Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend Holiday Shows

I did back to back shows this past Thanksgiving weekend. Troy Elf Shelf and Leon and Lulu Artist Market. I had a great time at both events and managed to get up Monday, stock Yellow Door and get back into the sewing room.

Troy Elf Shelf, before and after

Friday was set up for Elf Shelf, they said it was a long walk from parking to the building and they were right, it was extremely long, and extremely cold and windy, temps in the mid 20's. Luckily we have a dolly and it took about 5 trips to bring everything inside. I got it all set up in less then 2 hours.

I had hoped to keep the truck packed and just go straight to Leon and Lulu Sunday, but really felt I needed to regroup and reorganize my items, so we did end up bringing them inside. Luckily for Leon and Lulu I only needed 1 gridwall, and my products. I will be returning to Leon and Lulu Tuesday 3-8pm.

Leon & Lulu Artist Market, this is my third time attending this event

Back to the sewing room, I really need to start over on cutting and sewing. When I do this I pull out stacks and stacks of fabrics and begin, planning, cutting and sewing. I really have lost track of what has sold where, and what I need to make so I am just going to dive in and cut and sew.

Monday morning, quiet, back in the sewing room

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One Down Two to Go

Wristlet wall fully stocked, I have taken 17 new wrislets in this week

I have a busy handmade weekend ahead. I have one of my three tasks completed, I stocked my Yellow Door Store this afternoon, tidied up, rearranged and got it ready to go for Friday morning.

A little rearranging and switching up baskets, including newly added hair accessories

I took with me 12 wristlets all with little dash of bling, beaded zipper pulls. I restocked the jumbo paper clip bookmarks - Yay! I also added a brand new item, sets of fabric covered button pony taill holders.

Fabric covered Buttons in these Jumbo Paper Clip Bookmarks and Pony Tail Holders...They make great stocking stuffers

It was great fun at Yellow Door, several artists were busy getting their space ready as well, should be a great weekend for all.

I also have Troy Elf Shelf and Leon and Lulu this weekend, you can find links and info to the left under my Local Events section.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Sewing Under Pressure

So, I am at the busiest weekend of the year for me for shows, which is not saying a lot as I don't do all that many shows. Add in my participation at Yellow Door, and I am really feeling the pressure to do as much as possible this week.

I have Troy Elf Shelf on Saturday, this is traditionally a large show, and the next day Leon and Lulu Artist Market. I have also been selling a steady pace at Yellow Door, and have restocked that about once a week throughout November.

So the result is my sewing room is a disaster, of course the disaster is not confined to this room, the whole house has a panic stricken look to it as well.

My normally tidy work table, strewn endlessly with many in progress projects, my fabric closet is completely disorganized as well. Above is my second work station, usually quite clear of clutter. I do take breaks every so often to do some clean up for sure I am more productive and focused when things are in their place.

Just one more week, and life will be a lot less crazy and hopefully a lot more neat!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I am pretty sure we will be the ONLY family on the street with a 6 foot inflatable, lighted Turkey named "Nina". My husband and I actually bought this about 10 years ago after Christmas for about $8.00. There was no real reason we bought it except that it was originally $129.00, and marked way down, so we grabbed it.

Now that we have a 5 year old she is simply delighted to have this proudly displayed in our front yard, a few neighborhood kids came by to say hello as well.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! ! !

Friday, November 19, 2010

Signing and Pricing Ideas

I always seem to be searching for a best way to price and sign my items. I use a combination of ideas, both blanket pricing and individual pricing. My most recent idea came as a result of seeing my ideas in action at Yellow Door.

I wanted to add little "ideas for usage" to my items, since I cannot be there to show ideas or give creative uses for my items I added descriptive tags, and added to this my shop name and pricing, so at a glance the shopper can see this information, even without picking up and looking for the price.

Clip on signs, layers of card stock and pretty papers, and a clothespin

I used simple supplies that I had on hand to create these eye catching signs.

Card stock, scrapbook papers, clothespin and glue - I went all out and used overly powerful E6000.

I used E6000 for a super strong adhesive

I made my signs in a Word document, printed, trimmed, and layered with colorful papers that match my little "logo", it is not really a logo but a graphic I had purchased from an etsy seller.

I also got from Ikea these nifty white pedastal photo frames, they were only .99 cents and worked well for my little accessory sets, above ready to go, below - in action.

Below, are my signs in action, I like the extra information and ideas shown. This gives the shopper a idea or inspiration on how they could use the items, since I am not there in person to help with shopping.

The great thing about these signs it was all items I had on hand, they were super quick to make and low cost, I can easily add or adjust signs as needed and replace easily as well. I may add a few of these to my show line up as well.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Local Paper Interview Yellow Door

Photo by David Schreiber

The new Yellow Door Art Market in downtown Berkley is holding its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 13. Owner April McCrumb, pictured here, recruited 70 local artists to showcase their work inside the 3,600-square-foot shop.

By Jeremy Selweski
C & G Staff Writer

BERKLEY — The city is getting a major infusion of local talent this month with the addition a new business that will showcase the work of dozens of Michigan artists and crafters all under one roof.

