Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Craft Shows- Exploring New Possibilities

As most of you have already noticed, I love making things, actually all sort of things starting from arts and crafts, photography, baking, cooking, gardening etc. Seriously, I can spend a long time making my list. So over a year ago, I have decided to open my Etsy shop Stitchinnetka, where I can release my creative  energy into making some money that can be used on things that I can't make it. Well, and that's how I opened a new chapter in my life. I had no idea what I was putting myself into..I just wanted to make some stuff . And yes, believe me I made some volumes of stuff last year ! something about 350 items ! A little bit overwhelming,and satisfying , when I trying to visualize that. The biggest part that is missing in my making process is lack of direct contact with my client, when I can meet the owner of my creation. It's especially inspiring to see kids that get excited about my goodies :).

   I really strive for a direct, face to face contact with my customers, so this year I have decided to explore selling at craft shows.

 My first appearance was the  Earth Day Festival in Greenpoint,Brooklyn, NY in my old neighborhood where I used to walk my dogs every day. I couldn't say 'no ' to this offer. And for that big first time I took my whole family with me, to make it special and fun. They all very excited to spend and day in the city and help mama to make some money, team work in a full force.

   It was truly great to have girls with me, especially because I was running a workshop on how to make fabric covered buttons and hair accessories. Maya and Amelie were just perfect assistants, they had a blast teaching other kids how to make little colorful creations. I love saving fabric scraps for this kind of projects,where I can teach kids creating something bright and colorful out of pieces of joyful patterns.   And thank you 'Threddies' for a fast delivery of gorgeous elastic bands :). Girls where absolutely thrilled to work with them. I hope that one day, I will be able to run a little arts and crafts center when kids can hang out after  school and learn and developed their skills. I believe that everyone has some sort of need to use hands to make things. Process of hand making brings out confidence and awareness of changing our imagination and dreams into reality. And I think that is a very crucial skill to understand and use by kids,as it is a essential part of being a human.  Unfortunately, in our fast paced  society children are lucking time to not even to create, but also to think about it. So I have decided to incorporate workshops into my craft shows - love, learn and make :)

  After one wonderful and exciting Saturday , I had a craft show in my hometown - Lindenhurst. I did the same gig  - sellling  my handmade creations and teaching kids few crafts . I think we made way over 70 button that day!

SO that was one busy weekend.  I really had a great time chatting with customers, other crafters and friends and family that came to visit. Workshop was a huge success and I have learned how to run show more efficient. Looking forward more adventures ...next stop Craft Show run by  'Surfs Out'
restaurant in Kismet, Fire Islands, NY - May 28th, keeping fingers crossed for great weather and lovely day at the beach promoting handmade movement :) . If you are around, please stop by, say 'Hi and join us for some crafting. And don't forget to bring sunglasses and sun lotion :).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Maya's Fancy Cupcake Birthday Extravaganza

Since last two weeks have been extremely busy, so I didn't have a chance to update my blog...but today, thanks to  steady rain and gloomy weather I  can actually do it- write few things about the last party of our family  birthday season :)

 Maya has always been a cupcake princess. Since she started walking whenever she had a chance she would wonder off with a cupcake in her hand. I think the idea of the having an ownership of a cake ( even the one of the size of a cup) made her very happy. Another big passion for cupcakes comes for the fact that they are just so easy and fun to decorate. My kids have always been my assistants when it comes to final touches and cake/ cookie decorating, and Maya definitely is a leader in this project.

   It wasn't a surprise  that Maya had decided to have a cupcake theme for her party. I actually I was really please with her choice ! Finally I can make 120 cupcake plus a cake within one night ! I simply LOVE baking challenges. We were supposed to have 4 flavors. Vanilla and chocolate were just obvious choices, after that I had suggested strawberry, which was approved by the whole family... and then we got stuck. I though about lemon flavor, but didn't get much support for that, so I ended up making extra vanilla. In the end, that was the  best  choice since most of kids loved that flavor.
  As usual, I baked through the whole night. Whenever I have to prep for birthday parties for my kids, I have a very strong need to bake, make food and stay up as long as possible. I think for those special days, I'm powered by my inner memories of labor coming back to surface. I get this super powers that make me do extraordinary things for the sake of celebrating birth of my kids. And yes, I do think cupcakes are included in a group of extraordinary things, they make people smile and feel good, just like holding little babies. Sometimes I wonder, if my need to do this crazy work comes from the fact I did have home births and the energy of those amazing and powerful moments in my life is still so alive and vibrant in this house.


 So after night in the kitchen, came a beautiful Sunday morning. Perfect day for outdoor party ! Yes, the Universe was very kind to us that day :). I have made usual yummy salads and tarts for lunch, kids and daddy organized furniture outside, few friends came and helped with lovely cupcake garlands decorations :). And soon after guests started to arrive .

   Fancy Cupcake Birthday Extravaganza was about celebrating cupcakes and inner baker in every child. Everyone was asked to think of what kind of bakery they would love to have. After that we all designed aprons and logos for individual  bakeries and cupcake boxes.All my supplies I got from Oriental Trading Company.  Kids were absolutely thrilled with this idea.

And of course the most exciting part was decorating cupcakes.Since it was a bit windy, I  put sprinkles in cupcake tins, which worked out just perfectly. Nothing was flying off tables on the ground or into kids' bellies.

  I had big plans for running a demo about using different techniques/ tips etc. for cupcake decorating, but since we had about 18 kids, very eager to decorate, not much into listening, I had skipped that part and hand it out frosting to then and let them do the free style decorating. And it was just perfect ...


  And to finish off this sweet day we had one gigantic birthday cupcake to share ...

  It was one happy and sweet Birthday Party, that I hope it will bring lots of fun and laughter for Maya till next birthday.