St. Vital EMC Craft Show

Small church craft shows are rarely exceptional, but I have to say, St. Vital EMC’s craft show this year was superb.
With all that I’d had going on these past couple of months (particularly Comic Con), I hadn’t given the show much thought (which is why there wasn’t a pre-show post about it). Initially, I’d only agreed because it’s my church, it was convenient, and I had gone three times before.
So I wasn’t thinking much about it, and didn’t even do my usual test run set up at home.

But despite that lack of thought, it was amazing.
It’s a small show – thirty-something tables, but it’s very community based. They set up some tables and chairs in one corner for shoppers to chat around, and sell hotdogs and homemade soup. There’s a lot of people I know, so the atmosphere is a lot of fun.
Set up was surprisingly quick, even with my lack of planning, so I was actually presentable before the doors opened (which I hadn’t been sure would happen). Sales were great, and a friend hung out at my table and figured out how to make European 4 in 1 by copying one of my bracelets. And I made a trade for fudge with someone I met last year.

The next day at church, I was given these pocket watches by a member of the church. He had got them for free a while back, and having seen my chain maille watches, thought this would be a great home for them. They’re fairly basic pocket watches – nothing fancy – but they don’t have batteries! They’re watches you have to wind, which I find so cool. They sound different from battery operated watches, and it’s cool seeing the little gears spin through the clear panels.
IMG_1830So look forward to some new watch chains for them – as soon as I get rings that match. I’m thinking Byzantine for one of them, but I haven’t decided which other weave to use.

I don’t have any more shows left for this year, so it’s great to end on such a high note.
If you were hoping to get something from me yet before Christmas, shoot me an email. While I don’t have any weekends free for shows, I still have time for commissions.

Comic Con 2015

Comic Con 2015 wrapped up yesterday, and I’m both exhausted from it and feeling geek withdrawal at the same time. But as much as I’m a bit relieved to have this over with for the time being, and only a little bit of christmas shows to do, as my life keeps getting fuller and fuller, sometimes I wish I could make my living from selling jewelry in a setting full of film/game/television references and cosplay.
This year was much more profitable than last – I sold almost exactly twice as much jewelry! I can only attribute this to having a much better booth location, and perhaps the fact that I tailored my jewelry to be a little more geek this year. Speaking of which, there was a rather unexpected trend in my sales this year. 24% of the items I sold were Hogwarts jewelry, either owls or bracelets in the house colours. And almost more shocking than that was the evenness in house distribution. Griffindor sold one more item than the rest of the houses, which were tied. The entire weekend I was trying to keep up with my Hogwarts sales, and needless to say, I’ll need to do a lot more work on stocking it back up before my next show. IMG_1827
Some of my highlights (besides running my booth and talking to con attendees) were as follows:
1. The Wandering Minstrels. I saw them last year already – a group of about a dozen people wandering around singing songs ranging from Lord of the Rings to Men in Tights to the Pokemon theme song. When they broke into Still Alive from Portal not to far from my booth I was so tempted to run in there and join them. Turns out they’re from a ministry called Geekdom House, and I’m excited to see what else they all do.
2. The one con attendee who was in character all weekend. Wearing costumes is popular, but not many people wear the character as well. This Joker was hilarious – telling us to have a bad day, and outsourcing some of his murderous schemes to other Jokers, as ‘there are far to many Robins here for me to kill myself’. I may have to finally watch some Batman films after this.
3. Actually knowing people at the Con. From chatting with artists I’d met previously to having friends (and friends of friends) stop by the booth, it just makes it all better to know some of these people beforehand.
4. Meeting Sylvester McCoy – the Seventh Doctor and Radagast the Brown from The Hobbit. While I haven’t seen any Classic Who yet, it’s only a matter of time till I do, and this was the perfect chance to meet The Doctor. One down, eleven (plus the War Doctor) to go. And Mr. McCoy was exactly the way I imagined he would be.
5. Being surrounded by art. Same as last year, I made it my goal to pick up as much art as I could through trades, and really enjoyed it. Last year none of my trades were particularly geeky – only two referenced something, and one was very subtle. This year however, I went in an entirely different direction.

