Saturday, August 8, 2009


My winter season love of wattles is continuing, I love watching how the colours of the flowers and buds change as the day passes...sorry if I am getting a bit 'I love a sunburnt country' here. But oooh acacia trees are just such gorgeous native beauties! Did you know you can use the bark of them to dye fabric and yarn? I will be writing more on this soon, having gathered some information on dyeing using natural materials from my lovely Aunty.

Anyway, I have had a few busy weeks includuing a fun night out at the Avid Reader market.
It was like a party! Lots of lovely friends and family coming through to visit, live acoustic music(gorgeous piano accordion and violin-hmmmm) and food&wine...I couldn't ask for a better night out really, a happy night!

I will be back again, with more of the same brooches and such, plus some newies fresh off the press-including some coasters made with special aboriginal art designed fabric.
The next market night is on the 21st of this month, slightly earlier than usual. Same place and same time though, Avid Reader, Boundary Rd, West End 5.30 p.m til about 8pm.

I am enjoying sewing, on my new machine. The update on my earlier post is -yes, I totally killed my old one. How terrible! But fortunately my kind mother came along to the shop with me and helped me choose a newie and even spent a day teaching me how to use it and showing me lots of little tips and tricks. Since then I have been spending many an hour whirring away.

My stock of crafted goods is building up, stitch by stitch, loop by loop and I have an etsy store in the works...I am in the process of refining it all and will be getting some techno-computery-help from a talented friend of mine...
She is not just a happy cupcake but also a total genius with making and designing so hopefully my Internet presence might be a bit more spruced up next time you log in here!

And now here is my not definitive very amatuerlist of hints for anyone contemplating a market stall-my own ever growing collection of hints and reminders presented as a...
Market cheat sheet
Prepare a small case containing-receipt book, very legible price signs, pens, sticky tape, scissors, wire ties. It is so handy to have a little supply of these things ready to go.
It is good to also have a small amount of wrapping paper or paper bags as people often buy things at markets for gifts...I use recycled papers and tissue paper.
A thermos and plenty of snacks will keep your expenses down, but you can also barter your items for snacks/drinks sometimes.
Layered clothing with beanies, scarfs,gloves for winter and sun hats, suncream for summer are practical and for night markets a blanket is handy too.
I think a good rule of thumb is to have about $100-$200 of 'float money' made up in both change and notes, (and some extra change for parking might be helpful too.) And if your maths skills are not wonderful bring along a calculator, it might just help you to use one anyway as a double checking system.

To display your goods you might need to provide a table and chair for yourself for some venues, the bi-fold ones fit better in most cars and can be bought cheaply from Kmart, and you can also get sun shades there too. Added extras-lamp, a cushion, table cloths(long rectangle shapes usually work best and dark colours with simple patterns are good backgrounds for most products)
I prefer attending markets that have tables as it is a big job to carry and dismantle tables, shades and your goods. If you plan to do a market by yourself, for the first time ask a friend along to at least visit so you can have a toilet break, etc.
I carry my items in vintage suitcases inside large plastic tubs(weather proof and tough), the cases are set up ready to be opened as part of the display.

Another way to display items is to pin fabric to cook book or plate stands and pin things through the fabric-this works well with my brooches.
And my last tip is to price your goods sensibly. Do not undervalue your time, your designs and your work! If you break down the cost of replacement materials, your time spent designing, researching and making up the product, public transport or petrol, stall fees, insurance, materials(books, magazines, patterns, sewing machine, hooks and needles, yarns, etc, etc), Internet and phone access, etc. Anything which contributes to the finished product and which needs to be accounted for...then add on a little extra for increases, this is how you will get a fair and realistic price.

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