Sunday, 25 November 2007

The sweet taste of success!!

Ok, that sounds a bit grand but I just wanted to report that my first Craft Fair has been a success!!

I covered my costs of the space and made a healthy profit over the three days, gained lots of experience, learned lots and had the added bonus of meeting some really lovely fellow stall holders, as well as catching up with lots of friends and family who came along to give me moral support! Thanks everyone who came, it was lovely to see you, and I really appreciated the fact you came, saw and bought!!!

As for me now, I just have to count the pennies, pack up the boxes of stock I have left, send out a few thankyou cards, and put my creative feet up for a while before Christmas. I am having a bit of a break from sooziebee until the New Year, so won't be posting for a while. But I promise to be back soon, batteries recharged and raring to go in January 08 (which is a lot nearer than it sounds!)

So thanks for reading, commenting and stopping by, have a lovely festive period, and I will be back soon with more sooziebee news and plans!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Day 2 improvements!!

Just a little idea of the before and after pictures of the space for our stand this weekend at the craft fair. I couldn't really imagine what it would look like when our stuff was in there.... but voila, it didn't look bad when we had finished!

Day 1, quite slow for me. I think had something to do with the market and also sharing a stand with a friend who was selling similar stuff, which was brighter and a lot less expensive. Today my friend sold out of her cards, which was fantastic, they flew off the shelves! And todayI also started selling more.

I'm pleased with what I have made. Must say a big thankyou to all friends and family, who came along and gave their support, from as far as Norfolk and County Durham. You made my day!!!

Only one day to go now and I am on my own tomorrow. Let's see what tomorrow brings...

I think I may take my sewing machine along for a day out, as a lot of people didn't know that my work was machine-stitched.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Day 1

Well, I am now initiated into the world of craft fairs and trying to sell your own work! I was up at 6.30am and was at the fair for just after 8am. It was a bit hectic setting up, I think as I had never done it before, but luckily my friend Kasia had done a fair last weekend so she knew what she was doing.

It was quite a busy day on our stand, and although I only sold about 15cards all day, I think maybe the market tomorrow will be a bit of a different demographic and there may be more people (fingers crossed) that my work appeals to.

As for sales technique, not being a naturally pushy person, I am trying to gauge the way people like to be approached. Having worked in the the reatil sector of Pharmacy for several years, I have always asked if people need any help, let them get on with things and answered any questions if needed. Now, I know this pitch won't win any sales awards, but what is the secret of sucessful marketing? I'm thinking a subtle, observative angle, but am open to the opinions of the professionals...

So, sales-wise, a little disappointing, but am staying positive. After all, this is my first show, and I have a lot to learn, so even after this weekend, if i don't sell a lot more, I will know a lot more for next time.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

18 hours to go!

Well, in 18 hours time, sooziebee will have gone live to the public!

I have been stitching like mad today to try and get stock finished, and still have some to do. I think I will sleep like a baby tonight though. I'm feeling fairly organised. I just have to inventory the stock and bring all my boxes downstairs and then thats it!

Nervous and excited. Will post tomorrow night after day 1.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Four days to go!!!

Well, I am slowly getting there and getting myself ready for the Xmas Market weekend on Friday! I have done a 9-6.30 at my 'day-job' and got home, had tea and sat and mounted and packed 20 of my stitched pieces of work after my delivery of mounts from my friend Sally. Very satisfying to see the final product all packaged and ready to go.

I have more mounts arriving on Weds this week and have about another 10 pieces to mount so am quite pleased with the amount of stock I have to sell and just have to struggle with pricing. I am thinking of pricing the 230mm x 230mm mounted pieces at £20 and the framed ones at £25. Does anyone have ideas as to whether they think this is ok/ too pricey/ too cheap?

As for the cards they are going to range from £1.50 for the small 4x4 inch, £2-£2.50 for the 5x5 and £3 for the 6x6. You can't buy a decent card in shops for under £2 so I'm thinking this is about ok?? Again, comments welcome.

I will keep posting this week with my progress, I'm getting quite excited now and looking forward to the weekend.

Thursday, 15 November 2007


It's freezing! But it's lovely!

