Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Wish...

Listed today: a hand-sewn blue teddy

I wish there were more craft fairs in late December, so I'd be busy preparing for one now instead of stressing out about everything.

I wish stress didn't give me chin pimples.

I wish I didn't scratch said pimples, because they disappear within hours if I don't. (I guess they're not really pimples.)

I wish the current ones disappear by tomorrow, because the party starts at 5.

I wish there were an easy way to transport ALL my fabrics and supplies, so I could sew plushies at the party.

Coming soon: koala & monster bunny

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Craft Fair Success!

My sugar-tastic breakfast

I don't know what it was, but the week between the two craft fairs went by in a breeze, and I had made a bunch of new items with ease. Considering how bad my first fair was, and how the Buckingham Elementary one had a table fee ($25 + a raffle item) higher than my sales at the first, I had plenty of reason to keep stressing out!

New items included a small coffin cushion (which I started making on a whim at the first fair :P), a mini crocodile, and a tiny mermaid doll:

Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling great, and was welcomed at the school entrance by little volunteer elves, and pleasant rows of white poinsettias! (No pictures, unfortunately, because of the rush.) Buckingham looks pretty much as I remembered it... never mind that I've gone back the last few years to play in the new playground lol. :P

View from my table: Corner 1

The gymnasium was warm and cheerful, filled with festive music at the perfect volume compared to the awkward dead silence at the previous show, with commercial vendors relegated to the cluttered stage yay! XD

The lady to my right was selling handmade soaps, I think. She did very well, and even Raccoon said her items looked nice. They definitely smelt good, because some of the customers at my table thought my cupcake rings were scented!

Corner 2

Of course there were still dubious items (eg. ordinary watches), but this was REALLY a craft fair. Plus, everyone was incredibly friendly, and there were vendors & shoppers of all ages!

Once I set up my table, made Raccoon go home so he wouldn't intimidate the customers, and finished off a complimentary doughnut and hot chocolate, I made 3 consecutive sales to some adorable little girls! (I gave them all super discounts, of course. <3)

Corner 3

I sold a bunch of jewelry, the coffin, and a plush bunny! The last buyer might've been a vendor or school staff, because she was in such a hurry, but I only left my table once and couldn't be sure.

Most of the vendors checked out other tables several times, like at the other craft fair, but I'm not sure how I could pull it off myself... I don't want to have a bunch of people sitting with me, especially since one of my selling points is that I made every item without help, but I don't like the look of an unattended table either...
I only managed to run off for a bit when the guys dropped by.

Corner 4

Anyway, I think the tables were really well set up. Tidy, with lots of walking space, but "full-looking". There was a (school) bake sale and some children's activities outside the gym. Those, along with half-hourly raffles, ensured that visitors stuck around. There were also pictures with Santa, who came by and visited all the vendors first!

Santa gave me a candy cane, complimented the items, and let me take a picture of him (and asked to include his elves)!! I've never been so happy, ahahaha...

Last but not least, one of the girls I noticed passing by repeatedly stopped to buy some things. We started talking, and I only then found out she was just 2 tables down! (My lack of awareness of surroundings is astounding.)
She was selling Swarovski crystal jewelry with her mother, but made all the items herself. After purchasing several clay things from me, which was very nice, she even offered to trade for the coffin! My first trade!! <333

I've missed daylight, so photos will have to come later, but now I own two of her items, too! It was a very cool experience; I felt very honoured. Anyway it was so lovely to chat with her I would've said yes to any trade, but they are very pretty earrings for sure! ;)

Someone was handing out free MUSTACHE POPS so she picked one up for me lol!

She doesn't have an Etsy shop, and I had totally forgotten to ask for a business card... but I hope she'll be on Etsy one day! Likely we'll run into each other again at a craft fair next year!

All in all, the craft fair was fantastic, and the baked goods were delicious, hahaha. I had a great time and will definitely return next year if they let me! :P


Just as a quick self-review, I noticed more people came when I sat and sewed instead of standing. It really makes sense to stand only if your displays are tall, or if you're really small...

