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pig and peacock

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How-To Prepare for a Craft Show Part 1.3: Create Signage

Our third installment of the blog post we guest wrote on Etsy Dallas about craft show setup.

From part one of the Etsy Dallas blog post:

Create Signage
On average, a customer ask the price of items only twice before they feel uncomfortable asking again. Put them at ease by creating signage or putting price tags on all of your items. Make sure signage is easy for them to spot and big enough to be read from a distance. Also, be sure you have business cards handy and in a place that is easy for shoppers to find.

You may think that not having prices opens the door to conversations with your shoppers, but what if you are too busy to speak to everyone (and we hope that you always are)! 

Photo via Erica Sirotich Illustration


Signage should contain the following:
  • Your shop name at the top and something calling out that it is your price list
  • A list of each type of item (or item category) and it's price
  • Any special show pricing or bundled pricing you may offer
  • Show shoppers whether you take credit cards and which ones (you can just put the logos on it)
If all of your items are OOAK and priced differently, consider putting price tags on all items in an easy to find spot. Keep in mind if your item has movable parts or is delicate, putting tags on the bottom may not be wise. You are better off putting them somewhere that may not be as attractive but can cut down on unnecessary handling and breakage.

Another tactic is to price sections of product. For instance all items on one table are $20, you can put up one sign that states that for each table. You may also want to add signage to differentiate your product, even if it is all the same price. Do you sell dog collars for $15 in all sizes? Maybe your signage needs to point out sizes to help shoppers locate the item they need.

Consider putting up an additional sign or two where appropriate to tell shoppers pertinent info about your product and what sets it apart. Is your yarn hand spun by you, or is the wool sourced from local farms? Does your jewelry re-purpose vintage pieces? Do you take custom orders? Is it eco-friendly? Tell people about it!

Need some inspiration? Check out our craft show display board on Pinterest for more!


Be sure to check out the rest of this series on the blog!

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How-To Prepare for a Craft Show Part 1.2: Lay Out Your Booth Space and Displays

A continuation of the blog post we guest wrote on Etsy Dallas about craft show setup.

From part one of the Etsy Dallas blog post:

Lay Out Your Booth Space and Displays
About three weeks before the show, plan your booth space. Decide what your table layout will be, how your displays will be set up and where chairs and product storage will go but still be easily accessible. Tape off the booth space on the floor or driveway and be sure everything fits. Once you have a "floor plan," decide how your goods will be displayed.



It is important to do this because often you only have an hour or two to unload and set up for a show. Depending on your product unloading could take you 30 mins or more. Have to set up a tent? Add 10-15 min for that...tables? 5 more. That is 50 of your time right there, give or take 10 min based on the product you make. So it's imperative that you plan ahead on set up or you will either be unprepared or rushing right before the show starts.

What should you do in this dry run setup? Tape off on the floor or driveway (with painters tape) your exact booth space. Bonus points for setting up your tent in your driveway and working with that (and double checking that your tent is in order and you have all your parts and pieces).

Once you have your booth space marked off or tent set up you should consider the following:
  • How many tables will you need and what should their layout be-keep in mind you should leave room around the tables so you can enter and exit your booth space
  • Where and how will my displays be set up
  • Will my displays hold my product?
  • Can I see over and work around my displays?
  • Did I leave work space for myself to write receipts, wrap or package purchases, put my soda?
Try a couple different layouts. You may think you have laid out the best option, but try a few more anyways. You never know what you will come up with and it is a good exercise to do, just in case when you arrive at the show your booth space or location changes. It pays to be prepared with  a few options and be flexible.

Missed Part 1.1? Find it here:

How-To Prepare for a Craft Show Part 1.1: Make Enough Product



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Etsy Craft Party 2014: Recapture!


Who's ready for a partay! Join Etsy Dallas and other area crafters for an evening of fun, food and drinks. This years theme focus is on transforming photographs into display worthy works of art using a variety of craft supplies and techniques! This years Craft Party will be held at City Craft this Friday (6/6) at 7pm!

