Things I love Thursday 6/4/2017

It’s the first Thursday of April and it’s time for a Things I love Thursday post.  Pour yourself a cup of tea and relax while I share all the things that I’ve loved lately.

 

I love:

  • Celebrating my one-year anniversary with my beloved, David.  He is such an amazing person and he makes me feel so blessed. We have had an awesome year together and I can’t wait to see what adventures the future has in store for us.

  • Having Mr Ringo peer over my shoulder while I read.  He’s such a curious little dude.
  • The late emergence of Autumn weather.  The final week of March was almost unbearably humid and hot.  I honestly wondered if the weather was ever going to cool off.  But like clockwork, April brought a crisp morning wind and a chill to the air.  I’ve happily been rocking knits and socks, and I’ve had the perfect excuse to break out the slippers I was gifted months ago.

 

  • This Deadpool stuffie that David bought me for our anniversary. For our first date, we saw Deadpool and played the arcade machines at the cinema.  So now, Deadpool is kinda “our” movie.
  • Lush’s Ruby Red Slippers bubble bath bar.

  • Argyle vests
  • Putting the sleeves on a jumper I’m knitting for myself.  I”ve already finished one simple jumper for myself, thus completing my new years resolution of knitting an actual garment.  This time I’m working on something with more shaping and raglan sleeves.

 

  • This awesome Monsters Inc tee shirt I picked up for $7 at Uniqlo.  I have a few Uniqlo shirts now and they are such good quality.
  • The Good Dinosaur.  I finally got around to watching it and it made me cry so hard. And also laugh so hard.  And then cry again.  And laugh some more.  It was a yo-yo of emotions.

 

  • finding the final Sandman book to complete my extensive collection in the op shop for just one dollar.  It was a proud moment.
  • Project Runway.  I’ve become a tiny bit obsessed.

  • This room service pizza I got for dinner on our anniversary.  It was not vegan (it had goat’s cheese) but it was vegetarian. It had zucchini, pumpkin, pine nuts and leek. It was so amazingly good that I didn’t even care that I had a food baby for our anniversary-celebration-sexy-times.
  • Actual vegan recipes I’ve made these past few weeks, including an off-the-charts mushroom stroganoff and a mock-chicken and vegetable soup. I’m getting extremely good at this vegan cooking thing.

 

  • Finding a mega-cute heart hoop for my helix piercing.  I’m always on the lookout for unusual body jewellery and I really haven’t changed the stud in my helix since I got it pierced nearly eighteen months ago.  This heart was just the ticket, and it’s so comfortable.
  • Wood fire smoke
  • Being able to snuggle under layers of quilts without exploding from heat.

What do you love this week?

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Confessions of a craft fair virgin.

Last weekend I finally took the plunge and ticked something off my bucket list.  For ages I’ve wanted to run a stall at a craft fair.  While I love my Etsy store, I was keen to try selling at markets as well. Selling in person has some distinct advantages: you don’t have to worry about crazy shipping costs, potential customers have a chance to touch and try on your wares and you can joke and chat with your customers.

I was extremely nervous about running my own market stall.  I was very worried that my crafts weren’t good enough or that nobody would want to buy what I was selling.  I was concerned that my social anxiety would make it hard for me to interact with my customers without it seeming forced.  I also felt a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work that would be involved in running a stall.

So guess what… it was really hard.  I put in tonnes of work and preparation, I only made a single sale and I felt so nervous every time someone came to my stall.  But you know what else? It was totally worth it and I would definitely do it again.  Here are a few observations I took away from my first time as a craft-stall vendor.

There’s no one “right” way to run a stall.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time stressing over how I should set up my stall.  I looked at countless Pinterest boards for inspiration and ended up completely spinning myself out.  I was so unsure about how my stall should look, what type of displays I should use, how much stock to bring and so many other worries.  In the end, I went for a pretty minimalist look with a few displays and most of my stock spread out on the table.  And you know what?  It really seemed to work.  My colourful goodies really stood out from the crowd and loads of people were drawn to check out all the awesome colours and textures at my booth.

