Friday, November 14, 2014

High Five for Friday

I didn't post last Friday so this is a mixture of the highlights of the past two weeks.  

1.  All last week I attended a conference in Charlotte.  It was sooooooo good! I learned numerous techniques to bring back to my classes.  It rejuvenated me and I was excited to be back in the classroom this week. 

2.  The hotel we stayed in was gorgeous.  I was especially pumped about the TV you could spin and watch from bed.  We don't have cable so it was odd to just flip through channels and watch random things.  It's the simple things in life that get me.  

3.  We went bowling one night after our conference and I haven't been in years.  We bowled three games, and I almost broke 100.  That's a big deal for me.  

4. I ate some noteworthy food while in Charlotte.  I had a lemon danish every morning, some excellent pizza from Brixx, gelato and my first macaron ever (I guess you can only spell it macaroon if it's French?), and a milkshake while bowling.  It was tough coming back to the real world after this.
5.  Muffin usually loves to wear my scarves, but she was not impressed with this one.  We have laughed at this picture for weeks!

I'm linking up with Lauren.
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to: Clean your Boots

Just dropping in to share a quick tip that you might already know, but I think is a helpful one to be reminded of.

We live in West Virginia and we have our fair share of snow during the winter.  They salt the roads and   sidewalks whenever it flurries.  I'm so thankful for this because it makes getting around easier, but it's not that great for my shoes.  I broke out my boots a couple of weeks ago and they were disgusting from all the salt last year.  I did not have time to clean them before I ran out the door, so I wore them anyway.  I have since cleaned them and it is such a simple process.

All you have to do is get some vinegar (I had some left over from my washing debacle) and  put it on your boots.

 I used a wet sponge, but you could also mix it with equal parts water and put it in a spray bottle.  I wiped it all over my boots, then wiped it off with a paper towel and water.  It removed the stains completely.

 Now, I just need to shine them, or buy new boots because they're looking a little worn.  I'm sure Jer would vote for the shining them option.


Friday, October 31, 2014

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday!  These are the things I'm pumped about this week.  

1.  My dad used to make all of my Halloween costumes.  The best year was probably when I was Pinocchio.   He made me a nose out of paper mache and the strings and rod to make me look like a puppet.  Unfortunately I couldn't find any pictures of that masterpiece.

2.  The instructor of my quilting class is so great! Sometimes we make extra little projects and I love these two.  The pumpkin is actually toilet paper, and the other one is a tissue holder.  Haha! 

3.  I got to see my best friend Court yesterday! Unfortunately we had a little mishap and spent the majority of the time hanging out by the road or in my car, but it was soooo good to see her! Muffin was excited too.  Can't you tell?

4.  I got a new blog redesign and I could not be happier! It is everything I love and she was so easy to work with!  She made sure the design reflected what I like and was very reasonably priced!  Go check out The Grits Blog Designs if you're in the market.


5.  I have a date tonight with Jer, a pizza, and Psycho.  He's never seen it and I think it's mandatory to watch this classic!  We'll also be handing out candy to the few little kiddos who brave the rain/snow.  

I'm linking up with Lauren.  

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How to Remove Mildew Smell from Clothes

Confession time.  I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate (to quote Judy Garland) doing laundry.  I would rather clean the toilets every day than do the laundry.  So, it's no surprise I sometimes put off going to get the laundry out of the washer.  Recently, I left a load of laundry in the washer for far too long.  It was disgusting.  (Hopefully I'm not the only one who has done this!) I tried washing the clothes again, but it just seemed to make the smell worse.  I was honestly afraid I had ruined those items.

I finally resorted to a nice Google search and figured out that you can use vinegar in your wash.  I bought a cheap bottle of white vinegar from the Dollar Tree.  I was skeptical because I  think the smell of vinegar is nasty on its own, but it worked out wonderfully.

I just filled my washer with the hottest water possible for those clothes, poured a cup of vinegar in the water, and loaded my clothes in.  I let it go through the entire wash cycle and then dried them.  You couldn't even tell I'm the worst laundress ever!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tips for a Successful Craft Show

This is my second fall doing craft shows, and I would like to think I have learned a few things.  Here are some of my suggestions for a successful craft show:

1. Make items for your show you would be fine keeping if they didn't sell.  I always make jewelry that I like to wear in case I get stuck with it.  I also make things that I would be proud to give as gifts.  Make something different; have a product that stands out.  For me, there are tons of crafters who sell jewelry, so I always have to ask myself, "What can I do to stand out?" "What would entice someone to stop at my booth?"

2. Display. Display. Display.  I am a firm believer that if your display is nice, people will stop to look.  I know when I'm shopping, I am always enticed by displays that look really put together.  So, think of a color scheme and stick with it.  Have varying heights within your display; put some things on tables and others at eye level.

3. Go ahead and invest in a tent and tables if you haven't already.  Some craft shows are indoor, but many of them are outside.  I have never gone to one that required a white tent, but I have heard that some festivals are particular and require one, so you should consider that.  We borrowed a canopy for our first one and then realized we should go ahead and purchase our own.  We were so thankful we did because during this last festival it got hit with torrential rain and we didn't have to worry about taking a wet and muddy tent back to someone who was gracious enough to loan us one.  Keep in mind tents are water-resistant, not waterproof.  We found that out the hard way.  We are going to treat ours before the next show and cross our fingers it helps.

4.  On that same note, buy walls for your canopy.  This is especially true if you have a two-day event.  We closed up our walls and left our tables there to make setting up the second day easy.  It also kept our stuff dry while the torrential downpour was happening.

5.  Bring a receipt book and business cards.  You might get a customer that asks for a receipt (I think it's really rare), but you will want to write down each item you sell.  I do this in order to see how much I sell to help decide if I want to do the same show the following year, or if it wasn't worth it.  I like seeing what types of items are popular at particular shows.  I also use it to keep track of how much tax or percentage I owe to the organizer at the end of the event.  Even if people don't buy anything, they like to take business cards, which is beneficial because my Etsy traffic increases after shows.

6.  Get plenty of change.  Bring 20s, 10s, 5s, and 1s.  You can always deposit it back after the show.  If you are selling larger items, the change you need will be different than mine because I have a lot of lower priced items.  You also need to decide your policy on checks.  I normally have a couple of people who ask to pay with a check.  On the same note, you might want to buy a machine to let people pay with credit card. We haven't but some of the bigger vendors do.  Do your research to see what method/machine/company is best for you.

7. Consider a giveaway You can host a giveaway.  I have seen lots of people take this approach.  It lets you get some contact information and everyone loves winning free stuff! If you don't have a giveaway, have a clipboard with a form shoppers can fill out where you get their information to offer sales, upcoming shows, emails about new products, etc.

8. Bring a toolbox/emergency kit. I have a box where I keep everything I could possibly need.  Glue sticks, glue gun, screwdriver, knife, scissors, Duct tape, masking tape, Scotch tape, paper towels, Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Band-aids, hole punch.  Even if you don't use any of these things, your neighbor might be thankful you have them.

9.  Pack a cooler.  Bring water and plenty of snacks.  Take care of yourself while you're there.  We eat our meals from food vendors there, but you could also pack sandwiches if you don't want to spend your hard earned money you just made.  For me, it's one of the best parts of any festivals haha!

10.  Be kind! I think customer service is extremely important.  Greet your customers, but do not smother them.  Just smile if people are rude.  The majority of people who visit shows are really nice, but there's always a few people who have not-so-nice comments.  I've had people critique my products, the name of my shop, my display, etc.  I just laugh it off because there are so many more people who are appreciative of my work than ones who are cruel.

Feel free to leave any tips of your own!