Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall-Winter 2010 Craft Shows

nativity (1)

Looking for me? Here is a list of the shows I am currently attending. I will be updating this post as new shows are added, so check back often!
  1. October 16: 17th Annual Elmsdale District School Craft Market & Fall Fair
    • Elmsdale District School, 75 MacMillan Dr, Elmsdale
    • 9am-2pm
  2. October 29, 30, 31: Hal-Con
    • Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax, NS
  3. November 4, 5: Partners for Care, QEII, Halifax NS
  4. November 12, 13, 14: Christmas Craft Village, Exhibition Park, Halifax NS
  5. November 19, 20, 21: Acadia Christmas Craft Expo, Acadia University, Wolfville NS
  6. December 4, 5: Winter Carnival, Halifax Crafters, Olympic Centre, Halifax NS *pending approval
All other weeks: Dartmouth Farmers Market, Alderney Landing, Dartmouth NS

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hal-Con

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For those who know me personally- I’m a bit of a geek. In junior high (back in 1990’s), I photoshopped a ST:TNG image with the heads of my friends. I’ve watched every episode of the new Battlestar Galactica and am currently waiting for the next season of Caprica. I even watched part of Star Trek: Insurrection on the weekend  (oh Rick Berman, couldn’t you have brought back a Q plot for the last TNG movie? –it has nothing to do with my childhood crush on Q!). I thought Star Trek Enterprise was cancelled before its time. And I do love SGU (it is what Voyager could have been) and Doctor Who (and the flying blue telephone booth). Besides, isn’t it patriotic to support many of these shows since many are filmed right here in Canada and have many Canadian actors.
PP30699-Doctor-Who-&-Tardis
Understandably, I’ve been talking non-stop about Hal-Con since I was contacted by them to create a crocheted version of their mascot back in March. Once I understood that it was going to be used for fundraising, I decided to donate the creation. Since then I have be super excited by this science fiction convention coming to Halifax, this Hallowe’en weekend.
I am going to be creating more of the mascot robots for some of the VIP guests (Walter Koening, Jeremy Bulloch, Denise Crosby, Aaron Douglas, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett), and I will be a vendor as well (unfortunately I will not be a vendor at the Dartmouth Handcrafters Guild Christmas Craft Show at the Dartmouth Sportsplex since they fall on the same dates.
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Between now and the convention, I will be dedicating my Sunday crochet time to making the mascots, and my Mondays will be spent designing new sci-fi inspired toys. So far I have designed Greys (the stereotypical alien). Did you know that greys are the featured alien in 90% of reported UFO abductions in Canada? The Grey pattern is currently available in my Etsy shop (TheSilverHook.etsy.com), and the doll will be available soon.
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The Jennifer Lamb and Jen Johnston with Hal-Con have both been amazing. Super friendly giving me so much artistic license. The organizing committee sounds like a group anyone would want to work with. If you are a fan of science fiction and would like to support a local group who donates part of their profits to charity, I would recommend joining the Hal-Con group on Facebook and checking out the convention at the end of October.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Growing Business

For many people, New Year’s is a time for reflection, but crafters tend to have another season – craft show season. It begins early in Fall, and lasts up to Christmas. During this time crafters need to be careful not to overbook, but so far, I am planning on 5 multi-day shows from Hallowe’en weekend until Christmas, and during all the weeks in between, I’ll at my usual haunt, The Dartmouth Farmers’  Market. Three of the shows are on back-to-back weekends – eek! I’ll be making a post about the shows later. But now that I am married (August 13) and back from my honeymoon across Canada, I am getting organized and reflecting.

I began crocheting for money about 3 years ago. I was stressed at work, and it was my therapy. The Silver Hook has come a long way. At first I was dependent on patterns, from sites like Crochet Pattern Central, but after being unable to find a pattern for a mermaid, I ventured into designing. As my friend will attest, the first few prototypes were awful!

mermaid (1) mermaid (11) Mira the Mermaid (2)

It has been three years since my first pattern – and I have surprised myself at how quickly I can now design a new toy (except snails – they are the bane of  my designing ability). And patterns are being tweaked all the time.  I am surprised at how my business is doing. My sales are still not as steady or as high as I would like, but I have improved with each year.

After my first Craft Show Season (CSS), I learned so much about displays and which items to sell.

Table setup August 2008 chp craft show (2) SDC11870

In February, the off season, I was contacted by a local store, Carrefour Atlantic Emporium, for wholesale orders. They have been fantastic and loyal clients ever since.

During my second CSS, I participated in more and larger craft shows- 3 to be exact. Unfortunately, this year was the great H1N1 scare and many people avoided crowds. I managed to have profits at each show, but I’ll wait until this year to get a feel of how well I can do. After this CSS, I improved my display (it’s a continuously changing beast). I began a Facebook Business Page, was commissioned for a Science Fiction Convention (contacted through Etsy), and began selling based on consignment at two stores: The Dancing Beaver, and Coco Beans. This past year, I also began selling patterns through Etsy, and learned to use MS Publisher.

 Delia Daisy Little Fairy Pattern drew dragonfly pattern

It is definitely difficult to sell anything handmade (“my grandmother could make that for me for free”), but the signs are encouraging. I wonder what this year will bring!