I forgot to take a picture of my table AND myself, but we were both prettier this time! :PPP
I used 2 tablecloths this time to avoid ugly folds, and made a better "banner"... if only because SOMEONE folded my first banner into the tablecloth after the last fair, and another SOMEONE returned them both to the rental place...

I also forgot to take pictures of every new thing I made, so there are only in-progress shots of the ones that sold. Oh well. Here's a sneak peek of what's coming to my shop!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Buckingham Elementary Craft Fair

As it turns out, there was still space at the aforementioned Buckingham Elementary School Dec. 3 craft fair -- which I'd been planning to attend next year -- so I've more or less secured a table! (Once Raccoon brings payment there for me tomorrow morning. :P)

Between working hard on more items for the BIG DAY, I've also made this skirt for my Pullip doll, haha:

The bit of "lettuce" in the cup on top of the jewelry case is her original dress.

It doesn't go with her IW blouse and socks at all, but it poofs very nicely and should look fine after I make a matching top. The pink skirt already softens her look significantly... especially for people who find dolls creepy. ;)

On an unrelated note, isn't this Cath Kidston sewing case the most adorable thing ever?!

I wish I'd gone to London immediately after quitting my last job. I would've blown all of my savings in the Cath Kidston shop right then. "One of each, please!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Craft Fair Follow-Up

Here I am (as a visitor, not vendor) at Hycroft, a successful craft fair ;D

Now that it's been a few days, I think I can muster up a positive post about the BCGEU "Christmas" fair! :P

1) For starters, the room was bright, warm, and clean. The tables were neatly arranged even if the rectangle-within-a-rectangle placement meant that the very centre of the room was completely taken up by vendors (and everyone could see into it at every angle, so you couldn't just hide all your boxes and junk under the table).

2) Most people were super friendly since they knew all the vendors and customers from work (lol) and/or previous years' fairs. Only three vendors were stoney-faced if you didn't count my grimacing. :P

3) Proceeds from the 50/50 went to charity, and at least two of the booths -- as mentioned in the previous post -- were charity-related.

4) Finally, the table fee was only an item for the prize draw. This was even waived if you only had half a table.

Now for the self-review!

In retrospect, I should have made more items (I blame my birthday :D), stayed standing the whole time (it was awkward, though, with the vendors on either side spinning lazily in their chairs), and greeted passersby more aggressively (even if it makes me feel like a hard-sell!).

I noticed that many of the shoppers were older gentlemen and ladies who wanted to chit-chat, and I was too embarrassed for banter... Maybe next year? :P

The little hanging decoration in front of my table was made at the last minute, and it showed!

On the plus side, all my items had clearly marked prices. I was nicely dressed in lolita, even if my friend told me to dress more normally sometimes and "not like a princess". :D I hid my junk under the tablecloth very well, but got caught munching on some banana bread when customers showed up a few times. I always smiled, at least, and did a bit of sewing when I was bored -- rather than left the booth unattended like some!

I'm a princess! Haha

All in all, I probably won't return next year unless it'd help my friend in any way... The craft fair at Buckingham Elementary, my old school, looks a lot more attractive.

Until then, I'll be making more items, hopefully writing, and probably looking for a 9-to-5 day job again! Wish me... motivation! :D

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Craft Fair Bust

So the craft fair has come and gone, leaving me one sale in its wake.

The tone of the day was set from the start, when I arrived at a three-storey building shrouded in trees and found the "front entrance" locked. (The real entrance was on the side.)

Combined with the fact that the fair wasn't advertised to the public -- as I found out less than a week before -- because we were meant to sell to the EMPLOYEES IN THE BUILDING (plus some of their friends if they spread the word modestly) WHEN THEY CAME DOWNSTAIRS DURING BREAKS... all the vendors should've had modest expectations at best!

