Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More Markets!

I figured our "season" had wound down a bit, but it's hard for me to say no to an opportunity to vend. I'm a total introvert, but I love these chances to put ourselves out there and meet the people our cuffs are going home with.  So we'll be at the Grandiversary Block Party at the St. Pete Community CafĂ© ---ohmygosh, I love St. Pete!---on the 10th from 3-9 and at Whole Foods Market in Tampa from 5-8 on the 21st for the Local Market Night. And, yes, we did add some lights to our setup, so you can see all the pretties in the dark. 

Still busy pimping the tent---we've been putting together a Bunting of Much Fabulousness, and I'm smack in the middle of a new banner.  (Regulation size for the big markets---like Seminole Heights and St. Pete Indie, if anybody's looking for hints as to where we may pop up in the next few months...) Using my old standby, the trusty drop cloth, for both projects, and I have this to offer:  New drop cloths smell like socks.  Not new socks.  Ugh.

Lots of other stuff going on---still futzing around with the blog, obviously, and working on a new line that we hope hope hope to debut (gulp) next week!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

4 o' clock in the morning...

...and the brain won't turn off.  It's a night very much like the one when I wrote one if my first blog posts ever, and it's frustrating, but I'm in a good place anyway.  Today was exciting for us on a lot of levels.  We did a stint--the first of many, I hope---at St. Pete Maker Fest, an amazing event put together by  St. Pete Makers,  There was nothing about this event that I didn't love: the incredible venue, St. Pete Shuffle, the remarkable assortment of vendors and exhibitors, and the overwhelming enthusiasm of everyone involved absolutely blew my mind.  We made some incredible connections  and had a blast shmoozing with all and sundry.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pimping the tent: more crazy coming up!

So we got our tent in time for last week's Weinachtsmarkt over at New World Brewery.  Organized by the talented and fabulous Amy of AmyJeanDesigns, the event was well attended and chock-full of awesome vendors.  We love hanging out a t New World, and this is one of our favorite events.  Come to think of it, it was the first one I did when I got back to Tampa, so there: sentimental value!

Anyhoo, the tent went up with less fuss than anticipated, and came down the same way.  It took some finagling to get it in and out of the car, but it was still do-able.  (Counting that as a win.)

Now it's time to pretty the Tent of Much Deliberation up a smidge, so I'm playing around with bunting ideas.  And, of course, dropcloths.  Because, seriously, where else can you get that kind of durability and yardage for cheap?  (Word to the wise: don't "save" by buying your drop cloths at Harbor Freight.  They're not washable, unless you're a huge fan of shrinkage.  Mind you, I still shop there for a host of other things, but I learned the hard way to stick with Home Depot for the drop cloths.) 

Back to the bunting.  The plan---oh, the plan!--is to make a ton of pennants and string them up all pretty-like in the tent.  But the beauty of this idea is that I'm going to put a different fandom symbol on each triangle.  Naturally, this is going to be something of an evolving project, but I'm SO psyched about it, I can hardly wait to get started! 

Pictures soon.  Well, as soon as I can figure how to get the blogger app to work...things have changed since my days over at littlegreenbums, dammit.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

T is for Tent...

For about a month and a half, now, I've been stressing out about a tent.  A pop up tent, for markets,  A white one.  I think it's safe to say that I thought more about this tent-to-be than the rest of you all, combined, thought about your collective tents.  And it's not just the tent---no, sirree!--there are weights to be considered, and layouts, and all manner of absolutely critical decisions which must be pondered over the course of many nights in lieu of sleep.  And ponder I did, before I finally broke down and bought a mid-range tent that I hope to holy heck will get here before Sunday.

So yesterday morning, I scooted out of the house at the butt-crack of dawn and made a pilgrimage to Home Depot to gather the long-considered cart-full of Tent-Weight Making Things.  Which I gathered, thank you very much, with precious little assistance from the staff of said emporium, who seemed to be suffering from severe caffeine withdrawal.  When I arrived at the checkout, clutching a 50 pound bag of concrete to my chest, the girl rang me up and informed me that my weights would cost damned near as much as my tent.  Resignedly, I swiped my debit card and schlepped my hard-won bounty car-ward.

I am a woman who loves a bargain.  I DIY because I'm too cheap to pay retail.  And it was killing me to think that I was going to spend a week's grocery money on a bunch of Heavy Things.  But what's a girl to do?  I'd Pinterested the subject of tent-weights to death, and PVC and 8" screw eyes seemed to be de rigeur.  But, ugh!  So much money! 

It hit me about three hours into my work day, when I was thinking about eleventy-six things that had nothing whatsoever to do with tents, or weights, or PVC.  I picked up my water bottle for a refill and thought, "Hmm.  Cement?"  And thus, our alterna-weights were born.  The Boy and I hit Target and picked up a six pack of Smart Water.  And four cans of Pringles, just in case.

And then I came to work this morning to discover that the office next door finished painting their premises.  And left four empty paint cans with lids stacked right outside our back door, waiting for me to stumble (literally, of course) upon them and squeal with glee---and abject terror, because falling!---but, yeah.  Mostly glee.  In case I did that thing where I skip from square one to done without explaining again, the plan is to fill said cans with cement.  And, perhaps, if I'm feeling all fancy, to paint them, or cover them with pretty duct tape.  And hang them from our shiny new tent so it won't blow away.  Pics to follow, of course, when I can remember to upload them.

Monday, December 8, 2014


What a weekend!  We had a blast at Atomic, and our stuff seemed to be well-received.  So many vendors, so much to take in...and I'm pretty sure I was able to process about 15% of what I saw.  Sensory overload, to say the least, but so very, very worth it!

