Tuesday, 29 November 2011

First successful craft fair

I attended a craft fair on Saturday at the Town Hall in Chipping Sodbury. I have been to a couple of local fairs with my bears and bits, but this has been the best so far. I have learned the importance of being selective about the fairs I do, as the approach of the organisers varies wildly. This fair "felt" like a craft fair. All of the stall holders were exibiting good quality, handmade items and it was evident from their attitude that the customers appreciated the standard of crafts on sale.

Personally, I have learned a lot about how to fill and set out my stall, as well as how to engage with customers. My friend Lorna came along to help out and had lots of fun arranging scenery for the bears...

...and here she is, behind the stall, discussing the tiny size of the bears with our neighbouring stallholder...

With a few tweaks we think that it could be a much more striking stall, so I intend to implement as many of the changes as possible in time for my next fair on Friday...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Craft fair preparation

As was perhaps to be expected, I have spent most of this week avoiding craft fair preparation. While I should have been making labels, price tags and checking that I have everything I need for Saturday, I have been largely preoccupied with another elephant. I was meant to be making the prototype of an elephant kit for sale - well I did make one and it turned out well (I think anyway).

Every stage of his construction was photographed carefully and the instructions were written. All would have been well if it hadn't been for the blanket.


And it wasn't really the blanket's fault. The problem was that I had to look up stitch ideas. This led me to Sharon B's Pintangle - a very dangerous blog to find at such a time. Suffice it to say that I would like to participate in TAST to expand my stitching skills and this site should bear some responsibility for the elephant that has been engaging my attention this week.


Inspired by the fabulously decorated elephants at the elephant festivals in India, this white felt creature is now quite heavily embroidered with flowers. 


I have got characteristically caught up in the detail and have, almost completely, failed to get anything useful done. 

Oh well, it is finished now and I have blogged about it. Hopefully it is now out of my system, so I may be able to get back to more pressing tasks. And maybe I'll get the kits ready for sale. We'll see...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Meet the bears... Harry

This is a photo of Harry. He is one of my larger bear creations (at 12in tall he's a giant in comparison with my other bears).

I can't take all the credit for Harry as he is made from a pattern by the wonderful Ted Menten. This American bear designer's distinctive muzzle design is unmistakable even when given a "Silent Companions" nose. I love the sculptural quality of Ted's teds: the unique personality of each bear expressed vividly through expression and clothing.

Harry was a lovely bear to make once I'd found the perfect fabric: a tipped 8mm mohair in a warm brown. He has taken on a lovely expression. He reminds me of a toddler who has done something wrong; the turned in toes, slightly tilted head and rather worried expression all add to this impression. He needed some sort of clothing so, as I was experimenting with crochet at the time, a hat and scarf seemed a good start. 

They seem to suit him so now he permanently looks like he's going out to play in the snow...

I love the original "Teddy Bear Studio" book (sadly now out of print, as far as I can see) and it has taught me a great deal about bear making. So a huge thank you to Ted Menten for all the inspiration!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Craft fair dates for your diary

I have finally chosen the craft fairs that I will be attending before Christmas. 

Craft Fayre
Saturday 26th November, 10am to 4pm

Victorian Evening Craft and Gift Fayre 
Friday 2nd December, 5pm to 9.30pm

I will be taking a selection of my creations to each fair:

teddy bears,



Liberty hairclips,
and probably a few other random goodies!

It would be lovely to see you there!
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