All the vendors except the ones selling kitchenware and coffee, of course!...

While the event was advertised (to employees, and only a few days in advance, due to delays) as a CRAFT fair, fewer than 10 of the 25 or so vendors sold crafts. Even fewer made anything themselves, though at least one was doing it for a charitable cause, so I'll let it slide. :P

The two baked goods sellers also did well. But another seller simply had a mountain of shoe boxes and shoes on his table, so he pretty much cancelled the bakers out!

I was pleasantly surprised to be sitting between two other younger vendors, and was disappointed to find that they were not crafters, but volunteers for some free trade organization. One of them did decide he didn't need extra space, however, so instead of half a table, I actually had a full booth yay!

Never mind that I only made enough items to fill half a table :P

I'm happy with how my table looked, at least! The platform I asked Raccoon to make looked fine and worked well. Most of the vendors used dark-coloured coverings, so I didn't even need to worry about having a boring tablecloth! XD

Still, everyone around me complained about how slow it was, and how they at least had more shoppers last year. The fair was set for 10 am to 4 pm, but everyone except the kitchenware seller and one baker had packed up by 3:30...

It was so slow I made this:

With my hand for size reference

And this:

During the employees' last coffee break, a very nice lady came by and bought my favourite mint chocolate cupcake ring for her daughter. (Thank you! <3)

Otherwise, I got TONS of "Aww!" (seriously), "So cute! So delicate!", and "You made everything yourself?!" remarks, and even two people who named specific items and said they'd return to purchase at lunch, lol, but that was it.

It was an... interesting... experience for sure, and my table was free, so maybe I'm complaining too much.

But to be fair, bus fare (or gas, for people who drive :P) isn't free. And I did spend a LOT of time preparing for the fair, punching flower-shaped holes in my SUPER-THICK Moo mini-cards for price tags, and packing and unpacking everything.

When the event ended for me at 10-to-4 (even the two aforementioned vendors were packing up), I waited for my friend (an employee who didn't buy anything ;P) to get off work, and then we hiked home to save me bus fare, hahaha... It took almost two hours.

On a positive note, I did make/finish almost 20 items for the fair, so I'll be able to add new things to my Etsy shop for days, yay!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let's Play Plushie Catch-Up

I tweet more frequently than I blog, of course, but I like long photo dumps, too! Both reading and posting them!

So here's the past few weeks made short(er) & sweet for blog readers.

Enjoying my tea & scones

I obviously need a haircut (waist-length hair, even on a sparsely-haired person, gets HEAVY :P) and the dentist says I have 3 pin-sized cavities (not too bad considering how most of my meals are CAKE), but I'm back to my super-healthy self!

Now that the weather's nice and cold, I can start trying new afternoon tea places again and look forward to snowboarding!

This has been a nice, cold Canadian autumn -- my favourite season!
I've been enjoying the many beautiful Vancouver parks with my dear Raccoon... who is not quite as into this kind of weather, haha.

Here he is, holding his belated St. Valentine's gift. It's a giant alligator-crocodile (damned if I can remember the difference), completely designed & hand-stitched by me!

The monkey it's chomping on is not included. ;)

Asides from Crocky, who was VERY time-consuming, I also made a bunch of other plushies!

For example, this very very pink French poodle, who is now available on Etsy:

And this Movember mustached whale, also on Etsy:

And -- this is almost a miracle -- I've FINALLY completed the autumn team-challenge doll:

My miniature Hallowe'en black cat wants you to know that she's thrilled to have found a home!

I made her an even tinier companion/lunch for the journey. She is only 5/8 inch tall, so you can imagine how tiny the mouse is!

Lastly, here's a sneak peek of the teddy bear and felt food I'm working on for the BCGEU craft fair (Nov. 22).
The teddy bear is too "regular-sized" to sell in my Etsy shop, considering how expensive Canadian postage is for anything over 1/2 inch thick, so I really hope someone will take him home from the fair!

