Wednesday, April 28, 2010

arts festival recap

wow! it been such a crazy busy couple of weeks prepping for the sweet ps arts festival! i am naturally used to assembling products on a made-to-order basis. that being said, i learned a whole lot about myself, what i am truly capable of and how to develop a streamlined process for creating back stock and items in larger quantities.

now that i'm back and have returned to a more 'normal' schedule, i thought i'd share with you how it all went down and what i learned...

Sweet Ps Arts Festival

sweet ps was my first arts/crafts festival so i really didn't know what to expect...

i guesstimated how much product to bring and crossed my fingers. i'd never before planned an exhibit space or created a table so i took my best shot and, more than anything else, i didn't even know if my product would sell well in this type of environment - eek!

on the flip side...

i went in knowing my most popular products (from what people buy in the shoppe) and made sure to have plenty of those on hand. i've been working on extending my line of products and took this opportunity to showcase 3 new items in the hope of receiving direct, constructive feedback straight from the end user. lots of people were up for conversation and didn't mind that i asked their thoughts. turns out the three new items (to be in the shoppe soon!) were the most popular :)

Sweet Ps Arts Festival

for marketplace crafters, a table 72" table was provided. knowing this info ahead of time, i purchased my own table and set it up at home. this gave me ample time for a dry run through before actual set up day - a HUGE time saver and mind easer :) whew.

Sweet Ps Arts Festival

for craft shows especially, it's important that your prices are in plain view - don't hide them or make people search! a friend of mine made lovely little sign holders out of scrap wood to match the riser/tabletop shelf he assembled for me. where'd i find everything else? ikea, gibson holders and hubert. my white wire easels were inventory seconds and the galvanized sign holders are actually for use in grocery stores. i found the fabric (unfinished mini easels and wood crates too) at joann and a co-worker of mine finished the edges.

Sweet Ps Arts Festival

overall, i am pretty happy with my experience. i walked away with a handful of *custom* orders, sold a bunch of product and made priceless contacts (potentially one that's interested in carrying some of my items in-store). would i do it again? sure, so long as the price is within budget (yes, you do have to pay a fee to 'rent' your space), i have the time for production and it's within my targeted audience.

Sweet Ps Arts Festival

thanks to my husband for encouraging me to take a (big) leap and supporting me the whole way and to kathryn for finding me on etsy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

i'm baaaaack

'Grass' Pots

wondering where i've been? well, with the day job, freelance picking up, SweetBeaker and prepping for the sweet ps arts festival, i had to push a little to the back burner - the trusty ole' blog, twitter and the other ole' blog etc. fear not, i'm back now and i sure have missed everyone :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

craft inc.

today marks a week and a half until the craft festival (learn more here too) and i've been crazy busy prepping - from last minute *new* designs and table display to custom forms, price tags and printing; lots and lots of printing. i've been all over the place people! nutso, i tell you. thank goodness for...

What I'm Reading

meg has truly outdone herself once again with a handy dandy little planner/organizer; the first time around i didn't think it could get any better. and then, voila.

What I'm Reading

it's divided into many sections; my most favorite being on the retail show (surprise, surprise). and, it's chock full of information that (as a first time exhibitor) i truly appreciate. not only does the planner provide lots of insight, but there are also worksheets and checklists, advice from seasoned design and craft veterans and even a little pad of paper WITH lines.

What I'm Reading

get yours here or here. it's worth it :)

Monday, April 12, 2010


Calling Card Packaging

was checking through my etsy feedback this morning and was delighted to see this lovely comment...

"just perfect! great packaging - the cards look wonderful!"

happy to know my new personalized calling card packaging is being received well :) sure made my day! thanks, cassinator.

Friday, April 9, 2010

t fore jake

happy friday everyone! i'm so excited to finally get to share this project with you — a logo, letterhead and collateral suite for T Fore Jake...

T Fore Jake

The Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation supports cancer research at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. And T Fore Jake, a charity golf tournament held and sponsored by T Mobile, is one of a few local events that help raise funds in honor of the non-profit.
T Fore Jake
i worked closely with the T Mobile team tournament chair to develop an identity and support package that reflects life, family, progress and research.

T Fore Jake

it was truly an honor to be able to donate graphic design services for such a good cause. penn state is also my alma mater — all the more special :)

to donate, find out more or, to participate in the T Fore Jake Charity Golf Tournament, please send an email to adrian at

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

full bloom

my camellias are in full bloom and i love pulling into the driveway at the end of the day and being greeted by something so lovely :) sure wish they would last longer than just a couple weeks!




Monday, April 5, 2010

sweet thanks

a friend contacted me over the long weekend; she needed help — and super fast — putting together a couple special thank you 'packages'. inspired by none other than jordan, here's what we put together...

Sweet Thanks

we used a sweet folded note (with hand written sentiments inside, of course) and changed up the color. a trip to our local paper source yielded A7 box mailers, in chocolate, that we topped off with personalized labels. a couple boxes of gobstoppers later, each thank you package was hand delivered!

Sweet Thanks

Sweet Thanks

Sunday, April 4, 2010

happy easter

an entire three day weekend of nothing but sun made for a wonderful holiday! hope yours was just as lovely :) happy easter!

Easter Day Fun

Friday, April 2, 2010

real small kitchen

Pip + Estella
i'm over on pip + estella's blog today sharing what makes my kitchen special! check it out here :) and, be sure to head on over to the store too where you'll find lots of very special vintage pieces! thanks for having me, P+E!