Take a look at some of the inspirational pieces our team members have already cooked up in preparation of the event! Bring you own photos (or copies of them) or you can choose from photos on paper or fabric that will be provided at the event.
Photos from Etsy Dallas

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How To set up a Craft Show Booth Like a Pro

A few weeks ago we were asked by Etsy Dallas to guest write an article on how to set up for a craft show. My question back was "the day of? or all the actual work that goes into it?" Both! They said.

The resulting brainstorming session of me and my sister resulted in a two part series covering everything from the weeks leading up to the day of the event. We covered topics ranging from inventory forecasting to what's in our disaster kit.

There were several things I would have loved to delve into deeper, but I'm pretty sure they weren't going to change it to a 10 part series for me! :)
So over the next few days and weeks I will hit each subject in more detail so you can learn a little more of the behind the scenes buildup to a craft show.

But for now, head on over the the Etsy Dallas Blog to check out part one of How to set up a craft show booth like a pro!


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Spring Bash Countdown Cont'd

Need to spruce up your space? Look no further than the bash where you will find some awesome wares to freshen up your decor!

Our Green Nest mixes vintage and modern items with a splash of color. This painted antler is the perfect conversation piece for an end table or mantle.



The Letter Lounge gives new life to old books cutting them not only into letters but a variety of shapes and symbols. This particular book is mine, which I picked up at WRLM last year. I plan to add a science book to my collection this year :)



Blue Flame Studios makes a variety of teapots, mugs and serving pieces which are beautifully glazed to perfection. In addition to this dynamic statement serving bowl I love their black on black (matte/gloss) teapot.


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T Minus 7 Days to the Spring Bash!

Where did the time go? The Bash is almost here and true to our PnP selves, we are crazy rushing to make as much product as possible for the event. Check out the Handmade Bash site for all the details including the awesome artists list. We have some awesomely talented people at the show this year (just like every year) and you won't want to miss it! In the days leading up to the Bash I'll start showing them off here, starting today with our artists whose focus is on the wee ones :)


Regal Cottage makes classic toys with modern sensibilities

Regal Cottage-Narwhal Rattle



Wren and Rumor makes bedding, blankets and burp cloths in modern designs.




Wooden Leg Named Smith makes handmade and hand painted toys.




Bonjour Mae Mae specializes in accessories for girls and boys.

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DIY Dog Cookies

It should come to no surprise to anyone that both my sister and I are big time dog lovers. Like in a my dog is my furry child and no one messes with my baby sort of way. :)

Last year there was a huge ordeal of dog treats made in China that were making dogs sick. So after immediately tossing lots of treats, we started looking for good ole made in the USA treats. But they are a little harder to find than one would think. Green Pet in Bishop has several options, but the way my 100lb dog snaps them up I was going to go broke! So my sister decided (after much Pinterest searching) that we could make our own.

We have landed on two recipes that have our dogs drooling (pun intended). And even though it may not be too hard to impress a dog with food, I do have to say that both our pups really do prefer the homemade versions over the store bought. Like crack. Doggy crack-no joke.

So here is the recipe for Opie's favorite cookies:

They are super easy, with only 5 ingredients!



I didn't have any dog bone cookie cutters, but I did happen to have a squirrel one (not as random as you may think!), which I thought was still pretty fitting for a dog biscuit. He gobbles them up so quickly, I have since resorted to just cutting the dough up into 2x1 inch rectangles to speed up the process.



Cookie please! Look at that smile!


Here is what you will need to make them:
2 Eggs
1/2 c Canned Pumpkin
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbs Powdered Milk
2 1/2 c flour (I used whole wheat flour)
water as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add water as needed to make the dough workable, but make sure it is still pretty dry and stiff. I found that kneading it with your hands works best. Roll out the dough to approx 1/2" thick and use a cookie cutter to cut shapes (or just slice it up into rectangles if you don't care if they are cute). Bake for 20 min flip them over and bake for another 20 min.

