Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Few New Things

Here are a few pictures to wet your appetite for the coming seasons. Besides....I just wanted to share. There are lots of signs in the works and made to choose from. Snowmen are a real favorite of mine. Maybe it's because we don't really get snow in Vegas, or maybe it's because they are just so darn loveable. Yeah...I'm going with the second one.

I paint them on anything and everything. Here are some on re-purposed ice skates full of greenery, on giant jingle bells and on cabinet doors.

Don't fret all you Halloween lovers...I've got lots of fun stuff for you too. Witches, scarecrows, and even a few skeletons and skulls too.

I've got several of these really large 40" metal stars to paint. They are super cool because they can be taken apart to store from year to year.

So enjoy this sneak peek and look for more items to show up on my Etsy and Twiddlebugz Designz sites and at shows during the upcoming seasons.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cool getaway

We escaped the heat for a day and headed to Mt. Charleston Saturday. There was a light rain the whole time we were up was delightful. It had down poured before we got there, those were some dark clouds. Cassy did quite a bit of exploring and had a great time, as did we. I think this is a great picture of Timm and Cassy...she is one happy dog. We really need to get out for a day more often. It's been about two years since we'd been up there...horrible to say since it's so close. You can read more about it at my other blog

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lighting Your Craft Booth

I know not every venue where craft shows are held has electricity available to their vendors. Outdoor shows seldom have the option to acquire electricity. If the venue does offer electricity, plan of having long, heavy duty electrical cords with a 3 prong plug.

Many indoor spaces have electricity available to the vendors; sometimes you may have to pay for it. My thought is…when it’s available; take it…even if you have to pay for it. Being able to light up your booth full of product is always a plus. Larger indoor events will often dim their lights for mood so you must have lighting in your own space. Light draws attention, plain and simple. Having your products lit up is like featuring them front and center. Many venues will put a limit on the amount of wattage you can use; usually 500 watts. I’ve never run over that with my lighting. There are several ways to light up your products and booth.
Ambient lighting: Think of it as mood lighting. It doesn’t really light up your product but it does create interest, theme and mood. Strings of Christmas lights, patio lights, candle light, electric candles, etc are ambient light. Consider hanging strands of lights from a tent framework (without the canopy) for soft lighting.
Spot lighting: This type focuses on a certain area. Those little clamp-on light fixtures are great for this. Swing arm lamps work well for this also. You can aim your light to focus on certain areas of your booth.
Track lighting: This is another way to get light where you want it. There are the type of tracks that have several (normally three) fixed lights that swivel as well as the type that you slide the lighting fixture into the track. The second one will give you several more options for style of lighting fixtures available. I really like the track lighting with the flexible arm; it lets you aim the light where ever you want it to go. These can be zip-tied to your tent framework (without the canopy), poles, etc. to get it over-head.
Flood lighting: These really light up your space but beware of the heat they produce. They also will use up your wattage allowance quickly.
Floor Lamps: I’ve seen vendors use floor lamps with several directional lighting fixtures on them at the front corners of their space, tables, etc. to light up displays of jewelry and such. These work well if you can’t get your lighting up high.
Light Bulbs: There are many types to choose from. Be aware that some lighting fixtures can only accept certain types of bulbs so check before purchasing. Screw in type bulbs are the most common – regular incandescent bulbs and those curly florescent ones. Personally, I stay away from regular florescent tube lighting…the colors of your product will not always look right. Quartz (halagen) lighting is very bright but gets hot, flood lights get hot as well. If you use this type of lighting just be sure it’s not next to anything made of fabric. What ever type you choose, just be sure to have a few spares with you incase you need to replace one.

What ever lighting you use in your booth, be aware of how it affects your customers. Don’t set up your lighting so that it points into customers’ faces or the aisles. Glaring light is distracting to customers. You don’t want to squint or have spots in their eyes…they can’t see your product that way. If possible place lights at the front of your space and point it to the sides or back…that’s where your product is anyway more than likely.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Cassy!

Our furry little girl turned 3 on Saturday. What joy she has brought into our lives. Cassy is just the sweetest dog, happy, and loving. She is mine during the day, but when daddy comes home...I am second fiddle to him. I think that is her favorite part of the day...really! They have a whole routine they have to follow. Playing with Dad is her favorite pastime.

Cassy loves to get out with us to camp and explore. She travels really well, thankfully. She's quite the favorite on DAT campouts. Riding the ATVs are her favorite, Timm even built her a little platform so she'd be more stable. Most of the time she rides with Timm, while I travel behind works better that way, she likes to turn around and see me there. She needs some doggles though.

