Tag Archives: Crafting

Craft Fairs & Festivals + 5 Tips for a Great Booth & My Crib Spring Chandelier

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It’s getting to be that time of year again where we are preparing for craft fairs and upcoming festivals. My husband Chris, with his henna art and myself with antinqued and refurbished items that I buy, make-over and flip. (which I didn’t do any of this year so all I have is what’s left over from last year). I am however hoping to get a couple aprons done between now and then and possibly a quick throw quilt or two.

I really dislike feeling rushed to get things done especially when I’m the one who’s procrastination is the reason for rushing in late in the game. I signed us up to do a festival with my friend Sicily in June for more of a Dad’s craft fair that’s Rockabilly themed and so I want to make some work aprons and men’s bbq aprons. I know I can get some things done in time to add them plus all the stuff I have from last year. Chris and I will be dressed up in Rockabilly style, (which is a pretty regular day for me, I dress rockabilly style frequently) it’s going to be a lot of fun, I’m really looking forward to it. Chris is going to make some things that the men might want to buy or that their wives might want to buy for them for Father’s Day.

We still have the white washed pallet coffee table and the bandana rag throw that I made which will brighten up and spruce up our space quite a bit plus our curtains and back drop curtains will add to the decor and set up we’re trying to achieve. When I’m planning large events like this I really try to focus on how my booth set up is going to generate not only the most amount of visitors and income it can for me but that people feel comfortable, can find what they’re looking for and don’t feel pressured.

TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR BOOTH AT A CRAFT FAIR

1. Organization: your booth must be organized in a manor that makes sense to customers, that is pleasing to the eye and is also easy for you to run. By this I mean you should be able to see everything in your booth so that you can keep an eye on your customers to make sure you are meeting their needs and your products to ensure their safety as you’ve worked hard to make them.

2. Inventory: you need just the right amount of inventory and the right kinds of inventory for a good booth. Your inventory should be different enough that you have a good selection of items, yet the items should compliment each other as well. The order you set your inventory up in matters as we go back to that organization area again, it’s important to have the right amount of inventory so that you have enough yet don’t have a cluttered over abundance of things. Know your inventory and also shop around with the other vendors and get to know their inventory a little bit, maybe you can help a customer find something that you don’t have. They will often cone back and shop with you because they were pleased with your customer service. By knowing your own inventory you will know right away if you have something or not and because you’re organized you’ll know right where to find it. This could bring in quite a bit more revenue by not losing sales and by finding the itens they’re looking for in a timely, organized manor.

3. Props: I noticed a huge difference in our sales once we took the time to really decorate up our booth and have fun with it. We used pretty sheets for back curtains, and burlap and lace as our front curtains that tied up to the sides of the tent. I use items I’m selling to create little areas as you would when decorating your own home so my customers can picure it in their home. If I’m setting things out on tables I use boxes or books under table cloths to put things at different hights, we use a lattice wall that my Father in Law built to hang things up on for display. We hang up lights and add decorations that we make.

4. Customer Service: knowing where to draw the line between good customer service and being a pushy sales person is very valuable knowledge. Many people don’t understand why their customers leave their booth so quickly. They are there to shop, get ideas for their own DIY projects, and spend time with who they came with. My experience not only in craft fairs but work and education experience as well has provided me with a range that works well for me. You have to find that right area that works well for you. For example: I’m a very high energy and loud person by nature and I’m a social butterfly, so I being my bubbly self say something like “Hi, I really hope you’re enjoying your day with us. My name is Elle (and if Chris is right there he usually introduces himself) and I say well please look around, ask questions, we do custom orders so just let us know if there’s anything we can help you with or anything you’re in the market for that you don’t see here, maybe one of the other vendors here have something that matches what you’re looking for.” Chris usually will say something about his henna tattoo art that he does and he has a binder of ideas and prices out so people can look and get ideas first. He also has a nice area set up to make his customers comfortable while getting henna work done. I might say more if they seem interested in conversation but I usually wait until they ask me something so I’m not the pushy sales person. Also if they offer up information about their life don’t try to ‘one up’ their story, even if you do have a similar story keep it to yourself or at least don’t try to make it sound like you are competing with them but more that you share something in common (many times when people have a common interest they are going to feel more connected to you but if they feel you are over powering them or competing against them they feel threatened or offended and will leave so nows not the time for that). Don’t talk about drama in your life, if you talk about anything talk about your business. Make sure you are not gossiping or complaining about anything or anyone when someone is within ear range of your booth. (Don’t say I don’t do that either folks! We are all guilty of it at least a time or two…even me). That being said, nothing turns me away from a booth faster than when the person running it is gossiping or complaining about anything or anyone, I will turn around and leave their booth even if I was interested in buying something. Try not to look bored, looking bored is a sign that you’re not enjoying yourself which gives off a vibe that you don’t care about your products, your time or your customers.

