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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Instead of Blogging

It's been another week with very little on the blog -- mostly because I've been spending my time doing lots of stuff instead of blogging! Much of it is ongoing preparations for the Renegade Craft Fair, now less than a month away. I've been making stuff as much as possible, and I've been thinking about how I want to set up my table.

Inventory is finally feeling more under control (though I'm far from finished!) so I think I'm more stressed about the table setup at this point. I've been scouring the thrift shops and discount stores for display options. One of the stumpers was how best to show off my bird's nest pendants. I'd picked up a decorative bird and nest with the idea of using them as a visual cue for the display, but I wasn't sure how I wanted to do that. I was very excited to come across this little metal "tree" at the Salvation Army last weekend:

It used to be a candle holder. The bird and nest fit perfectly where the candle would have gone! I bent out the "branches" so that I could dangle some pendants from them. There's room for many more ; I just didn't take the time to hang them all for the picture. Not bad for a dollar fifty, eh?

For earring display, I purchased earring card adapters from a fellow Etsy seller In the Clear. These little plastic clips allow me to turn a business card into a hanging earring card. At the same thrift store, I came across this CD rack, which repurposes nicely for hanging the cards! And a steal at a buck fifty.
At Ross this week, I discovered another black metal who-knows-what which will work perfectly as an earring rack. It had no label, no price, and had been broken --the break marks in the soldered metal weren't horribly obvious, but something had clearly snapped off of the top. I have no idea what, but at $1.99 I'm pleased! (I asked the clerk how much it would cost and talked her down from $3.)

Each "rack" will hold a dozen pairs of earrings, so of course I've been busy making earrings to go fill them up. One will be for my "Knit the Knot Known" pairs, in various colors, and the second will be for my other pairs of fraternal earrings. I have several new designs, including "Time is Money," which is on the left in the picture above.

But the biggest task of the last two weeks has been finishing up 15 pairs of knitting needles.

Because making the needles is a multi-step process, this is quite an accomplishment!
Making each pair involves:
  • measuring off and cutting the wood to the right length
  • shaping the wood by hand, being sure the point is neither too dull nor too sharp
  • sanding the wood, using three different types of sand paper (very rough to very fine)
  • checking the smoothness of the wood to be sure it will not snag the yarn
  • designing the decorative topper
  • attaching the decorative topper, using jeweler's epoxy and nails (to be doubly sure it is affixed well)
  • allowing the glue to dry for at least 24 hours
  • making a final check to be sure the topper is secure and the wood surface is smooth
  • finishing the wood surface with mineral oil and wax
Now I need to decide how best to display the needles! I like how pretty they are arranged in a vase, but I don't think this is a good choice for selling them. I need to keep them in pairs and be sure they are secure -- in a vase, they are too tippy and difficult to keep straight. I'm thinking of using a large basket with a foam block like what they use for arranging flowers, with balls of yarn covering the foam block. We'll see!


tierramor said...

You are AMAZING! So creative! I'm sure the show will go fabulously and it's nice to hear how you are doing.

cath c said...

that is a lot of production! excellent job! i like your display idea of the flower arrangement foam wrapped in yarn for te knitting needles. maybe some kind of hook or band to pair them>

giki said...

What a perfect display for your lovely magic!!! Hooray!
Miss you all...sorely.

Jen said...

Thanks everybody! I'm working on table setup today -- will post pics when I get a chance.