We met up with a bunch of our TBEC peeps, and met some new vendors, as well.  Did a little bartering, made some contacts, and found another event to get excited about!  You'll be able to find us at St. Pete Maker Fest on the 21st...a great opportunity to pick up those last minute gifts and check out the local maker scene.  (Also the debut of our tent.  I caved.  I couldn't help it.  So now I can agonize over prettifying that, as well.)

Couple of fun points to ponder about our experience at Atomic:

1. I usually suffer from a massive need to decompress after a show.  I get whiny, and irritable---yes, sounds like my before-show self, but I swear, it's different---and come home and sit around in sweats and watch TV and eat carbs for a couple of hours.  That didn't happen this time.  Don't know why.

2. Always. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. Set up your display at home before you take it to a show.  Especially if you keep switching it up because you suddenly feel compelled to make 413 new pendants.  Because it WON'T fit. And then you'll be a basket case and take 2 and a half hours to set up and no one will like you anymore. Trust me on this one.

On a more positive note, The new displays will work wonderfully when we have more than six feet of linear space to work with.  And they were free from my local ReStore.  They used to be cabinet doors, and I wrested them off of the cabinet box myself.  (Which was fun for all the folks in the parking lot---crazy lady giving a free show!)

The two hinges that survived the aforementioned wresting got a coat of red spray paint and became our ne business card holders.  Upcycle, baby!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thrift Score

I've been out of thrift mode for the past month or so---markets and inventory building, blah, blah, blah---but I made a rare foray into the slightly funky-smelling aisles of my favorite shop yesterday.  It was a good trip, yielding some bed risers I've been trying not to buy retail for a whopping $2.82, a few tops, and a kick-ass purse that will hold all the crap I need on a daily basis without being a backpack.  Also a slew of books (some for los ninos, and some to reincarnate as pendants.)

I know the idea of buying things as therapy is appalling, and in general, that's not how I roll.  But the whole experience of a thrift run is so good for my brain---the anticipation, the aisle-combing, and the "hmm...what could we do with this?" aspect of things---and it never fails to improve my mood.

Yup, I'm a cheap date.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Aaaanddd we're off!

Big things are happening this week.  My calendar is filled with holiday markets (yay!) and we scored a spot at Atomic in the proverbial eleventh hour.  Loosely translated, that means my "spare" time will be spent inventory-building, display-revamping, and running around like a newly-beheaded chicken.  There is much to be done.

Almost Atomic!

Sunday is Atomic.  I'm in a bit of a tizzy: displays, inventory and packaging are all mid-overhaul, which makes perfect sense given the timeframe I'm working with...

We did a couple of markets last weekend--the TBEC Small Business Saturday event, and the Harbor Island Art Walk.  It was a great opportunity to meet up with the local Etsy folk, and a chance to test-drive the new display.  A few glitches to work out, but all in all we're good. 

I've been telling myself I need to make a schedule so I can keep from getting totally overwhelmed, but I haven't gotten to it just yet. 

There's a new display box to make, a much-needed order of blanks that's coming in on Thursday, pendants to make (and detail, and card...), a stash of magnets to glue (and fill and card) and, oh, yeah---cuffs.  I need more cuffs!

There will be much banging and clanging chez nous this week, and the tumbler will be running 24/7, no doubt.  I'm not much fun to hang out with right now, and I'm not sure how The Boy puts up with me.  I'm grateful that he does, though.  He's cool like that.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Display Dilemma

So, I've been looking to add height and color to our display within my usual guidelines: cheap, upcycled, and DIY.  Which had me heading to the thrift shop this afternoon in search of a few odds and ends: 2 45s, 4 candlesticks, and a few small dishes to hold my cards and some sets of cuffs I'd like to highlight. I found a pair of candlesticks, which now need painting.

 Not a single piece of vinyl in the store, so I may need to rethink the 45s.  And I snagged a small, crystal-esque soap dish that will do nicely for card-holding purposes.

 My weekly Restore Raid yielded a giant cabinet door (from the free pile!) which was summarily loaded into my trunk before I got a chance to think about exactly why I needed it.  I go with my gut on these things, people.  After a bit of rumination, I spray-painted the door a cheery cranberry color, and decided to make it our pendant display.  I'm hoping the pop of color will work with the existing display. (We'll find out for sure on Saturday at the TBEC event.)


The next order of busy-ness is figuring out how to card and display our new bottlecap magnets.  Upcycled from security envelopes, vintage books, and comics, they're a fun little addition to the booth that probably won't make it into the Etsy shop.  I'm playing around with a bunch of different ideas, but I'm looking for something that's low-labor.

The pendant cards are a pain in the hind-end to make.  Luckily, I'm in love with them, so they'll get made in spite of the fact that they're a great, big, ginormous bother.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

'Tis the Season...

There is swearing.  And blood.  And crying, and fast food, and much unwarranted grumpiness.   There's glue in my hair, spray paint under my nails, and a terrifying amount of overthinking going on in the wee smalls.

Yup, it's market season, and everything else has faded into a blur.  How to card those magnets? Horizontal display, or vertical?  Where can we add some color?  Some height?  Stickers or business cards? Free shipping, or a percent-off discount?  This, people, is what keeps me up nights.  And don't even get me started on the "what-ifs..."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back in the saddle again...

Two years ago, I lost my blog mojo. I got out of the rhythm of putting my days into words, and I've been putting off getting back into that useful habit.  So, if you were following me over at littlegreenbums, you're going to feel like you've missed a few episodes.  No worries.  I'll fill you in.

If you've just tuned in, welcome!  I'm Wendy---fangirl, thrifter, and maker of things