Thursday, 29 August 2013

Crafting meet up at Guidcentral

Last weekend Crafty Craft Fairs met up in Guidecentral HQ Dublin with Etsy Ireland and My Craft Portal .
Other various crafters attended to gain valuable information on the crafting industry in Ireland.

Etsy have a huge following in Ireland and it was great to hear a detailed analysis of how an Etsy store works.
 It is a crafters haven! I didn't realise how easy it was to set up and run an Etsy shop !.
They also have a great support team to help out crafters with their shop.
 It was very interesting listening to their presentation and a great opportunity to hear it all first hand. Francesca gave a great run through of every aspect with details about how important using the right description and tags are.Also providing top tips on how run a shop successfully. I will definitely be setting up my own shop with them..

My Craft Portal is fairly new to the on line craft scene. James gave a great talk which explained in detail its functionality. Another great source for crafters to sell their products . It provides an new, exciting opportunity for crafters, artists in Ireland to sell their products to customers directly. They also have an events section which we will adding our craft fairs to.

Guidecentral have been a great outlet for crafters to date. Their guidecentral app has really taken off in the last year. Think of it as a mix of  Pinterest, YouTube and crafting tutorials. You follow a step by step photo guide to create your item. Personally i love this as I'm not really a big fan of tutorials on YouTube , i spend more time pausing and rewinding ! 
Check out one of our guides.Crafty Craft Fair guide on how to make this cake topper.

I did a craft demonstration myself on paper flower bouquets.
 I don't think anyone noticed when i glued my foot to the floor !!!

Overall it was a great morning bringing crafting communities together. A competition was held between the crafters that were doing guides during the morning. with two worthy winners, Geraldine of  Little Snippets and Lauren from Papervine winning. Prizes were kindly donated by Etsy Ireland ! 

There is a great sense of community within crafters, no competition or jealousy , everyone just gets on with their own craft. I like others love learning new techniques and crafts so it was great to see different ideas on the day.

Another successful day at Guidecentral, I hope there will be many more !

Sinead xx

Saturday, 24 August 2013

A Morning with Little Snippets

Last Wednesday morning myself and Sinead had the pleasure of visiting Geraldine from Little Snippets Craft Supplies at her home in North Dublin.

We were warmly greeted at the door and shown into her home where we found her wonderful embroidery machine in action beavering away on some Christmas goodies.

We were then lead through the house and out beside her organic vegetable garden stood Geraldine's craft studio.What a wonderful sight!
The sun was shining on this little craft haven and myself and Sinead looked at each other, both knowing that if we owned this little paradise we'd never leave it !

Inside we found floor to ceiling storage full on craft supplies. 
We had serious craft room envy ! 

Firstly, as with any "girlie get-together", you begin with a beverage, no not the cocktails & wine, a little early for that...... unfortunately!
Coffee & homemade brownies were the perfect addition and although Geraldine's modest about her baking, her brownies were divine!

With all these craft goodies surrounding us where do we start ?

Today Geraldine was going to give us a little introduction to beaded crochet.
Myself and Sinead both have modest crochet skills, we can hook up a hat or blanket but both have loads of enthusiasm to learn more....

We started with a simple technique that can be used for bracelets or necklaces.
Once she started to show us how beads can be used, we soon realised that you are only limited by your own imagination when it comes to crochet & beads.

Beaded crochet can be used in so many ways not only in making jewellery, it can be incorporated into hats, scarves, bags, let your imagination run wild!

Geraldine has a lovely laid-back way of teaching and with her large range of expertise, she has so much she can pass on to others.
Among those skills include hand and machine embroidery, crochet, patchwork, beading, jewellery making, papercraft and crazy quilting.

She first started crafting at the tender age of four!! when her aunt taught her to embroider on her wedding dress.
This is one of her early creations
Would you believe she taught her first class at the age of 10! She was drafted in to save her teachers bacon when the inspector was doing the rounds. This inspector liked the girls to know a bit of embroidery so Ger stepped up to the mark when the teacher couldn't. Go Ger!!

