Thursday, December 6, 2012

My first craft show!!!

So... I won't claim to be a professional crafter. I have a "day job," I raise my family, I squeeze in crafts where I can.

Lord Ozwald's Curious Goods started (as most of you know) as a way to raise money toward a very expensive knee surgery for one of our dogs (Oz). Back then, crafts were typically low-cost in supplies, relatively quick to make, and consequentially low-cost for resale, mostly to friends and family. Along with donations, we put a huge dent in the veterinary bill. I still can't express how grateful I am.

Two years later, Oz's knee has held (though his other is beginning to show problems). I've kept crafting because I love it. But now it's time to either overhaul my plan or let it go. I wasn't sure if LOCG was worth continuing. I slacked off on my end as far as new and exciting ideas. Prices for supplies, even through consignment shops and thrift stores, have kept climbing since late 2010. What initially cost me 50¢ is now at least $2. Even thrift stores have a bottom line to meet in tough times.

Today I attended my first craft show as a vendor. Yes, it feels weird to consider myself a vendor. I wasn't sure how it would go, or how my items would be received. I'm a little bit of everything: a Jack of all Trades and a Master of None, if you wish to think of it that way. I brought items new and old. I set fair prices and waited to see how things were received outside of my typical circle of buyers. 

Long story short, reactions were overall very good. I realize that I carry a lot of things, but not necessarily what people WANT right then. That being said, items received compliments even when they were not purchased. I enjoyed just sitting back and chatting to those who wished to chat, and letting the rest of the customers browse in peace. I ended up selling 10 items, which doesn't sound like a lot but it really was awesome. (I feared that I was taking a whole day off work only to sell nothing.) I had business cards taken home. Sock monsters found new families. Scarves will warm necks. Bags will carry things. Blankets will keep people warm. Bracelets will accessorize.

Okay, the whole experience went pretty well. So why am I writing this?

In 2013, I'm going to navigate this "shop" on a more focused route. I'm going to start pushing myself to craft items that are (for lack of a better description) worth selling in a non-fundraising scenario. Quick, small turn-around items (with the exception of certain popular items) will be replaced with items that require more investment (of both time and money): items made with higher end materials, more invested/intricate upcycles, items that have a lot of love put in them.

By the beginning of next year, I hope to have organized myself enough to open a shop on Etsy. I won't be quitting my job, just taking things more seriously. Very, very few people actually see this blog, and if I have no exposure then I have no customers. And I want customers. I want them because I want to share the things I enjoy with other people. I want to create items than anyone can buy and enjoy, not just some lucky person who can spend $115 on a scarf. 

With all that said, what I really need now is feedback. What do you wish I would try? What have I made that you really liked? And what suggestions do you have for me as I try to move this forward? Feel free to email or post here. Or on Facebook.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cleaning out my Attic


Initially I said on Facebook that I was going to do another "clearance" sale to free up space. Going back through, I see that almost all of the items were put on clearance last September (oh the irony!).


All "clearance" wearable knitted items (blankets, wrist warmers, scarves) are being donated to a local shelter. I'm happy to write-off the cost of supplies and know that the items are going where they are needed the most.

THAT BEGIN SAID... Feel free to browse the newer items and see if anything strikes your fancy. I'm also working on coming out with different items (pottery!!!) as I get things cleared out and my supplies get a bit more organized.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Custom Gastronomy Cooking Apron

Just wanted to throw up some quick pictures from a custom apron I did for a friend's birthday. His loving fiancee wanted to give him an apron that reflected his new interest in molecular gastronomy. We brain-stormed a design and I managed to get it done in time despite a week-long cold.

The happy birthday boy:

A close-up, ready for wearing:

Since iron-on transfer didn't want to work, I had to transfer the design with chalk stolen from my own child:

All done, just needing a quick wash:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Recycled Silk Choker (or Bracelet)

This silky soft piece of knitted jewelry is made from a section of leftover recycled silk yarn. Waste not the yummy yarn! The colors were just too pretty to toss. And I like to knit I-cords.

Measuring 3/8" wide, the knitted portion is 10.5" long and total piece reaches 23" total with the tie tails.

The tie tails have been braided to avoid any unraveling (given the 'spun' nature of the yarn) and can be knotted and trimmed if a shorter tail is desired.

If you wish to sport the cord as a choker, just tie it in the back! If you wish to shorten it to a bracelet, it can be trimmed in seconds! I've intentionally left off the addition of a button loop or clasp so that you can make it exactly how you want it! You can even add embellishments like charms, beads or buttons!

At just $3 for the standard I-cord, you can have your own little personalized jewelry project!