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National Wear Red Day

Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in America, causing one of every three deaths- that's more lives than all types of cancer combined! In fact, more women than men have died from heart disease in the past 30 years.

Often as women, we worry about cardiovascular disease in our fathers and husbands and urge them to be more heart healthy, but we forget that heart disease is not gender specific and that it is important for us to be heart healthy too! Today is National Wear Red Day to help raise awareness with women to take steps in their lives! Choose to speak up and fight the statistics by supporting the American Heart Associations's Go Red for Women Movement. Visit the Go Red for Women Campaign's website for tips on how you can help yourself and others prevent heart disease.

We at Pig and Peacock support the Go Red's campaign and strive to live heart healthy lives-we hope in 2014 you will too! We created the Go Red Awareness Ribbon soap as a way to help raise awareness of this often silent killer and donate 50% of it's sales to Go Red for Women.


Taking steps to improve your heart health can be simple and easy.

  • Get moving-as little as 20 min of walking a day can help, and 40 min a day is even better
  • Reduce stress-did you know as little as 20 min of walking a day can help reduce your stress levels too? :)
  • Eat healthy-replace one snack a day with a piece of fruit
  • Quit smoking-ok, ok, so this one isn't simple or easy necessarily, but it will significantly reduce your risk for heart disease!

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Candle Burning Tips

Woo! It got cold this past weekend here in Dallas! Time to bundle up with some blankets and relax at home with your favorite holiday candle burning to fill your home with yummy smells.

So we thought it would be a good time to post some candle tips to help you burn your candles safely and help you get the most burn time out of them.

A little science lesson first though...Just exactly how does a candle work? Understanding this process is important for candle makers but will also help you understand how to use and enjoy candles more :)
The wax in a candle serves as the fuel for the flame and is absorbed into the wick through capillary action. Too much melted wax and you can drown out your flame, not enough and you will starve the flame of fuel to continue burning. This brings us to our first candle burning issue, inadequate burn time.

A common problem we see with candles is inadequate burn time. A candle needs to burn approx one hour for every inch in diameter. When candles are not burned long enough to create an even wax pool, it will not allow all the wax to melt in future burns, and will leave a wall of wax around the wick. It is important that every time you burn your candle, you allow it to burn long enough to melt all the way across to prevent it from tunneling down. Sometimes when a candle tunnels down too far, there is too much melted wax and your candle will eventually drown itself out. When you don't have enough time to burn a candle for a few hours, consider burning a tealight or votive.

Example of uneven melting:



Proper candle melt pool:


Another cause of uneven melting is placing your candle in drafty areas. Not only will this cause uneven melting, but it may cause wax to splash out of the container or the wick to smoke.

In addition to that, another way to keep wick smoke to an absolute minimum it to keep the wick trimmed to 1/4" before burning your candle. A flame that is too big may melt too much wax for the candle to burn and may drown itself out. Don't cut it too short though or your flame will not be big enough to melt the wax!

What can you do if one of your candles starts to tunnel? Take a knife or spoon and scrape out the excess wax that has formed a wall around the wick. This will help allow your candle to burn properly, provided you allow it the correct amount of burn time in the future.

When you want to extinguish your candle use a dipper or snuffer to put it out. This will create less smoke and soot. If you don't plan to burn a candle for a while, store them in a cool dry place to preserve the fragrance.

One last tip-Never, ever leave a burning candle unattended! Regardless if you have kids or pets-it is never safe!

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Made in Far North Dallas!

