters. I’m glad I finally took this picture so I can put them to use:

Wooden doily coasters from Uncommon

Really cute buttons will get me every time, and at the booth of The Sweetie Pie Press grabbed and wouldn’t let go. When I saw these buttons with 1″ stories, I knew I had to dig through the bowl until I found every single story there was to have.

1" stories by Sweetie Pie Press

One of my last purchases was from a vendor I have written about before: Get Lathered. This solid shampoo and conditioner (yes, solid- like bar soap) I first encountered at the Bloomington Handmade Market. I was a bit leery back then, but since then I have expressed pretty strongly to everyone who will listen about how much I LOVE this product.

shampoo and conditioner that Rocks n Rolls

If you haven’t tried this yet, then your hair isn’t as happy as it could be. Trust me, you need to get some shampoo and conditioner from Get Lathered.

There were several other vendors whose stuff I totally adored. If these awesome goods aren’t blowing your mind enough, you also should really check out So Silly for great silk-screened shirts for kids, Foxglove Accessories for very unique jewelry all made from postage stamps, and Crimson Tate for handmade quilts and other awesome hand sewn accessories.

So tell me, if you made it to the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange, who was your favorite (or favorites!). Don’t just sit there and be a blog lurker, post and tell me what you love! I’ve got a special something for you if you do:

Comment on today's blog and win this sample of Shampoo that Rocks from Get Lathered!

I’ll wait a week for you to realize how bad you want this, and then I will choose a comment at random and give that lucky person this fantastic sample of Shampoo That Rocks from Get Lathered. And you know  I want this really bad for myself, so maybe you can just keep your comments to yourself. (j/k!!!)

 

Gearing up for the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange June 10, 2010

Filed under: bottle cap magnets,craft,Craft Fairs,Glass Tile Pendants,music — sundayafternoonhousewife @ 12:24 am

This last week I have spent an enormous amount of time getting ready for my favorite craft show of the year: the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange! The summer show will be held this Saturday, June 12, from 12pm-8pm at the Harrison Center for the Arts at 16th and Delaware in conjunction with the Independant Music and Arts Festival. Over 100 vendors will be on hand to showcase their handmade jewlery, clothing, plush toys, soaps, cross-stitches, and there will even be delicious edibles from vendors such as the Hot Cookie, who was recently featured in Ready Made Magazine!

Before I head to the IHE, I thought I’d take a moment to share with you some of the new goodies I’ll be bringing along. There’s a lot, so I hope you like pretty pictures, and I really can’t wait to see you this weekend! Also, don’t forget, that the first 50 people in line at the IHE table in the gym when the show opens at noon will get awesome reusable tote bags filled with IHE vendor swag. If you happen to be one of the lucky 50, bring your Sunday Afternoon Housewife postcard to my booth (Booth #63 in the Gallery#2) and claim your free goodie! I’ll see ya Saturday!

 

East Nashville Arts Fest Wrap Up May 25, 2010

Filed under: Craft Fairs,Nashville 2010,Travel — sundayafternoonhousewife @ 12:12 am

This past weekend I was down in Nashville, Tennessee with my booth mate Jen Wyric of EleanorMac for the East Nashville Arts Fest. While I have been to Nashville several times over the past decade, this is the first time I have ever spent time in East Nashville, and I must say I’m in love!

And they have Tofu dogs!

From I Dream of Weenie to Bongo Java, everything about East Nashville was great! The East Nashville Arts Festival was along Woodland Street, and while the sun may have been very, very hot, everyone was super friendly- customers and fellow artists alike.

Love for the arts and crafts was in the air (and on the Laster's Art Car)

I got to see some great art from many people (I’ll follow up on some of my favorite goods later this week), but I want to give a special shout out to my absolutely favorite thing of the whole festival, the Laster family and C.M. Laster’s most awesome art car.

A site to behold! The Laster Art Car!

A site to behold! The Laster Art Car!

