If at first you don't succeed...

So, if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you've probably already heard that I didn't make it into the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair.  That totally stinks, because I was really counting on it and I'm totally bummed.

But I also know that one rejection doesn't mean that I should give up.  I am entered to be a vendor at a small fair at Emerson Elementary School in Elmhurst on Thursday, November 18th from 6-9 pm.  The sad part is that it's an elementary school, so I can't exactly advertise under the "Hell Razor" name... yeah, not appropriate, especially seeing as I work in the district, so for the evening I'm going to operate under the very generic "Stuff by Mrs. Leban" moniker.

The good part for anyone interested in purchasing items is that I'm planning on clearing out a lot of older items at quite a discount... I was thinking $5 each for flowers, bows, and earrings.  I may also make some new very simple bows to sell as well, depends on the time I have before this.

It's not the Renegade Fair... it's not even close... but it's something.  And everyone has to start somewhere.  A positive point is that it gives me an excuse to go buy a cash box of my very own which will most certainly need some sweet sweet decorations!


Stories behind the work.

I made a couple of new necklaces last week.  I think they're kind of interesting to talk about, because they're both one of a kind designs - I only have the parts to make them once, and I can't purchase the parts over again.  One design is the "Mystic Pyramid Watch" necklace, but the other is "Aunt Marty's Owl Necklace," pictured above.

This owl necklace is actually a vintage keychain!  I took the keychain, removed the parts, and connected it to a necklace via the top hole.  The bottom hole is typically connected to a second keychain - it disconnects from the main owl body and would have typically been used for giving your keys to a valet or mechanic without giving away all of your keys.  But I used the bottom hole to connect a drop dangle that complements the wooden beads on the necklace.  The red-orange beads between the wood beads come from a vintage necklace.  When I go to garage sales and re-sale shops, I often look for interesting beads on necklaces I can purchase and take apart.

After trying on the completed necklace, I realized it was a little short (for me anyways).  A simple fix was to add an extender piece of chain - the links are actually hand-made by Todd!  Now it's perfect.  

In the photo above, you can see the writing on it from the original keychain: "Oberheide Coal & Oil 1066 W. North Ave. WH 4-7800"  I just thought the keychain was really cute and would look great as a pendant.  Thankfully, our Aunt Marty was quite the collector, and after she passed away we discovered many wonderful treasures.  This owl was one of them, and I like to think that she would've gotten a kick out of how I recycled her old keychain.


my new idea

I made gift bags for when I sell stuff at Renegade Holiday craft fair.  I really hope to have good news in a couple of weeks and find out I was accepted in the show...!


the little things...

I went to the office supply store today to buy more printer ink (wheeeee!) and was super excited to find THIS in the pen aisle!  Sharpie has a STAINLESS STEEL refillable model!  I was all "whoa big baller Sharpie, I will put you in my basket" and then I realized how mean it would be to buy one and come home to gloat about it to Todd.  So I bought him one, too.

I told him that he should probably sit down before I gave him this surprise, that's how great it was.  Can you tell we love Sharpies?  This is soooo sweet.  Oh yeah, I also bought retractable Sharpie pens, which I also love.  So if you're a Sharpie geek like us, go pick one up fer yerself.



I am planning on applying to sell at the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair on December 4th & 5th at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse.  Hopefully I'll be accepted, so I'm currently brainstorming ideas for display at a booth.  I'm in the process of making a banner for my setup (whatever it might become), and I'm hoping to purchase some unique fabric for a tablecloth.  I was thinking black & white stripes, because I do love stripes...

Fortunately, my first show would be an indoor show, so I won't have to worry about weather.  I'm looking at IKEA for some inexpensive ($5.99 each) corkboards.  I was thinking of using hinges to make a triptych-style display board to stand on the display table and pin earring cards to.  I also found a really promising idea from CUTEure Creations on Etsy about displaying hair clips and such.  Here's a photo of her booth:

See how she's got dowels that hang with ribbon between them?  I currently display my home stock in the studio on ribbons like this, but the ribbons are attached to my wall bulletin boards:

I was thinking that her idea might work pretty well for me, but now I wonder if my hair bows and flower clips also need tags like the earrings have.  That's a lot of additional work, but if it's worth it in sales, I'm willing to do it.

I have a mirror to use for craft shows, so people can try on pieces and check themselves out.  I'd really like something fun to display necklaces and earrings on, like a black candelabra, or something along those lines.  Although a lot of my stuff is girly, I want to stay dark and metal with it - not get all super pink with feather boas and shabby chic all over the place... if you know me, you definitely know what I mean.  Girly and cute, without being annoyingly girly and cute.

Got any ideas?  Let me know what's worked for you, or what you think might work for me!
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