Normally I don’t go for close-ups of characters – usually something is a bit off, and I don’t particularly like to have faces staring at me in my room, but there was something about this Ninth Doctor that really caught my eye. Unfortunately, I didn’t get her card, and google images search didn’t turn up any results.IMG_1823It was love at first sight with this Dalek print. I love the art style and the colours. I hadn’t seen Gillian Newland‘s art before, but I definetly hope she’s back next year.  IMG_1821I also love her take on Spirited Away, turning it from Anime to a more realistic style, and the more I look at her T.Rex print, the funnier I find it.IMG_1820Blacks Side Show was at Comic Con last year, has adorable Chibi art of pretty much every fandom. They’re super cute, and I particularly like the Fire & Death print, as my brother and I mocked the dramaticness of that line mercilessly when we first saw the film. IMG_1818Christopher Jones‘ ‘Most Heinous’ print went viral a while ago, and I was so surprised to see the original at Comic Con. It doesn’t really fit with the style of the rest of my art, but I’m going to have to find a place for it somewhere. IMG_1822

All in all, it was a great show, and I’m excited for next year, as well as the Pop Culture Convention C4 is putting on this April.

IMG_1807

Comic Con is in less than a week!

Between having a life/job, working on a fun but time consuming commission, and my tendency to spend far to much time on the internet (curse you fandom part of pintrest), Comic Con has snuck up on me and I am not feeling prepared!
Back at the Comic and Toy Expo in September my mom and I brainstormed a whole list of ideas I was interested in pursuing. And now Comic Con is in four days, and I can finally check a few of these off.
IMG_1812So this year I’ll be presenting a few more geeky items than I had last year.

Presenting, the Owl Avengers:IMG_1808Iron Man, Hawkeye, Captain America.  IMG_1810Thor (complete with cape), Hulk, Black Widow.
I’d been thinking of doing these on and off since last year when I made an Iron Man owl, but I didn’t have the rings. I finally bought the sizes I need, and built them all. Some turned out better than others – particularly Iron Man and The Hulk, but I also do like Captain America.
My seven-year-old cousin keeps playing with them and is clamoring for me to make an Ultron. If I ever get the time…I’ve also toyed with the idea of making Loki, but I just don’t think I could pull off the horned helmet and all that.

I’ve also got back to an idea I played with years ago: IMG_1803These are both painful and fun to make. The rings are tiny and annoying to work with, but the end result is so good it’s mostly worth the bother.IMG_1807I’ll have at least three of these at Comic Con, maybe more depending on how much I can get done, but with the way my current ‘to build’ list looks, that might be a bit of a stretch.

Anyways, all this to say come to Comic Con!
October 30      2-9pm
October 31      9am-7pm  November 1   10am-5pm
RBC Convention Center, 375 York, Winnipeg

I’ll be in Artist Alley, in the aisle closest to the hallway. I’m pumped for the costumes, talking to Con-goers and Vendors, and seeing all the amazing geekery that shows up at these things. Hope to see you there!

Comic and Toy Expo Followup

Every time I do a craft show, I re-remember why I love the business part of this hobby – it’s just so much fun. I love talking to vendors and customers, and building a bit of a connection with them.
This show in particular is so much fun, because it’s a geek community. And if you share a common interest with whoever you’re talking to, it’s almost like a shortcut to a deeper level of connection. Now rather than talking about the weather, you can talk about story lines and plot devices, which shows are worth watching, and which actor is your favorite Doctor. And as I don’t have many friends who are into the same shows as me, it’s cool to meet people who are into Doctor Who, Sherlock, Anime and things like that.

Anyways, the show itself seemed a bit slow – the Viscount Gort was doing some construction on their parking lots, which may have scared some people off. The show wasn’t a loss, but it wasn’t amazing either. However, someone commissioned a piece that will require me to make a Ring Lord order, so I’m pretty excited to do some online shopping this week.

