Spring Air and Craft Fairs

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Before I started on Etsy, I participated in a holiday fair at my work where I sold my handmade clay ornaments. I had a great time and made many sales. Sadly, the organizers got busy, people lost interest and the fair did not happen for the next few years. I then took it upon myself to start it back up again. In 2012, I organized the first official Employee Holiday Craft Fair at my work. I reached out to my coworkers who were also crafters and artists as well as their friends and family. We had a variety of items ranging from jewelry to crocheted octopi! This past year was the second annual Holiday Fair, where we had about 10 different vendors, half employees and half friends and family. Everyone did very well considering there was no cost to us and we held it for only 3 hours.

Before the 2013 holiday fair, I participated in several public craft fairs in my area. These were my first experiences at more professional, open-to-the-public, vendor shows, although many were the first ever. I learned a lot and would like to share what I leaned from each experience.

Destash Bash (first one)

How I found it: Etsy team

What it was all about: selling crafts and “destashing” excess materials and supplies

Duration: 6 hours

Cost: $25 for 10 x 10 space

The good and the bad: For my first public fair, this was pretty successful. I sold a lot of my jewelry but not much of my supplies. I found it helpful to have someone there for part of it so that I could take breaks, use the bathroom, etc. This fair was indoors and possibly not as advertised as it could have been so there were a lot of lulls where there were no shoppers.

My personal seller rating: B+

 

Todd Farm Flea Market (has been around for many, many years)

How I found it: Been going for years!

What it was all about: mostly antiques, some handmade

Duration: ~8 hours (first come first serve for spaces, so have to get there early)

Cost: $35 for 20 x 30 space

The good and the bad: I took a chance trying to sell my small, handmade items at a place known for its furniture and antique decor. I brought my Dad along who was selling some of his antiques and other items, so we split the cost and shared the space. The hardest part was getting there as early as we had to just to barely get a spot. The market is outside, so you’re exposed to all the elements and it was a hot day! In the end, my Dad sold more items than I did and I even put many things out for free near the end to get rid of stuff. I still love Todd Farm, but will probably just go as a shopper from now on!

My personal seller rating: D

 

Essex Shop and Stroll Event (first one)

How I found it: Invited through Etsy

What it was all about: Bringing together Artisans and shop owners in Essex, MA

Duration: 6 hours

Cost: FREE!

The good and the bad: This event was spread along the main street in downtown Essex, MA. Each participating shop was paired with two local artisans who were set up along the road out front. Myself and a local sculptor were paired with an antique shop very far from any other vendors. We were near the end of the route, so shoppers who were walking had to go quite a distance to find us. My Dad and Grandmother came down and almost didn’t find me! Since we were so spread out our potential customers came very sporadically throughout this long day. I would love to participate in this event again and hope that it will be planned a bit differently so that we can get more visitors.

My personal seller rating: C

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Tara White Studio, closeup of vendor table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Fest 2013 (first one)

How I found it: Friend

What it was all about: Local vendors from Cape Ann area ~ food, drinks, music, fun for the family

Duration: 7 hours

Cost: FREE!

The good and the bad: This was one of the longer events I did, but it did not feel that way because of all the festivities happening around me. I also did very well, selling many of my items and making more than any other fair. I met a lot of great people too! I guess I don’t have anything bad to report here!  Thanks to The Bridge for having me! If there is another next year, I hope to be part of it and encourage you to come!

My personal seller rating: A

Tara White Studio, Fall Fest Gloucester, MA

Holiday Craft Market (4th annual)

How I found it: Last year’s advertisement

What it was all about: Craft fair at local elementary school

Duration: 6 hours

Cost: $60 for 8 ft space, plus donation item for raffle (all proceeds went to the school)

The good and the bad: This was the most expensive fair that I was part of, but the money went to the school that I went to as a child, so the cost was easily rationalized and I didn’t mind donating a raffle item because I had an overflow of merchandise. While the fair was only 5 hours, with setup and breakdown it was more like 6 or 7 hours for the vendors. The organizers were definitely not noobs though, and had the whole process under control, everything from unloading and parking vehicles, getting vendors to their spaces, having adorable kids bring around lunch orders and surveys. I was impressed. But, the turnout was not as impressive. I didn’t even make back what I had paid, which was very disappointing. I did have a chance to walk around and there were so many amazing vendors there. This was the largest fair I had been part of, so that may have been why I didn’t make as much, too much competition! I would probably not sell there again, but would definitely like to do my Holiday shopping there!