5. Have fun!: Pretty self explanitory one would think…however, many times we get wrapped up in the stress of getting everything ready and having it all just right that we forget to unwind that mantality to kick back and actually enjoy ourselves for a well deserved little bit. (Notice I say “little bit” here, I know as well as the next person we deserve one hell of a break with everything we put ourselves through, however I know it’s not feasible…the jobs not done yet). Whether you’re doing this just for fun or this is your fulltime job you really do need to make sure you’re enjoying yourself or you will come to resent it, don’t forget the reasons you started doing this and how much you enjoyed it in the beginning. The networking you did, all the new people you’ve met and new friendships you’ve made along the way, the goals you’ve reached and the things you’ve accomplished on this journey have been well worth those moments of choas we go through to get here!!!

Staying busy, happy, smiling, without complaining or gossiping, with a pretty organized and decorated booth will bring you monetary gain along with a fun day/event to remember forever, and if you listened and stayed organized packing up will be a beeze. Here’s where we are at with 2016’s Craft Fairs, Festivals and Events that we are signed up to do. I’m getting more and more excited for the Rockabilly Themed one we’re doing this summer!

Last year we did the Lavender + Vintage Festival, which was a weekend event during the Lavender Farms Festival Tour and we set up at one of the Lavender Farms in Newberg, Oregon for the weekend and also camped there. We had a blast and did pretty decent in sales as well. We also did a weekend Craft Fair camp out up McDowell Creek that was a lot of fun. We plan on doing both of these events again this year again. There is also one we are planning on doing Memorial Day. All of the Craft Fairs we are doing are with my friend Sicily from The Fancy Flea. She is amazing and inspiring! She has a shop in Lebanon, Oregon where she sells antinques, refurbished items, shabby chic and so much more; it is called the Antiquery. She is also an amazing Mother, wife and works full-time. She is a fearless leader when it comes to putting these events together, I can’t give enough praise and appriciation for all that she does! Thank you Sicily!

I’m also in the middle of making some gifts right now. I’m currently working on a quilt face for a queen size quilt. I have all of the squares sewn into strips and I’m about a third of the way done sewing the strips into rows to complete the front of the quilt. I’m making several aprons for gifts right now and I have a couple baby blankets to work on. Some of these items aren’t needed right away so that’s helpful.

We also needed a light in our entry way area (the area used to be our living room until my hubby rearranged the house and now it’s a lot more open, at least when my sewing mess isn’t right there of course). A friend of mine had an old baby crib spring board still connected to one of the wooden crib sides, but when I saw it I knew I had to have it! I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it and so she let me take it. When Chris took the wooden side off for me I spray painted the spring board heirloom white, then I wove burlap through each square, lace through each square of every other row and every other column and white Christmas lights along each row attaching them at the corner of each square with small pieces of lace. I picked up the large silicone coated ceiling hooks from Wal Mart (the boys painted them heirloom white to match the spring board for me) and Chris hung it where a light would normally be if centered in that room. It turned out so beautiful and shabby chic! It goes perfect with our rustic shoe rack made out of our repurposed wooden fence from the front yard.