There were some really professional-looking displays at the market.  Some vendors had made their entire stall from scratch.  Others hired tables and used home-made or pre-purchased display racks.  But they all looked awesome and everyone was making sales.  When you’re trying to plan a stall, it’s best to stick with a few simple ideas that seem right to you, see what works and build from there.  Comparing yourself to other stalls will drain your energy and worth.

Talk to other vendors and learn from them.

I met some fantastic vendors at the craft fair.  There were some people who, like me, were relatively new to the game and others who were market veterans.  Everyone was really friendly and helpful, and I picked up some great tips to help me with my stall and my customers.  If you’re a newbie, these tidbits of info are so valuable.

And don’t forget, even if you don’t know that much about markets there might be some other areas that you have some flair in.  For example, the woman running the stall opposite mine has been thinking of starting an online store so I was able to give her some pointers based on what has worked for me in the past.  We swapped advice and it was a great learning experience.  It’s great when people are willing to help you out and learn as well as teach.  It’s the type of scenario that everyone benefits from!

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Bring business cards…and lollies.

Not every customer will be ready to buy on the day.  Markets can be quite overwhelming and some will be unsure of what they want to spend their money on with so many options on offer.  For that reason, it’s nice to have something that your potential customers can take away with them.  I made sure that each person I talked to took my card and a sweet treat.  If people wanted something I didn’t have, I highlighted the fact that I can make custom orders on request.  Offering people a card in a friendly way isn’t too pushy, and it gives them the opportunity to take a look at your shop when they have more time on their hands.

Pay attention to what your customers have to say.

Although it can be daunting to put your crafts out for display and potential criticism, it can also be a valuable learning experience.  I gained so much insight into the kinds of things my customers are looking for, which will be very helpful.  For example, I was able to take note of the items that were most popular, and which things people asked for which I didn’t have.  I noticed that there were a lot of children at the market shopping with pocket money, and that most of my items were out of their price range.  So next time I plan to have some small cheap items, such as headbands or crocheted brooches, which can be bought with small change.  I will make sure to have some of the sought-after items that people seemed to be looking for.  And I will put those more popular items in a prominent place so they catch the eye.  Even though I only made one sale this time, I feel more equipped for my next market.

Have you ever run a craft market stall?  What did you learn from the experience?

Things I Love Thursday 22/1/2015

Wow, it has been a massive week and I have so much to share with you.  I feel pretty blessed at the moment.  It’s just been one of those rare times when everything seems to be falling into place.  I just have this feeling that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be at this point in time, and that all the bad stuff that’s happened in the past has led me to be the person I am at the moment.  Now that I’m done with being corny, let’s leap into Things I Love Thursday!

 

This week I love:

– Settling into my new job.  I have my own desk in a quiet corner of the office with a window.  I answer the phones for one hour each day while the receptionist is at lunch, and other that that I barely have to talk to anyone.  I just do my work quietly and happily.  It’s an introvert’s dream.  Plus I get to use a dizzying array of stationary and I’m doing work that I actually enjoy.  It’s brilliant.

 

-Going to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and coming back to find this cheeky critter wrapped up  in my blanket!

 

-Also, Ringo’s new love of sleeping in my suitcase under my bed.

 

– Fresh salads eaten down by the lake.  Lunchtime picnics for the win!

 

– Re-watching The Office on DVD and discovering a bunch of episodes that I’ve never seen before.

 

– Finding three pairs of awesome and comfortable shoes in my size, for $5 each.

 

-Finishing these hand-knitted socks for my etsy store.  I’m making them in a bunch of different colours. Socks were always something that I felt too scared to learn how to make.  But now that I’m confident knitting on four needles, they’re a breeze!  I don’t even need a pattern anymore!

 

– Daily chats with awesome gentleman who share my love of British comedy, Game of Thrones and TMNT.

 

– Planning for Galentines Day.

 

– Getting a haircut.  It’s not a drastic change, but it felt like a big step.  I got some long layers put into my hair and I kinda love it.  To begin with I felt as though I’d lost half of my hair, but now that I’m used to it I love the movement that my hair has.  Although styling it is proving a bit challenging.

 

– The discovery that Disneyland holds a “coronation ceremony” for each new princess to welcome her into the royal court.  I watched a few on Youtube and I think that Princess Merida’s was my favourite.  I thought it was brilliant that she rode her own horse in the parade, rather than being pulled in a carriage like all the other princesses.