Among her favourite crafts are crochet and embroidery but if there was only 1 set of supplies she bring to a desert island it would be her crazy quilting supplies.

For those of you not familiar with crazy quilting .....
Wikipedia will tell you this
but I think a picture explains better and this is one of Geraldine's favourite makes.
I think we can agree these are stunning pieces of work.
Personally I've fallen in love with this beautiful craft.

With her fountain of knowledge we are delighted that Geraldine has plans to start some workshops in her studio which will cover
  • Crochet 
  • Bead Crochet
  • Christmas Decoration making
  • Crochet flowers
  • Card making
These wonderful workshops, starting the end of September, will be free of charge with a kit available to purchase on the day.

The purpose of the workshops will be
  • to learn new skills / techniques
  • problem solving - if your stuck on a project, bring it along to get some help
  • if there's certain patterns or items you'd like to learn 

For more information pop over to Little Snippets Craft Supplies on facebook where you will find more of Geraldine's wonderful items for sale and up to date information 
Or pop in her Etsy Shop for a browse through her unique custom made craft, sewing and scrapbooking embellishments.

We would like to give Geraldine a HUGE thank you !
We had such a lovely morning and could quite easily have stayed all day long crafting and chatting.
Gillian & Sinead

If you would like to be featured in our blog please email

Monday, 19 August 2013

We love Pinterest !

Over here at Crafty Craft Fairs we are big fans of the wonderful world of Pinterest!

We are always on the lookout for beautiful and inspiring crafts and crafty ideas 
Have you started following us yet? 

Already, we have gathered a lovely collection of photos and links to some great ideas:

and many more

Pop over to see more of our pins and discoveries 


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Supporting the homeless this winter with Caring Hats

Crafty Craft Fairs are delighted to be supporting the homeless this winter in Ireland. 

Our first venture is with Caring Hats. pop over to Una's facebook page and show your support. 

This is a fantastic campaign where they are asking all you talented ladies (and men) who are handy with the knitting needles or crochet hook to make and donate some cosy hats this winter to be distributed to the homeless in Ireland.

We think its a great idea and we're not the only ones. We've seen many crafters sharing around the page and jumping on board.

Its heartwarming to see that there are so many people willing to help out others less fortunate. 

We will be spreading the word and passing on information to you all over the next couple of months.

pop over to Caring Hats facebook page for more details

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Rico Fashion Summer Band Yarn Review

This is a chunky weight cotton yarn.
It feels a bit odd calling it a yarn but that's what it is, Band yarn!
It actually lies flat like tape so it sits very tidy holding its shape quite easily. I was quite surprised at how quick it knits up. Its so smooth to use and light weight, knits up great, very fast and is so versatile.

half way through

What I made
chosen shade
I knit a scarf with the shade on the right which actually sold before I got the final photo of the finished piece but you get the idea. I kind of made up the pattern as I went along but basically did a dropstitch. The scarf was knit in about 2 hours!

I also made an Infinity necklace (see left picture) which was made in a matter of minutes! My 11 year old daughter is now making them. They are so easy to make and go with anything. I love wearing it especially when its too warm for a regular scarf. I'm a big scarf fan, I hate having a cold neck!

I love this yarn!
There are gorgeous colours, lovely summer shades and there is also a print range. 
I recently purchased 2 balls of the turquoise at a bargain price of €1.99 each and am only sorry I didn't get more.

You should shop around as they are usually around the €3.99 mark. 

To see more shades click here
I'm in the middle of another infinity necklace and also have plans to either knit a throw or a blanket. I haven't made up my mind of which colour I'll choose yet though. The texture and flatness would be ideal for a throw... so soft and cosy.

I'm definitely loving this brand at the moment
Rico all the way !

