So, I have always had illusions of grandeur in my ahem-ahem years of living on this planet. Firstly twas to be a goth (a problem when your mother forces you to wear clothes more appropriate to her age and demeanour in shades of egg shell blue and pretty pink and completes the look with a D.I.Y. perming kit), secondly to be a famous actress (scaring small children dressed as Peter Rabbit exceeded all my expectations) and thirdly a great artist (I managed to get a “C” on my second G.C.S.E attempt).
So … What to do? What to do?
And Daa-Daa! It came to me in a flash! Why not do a craft stall?
(Don’t say anything … just read on …)
So I started getting excited. Buying buttons online, cheap scarves, sale necklaces and decent bags from high street and charity shops with my left over birthday and pocket money and decided to create the title “Old Bags of London” to represent old me and my upcycled bags. Cast your eyes on the upcycled delights that follow you …
So, pretty excited by the untold future of my new project – I decided to half heartedly look into summer school fairs (meaning my daughter’s and my friends daughter’s school). I decided that the prospect of actually committing myself to a stall at my daughter’s school may be rather an embarrassment (just in case anything fell off my merchandise or myself for that matter) and it would be best for me to go to a school that I am an unknown in. In that case – the other school beckoned with my goods of glory! My friend advised that one should create pocket money gifts for a small amount – so my bags were out and the majority unfortunately where given to my bemused and disappointed friends and family as birthday “treats”.
The heat was on! I worked noncommittally at sewing and gluing “bits” onto purses, melting crayons to the extent that I nearly broke the microwave (best to melt crayons in the oven – or not at all as the case may well be) – assembling little bags of “Make your own Keyrings” and sticking cute stickers on everything – all to sell for a pound or two. A sheer bargain of delight – or perhaps not!
In the prospect of knowing that this might be my only time in the stall business – everything I bought to decorate the stall would be stolen (nay acquired) or bought for another purpose. My daughter let me borrow some dotty hat boxes that had been residing in her room, I bought a pink bed sheet for £4 from ASDA to be used as the table cloth (and later to be used as a pink bed sheet) which was adorned with handmade flower punched confetti, and last but not least a blue mug tree from Wilkinsons (a steal at £1.50) – and seeing as I do not own a mug tree – what a delightful addition this will make to my kitchen!
Oh, yes! The reason for the mug tree? How could I forget to introduce you to …
Tatty Susan …
She seemed like a good idea at the time! A one eyed rag doll with beads and buttons for legs that smelt of lavender – What is there not to love? Although poorly constructed via hand and machine stitching, she was assembled together with my very own blood and sand! And so I set to work on making numerous Susans – getting bored of making numerous Susans – and chucking most of the numerous Susans away – until I was left with 4 that I felt where just about acceptable for my stall. My very own made from scratch (I hadn’t just stuck something on something else) project. I had become a crafter in my very own right!
So, the day had come!
I ironed my pink sheet (something that is seldom done in my household) and packed my case for my holiday crafting paradise. Got the 125 bus down the road and entered the school gates with an excited anticipation. I was greeted by an official parent who showed me my classroom and stall area – it had been raining on and off that morn and my stall would have been stationed outside, so unfortunately me and my offerings were placed down the furtherest classroom to the main hall. But, surely with having the face and nail painting in the very same classroom, I would be inundated with trade.
So, I assembled my table …
And waited until ye grand opening.
And waited …
And waited …
And waited some more …
Joy! Some parents with their small folk had finally entered the room!
And walked past my stall to the face painting!
And this my creative chums was pretty much what happened for an hour or so!!!
After an hour or two (and a half ) – an old lady came and sat at my table – which would have been nice company – apart from it wasn’t!
So, feeling that perhaps the majority of parents has spent their life savings and the only tuppence they had left was for faces and hands – I set about stuffing things into a box and taking the hill to Mahumad – meaning I went into the school hall where all the stuff was happening – and bingo! I did not have to sell my wares as a lucky heather lady – there was a naked and exposed table – some crafter person had left (after being an ultimate success not doubt), and so I up yours (not literally) and uprooted from my table – packed my table cloth with my wares and made my way to the main hall.
This was a better option! Although late in the day – and having to slash my prices beyond belief and compare – I was gathering trade. The purses were selling (even if some of the were actually selling for the price that I’d bought them for), crayons too (though they had to be explained “Are they soaps?” “Can you draw with them” etc, I even sold a few of my bags, infact, I was so shocked that someone had shown interest – I had completely forgotten what price to ask for and a ten year old ended up with a lovely bag from Accessoriz – “accessorized” for a fiver). I also had mistakenly sold some socks that had made their way into one of my upcycled creations (but the less said about that the better – and one can only hope that they were clean).
At the end of the Fair day – was it worth it?
But I did it. It is out of my system now.
Much to my husband’s relief (oh, he’s a good man)!
I spoke to a few people running stalls (a really lovely lady selling Oreo Cookie keyrings that were being pulled within an inch of their crafting life by some reckless little toerags, a lady selling bracelets for a hobby and another lady (all the ladies) selling homemade crochet items whose husband had recently been made redundant) I gathered by them that crafting is a real labour of love. I really take my multiple hats off to them – for the school fair is not for the likes of me and my stick on a purse philosophy.
And as for my Tatty Susans …
They all came home with me!
(and I wouldn’t have it any other way)
(OR WOULD I?)
Right then! What next?
For information on how to run a stall – look no further than the Harry and Lee Blog and whilst you’re there – help yourself to a pretty homemade hanky or two …
And if you are in need of buttons for any of your crafting needs – check out this great deal at amazon:
And finally – if you want to make some crayons (and do try not to break the microwave or oven as a consequence) Check out Miss H’s previous posting …