Wow, we are super excited that the Dallas Advocate (for Far North Dallas) featured us in their holiday shopping guide! Check out the article here




We had to do a crazy quick cleaning spree for the photographer to get this pic because we were in full on holiday production mode! You can see all of our fragrance and essential oils in the background as well as some "test" octopi soaps in the foreground :)

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Genesis Women's Outreach Center Craft Night

Monday night, my sister and I, along with some of our Etsy Dallas team members volunteered at the Genesis Women's Shelter Outreach Center. We set up a craft table to make some fun Halloween crafts with the kiddos while their moms used the outreach services.

We had three crafts the kids could choose from, and they went to town, making at least one of each, and some made extras for their moms :)

One 2nd grader even sang us a bunch of Halloween songs she made up-they were too cute!

We all had a lot of fun and hopefully Genesis will invite Etsy Dallas back to do more fun craft nights!



 


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How-To Tuesday Give an Old Dresser a New Look

A friend came over the other day and asked me where I found one of my dressers. I told her it was the same one I have had since I lived at home with my parents! I have updated it since then and she asked me how so I thought I'd re-post the how to-from the old blog....
I had been wanting a new dresser for a while-the one I had was super old and UGLY. But when I decided to buy a new one, my car decided to have a complete meltdown. New steering wheel column, new shocks, more freon, and work on my brakes. Ugh. So I was stuck with my old dresser, that I would throw away in a heartbeat, if I didn't need the storage (a necessity in loft living).
I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to transform my ugly dresser into something I could live with. I don't have a "before" shot, but this is pretty much what my dresser looked like:

Generally an OK dresser, if your 5 or have a French countryside decor theme at home.

The inspiration for this project came from some items in my home, a few paintings from local artists and a floral arrangement. These all have pops of colors, like orange, red and tourquoise.
All my inspiration artwork were from local Dallas artists-April Greenlee, Jennifer Morgan and Jacque Forsher

It was pretty easy to redo the dresser. First I removed all of the hardware, then lightly sanded the entire piece. I removed all of the drawers and painted the frame first, then all of the drawers-all in a bright tourquoise semi gloss. I wanted a super glossy finish, so I added an additional coat of high gloss polycrylic. Next I hunted down some cute hardware to replace the original ones. I found some inexpensive red and white pulls that I though would pull the look together nicely.
Total cost: $8 for paint at home depot, $8 for Polycrylic, $40 for the hardware = $56!


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How to Make New Wood Look Old and Distressed

As part of my loft redecorating spree, I am in constant search for old, rustic looking storage. I have seen lots of storage units built with old wooden crates and loved the look. In my search down the antique stores on Riverfront, I found several, but they were pricey and none were the same size. But then I found these brand new and shiny wooden crates at Home Depot for around $10! The only problem was they were brand new and shiny, not old and weathered.
I knew I could stain it, but I wanted the wood to look old, and staining just doesn't give you quite the same effect. After some google searching, I decided on the steel wool and vinegar plan of attack and am surprised at how well it works!

What you need:

  • Vinegar-regular or apple cider
  • Steel wool-I used #00 or finer
  • Container
  • Paint brush
  • Well ventilated area-to escape the vinegar smell
Pour the vinegar into your container and drop in a torn up a piece of steel wool . Regular vinegar will leave a grayish cast on the wood, and apple cider vinegar will leave it more rusty colored. I started with apple cider and then moved to regular because that's all I had. Leave the vinegar/steel wool mixture for at least 24 hours. The longer you leave it the darker it will get.
Grab your paint brush and apply a liberal wash of the liquid over your bare wood. At first it won't look like much, but pretty quickly you will start to see it oxidize the wood. You can also brew some black tea and stain your wood before you brush on the oxidizing solution for a darker finish.


About 30 min after painting with oxidizing solution


Finished crate after sitting outside for a few days


 Once your piece has dried completely you can leave it as is, or seal it if it might be exposed to liquids (like a coffee or end table). Depending on the look you want you can use a polyurethane seal like Verathane (I like the matte finish) or a wax seal. Since I will be using this crate for office storage I left it as is. My plan is to buy some more of these crates and build a shelving/storage unit with them kind of like this:







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