My personal seller rating: B+

2013 Holiday Craft Market

Tara White Studio, 2013 Holiday Craft Market

After the last one, I did a fair at our sister company in Ipswich, MA. This one was free as well, I sold several items and met some more awesome people. There was another vendor who we had at the fair that I organized and I was proud to say that both of us did better at my show! All of these experiences have taught me a lot about what people like, how to display my items, how to network and so much more. If you have any questions about other aspects of selling at craft fairs, I am certainly not a pro, but I’d love to share more of my perspective with you!

 

Tara White Studio, last craft fair of the season : (

 

Jackson says, “Hello and happy Spring!”

Official Marketing Affiliate!

Happy Friday!

While perusing one of my favorite food blogs, Minimalist Baker, I came across a page about joining their affiliate program. I had not been aware of this up until then and was very intrigued. Basically, I could advertise their site on my blog and if any clicks from my site turn into sales, I will get a percentage of the revenue.

I  decided to venture into the world of affiliate marketing by applying to be an affiliate of Minimalist Baker and several other sites. I’ll have to wait to see if I’ve been accepted into some programs, but I was immediately accepted into the program for NatureBox, of which I am a huge fan. Click their banner on the right side of the page to check it out!

I promise that I will only advertise for sites that I feel offer high quality products that I would recommend to my own friends and family, so no gimmicks here!

Here’s a bird for you to enjoy and to welcome Spring finally!

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Talk to you later when I discuss my pet portrait work, including a painting of my own dog, Jackson!

Tara W.

Oh you crawled, out of the sea….

… straight into my arms, straight into my arms. ~Laura Marling

The ocean is almost everywhere you look on Cape Ann, so it is no wonder that it provides inspiration for so much creativity.

Here are some photos of Cape Ann from this weekend, along with some crafts that were inspired by it.

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Magnolia shore. Photo by Tara White 2014.

Whale statement necklace by Tara White Studio. Click to purchase on Etsy.

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Wingaersheek Beach. Photo by Tara White 2014.

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Nautilus Earrings by Tara White Studio. Click to purchase on Etsy.

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Horseshoe Crab on Wingaersheek Beach. Photo by Tara White 2014.

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Handpainted shell plates by Tara White Studio.

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Magnolia Shore. Photo by Tara White 2014.

Tree of Life Painting

My friend requested a painting of a tree of life. The only specifics were bright colors, swirly branches and a tiny owl (which was based on a crocheted owl that she gave to me)!

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Spring is Coming!

Spring is Coming!

The phrase, Spring is Coming, evokes much different feelings than that which is commonly uttered by those of the House Stark. (If you don’t get the reference, you’re missing out!)

For me it evokes fresh smells like cut grass and salt air ~ feelings of cool breezes coming through newly re-opened windows ~ sights of people walking their dogs, brightly colored flowers and beautiful sunsets.

This truly has been a cold and harsh winter, so I am very eager for Spring to arrive.

In the meantime, we can rely on lovely images to remind us what it is like since we can’t experience it just yet!

I came across this wonderfully vibrant image of garments from the last New York Fashion Week, with one designer’s vision of Spring 2014 fashion:

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Mara Hoffman Spring 2014 New York Fashion Week

 

I love these outfits, not only for the amazingly in-your-face colors, but also because they each have a very handmade feel to them – the first with its tie-dye, the second with the woven shorts and the third with all of the little cut out triangles. I would love to see these accessorized with some of my jewelry!