– This Jurassic Parks and Recreation trailer.  I wish this were a real thing.

 

What do you love this Thursday, nerds?  Let me know in the comments.

Christmas 2014 wishlist

You guys, December is here!  December is probably my favourite month of the year.  I adore Christmas and I spend the whole month indulging in my favourite baked goods, decorating my house and shopping like a madwoman.  To get you in the Christmas spirit, I thought that I would share my Christmas wish-list for this year.

 

 

‘Dear Santa…’ by Nessbowify

A list of gorgeous items that I would be thrilled to unwrap on Christmas morning.


SALE Empire Records tshirt R…

$15

M2O Why So Serious? Danse Ma…

$28

Vintage 60’s Pastel Mold…

$6.99

Let Me In signed poster – 11…

$20

Awesome vintage green apple …

$28

CYNTHIA rugrats defying beau…

$24

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Or…

$22

Toadstool Necklace

$10

Nightmare Before Christmas M…

$190

Winterfell — Book Lovers…

$15

Beautiful Queen Anne’s L…

$17.5

Freddy Krueger Inspired High…

$195

Vintage 1985 Silver and blue…

$14

Doctor Who – 10th Doctor Kit…

$15

Game of Thrones — Valar Mor…

$22

Frida Kahlo Dress/ Vintage …

$59.95

Powered By Handmadeology

 

Some other awesome things that are on my ultimate wish-list include:

– A week’s stay at a yoga retreat in the Dandenong ranges

– A visit to the cat cafe that’s just opened in Melbourne.

– A full-body massage at a gorgeous spa.

– The box set of The Office on DVD.

– Tickets to Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway.

 

What about you sweet pea?  What are you hoping to find under your tree this year?  Leave your far-out and fantastical wish-list in the comments.

Things I Love Thursday 6/11/2014

Um, hang on a minute.  Before we jump into Things I Love Thursday, can we just pause for a moment.  How on earth is it November already? !  Where has 2014 gone.  I feel like I just took my Christmas tree down and now we’re already in the thick of November.  What the what?!

OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, lets move on.

This week I love:

– Steering into the skid.  I’ve just started taken anti-depressants again and I’ve been quite unwell with some side effects.  I know that things will settle down, but this week I’ve felt terrible.  So instead of trying to push myself to work hard and be super productive I gave myself a couple of days off to recover.  I indulged in some reading, watched some of my favourite feel-good films and napped a whole lot.  Now I’m feeling so much better for it.

This post from Mia about her experience with anti-depressants.  So often, the only information about anti-depressants is overwhelmingly negative.  In reality, anti-depressants can be a very valuable tool to help people suffering from mental illness to recover and cope with their condition.  This post is well-written and it was so brave of Mia to share here experience so openly.

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-Dog-sitting for my parents.  My mum and dad went away to Sydney for a week and I looked after their gorgeous dog Brodie while they were gone.  Mr Brodie is such a special creature.  He is so loving and happy and he was incredibly well-behaved while my parents were away.  It was a pleasure to take care of him.

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It is also very difficult to get photos of Brodie because he doesn’t like to sit still!

– Our new library.  Benalla has a brand new library building and it looks incredible.  It’s so beautifully laid-out and there are loads of new materials to check out.  I love it.

– Watching Amelie.

– Scented candles that smell like cake.

-Adding new items to my etsy store, like this Cunning Hat, inspired by the TV series Firefly.  “A man walks down the street in that hat, and you know he’s not afraid of anything”.

– The Walking Dead.  I’ve been OD-ing on it lately.

– Phone calls and texts from friends to check that I’m OK.  I feel so blessed to have such amazing friends who support me and pull me through when I’m struggling.  There are no words to express how much those little messages and calls lift my spirits.

– Finding and applying for jobs that would be great for me.

– Melbourne Cup Day.  It’s the one day of the year when I gamble and it’s always good fun.

– Listening to the rain while I’m on the couch with my book.

What do you love, sweetheart?  Leave your list in the comments and enjoy the rest of your week.