The Laster Art Car

Owls represent on the Laster Art Car

The festival was so great, the location grand, and I had so much fun, I’m already planning my next trip back to East Nashville. I’ll be sending in my application later this week for the Tomato Art Fest and crossing my fingers I get to return to East Nashville in August (I think this past weekend was a good taste of what the August weather will be like, or at least that is what I was told several times!)

A shot of my booth at the East Nashville Arts Fest

Thank goodness we planned ahead and brought the walls for the tent so that we could block some of the sun. Next time I’ll remember to cooler and a few (hundred) bags of ice, too!

Crowd shot on Sunday morning at the East Nashville Arts Fest

So, I can’t wait to get back to East Nashville, hopefully for the Tomato Art Festival, and I will really be looking forward to next year’s East Nashville Arts Fest!

 

Book Review: Crafty Superstar May 9, 2010

Filed under: Book Reviews,Business,Craft Fairs — sundayafternoonhousewife @ 11:56 pm

You might have noticed I was pretty absent last week. I took a trip for the week and spent some time away from the computer and with my grandparents in Florida. It was a fun trip, though not particularly productive from a blogging or crafting standpoint! One of the good things that did come out of the trip is that I got to catch up on some reading. I picked up my copy of Crafty Superstar by Grace Dobush while on my trip and finished it on the plane ride home. It’s a fairly quick read, but chock full of useful information about how to become, of course, a Crafty Superstar.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book because it has a strong focus on what it takes to be a part-time crafter while still working a “regular” job. While I strongly desire to take my crafting to the next level, I’m just not there quite yet, though this book makes me feel better about the fact that I haven’t yet taken the leap. Many crafty business related books specifically focus on what is required to make the jump into full time crafting, and Grace Dobush makes you feel good about the decision to keep your day job. She spent time interviewing lots of “part-time” crafters who may seem to be dedicating all their time to craft, yet still have a “regular” job. Some of the crafters who contributed to the book include Olivera Bratch, owner of Wholly Craft in Columbus, Ohio; Faith Levine, director of Handmade Nation; and Jenny Hart, founder of Sublime Stitching.

Faith Levine, Director of Handmade Nation, is one of many contributors to Crafty Superstar

With so many similar books hitting the shelves lately, you might wonder why to pick this one up. Enjoyably, Crafty Superstar is a compact, tote-able book. It’s got 6 chapters and a great appendix full of forms, templates, and list after list of online resources for crafters. In chapter one Grace covers the basics about DIY and gets into detail about what being an “indie” crafter is all about. More detailed business advice is the focus of the rest of the book, and the author covers things from where to sell (internet, brick and mortar, craft fair), how to prepare for craft fairs, how to get good press for your business, and most uniquely, how to find balance between your personal life and your crafting life.

Right away I realized this book was going to need to be read with a pen handy for marking important things as I went along. The book also has quizzes and checklists throughout, so having a pen handy means you’ll be more likely to work along as you read.

I found so many helpful tips I hadn’t thought of before, or that were presented to me in a new way from other books that cover the same topic. I really enjoyed all the real pictures from Wholly Craft, and pictures of super well designed websites, as well as the focus on product display at stores, booth display for fairs (I’m already giving mine some new considerations), and I especially enjoyed the section about packaging design because this is something I have been personally working on a lot lately.

One of the biggest things to hit home for me was breakdown of cost of product and product pricing.  Grace takes the time to break down penny by penny the cost to list an item on Etsy (FEE), sell it on Etsy (FEE), get paid through PayPal (FEE), and ship your product out. While this is something I probably should’ve done for myself, I haven’t. Wow did this open my eyes!

Other helpful tips include how to build your own light box for taking good photos, and how to promote yourself to the fullest. Additionally, besides Grace’s fantastic advise, there is long list of new sites I need to visit from the amazing list of contributors.

If you’re thinking about kicking your craft business up a notch and are looking for some straight forward, well written advise, I highly suggest you go get yourself a copy of Crafty Superstar. I promise you will find yourself flipping back through the pages again and again as you work your way toward becoming the craft maven we all know you want to be!

If you’ve already read Craft Superstar, please let me know your thoughts on the book and what you found most helpful! For those of you rushing out to buy it now, happy reading! And don’t forget to come back and tell me what you think!