I ended up trading some jewelry for art with Kemik LyIMG_1793IMG_1792She going to be at Comic Con in October, and plans to have the rest of the Avengers then.

Another person to look out for is Brenda of Stellar Evolution Designs. I didn’t catch whether she’ll be at Comic Con or not, but she has some pretty cool stuff, including plush weaponry.

The Comic and Toy Expo was a lot of fun, and Comic Con is going to be even better! I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of the same people again, and hope to have some new geeky designs ready!

Comic and Toy Expo

C4, the company that puts on Comic Con, is hosting a Comic and Toy Expo in just over a week, and I will be in attendance, displaying my jewelry. I’m quite excited for it, especially as it will be a good precursor to Comic Con at the end of October.

Where: Viscount Gort, 1670 Portage Ave (Winnipeg).
Date: Sunday, Sept 20.
Time: 10-5.Cost: $5 (age 5 and under free).

There should be lots of cool stuff there, and the Expo in February had at least a dozen cosplayers there as well. Hope to see you out there!

Swords and Sabres

I’m setting up at Swords and Sabres in less than two weeks!

What: A medieval/pirate/steampunk festival
Where: Coronation Park
When: Saturday, June 13th, 11am-8pm

I set up there two years ago, and enjoyed my time there. I couldn’t make it last year as I was busy sewing my grad dress, so I’m excited to be back. This time I will have my own tent rather than sharing the larger vendor tent, so it should be even more fun.

My booth in 2013

 

A Display Rack

So you may have noticed the past couple of pictures of my display that I have a display rack now.
Back in October when I was preparing for Comic Con, I decided I really needed a rack to display my chain maille shirt, shoulder pieces, and inlays on.
As I’m used to DIYing everything, I sketched a bit, and this is what I came up with:
IMG_1305Then I went shopping, and found out that in order to build that, I’d have to use either copper or iron pipe, both of which are very expensive. Then the very helpful older gentleman at Home Depot showed me the aluminum grounding cable. So between that and me foisting this project upon my dad, this is what I ended up with: IMG_1294It’s not exactly how I had envisioned it, but working with different (and more cost effective) materials meant some changes had to be made.
IMG_1296   IMG_1297
Between working in different locations, not all of it got painted the first time through, so hopefully at some point the rest of it will receive a coat of flat black paint as well.
IMG_1304It’s a little large, and occasionally difficult to fit into the back of a vehicle, but other than that, I quite like it. And it makes displaying my non-jewelry pieces so much easier. IMG_1299Of course, once this was all over, I found out that IKEA sells clothing racks $15. But I’m not sure they’d stand up to the abuse of multiple pounds of metal hanging on them, and being dragged from show to show. And I think this one will.

Doctor Who Inspired

It has come to my attention that I never formally posted any pictures of my Doctor Who inspired jewelry. So here it is, in all its glory: IMG_1228IMG_1236For those of you who don’t know what Doctor Who is, it’s a British Science Fiction tv show, about a humanoid alien with two hearts (known as the Doctor), who gallivants through space with one or more companions, saving things and experiencing the wonder of the universe(s). And they travel in a spaceship called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) disguised (due to a malfunction of the chameleon circuit) as a blue police box. It is impossible to explain how amazing it is, or even what it is, without sounding crazy. IMG_1229 IMG_1240Anyway, the larger bracelet says ‘I (double) heart the TARDIS’ It is approximately two inches wide, and seven and a half inches long. Which is, unfortunately, too big for me to wear comfortably. The other bracelet is a representation of the Fourth Doctor’s scarf. It’s a far more practical way to show your love of Doctor Who than the original scarf – my sister knit a full size scarf, and it’s a lot of yarn to hang around your neck. IMG_1231 IMG_1242I really enjoyed doing geek stuff, and Doctor Who is something I’m really into (even though I’ve only seen the new stuff), which made it even better, but I’d love to make more geek related stuff in the future, hopefully in time for Comic Con.
Anyway, if you’re interested in seeing more geek jewelry, have ideas for me, or just want to fangirl about Doctor Who with me, drop me a line!

footnote: I realize that I really suck at posting the prices of my jewelry, so here it is: the TARDIS inlay bracelet is $76, and scarf bracelets start at $18.

