Monday, February 13, 2017

Lots of News

Good morning friends,

It has been several months since I last posted and so much has been going on. The craft show was in October and usually I take November and December off to fill special orders and recoup from the show. By now I would have already had a notebook full of new designs, but as 2016 ended I realized that I was ready to change things up.

In case you didn't know I have been doing craft shows since 1992!  My sister and I had a booth at a local craft mall in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I had just moved to Northampton and my next door neighbor, Betty Woodruf, was in charge of the Northampton Artists and Handcrafters Annual Craft Show in our neighborhood.  She encouraged us to sign up and get a booth.  We had a blast and the rest is history!

This is our first booth in 1992
From then on I don't think I have gone a year when I didn't have several craft shows, wholesale customers and consignment agreements.  I loved every minute of it.  But like all things in life, there is change.  The creativity is still there, but the time to work on crafts seems to have shrunk.  I always thought that when my kids grew up I would have so much more time for things I wanted to do, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  Mr. MySpareTime and I seem to have something pulling at us every month.

I got an alarming email in early January from a fellow folk artist that notified me I was being ripped off!  She said there was a gal in Oklahoma that was teaching those painting classes where you and your girlfriends come for wine and go home with a picture, and she was using one of my designs in her advertising.  I asked how she knew it was me and she said the woman was so stupid as to steal my photo off Pinterest with my watermark on it.  The reason this woman was telling me all this is because she was getting ripped off too.  The worry and stress over what to do finally ended when I decided that "imitation is the highest form of flattery" and let it go.  If you really need to do this to put food on your table, so be it.  The shameful part is that she touts herself as a Christian business, but I guess she didn't read the the part about "thou shall not steal"!

To add to the confusion, I had been getting steady email and Facebook messages asking when I was going to start selling my full size Snowmen and Santa patterns on Etsy.   I knew that was going to be a time consuming undertaking but I felt like this is something I wanted to pursue.  I had been listing my patterns on Etsy and I could see they were selling steadily, so I thought I would start that project first thing in 2017. Then it happened!

Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine contacted me through Etsy and wanted me to submit a project for their consideration to be in the October 2017 issue.  I worked on the snowman project they requested (said they saw it on the blog) and sent it to their headquarters in January. I was notified that my project had been selected and then came all the legal stuff.  I won't believe it until I see it in print, but they will link the project to my Etsy shop!  Now that puts a new spin on getting ALL those patterns done and listed by the end of September.

This is the 2016 magazine

I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say that writing pattern instructions, is like pulling teeth! You have to describe every detail and you cannot assume the buyer knows what they are doing. Between the pattern cover graphics work, writing the instructions and drawing, scanning and editing the pattern it takes for fricken ever, slow work!  Due to the Etsy algorithm for searches I have to spread out the listings to two a week, but I have started with Fall and Halloween, so check them out over on the side bar.

That brings me to my news.

My Spare Time Designs will NO longer be having the Private Trunk Show. {I had made up my mind several weeks ago, but it seems like I am giving a eulogy now that I see it in print}

Thank you for all the good times, all the laughs and all the creative challenges! Some of you started out as friends and ended up as customers, but most of you started as loyal customers that I now count as wonderful friends.  Mr. MySpareTime and I are still doing SPECIAL ORDERS, so feel free to keep dropping off those found treasures and letting me "do whatever" I want to them.

Life if full of change, and I think I am ready for it. My only regret is that my sister didn't come to this last show, that would have made it full circle!

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