She likes to play in the creeks, streams and lakes...not a pool. Cassy also loves the snow, she likes to run along and push her shoulder into it and roll around in's really cute to watch.

Our newest family portrait...since the kids moved out.
And here we ALL are. This was not an easy shot to get by the way.
Mom, Dad, Chris, Christy, Scott
Zoey (Happy B-Day, she turned 1 yesterday), Cassy, Shelby, and Roxy
(Christmas 2008)

Fun Time At Duck Creek Days

We had great weather again this year at Duck Creek. I love the why do I live in the desert?! To truly appreciate the mountains, that's my answer. My youngest son, Chris and I left Thursday for Duck Creek Days. He helped me set up, hung out with mom for a while, explored for a while and came back to the cabin for the evening. We were blessed to stay with friends for the weekend and truly appreciated their hopsitality and generousity...thanks Mike and Cyndy. Sales were slower than last year, but there were good crowds. Everyone is so happy and friendly when they got good, clean air in them. Chris' friends came up early Saturday morning so he hung out with them at camp for the rest of the weekend. They all came by to visit, met Samantha's family and friends. Chris was back at the end of the show to help tear down, took me back to the cabins, and went back to camp with friends. Sunday was a nice slow day...I fed the squirrels, watched the dear, and relaxed before heading home. Good weekend...only thing that could have made it better was to have Timm and Cassy there too...maybe next time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Duck Creek Days

Hey people, it's time to get out of the heat and head to the mountains. I'll be peddlin' my wares at Duck Creek Days on Cedar Mountain this Friday and Saturday. It's a fun event that draws from all over the area. There is a Chili Cook Off, games, crafts, log furniture, music, dancing, and more.
This is a picture of part of my booth from last year. I've got a double booth this year and would really appreciate your support. Mention that you read my blog and receive a 15% discount on your purchase.
See you there.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Chris!

So when did I get so old that my baby turned 22? That's right, Chris is 22 today. It all went by so fast. He is an awesome young man that I am so proud of.

We've been through the whole Scouting program...Tigers to Eagle Scout, and even some Venturing. I was his den leader all through Cub Scouts and Dad was his Scoutmaster in Boy Scouts. He was a great Senior Patrol Leader and enjoyed 2 summers staffing at Del Webb High Adventure Camp. In fact, one summer he ran the aquatics program at Kolob Reservoir (all by himself). Is there a better way to spend the summer? I think not.

Chris is a streak of lightening on his sport quad...literally. He was flying (yes, flying) past Curtis and a few others, hit the soft shoulder on the gravel road and kept going. He is one speedy rider on that Outlaw and loves it. As a mom I wish he were a little more cautious but that's what these guys like to do.

Chris has high goals of becoming a Metro police officer and I know he will make a fine officer one day. I've finally gotten over the whole scared thing about it. He is goal is to be on SWAT. He'd make a damn good sniper...he's a dang good shooter.

Chris has this fetch-obsessed dog, Shelby. She is a sweetheart of a dog Chris saved from a friend that could no longer keep her. She and our dog, Cassy are bestest buds. Pretty much where one is, so is the other.

Chris, my baby boy, we wish you a Happy Birthday! We are so proud of you and the fine young man you turned out to be. Thanks for all your help, I appreciate it. We love you! Mom & Dad

Monday, July 6, 2009

This week's topic...Publicity

Yes, this goes hand in hand with signage, but I wanted to cover a few other options as well.