Blue bear with his biscuit

Anyway, I've already made a bunch of felt cakes and macarons, and hope to make 10 to 20 more things in this final week.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hallowe'en (Handmade) Costume Recap

I have been insanely busy for the past week, making felt food for the upcoming craft fair and working on Hallowe'en costumes. I only managed to finish sewing my "main" costume on Monday morning:

Shrivelled-tail mermaid at Bear Creek park

It didn't turn out entirely the way I wanted -- the tail shrank in half because I didn't want to do anymore sewing, for one -- but it looks fine and lasted through Hallowe'en.

The entire thing is hand-stitched anyway... Who else would be crazy enough to do that?? So I'm still proud of it!

For Friday and Saturday, I had to put together a "back-up" costume:

Dorothy from Wizard of Oz... at Stanley Park

I sewed the hair-bows out of blue tulle, and pinned some white satin bows to the socks. Everything else is as-is, from the Angelic Pretty jumperskirt to the basket-style handbag.

Some of the little time I had also went towards other people's costumes!

For example, I made the red tie for Raccoon's "Son of Man" costume (left) and the furry white ears on B. (right):

Lining up for Dunbar haunted house

Raccoon made the green apple himself. ;)

All in all it's been a fun weekend! Now it's time for me to get back to working on craft fair items...

For shorter, daily updates, check out my Twitter!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Etsy Front Page Treasury List

View an Etsy Front Page Treasury List - The Vault on Craft Cult

My cupcake ring is my first item to be featured on Etsy's front page! Yay and thank you!

*Screenshot from Craft Cult

Monday, October 17, 2011

Free Plush Prize Draw

Okay, so I only completed ONE project on Sunday, but I watched House on Haunted Hill again and enjoyed a delicious dinner of lobster ravioli. Plus, I baked.

So here is the completed bunny -- minus a ribbon or other suitable adornment I will be looking for in a minute:

I will be listed tomorrow!

He has amethyst bead eyes, and an embroidered purple nose and mouth.

When Raccoon came over earlier with the ravioli (thank you), the first thing he asked was, "Why is its mouth sad?"

"Because I stitched the face the night before, when I was mad at you!"

So take a look around. Does your work always reflect your mood at the specific moment of creation?


Okay, here's the important (lol) part.

If you're reading this, you can probably tell I haven't gotten around to promoting my blog. Or Facebook page. Or Twitter. With just over 30 items in my Etsy shop, my priority for now is to make more things (100 is the recommended number).

However, I think it'd be neat to have a prize draw and give away a little critter (or old man, who knows?).

So when the wildflower makery FB page reaches 10 "like"s, even if it's 10 years from now(!), everyone who likes the page -- excluding me, my significant other, etc. -- will be entered into a free drawing for a mini plush.

Note: I don't mean my super miniature 1/3-inch plushies (unless you the winner chooses that) but one of my usual palm-sized stuffed toys. And like everything in my shop, it will be made without patterns and never duplicated -- the only one in the world!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Progress Report: Furry Bunny et al.

Bunny in progress! It is extremely taxing to hand-sew through such thick (faux) fur. But the result is just so cuddly!

You can also see the autumn doll smiling in the bottom left corner... especially now that I've given her new red lips. I thought the original neutral lipcolour was prettier, but the red goes a lot better with her outfit. And maybe the season, too.

I've never tried red lipstick myself, but have been meaning to!

This is the cinnamon banana loaf I baked for brunch. I'm now trying to finish several projects at once.

The (very Myspace-y) photo above was taken last night, when I wasn't feeling at all well -- sorry for the lack of a smile -- but it shows all 4 projects I plan to finish tonight!

1) Blue teddy bear -- 90% complete (all parts have been sewn, just not put together)
2) Pink bow headband -- 85% complete
3) Furry white bunny -- 60% complete
4) Autumn-themed doll -- 50% complete

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

BCGEU Christmas Craft Fair 2011

I figure I should at least post it here because the event has NO online presence at all...

