Saturday, December 21, 2013

Time flies ...

Where have the days, weeks and months gone? Christmas will be here in four days. Four. Days. Am I ready? No, but then I never am.

I've been working on a few large special orders - soap, washcloths, shower sugar cubes, amigurumi with a sea-life theme. My youngest grandson has recently discovered pretend cooking and is getting a kitchen for Christmas, so I've been trying to squeeze in some amigurumi food for him, too, but right now all I have finished is one lonely crocheted donut. It's a very cute donut, but it does not a Christmas present make ...

My crafting muse has been yearning to head in a different direction these past few weeks, so I'm going to be dipping into my polymer clay supplies as soon as December is over and the new year begins. For months (years?) I've been wanting to make polymer clay soap dishes to sell at market with my handmade soaps. I have so many whimsical inspiration photos saved, and I've made them so many times in my head that I'm now ready to let my hands take over some of the work. Should be a piece of proverbial cake, right? Anyone else do that? Practice making something in your head until you feel like you can do it right with your hands?

I've also found these great tutorials for rustic polymer clay beads that are stained/distressed/finished with acrylic paints and shoe polish. I really, really want to expand my market presence this year beyond soap, cards and amigurumi, and I'm thinking I'll set up a second table. One will be for all things soap - soaps, shower sugar cubes, washcloths, spa slippers, bath salts, soap dishes. The second table will be for everything else - greeting cards (I sell a LOT of cards at market), amigurumi, and jewelry. No one else at market has these items. I have quite a few customers who do their gift shopping with me, so I'm thinking these are good things to have for gifts. And the larger variety I offer, the better chance of selling more each week.

I participate in a five-week long craft show every year. Last year I sold over $1,000 at this show. This year I sold $200. Totally my fault since I didn't have the inventory that I did last year. I'm a world-class procrastinator (is anyone really surprised by that admission?) and planned to work on inventory during October, like I did last year. The difference this year was that my daughter fell and broke her foot, so I spent October and November with her, helping her recuperate and helping out with my three grandsons. I was totally happy to do it, and totally unprepared for the amount of crafting that I did not get done while I was there. This year I plan to be much more organized - and a certain amount of crafting that I do each day/week/month will be placed in a box specifically for this show. The only thing I won't be able to do is work on soap throughout the year - I like my soaps to be fresh for each show, and I will save them to work on in October.

Now, how to stay accountable to myself? I think I'm going to use my blog to help with that. Even if no one reads it, it's still a journal to myself, and I'll have a visible reminder of what I've accomplished. And more importantly, what I have NOT accomplished.

Now I just need to buckle down and get inventory made! I'll start right after the holidays ...

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