· Business Cards: Every item that is sold at your booth should have your name, business name (if you use one), and contact information on it. The simplest way to do this is with a business card. Be sure to place one in every purchase. Have them available in your booth for customers to pick up also. You can order business cards easily at local office supply stores and printers or you can order them on line. They don’t have to be expensive; in fact, there are several on-line websites that offer them for free in smaller amounts (+/-250) and all you have to pay is shipping. Vista Print is the one I use and have been very pleased. If you ‘google’ “free business cards” you’ll find many websites to choose from. Every website has hundreds of designs to choose from. One company even has a smaller card they call ‘moo’ cards. These would even make good tags.
· Postcards: These are great if you are doing several events. You can list your schedule of where customers can find you and your products. Mail them to your customers if you have a mailing list. I’m always excited when I get one in the mail for a craft show. It goes right on the fridge so I don’t forget. Hand them out at shows also to pick up new customers. Just be sure to include all your contact information on them as well. These work great for sales, promotions, open houses, parties, etc.
· Flyers: Often with the same information as a postcard. I normally have a list of where customers can find me next. You may want to add a coupon to the flyer on a future purchase. This will also help see how well they work.
· Magnets: Yup, you can have your business card made into a magnet. Maybe you want to create a cute little promo item with your contact information to hand out to customers. People keep these things.
· Pens and Pencils: How many times have you gotten a pen with business information imprinted on it? I think I have 3 in my purse right now. One of them is mine. These are great, inexpensive gift items to hand out to your customers as a thank you. Leave one at the doctors’ office, supermarket, etc when you fill our forms and checks. Google sites to have them printed, there are many to choose from.
· Calendars: Another great item to print your contact information on. Customers will see it all year.
· Vehicle Signage: Today, it is so much easier to obtain vinyl lettering for your vehicle windows than ever before. Home based businesses with websites make it quick and convenient to order on the web. Etsy and EBay have many to choose from. It is easily applied and removable. Another option is magnets that stick to the door. Again, these are available at sign/printing shops and on the web. These may be a better option for you since you can pull them off at a moments notice. Painted signage can also be applied by a professional. Which ever method you choose to use, keep the information short and simple: Name, phone, website, a very brief description if needed, and your logo is you use one.
· Websites: Basically there are two different types; one that provides information only and the other that offers products for sale. If you are creating items to sell then the second one is yours. You may want to consider Etsy, Artfire, Crobbies, ShopHandmade, etc. to get started. There are many of these selling sites where you can list your items for sale. You set up your own little site within their site. They are easy to operate and inexpensive. All have links to contact you directly. Customers can purchase 24 hours a day and an email will come to you with the sale inform. You may also want to have your own website. One can be built for you or you may opt to build it yourself. The second is much less expensive and you can change your photos and information yourself or have someone do it for you.
· Blogs: These are kinda mini sites if you choose them to be. Most of them are personal journals of some sort. Most creative people I know use them to promote themselves, get their items on the web and direct customers to their selling sites. It’s a great way to keep your friends and customers updated on the latest project or event in your life. I love blogs. You can visit mine at Blogspot, Blogger, Typepad and Wordpress are all very popular places to create your blog.
· Twitter: It’s all the rage at the moment. It’s basically a few short blog. Just a sentence or two. (Updated my blog. for example). You can follow someone on Twitter just like you can on a blog. It can be a great way to stay in contact with your customers. You can access Twitter via you computer and cell phone (if you have internet on it).
· Facebook: This is another way to share your new products, activities, photos and events as well as your personal life. Many businesses are now using it to help promote themselves. You can even create a fan page. You can also have separate accounts for your personal and business activities.
· Word of Mouth: This is almost always the best way to advertise because most of it will come from your customers. A third party talking about your product, service, and you can be far more influential than if you tried to do it yourself.
· Free Product: This is another way to promote yourself and your product. A simple little gift item with each sale, of course with your contact information, is a wonderful way to get your name out. I’ve used a mint matchbook for the last couple of years. I put them in each purchase and also place a small basket of them in my booth for potential customers to take. It has started many conversations and made sales as well.
· Raffle Item: If you want to build your mailing list you may want to offer a raffle drawing for a larger item of yours. Just be sure to keep that item separate from your sale items. Maybe place it behind your check out area. Print out a sheet that can be cut up into separate tickets that customers can write down their information. Be sure to get their phone and email information as well as a mailing address to you can reach the winner and build both your mailing list and your email list.
· Evite: If you have an email list of your customer base consider using Evite. It’s a basically a postcard you email to your customers to notify them of your shows, partys, open houses, events. etc.
· Email Blast: Send your family, friends, and customers a quick update if you have something going on they might want to attend. Just be careful not to SPAM your customers. You want them to be curious and excited to get email from you.

Ideas for publicity are almost endless. If you have more ideas, post them in the comment area if you'd like to share.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day to everyone out there! Enjoy your freedom that you have that has been paid for with the lives of Americans for over 200 years. Please don't take it for granted! It's priceless!

Have a safe day full of BBQ's, swimming parties, friends, fireworks, bonfires, and more.

Wishing all of you the best day ever!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's Christmas in July

for me at Arts A Flutter. The fall and winter seasons are on my mind and being that it's July...well my pieces had to be Christmas. I've posted several items for this month's listings at Arts A Flutter. This grungy snowman is just one of my listing...this is your sneak peek. Please stop in and see them if you get a chance. Look for me in the artists directory and click on the phrase under my name. I've got lots of the snowman and santa ornies and I've also included a sign. There are many great artists at Arts A Flutter and I'm glad to be included among them. Look for me...Twiddlebugz Designz


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