MANLY Recycled Silk Vase

This is most likely the manliest vase I have ever created. Because sometimes guys want to display flowers without looking all girly. Or maybe they want to display something a bit more "cool" like arrows or spoons. Spoons are cool, right?

This standard (12"?) cylindrical glass vase is wrapped in a section of recycled silk yarn that features a masculine blend of red, black, yellow and green. The cylinder style is a very clean, alternative design to the typical "girl" vase. It's almost like having a can of Schlitz malt liquor for decoration!

For just $8, bring a little man-charm into your life.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Recycled Yarn Tote Bag

This bag is another item made from premium recycled silk yarn from Darn Good Yarn. This yarn, as well as the others available through Nicole's site, allow families in India and Nepal to gain strength in areas with no sustainable job market for those struggling in poverty.

The bag itself measures 12" wide and 10" tall with a 38" strap. The body was knit in the round and then the bottom was double-sewn shut for strength. A clasp or button could easily be added for securing the top.

For $30, you'll have a one-of-a-kind bag that has helps multiple small businesses (Curious Goods and Darn Good Yarn) and the families in India and Nepal that have made this fabulous yarn.

Peacock Scarf

I know it's summer and it's hot outside, but sometimes I just can't resist making a pretty scarf!

This particular scarf is made from some delicious yarn from Darn Good Yarn. It's comprised of 2 skeins of recycled silk yarn, knitted together. This yarn, as well as the others available through Nicole's site, allow families in India and Nepal to gain strength in areas with no sustainable job market for those struggling in poverty.

In addition to the uniqueness of the yarn, this scarf also has almost superpower qualities. Lightweight but very warm, soft and fuzzy. It can also change shape and size! The drop-stitch style allows it to "shrink" down to 5"x36" or stretch up to 4"x52". So if you like short and wide, long and narrow, or anything in-between... this scarf is for you!

At $30, this scarf will benefit you (by being super sexy around your neck and shoulders), the Curious Goods store, Darn Good Yarn, and the women who make the yarn themselves. That's a lot of good!

Short and wide:

Long and narrow:

Some close-ups:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sock Monster: Duke of Cucumbarms

So I'm back on the sock monster bandwagon again.

This boy had no plan, no pattern. In fact, his sole purpose for existence was to be my first attempt at using a sewing machine rather than hand stitching.

That being said... Meet the Duke of Cucumbarms. He's a Duke, and his arms are made of cucumbers. Nuff said.

Measuring a proud 14" tall, the Duke is made from 3 very different socks. Maybe that's why he has 3 eyes. Or maybe I was just doing everything to make him weirdly adorable so that someone will want to give him a loving home. Oh yeah, did I mention he wants to include your home into his reigning domain?

Adopt him today for $15! Not recommended for very young Lords or Ladies, given his button eyes. But perfect for the young at heart!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Volumetric Flask Vase

If you're a science person like me who also dabbles in crafts, you may find yourself staring at pretty glassware and wondering what cool things could be done with them.

Well, I finally came across a free stash of unwanted, unloved and abandoned glassware and decided to do something with it.

This particular piece was a Kimax 500ml volumetric flask. Here's a lovely picture of Fiona getting in the way just to sniff the messenger bag that seems to double as a bed for every cat in the house.

Using scraps of "The Blender Live Wire Sari Yarn" that I acquired from Nicole Snow at Darn Good Yarn, a little hot glue and a LOT of patience, I created a colorfully unique vase that would be ideal for a single flower stem... or just for sitting empty as a decoration.

Here are a few close-ups so you can savor the texture as much as I do.

UPDATE: I now have 6 pieces finished! 

Flask #1: ~12" tall, $15

Flask #2: ~12" tall, $15
Flask #3: ~12" tall, $15
Flask #4: ~11" tall, $13

Flask #5: ~11" tall, $13

Flask #6: ~11" tall, $13

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Magenta and Tan Denim Bracelet

Yup, I got two bracelets done today! This was my first attempt at a bracelet that consists of two different styles of beads and I have to say that I'm quite pleased with the outcome. The magenta and tan marble patterns really make this piece pop! Available for $15.

Golden Bead Bracelet

So here's another addition to the recycled denim bracelets. This one is lined with gold colored beads and matching snaps. Sorry for the blurry images. For some reason my camera was terrified of the amount of bling this bracelet possesses. And it's only $10 (slightly less than previous bracelets due to these beads being snagged during a sale!).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Axolotl Love

First, I must admit that I made this for myself. That being said, I still wanted to share it. This particular axolotl is a felt embroidery on canvas.