I have that wooden side piece to that crib, the one that was attached to the side of the spring board; it would be perfect to sand down and paint the outsides, frame & legs with chalk paint and the inner square with chalkboard paint. It has two legs and is framed in, I could attach a folding leg in the back so it folds closed yet is able to stand on it’s own like an eisel. What do you guys think?

Thank you all for your love and support! Check out The Fancy Flea on my friends FB page Sicily Scott. Hope you all have a wonderful day and that you enjoy this post. As always I look forward to hearing back from you with feedback, questions and answers to my questions. Thank you all for following my blog, and sharing to get my name out there. Your support is much appreciated!

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My crib spring board chandelier
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Elle~
ellestrah2treasure@gmail.com
https://m.facebook.com/Elles-Trash-2-Treasure-726087200844859/

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Something a Little Different

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I hope y’all had an amazing week!!! I missed you guys. What did you think about about the jars I made for my Facebook page giveaway? Weren’t they great? I sure hope you loved them as much as I did, if so make sure you have liked my page so that you too are entered in for the next giveaway! If you have questions on that let me know.

I am going to show you the sign I made and talk about it a little bit, but other than that this post is mainly going to be about my health saga and the power of positivity, faith, love and happiness! So please please read on to know what I’ve gone through with my health in the past few years and how my family and I make life an amazing adventure every day!!!

Last week I made another sign and I’m working on another one today as well. I have to get enough signs done before our vintage craft bazaar. It is called Cirque SoirĂ©e Vintage Carnival on June 13. I’m very excited and I’ve been working so hard on things to fill my booth with! I’m hoping some of my locals will come out to see me there, it’s going to be such an exciting and fun experience for everyone! So back to this sign I made, (lol sorry the excitement gets me side tracked)… I of course painted the board itself chalk paint white all over 2 coats. Then I sanded, sanded and yeah I think you know this drill by now. Anyways I wanted this sign to say “Beach” with an arrow pointing. I just happened to be at Jill’s house and she has a printer (wooo doggy) so I printed out a few different things a couple that I haven’t even picked out the wood for yet so hopefully I find something that works. I cut everything out that needed cut and I taped down with painters tape and then I slid a piece of carbon paper between the paper and the wood, then traced the outline of the letters very lightly so I could see it on the wood yet the paint would cover it up. I painted my letters in a light beachy blue color and then I painted different types of arrows after the lettering in ‘cattywhompus’ placement; painted one black, one red and one darker blue. I love that word don’t you!?!?

I will be making more signs in the up-coming weeks and I need to get busy making cards, jewelry, aprons and refurbishing the furniture items and windows I have hanging out in the garage waiting to be pulled out and played with.

I know in the past I have told you that I fight with a lot of health issues and now they seem to be fighting back! I have Hashimoto’s Disease and Fibromyalgia which are both autoimmune diseases that reek a lot of havoc on my body in different ways. I also have another autoimmune disease that has similar symptoms to MS. The Hashimoto’s affects so much from extreme cold sweats, sudden changes of emotional ups and downs, and swelling in my throat that causes me to choke on food and even sometimes drinks.

The fibromyalgia causes a lot of pain all over my body, weakness, numbness and originally I thought that was all it was is pain in the nerves, but my neurologist and my rheumatologist both conclude that many of my symptoms are caused by a very extreme case of fibromyalgia. My vision gets blurry and doubled vision at times, I get very confused and have bouts of short term memory loss. Sometimes the pain in my legs gets so bad that the only way I can describe it is having those long barbed fence posts hammered into the bottom of my feet and all the way up inside my legs. Sounds a bit uncomfortable right? Right! There are times all I can do is lay there and cry and you can’t even touch them to make them feel better because everywhere they are touched it feels like they are being cut by razor blades!

