Craft Fair Highlights

Well where did the summer go! I can’t believe my last post was in April, however I have had rather a lot on my plate over the last few months, mainly moving house, managing a loft extension and setting up a new studio, so printing has taken rather a back seat these last few months.

Now however I am chomping at the bit to get printing again, but first I’d thought I’d share some pictures of my first craft fair experience at the end of May at the Milton Keynes Handmade and Vintage Fair.

Here is how my stall looked on the day…

Enlightened Hound Stall

The main difficulty was working out how to display my prints unframed. I wanted them to be at eye level and I like the informality of how they look when they are pegged up to dry after printing, so I tried to recapture that with some easels I knocked up (actually painstakingly made with the help of my dad!) with some reclaimed wood from my loft extension.

Hand made rustic easel

My greeting cards were displayed in big square chunks of wood with a slot cut into the top for the card to sit in.

Jellycat dog

Stripey Jellycat Dog

I also accessorised the stand with a few adorable soft dogs form the wonderful Jellycat range. I was pleased with how it looked after all the hours of preparation.

It was a very early start to get the stall set up. It was in the atrium of a huge shopping centre which was bright and airy however it turned out to be the first really hot weekend of the year (after weeks of persistent rain) so attendance was not as good as previous events. Despite this my stand attracted lots of dog lovers and I hugely enjoyed hearing all their wonderful stories, from the banana eating Labrador to the German Shepherd who knew when his owner had been in a car crash even though they were miles apart at the time. The quirkiness and loyalty of dogs never ceases to delight and amaze me.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and chatted and to those who bought my cards and prints. Many were bought as gifts for for dog owning friends and family and I hope the recipients were equally delighted.

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Craft Fair Stall Design Preparations

Subtitled: The benefits of vastly underestimating the complexity and time needed for a craft project!

I have decided to try and sell my Enlightened Hound dog inspired art prints at local art & craft fairs and country shows and have been accepted for my first one at the end of May – the Milton Keynes Handmade and Vintage Show. So I started thinking about how my stall should look… very cute, totally hand-made and obviously doggy! I realized I would need (amongst other things) a very large tablecloth, a banner and some bunting.

That’s easy, I thought … I can make these quickly (underestimation no.1) and cheaply (underestimation no.2) and easily (underestimation no.3) at home!

I wanted to make a banner with my logo like an American collegiate sweatshirt, with Abercrombie and Fitch style cut out and sewn-on letters. It was a fiddly, painstaking and time-consuming task, and had I known just how fiddly, painstaking and time-consuming it would be, I wouldn’t have even started… but I’m glad I did as I am very happy with how it turned out!

The Enlightened Hound Banner

The finished banner

The Enlightened Hound Banner

Close up of letters

It was hard to find good quality felt in anything other than kiddie primary colours but Gertie and Mabel have a fabulous selection of felt online in gorgeous muted, grown-up colours. I got a very sore hand cutting all the letters out and then sewed them all onto some heavyweight natural canvas with my grandmother’s trusty Singer sewing machine.

Cut out felt letters

The cut out letters

Sewing the banner

Sewing the banner

The bunting was next. I found some great doggy fabric online and co-ordinating stripy material from which I cut out almost 150 triangles which were then pinned together, stitched, ironed and sewn onto some cotton tape.

Bunting  

Dog & Stripe Bunting

Now I have over 15 metres of great homemade bunting!

I bought some good quality hessian for the tablecloth – I needed about 8 metres for it to drape fully to the floor (a stipulation of the craft fair organisers) – and it has the dual benefits of being both cheap and fitting in with the homespun vibe.

So if you live nearby, stop by the fair on May 26th and 27th and come and say hello!