Your Craftiness 
Sinead x

Monday, 12 August 2013

Tips for your first craft fair

Your first craft fair can be a daunting experience but don’t be under the impression that everyone else there is the Queen of Crafts and will cast a shadow on your own work. Everyone there is in the same position. It is quite nerve wrecking waiting for the first customers to arrive but once you get chatting to the first few customers you’ll flow into it. Be friendly and attentive and just be yourself. You know your stock better than anyone so be prepared for any questions a customer may have.
Setting up
  • Check what is provided for you, such as a table, tablecloth and two chairs.
  • If you need a power socket you will probably have to specify this to the organizers beforehand .
  • Wheelie suitcases are ideal for transporting your stock.
  • Find out the access to the room, if a lift is available, you might not want to drag two suitcases up two flights of stairs. (I know!)
Your Display
  • Bring your best products. Ask yourself, “Would I buy it?”
  • Plan your display. this is your “shop”.
  • It has to be attractive and eye catching. It has to draw customers in like a moth to a flame :) 
  • Research the internet especially Pinterest for craft display ideas. 
  • Start looking around the house for props. pretty display baskets etc. search 2nd hand/charity shops
  • Its a good idea to have your stock at different levels, eye level will attract attention. Pretty boxes can add height or place ordinary boxes underneath the tablecloth. 
  • Display your business name with banner and business cards.
  • Display a portfolio of previous work you’ve done. Maybe you can personlise items? Show the customer all their options.
We love this idea from Belle Bijoux Creations of using a framed display instead of a banner.... very clever

Show your Prices
Personally I think you should put price tags on everything. even if you don't price individually, your prices should be clear and visible. As a customer myself, I hate asking for prices on items and I would probably walk away if I cant see how much things are but that's just me.
  • Have a multi buy deal e.g baby bibs €3.50 or 3 for €10
  • Special offer e.g today only €8 (usually €10) 
everyone loves to feel like they are getting value for money. 

Make a list
Not only do you have to think about bringing stock, its always a good idea to bring with you the following:
  • table cloth (if not provided)
  • scissors
  • pen at least 2
  • notepad 
  • order book
  • cellotape/sticky tape
  • twine
  • price tags
  • calculator
  • carrier bags/packaging
  • business cards
  • money bag/belt with float of course (plenty of small change if your items sell for low/medium price)
  • sign with your name on it e.g banner or large table sign
  • mirror, customers like to try on jewellery, hats , scarves etc.
check all these off the night before. You may not need all listed above.

Also take with you
  • snacks/packed lunch/water/flask of tea/coffee
  • appropriate clothing for given weather even with indoor fairs and comfortable shoes ... cant stress this one enough 
  • headache medication, lots of crafters mention this one if asked ...... it can be a long day

Prepare your morning and plan your route
Even if you don't want to pack up the car the night before have absolutely everything checked and waiting to be literally put into the car on the morning of the fair.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. especially if its a bit of a drive. Get there a good hour and half before kick off to give yourself plenty of time for set up. I think it looks very unprofessional for you and the fair itself if there's vendors rushing in 10min before the opening or worse when customers have already started to arrive. but that's just me, I'm a stickler for punctuality ;)

SMILE and be friendly 
This is a vital part of selling any product. I have met many vendors over the last year both as a customer and as a fellow seller and I can honestly say that its the bubbly friendly crafters/exhibitors who will be the most successful on the day.
As a customer there is nothing that will send me straight past your table than someone who seems disinterested in the public or is hiding behind a book. I've often had to drag information out of sellers "hello I'm interested in your products, tell me more!"
a simple "hello" works wonders and you'll soon know whether the person is up for engaging in more conversation

All the above are aimed at indoor fairs only
Enjoy the day, its a great experience and you'll meet some fabulous people 

Check out these lovely displays from out recent 
Crafty Craft Fair in Stillorgan Park Hotel, Dublin 
Little Snippets Craft Supplies
 Wrap it

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Welcome to our blog

A very warm welcome to the Crafty Craft Fairs blog. 

We hope to bring you, not only information of our upcoming craft fairs but share all things crafty from promoting the wonderful crafters we've met over the last fews months to passing on advice and tips on a whole range of different crafty things

We are passionate about all crafts, you name it.... sewing, knitting, crochet, decoupage, painting, quilling, papercraft, felting..... the list goes on.

So we welcome all Crafters to our blog, to comment, share and join in the wonderful world of handmade