On Nov. 13, the Yellow Door Art Market will hold its grand opening at 3141 W. 12 Mile Road in downtown Berkley. Visitors will be greeted by a 3,600-square-foot storefront that is decked out from wall to wall with handmade goods, including jewelry, clothing, photography, handbags, paintings, candles, soap and pottery.

“There are a lot of great artists in this area who are looking for new opportunities to distribute their work other than selling online or at art fairs,” said Yellow Door owner April McCrumb, who also owns the popular Catching Fireflies gift shops in Berkley and Rochester. “Here, they can have their own little space that they can design and market how they want while creating a new outlet for their artwork.”

During a road trip to Asheville, N.C., this past summer, McCrumb and her husband visited several shops that allowed local artists to set up their own permanent mini-gallery. After coming home to Michigan, they were inspired to introduce the concept to metro Detroit.

Using her numerous connections in the local do-it-yourself art scene, McCrumb began recruiting artists for her new store. “I was selling this vision before we had even signed the lease on the building,” she said with a laugh.

In a matter of just five weeks, McCrumb had already found 70 interested artists and filled all the available spaces, and Yellow Door was born. Boasting a colorful and whimsical atmosphere that should be familiar to Catching Fireflies customers, the shop is designed to offer something for everyone who appreciates quirky, homegrown art.

“We wanted to have a mix of different products,” McCrumb explained. “We were trying to find a good amount of diversity and not be oversaturated with any one type of item.”

Yellow Door artists rent out their space by signing three-, six- or 12-month leases. They then can decorate their area as they see fit and are responsible for dictating the prices for all their products.

Sandy O’Brien of Birmingham — who crafts handmade purses, tote bags and accessories under the name Midnight Creations — was one of the first local artists to sign up at Yellow Door. She was so excited to be featured at the shop, in fact, that she made about 400 new items in six weeks to get ready for opening day.

“Yellow Door is one of my first big experiences offline, so it will be really nice to see my products live in a retail setting,” O’Brien said. “I’m a stay-at-home mom, so it can be very difficult for me to get out to a lot of the big art shows. … This is a great way to have your own retail store without having to do any of the legwork. I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of this.”

O’Brien noted that she will be putting about half of her inventory into her Yellow Door display. She believes that shops like Yellow Door may be the wave of the future in the art community.

“It’s so great to be on the ground floor of this amazing new concept,” she said. “I’m guessing that you will start to see more and more of these types of businesses springing up. … So many people who are out of work now are turning to their artistic talents as a second source of income. These days, it’s a lot easier to take control of your own destiny than it is to find a job.”

Marsha Filipiak of Royal Oak is also joining the roster at Yellow Door. A professional stained-glass artist with more than 25 years of experience, Filipiak will be using her display to showcase her new Made by Marsha digital collages, which she creates by manipulating vintage and current photos on her computer.

“I just wanted to get away from the seriousness of my stained-glass work and do something more fun,” she explained. “I like that I can have my own special section, rather than having everything spread out all over the store. It’s like being in an art fair seven days a week, but I can be at home producing while they are selling my stuff for me.”

Although Filipiak has been selling her products at Catching Fireflies for several years now, she is eager to see how the Yellow Door concept will help a self-employed artist like herself. The shop offers vendors much more control over their work than a typical art gallery, she said, and is less competitive than local art fairs.

“Having your own permanent space is such a great thing for a lot of different reasons,” Filipiak said. “I think this idea is really unique and has the potential to be really successful.”

And if Yellow Door does indeed to take off, it will help achieve one of McCrumb’s goals as a business owner by encouraging residents to shop locally and support their neighbors.

“This is meant to be a happy, feel-good shopping experience,” she said. “So far, people are really excited by the idea that they can buy all this great artwork, and all the money they spend is going right back to creative people in the local community.”

For more information on Yellow Door, call (248) 336-2038 or visit

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Recent Etsy Purchase: JustJaynes

I recently been getting back into wearing earrings, or should I say wearing more then 1 pair of earrings. I grabbed this darling little set from

Simple hammered disks on sterling silver earwires, cute go with everything type of earrings, great price under $10 including shipping. JustJaynes is a Michigan artist, which was a fun find.

I love the sleek simple looks avaialble in this shop, my earrings came in a cute embellished gift box that my 5 year old quickly claimed as hers. Super fast shipping which is always a huge plus for me, as I pretty much want things the minute I order.

Vintage Sheet Music Jackpot

I went to a local rummage sale last weekend and managed to snag a box of sheet music for $3.00. I was leafing through it and was amazed what great shape it was in, and in checking some of the dates, many are 40 plus years old, a few dating before the 1920's.

As I was looking at the old images and and beautiful music notes and old style fonts I was reminded of the many projects I have seen over the years calling for sheet music. As my mind wondered I sort of realized I needed it, one of the volunteers said I could have it all for $3.00 - such a deal!

I am going to go through them and take out any that might have some value, mainly I am going to cut this up and don't want to damage anything someone might like as a collectible. I may sell some in my destash shop or share with friends for craft projects.

I am thinking mostly now of Christmas items, like cone ornaments, napkin rings, decoupaging. I will be digging through supplies and getting out lots of things to embellish, I think my 5 year old and myself will have lots of fun playing.

Be sure to check back I hope to post some projects along the way, any ideas feel free to share.

Vintage works of art, soon to be upcycled "works of art"

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