Ultimate Aftermath

The Ultimate Craft Show was over three days ago, and I still feel like I haven’t really processed/sorted through it. And there isn’t much incentive. I didn’t do too well on this craft show – I made my costs back, but not much more. And that’s always a little disappointing. However, I did learn a few things:

  1. Crafters are interesting people. Of course, I’ve always known this, but because the show was very slow at times (almost no people on our floor), I did a lot of visiting, especially with the booths right around me. It was really cool to talk to people who make constantly – I don’t necessarily get to hang out with that crowd a lot.
    And of course, I got to see more of what others are making as well.  Niswa General Store has some really gorgeous throws and pillows that I was rather in love with, as well as some very cute baby things. Betty’s Garden Soaps has some of the most amazing soap scents I’ve smelled – ranging from Licorice to Manchurian Dragon to Lychee Red Tea.
  2. I need to dress to compliment my display. Sylvia (of Niswa General Store) inspired me by dressing in outfits that looked like an extension of her brand. Her whole booth, including outfit choices, was very cohesive, and looked like it belonged in a magazine.
  3. I need to be more selective when choosing craft shows. Rather than picking ones that are inexpensive, convenient, or look good, I need to choose ones that have the right market. I’ve always been a bit wary of Scattered Seeds and Signatures, because I’ve heard they’re expensive, but according to the venders at this show, they also do very well.
  4. I need to create a network of craft show friends who can help me learn more about selling my creations. Learning from other isn’t something I’ve done much of in this, mostly because I don’t really know anyone, but I’m slowly connecting with people. A friend who sells epicure recently put me onto the idea of Swords and Sabres, a show I tried a couple of years ago and forgot about (and which I’m now booked for). And at Ultimate, I was encouraged to try etsy.
  5. Standing is a good thing. I tend to sit down for most of my shows, as I’m often making something as I’m there, but in my awkward sized booth, people had to look down to talk to me. Standing makes it easier to hold a comfortable conversation, and if I make room on a higher part of my display, I can make jewelry as I stand as well.

And, for the jewelry contest winner. There was an opportunity to guess how many rings were in a micromaille bracelet, in order to win some free jewelry. The guesses ranged from 495-1,200,000 rings, with the closest guess being 1500. In fact, there are 1887 rings, in about 7 square inches of maille. Congratulations to Ev P., who wins $15 worth of free jewelry.

Even though this craft show wasn’t very successful, I am excited for the next one. As one of the other crafter was saying – craft shows are addictive. Being able to submerse yourself in that much creativity, and sharing your craft with others is an amazing experience. The next show I plan to be at is Swords and Sabres, in early June, although I may end up attending another show in early May as well.

The Ultimate Craft Show is Tomorrow!

And this is the first time I’ve been to a show where you need to set up the day before. Although it’s a little annoying to do that extra drive out, I have to say, it’s very relaxing to take time setting up. Not to mention wandering around and making friends with the neighbors. I’m getting excited for tomorrow!

I did have a surprise though, when I showed up. I had booked a 5’x10′ and planned for it, not realizing that it was 5′ wide, and 10′ deep! It took a bit of restructuring, but eventually I got something figured out. IMG_1270 IMG_1271The lighting isn’t the greatest, although I’m still far better off than some.  IMG_1272 IMG_1273I’ve added a bulletin board to my display, at least for this time. But at the moment, my bedroom wall looks rather empty.  IMG_1276I can’t wait till tomorrow, and hope to see you there! Come swing by, and don’t forget to enter my contest!

Location: Assiniboia Downs
Date: April 11&12Time: 10-5 (sat), 11-5 (sun)