New Years resolution update: August 2014

I had resolved that August would be the month that I learned how to use my sewing machine.  I got a sewing machine for my 25th birthday and I have never actually used it.  Given that three years have passed, I figured it was high time that I took it out of the box and gave it a go.

I had imagined that using my machine would be really easy.  I have several friends who are brilliant at sewing who told me that they found it so simple to learn to use a sewing machine.  I even have one man-friend who brags about making a dress for his girlfriend entirely on his own using a beat-up old Singer.  I’m pretty clever and I’m good at crafts, so I figured that it would be a snap.

Oh goodness.  I have to shake my head at how wrong I was.

 

I was so eager to get my machine all set up and begin sewing.  I followed the instruction booklet to the letter and managed to get everything plugged in and looking great.  I wound a bobbin with no troubles at all.  Then I went to thread the machine.  After several attempts, I felt satisfied that I’d done it right.  But when I began sewing, I was greeted with a grinding noise and a broken thread.  On my next attempt the needle snapped.  I called my Mum, who has been sewing for forty years. She informed me that she didn’t know how to fix the broken needle because she had never broken one.  Apparently I have a special talent for destruction.

 

After a cup of tea and a lie-down, I consulted Youtube.  I found an awesome video which helped me to replace the needle and also showed me how to thread my machine properly.  The reason the needle had broken was because I hadn’t threaded it correctly in the first place.  Feeling pumped up and full of confidence, I sat down to sew once again.

 

After two hours I had to walk away before I threw the machine through the window.  I kept running into problems in every direction.  My thread kept breaking, huge wodges of cotton were getting caught in the mechanism and forcing the machine to a halt, my stitching was loopy and uneven and I was terrified of getting my fingers jammed under the needle.  In short, I utterly sucked at sewing.

 

I think I definitely need some lessons from somebody that knows how to use a sewing machine and is patient enough to teach me.  It was very optimistic of me to believe that I’d be able to teach myself using just a couple of internet videos and the machine manual.

 

So I haven’t yet learned how to use my sewing machine.  But I wouldn’t call this resolution a total failure.  I know more about the machine than I did at the beginning of the month.  I know how to set it up and how to thread it.  I can replace a broken needle and I know how to un-jam it when it stops.  But I still don’t know how to actually sew.  At least I’m part of the way to success.

 

 

Things I Love Thursday

Yeee-hah!  This week is just whipping on by, and it’s time once again to bang out my weekly love list.  Hooray!

This week I love:

– Getting word that my favourite comic book store, All Star Comics in Melbourne, has been voted Best Comic Book Store in the World at San Diego Comic Con.  How awesome is that?  There are few things that make me happier than seeing people follow their dreams, take a risk and be rewarded for it.  The store owners, Mitch and Troy have done an incredible job creating a stellar business and building a fabulous community.  I am so proud of them.

– Hogs Breath cafe.  My gentleman friend and I took a trip to Hogs Breath on Sunday and it was awesome.  I had a blackened steak and it was drool-worthy.

– Re-watching Tank Girl for the billionth time.

– Adding new items to my etsy store.

This slouchy Bad Hair Day beanie is perfect for hiding even the most hideous bed-hair.  It’s super comfortable and funky.  I’m also able to make this one in any other colour you might desire, so if you’d like to request a custom order, just shoot me an email!

I’ve also added this sweet Cupcake Beanie.  This one is an adult size, but I can also make these to fit children or even babies.  I can also customize the colours, so once again if you would like to request a custom order I’d be happy to help you out.

– Getting an email from one of my work clients telling me that I’m “too awesome”.  Naturally I sent it to my boss so that he’s have it when my performance review rolls around.

– 

-Finishing my first pair of knitted socks.  I feel so proud of myself.  Socks have always been one of those “too hard” items that I’d always been too scared to try knitting.  But these turned out brilliantly.  They fit perfectly and they’re so warm and comfortable.  I’m planning on making myself a whole drawer-full now!  These will also be available in my etsy store soon, so if you’d like a pair get in touch with me.  I can make them in any colour, and they are made to your measurements so they will fit like a dream.

–  Good hair days.

– Waking up from hilarious dreams feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

– Taking it easy when I’m feeling under the weather.

– Feeding the ducks at the lake.

– Watching the days slowly draw out.

What do you love this week?