I have had 9 back surgeries total, 4 of them being neurostimulator implants/explants over the last decade and a half. I also have a condition that causes scar tissue to grow inside my body at random. Due to the four implants they placed all in the same spot I have a huge amount of scar tissue that has wrapped around my spinal cord leaving me with some other very high maintenance and painful disease called neurogenic bladder) causing me to have to self catheterize each time I empty my bladder. This I will have for life, as with my autoimmune diseases.

When my husband and I met I was decently healthy, I had pain from the handful of back surgeries I had prior to meeting him and I had some other health problems as well but I was able to work, hike, archery hunt…you know enjoy life. We got married in August of 2011, 3 weeks later we archery hunted Hells Canyon, Oregon and 2 moths after that my body started shutting down; my bladder stopped functioning, I would fall over and not be able to stand or walk, suddenly get extremely confused…within a couple months I was in a wheelchair a good portion of the time. I had stopped working and was going from one doctors appointment to another. Chris was literally having to take care of me most of the time. It continued to get worse for quite some time. Then over the past 6 months or so I have been walking with a walker or crutches and a leg brace for my drop foot. I have been able to actually do things more with the family, cook more and do things that a Mom should do and that I enjoy doing!

When I started this blog I was in remission. I was still hurting and having bad days but I also have some pretty good days. Yesterday I ended up going to the walk in clinic with an infection, I’m very antibiotic resistant and when I get an infection I usually end up pretty sick. Today being one of those really, really bad ones…I have not even gone to sleep yet and here it is 7:45a.m. Then my friend Jill came over and got me to come relax in her bed and watch my favorite shows at her house so she can be with me because I’m in a lot of pain. I was laying in bed watching tv when all of the sudden I got really sick. She took really good care of me as she always does.

Okay so let’s talk about how we cope with such things… At first it was hard for us to not feel like “Why is this happening to us? What did we do to deserve this?” When my husband and I were dating, engaged and newly married we were such an incredible couple, so compatible, so in love and life seemed to be so perfect! (Don’t worry we still are, we just have to work at it a bit more now that life happened). We both had great careers and a lot of goals and dreams together on the same page with each other. We were in a great position financially to save up to build our bigger home for our bigger family and the mindset to follow through with it. After I stopped working and didn’t have an income until 3 years later when my retirement came through and my medical bills just kept piling up and up and up until the stack of bills were larger than we are.

With that being said my husband is the most understanding, loving and level headed man I have ever met. He is working extremely hard to get us out of debt and to stick to a very minimalist budget. He is really good at that and even though I used to be I have somewhere along the way lost the ability to take care of these things without messing something up lol.
God is an awesome God, He loves us, takes care of us and will meet our every need; we just need to ask, pray, trust and have faith! The more positive you think about yourself or your situation the more positive you will be when you approach it. Have a smile on your face when you are doing a task you don’t enjoy or something you don’t appreciate is happening and eventually your brain will process that action as a positive or neutral position rather than negative. I hope that makes sense. I truly care about others, their needs before mine and their feelings and that helps me be happy even when my pain is extremely overwhelming.

I try not to have self pity rather when I begin to feel pity for myself I pray for someone else; and that helps me to take focus off any negativity of my own and offer a positive outlook and prayer for someone who needs it.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post today. I’m getting ready to paint my next sign so I will do another post with some more photos as soon as it is done. Thank you so very much for your continued support of following my blog, my Facebook page and my Instagram. Until next time, good happy healthy thoughts and God Bless!

~Elle~
http://www.ellestrash2treasure@gmail.com
https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=726087200844859
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Distressed Frame & A Little Bit of Me

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Hello again, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! We got together with my husband’s family and had an amazing Easter ourselves, great company, great food, egg hunts for the kids and adults both and some fun games. He has a great big family and it is so much fun when we all get together!

Last week I started working on this piece I promised I would blog about and better late then never…so here it goes.

I picked this frame up just under a year ago at an estate sale, it was bare wood, well it might have had a stain on it years ago but there was nothing left to this poor old gal by the time I got my hands on her, she was falling apart~but if you know me, I saw potential. So I brought her home. This frame sat around my craft room getting moved around from one spot to another to clear space and make room for other projects I was bringing home as well up until last week I finally decided to pull out the chalk paints and the wax for a play date.