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Hot pink sand dollar necklace
~A Tara White Studio handmade original~

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Deer antler statement necklace
~A Tara White Studio handmade original~

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Feather antler chain earrings
~A Tara White Studio original handmade creation~

Now that I’ve done my self-promotion, it’s time to share the love! Here is a Spring-inspired treasury of items from my Etsy team from Cape Ann:

https://www.etsy.com/teams/5334/cape-ann-etsy

pastel of Ipswich river - HalloranArt
pastel of Ipswich river
$125
Hand Painted Reclaimed Wood Beach Sign - ShackteauInteriors
Hand Painted Reclaimed …
$35
Daisy. Daisy. - ArtofBrianGerard
Daisy. Daisy.
$50
Three Sisters organic cotton/recycled polyester hoodie- Women's/Unisex - littleowlarts
Three Sisters organic c…
$52
Silver Small Vase - Decorative object. - SeashellysFiberArts
Silver Small Vase – Dec…
$20
Distance Reiki Session 30 Minutes - DownToEarthReiki
Distance Reiki Session …
$30
Painting, painting, fantasy, original, art, colors, wall decor - Ecosostenibilita
Painting, painting, fan…
$650
Small Danish Modern MidCentury Enamel Plate - LoblollyCove
Small Danish Modern Mid…
$7
Christmas Cat Ornament: "Klimt's Kat" - AuntClaresShop
Christmas Cat Ornament:…
$6
Wedding Mother and Father of the Groom gift- Blossoms - BrushStrokePlates
Wedding Mother and Fath…
$38
Upcycled Recycled Repurposed Felted Ivory Wool and Angora Yoga Bag With Graceful Green Spring Fiddlehead Ferns - DancingPurls
Upcycled Recycled Repur…
$89
Pink sunset clouds purple sky scenic New England landscape print 8.5x11 sky wall decor Home & Living America color, digital print, gift idea - amostroutstudio
Pink sunset clouds purp…
$28
Garden Scenes - BottlesByMissy
Garden Scenes
$15
Vintage Silver Flatware Cabinet - bridimattio
Vintage Silver Flatware…
$35
Magic is everywhere - Fairy sleeping in a flower - card or print. - LgalacarDesigns
Magic is everywhere – F…
$4
Prayerful Ferret Angel Stone Sculpture - SchoonerStoneworks
Prayerful Ferret Angel …
$40

Treasury tool by StylishHome.

I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to share your thoughts, feedback and anything else below!

Update: Romantic Jacket Makeover

Hola!

Yesterday I posted about a jacket makeover that I began. I finished it this morning and thought I’d update you.

As I mentioned yesterday, I followed a tutorial for adding pockets to a garment without them. The elbow patches were hand-stitched.

I also added the same floral fabric to the lapel for some color. This fabric was from some old curtains, so there were some finished edges which came in handy. I just lined the fabric up to the existing lapels, pinned it and trimmed accordingly. I then used a zig-zag stitch to attach them.

I scrapped the large white doily I had in yesterday’s image and decided instead to go with two square pink ones, lined up vertically on the back. Since these are crocheted and pretty loose, I decided to treat them more as appliques. Using the overcasting foot, I sewed an overcasting stitch carefully around much of the doily, leaving spaces for the belt to loop under.

Of course I never know when enough is enough, so I added some bling to the front in the form of some vintage jewelry. I also added an antique metal eagle to the back to contrast the slightly girly pink doilies!

I most likely won’t be wearing this until the Spring, but I think it will be great to wear antiquing!

~*`Tara`*~

Upcycled vintage doilies, curtains and jewelry as embellishments on a plain jacket.

Upcycled vintage doilies, curtains and jewelry as embellishments on a plain jacket.

 

Yearning for summer

I came across this draft for a nature photography post this past summer. Since I am over this cold, snowy winter weather, I thought this would be appropriate to share now!

I love nature and really enjoy photographing it, even though it sometimes takes a lot of patience! Here are my favorite nature photos I’ve taken this summer:

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