SB Real Pip + Estella Small Kitchen Submission

my pretty prizes

a little bit ago i was lucky enough to be just one of many (great) lovelies award winner(s). rachel and vicki, curators of lovely clusters, managed to pull together an amazing collection for the lovely prize box from which the winners each got to choose two prizes. well, once my turn came 'round i was lucky enough to get to choose...

Ikimono Parcel

a beautiful vintage kimono from maggie of ikimono. it came all the way from france and it's seriously gorgeous. to wear or to display - how can a girl choose.

Ikimono Kimono

it's vintage quality inspired me so, i inquired more. here's what maggie had to say...
I have several contacts in Japan, and this tiny "firework" chrysanthemum silk haori jacket was from my man in Kyoto. He told me it was likely that is dates mid-Showa which makes it sometime after World War II. I always think it is so sad that this painful period is used to demark the era relevant to kimono fashions, but there are several important changes which happened because of the war.

For example, just like everyone else involved, hemlines had to go up, because fabric to make fashions simply wasn't available. Similarly, vintage silk haori from before the war were much longer - sometimes reaching 42 inches in length, which is vastly longer than your little silk jacket. 

As it does not have any family crests, it would have been worn over a visiting or townwear kimono, as opposed to a more formal occasion, such as a tea ceremony or a family festival such as a coming of age or marriage. 

You can see that it is dyed, and note this is not the same as printed silk, which is practically never used in Japan. That means there is much hand preparation of the pattern before the dyeing process, and it is possible that your chrysanthemum pattern may have been prepared with a stencil. Imagine cutting the stiff paper in order to do this, even on a piece of silk that only measures 36 cms wide.

Of course, the chrysanthemum is the emblem of the Japanese Imperial family, and very much beloved of all Japanese across the generations. The fresh green "midori" shade would suggest that is vintage haori was designed to be worn over the Spring/Summer period. This fresh color would also be the choice of a younger, possibly unmarried woman.
Ikimono Kimono

i also chose a lovely vintage woven ashtray from pip + estella. my husband and i aren't smokers of any sort and thought it would be nice to be able to accommodate visitors and guests that enjoy it so. it's actually quite darling :)

Pip + Estella Woven Ashtray

images from ikimono, myself and pip + estella

Thursday, April 1, 2010

nice to meet you :: blue carrot shop

Nice To Meet You

i have been stumbling upon some really great *new* people lately and am now thrilled to introduce to you fellow graphic designer, blog writer and vintage shop owner alexandra charitan of blue carrot shop. alexandra has a ridiculously cute logo and some seriously great finds! read on for more...

Submitted By Blue Carrot Shop

01. tell us a little about yourself...
My name is Alexandra and I'm a graphic designer by day, a treasure hunter by every-other-time of day. I've lived in Ohio my whole life, but I frequently escape to New York City (my favorite place in the whole world is the Brooklyn Heights Promenade). I love looking at/touching things, finding treasures for my shop, taking photographs/playing fetch with my cat (Mozart), buying used books, baking cookies and writing things by hand.

Submitted By Blue Carrot Shop

02. how did you get started? when? obstacles?

I launched the shop web site in January of this year, but I started designing it/seriously collecting things about a year ago. I've really been collecting things my entire life, from thrift stores, garage sales, auctions, etc. but I always just bought things I liked, and intended to keep for myself.

Submitted By Blue Carrot Shop

03. where do you seek inspiration?

I love magazines, newspapers (I have a special place in my heart for the Sunday New York Times), museums, parks, people-watching, old government pamphlets, vintage advertising, trashy tabloids and anything tacky or odd.

Submitted By Blue Carrot Shop

04. what's a typical day like at blue carrot shop?

Well, I have a day job at a graphic design firm in Akron, Ohio (427 Design). I've been working here since I graduated from college (2008), and I love it. We have tons of fun and I have a great office with not one, but TWO windows, which I keep open all summer long. I work on mostly print projects, but I've been picking up more web site work which is a whole different animal, but I'm enjoying the challenge. If I've sold something from the shop, I'll pack it up at home and ship it from work (until they catch on that I'm totally stealing tape). I usually do my treasure-hunting on weekends, but occasionally I'll hit up some thrift stores on my way home. I love when I get an e-mail notifying me of a sale, it makes my entire day better.

05. what does the future hold for blue carrot shop?

For right now, it's just a side business, more of a hobby. I desperately needed something to keep me busy- I was so bored after I graduated college and got a real adult job…maybe one day I'll have a store-front somewhere, but I'll probably always be a designer in some sense.

06. can you offer advice for other first time shop owners / bloggers?

I have been really lucky to work in a place where I could mine resources (web programmers, photography equipment, etc.) for my own selfish endeavors. I think that helped me a lot. I blog about things I like and think (or hope) other people find interesting. I try to add at least one photo to every blog post, and keep my rambling to a minimum. I like to look at things on the internet, not read them. I'm a print girl all the way for reading.

Submitted By Blue Carrot Shop

07. if you could pick one place to be right now where would it be and why?

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade. It's a magical place to me, especially when it gets nice outside. I have a special bench there where my boyfriend carved our initials. There are so many places, however, that I haven't been that I'd love to go, like Charleston, SC, California and most of New England. I would also love to drive across the country and stop at all the weird roadside museums and diners. Please buy things from my shop and make these ridiculous travel plans possible ;)



thanks for the interview, alexandra! it's great to 'meet' you!

if you'd like to submit a shop for the Nice To Meet You collection, send an email on over to!

images from
Blue Carrot Shop
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