We got up this morning as we were both off work and went down to the river at 8.30am. We had a really heavy frost last night and everything looked magical. There was a mist hanging over the water and the sky was blue! Perfect start to the day. Lots of interestng shapes to inspire me for my work this afternoon.

So after that, I came home and had a very productive afternoon, trying out some new colours and textures, with some lovely terracotta handmade paper I found in my box and brown thread to stitch with instead of black. So although the day started out very wintery and cold with pastel shades of blue and pink, it has ended on a distinctly autumnal note, with my fave colours appearing yet again.

These pieces below have been done to fit a square 230mm frame with a 120mm window. Mounts are arriving soon, just in time for me to finish them, sign them, and pack them, ready for Xmas Market.
I'm sure this time next week I won't be feeling this calm. SEVEN days to go and counting....

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Look at this!

Lucky old me!
Look what my fab hubby has made for me. Its a wooden type easel type thing (more commonly known as portable display unit!) with pegs in, so I can display my work at the Xmas Market next weekend. I can put it together and take it apart myself, due to the thoughtful design for DIY-simpletons like myself! It's great!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

16 days to go!

WELL, my news..... I got my grant!! I applied for some financial assistance with Newark and Sherwood District Council as they run a Creative Initiatives Support Programme. I applied in September and got my letter this week telling me that I have been successful and have got the grant I applied for!! I'm soooo pleased! Thanks Paul for your help with my application, your comments were invaluable!

And with only 15 days to go until my first Xmas Market I think I have finally got enough work to sell. I have been hard at work this week and now have a significantly smaller 'to do' list than on Monday! I have made two big pieces of work (see above) today and have inventoried (if there is such a word) the rest of my work and think I finally have enough to fill out my stand. Well, I say 'my stand' I haven't a clue how I am goingto put it together, may have to look on The Switchboards for some ideas.
So I think I can chill out now, in my new pyjamas and not think about all of the things I have to do. Ok, well I do have a few little jobs that need doing but I'm going to think about them tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Where all the work gets done!

So I have posted plenty about my work but I haven't told you anything about my little room, where it all happens! This is our third bedroom, which was a bedroom, hardly-used, until my art mess got too much for my DH to take, and that was what clinched the deal! We have been in the process of converting our brickbuilt outhouse at the top of the garden into somewhere I can do my work, but like anything, it's taking time. It has been re-roofed this summer but we are still waiting for the builder to come and rebuild the back wall.
Until that is done then our third room will stay as 'my room', it's just not quite big enough for all the boxes of material, paper, paints, pencils and threads: hence it never looks tidy! So rollon, our builder arriving and then we can get on with the hard work of making it warm and cosy. Ooh, I can't wait!

Yes we are gonna lose that awful rug! I'm thinking of going neutral and maybe painting the wardrobe doors white to make it look a bit more spacious!

And my inspiration boards, which include pics of my friends and family, work I love, and ideas formy work!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Inspiration and my new logo stamp

Here is the work I did on Thursday evening after checking out the autumnal palette surrounding us at home at the moment. I have been collecting leaves today, for some work I want to develop with the tree images I have done. It was great rummaging through the woods looking for the perfect leaf!

And more great new, my stamp from Stamps Direct arrived today, and I have stamped most of my stock this afternoon as we had another power cut, so I couldn't use my sewing machine. Here are the results below, I'm really pleased with them, they give the cards the final touch they needed, although my photography probably doesn't do them much justice. Anyone with any tips on how to photo my work better, feel free to advise!! Maybe I should get someone else to do it!


Thursday, 1 November 2007

Autumn colours

Here are just a few snaps of the beautiful autumn colours going on down our lane today, shame the sun isn't shining, but these colours have inspired me to go and do some pictures and cards in shades of red, orange, gold and green, my fave colour pallette of all. I will post the results if they turn out well and I like them enough.

Christmas cards colour version

This is what they look like with a bit of colour, I like them a lot. Not sure of the baubles, as I'm not sure they look very Christmassy. I'm not feeling very Christmassy at the moment, am more into the beautiful autumn colours on display at the moment. So I have been playing about with some designs for autumn pictures this afternoon.
We had a power cut for about two hours this morning, and I tidied up my 'studio-room' so some good did come out of it! It was a bit frustrating that I couldn't get stitching, but what can you do.