The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union is holding their annual craft fair on November 22nd, 2011. Yes, it's a Tuesday... My friend who arranged a table for me says it's a pretty small fair -- around 15 to 20 vendors.

It will be at 4911 Canada Way, Burnaby, V5G 3W3.

Anyone who finds this through Etsy or Google is obligated to attend! :P Come support my half-a-booth, crafts in general, and whatever it is BCGEU does!

I'm working on a giant bow headband for it right now:

I'm already nervous!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apples and Ghosts for Thanksgiving

This little rosebud kitty has been sold! I'm so happy for both of us (lol) -- I hope the new owner likes her!

I have also added a super tiny miniature ghost plush to my store:

He is 3rd and last in my "Hallowe'en Tinies" series! I managed to make the ghost even tinier than the Jack-o-lantern pumpkin and black cat, though it's hard to tell from the photographs... I have small hands and skinny fingers.

The first prototype for the ghostie didn't turn out very well, but it took me quite a while to finally toss it out and start over. I'm glad I did, even if it did take... a month and a half... because this little stuffed ghost is pretty neat (if I may say so myself). Still, it was really hard scrapping his less-than-ideal brother after spending all that time and eye-strain.

I wonder if other crafters have less trouble tossing out failed projects. They are all your children (or at least, creations) after all!

Asides from that, I spent the weekend neglecting my shop. As planned, I visited TWO apple farms in a row with B. and Raccoon. The other two R.s were busy and/or sick, so we had a lovely time without them. :P

We got plenty more apples, a few pears, and even an early pumpkin!

We then met up again and spent a whole day baking apple pie, watching the hockey game, and otherwise making the most of the (Canadian) Thanksgiving long weekend.

Here I am hard at work!

I totally helped by assigning all the duties. Raccoon was in charge of apple-washing, peeling, and clean-up, while B. handled the slicing and cider-mixing duties. Through team effort and a HUGE new restaurant-sized container of cinnamon (sooo cheap...), we managed to make a delicious if unusually brown apple pie that went perfectly with French vanilla ice cream.

Dessert (for lunch) was a frozen caramel apple with sparkling apple cider -- farm-milled cider mixed with San Pellegrino -- on the side.

All in all a delicious weekend.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, US Columbus Day, and Taiwanese National Day!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

50/50 and Apples

I didn't have time to post a new listing for the weekend, because I went apple-picking!

But I listed this stuffed bunny art plush kilt pin over the week!

Raccoon and I completely forgot that I had asked the guys (in passing) if they wanted to go, too, so it was just the two of us that day. <3

We picked about 20 pounds total (it was annoying that the farm didn't use metric :P) of Fuji and Honeycrisp apples -- not too interested in the Jonagold -- and got two jugs of freshly milled cider to share. Jonagold and Fuji apples will continue to ripen over October, so it's prime apple-picking season!

When we got back to civilization, we met up with the others for dinner and a movie. During the meal, B. suddenly asked when we were going apple-picking. I exchanged several "I totally forgot!!!!!!" shocked glances in succession with Raccoon while everyone sat in an awkward silence...

tl;dr We're going apple-picking again next weekend!!

...On a related note, 50/50 was really sad and brought tears to everyone's eyes. I bawled through half of it and had swollen eyes for the rest of the night.

It was a good movie. Without making light of its serious subject matter, though, I'd have to say it didn't have enough comedy. Sure, it accurately captures many, many awkward moments in life. And sure, awkward scenes that make you cringe with the characters seem to be a popular device lately.
But the awkwardness is just heaped on in this film, without much else to induce laughter. Despite all their efforts to market this as a refreshingly funny take on life with cancer, it left me feeling heavy and uncomfortable.

And, honestly, there are better movies to watch if you're in the mood for something heavy and uncomfortable. I'd watch Memento for the nth time. How about you?