Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Off to Market

This last week has been full of fevers, vomiting, sniffles and a few late nights preparing for the Made on the Left Winter Market. Of course of all the weeks for every member of my family to fall sick, this was not the week......... Nevertheless I made it there with lots of softies, some hair clips and brooches. The market was well attended, better than any other market I have had a stall at and I was lucky to receive a lot of compliments with many 'aww's from people upon seeing my creations.

All in all I enjoyed preparing for and having a stall at the market, although I would have liked to have sold a couple more of my creations for it to have been an earner for me. If I was sit down and calculate the hours spent making each item plus the time selecting and purchasing the materials I'd probably get a little depressed, but at the end of the day this is my hobby, I love making softies and I do love the hours spent sourcing, selecting and buying the various materials and then putting them together to make something that is unique.

I guess that with each market you come away having learnt some new things and after almost two years away from the market scene, this was a positive 'return' experience. The new display props looked great and the blue tablecloth (which I bought) really stood out and was the perfect back drop for my colourful softies. I met some other lovely crafty folk, spent a little money of my own and am looking forward to the next market.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Learning Patience (& how to price)

If you've ever made a softie before, you'll have learnt that it can take a long time between cutting out the pattern pieces to stitching your creation shut. As someone who acknowledges that patience isn't always my strong point, the satisfaction achieved when I finish a softie outweighs the time taken to get there. Over the last few days I have been making these two deer softies, the pattern is Melly and Me's Dawn the Deer  and I estimate that each has taken me approximately 6 hours (and I'm not quite finished!) Despite this I love how they have turned out and look forward to putting in that final stitch at some free moment this weekend.

Now comes the question of how to price these pretty girls, a price that reflects the materials and time/effort spent in making them. I struggle with pricing softies of this complexity, do you have a method for pricing your creations taking time, complexity, design process, etc into consideration or do you simply settle on a price that you are comfortable with? Please share with me your suggestions and experience.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Making The Pastel Rainbow Cake

Our gorgeous Harper turned one last Saturday. She is our funny, walking, smiley little hell raiser and we love her to bits. I planned a small morning tea to celebrate the event which ended up being 24 people big! I enjoy planning a party, making invitations, thinking about the menu and deciding on the cake, but on the day I'm a wreck. The final running around, cleaning up, baking and trying to squeeze in a shower before the guests arrive and I'm a little bit 'difficult' to be around (sorry hubby xx)

I have a few photos to share of the day but as I'm collecting photos from a couple of people I don't have many to share today. I did want to show you all the cake though. After seeing a few pics around of rainbow cakes I decided to give one a go. I read this post for some tips and made a start the day before the party.

I started with two packets of butter cake mixture.

After dividing up the mixture between five bowls I carefully added the food colouring bit by bit until I was happy with the colour. I wanted to include the colours I had used with the invitations and other decorations. Each coloured mixture went into a greased and floured tin

About 20-30 minutes of cooking (this was dependent on where the cakes were in the oven) and the cakes were left to cool. I used a plate to trace around so each mini cake had an even edge. They were then placed in a container to wait for Stage 2 Icing planned for the following day.

The mid-way point of the icing process. I used the recipe for the icing from the reference post too. I should have levelled a couple of the mini cakes a little better as there was a slight lean (which I made up for with the icing!) I applied one coat of outside icing, allowed it to harden by placing it in the fridge for an hour and then did a second coat. Using a wet knife made the application easier.

The finished cake complete with candle and handmade bunting.

So pretty on the inside!
This was a really special cake to make and enjoy for Harper's birthday. It tasted great and received plenty of compliments, especially from the birthday girl!

I'll share some more pics of the day and the crafty things I made for the party in an upcoming post.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Creative Space Today

Here's my craft room as it is today. Organised chaos of course! I haven't achieved too much this past week on the sewing front but as always there are a few half-done projects. I have begun work on my stall for the upcoming Winter Made on the Left Market. I have collected some cute display items recently and have started work on a felt cloud bunting for the front of my table. I applied for another market this week so I will learn my inclusion (or not) later this month.

I am secretly looking forward to being a Tour de France widow for the next three weeks, he he. Guilt free sewing every night for three weeks while my husband sits glued to the race.

Harper's birthday is next Saturday so I have some baking and decorating ahead this week. Again I have a couple of half-done projects to share once they are completed for her party.

Thanks for dropping by today, enjoy your Sunday xx