Monday, November 05, 2012

make do {and make lovely} monday- to market, to market

Saturday Jeanetta  came over and we started going through our craft stashes trying to decide what we want to make for the Christmas Market in December. I suppose we should have been more on top of things and been making our goodies for months now, but we have always worked better under pressure.

Also, it has been hard to get back into the groove. To think about producing multiple items of the same design. My brain and my life don't really work that way anymore. I have always loved making things and the process of creating something from bits and pieces,  but I have discovered that I prefer making  prototypes over generating stock.  And also, I am not great at figuring out what people will buy and I never found my groove at holiday or craft markets. I am not a business person, this we have learned.

I have decided to think of the Market as more of a chance to try out some new ideas. To experiment. I will make small stock of a  few things that I hope will sell and the rest will be one-of-a-kind pieces. After all, crafting is no longer my "job" and I won't be depending on my sales to pay the bills. If we make our booth rent back that will be good enough. I am not investing much in supplies (heaven knows I have enough stashed away!) and just getting to spend this extra time with Jeanetta and making the time to work on new ideas is payment enough.

Plus there is the added factor of the broken foot.  Most of my crafting has to be things I can do from the couch or at the dining room table with my leg propped up. Also before I begin I have to be well prepared with all my supplies around me. There is no jumping up to grab this or that, no hopping into the car, running to Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's for glitter or yarn, when inspiration hits. I really do just have "make do and mend" with what I have on hand, or wait patiently until someone can run the errand for me, and even then I am limited. There is no impulse buying, no remembering last minute some other item. I am restricted to what of I can think of ahead of time. So I need to have a plan- a solid 'this is what I am making' plan and stick with it. It is a whole new world people, a whole new world.

It took a while, but eventually I found some inspiration and some ideas. Of course I also ended up making more things for me than for the Christmas Market. But, hey, it's a start. Right?

So now I am wondering -Do you you make things to sell at craft fairs? Do you have a hard time figuring out what to make? What people will buy? Do you shop at craft fairs? What do you shop for?  And why are dry dip and soup mixes so dang popular?


  1. BWAHAHAHAAAA! Dip and soup mixes.

  2. I think your approach to the Christmas Market is great considering your broken foot. It really is impossible to KNOW what people will buy at a Craft Fair. So using what you have and making stuff you like sounds like a most excellent plan. Have fun being creative with your sister AND hope your foot heals speedy quick. Peace, Donna

  3. I will be doing my first craft fair this month..I have the same dilemma....what do people want to buy and how should I price my items. I was really stressed out about all of the details but then I decided to just enjoy and see what happens !

  4. God those mixes get me every dang time. I think it's the samples. With the little pretzels where you can't get enough to really enjoy it.

  5. Elizabeth6:16 PM

    I was really intrigued by this post, because I DO go to craft fairs, and I WANT to buy things there. I want to buy handmade gifts that I don't have the time or the skill to make myself. I want to buy a piece of someone else's imagination. I want to support creativity.

    But all too often, I come away with a couple of small tokens and a sense of dissatisfaction. The untractable problem, of course, is that my budget is too small to permit me to purchase the lovely knitting or pottery that I admire. But the problem that shouldn't exist, but does, is that I'm often not very interested in the items that are within my budgetary range. They are often tchotckes, not useful items. Sometimes they represent an aesthetic I don't lean towards (around here, the Christmas craft fairs are still full of the grandma aesthetic.) Sometimes I think, "I could make that. If I wanted acrylic socks." Sometimes I'm wary of choosing a creative gift for someone else. The things I get enthusiastic over are either handmade and useful (this summer I bought iron hose stakes from a smith, at a local craft fair -- I was so happy!) or else new, intriguing, and creative. Pinterest-worthy crafts, so to speak. I'm most excited at a craft fair when I see something and think, "Why didn't I think of that! What a great idea!" and unfortunately, I might be as apt to go home and get out my glue gun as to purchase it.

    That's a long answer and it might not be what you want to hear (especially the last part), but I really do appreciate the window into other people's creativity that I get at craft fairs, and I really do find it inspiring... and I really do try to purchase what I admire, when the budget/practical/aesthetic issues meet.

    As to the popularity of dry dip and soup mixes... for the same reason cake mixes are big sellers at the supermarket! It's a half measure. The mix makes it easy, but the buyer still gets to "make" it at home.


ok, really. tell me the truth... do these comments make me look fat?

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