Monday, 26 March 2012

Beadie Critters

Did you ever wonder what a mother who makes jewellery does for her children’s school fair?

I had offered to work with the children to make items for their class stall and shouldn’t have been surprised when the teacher took me up on my offer.

Now making jewellery would be an obvious answer to what to do with them - but I didn’t want to be obvious and so spent some time making some simple critters with beads and craft wire. I had wonderful visions of what they’d be able to make, possibly with my stash of gem and pearl seconds.

I planned out what they’d need and sat down with my primary aged girls who play with my wire scraps and castoff pearls constantly to make 3 different critters – a doodlebug, a caterpillar and a spider.

Unfortunately I soon realised that sturdy craft wire and small drill holes (common in gems and pearls) didn’t go together. Then found my idea of the average 11 year olds abilities and reality didn’t match up at all. *sigh*

In resignation, I decided simple was best, so I sourced some colourful painted and dyed wooden beads, some beading elastic and then found myself at the front of a classroom last week with 30+ children listening to me instruct them in the art of making a stretchy bracelet.

It was rather fortunate that the teacher hadn’t told me that I would be “speaking to the class” as I may have run away. As anyone who knows me well can testify, when it comes to more than about a dozen people, I avoid being the centre of attention and become amazingly silent. I tend to be more a ‘doer’ than a ‘talker’. Public speaking is definitely not my thing although of course I can talk the leg off an iron pot in a one to one or small group situation!

But I survived the instructional phase at the front of the classroom and then relaxed as I got to work with a table of children at a time.

I was very impressed with the determination of the children and their skill in colour selection for their beaded bracelets and rings and feel sure that they will be able to use all their stocks of beads by the fair to make a good selection for fair visitors to buy.

But, not to be outdone, I took matters into my own hands and made a couple of dozen critters for the stall. I think they're cute (well, some of the spiders are a bit freaky I'll admit!) ... what do you think?

By the way, Dunedoo Show was huge last weekend – I’m still recovering, as well as making up orders from the day to be delivered on my way to set up at Mendooran Show this Saturday. If I survive this "5 shows in 5 weeks" stint I'll be due for a holiday!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A trunk show and a new handmade market at Scone

After a couple of months away from the face to face of shows while I concentrated on new stock and designs, I’m back in the midst of it all and loving it!

I had a home trunk show a week ago with a group of ladies who had only previously seen my jewellery on the hostess. They weren't shy though and snapped up many items – even having issues over the ownership of one bracelet! This sort of show is so much fun with ladies trying things on, comparing them on each other, having a chat and a glass of something bubbly!

Yesterday I attended the inaugural Scone Homegrown + Handmade market. It had great plans of being a stylish outdoor event at the Kerv Café, but the weather gods had other ideas!

I’m about 1 hour and 40 minutes drive west of Scone and was not overjoyed to hear rain at around 2am, particularly when I realised it wasn’t a storm and didn’t appear to be going anywhere. Nevertheless I got up at 4.30am checked the radar and saw that Scone was indeed dry however the rain band was heading there. With my trusty helper Trista aboard we set off around 5.30am into the rain and bound for Scone. The rain got heavier and I hoped that some wet weather alternative may have been made – otherwise all we’d be up for was a well deserved coffee and a long drive home!

The rain continued steadily – not sheeting down, but not exactly drizzling either. On arrival at around 7am there was a bunch of slightly bedraggled and tired stall holders wondering what to do. The organiser, the lovely Amelia from The Event Storeroom offered those with non-food products a small space inside the Café which I gratefully accepted. We all appeared to be set up by around 8.30am and it was certainly “cosy”!

Amazingly, people braved the weather and came to see us all (even those who decided to shelter with their goods under the cover in the outdoor area) and buy.

Being cosy was actually fun (apart from needing to dodge around everyone) as it gave the stallholders an opportunity to network, admire and buy each other’s items which you often don’t have time for at a regular show.

I had the chance to chat to my close neighbours - the warm and talented Emma of Elliepants who is making my girls some endless scarves for winter, the outgoing Tracy from Lilibits & Pieces who I got to chat about jewellery with and the vivacious Bec from Audrey Anne who was experiencing her first market and I know she’ll do well ... even Trista and I couldn’t help ourselves and bought something of hers!

I managed to taste some of Hunter Belle’s fantastic cheese, the delicious Lincoln Red Beef Direct (the best “burger” I’ve had in years!) the lighter than light macarons from Sweet Project and the tasty hot chocolate of the Kerv Café all whilst admiring the beautiful flowers from Stem. (Living in the country often means that the only fresh flowers you see are the ones you’ve grown – so in my house its roses or nothing).

There were many other stallholders and I was very impressed with the amount of talented people that Amelia had located and brought together for the event. Given fair weather I have high hopes for the next Homegrown + Handmade in June!

Next weekend I have the Dunedoo Show (24th March), the following weekend is the Mendooran Show (31st March) and then Easter Saturday (7th April) is the Mudgee Makers Market, so you see its all go, go, go!

Photo at top is pair of sterling, tourmaline and peridot earrings that sold at the trunk show last week.


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