I first had to glue it back together in spots with some wood glue and sand it down in some places, but I didn’t want to fix it up too much because that was part of its beauty. Then I put three coats of a light blue acrylic paint on it, letting it dry between each coat. Then I painted Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in white over the top of it (I had to give it 3 coats of that as well) some areas I left lighter on the coats of white. If you can tell in the photo on each corner and all four sides there is a design that stands up off the frame and around the center there are these dots that stand up so it gives it quite a bit of dimension; I wanted to see the white, blue and natural wood in these areas. After all of my painting was done (for now anyway), I sanded, and sanded some more and then sanded again…bringing out the different colors now on the piece. I dusted off all of the sanded particles with a paint brush I use just for that purpose.

Next came my favorite step, the Folk Art wax in brown over the top of the white. For this step I used an old rag and dampened it just a bit then I dipped the cloth into the wax and rubbed it on the frame in the direction of the wood grain and on areas that I wanted it lighter I used a section of the damp rag that didn’t have wax on it and went over that area again very lightly to take off some of the excess. It didn’t take long for the wax to dry but I still gave it an over night wait before adding my sealant. To seal it I just used a clear, matte finish sealant spray and sprayed over the entire front of the frame.

I love playing with the different waxes to see how they turn out. This project was a lot of fun for me. I was pretty excited with the end result. I took it to my friends shop the next day and she loved it so much she said she might buy it for herself rather than selling it at her shop. That kind of reward was worth letting it sit and wait for the right moment! I love what I do and I couldn’t imagine not doing it.

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When I became disabled 3.5 years ago and had to stop working I was ANGRY! I enjoyed working and I had put myself through law school while working and a mom of two young boys. I had a good job and I was newly married to the love of my life. So in August 2011 we are hiking and archery hunting in Hells Canyon and by November that same year I’m sitting in a wheel chair unable to do things for myself. My health continued to go down hill from there for a couple years. I am doing better now and I’m out of my chair I usually walk with my walker or a cane for short distance, but my balance and strength are definitely not what they should be at 34 years old. I’ve had 9 back surgeries and I have a couple of autoimmune diseases. There are good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks and times I still can’t get out of bed. Needless to say when I am out of bed I love having my hands busy in my craft room or enjoying the outdoors because those are the things that help me keep my mind focused on the healthy and blessed aspects in my life.

I am truly blessed and I’m grateful to God for all my blessings every day. I’m actually working on a sign right now that says “Be thankful for your blessings & pray over your burdens” you all will get to see it when it’s done (the paint of the wording is currently drying). Anyways I’m so amazed by how much this has humbled me and how much more I can see God working in my life, now more than ever. Maybe I needed this for that very reason, or for me to help others see what God is doing in their lives. I do try to help others the best I can & I enjoy doing so very much.

I’m so very blessed with an amazing husband who has stood right by my side going to appointment after appointment and surgery after surgery, while I dug us a deep rut of medical debt. He works hard to take care of me and our family and he does an amazing job! (I love you Chris!) He supports me in all my endeavors of my crafting, blogging, wanting to help others, wanting to get outdoors when I can’t do things on my own…last summer I was still in my chair for a good portion of the time and each night when he would get home we would go for a walk and he would push me up and down the steep hills of our neighborhood in my wheel chair for a 3 to 5 mile walk almost daily just to get me outside.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post today and getting to know a little more about me. Thank you for your continued support I always appreciate your likes and feedback. Please let me know if you have any questions. Also if you could please go on and like my Facebook page, when we get to 100 likes I will be doing a giveaway for something made by yours truly. You won’t want to miss it, so please like, share and invite others to like my page as well. Thank you for visiting. Happy crafting, until next time. God bless.
Elle~
Elle’s Trash 2 Treasure
ellestrash2treasure@gmail.com

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